TUCSON, Ariz. — A U.S. congressman is calling on Arizona and federal authorities to investigate a pair of controversial fliers attacking a school board member as a possible hate crime.
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will ask the Pima County Attorney’s Office to investigate the flyers attacking Sunnyside board member Daniel Hernandez Jr., including one that targeted his sexual orientation, reported The Arizona Daily Star.
Grijalva said he will make an inquiry to the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI to assist the county attorney in determining whether the attack on Hernandez’s sexual orientation is a hate crime.
Hernandez is the former intern credited with helping to save U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life when she was shot in Tucson in 2011. He is now an elected member of a Tucson-area school board, and is facing a recall election in which his opponents are attacking him for being openly gay and for his advocacy on behalf of gun violence prevention.
Two flyers surfaced last month, with reports that someone handed out the materials at schools and left them at homes.
The first (pictured right, courtesy Right Wing Watch) attacks Hernandez for being openly gay, imploring, “Put a REAL Man on the Sunnyside Board…Daniel Hernandez is LGBT…We need someone who will support Sports and cares about our kids. We don’t need someone who hates our values.”
A second flyer attacks Hernandez’s work on behalf of gun violence prevention in the wake of the Giffords shooting, claiming (punctuation and spelling are a direct quote), “Daniel Hernandez cares about only one things taking your guns away.”