Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack's office has released what they billed at a press conference as "dramatic new information of importance to all voters" in the district.
The new information was audio of Dr. Raul Ruiz, then a college student, makring remarks in the 1999 National Day of Mourning. During the remarks, Ruiz read a letter of support to Leonard Peltier from a member of a Mexican Libearation Army.
During the debate between Ruiz and Bono Mack, the challenger said he "could not remember" reading the letter in 1999.
The Congresswoman's camp said that "Raul Ruiz has said he does not recall reading a letter in support of Leonard Peltier, that he does not support Leonard Peltier, but this recording leaves no doubt that Ruiz read this letter,emotionally supporting a convicted killer of FBI agents,” according to Marc Troast, political director for the Mary Bono Mack campaign. “He proclaims support not only for Peltier, but for Mumia abu Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer.”
Late Thursday afternoon, Ruiz spokesman Patrick Boland told Palm Desert Patch, "Congresswoman Bono Mack finally seems to understand that voters are appalled by her record on the issues that matter to them like the economy and Medicare, so now she’s resorting to personal attacks that have no relevance to this race.
"There's nothing new in Congresswoman Bono Mack's personal attack today – Dr. Ruiz does not support Leonard Peltier, and he believes that anyone who kills an FBI agent should be punished to the full extent of the law. Dr. Ruiz attended a pro-Native American event because he feels passionately about the importance of Native American heritage, and while he does not remember reading the letter at that event, he must have been asked to do so, and was caught up in the moment.
"The Congresswoman's shameful attacks – calling Dr. Ruiz un-American for standing up for Native American heritage – are proof of how much she’s become part of the Washington politics of personal destruction. Instead of debating the issues that matter to voters, she’s resorting to smears about Dr. Ruiz’s days as a student. Her constituents – including many of the Native Americans she’s supposed to represent – are calling on her to stop her smear campaign. "
You can listen the to full remarks on Bono Mack's website.