It seems there are some melanin enhanced threats to democracy in the San Joaquin Valley.
San Joaquin Valley congressional candidate Jose Hernandez flew in space, but his astronaut identity is now under political fire. In a pointed new challenge, a Sacramento law firm is asking a judge to block Hernandez from describing himself as an "astronaut/scientist/engineer" on the June ballot. The lawsuit notes Hernandez has left NASA."Come on," said Attorney Charles Bell Jr., one of two lawyers named on the lawsuit, and general counsel to the California Republican Party. "Hernandez? Really? Astronauts are named Glenn, Armstrong and Aldrin. This is obviously an attempt to mislead voters."
"I went from plowshares to the stars," Hernandez told supporters when he announced his candidacy in Modesto in October."And that right there tells you everything that's wrong with America right now," said the other attorney listed on the lawsuit, Brian Hildreth, who has worked for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.
The French Camp native, born into a farm-worker family, trained as an engineer at the University of the Pacific and was selected as an astronaut candidate in May 2004. He flew aboard the shuttle Discovery in 2009 and left NASA in January 2011.
"Circumstantial," said Hildreth. By the way, have we ever seen a copy of Hernandez's birth certificate?"
"The challenges our country is facing are far too important to waste any more time on petty partisan political games," Hernandez said. "You are precisely the challenge our country is facing," countered Bell. Later Bell's office clarified his remarks, explaining that the attorney hadn't meant Hernandez was a challenge personally. "Mr. Bell is not a racist," a spokesperson said. "His driver is named Miguel. Miguel something or other." The spokesperson stated that Bell's major concern was that Hernandez he was likely to favor policies benefiting his ethnic group. "This is the greatest threat to the principles of democracy since the minimum wage," the spokesperson added.
The suit notes that Hernandez reported to the clerk of the House of Representatives that he received $150,000 from work as the "executive director for strategic operations" with MEI Technologies.
"In the same disclosure to Congress, [Hernandez] reported that he received no income from NASA in 2011," the lawsuit states, adding that astronaut is not a title one carries for life. "Gardener, nanny, house keeper. Those are the titles people like that carry for life," Bell said.