Ramos resists calls to resign after calling Stonewall Democrats ‘Nazis’ and ‘termites’
DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
Democratic Party officials across Texas are calling for the resignation of Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos after he called Stonewall Democrats “Nazis” and “termites.”
On Thursday, March 17, Ramos held a press conference where he was expected to resign. Instead, according to Sam Sanchez of QSanAntonio.com who attended the press conference, Ramos hurled new epithets.
Ramos said gays are like “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house.”
He called Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie a “racist bastard” and an idiot who is advised by gay people.
Currently there are no rules in place for removing someone from a party position for incompetence, according to Dallas County Democratic Party Executive Director Steve Tillery.
“If he had publicly supported a Republican, he could be thrown out of office,” Tillery said. “But not for just being a dumbass.”
“He’s just ignoring calls for resignation,” said Dan Graney, president of Stonewall Democrats of Texas. Graney is from San Antonio.
The Bexar County Democratic Party has been in turmoil for several years according to Graney. The former treasurer was indicted recently for siphoning more than $200,000 in party funds.
That money came from the state to run the 2008 primary election.
The county chair stepped down in Dec. 2009, Graney said, but not because of the missing money. He said she left to run for higher office and was not implicated in the scandal despite her signature appearing on checks.
Graney’s husband Roberto Flores replaced her and served as interim county chair from Dec. 2009 through the May 2010 election that Ramos won.
Flores did not run for a full term against Ramos. He died in September 2010.
Graney said that Stonewall endorsed Ramos’ opponent in the election for county chair last year, but that Ramos sought the group’s endorsement.
Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio is among the largest Democratic clubs in that city and the second-largest Stonewall group in Texas after Dallas.
“He [Ramos] came to our meeting and answered our questions,” Graney said. “He made statements that he doesn’t condone discrimination.”
But Graney said that Ramos has a long history of divisiveness.
“He [Ramos] was an ACLU board member and was divisive there,” he said.
Graney said that the good that’s coming out of this is all the support Stonewall is getting from around the state.
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas president Omar Narvaez said response to the incident shows how far the LGBT community has come in Texas.
“We didn’t have to ask for anything,” he said. “It was already done.”
Narvaez said that before Stonewall even asked for the party’s support, Richie had already called for Ramos’ resignation.
Narvaez said the state party was just following its platform of inclusion.
The 2010 platform states, “We believe in and support repeal of discriminatory laws and policies against members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.”
“It’s part of who we are,” Narvaez said.
At their monthly meeting, members of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas added their official voice to the chorus of organizations condemning Ramos and unanimously passed a resolution calling for him to step down.
Ramos made his original comments in reaction to legislation filed by San Antonio Democrat Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer that would enable a state party executive committee to remove a county chair for misconduct or incompetence.
Stonewall of San Antonio had criticized Ramos’ fundraising efforts and his attempts to change precinct level leadership, ignoring party rules and committees. Among other things, Ramos called Stonewall “90 percent white, blue-eyed and Anglo.” Narvaez, who is Hispanic, took offense. He said leadership in six Stonewall groups in Texas, including San Antonio Stonewall co-chair Eduardo Juarez, are also Hispanic.
The Dallas County Democratic Party called on Ramos to resign. In a statement they said, “His hateful, bigoted comments have no place in the Democratic Party. We are a party of inclusiveness that supports and promotes equality, diversity, and tolerance.” Dallas County chair Darlene Ewing and members of the State Democratic Executive Committee signed the letter.
In building his case against Ramos, Richie accused him of a series of violations in addition to his “bigoted attitudes.” He said that Ramos “consistently refused to follow the Bexar County Democratic Party Rules and the Texas Democratic Party Rules” keeping the county party “in a state of turmoil.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.