VALLEY PATRIOT EDITORIAL
The number of underhanded tactics employed by Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua and his supporters against the efforts to gather signatures for his recall were staggering. And they weren’t shy about it.
They even bragged about it on Facebook.
On the pro- Lantigua webpage Yo No Firma (which means DO NOT SIGN), Lantigua supporters attacked the personal lives of those who supported the recall. They made up quotes of recall supporters, posting “Edwin Rodriguez, Javier Negron and Wayne Hayes said, ‘’This is the week, we hide, shut the lights off, lock the doors and start signing names….we will get enough signatures this way’’.
What was really amusing to us was the denigrating post about a city council candidate who was arrested a few years ago, apparently making him unfit for office in their eyes.
What they didn’t post was that Lantigua himself did a stint in the Middleton jail because he was a deadbeat dad who refused to pay child support for his own kid. Then, he got his ex-wife a job working for the city, saying that his efforts should exempt him from paying his child support.
There were physical threats of violence against recall organizer Edwin Rodriguez by Antonio Bueno who has been criminally charged in the assault. He was greeted with a hero’s welcome at a recent Lantigua party.
To make matters worse, the Valley Patriot got word that Lantigua supporters themselves were posing as recall supporters and were signing “other people’s names” on the recall so they could use those forged names to invalidate the recall later on. In fact, Lantigua’s plan is to try and use alleged forgeries to invalidate the entire recall in court after signatures are certified by HIS board of registrars.
(EDITORS NOTE: The Valley Patriot published one day prior to the deadline for turning in recall signatures)
We’ve also heard Lantigua supporters will be trying to find people who signed the recall and “convince” them to say they were tricked into signing it.
On top of all that, Lantigua and his minions have been on Spanish Language radio making sure to mention that if they sign the recall petition, everyone will know who they are because the recall list is a public document.
What we find most telling is that, at no time during this recall process did Pro Lantigua forces bother to list his accomplishments or his record as a reason not to throw him out of office.
If there is any wonder why such a massive effort was undertaken to remove Willie Lantigua from the mayor’s office in Lawrence, his
own behavior (and the behavior of his supporters) during the recall process has made that pretty clear.
Intimidation, threats, assault, personal attacks, lies, and slander have all been part of the Lantigua machine’s rise to power.
We only hope it will lead to his downfall.