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UPDATED: Haley Volunteer: 'My Role Has Been Overblown'

Roan Garcia-Quintana of Mauldin says criticisms aimed at him are "desperate."

UPDATED 9:20 P.M.

Tim Pearson sent Patch the following statement:

"Ms. Sosanie, Vince Sheheen, and the Democrat Party weren't concerned about how this country viewed South Carolina when their leader made racial and then misogynist attacks on the governor, nor when he compared her to Hitler's girlfriend. They weren't concerned when their colleague, Phil Bailey, racially slurred her. And they were completely silent when a leading Democrat legislator referred to Nikki Haley, an Indian-American, as someone who wasn't a minority but just 'a conservative with a tan.' Their faux outrage is just that - faux, political, and as uninteresting to South Carolinians as where they want to take our state."

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The controversial volunteer on Gov. Nikki Haley's grassroots steering committee says that his role in the governor's re-election campaign has been overblown by Democrats seeking to score political points.

"They're desperate," Roan Garcia-Quintana said. "they're searching for a needle in a haystack."

Garcia-Quintana, a Mauldin resident, said he has no plans to step aside and has not been asked to. Even if he were, he said he would still volunteer on behalf of Haley.

Earlier this week, Garcia-Quintana was linked to an organization that advocates for purification of races. He did not back off those views when he spoke to Patch on Saturday.

"Why is it ok for a Jewish family to want their children to marry other Jews, but it's not ok when another group wants the same thing?" he said. He also criticized the SPLC for being politically-motivated.

Garcia-Quintana said he finds it curious that his views are being given attention now, three months after he joined the steering committee (the entire committee is viewable here).

Garcia-Quintana said that he got on the steering committee by signing up via email and that he is not in regular communication with the re-election campaign. He said he last spoke to Haley at the state GOP convention three weeks ago and the conservation was brief.

Additionally, Garcia-Quintana is hardly new to South Carolina politics. He ran unsuccessfully for State Senate in 2008 and he said he has worked as a consultant on numerous campaigns, inlcuding that of Sen. Larry Martin, a Republican from Pickens County. He has a long record in the public eye, as his biography (viewable here) would seem to suggest. 

He is a native of Cuba, having come to America in 1961 after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

Given his political experience, Garcia-Quintana was not surprised that Haley is being attacked. "There are elements in both parties who don't like the fact she's a female," he said.

Democrats, meanwhile, were doing everything possible to keep Garcia-Quintana in the news, pushing the belief that his presence on Haley's team, even as a volunteer is bad for the state's image. Kristen Sosanie, the Communications Director for the South Carolina Democratic Party told Patch:

"Governor Haley appointing and standing by Mr. Garcia-Quintana as a co-chair of her campaign sends a signal to businesses and people in this state and around the country that SC is ok with his kind of hurtful, divisive, racist thinking. That's not attractive to businesses, young people, entrepreneurs or the families we need to keep in and attract to SC in order to rebuild the state and improve the economy. South Carolina has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and Governor Haley's actions hurt our economic prospects and damaged our state's reputation. Instead of denouncing Mr. Garcia-Quintana's beliefs, Governor Haley is once again making this about politics and fighting to protect herself rather than doing right for the people of South Carolina. Our state deserves a leader who will put people and businesses ahead of politics.  

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

reg May 25, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Judaism isn't a race; it's a faith. You can be of many different races (even mixed race!) and be Jewish. His stipulation of that point in his self-defense seems to indicate that not only is he racist, but his anti-Semitic, too.
stanley seigler May 25, 2013 at 08:13 PM
re: 'we have a non-native endorsing a policy [nativist] which would make him a second-class citizen.' http://www.politicususa.com/meet-roan-garcia-quintna-south-carolinas-non-native-tea-party-nativist.html typical GOP...advocating against themselves...
Shawn Drury May 25, 2013 at 09:22 PM
I'm not about to defend either side in this issue and I'm straining to see how this discussion will matter to voters in November 2014, but as to whether Jewish people are a race, here's a Supreme Court case that addresses that very question: http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/481/615/case.html
stanley seigler May 25, 2013 at 10:38 PM
we really didn't need the SCOTUS to confirm...but the link say: 'the Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that discrimination against Jews is not racial discrimination...'[1987] bet some of Garcia-Quintana's best friends are jews...and blacks...and latinos if haley is smart she will dissociate w/ Garcia-Quintana...as a bleeding heart, hope she doesnt...
Ken May 26, 2013 at 01:13 AM
The FACT that that woman sees no problem with having a sick racist like this man on her campaign staff should be enough to drive the voters away from her. Sadly, in this state the un-educated rural republicans think racism is a "family value" and will continue supporting her.
Mimi May 26, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Well when there is nothing left of your party except extreme radicals and white surpremaist, and a few rich white guys your pickings are slim. I think South Carolina has long had enough of the Republicans and they will not stand behind these radicals. It will be a good day in South Carolina when Vincent Sheheen sends Nimrata back to her old accounting job. I dont think there is a time in history where the people of SC made such a HUGE mistake in electing this woman in the first place, it was a desperate attempt to pretend the party is woman friend and minority didn't work out too well. KICK THE FRAUD TO THE CURB along with her radicals.
Galen Manapat May 26, 2013 at 01:54 AM
I disagree with you.
Ken May 26, 2013 at 02:33 AM
"Governor Haley appointing and standing by Mr. Garcia-Quintana as a co-chair of her campaign sends a signal to businesses and people in this state and around the country that SC is ok with his kind of hurtful, divisive, racist thinking." This deserved repeating. Nikki Haley is the worst governor in the nation yet without a doubt the fools here will re-elect her.
Rusty Inman May 26, 2013 at 03:49 AM
One notices, of course, that Tim Pearson does not address the issue of Mr. Garcia-Quintana in his statement. Quite frankly, given Mr. Garcia-Quintana's credentials, I'm not surprised. There is no way to put a positive spin on this individual being involved or even tangentially associated with this governor's campaign. And there is no way to put a positive spin on the fact that, by not disavowing both Mr. Garcia-Quintana and his disgusting beliefs/activities/associations, this governor is giving tacit approval to them. If you have not followed the link to the Southern Poverty Law Center report on Mr. Garcia-Quintana, I urge you to do so. The SPLC is an internationally-respected and historically-honored organization that does not deal in rumor and innuendo---its credibility is reflective of its concern for factual research and reporting. The idea that this man is serving on the campaign committee or is in any way associated with this governor should be reprehensible to South Carolinians of every political persuasion and South Carolinians of every color and stripe.
Milton Findley May 26, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Nicki Haley is a person of Indian extraction, and a member of the Brahmin caste. She may still think like a Brahmin, If she does, she sees nothing at all wrong with this man or his perspectives regarding the issues in question.
stanley seigler May 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM
@Milton Findley, re: She may still think like a Brahmin and how does brahmin think...'regarding the issues in question'... not sure why the gov's heritage was thrown into the mix and what, if anything, is being insinuated... that said i question if a brahmin would approve of Garcia-Quintana positions...also question if the gov was/is a brahmin btw as all know the gov's parents are sikhs...and at one time castes were banned by the sikhs...as surname indicated one's caste; many sikhs use singh as their surname...(this from a failing memory...so corrections welcome)
Bruce Charnov May 26, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Nimrata is the desperate one . . . she will sell her soul to the devil to get re-elected - SC voters have now had almost a term to see how poorly she, her party and allies govern . . . how bad her decisions and party ideology are for the poor and middle class of her state. Her election has been a failed experiment and, as with all such endeavors, it's time to end it. If she were smart, she would sever ties with this racist, but however smart she is, she is not THAT smart . . . her political sense is that she needs this association to win. She is. of course, wrong here also . . . wrong then, wrong now, and wrong for SC!!
Betty May 26, 2013 at 02:56 PM
You are all calling this man a raciest yet you have no problem with calling Governor Haley names and referring to her Sikh back ground in a negative way. So who is the raciest?
reg May 26, 2013 at 05:02 PM
That's a good observation, Betty.
reg May 26, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Thanks for the link, Shawn. Having trouble with all that legalese, though - it looks like it says that jewish persons are not a separate race, but claims of racial discrimination could be pursued in that particular case because the defendants perceived jews to be a separate race; am I getting that correctly?
stanley seigler May 26, 2013 at 05:47 PM
re: So who is the raciest? think most sane folks realize racism is alive and well in both DEM and GOP parties...for that matter society in general...and; sadly black prejudice is being supplemented with muslin prejudice... posted on a related PATCH thread: re: why is he supporting Governor Haley? good point...but from most reports there is little doubt he is a racist... 'I[ Rusty Inman] urge you to do so [follow SPCL link] . The SPLC is an internationally-respected and historically-honored organization that does not deal in rumor and innuendo---its credibility is reflective of its concern for factual research and reporting. The idea that this man is serving on the campaign committee or is in any way associated with this governor should be reprehensible to South Carolinians of every political persuasion and South Carolinians of every color and stripe.' re: 'Why are you all giving the Democrats a pass...' i dunno...to which specific 'raciest comments' do you refer... for sure 'we all' should not give anyone a pass...
richard kirchdofer May 26, 2013 at 08:20 PM
We as citizens of this state can only do one thing with these politicians that sit up in the state house and do nothing (just as we did with mouth of the south Jake Knotts vote them out of office. If we continue to go on just as we are we deserve what we get.
George Grace May 27, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Agree, and put Joe Wilson, Mark Sanford and Lindsey Graham at the top of the list.
Betty May 28, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Why?
George Grace May 28, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Check out my post on Joe Wilson under the Keystone story below.

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