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Immigrant rights group files complaint against Santa Clarita councilman over 'proud racist' remark

Los Angeles-based immigrant rights advocates announced Tuesday that they have filed formal complaints against a Santa Clarita councilman they say deserves to be censured for violating the city’s code of ethics and conduct by declaring himself “a proud racist.”

The Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition has sent letters to state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleging that Councilman Bob Kellar “breached the public’s trust and has acted in an unethical, racist, xenophobic and biased manner by making public comments scapegoating so-called illegal immigrants.”

The group also alleges that Kellar violated at least eight provisions of Santa Clarita’s ethics and conduct policy, which requires that municipal leaders be “independent, impartial and accountable to the people they serve.”

The complaint further targets the remaining members of the Santa Clarita City Council, who the immigrant rights’ advocates charge violated their “fiduciary duties and responsibilities...by not speaking out and condemning” Kellar’s statements.

The legal complaint stems from a Jan. 16 anti-illegal-immigration rally in Santa Clarita, where Kellar, a veteran councilman and two-time mayor, spoke. In his comments, Kellar referred to a statement by former President Theodore Roosevelt that the United States has a place for only one flag and only one language.

Kellar, a former LAPD officer, said those remarks caused some people to accuse him of being racist, to which he replied that if believing in America causes people to think he's a racist, "then I'm a proud racist."

The councilman has said that he stands by his remarks, which he said were personal and have been misconstrued. He insisted that he abhors racism, and he has received zealous support from many Santa Clarita residents.

But the immigrant rights advocates said that Kellar was introduced as a councilman during the anti-illegal immigration rally, and they quoted from a transcript of Kellar’s remarks in which he spoke about conducting business at City Hall the day before the gathering.

They also accuse Kellar of being a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen group -- a staunch anti-illegal immigration organization whose members sometimes patrol the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to prevent illicit crossings. Kellar has denied being a member of the group, which helped organize the rally at which he spoke.

“He should have explained that he was speaking as an individual and not as a public figure,” said John Fernandez, a member of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition.

“When a duly elected leader promotes divisive speech, that is essentially hate speech,” said Robert Gittelson, another coalition member.

Supporters of Kellar jeered the immigrant rights advocates, chanted the councilman’s name and at one point physically tried to prevent the advocates from briefing the press in front of Santa Clarita City Hall before a scheduled council meeting Tuesday.

“A man voiced his personal opinion; that is not a violation,” shouted Randy Thompson, a Santa Clarita resident since 1967. “Bob Kellar stated that he is against illegals. He supports American laws.”

“Get of my town right now,” one woman screamed from her car. “Who do you think you are? Do you read the papers? Everyone here is behind Bob Kellar.”

Chris Hall, who has lived in Santa Clarita for four years, said he was saddened by the rowdy spectacle between the rival groups. “This is painful for me to watch,” said Hall, who has worked in the city for 15 years. “It’s getting totally out of control. It affects our community.”

Speaking at the council meeting, Kellar said he had been bombarded with calls and e-mails, and had had several conversations with residents who expressed concerns about the affect illegal immigrants were having on the city. He suggested the council include the issue of illegal immigration on a future agenda. Other council members suggested organizing a study session on the matter.

-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita

Comments () | Archives (133)

"We're all illegal immigrants, with the exception of First Nations people, if one looks to our history"

Yawn, Yawn, Yawn... so why don't you pack your bag and leave this country if you feel so strong about it and support YOUR cause you feel so strong about it...


I find it very interesting that rights groups for illegal immigrants want Americans to be held accountable for comments that are not vilations of any law (perhaps a city policy)........ but yet the illegal imigrants they support are not expected to be held acountable for their violations of actual laws for being in the US illegally!

Its about time people started taking measures to remove the illegal immigrants from this city, this country. This has nothing to do with racism i believe it was TR who said....

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Watch out for Amnesty in 2010 watch out for bill HR 4321 this bill proposes not enforcement of our immigration laws.

What part of ILLEGAL immigrant don’t you understand? Read the statistics regarding crime and the prison population! When you start policing the millions of YOUR people, and have to pay for them, then you can demand respect. You are just as despicable using the courts to support yourselves through your self-aggrandizing claims. Who’s paying you? Might it be a federal or state grant? Makes us wonder who YOU really are………!!!!!!!!!!!

Put the blame where it belongs. If the rich would not hire these illegals ,there would not be a problem. They come over because there are jobs. The rich like it because they provide cheap labor. House nannies, factory workers,etc etc.

Blame it on the rich who exploit these people. If the rich did not hire them ,they wouldn't come over. They are being used as house nannies, factory workers etc etc. They will keep coming over as long as there are jobs.

This is a Republican Ronald Reagan created problem. He made all the illegals leagal in the 1980's and opened the flood gates. Now big business has all the cheap labor they want, never elect a Republican.

The main reason why the State of California is in trouble with being short of funds. Is all the free money, free education and free medical given to all the illegals in California. Yes !!! I AGREE OF President Theodore Roosevelt that the United States has a place for only one flag and only one language.

Mr Kellar is right. One Flag. One country-wide language. We do not suppress other languages, religions, or cultures, we accept them. We only ask that others do the same and are respectful enough to embrace the American language and culture if living here.

Only two people have died for your freedom. Jesus Christ and the United States Armed Forces.

BOB is under no duties to upheld the so-called rights of illegals! Woe to those usurpers operating under the assumption of equality accross borders...i've grown from the arms of my motherland, cross the seas, and bled to fight for US constitution...this is how i earned my right as a LEGAL IMMIGRANT!!! to the rest of your illegals and supporters of such notion alike, wake up! and get out from the blanket of comfort that this grateful nation of LEGAL IMMIGRANTS provide.

I am a 4th generation American of Mexican descent and these damned illegals have some gigantic cajones to go after our 1st amendment of free speech. 1st and foremost they should have no rights because they are ILLEGALS, since when do we reward criminals? and lets not get it twisted, they are criminals, they crossed this border illegally and should get the book thrown at them. i say we deport them to a faraway nation not even their own and lets see if they come back

Bob Kellar had every right to say what he did. Why do Liberals ALWAYS turn words around to fit their agenda. Kellar said If being racist was being against illegal immigration THEN he was a proud racist. Well so am I then.
People need to stop the hate against people who have different opinions about illegal aliens. Illegal is illegal and that's it!

How do illegal aliens have any rights in this country? They're not citizens and they're not here legally.

I'm just fine with legal immigration.

But illegal aliens simply foster crime, lower the overall quality of life in this country, and support the expansion of various crime syndicates.

Enough bleeding heart nonsense and back to good old fashioned pragmatism.

We presently have an unemployment rate of 10% and a population of 300 million people. That's 30 million people out of work.

They say there are 10.6 million illegal immigrants in United States. I don't believe it. I believe there are more, but let's say those numbers are accurate. If those 10.6 million illegal immigrants were kicked out tomorrow, then approximately 10 million jobs would open up for American citizens and legal residents, thereby cutting the unemployment rate by over a 33%.

Want to improve the economy and get Americans back to work? Deport every illegal alien.

I don't mind immigrants coming over here BUT, do it legally! Learn English and pay taxes!!!!

I have a question for members of this coalition. Which Home Depot Parking Lot is headquarters for this group?

Bob Kellar is absolutely correct!!! One language and one flag!! Love it or LEAVE it!!!

This is ridiculous. The councilman's remarks were obviously taken out of context while trying to make a point. While I think his city, given their agricultural history, has benefited through the years from "illegal immigrants" (but hypocrisy is another story), this rights group is making a big fuss out of a Good Ol' Boy's shooting-from-the-hip remarks.

Look, throughout this country's history when times are bad, any given ethnicity or "Them" has been the bogeyman of choice. It was the Native American "Injuns", Irish and Chinese in the late 1800's, then Japanese and Italian (Mafia) in the 30's and 40's, and now it's those "dam_ Messicans!" The fact that some view them as becoming the majority probably doesn't help.

I am of the mindset however that ALL immigrant groups learn English and understand and assimilate into American life (being that there is no real "American culture") rather than designating "Little Armenia(s), Filipino, etc., towns/districts. That only breeds divisiveness - and not ethic pride.

But there's nothing like an anti-immigrant rally to get the White Folk (all descendants of immigrants and squatters themselves) frothed up. Just be glad this is the 21st century and not the 1800's -- where these immigrants and their advocates would've been strung up from a tree.

Then again, these very same people were not the immigrants.

Kellar is my hero!

This is amazing to me. I watched on T.V. a few years back a hispanic public elected official announce that hispanics were going to take California back block by block. No one even blinked let alone file a complaint. I also heard
similar comments come from the late Ricardo Monteban on a late night show.
Funny how anyone that stands up for American citizen rights is always the bad
guy. I'm for diversity I have a very diverse family but I adamantly oppose any group that segregates itself, does not assimulate outside it's own race and whose agenda is only for their own race and does not incorporate all races. Although La Raza has changed their slogan I still remember the original one. "For us everything for everyone else nothing" I write this after picking up an application for employment at McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Jack in the Box where all I saw working were hispanics.
I doubt if you will post this one.

It is heartening to to all Americans to see brave men like Bob Kellar stand up and speak the truth in the face of PC adversity when it comes to an issue like illegal immigration and Mexicans. If we are not careful and show the same kind of courage as Bob Kellar, Santa Clarita will become another barrio like Sylmar, over run with illegal aliens and gang bangers. Illegal immigration is inherently tied a fall in property value,failing schools and increased levels of gang violence and crime in all SoCal communities. I support Bob Kellar as should all the people of Santa Clarita.


Your father sounds like my grandfather. He was a good man and a legal immigrant. Because he spoke only English in the household my father went on to become a very successful and honorable businessman.

It's not racist to ask people that once they come to this country, they have to work to on some level conform to our general English-speaking culture. Sure, they sure always respect, even revere, their heritage, but once they come here (ideally legally) they've given up where they came from and they've embraced where they've came: America.

It's about time that some one with a little back bone shows concern about how things are going with these illegal immigrants. There needs to be more than just a study done. My 2 cents

the last time I checked
There was a thing called
the constitution that allows
for freedom of speech.
but to all the third world
invaders this document
which they have no ties
to historically means nothing.
I say this councilman is a hero
and deserves applause!

People really need to back off this guy. Illegal immigrants piss me off. What part of ILLEGAL do all these stupid politician not understand? Why are the CITIZENS of this country being treated worse than the Illegals????

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