Philadelphia City Councilwoman María Quiñones Sánchez has asked the Democratic Party to withdraw its support of her challenger in the May primary because of posts on his Facebook page that she says are racist, misogynistic, and against Democratic values.
The Inquirer reviewed Emanuel "Manny" Morales' Facebook page Monday and found some posts that could be considered objectionable. One was a photo comparing a black man jaywalking to an animal using an overhead walkway that included this comment said to be from Morales: "This shows who is an animal? Awesome picture."
Morales did not return calls for comment Monday. Earlier, however, he posted on his Facebook page a statement on the allegations:
"I have been told that people are spreading outrageous and desperate lies . . . Those that really know me knows that I have family members and friends that I love and care for that are of a different skin color than me. I have family members and friends that I care for that have love ones of the same sex. I was not born in a golden crib and I'm proud to be originally from Brooklyn New York Red Hook projects where my mother made me plenty of delicious grilled cheese from the block of welfare cheese she received to feed our family."
By Monday evening, however, Morales' Facebook page had been taken down.
State Rep. Angel Cruz, who supports Morales, said he did not believe the allegations.
"Nowadays everyone is hacked and people can do whatever," Cruz said. "It needs to be proven that they're his [posts] and this isn't all one of her little tactics."
Quiñones Sánchez said she had collected more than 60 offensive posts by Morales and archived them on a Web page: www.meetmannymorales.com.
The website shows posts advocating for drug testing for welfare recipients, voter ID laws, shutting down the border, and pro-gun legislation.
In a July 2014 post archived on the website, Morales' name is given as posting a comment on an antiabortion video, saying: "Unwanted pregnancy is very easy to avoid, keep your legs closed."
Democratic Party Chairman Rep. Robert Brady said that the posts concerned him but that he would have to talk with ward leaders and Morales before getting involved.
"When you do district races, the ward leaders make the decision," Brady said. "We'll have to see what happens; we'll have to talk to him, see what he says."
Former Mayor John F. Street, a friend and supporter of Quiñones Sánchez, had a harsher message for his party:
"To be as reckless as it appears these ward leaders have been in selecting their candidate - I think it's pretty sad," Street said. "They do themselves a favor, the party a favor, if they just withdraw the endorsement."
Quiñones Sánchez, who has been elected to the Seventh District seat twice without party endorsement, said the posts show Morales is not representative of the Democratic Party.
"This particular candidate really is a tea party candidate, he goes against every value and principle by which I joined the party and most Democrats joined the party," she said.