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Omar Torres hauls off on yet another woman

District 3 Council candidate Omar Torres has a troubling history of insulting the women around him in politics. Now it’s Irene Smith’s turn

 As reported here and the Merc, in 2016, Torres attacked Dev Davis (who’s backing Cindy Chavez for mayor) as “evil” in a misogynistically-tainted Facebook rant against her

 In 2021, San Jose Inside reported how he got into a shouting match at City Hall with his then-boss Magdalena Carrasco

And now he’s unloaded on his opponent in the D3 race, Irene Smith.

In a bizarre fundraising letter to his donor base, Torres accused Smith of “hateful rhetoric,” “disparaging under-resourced community members,” and “erasing my record.” 

The only problem: Torres can’t provide any evidence to back up these vague accusations. Smith dismisses Torres’ claims out of hand as preposterous (see her response appended), and D3 race watchers can’t find any evidence of Smith saying anything remotely like Torres’s charges.

“This is a tired old trick of the San Jose Left,” said one local politico who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from Labor. “When challenged, claim racism or sexism or something else. The local nonprofits will march on City Hall and local media will be an echo chamber, even if there’s nothing to the charges.”

The Merc has endorsed Torres, and SJ Spotlight is partially funded by South Bay Labor (which has endorsed Torres), so don’t expect local media to ask any hard questions of the Torres campaign about the whiff of misogyny that seems to follow him around.


An Open Letter to Omar Torres’ supporters from Irene Smith

Three things I’d like you to know, right up front, regarding me and Omar Torres.

First, I like Omar–he’s charming and smart and has a great sense of humor.

Second, I respect his personal story and history.

And third, his campaign’s recent wacky comments about me (in a fundraising email, see below) are just silly and false. 

I really hope Omar shows the emotional maturity to get his campaign team under control and stop them from undermining the seriousness of our council race.

Here are the whoppers Team Omar launched as part of their request for money:

* Ludicrously, they claim that I’m using “hateful rhetoric toward me {Omar}, my personal life.”My campaign has never used hateful rhetoric toward anyone and never discussed Omar’s personal life. H

e provides no examples of this because he doesn’t have any.
* Preposterously, they suggest: 

 “the other side is disparaging our most under-resourced community members in D3.” This is absurd. It’s precisely those underserved D3 members that are the core of my radically inclusive campaign, and we have never disparaged them: Of course, he provides no examples to support this figment.  

* And they are dizzy when they claim:  “The other side is erasing my record because of their lack of inexperience**.” On the contrary, we want to highlight the differences between my record in business and mental health and Omar’s record in nonprofits and governments because we think my experience is more relevant for D3. No erasing here: we want people to see and consider the differences.

It takes a steady hand, cool temperament, and strong management skills to be a councilperson–and to run a campaign. Omar’s team does him a great disservice by putting his name to these loaded euphemisms and nonsensical allegations. 

There is one thing I agree with in their letter: ” We should not tolerate this dangerous mudslinging and polarization.”

Omar and his team should look in the mirror when they write that.

Thank you for listening to my clarifications,

Irene Smith

**We certainly agree with Omar that I “lack inexperience–” as I have advanced academic (JD Law, Ph.D., and Masters in Psychology)  and professional (entrepreneur, senior financial analyst. IBM) expertise. But I have a feeling that was a typo on their part, and they meant “experience.”  Memo to Omar’s team: never hit “send” when you’re mad 🙂


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