If the DSA had any integrity whatsoever, it would drop Julia Salazar like an old shoe. Ditto for Cynthia Nixon and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who have continued to back Salazar for State Senate even as her lies continue crumbling like an aged Brooklyn tenement.
First, her claims of being Jewish came apart.
A 2009 funeral notice for her father, a former commercial airline pilot named Luis Hernan Salazar, indicates that the service was held at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Ormond Beach, Florida. When reached by phone, Alex Salazar, the candidate’s older brother and the operator of a number of Florida mango farms, said that one of their father’s brothers was a Jesuit priest. (He also seemed to know very little about her campaign and seemed surprised when I told him she stood a good chance of winning.) “There was nobody in our immediate family who was Jewish … my father was not Jewish, we were not raised Jewish,” he said. Their mother, Christine Salazar, indicated in a public September 2012 Facebook post that she planned on attending services at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a nondenominational evangelical church in downtown Brooklyn.
Nor was Julia Salazar an immigrant. Instead she had to admit that she was born in Miami.
Her family members have once again made it clear that her biography has no connection to reality.
Salazar has told a few outright falsehoods, in particular claiming that her family immigrated from Colombia when, in reality, she, her brother and mother were born and raised in the United States and her father first came to United States as a teenager and was naturalized before Salazar was even born.
“My family immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia when I was a baby, and my mom ended up raising my brother and me as a single mom, without a college degree and from a working-class background,” Julia Salazar said in a July interview with Jacobin Magazine.
Alex Salazar characterizes their early years very differently. He remembers them being financially comfortable, living in a big house along a river in Jupiter, Florida. Each of the siblings had their own rooms. The six-figure income that their father, Luis Hernan Salazar, earned as a pilot meant that the family could afford to set aside college savings funds of about $6,000 for each child. “We were very much middle class. We had a house in Jupiter along the river, it was in a beautiful neighborhood,” Alex Salazar said in a telephone interview. “I feel very strongly about my family and I want to tell the truth.”
Alex Salazar directly contradicts Julia’s statement on the Chapo Trap House podcast that “My family immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia when I was a little kid.” Moreover, Alex disputes Julia’s recent backpedaling equivocations on Twitter and interviews that their parents “raised us between two different places,” and “Colombia is where my family was and where I was in the first years of my life.”
On the contrary, Alex says, they were raised entirely in Florida. He remembers a handful of brief trips to Colombia to visit family. The exact number of their trips is unclear, but the “back and forth” childhoodbetween Colombia and South Florida that Julia Salazar describes is also rebutted by her mother, Christine Salazar. Alex and Christine Salazar also note, as Julia readily acknowledges, that their father first came to the country as a teenager.
The family also made family trips to Colombia, where Luis and Christine were married and Alex was baptized by an uncle who was a priest; Julia Salazar was baptized as a Catholic in the U.S., according to Christine
So yes, Julia Salazar was not raised Jewish. Period.
She lied about that, about being an immigrant and about being poor.
And her attempts to wriggle out just make her look worse.
Julia had said in a statement on Twitter that “I was raised by a single mom who didn’t have a college degree. My father didn’t graduate from high school,” but her father did attend a high school in Santa Barbara, California, according to Alex and Christine.
Nor is that the only questionable aspect that particular claim. Christine Salazar did, in fact, graduate from college. A representative of Florida Atlantic University confirmed that Christine Crane (Christine Salazar’s maiden name) received a B.A. degree in psychology in 1999.
Julia Salazar pointed out in response that she was 8 years old by that time and so her mother raised her without a college degree up to that point. Since her parents separated when she was six, that means there were two years that she lived only with her mother before Christine graduated from college.
This is truly pathetic.
While the Salazar parents divorced in the late 1990s – hence Julia’s claim of being raised by a single mother – Luis paid child support until an illness left him disabled and unable to work in his final years. The divorce inspired Christine to go back to school and begin a new career in the pharmaceutical industry.
But at no point did Christine receive financial assistance from her children to “to help make ends meet,” as Julia Salazar’s campaign website suggests, in reference to Julia’s job at a grocery store during high school. “My kids always worked, from the time they were 14. I encouraged that because I thought there was a lot of value in that in terms of learning and responsibility so that was the purpose behind them having part-time jobs. … not the light bill,” Christine Salazar said in a telephone interview. This is consistent with Alex’s recollection that Julia’s job was to earn her own spending money and never to help out with household expenses.
And it just keeps getting worse.
Aside from such apparent fabrications, however, are Salazar’s statements that are not ambiguous, such as a recent interview with Jewish Currents in which she said, “We didn’t all have permanent residence in the U.S.” Everyone in her family was a U.S. citizen because her father became a U.S. citizen sometime around 1984, according to her mother.
But the DSA will go on standing by her. The Daily News will keep giving her favorable coverage. If Not Now and other anti-Israel hate groups will go on shrieking that her family probably just hates a woman of color.