McAllen Mayor Jim Darling donated $1,000 to Ted Cruz’ presidential campaign, FEC records show. Last week, news broke that Sen. Ted Cruz would participate in McAllen’s Fourth of July celebration. Residents condemned the decision to allow Cruz to participate as a guest of honor, citing his conservative politics are dangerous to the Rio Grande Valley.

“I’m fairly certain that Jim Darling’s $1,000 donation to Ted Cruz has something to do with the new cozy relationship they are demonstrating in our Fourth of July parade,” an organizer with McAllen Collective Action Committee told Neta. The group organized the silent protest during Monday’s city commissioners meeting against Cruz appearing in the parade.

FEC records of Jim Darling’s donation to Cruz for President

Darling said Sen. Cruz “asked” to participate in the parade in a statement on Monday.

“We are so proud that Sen. Cruz asked to be a part of our parade,” Darling said in the statement. “We feel he recognizes that the legislative issues important to our city and our residents are important to him.”

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During Monday’s city commissioner’s meeting, the Collective composed of McAllen residents held signs in protest of Sen. Cruz’ planned appearance in the parade and demanded a town hall with the Texas senator.

“We know that Ted Cruz has consistently represented extremely conservative, homophobic, xenophobic, and typical classist and racist Republican ideals in Washington,” the McAllen Collective Action Committee posted on Facebook. “This is not what the Rio Grande Valley stands for.”

In an attempt to ease tension as he addressed the concerns of the residents during the commissioners meeting, Darling mentioned that LUPE, an immigrant rights organizations in the RGV, agreed to meet to Sen. Cruz. However, LUPE later released a statement saying the organization did not agree to meet with Cruz, as reported by The Monitor.

“We are interested in conducting a town hall meeting with the Senator so he can hear directly from his constituents about the issues that concern them like the border wall, immigration matters, and health care issues,” LUPE said in a statement to The Monitor, further pushing the resident’s demands from Monday’s city commissioners meeting. “We ask Mayor Darling to call on the Senator to hold such a town hall meeting with community-based organizations from the Rio Grande Valley.

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On Wednesday, The Monitor published an editorial saying they were “baffled” and “frankly disappointed” after LUPE leaders corrected Darling’s statements and said they would not meet with Cruz.

“Darling has told us he views the Independence Day event as an opportunity for him to discuss many issues with Cruz, like immigration and the border wall,” the editorial reads. “He said he intends on taking advantage of this face-time. That’s smart politics.”

In contrast, community organizations demanding the town hall with the senator are defending LUPE’s decision to not meet with Cruz.

“The suggestion that LUPE should ‘compromise’ with Ted Cruz over a meaningless breakfast is completely absurd,” the organizer with McAllen Collective Action Committee said in response to The Monitor’s editorial. “I am tired of seeing our supposed community leaders, like Jim Darling, pander to racist and elitist Washington politicians. In essence, they’re paying them to be heard and seen and have them parade around our streets.”