A columnist at an Armenian-American newspaper has written a piece on ARMENPAC activist and Clinton campaigner Annie Totah’s e-mail to some Jewish circles in which she had included an anti-Obama article – condemned by many Jewish leaders – that alludes the Illinois senator of being a Muslim and an anti-Semite. I blogged about the e-mail a few weeks ago.

The columnist writes:


Annie Totah’s e-mail, presumably sent to a Jewish audience to demonstrate the superiority of her chosen candidate (Hillary Clinton), may or may not sway its intended readers. Frankly, I don’t care. In fact I wouldn’t even care if the other candidate were targeted. That’s not the point. Totah and ARMENPAC have chosen to support Clinton. That’s actually good. This way, regardless of who wins, with the ANC’s endorsement of Obama, one faction of our community plugged in.

But resorting to sleazy, innuendo-laden tactics like using this article reflects poorly on us as a community. It certainly reflects poorly on the organizations in which Totah holds high positions. But then, in the Assembly’s case, perhaps this is to be expected. Remember, they won the “coveted” SpitRain Award last August. In case you think I’m overreacting, here’s how Ben Smith describes Totah: “a Washington society figure and Armenian-American activist who’s also a member of Clinton’s finance committee.” Those who don’t personally know any other “Armenian-American activists” might, given human nature, attribute to the rest of us a love of gutter politics.

I’m not starry-eyed, nor delusional. Politics is blood sport. Of course these kinds of things will be done. But there’s a wisdom that’s expected of those holding visible positions in organizations. They cannot be associated with this kind of activity because it reflects poorly on the organization. For all I know, the Clinton campaign may have been following exactly this line of thinking by feeding Totah Lasky’s piece to disseminate.

Please call on Annie Totah, ARCA, ARMENPAC and the Armenian Assembly to apologize for this embarrassing gaffe. If she refuses, those organizations and others she serves should remove her from any offices she holds.

If they don’t, then we the community will know how to judge and not support them in the future.