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Smear campaign? As Guam's primary election looms, Cruz camp decries 'racist attack'

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

The camp of congressional candidate Ginger Cruz on Sunday denounced what it described as “politically motivated anonymous racist attacks” targeting her husband.

 “Family members have no place in an election,” Cruz’s campaign said in response to a digital flier raising allegations against the Democratic candidate’s husband, Mohamad Wael Ibrahim Elzein.

 “While our campaign is ready for tough politics and debate, no one has a right to knowingly lie about others using the cover of fraudulent anonymous internet posts to disrupt a free and fair election,” Cruz said in a statement.

The digital flier from an unknown source alleged that Elzein, a war veteran, was “investigated by the SEC for fraud in 2003” and “sells weapons and fuel to Middle East organizations.”

The flier began circulating on social media on Saturday.

 “Attacking any veteran by insinuating they lack loyalty or patriotism is repugnant. Attacking any family with racism and lies to influence an election is shameful and disgusting,” said Cruz, a former deputy inspector general with oversight of Iraq reconstruction where she held the civilian equivalent rank of a two-star general.

“This has no place in our multi-cultural, religiously tolerant and otherwise beautiful and loving island," she added.

Cruz is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the congressional seat, along with Sen. Amanda Shelton and former Guam Del. Michael San Nicolas,  in the Aug. 3 primary.  Running unopposed on the Republican Party’s side is the incumbent delegate, James Moylan.

“I am fighting for the people who have been left out and left behind by career politicians who will do anything to maintain power and protect their comfortable careers,” Cruz said.

On Oct. 30, 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Judge Margaret B. Seymour, of the U.S. District Court of South Carolina, issued a permanent injunction against Elzein, who was accused of fraud along with Hussein El Zein and Darin Knee for allegedly raising approximately $541,000 from investors in a “fraudulent, unregistered offering of securities in the form of investment contracts.”

The SEC said Elzein consented to the entry of the order without admitting or denying any of the allegations raised in the commission's complaint.

“Wael Elzein's professional journey highlights a consistent dedication to service, from his military career to his ongoing support of U.S. national security efforts in the private sector,” reads the statement from Cruz’s campaign.


“Ginger and her husband have engaged industry-leading experts to identify those who originated this fraudulent information—intending to expose them and their corrupt motives,” the statement added.

According to Cruz's campaign, Elzein was born in Lebanon and came to the U.S., where he graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.

The campaign released the following information:

"In 1993, Wael began with a distinguished 11-year service in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant.

"A combat veteran who served during the Bosnia War, Elzein was recognized for his bravery and dedication including multiple U.S. Army Commendation Medals, NATO medals and commendations. His military service concluded with an honorable discharge, marking him as a Veteran of Foreign Wars. He is currently a member of the Guam VFW.

"Following his military career, Elzein continued to serve his country as a federal employee and contractor in Iraq.

"From the early 2000s until 2012, he held federal security clearances in positions of trust with the Departments of State and Defense. His contributions in law enforcement and overseas operations were critical in supporting national security efforts.

"Transitioning to the private sector, Elzein founded a company that ensures compliance for U.S. firms providing life support to the U.S. Embassy and Defense Department programs in the Middle East. His company's work in challenging environments was recognized with the prestigious ISOA Vanguard Award, which honors significant contributions to stability, peace, and development.

"Throughout his career, Elzein has maintained high ethical standards. Both he and his wife, Ginger, have filed their financial statements with the Federal Election Commission and Guam Election Commission and continue as they have both done throughout their careers, to uphold the highest levels of personal and professional integrity."

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