I stopped by Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe last night, and the place was packed. Packed full of TV cameras, full of people who'd heard about the controversy that erupted after Cafe Society first reported that the family that owns the restaurant had declined to let Romney supporters use their place as a campaign stop, with a few regulars stuffed into the corners.
It was quite the contrast to the scene night before, when Oscar Aguirre, the eldest son of the family that owns the restaurant who'd fielded the initial Romney campaign request, had the place largely to himself, fielding angry phone calls while a friendly cop car stood outside.
See also: - Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe becomes a campaign hate stop after Mitt Romney turn-down - Mitt Romney stopped at Chipotle today -- but is not invited to Rosa Linda's - Mitt Romney at Stapleton Chipotle pays extra for guacamole -- big spender!
It's no surprise that the Romney campaign would have liked to link up with Rosa Linda's -- this is a Mexican restaurant, after all, and Rosa Linda and Virgil Aguirre, who opened their spot almost thirty years ago, are both Mormon. But they had their reasons for turning down the request, which Oscar first explained in a Facebook post a month ago, and has explained again and again over the past few days.
And as the story sped around the globe, people have wondered how Cafe Society got onto it in the first place.
I'd be curious who leaked the story to Westword, then we could judge whether it was a publicity stunt or whether they were victimized by a spurned politician. If the family leaked it then why should we feel sorry for them for getting the publicity they were begging for? Good food might bring me in, stunts won't. On the plus side thousands of broke liberals will flock to spend their welfare checks at Rosa Lindas regardless of who initiated the story.
So, how did Kelsey find out about this story unless somebody from the Romney campaign fingered Ros Linda? Is this what we can expect from our government if Romney is elected?
For the record, no leaks from the Romney campaign or the family. When web editor Kelsey Whipple heard that Mitt Romney had eaten at Chipotle on Tuesday, she started researching what other Mexican restaurants he might have visited -- and found both Oscar's Facebook posting about the Romney campaign request, and a Wall Street Journal story about the family refusing a Bush campaign request more than a decade ago. So she called the restaurant, and got the rest of the story from Oscar.
Which we published on Cafe Society Tuesday, and stand by -- no matter how the Romney campaign may be spinning it now. Read that original story -- along with more than 150 comments -- here.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.