Prominent grower uses racial slur to refer to President Obama

Image of an email sent by ousted hospital board chair.
(Diana Marcum / Los Angeles Times)

A prominent Central Valley agricultural businessman was ousted as chairman of the board of the largest hospital system in the San Joaquin Valley after using a racial slur to refer to President Obama.

Mark Borba, one of the Central Valley’s leading agricultural businessmen, referred to Obama as “Blackie” in a emailed rant about federal water policy laced with profanity and misspellings.

The email, obtained by the Fresno Bee, was addressed to the Westlands Water District Manager and copied to other growers.


Borba’s position on the board of Community Medical Centers was one of four appointed by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to oversee public money that goes to the hospitals for care of the poor and uninsured.

The Bee reported that Borba, a producer of cotton, lettuce, garlic and tomatoes, gives tens of thousands of dollars to mostly Republican politicians in agricultural regions, including Reps. Devin Nunes of Tulare and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

He was forced off the CMC board in early March, but administrators refused say why until the email surfaced.

In an apology apparently addressed to other board members and office holders, Borba said he regretted his comments.

“My language was inexcusable and I’m greatly embarrassed by it myself,” he wrote.


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Twitter: @dianamarcum