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Friday, November 30, 2012

The State GOP Needs Hispanics In Its Future; Activist Urges Them To Go Get 'Em, Plus: In Defense Of Rebecca; Friend Of Former SOS Weighs In On Corruption Case Dismissal 

Rep.-elect Youngblood
The New Mexico Republican party is going to need a lot more Monica Youngbloods if it is going to be competitive in the years ahead. Youngblood (Monica Lopez) is the ABQ native elected to the new House District 68 on ABQ's Westside. Youngblood and Governor Martinez should be great recruiting examples for the GOP. They don't want to end this era like Tiger Woods. He elevated African-Americans to an entirely new level in the world of golf, but it did not result in more African-American golf professionals.

Veteran Republican Marge Teague is one of those giving thought to this challenge as the state's Hispanic population is poised to break through the 50% mark in just a few years:

The Republican Party has been remiss in including Hispanics in every aspect of its structure. In the mid-80's and early 90's we saw far greater participation among Hispanics in our Wards, Precincts, and County parties. When Los Alamos, Lincoln and Chaves counties became Republican majority counties during the 1980's, our voter registration activities were superb all over the state.

We need young Hispanic recruitment.  I am pleased to note that in my newly re-districted House District 68, we had two very bright, young, go-getter Hispanic women with families running for that seat against two Anglo men.  This should be repeated a thousand times each election for every office.
 
We need young Hispanic women as well as Hispanic men to serve as elected officials.  The Governor is our role model and we should be capitalizing on that each day.

Youngblood defeated three challengers in the GOP primary, including another Hispanic woman--Claudette Chavez-Hankins.

Republicans have a prime opportunity to get more Hispanics on their team. Governor Martinez controls the levers of state government and has a lot of jobs to fill.

The two candidates running for GOP chairman in next month's election are both Anglo males. Whoever wins might want to take Teague aside for a long talk. Besides recruitment, they may also want to talk about those tough-talking GOP polices that have turned off many Hispanics.

IN DEFENSE OF REBECCA

To the email now and a defense of former Democratic Secretary of State Rebeca Vigil-Giron. Corruption charges leveled against her by NM Attorney General Gary King were recently thrown out because she had been charged three years ago and the case still had not gone to trial. Reader Kidron Lewis writes from Washington, DC:

I wrote you back in 2009 about Rebecca Vigil-Giron's indictment and how many holes I thought were in the case. Today I am writing to express my support for Judge Sheppard's recent decision to throw out the New Mexico AG's case against Vigil-Giron. In full disclosure, I have known Rebecca for quite sometime, as I worked with her in Washington when she was head of the National Association of Secretaries of State, and she spoke at the 2006 Texas Democratic Convention which I attended. I am originally from west Texas.

When King's office was unable to prosecute the case due to a judge's ruling citing "perceptions of a conflict of interest" not one single New Mexico District Attorney stepped up and took on the case. I think that tells you a whole lot about how strong of a case it actually was, that the state had to offer a giant sum of money and take bids from private attorneys to handle it, and even then they still couldn't move the case to trial in a timely manner. Rebecca waited for over three years to get her day in court. 

...Some may wonder why Gary King would go after a fellow Democrat on trumped up charges. Well one possible motivation is if you have higher ambitions. Being able to say that you took a high-profile member of your own party down for corruption makes for a great campaign ad. Now I'm not suggesting that King deliberately set out to malign an innocent person, but I do think that he was very likely blinded by his own ambitions, and therefore didn't look at the evidence as objectively as he should have. That, or he was misled by some of the attorneys on his staff about how much evidence was really there, or both.

Either way, he's got some 'splainin to do, because now he has cost the state of New Mexico who  knows how much money on this, and has ruined the  reputation of a fellow Democrat who from what I can tell, was a decent public servant with a pretty distinguished record before this happened; yet it seems that he still won't face reality, and is rooting though his office for an appeal. Give it up Gary. It's like we say back in  Texas, "when you're in a  hole... stop diggin'."

Does the dismissal of the charges against Rebecca because of the long delay mean there is no case against her? Vigil-Giron supporters say yes. Detractors say no.

THE BOTTOM LINES

In breaking the news Thursday about Rep-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham's new chief of staff we said Rep. Rose De Lauro was from Florida. A reader said: "Perhaps you mixed her up with Cuban born Rep. Ileana Ros-Lethian who is from South Florida?"

Indeed, we did. Grisham's new chief of staff was born in Havana, Cuba and that must have put us on the Florida track...

Thanks for stopping by this week.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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