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Thursday, March 06, 2008

(Updated) More on Allegations About Vote Buying at NM GOP Delegate Elections

UPDATE: At 3:00 PM today, KKOB radio's Pat Frisch will discuss the alleged NM GOP vote buying at the Party's ward conventions last month, along with the resulting controversies. Frisch is filling in for Jim Villanucci, who's on vacation. You can listen to the show online or on AM radio at 770.
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Local and national blog posts are proliferating about the story broken by Dennis Domrzalski regarding allegations of vote buying at the recent NM GOP delegate ward elections and KKOB's decision to pull Laura MacCallum's news coverage of the allegations. MacCallum quit her news anchor job at the radio station in response. I previously posted on the story a few days ago.

I don't have time to write more about this right now because I have some business to take care of this morning, but I'll get back to it later today. In the meantime, I thought I'd publish a recent Democratic Party of New Mexico press release on the story:

HEATHER WILSON DOESN’T REFUTE ROLL IN VOTE-BUYING SCHEME

DPNM Calls on Senate Candidate to Answer Charges Directly

Albuquerque – The Democratic Party of New Mexico today called on U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson to directly answer charges that she bought votes at a recent Bernalillo County Republican Party delegate nominating convention.

“Once again, Heather Wilson is caught in an ethically compromising situation in which she faces allegations of manipulating the system to come out ahead in an election,” DPNM Chairman Brian Colon said today. “This time, she refuses to directly answer the charge that she bought delegate votes and her silence on such a serious charge is incriminating.”

On Monday, allegations of intra-Republican vote buying continued to surface on 27-year veteran news reporter Dennis Domrzalski’s blog. Domrzalski’s post included accounts from former New Mexico Governor Dave Cargo, State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and former KKOB radio reporter Laura McCallum indicating that people who showed up had been paid by Heather Wilson and Darren White’s campaigns.

“Cargo said that over the course of the meeting many of the participants said that they were from Wilson’s senate campaign and from Bernalillo Country Sheriff Darren White’s congressional campaign,” Domrzalski reported. “Several people told him that they were being paid $35-an-hour (for two hours) by their campaigns and that the campaigns had also paid their $30 registration fees.”

Wilson’s senate campaign has not refuted the charges.

“Allegations of vote-buying should not be taken so lightly,” said Colon. They cut to the heart of our nation’s democracy and electoral process. In fact, this is not the first time Heather Wilson has been caught engaging in ethically ambiguous behavior. Heather Wilson has established a clear pattern of ethically compromising actions that simply do not reflect the values of New Mexico voters.”

In 2006 Heather Wilson proved ethically challenged when she personally called former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to pressure him to reveal details and expedite a pending investigation during her 2006 reelection campaign.

Said Iglesias, “I received a call from Heather Wilson. She said ‘what can you tell me about sealed indictments.’ The second she said any questions about sealed indictments, red flags went up in my head, because as you know, we cannot talk about indictments until they’re made public. In general, we specifically cannot talk about a sealed indictment.”

When asked if he felt “pressured during that call” by Sen. Chuck Schumer during a March, 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Iglesias responded, “Yes, sir. I did.”

Although she has claimed a constituent asked her to place the call to Iglesias, Heather Wilson has refused to publicly identify the mysterious individual.

Following Wilson's call, Iglesias was subsequently fired by the Bush Administration in a purge that resulted in the questionable firing of at least nine U.S. Attorneys nationally.

In a piece published by the New York Times on March 21, 2007, entitled “Why I Was Fired,” Iglesias cited the phone call from Congresswoman Heather Wilson.

He also told The Associated Press, “I know it’s not performance-related, I know it’s not misconduct. What does that leave? Politics.”

March 6, 2008 at 02:13 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Crime, Media, Republican Party | Permalink

Comments

Blech.

I feel dirty for listening. Typical republican Frisch is so slimey. Too bad that sink hole he drove into didn't swallow him up.

Posted by: imisseditnews | Mar 6, 2008 4:13:48 PM