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Saturday, May 22, 2010

(Updates x 2) Robo-Call From "Democrats for Better Government" Bashes Brian Colón

Update Early Monday morning 1:20 AM: I finally spoke with Joe Campos earlier tonight, after we returned from a day in the mountains. He flatly denied that he was behind the robo-call, and said he had never done negative campaigning and never would. We spoke for about an hour about a variety of topics. There is, of course, no way to know who is telling the truth and who isn't in the current situation. In my post, I relayed what I knew and tried to reason who might gain from conducting such a robo-call, and who wouldn't. I believe that was a valid approach. I also think that every politician is capable of negative campaigning depending on the circumstance, especially in a hotly contest race. Politicos aren't saints.

I am still very angry and hurt about the use of my civil rights as a wedge issue in the LG race. As most Democrats are aware, there is a segment of our party that believes LGBT people don't deserve equal rights under civil law, so there is always an opportunity for candidates to pander to that segment to try and gain votes. This must stop. Wherever and whenever I come across evidence of the use of that tactic, I will do the same thing I did in this instance -- try to discover and logically consider who might be doing it. I stand by how I went about it this time, and I will do it again.

One more thing. Joe Campos told me that he is not for full marriage rights for same-sex couples. He said he supports civil unions for all and believes only hetero couples should be "married" because that is a church sacrament. I asked him what it says on the license or certificate when a couple gets married at a drive-thru quickie marriage place in Las Vegas, or before a justice of the peace, for example, and he said he didn't know. I know: it says marriage license or marriage certificate, and no church sacrament is required.
Update 10:24 AM Sunday: FYI, still no response to our message left on the personal cell phone of Joe Campos yesterday afternoon. No other communication has been received from his campaign about this matter.
About 2:15 PM today, Mary Ellen and I got a robo-call from an outfit identifying itself as "Democrats for Better Government." We have since heard that many other Dems are getting the same call, all over the state.

The call was clearly aimed at destroying the reputation of Brian Colón, a Democratic primary candidate for lieutenant governor in New Mexico. Saying Brian was "bad for Democrats and bad for New Mexico," the female voice went on to provide exaggerated, distorted and incorrect information about Colón. It touched on his tenure as DPNM Chair, the presidential caucus and other aspects of Colón's career. It was very nasty.

At one point it strongly suggested that Brian may have stolen money from Moving America Forward, the foundation that was set up to register minority voters for which Colón served as Treasurer. The voice rambled on using charged language, trying to paint Colón as a bumbler, a crook and a crony -- all of this most likely coming from the campaign of one of the other Democratic candidates for lt. governor.

Then, horror of horrors, it accused Colón of supporting marriage equality. In fact, Brian Colón has been on the record for some time as being supportive of marriage equality. Shocker.

Candidate Contact
I want everyone to know that I received a personal phone call this afternoon from Lawrence Rael, who had heard about the call. Mr. Rael convincingly explained that he would never conduct such a call or allow such a call to be conducted on his behalf as part of his campaign. He said he considered what was said in the call as being "clearly out of bounds." He also said he had talked to Brian Colón via phone and told him the same thing. I believe Mr. Rael. From observing Lawrence and his campaign for many months now, I don't believe it's his style, and I don't believe he needs to stoop that low to get significant support from Democrats. He took the initiative to call both Colón and I when he heard about the call. 

I have also left a message on the cell phone of Joe Campos explaining the situation and requesting a call back because I wanted to get his reaction before I posted on this. So far, no response. It's been a couple hours.

I left a message at Jerry Ortiz y Pino's campaign office too, but have gotten no reply yet. I find it hard to believe that Sen. Ortiz y Pino would use the marriage equality issue to attack Brian Colón because Jerry has long supported marriage equality. Of course you never know, and it would be helpful to hear from Jerry. I didn't call Sen. Linda Lopez because she has long been a champion for LGBT rights and I don't think her campaign has the money to do this anyway. She is so far behind in the race that it wouldn't help, regardless.

Using LGBT Rights as a Wedge
Despite the fact that marriage equality is supported by an official, approved resolution of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, some Dems still like to use the issue as a wedge -- a political football -- as bait to attract the votes of conservatives of both parties. You know, give a nudge and wink and use language that suggests that you, too, think that LGBT New Mexicans, like Mary Ellen and I, should SFU, accept second class citizenship and abide by the rules of the Catholic Bishops. You know, because civil law should match the dictums of the Church. Oh, hardee har har, those sicko gays!

That there's a strong possibility that a Dem LG candidate used a robo-call to stir up more bigotry against LGBT folks and those who support us makes my stomach turn -- especially since we know all the candidates on a personal basis, at least to some extent. At the very least, we know what they all tell us about LGBT rights when we ask about them. However, given the robo-call contents, we have some idea what at least one of them is saying behind our backs, for expedient political gains.

The Target Demographic
Clearly, the message was crafted to try and define Colón as a puppet under the control of Governor Bill Richardson and to emphasize the point on LGBT equality. Who do you think is the main target audience for these talking points in a Dem primary? I hate to say it, but it's obviously a certain segment of conservative Democrats, many of whom just happen to be Hispanic and/or rural. 

We don't know definitively who is behind today's robo-calls, but I think we need to consider which candidate is most heavily targeting the demographic within the Democratic Party that is most displeased with Governor Richardson and most against any sort of equal rights at all for LGBT New Mexicans. I think there are strong hints in the tenor and content of press releases that emerged this week, including those announcing personal endorsements.

I'll also note that we received another robo-call about 15 minutes after the call from "Democrats for Good Government." This one featured the voice of former Mayor Martin Chavez praising Jose (not Joe) Campos and urging people to vote for him. Coincidence or a pattern? You decide. Also remember that Mark Fleisher, who was Mayor Chavez's right-hand man, has been running the campaign of Joe Campos for some months. 

The Campos campaign was initially run by Carlos Trujillo, assisted by Santiago Juarez and Michelle Mares. When they left the Campos campaign, Juarez and Mares went to work for the campaign of Dennis W. Montoya, who is challenging Judge Linda Vanzi for New Mexico Court of Appeals. Dennis W. Montoya has been running scandalous public and whisper campaigns against Judge Vanzi using code language that appeals to bigots. All of this doesn't prove anything, of course, but I think it definitely raises suspicions, don't you?

Finally, some are saying the call bashing Colón may have come from Republican interests. This makes no sense to me. Wouldn't they want Colon in the general election so they could use this kind of distorted information against him when it matters most? 

Democrats for Better Government
In the meantime, Tom Solomon, an active Albuquerque Democrat, was so disgusted by the robo-call that he sought to find out who the "Democrats for Good Government" might be. He Googled and found an Indiana organization with that name and sent an email to the designated contact person, named Krista Lockyear. I also have a call into Krista Lockyear. We don't know if the outfit that conducted the robo-calls is hers, or just shares a generic name. 

I'm sure whoever purchased the services of a robo-caller to attack Colon has managed to cover their tracks by passing money off to pay for it to someone hard to connect to the campaign or the candidate. Campaigns don't have to reveal their spending in this period until after the election anyway. The payment to a robo-caller may or may not show up on one of their reports. My guess is that it won't because some innocuous entity or person made the payment.

It pains me to have to write about this call and to contemplate that a Democratic candidate I know and respect may be behind this robo-call attack. It's no fun, but I do intend to get to the bottom of it and let everyone know what I find.

May 22, 2010 at 05:31 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, GLBT Rights, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink


I'm sad to see this report, but grateful that you exposed it. Please get to the bottom of it; so, those who are responsible for such shameful behavior can be held accountable.

Posted by: West57th | May 22, 2010 5:41:19 PM

Jerry and I just received the robo call that bashes Brian Colon this afternoon. While my husband, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, and I differ with Brian Colon on certain crucial issues, we do not condone this kind of negative and anonymous bashing of any candidate.

Donna Bruzzese

Posted by: Donna Bruzzese | May 22, 2010 6:03:11 PM

This is sad and disgusting.

Remember, it was only a few weeks ago that there was a negative push poll conducted targeting Jerry and Joe. We were not sure who was behind that but it made those of us supporting Jerry very angry and frustrated.

I can tell you unequivocally that Jerry would never consider it, let alone do it! I am sorry your call has not been returned, but the office was closed this afternoon due to door to door campaigning and filming so no one was home to take your call, Barb. I am contacting Jerry and the campaign manager to talk to you ASAP.

Jerry supports the entire DPNM platform including marriage equality, anti war issues, ethical reform, educational and health care support, and all the other issues so important to us.

He has run a steady, positive campiagn, financed with many small individual contributions. A healthy campaign, not as well funded as a couple others, but good enough to get us to the end line!!

Thanks for your bringing this to the light of day. The calls before stopped when the tactic was exposed, and hopefully these will stop immediately also. There is no room in our party for negative campaigning, the R's are doing enough of it for all of us.

Posted by: Cheryl | May 22, 2010 6:09:35 PM

while I was typing my lengthy post, Donna slipped in and concisely answered the question posed. Thanks, Donna!

Posted by: Cheryl | May 22, 2010 6:12:43 PM

Thank you for this very well written and up-to-the-minute post on the most disturbing event so far in our Primary Race. I know this can't be Lawrence or Linda behind this, and I REALLY hope this did not come from Jerry's campaign, or Joe's. I have a great deal of respect for all five candidates, but if it turns out that one of them is behind this, that candidate (and the campaign manager behind the robocalls, as that will be the person who actually did the dirty work) will have lost my support in this and any future race. Save it for the Republicans, people! And if you're going to play these games, I recommend you join the GOP, as that is where this kind of garbage belongs.

Posted by: Scott Nicolay | May 22, 2010 6:46:00 PM

Thank you Donna & Cheryl. I am glad to know for sure that Sen. Ortiz y Pino had NOTHING to do with this. He has been a great leader in our party and our state, and I was honored to host him and my old friend TC here in Shiprock on Thursday. I hope that this was not one of the others either. And if it was the R's, as Brian has said he believes (on facebook), I hope we make them eat the bitter fruits of this slimy trick all the way to November.

Posted by: Scott Nicolay | May 22, 2010 7:04:39 PM

Interesting irony considering the observance in California and some other states, of Harvey Milk day.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | May 22, 2010 7:18:12 PM

Just an update.. Carlos is still with the Campos campaign.. he staffed Mr Campos at the Shiprock forum just this last Thursday..

Odd too, we discussed the politics of destruction during the event.

Posted by: Claudia Anderson | May 22, 2010 8:12:48 PM

I'd rather believe that this is a teathuglican "Operation Chaos" kind of thing rather than Joe. I like Joe, but if he did this, I can't support him for any future office. (I already voted for Brian.) All I can say is that I hope this backfires bigtime.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | May 22, 2010 8:39:45 PM

Using GLBT as a wedge issue in the robocall? Doesn't make sense at all that it is from Democrats. All five candidates, in a recent Q&A with the Albuquerque Journal, supported Domestic Partnership. In the same questionnaire, all Republicans were against. What does that tell you?

I don't think the robocall originated from any of the candidates and it is very wrong to hold them up to suspicion. Whoever is behind the robocall is a fringe element or maybe not even Democrats. Why was Colon targeted? He was head of the Dem Party and there may be some faction that obtains some satisfaction knocking him.

We, as Democrats, can't allow ourselves to be manipulated into thinking there is a rat in the race for Lt. Gov. We have five good candidates, all upstanding.

The smoking gun is somewhere else.

Posted by: Quarterback | May 22, 2010 8:39:45 PM

If Joe denies it, I'll believe him. I just want to hear it from his mouth.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | May 22, 2010 8:50:24 PM

Sounds like a Campos backer above planting doubts. The call said Colon supported "full marriage equality" for gay couples. Only Ortiz y Pino and Colon have come out for that. Campos and Rael always dodge the issue of marriage.

Posted by: Sean | May 22, 2010 8:52:18 PM

@Sean: I would not expect most Campos supporters to expect this of him. I don't, for Pete's sake! Right now the prime suspects are Joe and the Teathuglicans. I want Joe to clear this up ASAP. Joe?

Posted by: Proud Democrat | May 22, 2010 9:01:37 PM

Nothing from Joe yet. This is the kind of sleaze that his campaign Manager is known for. Luckly, the call only targeted insiders, in an attempt to shake things up! I hope Colon sticls with the positive message, continues his mail program and keeps his grassroots focused on contacting voters. That will lead to Victory June 1st not the Mudslinging, lies and hate speech! Say it aint so Joe!

Posted by: DEMandTRUTH | May 23, 2010 12:29:02 AM

This is a perfect Tea Party thing. Just to divide the Democrats. And it seems to have worked. I can't believe folks fall for this. And it appears Democracy for New Mexico fell for it and is doing the Tea Party's work.

Posted by: Preciliano Martin | May 23, 2010 7:59:38 AM

Any one who knows Joe knows that this is not something he would ever consider doing.

Joe's got the momentum , this seems like a play by someone who would try to stop that momentum.

Posted by: ED | May 23, 2010 11:03:58 AM

I just want to urge all candidates to NOT use robocalls. I got this call too, and the call from Martin Chavez, both on my super secret cell phone number and both got a quick "end call" from me. Robo Calls are rude. I am grateful Jerry isn't doing robo calling for his campaign.

Posted by: Katie Stone | May 23, 2010 11:08:55 AM

@ED what momentum?

@ Katie funny that you got the calls at ur super secret cell phone number... I too got the call to my secret number, seems the campos/Martin Chavez camps are the only ones who have been able to reach me on this phone. I smell desperation coming from Joes camp! Why haven't Barb and ME heard back from him yet?

Posted by: DEMandTRUTH | May 23, 2010 11:55:54 AM

I note that there's been activity on Joe/Jose's facebook page, so someone in his campaign has seen the question that has been posted there. Silence is deafening...

This is now the second incident of negative robo calls or testing of negative attack lines. It's a shame that, in neither instance, has the responsible campaign stood up and claimed responsibility. There's a difference between slimy campaign tactics and pointing out the differences between candidates. If you aren't willing to stand up and publicly make those claims, it's pretty clear which category those tactics probably fall under.

It's funny that the tag line at the end of Campos' ad is "Honesty, for a change." But anyone that knows the people working for him shouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: NMDem | May 23, 2010 12:36:18 PM

Let me be clear, first and foremost, we DID NOT and absolutely WOULD NOT participate in this type of negative campaigning. In the twenty years I’ve participated in campaigns I have NEVER used negative tactics against my opponents, not push polls and not negative ads or robocalls. I resent the fact that DFNM points the finger at me merely because I am from a rural area, or because I did not respond to a missed voice message with no phone number left in it. This morning I had to call the unidentified phone numbers on my cell phone until I found Barb’s number. I’ve tried to call her several times and left at least one message, and have yet to receive a response. I also called Brian Colon and left a message on his phone stating clearly that I had nothing to do with this, nor did my campaign.
I have not heard the robocall, but I unequivocably condemn it and condemn the use of any negative campaigning within the party.
Barb, you know very well what my stance is on domestic partnership and equal rights for all. I come from a very conservative district and this is one matter on which I have never waivered. I have voted in favor of domestic partnerships each and every time it has come before me. I consider it a basic human right and have stated so publicly time and again. Furthermore, your connecting me to other campaigns because my former staff works for them is equally misleading and underhanded. They no longer work for me and that’s that. You pride yourself on running a quality blog. Attacking me just because I didn’t call you right away is unprofessional and is just as negative and slanted as that robocall.

Posted by: Jose Campos | May 23, 2010 1:22:06 PM

Thank you for your strong response Joe.

Posted by: Cheryl | May 23, 2010 1:58:14 PM

So, if there has been activity on a facebook account it means that the campaign is aware??? Dumb reasoning. Brian Colon doesn't do his OWN facebook, a person connected with the Carolyne Buerkle consulting firm does. She just posts crap that the campaign gives her. She has no clue what Brian the person thinks or does all day and has limited contact with Brian on a regular basis. So the reasoning is flawed. Campaigns are out of hand and out of touch. Being Hispanic and Hispanic values get used as wedge issues all the time. Stop crying.

Posted by: Stupid | May 23, 2010 3:20:39 PM


While your blog post falls a little short of an outright accusation of Joe, the implication is certainly there. Although blogging is not subject to the stricter guidelines that true journalism is expected to adhere to, a responsible blogger will check facts before posting baseless implications and thinly veiled accusations. Anything less destroys your credibility.

By all means, please investigate who is behind this call, and when you have answers please post them, along with believable proof, for all to see. But until you have more than emotional assumptions to go on, please do your readers a favor and try to keep your obvious support for Brian from clouding your judgement.

Posted by: Straddling the Fence | May 23, 2010 3:29:24 PM

Brian does his own facebook. I have been on a Volunteer or Staff Member from day 1 and travel with him. He is always updating on the road.

Add this to the list of accusations:

College Republican

Friend of Marriage Equality


Posted by: Chris Salas | May 23, 2010 3:32:56 PM

Joe, thank you for the strong denial. I take you at your word. Thank you for setting the record straight.

From what I've been hearing, people are suspicious of your campaign because of your current campaign manager, Mark Fleischer, who does apparently have a history of sleazy campaign methods, particularly negative robocalls.

We get judged based on our associates, which is sometimes reasonable and sometimes not. I personally despise Marty Chavez and some of his people, but I know that's not you, even though you are appealing to the Marty supporters' demographic. That's just competent campaigning. Still, I can't blame people for being suspicious; IMHO this is something Marty might have done himself. Thankfully, you're not Marty.

I'd like to urge folks to take a cue from Brian Colon himself, who blames no other candidate and is staying positive. Let us remember that we are all Democrats, and do the same. Please.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | May 23, 2010 3:54:42 PM

I remember a dorm prank from when I was in college in Texas that has always seemed to me to be a model for serious "divide and conquer" style politics.

Record a noise that is bound to make someone mad, when it is played over a phone. Call a room on the hall where one guy who is likely to over react lives. When he accuses the next door neighbor he hates of doing it, call that guy. They wonder who did it and they will come up with a natural suspect. Pretty soon you have a half a dozen angry guys pounding on this guy's door down at the end of the hall.

College sophomores can figure stuff like that out, and so can political operatives who want to cause a similar reaction. this sort of politics isn't about issues or public policy debate, but strictly tactical.

To me, this sounds a lot like the same sort of thinking behind the attack on ACORN. I hope no one in the Democratic Party would think this was a good idea because "we need to be more like Republicans in order to beat them" or some such theory. In fact going with the core strength Democrats have, incisive intellect, is the way to win.

I would not be surprised to hear that some right wing extremist types were behind it. However, it may be impossible to follow the tracks because basic to pulling it off is to not leave fingerprints.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | May 23, 2010 4:05:43 PM

Like I posted on here before, Democracy for New Mexico, is doing the Tea Party work for them by making wild assumptions. I think DFNM should be ashamed of what they did with this web post.

Posted by: Preciliano Martin | May 23, 2010 4:23:03 PM

@Preciliano: I think the speculation was legitimate, particularly with the lack of timely response from Joe (for which I do not blame him). Please separate the the blogger from the commenters. No need to kill the messenger. This is what Barb wrote

It pains me to have to write about this call and to contemplate that a Democratic candidate I know and respect may be behind this robo-call attack. It's no fun, but I do intend to get to the bottom of it and let everyone know what I find.
This was big news. I commend Barb for reporting on it, and for taking the inevitable abuse for it. If we're going to take the candidates at their word, we should also take Barb at hers.

I still have my suspicions, but I'm going to act as if they're unfounded until I learn otherwise. Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | May 23, 2010 4:37:38 PM

Brian Colon is really Caroline Burkel in a Costume.

It is part of her plan to take over the world with the TeaBaggers.

Thank goodness Lawrence Rael invented the internet, so Jose Campos could unravel her wicked plan!

Linda Lopez, rest assured that if Brian wins, it will really be a Woman getting the job done in a Brian Colon suit.

If your worried Jerry, just smoke another bowl with your supporters, go to wendy's and enjoy a few items from the dollar menu.

Sorry this has just gotten ridiculous so i had to play along

Posted by: RumorMill | May 23, 2010 5:12:37 PM

Joe Campos is being attacked by some clever people and DFNM is facilitating this attack. All the candidates have access to the latest polls that show Joe moving up, Colon is moving down and Rael has stayed the same.

This seems like a desperate move, by someone who is not moving up in the polls.

The Santa Fe New Mexican says Jose Campos is the BEST choice for NM Lt Governor and Helps Diane Denish win in November.

Posted by: ED | May 23, 2010 7:23:58 PM

ED, you are so full of it. Are you a Campos staffer, or just an overzealous volunteer. The latest polls? I'd like to see them, with a link.

You're insinuating that Brian Colon did this himself? Shame on you.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | May 23, 2010 7:55:11 PM

Mr Proud Demo- Are you a Colon staffer, if you are truly a Proud Democrat then you would support a candidate who can actually help Real Democrats win in November.

No I do not work for the campaign, But I have known Joe for over 25 years and I can not stand by and watch him be unjustly persecuted.

Why don't you ask Brian about the polls that I am referring to.

Posted by: ED | May 23, 2010 8:08:22 PM

The pettiness among the comments is unbecoming to all of us.

Who needs the Rs/teabaggers et al when we do this to ourselves?

We have a great group of candidates in this race, best ever.

There is no need to have this kind of crazy going on here or in the race.

Nothing good comes of it.

Basta. Go out and vote, bring a friend with you, get people involved. Vote for whomever you like.

Get behind the winners, we have a tough year and we need everyone working together.

Posted by: bg | May 23, 2010 8:17:57 PM

bg- Is it right to stand by and watch your friend be attacked and do nothing about it?

I know Joe Campos and he is a great man and a real Democrat, this is all about someone trying to smear an honest man and it gets me very angry.

The Santa Fe New Mexican says Jose Campos is the BEST choice for LT Governor and helps Diane Denish win in November.

Posted by: ED | May 23, 2010 8:35:06 PM

@ED please provide a link to these Polls everyone should be aware of. Last scientific Poll I saw was Joe/Jose Monahan's.

In that poll that is publicly avalible Linda Lopez was beating Jose/Joe in Bernalillo County. To date Bernalillo County has had more early voters then every other county comined... So what "Momentum" is Joe gaining.

I hear he had a whopping 15 supporters at FlyingStar this morning! If you can't get more then 15 supporters to a free breakfast in Bernalillo County.. Then you may not have a problem.

Posted by: DEMandTRUTH | May 23, 2010 9:08:11 PM

Does anyone have a transcript of the call, I would like to hear exactly what we are all arguing about.

He had over two hundred today in Santa Rosa.

The Santa Fe New Mexican says Jose Campos is the BEST choice for LT Governor and helps Diane Denish win in November!

Posted by: ED | May 23, 2010 9:24:39 PM

@ED Provide the link to the scientific Poll that shows Joe moving up , Brian moving down and Rael stagnant. Then will provide you with a "transcript" of the call.

200 people in Santa Rosa? Remember felons cannot vote.

Posted by: DEMandTRUTH | May 23, 2010 9:34:23 PM

@Chris Salas ... what does Lauren Armstrong do for Brian Culon?

@Ed ... Proud Democrat's real name is Don Schiff. Don is a really nice guy in person, but his alter ego (Proud Democrat) is a nasty person that campaigns on the rhetoric he memorizes from the ultra lefties.

@DEMandTruth ... how did you know about the Flying Star event? I would have went, but I can not find a site that advertises all the campaigns events! Oh well.

So, in Joe's response he says "former staff". Does anyone know if that means he fired Mark F.? Mark is one of Brian Culon's best friends along with Bryon Paez and the rest of the Maki Crew. So whoever thinks that all of these guys are seperated by huge divide... think again.

Posted by: Stupid | May 23, 2010 9:35:07 PM

I want to debunk the myth that Brian Colon does not do his own Facebook updates. I also want to debunk the myth that he is anyone other than who he is. I know it is tough for some to understand that he genuinely cares about the well-being of his fellow New Mexicans and happens, like the four other candidates, to believe that he is the best person for the job. There is no hidden agenda.

Posted by: Catherine | May 23, 2010 11:04:54 PM

You have got to be kidding.

First of all, Dennis Montoya is a civil rights attorney, for crying out loud.

He strenuously denies ever referring to Judge Vanzi's sexuality. I realize that she says otherwise, but I believe Mr Montoya, which leaves us with two possibilities.

1) The incumbet is using the allegation to turn out her own supporters,

2) The Republicans, as someone suggested above, want to see the Democrats rend and tear each other they way they are doing in their own primary.

Either way, logic that runs "this is an appeal to conservative Hispanics, and candidate x who is from a conservative Hispanic background must therefore be responsible" seriously needs to be examined before one subscribes to it.

I can only think that someone must be distraught to say such things.

Mr Montoya, unlike his opponent, does not have the inclination, the staff or the funding to engage in negative advertising.

For his thoughts on the subject, please check his Facebook page. He does maintain it himself, by the way.

And by the way -- I am a supporter but not affiliated with his campaign.

Posted by: elinruby | May 23, 2010 11:11:20 PM

Any politician is capable of doing a negative robo-call like this one, especially if they are managed by someone who convinces them it's the best thing to do. Please, supporters of whatever candidate, don't get all high and mighty on this point.

I finally talked to Joe this evening and, not surprisingly, he said basically the same thing he said here and on FB: He said he didn't do it and never would and never has done any negative campaigning. No campaign or candidate is going to admit doing this, and we will probably never know the truth. I tried to point out my reasoning and tried hard to rule people out who wouldn't really benefit from this call and consider those who might. That is what I wrote.

Joe was very passionate about denying the robo-call. However, he was less than honest in saying in his comment here that I didn't leave my number when I left him a message on his cell yesterday. I did, and I have it recorded that I did as I was going to record his response, with his knowledge of course, to make sure I got it right.

Small potatoes, I know, but I think it's worth noting. Everyone will make up their own mind on this, I'm sure. I gave you the best I could come up with, as honestly as I could and as carefully. I hope you appreciate the effort because it took up much of my weekend, and was disturbing to boot.

I can't say with any surety who did this but I want people to know that any time I discover a case of someone using my civil rights as a wedge talking point to criticize anyone or stir up bigotry I will call it out and do my best to determine who it seems is doing it or who was caught doing it. Enough is enough.

As we know, too many Democrats seem to think my full civil rights are a side issue, or one to use to bash supporters of my rights. We are tired of it and will do everything in our power to stop it.

Just for the record, Joe told me that he is not for full marriage equality for same-sex couples. He said he supports civil unions for everyone but only hetero couples should be "married" because that happens in church. I asked him what it says on the certificate when a couple is married at a drive-thru Las Vegas quickie marriage place and he said he didn't know. I know: it says marriage certificate.

Posted by: barb | May 24, 2010 12:59:26 AM

Excuse me.

You can't throw serious allegations around then dismiss the pain they cause by telling people not to get high and mighty.

Dennis Montoya defends gays' civil rights. In court, where it matters. He does not whisper about people's sexuality.

I note that you have no specifics to provide on this baseless allegation.

That is all.

Posted by: elinruby | May 24, 2010 1:18:16 AM

Tell it to Montoya lady. He's a bully, a fruitcake and a liar. I think he has mental problems.

Posted by: Jed | May 24, 2010 1:48:35 AM

Tell what to Montoya?

He knows what he did not say.

You on the other hand appear to have been drinking the Kool-Aid.

Of course, I am not a doctor either ;)

Posted by: elinruby | May 24, 2010 2:26:42 AM

The robo calls damage is small compared to the damage we have done to our selves.

The call exposed divisions and gave people reason to make accusations. If some one called me a liar, I would not care what they said after that. If someone suggested I might be a liar, I would feel the same way. If someone calls my friends liars, I would not trust the judgment or opinions of the accusers. I believe that Barbara left a phone message with a number. I also believe that Joe did not get the number in the message. He either did not hear it or the phone dropped part of the call.

I know Joe Compos. I do not need to call him or read his post to know he had nothing to do with the calls. I know Michelle Mares, it is utterly stupid to suspect she had any thing to do with this. The fact you suspect them is more a reflection of your thought process.
I have met Judge Vanzi. The idea that she is a racist or sexist never crossed my mind. I do not know her, after a brief conversation with her and learning that she was my sister's friend, I told her I would support her and have since.

Now, Joe Campos, Michelle Mares and I know who we can count on and who suspects us of wrong doing. While the lies and accusations, whispered or typed on the net, did damage some reputations, the worst damage was what people did to their own characters. I can not say I am disappointed in some people's actions because I knew what they would do in such a situation.

Posted by: Alfredo Dominguez | May 24, 2010 4:52:23 AM

I recall Barb and MaryEllen working to pass an amendment MARRIAGE EQUALITY at the spring meeting in 2009. It sounds like Campos doesn't support that amendment. It's about time we elect democrats who stand for the democratic platform. We work hard as volunteers to debate these measures and then send elected officials to santa fe and washington who don't care what we said! Enough is enough

Posted by: SCCmember | May 24, 2010 7:14:33 AM

After a weekend on the campaign trail, I returned home to learn from a house guest that we had also received the robo under discussion. While I am personally offended by these tactics, I am primarily concerned with the mean spirited response of some of my fellow Democrats. We are blessed to have five honorable people running for Lt. Governor. I have had the privilege of considerable interaction with all of them over the past months, and as a Democrat I am proud, and thankful, that they would step forward to represent us. Concerning the possible involvement of Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, his staff, or his volunteers in this matter – IT DID NOT HAPPEN! I find it equally difficult to believe that any of the other campaigns are involved. Should anyone want to discuss the possibility of our involvement in this, feel free to contact me on my personal cell phone – 505-320-5220.
TC Shaffer, Campaign Manager, Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor

Posted by: TC Shaffer | May 24, 2010 7:59:56 AM

In response to the "update'. I think the one who benefits most from the robocall and the discussions that have followed here on this weblog are the Republicans. They benefit more in the short run AND the long run. Keep us divided by whatever means. I cannot believe how successful they are.

The Republicans are keen on what buttons to push to get Democrats at each other's throats and it is clear that this one was particularly sensitive for the editor and also a lot of readers of this weblog.

The situation (robocall and the response it generated) is sad. But we must all be mindful of what can be done by someone who knows their stuff and can pull it off. We cannot say republicans are dumb.

Posted by: Preciliano Martin | May 24, 2010 8:23:09 AM

Perhaps she does think she is telling the truth. If so, she should tell us what Mr Montoya said that was so "vicious."

So far all I hear is crickets. And it's been a couple of hours! Isn't that how long she gave Mr Campos to reply?

I call grandstanding.

Posted by: elinruby | May 24, 2010 9:34:26 AM

Of course the Republicans care who wins for Lt Governor, they think two or three steps ahead. They will try to manipulate the democrat ticket to suit there choice of the weakest ticket.

If it turns out that the Republican machine is behind this, then all who have falsely accused here have done the work for the Republicans.

Isn't it strange that Joe puts out a commercial that talks about how the republicans voted against his ethics legislation and a few days later this robo call comes out.

Posted by: ED | May 24, 2010 9:46:25 AM

I agree that this line of discussion feeds the odds against us all.

And on a similar note, I would like to share a post recently made on Heath Haussamen's site:

May 22, 2010 • 10:30 pm

I do not live in New Mexico, but I did live there for twenty-five years and I have known Dennis Montoya for almost twenty years. When I lived in New Mexico, Dennis and I worked on cases together representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. When I needed an attorney to help me with an IRS case, I called Dennis on cases other attorneys were scared to touch. I think that is typical of Mr. Montoya’s style and why he is the target of a vicious smear campaign. As John Wayne said, when you are scared and saddle up anyway that is a sign of real courage. Dennis Montoya has always been a courageous attorney.

The last time I saw Dennis was a few years ago for breakfast in Colorado. Dennis was in town because he had enjoyed a major success at the Appelate level and our law school had invited him to speak. Does that sound like an attorney who is “a danger to the public”? Why doesn’t the Albuquerque Journal print that bit of information about Dennis Montoya. Has anyone looked at Linda Vanzi in the case that led her to file charges against Mr. Montoya. The Albuquerque Journal reminds me of my high school during the height of the Vietnam War where the discussion of any controverisal issue was banned from campus. When asked for a definition of “controversial”, the arch-conservative principal replied to laughter from the assembled student body, “any issue with two sides.” The Albuquerque Journal only believes there is one-side to this election.

The “public” should be questioning why certain vested interests are so terrified of Dennis Montoya being elected, they think nothing of attempting to destroy a decent and honest man. To paraphrase the philosopher Jerry Fodor, if the hornets are flying and someone gets stung, it is the hornets nest that needs to be investigated not the one getting stung.


Posted by: elinruby | May 24, 2010 10:19:34 AM

Joe's defenders are out in force attacking people for raising good questions about his campaign and how it operates. They should read this and explain:

"Denish had taken the lead in lobbying for approval of legislation that would reform the housing authority system and fund an audit. But Luján and others, including state Rep. Joe Campos of Santa Rosa, were working to kill the proposal.

Campos was doing it openly, using outdated audits to argue that the housing authorities didn’t have problems even though I and other journalists had already documented the issues."


Posted by: What About This? | May 24, 2010 11:11:38 AM


Posted by: elinruby | May 24, 2010 11:23:20 AM

It's bad when good men are accused unjustly, those you promote these lies are doing evil work.

Santa Rosa is a small town of about 3,000 people, I catered the rally for Joe here yesterday and made food for 200 and we ran out.

I love my Brother Joe and have never known a more honest politician.

But you guys go ahead and keep up the lies if makes you feel good.

Posted by: Santiago S | May 24, 2010 12:33:22 PM

Jeez, how soon we forget!

Last October Democrats in Albuquerque split in their support of two candidates from their party for mayor. Both of the campaigns of those two candidates engaged in negative campaigns and name-calling against each other, and both campaigns left the sole Republican candidate alone. The end result was the Republican won.

Let's please try to learn from our mistakes of the past. Move on, people! We're a week away from Primary Day. Let's knock off the bitter infighting and commit ourselves to working hard for ALL the nominees from our party that we select next Tuesday, once we know who they are.

Posted by: Straddling the Fence | May 24, 2010 3:29:02 PM

I agree with TC several above. We have five excellant candidates for Lt Gov. all would be excellant and i will support whomever is chosen by the other dems in the state. Period.
We will never know who did the stupid robo call. What I do know is that Joe and Christina Campos have always been good people to me. Always. They are excellant democrats, and I believe they care deeply about people and community.

Posted by: mary ellen | May 24, 2010 4:14:49 PM

wha wha wah, who cares what the robo call said. Its called politics people. No need to get offended. Anyone in politics should know stuff happens and we should be better then they are. We are all working for the same thing, smashing Republicans. Lets all regroup and take a Deep breath. I love the republican commercials, even if they strech the truth. Lets not forget what politics means. It can get messy, but lets not get personal or take it personal. we shall whip them this November. Let keep that in mind.

Posted by: georgep | May 24, 2010 5:19:22 PM

a mi gusto, the remarks you made are totally uncalled for.

You are not helping your candidate.

There is no need to be uncivil here or anywhere. This is not good for democrats or for our causes.

That's enough. Really.

Posted by: bg | May 24, 2010 6:59:58 PM

Other blog sites reserve the right to remove inflammatory or defamatory material from their blog comments. I suggest you do the same, and restore some sanity and professionalism to this site. This has devolved into a full fledged food fight and will only hurt the Democrats and help the Republicans. As bg wrote, that's enough. REALLY!

Posted by: True Blue | May 24, 2010 7:39:41 PM

I don't like to screen comments unless they get out of line and personal in nature. I think there is a place for unscreened dialogue. However, a number of commenters on this thread obviously crossed that line and I removed them. I do reserve the right to delete comments and/or block commenters and I have done it in the past. I will continue to do it here if people continue with the vicious ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: barb | May 25, 2010 9:06:27 AM

I didn't get the robo call but I get tons of calls everyday from the Republican Party even though I'm a registered Democrat. I guess the Republicans are either stupid or desperate that they are calling a house that has one Democrat and two Independent voters asking us to vote for them in the Republican primary. Do they think that my son and nephew are going to show up at the primary and try to vote when they can't because they are Independents? Those of us that are working the election should see if lots of Independent voters show up that received these calls and mistakingly thinking that they can vote in the election. This could be a crazy Repbulican trick. I wouldn't put it past them to do dirty tricks like the Colon slander robo call.

Posted by: undecided | May 25, 2010 10:27:29 AM

Statement from Colon manager Dan Sena on Joe Monahan's blog: "The (robo) call states 'Brian Colon fully supports gay marriage' This is wedge politics, Joe. BC was the one of first candidates to support domestic partnerships in the campaign, one of the few points the call got right."
Is Colon back pedaling now, expressing support for DP but not outright for gay marriage?

Posted by: Hmmm | May 25, 2010 2:35:34 PM

No, Brian has said it publicly many times. He was quoted as saying it in the newspaper. He gave a speech about it. He has told all kinds of people he supports full marriage rights for gay couples. He supports the plank in the DPNM platform that supports marriage equality.

Posted by: SCC | May 25, 2010 3:21:30 PM