The President of the New Mexico Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Auxiliary Sharon Valtierra, and President of the Albuquerque Lodge #1 Auxiliary Linda Martinez have written a letter (posted below) to Darren White’s Congressional Campaign refuting charges made by his opponent in this recent television message.
White responded to the Heinrich ad with his own controversial ad featuring the parents of a slain Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy.
Valtierra and Martinez characterize the attacks as baseless and misleading. They say it's just more "deceptive personal character attacks that Martin Heinrich has used in his negative political campaign advertising. "
With over 327,000 members in the United States, and 2,500 members in New Mexico, the FOP and its Auxiliary “work to represent and support law enforcement officers who go out every day into their communities to serve and protect their fellow citizens.”
The Presidents write that they are “appalled” by Martin Heinrich’s “spurious, specious, and unfounded attacks against [Darren White],” and they call Martin Heinrich’s negative political campaign advertisements “blatantly false and deceptive.”
The letter references the FOP’s unanimous endorsement of Darren White for Congress, and cited some specific reasons for their support of their fellow law enforcement professional, including Darren White’s personal handling, command, and response to the national tragedy in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina.
They support Darren because he “will stand up for the right things and defend the rights of citizens and law enforcement officers” in Congress.
Text from Letter:
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in New Mexico is the largest law enforcement organization in the state. There are more than 2500 members in the state and over 327,000 members in the country. The FOP and its Auxiliary work to represent and support law enforcement officers who go out every day into their communities to serve and protect their fellow citizens. These officers do this at great risk to their own personal safety and have the support of their spouses and families to be the shepherd dogs in their communities to protect all families from the wolves who prey on law abiding citizens in the cities and towns throughout New Mexico and especially in Albuquerque.
As wives of law enforcement officers, we are appalled at and take exception to the spurious, specious and unfounded attacks against you by your opponent. Clearly, Martin Heinrich neither understands nor appreciates the sacrifices that law enforcement officers and their families make each day. The reality of not knowing whether your loved one will come home after his or her shift places a great burden on the officers and his or her spouse, their family and loved ones. When Martin Heinrich attacks you, he is attacking every law enforcement officer who has taken an oath to do his or her duty of protecting and serving the community. The current articles and political advertisements that Martin Heinrich is using to try to discredit you are “old news”. These articles come from over ten years ago and do not have any basis in fact regarding the support and confidence that you enjoy from the law enforcement family in New Mexico, today. It is very clear to us that these advertisements are blatantly false and deceptive. We are particularly incensed by these attacks on your commitment and support of your law enforcement brothers and sisters and their families because at the 55th Annual New Mexico State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Conference held this past June in Roswell the Albuquerque Lodge #1 delegation made a motion that the members of the New Mexico Fraternal Order of Police endorse you for the position of United States Congressman for District #1. The motion to endorse you was unanimously passed.
As the President of the New Mexico State Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary and the President of the Albuquerque Lodge #1 Auxiliary, we represent the family members of the Fraternal Order of Police throughout the State of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area. We would also like you to know that we respect and admire the way you have represented law enforcement officers and their families in this State, the greater Albuquerque area and the nation.
The following facts are indicative of the support and active interest that you have taken with regards to law enforcement officers, their spouses and their families:
· When Deputy McGrane was killed we saw you work tirelessly side by side with officers for days during the investigation until his killer was caught. No one wants to make a death notification especially to an officer’s family. Law Enforcement Agencies have Chaplains to deal with this type of tragedy. However, the fact is that you took it upon yourself to personally notify Deputy McGrane’s wife and his mom and dad. By your doing this, it attests to your compassion and concern for your officers and their families. You also traveled with the McGrane family to Washington DC to honor the memory and life of a husband and son at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service. We watched how you personally made sure that the family was taken care of.
· When the horrible catastrophic Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, you personally took command of a team of deputies and went to New Orleans to assist a seriously strained law enforcement community in need of help by subjecting yourself to the dangers of patrolling a lawless area and by you and your deputies protecting helpless citizens in need of help while witnessing the death and the devastation as you went from house to house.
· For years we have seen you stand up for the rights of officers and their families and not just for the Bernalillo County Sheriffs Department; but, for the entire law enforcement community including local police departments and the state police agencies.
· We have read your articles to the Editor of the Albuquerque Journal and other newspapers correcting misleading or inaccurate statements about the actions of law enforcement officers and their agencies. You have consistently provided a coherent and balanced approach to describing the obligations, responsibilities and duties of a law enforcement officer.
· You have shown us many times that you are not afraid of making your voice heard or signing your name to something and taking whatever responsibility comes from it. This fact has been noticed and appreciated by law enforcement officers and their families throughout the state.
In closing, we want you to know that you have the unequivocal support of the families in New Mexico that are proud to have a father, mother, son or daughter, brother or sister who is a law enforcement officer. You have the support of the families of New Mexico Law Enforcement.
We would be honored to have you as our Congressman in Washington DC representing us. We want you as our Congressman because you will stand up for the right things and defend the rights of citizens and law enforcement officers. We want you as our Congressman because you will not be afraid of being up front and honest, someone who corrects the facts when they are wrong, someone who has shown the respect and care for the people of this State. We want you as our Congressman because we know that you will represent law enforcement officers, their spouses and their families and fight for our issues and concerns.
Sharon Valtierra Linda Martinez
State Auxiliary Albuquerque Lodge #1 Auxiliary
Cc: Bill Standridge, State President
Toby Gallegos, Albuquerque Lodge #1 President