Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Democrats respond to GOP candidate recruitment

Yesterday, we were the first to report that former DEA agent Errol Chavez had been recruited out of the Republican primary race for commissioner of public land, by party Chairman Harvey Yates, and into the race for state auditor.

Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman Javier Gonzales sent me an email, bolstered by some top Republicans supporting incumbent Auditor Hector Balderas, and called Errol's announcement "an unfortunate example of the Republican Party recruiting candidates who abandon races as soon as they start them."

“This is the kind of insider maneuvering that New Mexicans are sick of,” Gonzales said. “While Yates and Chavez sit around behind closed doors deciding which job they want next, our current State Auditor, Hector Balderas, has been working hard for the people of New Mexico, fighting government fraud, waste and abuse.

“By instituting the state's first fraud hotline and measures so all governments are annually held accountable for their spending, Balderas has proven that he will find innovative ways to protect New Mexicans," Gonzales continued. "New Mexicans deserve principled leaders who want to serve the public, not politicians who want to serve political insiders.”

Barbara Wold at Democracy for New Mexico reports Chairman Gonzales noted the irony in the fact that several prominent members of the Republican Party recently praised Auditor Balderas on the political blog, Republican political blogger, Mario Burgos, was quoted as saying, “(Balderas) ... is leading the fight to get criminals behind bars. He seems to be doing his job well and with little concern whether the elected criminals have an R or D attached to their name.”

In addition, Republican House Minority Whip, Keith Gardner (R-Roswell), also applauded Balderas’ work, saying, “I may be partisan, but I’m more than willing to put politics aside when someone is doing a great job. Keep it up Mr. Auditor.” Now that's some mighty big praise, especially coming from the R side of the aisle.

In fact, Chavez was recently quoted in the NM Independent, explaining that “he considered running for Congress, but ultimately decided that his executive experience in law enforcement made land commissioner a better fit.”

“With the challenges New Mexicans face today and down the road, we need the proven leadership and experience that Hector Balderas has brought to the State Auditor's Office,” Gonzales said. “This office is too important to be decided by a game of musical chairs. State Auditor Balderas' campaign to aggressively fight government fraud and corruption deserves the support of all New Mexicans -- and that includes Yates and Chavez.”

The Republicans have not announced whether or not they will field statewide candidates for three offices, attorney general, secretary of state, or state treasurer.

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1 comment:

Jerry said...

I see where Javier continues to to be baffled by a group that would actually think competition for public office be a good thing - clearly, that isn't the case for the D governor nomination. Chavez running for Auditor is a surprise - but it is a good thing in spite of the uphill battle. Don't get me wrong - in this case, Balderas is a good man but he'll be a better man and Auditor (should he win) because of this. It is a good thing for a public servant to look over his shoulder every once in a while - even for the guy who is looking over other peoples shoulder ...