GOP Grasps at Straws, Tries to Redirect Attention Away From Emailgate
22 June 2012
GOP Rehashes Old News
In Attempt to Distract From Governor’s Email Scandal
Jay McCleskey Was RJ Berry’s Consultant When Berry Administration Investigated Union Leader for Email Impropriety, Now McCleskey Has Been Caught Compelling State Employees to do the Same Thing
ALBUQUERQUE – In an attempt to distract from the ongoing scandal involving the Martinez administration’s role in using private email accounts to conduct state business, the Republican Party of New Mexico yesterday released a statement calling on the Attorney General to investigate a case that was already closed earlier this year.
In a clearly politicized attempt to make it seem as though two prominent New Mexico Democrats used their own government email accounts to conduct campaign business, the state GOP “called on the Attorney General to investigate congressional candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham and state Senator Tim Keller for violating the governmental conduct act by using government resources for political campaigns.” The emails the GOP provides to back up their claim show no evidence that either Keller or Grisham used governmental email accounts to correspond with a City of Albuquerque union official. In fact, the only governmental email account that shows up in the correspondence is that of the union leader, who was investigated and subsequently suspended earlier this year for improperly using his governmental email account. As journalist Matt Reichbach points out:
The Republican Party’s information seems less like new news but more of an expansion of the improper use of government funds by a union president in Albuquerque that broke earlier this year. Arencon was suspended for the offense.
By waiting until now to ask for an Attorney General investigation, the Republican Party of New Mexico seems to be making sure that it happens closer to election time.
There is no evidence in the GOP’s release that any of the elected officials referenced by the GOP actually used government emails to communicate with with the union or a political consultant also targeted by the party. The use of CABQ emails has already been addressed by the city (when it was investigated by Republican Mayor RJ Berry and exploited by Berry’s – and Martinez’s – political consultant Jay McKleskey) and should have served as notice to the governor’s staff, political advisors and appointees that this type of conduct was improper.
Governor Martinez should have taken the public suspension of the union official back in February as a lesson and ensured that she and her Cabinet only conduct state business on state email accounts. Additionally, the administration should have ensured that political consultant Jay McCleskey followed the same rules the GOP is referencing and not assign political work to state employees via any email accounts, private or state – especially because McCleskey was working with RJ Berry while the mayor pursued the investigation against the union official.
The New Mexico GOP is so desperate to redirect attention away from the Emailgate controversy that they will even waste taxpayer dollars by demanding an investigation that has already been investigated and closed.