Susana Martinez’s high-profile campaign manager came under fire from the right-wing base this weekend after he confronted a group of anti-Martinez protestors and called them “pieces of shit,” according to organizers of the event.
Here’s how it went down: conservative anti-abortion groups have publicly called for Governor Martinez’s resignation after she refused to become involved in 20-week abortion ban campaign they promoted in Albuquerque last fall (Martinez has long said that she is pro-life).
This weekend, organizers took their anti-Martinez protest to the neighborhood where her campaign manager, Jay McCleskey, lives. From the public sidewalk in front of his home, they lined up with anti-Martinez signs and messages opposing abortion and held a public prayer vigil.
Shortly after announcing the protest, Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, one of the event organizers, posted a message that McCleskey had confronted the protesters with the message: “You are ALL pieces of S***!”
Right wing religious leaders have become increasingly disenchanted with Martinez. Joe Monahan profiled the growing feud back in November 2013:
The religious right is taking notice of that harsh National Journal article about the Governor’s political adviser Jay McCleskey. As a result they’re creating some headaches for Susana.
Dewey Moede, the pastor of ABQ’s For God’s Glory Alone Ministries,”sent the lengthy article to his followers, explaining his discontent with McCleskey this way:
. . . .As it stands right now I will vote for her in the next election. But I cannot help but wonder if McCleskey is one of, if not the the main reason, Governor Martinez did not take a stand against late-term abortion in Albuquerque, a tougher stand on same sex marriage and other conservative issues.
Christians from all over America were saddened to hear that Governor Martinez, the one who they cheered at the Republican National Convention, failed to support the late-term abortion ban. This is an interesting read from The National Journal on McCleskey’s influence on the Governor.
McCleskey has become a lightning rod in Martinez’s races, particularly among his fellow conservatives. A recent profile of McCleskey by the conservative National Journal noted that McCleskey is costing Martinez valuable allies in the Republican party.