*This morning (5/14) we were contacted by candidate Adrian Carver to change a portion of this story. Carver pointed out that his offense was civil, not criminal. While we have changed the error, we are once again disappointed in Carver for his double-down attempt to re-criminalize his opponent instead of acknowledging and reflecting on his own hypocritical and racist actions.
As a progressive organization, we’ve always taken a lead on calling out racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Usually, it’s directed at conservative political players. This time, we’re calling it like we see it with one of our own.
If you live in Bernalillo County Commission District 3, you may have seen a mailer sent by County Commission District 3 candidate Adrian Carver. We, like many of you, are outraged that a candidate who calls themself “progressive” sent a racist, classist, sexist mailer that lies about endorsements and about his own criminal record. Carver’s actions are not reflective of progressive values.
Shame on candidate Carver for criminalizing one of his opponents, a queer woman of color, for her possession of a small amount of cannabis after a traffic stop. His stance is hypocritical and especially manipulative after he, himself, advocated for the use of recreational cannabis less than a year ago. As an advocate for cannabis legalization, Carver knows that simply driving while black or brown oftentimes results in unwarranted traffic stops, that can eventually lead to unnecessary interrogation, humiliation and at times detention of individuals whose race is perceived to be something other than white. For Carver to use this traffic stop turned arrest is both racist and classist.
Carver’s use of his opponent’s infraction for his own political gain is not only selfish, but it also highlighted Carver’s intentional manipulation of the framing on the mailer. On the mailer, Carver strategically states that he does not have a criminal record, however, a quick search on nmcourts.gov quickly displays Carver’s own run-in with the civil court system. Carver’s phone call to ProgressNow New Mexico on the morning of 5/14 (after the publication of the original version of this story) made it clear that he was intentional and strategic in hiding his own public record while seeking to re-criminalize his opponent, even after being called out for his racist actions. We’re (still) not here for the entitlement.
His dishonesty extends further. Recent Facebook posts by two elected officials originally listed as endorsers on Carver’s mail piece highlight one false endorsement and another elected who wasn’t aware their name would be used in an attack piece. Carver’s use of their names was grossly deceptive to both the electeds involved as well as constituents in Bernalillo County Commission District 3. It is certainly not lost upon us that Carver was sure to include women validators on his hit piece against a woman of color opponent. We want to make it clear: women are not pawns to be used for political gain.
Last, we wanted to express how regretful we are to hear about the amount of backlash others are receiving as a result of Carver’s political tactics, including some of the elected officials listed on the mailer as well as the blowback that Equality New Mexico will inevitably face as a direct result of Carver listing his place of employment on his own mail piece. We believe that the electeds who were unknowingly named in this piece, as well as EQNM as an organization that supports our LGBTQ community, are critical to moving a progressive agenda forward for our families and we hope that Carver’s actions don’t have long term ramifications for them.
It is critical that Carver is not only held accountable by friends, family, organizations and constituents of District 3, but that he also takes responsibility for his actions in a public manner that reaches just as many District 3 constituents as his first -and hopefully last- disgraceful mailer.