Rapt attention

Sunday, January 29, 2023

New Mexico Blues

Interesting article at Slate: 

What did the Bernalillo Republican Party do after failed candidate and ex con Solomon Pena was allegedly shooting into the homes of four Democratic political opponents?

They elected him to a leadership position as County Ward Chairman.

The article was pretty chilling. Here is a snippet:

When someone shot up Linda Lopez’s house, the truth is: She didn’t even know it, and she was there. Lopez lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The shooting happened on Jan. 3. That night, she’d stayed up late with her kids, and then they’d all went to bed. It was about 1 in the morning when Lopez heard the bangs. And she assumed she knew what they were: fireworks.
Lopez’s 10-year-old daughter, Cherish, came in to her room. Cherish had her own theories about what had woken her up. She thought maybe a spider had plopped down on her face? They’d had spiders before. She’d felt something, she knew that much. “She said she’d felt some sand or dirt on her face and on her nose,” Lopez said. “And I told her, ‘Sweetheart, maybe Mom needs to clean the fan on top of the bed.’ It’s not like I’m the best housekeeper in the world, so I thought maybe that’s something that needs to happen.”
Then, they went back to sleep.
“About 6:30, quarter of 7, I woke up and proceeded to turn on the bathroom light. I looked toward my bed, and on the wall, you could see what had happened. There was a hole in my wall above my bed. And then I looked to the left, and there was a hole through the closet door—12 bullet holes total. My daughter’s room is right next to mine. And the trajectory that the bullet had, it could have grazed her head if she had been sitting up.”

Is this really what it has come to? 


Postscript: Alb Journal says he was elected two days before his arrest. Still:

“He was elected, and I wish our rules allowed us to fire him – but they don’t,” said Janice Arnold-Jones, a former state legislator and Albuquerque city councilor.

Several top county party officials this week declined to answer Journal phone calls and emails about the matter, including county party chairman John Rockwell.

Shades of George Santos. People elected him, nothing we can do. Makes you wonder what actually would be disqualifying for the GOP? More at the NYT.

He was demoted twice during his four years in the service and left the military in 2004 at the lowest possible rank. The Navy was unable to provide the reasons for Mr. Peña’s demotions.
Mr. Peña ran on a platform of cracking down on crime, despite his own criminal history. He served nearly seven years in prison in New Mexico on charges including burglary and larceny after being part of a “smash-and-grab” crew that slammed vehicles into retail stores, including a Kmart in Albuquerque, then stole items, according to court records.
After being released from prison in 2016, Mr. Peña tried selling cars at a dealership in Albuquerque but lasted less than a month before he was fired for showing up late, court records from a lawsuit filed by Mr. Peña in 2017 show. (The case was dismissed.) 

Great candidate! 

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