February 16, 2018 – The primary focus of the 30-day legislative session is to pass a budget. Lawmakers did that this week and sent the bipartisan budget to Governor Martinez. Other bills, however, were introduced this session; some were successful and some never made it out of committee. Senators Sander Rue and Jeff Steinborn spoke with producer Sarah Gustavus at the Roundhouse about roadblocks to bills on government transparency. Gene Grant and the Line opinion panelists weigh in on those and other bills, on the budget that passed, and on the general tone of the legislature this session.
February 2, 2018 – Many women in New Mexico have spoken out in recent months about sexual harassment at work. Lobbyist Vanessa Alarid told the New York Times in December that former lawmaker Thomas Garcia asked for sex in exchange for a vote on a bill. And Heather Brewer told the Santa Fe New Mexican about a candidate who asked her for sex when she went to work for his campaign. Host Gene Grant sat down this week with Alarid and Brewer to talk about sexual harassment in politics.
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
There is some language in this interview that might make some people uncomfortable. In addition, some of the words violate FCC rules about appropriate on-air content. When we aired this segment, we “bleeped” the most controversial words and phrases. The web video, however, is unaltered.
NMiF also reached out to Thomas Garcia and asked him for a statement:
Vanessa Alarid’s politically motivated statements have been misleading and filled with false accusations in an effort to damage my reputation and causing irreparable damage, however, the strength of my family, and the power of our faith, has allowed us to move forward positively. From day one I, unequivocally, have denied the allegations made by Vanessa Alarid and I will continue to work to clear my name of these false accusations.
People need to see through the propaganda and exaggerations to find the true facts. We are now, unfortunately, living in a time where the values and principles we once held dear are being thrown out without any type of due process. Baseless accusations are being spread through social media without any vetting, verification or scrutiny afforded to individuals as our fundamental rights are decimated. Individuals are retroactively being attacked and lumped together into one category of inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, everyday women are being abused and assaulted. These types of acts will continue to occur unless we are diligent to ensure perpetrators are convicted for their acts. Not convicted by social media, but by the courts. While there are many people that have legitimate claims of abuse we cannot let the #MeToo movement become a tool of revenge, as it allows real predators to blend into society as the spotlight is focused on famous individuals.
Almost nine years after Vanessa Alarid alleges I engaged in inappropriate behavior there are truths that cannot be denied. Anyone who takes the time to look into the statements made by Vanessa Alarid will find the truth should they choose to look at the facts. Even if the events as portrayed by Vanessa Alarid were factual they fall well short of any type of sexual assault, violence or harassment. Her own statements, that continue to change based on the media outlet she discusses the allegations with, show there was nothing done to meet the basic threshold of wrongdoing. From the time she alleges these incidents took place I ran for re-election and was victorious without any accusation of wrongdoing. When I was recently at the Capitol, she contacted the media promising to assault me if she sees me at the Capitol in the future, however, she continued to lobby me for assistance for three years after the incident allegedly occurred. Additionally, by continuing to focus attention on her false claims against me, she continues to protect and hide the identities of individuals that continue to engage in inappropriate behavior at the Capitol. She, along with Representative Fajardo claim to have witnessed inappropriate behavior, yet the behavior of these individuals continues to go unreported.
I look forward to continuing moving forward in a positive manner as the facts of the false accusations come to light in the future.