Will the Ghost of Fernando C. de Baca Come Back to Haunt Sheryl Williams Stapleton?

Joseph Cervantes
News New Mexico enjoyed a visit from Representative Joseph Cervantes (Dona Ana) Friday morning. As we covered a wide range of current events in New Mexico the subject of House Majority Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton came up. Stapleton made national news recently when she referred to Governor Susana Martinez as “the Mexican on the 4th Floor.” When asked if he was offended by Stapleton’s remarks, Cervantes indicated that he was. But Cervantes also suggested the incident was overblown and over-covered by the state’s media. 
Susana Martinez
Since News New Mexico also spent considerable time over the course of several days discussing and commenting on the racially charged rants of Sheryl Williams Stapleton, we felt it might be a good time to reflect and carefully consider what Representative Cervantes had to say about too much coverage. Our reflections were quickly interrupted by one of our News New Mexico posse members. She reminded us of how the state’s most prominent Republican elected officials dealt with another racial rant that took place three years ago by a person in a leadership position.
It seems that once upon a time back in September of 2008, Bernalillo County GOP Chairman Fernando C. de Baca opened up his mouth, and like Sheryl Williams Stapleton did earlier this month, jumped in with both feet. 
Fernando C. de Baca
Fernando C. de Baca's comments drew immediate calls for his resignation. Where did the calls come from?  They came from none other than fellow Republicans Pete Domenici, Steve Pearce, and Heather Wilson (read story in Albuquerque Journal here). Not only did these prominent fellow Republicans demand de Baca’s resignation, they received it quickly. Coincidentally and ironically, House Majority Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton also felt compelled to weigh in on de Baca’s hurtful comments. According to the Journal Stapleton had this to say about the de Baca rant: "Someone who holds those thoughts in such a public and open forum should not be allowed the platform of the chair of the Bernalillo Republican Party. Period. End of story."
Demesia Padilla
And shortly after discovering that Fernando C. de Baca had resigned his leadership position in the Republican party Stapleton had this to say: "I am glad he stepped aside — so we can have an electoral process in New Mexico without the stigma of racism" (read story in the Albuquerque Journal here).
Other instances also make the record even more clear that Sheryl Williams Stapleton is a person who charges others with racism as a matter of routine, whenever it suits her purposes. She has hurled racist accusations in the media at former Senator Lee Rawson (here) and current Secretary of Taxation and Revenue Demesia Padilla (here).
Sheryl Williams Stapleton
During every election cycle the issues are framed by Stapleton in racial and ethnic terms. With the record growing clearer every day the question is pretty simple. Will the leadership and caucus of the Democratic Party hold Sheryl Williams Stapleton to the same standards as Fernando C. de Baca was by members of his party? Or is there a floating tolerance standard when it comes to the consequences of making blatantly racist and divisive racial comments in New Mexico? Stay tuned.


Corzine's Wall Street Contributions Won't "Occupy" Obama Campaign Coffers, Some Returned

John Corzine (right)
Reuters - President Barack Obama's campaign has returned some $70,000 in contributions made by embattled MF Global chief Jon Corzine and his wife, a campaign official said on Friday. Corzine, a former Democratic senator, governor of New Jersey and one-time leader of Goldman Sachs, was one of the top so-called "bundlers" and surrogates for the campaign, leveraging his elite network to lump together donations to benefit the Democratic incumbent's re-election bid. As of early last month, the former Goldman Sachs chief had raised donations of at least $500,000 for Obama's 2012 effort. The campaign said in early November it would return the donations made by Corzine if he were charged with any wrongdoing. The campaign severed ties after Corzine's securities firm imploded and he agreed to testify before a congressional committee about $1.2 billion in missing investor funds. Corzine and his wife each contributed $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee and $5,000 to Obama's campaign, the maximum amounts that individuals are allowed to give, according to campaign finance records. Corzine held a $35,800-a-head fund-raising dinner for Obama at his home in April. Read full story here: News New Mexico

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L.C.S.: Capitol Security Video of Stapleton is Private

Ben Lujan
Albuquerque Journal - SANTA FE — The Legislative Council Service has denied a Journal request to look at the security video from a meeting in the Capitol at which House Majority Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton angrily confronted another lawmaker. The council service — the Legislature’s administrative and bill-drafting arm — says Capitol security videos are not public records and therefore not covered by the Inspection of Public Records Act. According to Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, Stapleton verbally assailed her during a break in a Legislative Education Study Committee meeting on Dec. 14, accusing Espinoza of publicly questioning her integrity. Stapleton, an Albuquerque Democrat, acknowledges having referred to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez as “the Mexican on the Fourth Floor” during the incident. Read full story here (subscription required): News New Mexico

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