Sunday, May 23, 2010

GOP Chair Calls Weh Ad "Dishonest"

When I interviewed Allen Weh a couple of weeks ago, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful reminded me that while he was state Republican Party chairman he sometimes had to call out members of his his own party

Today, his successor, current GOP Chairman Harvey Yates basically called out Weh for his recent attack ad on primary rival Susana Martinez. Yates also said Martinez's ad attacking Weh for his immigration position wasn't untruthful.

Here's a press release from the party that went out this morning.

After receiving complaints from several Republicans regarding ads being run by two leading Republican gubernatorial candidates, Republican State Party Chairman, Harvey E. Yates, Jr., assembled a committee to examine the ads. Documents supporting their ads were requested from both Susana Martinez and Allen Weh. The documents were examined to determine whether the ads were truthful.

It was found that the documents furnished by the Susana Martinez reasonably supported her ad regarding Allen Weh’s earlier position on amnesty. However, it was found that the documents to which the committee was directed by Allen Weh did not reasonably support either his radio or TV ad.

In Mr. Weh’s ad he suggests that Ms. Martinez has not paid her taxes. No support for that was found in the documents. Mr. Weh’s ads imply that Ms. Martinez has misused public funds in a variety of ways. Yet, an examination of the documents not only did not substantiate that claim, the examination results suggest that Ms. Martinez has handled public funds properly. In short, the effort undertaken revealed that Mr. Weh’s recent radio and TV ads are misleading.

In regard to the above Chairman Yates stated the following: "Dishonesty in political advertising should not be tolerated in either party. I believe it to be quite unfortunate that one of the Republican gubernatorial candidates has issued ads which are so misleading. I note that when Mr. Weh accuses Ms. Martinez of failure to pay her taxes, this can be taken as suggesting possible felonious conduct on the part of Ms. Martinez. This suggestion by Mr. Weh, without clear evidence, is inappropriate."

Mr. Yates continued, "Republicans expect honesty in government. How likely is that result, if dishonesty in campaigning is tolerated in those we elect to run government?"

UPDATE: Weh's campaign just sent me this response from campaign manager Whitney Cheshire.

Instead of letting rank and file Republicans think and speak for themselves, which thankfully will occur on election day, a group of self-appointed party insiders has wrongly and inexplicably decided to give Susana Martinez a free pass when it comes to keeping her word about running a negative campaign.

The Chairman’s biased interference in a primary contest is harmful to the Republican Party and wrong for our state.

Sadly, they even deny the indisputable fact reported by the Albuquerque Journal and Las Cruces Sun-News today that Susana Martinez launched the first negative salvo in this race. They also directly contradict President George W. Bush’s White House position on immigration reform. Regretfully, they would not even meet with our campaign to hear our arguments.

Fortunately, rank and file Republicans – not party bosses and the media – will decide who wins this nomination, and we further believe their choice will be a successful businessman who has created jobs, not a career politician whose only real professional experience is as a government lawyer.

We stand by our ad’s accuracy. Mrs. Martinez’s multiple ads falsely accusing Allen Weh of supporting amnesty are fundamentally dishonest and misleading.