Friday, April 20, 2012

My Favorite Political Story of the Day

It's from the Rio Grande Sun. And it's about a politically-charged (alleged) barroom brawl at the Saints & Sinners in Espanola.

According to The Sun, the row was between a supporter of state Sen. Richard Martinez and a supporter of Rio Arriba County Commissioner Alfredo Montoya, who is challenging Martinez in the Democratic primary for Senate.

Martinez was at the bar on April 11 when the incident occurred.

The Sun quotes Espanola City Councilor Robert Seeds, who was with Elias Fresquez, the Montoya supporter involved. Fresquez got into an argument with Leo Marquez, a field coordinator with Martinez's campaign.

From Seeds' account in the paper:

Before long Fresquez — who is supporting Montoya and who supported the candidate who beat Marquez for a seat on the City Council in March — and Marquez started talking political smack. Marquez blamed Fresquez and Seeds for his loss in the Council election and said Martinez was going to badly beat Montoya in the June primary.

As the exchange became more heated Marquez allegedly asked Fresquez if he wanted to fight. Fresquez ignored the invitation until Marquez grabbed him by the collar, at which point Fresquez punched the other man in the face, dropping him to the floor.

When Marquez fell to the floor, Martinez grabbed a beer bottle and was ready to use it as a weapon until Robert Seeds, (his wife) Laura Seeds and Saints and Sinners employees broke up the fight.

Marquez denies that a physical fight took place at all. And Martinez told The Sun that "when he saw the verbal altercation begin he walked away. He also denied grabbing a bottle and trying to enter the fight."

And people wonder why I love New Mexico politics.

(Full disclosure: I love the Saints & Sinners. It's the first bar in which I ever played music, back in 1977.)