|U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, his mother |
Carmen Lujan and late father Ben Lujan
But down on the human level, I just received this email from Carmen Lujan, the widow of the late House Speaker Ben Lujan. She was upset about one particular portion of the article -- the part in which a Martinez campaign aide talks about her husband, saying “Somebody told me he’s absolutely eloquent in Spanish, but his English? He sounds like a retard.”
Mrs. Lujan wrote:
"When I read and heard the audio from Gov. Martinez's staff this morning it crushed my heart. I called my family in tears and felt sick to my stomach.
Why would someone be so cruel and disrespectful? Ben committed his life to helping people, even while fighting cancer - people always came first. He had an incredible mind and heart. This makes me so sad.
He was a life long champion of working people, he used his voice and his words to make a difference.
But these cruel words by Matt [Kennicott], are not just about Ben, they hurt and attack the people of our State. Anyone who speaks with an accent, anyone who speaks Spanglish and uses both English and Spanish to communicate was attacked by the governor's staff.
It was not easy to speak up and put this together, but someone has to.
UPDATE 5:22 pm Matt Kennicott issued a statement.
In this private conversation four years ago, I was repeating a direct quote of what someone else had said and I apologize if that offended or hurt anyone. I was relaying this to someone in private and obviously would not have used this language otherwise, as I knew full-well that the governor's sister is developmentally-disabled.