The PAC’s two highest profile targets are Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez of Belen and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings of Roswell. Those are two very different cities and the two are very different politicians.
But the PAC run by Martinez’s top political adviser Jay McCleskey sent a mailer attacking Jennings over his stance on the death penalty to an unidentified household in Belen, which is in Sanchez’s district.
Sanchez faces Rep. David Chavez while Jennings faces political neophyte Cliff Pirtle.
The misfire of the mailer is an example of shotgun-approach that Reform New Mexico Now is using to try to unseat Democratic opponents.
The mailer is very similar to a mailer sent by Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, attacking his opponent, Mary Ellen Broderick, D-Albuquerque, both in content and imagery. PACs and candidates are forbidden by law from coordinating with one another.
Mailers attacking candidates from Reform New Mexico Now PAC on a similar issue have went after candidates throughout the state — but the imagery on the errantly-sent Jennings attack piece and the Gentry one are among the most similar.
Both show images of hooded men and accuse their Democratic opponents of siding with “child killers” for opposing the death penalty.
The pictures use a similar photo of an individual in a hoodie — which ProgressNow New Mexico says evokes thoughts of Trayvon Martin.
“It is unconscionable that any politician would find it acceptable, even for a second, to use an image of a dark man in a hooded sweatshirt in a political ad today,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNowNM of the Gentry piece in a statement sent to the media. “Nate Gentry has either been living under a rock or believes, like George Zimmerman, that kids in hoodies are boogeymen first and kids second. Either way, let’s hope his voters know better.”
When Broderick said that the Gentry mailer was “racist,” Gentry told KRQE, “If you look at the mailer, the person on the mailer is Caucasian. I’m talking about policies, where we differ on issues.”
If you look at the mailer you cannot see the face of the person in the hoodie. Another person in the ad, who is in jail, is Caucasian.
Sanchez is locked in a tight race with Chavez, while momentum seems to be going Jennings’ way in his race; prominent Republicans have bucked the governor and backed Jennings’ reelection.
Filed under: Featured, New Mexico House, New Mexico Senate · Tags: David Chavez, Jay McCleskey, Mary Ellen Broderick, Michael Sanchez, Nate Gentry, ProgressNow New Mexico, Reform New Mexico Now, Tim Jennings