House Republican Whip Rod Montoya Rebukes Inflammatory Union Rhetoric
Santa Fe, NM – House Republican Whip Rod Montoya (R-San Juan) rebuked an inflammatory remark made by the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly following the release of Gov. Susana Martinez’ FY 2018 budget proposal. Yesterday, the union released a statement saying the Governor was calling on state agencies to “’tighten their belts’ while hoping we don’t notice she’s placed it around our necks.”
“Lawmakers from both parties will convene in Santa Fe next week to work on developing a budget to keep New Mexico solvent. It’s a serious situation, and the overheated imagery used by this union is shameful,” said Montoya. “While no one enjoys the prospect of potential budget cuts, using a metaphor tinged with violent and racial overtones deepens divisions and obstructs cooperation. We should be able to debate issues in a civil and responsible manner. Unfortunately, this disgusting comment continues a pattern of reckless name-calling and race-baiting by Democrats and their allies. New Mexicans deserve a level of discourse that is as serious as the issues we are facing.”
Last year during a committee hearing on a bill regarding New Mexico driver’s licenses, Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque) compared the situation facing immigrants in the United States to the Holocaust by saying Donald Trump would put people “in boxcars and send them where they don’t want to go.” Maestas had previously alluded to the Holocaust during a debate on driver’s licenses in 2012 as well. Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque) also invoked Holocaust imagery on the same topic in 2015.
In 2011, Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton referred to Gov. Martinez as “the Mexican on the fourth floor” during an exchange with then Rep. Nora Espinoza. Gov. Martinez is the first Hispanic female elected to serve as a state governor.