State Representative from Dona Ana County in the Headlights

New Mexico State Representative Bill McCamley, District 33 (Dona Ana County)

New Mexico State Representative Bill McCamley, District 33 (Dona Ana County)

There has been a lot of anger from some people in Las Cruces over an initiative to collect signatures to recall three city council members from their positions; Olga Pedroza, Gil Sorg and Nathan Small. All three identify as liberals and have responded in typical fashion to charges of improper and unethical behavior in their elected positions; they’ve responded with defensiveness and smug self-righteousness. In the case of Nathan Small, fear of losing his position that has led him to flip-flop more desperately than a fish in the sand. There are plenty who are coming to their defense the only way that liberals seem to know how to…by attacking others. In this case, the attacks have been leveled at the people involved in the recall initiative. Many are trying to diminish the leadership of those spearheading the recall initiative by pointing out that some are not native New Mexicans and therefore, in their eyes, don’t have a legitimate right to get involved. They do this while ignoring that two of these three council members aren’t New Mexico natives, either. They’re accusing those who are collecting petition signatures of lying in order to get those signatures, misrepresenting either the wrongdoings of the council members or claiming that the petition is about an entirely different issue than the recall. Of course, none of those making those accusations have so far produced a single scrap of supporting evidence while many people, myself included, have witnessed nothing other than honest representation from these signature collectors. While this sort of behavior from the left had come to be pretty much expected, one individual has crossed the line so blatantly that it’s caught nearly everyone off guard.

As reported on the local Las Cruces radio show, The Kelly O’Connell Show on January 19, NM State Representative for District 33 (Doña Ana County) Bill McCamley engaged in what amounts to an aggressive assault against a young lady here in Las Cruces.
Earlier this month, the 19-year-old girl, who was working to collect signatures for the recall of Olga Pedroza, knocked on a door that appears now to be the address that Bill McCamley claims as his residence. A woman answered the door and, when presented with the petition, asked some questions which the girl answered. The woman then signed the petition. At that point, the girl then asked if there was anyone else at home who might be willing to sign. The woman pointed to a car that was pulling up at the house and said that the man driving might sign. She went over to talk to the man, who turned out to be Bill McCamley, although she did not recognize him. When he realized what her petition was for, he began yelling at her and then began yelling at the woman at the front door for signing the petition. In order to avoid confrontation and make matters worse, the girl began walking away from the house. At that point, McCamley started running after the girl, yelling at her again. Fearful for her own safety at this point, she called her supervisor, who was only about a block away. By this point, McCamley was right up on the girl, yelling right in her face. The supervisor arrived and witnessed this and actually stated that, as being trained and licensed for concealed carry of a firearm in New Mexico, if she had been carrying her handgun that night, McCamley’s behavior was so aggressive that she would’ve considered drawing her weapon for defense.
The signature collector was quoted on the Kelley O’Connell Show as saying after the incident, “In this job, I anticipate getting chased by a dog, but I never imagined it would be the state representative. I was pretty scared.”
A police report was filed that night, but nothing has come of this story so far. The local newspaper, The Las Cruces Sun News, hasn’t even mentioned it. Afterwards, though, McCamley did make a statement on his Facebook account that he said was an apology, but was severely lacking in the language or appearance of remorse one might expect from a sincere apology of any substance. He wrote:
“OK, so I owe an apology. A canvasser for Close the Cafe came by my house looking for signatures to remove Olga Pedroza from the City Council. I asked why, and there was no answer given. I then went and spoke to her supervisor, and asked the same thing. When no answer was given, I raised my voice and took a frustrated and intense tone of voice in the conversation.
I didn’t touch anyone, or threaten anyone. I want to make that perfectly clear. However, raising my voice isn’t right. Though I disagree passionately with that movement (as it sets a horrible precedent for elected officials), discourse should be held in a civilized and polite manner. And that young, paid canvasser who came by my house certainly isn’t responsible for this issue. You all deserve better from your public officials, especially me.
And you have my word that sort of thing will never, ever happen again.”
Apparently, McCamley thinks that because he didn’t touch her or “threaten” her, what he did wasn’t so bad. While it’s true that, had he touched the girl, he would’ve been guilty of assault and battery, if it can be proven in court that he behaved as is being reported, then he still committed a crime: assault. Typical for someone like Bill McCamley, he is trying to diminish the seriousness of his behavior and blow it off as not being a big deal, saying it will never happen again. As a rule, that defense tends to stop being at all effective once a person is more than about eight years old.
The only defense that’s come close to being even slightly substantive has come from people like local radio host Keith Whelpley, who simply says that he doesn’t believe that he’s capable of that kind of behavior. Thank God that our system doesn’t simply weight guilt or innocence on the level of belief that those that know them have regarding the charges. If that we’re the case, we’d never convict serial killers due to the testimony of others as to their character (ie. “He was always quiet and kept to himself,” and “He was a good, thoughtful neighbor.”)
So, let me make two quick points, the second one carrying no more weight than anyone else’s thoughts about ‘belief’ of guilt or innocence: 1) Anyone is capable of just about anything. Failure to acknowledge that is simply ignorant and will regularly lead to disappointment at best. 2) From the online dealings I’ve had with Bill McCamley, the way I’ve seen him treat others and what I’ve heard from other people about his behavior, I have absolutely no problem believing him capable of going after someone he perceived as weaker than him and easily intimidated by him. He has struck me as an intellectual bully from the first time I was ever exposed to him and it’s a short road from that kind of bullying to other, more hands-on types.
Should the evidence prove that Bill McCamley did indeed attack this girl, there are three things I really hope happen. First, I want to see McCamley publicly humiliated as his actions are exposed for all to see and therefore lose any chance at serving in public office again. Second, that maybe he’ll even finally realize what it feels like to be honestly regretful of his behavior instead of just playing not so subtle lip service. Finally, and most importantly, I hope this girl finds the strength inside herself and realizes that, while fear is a perfectly natural reaction to a situation like she, it was McCamley who was reacting to her and what she was representing with fear and irrationality. I hope she comes to accept that, when you shine light into dark places, those that thrive in the dark may desperately try to extinguish the light, but they only strength they can ultimately bring against you is a false strength. True strength always comes from the light, not the shadows.

Dona Ana County Treasurer May Yet Lose His Job

Dona Ana County Treasurer David Gutierrez

Dona Ana County Treasurer David Gutierrez

While there is currently a petition drive in the city of Las Cruces to recall three city councillors, there may be another initiative shortly to recall the Treasurer for Dona Ana County, David Gutierrez. Unlike the city recall efforts, in this case, Gutierrez has actually admitted to committing the acts he’s been accused of.

On August 18, Gutierrez had gone to the post office with a female employee on Treasurer’s Office business, then to a bank. Afterward, Gutierrez offered her $1,000 to “spend a couple of hours with him at a hotel.” The employee said no and then told a supervisor what had happened on August 20. The two then reported to Deputy County Treasurer Rene Barba. Gutierrez walked in on the meeting and, when he asked what was going on, the employee told him she was reporting him. He then asked the employee to leave the room and asked Barba and the supervisor not to report the incident to county management to give him time to “resolve the matter with the employee,” a request that was immediately denied as it would’ve been a gross violation of proper procedure. In the course of the investigation, Gutierrez admitted to propositioning the employee and even clarified that the reason for going to the hotel would have been for sex.
Gutierrez didn’t attend the county commission meeting where the incident was to be discussed, but instead had county attorney John Caldwell read a statement that said, “I apologize to the commission for not being here today. Please do not take my absence as a sign of disrespect to you. I will respect the decision that the board makes today.” However, when the commission called for Gutierrez’s resignation, he refused and, since the commission doesn’t have the authority to force his resignation, they instead censured him, which simply amounts to a public reprimand with no actual punishment.
Prior to voting for censure, County Commissioner David Garcia said “I’m very sad today these kinds of things have to happen, but when they do happen, we have to move on it. I’m glad the procedures we have in place work.”
While the procedures may have worked, they also had absolutely no impact. Gutierrez committed two violations; soliciting an employee for sex and attempting to delay the investigation. Another thing that no one seems to be talking about right now is that David Gutierrez committed an actual crime as well by soliciting for prostitution. Yet, in the face of all of this, he has continued in his position as if nothing had happened. The lack of consequences for his behavior has not gone unnoticed, however.
Friday on both local Las Cruces AM radio shows, The Kelly O’Connell Show and Speak Up Las Cruces, Dolores Connor and Francis Williams came on to talk about the course of action they’ve decided to take on this issue.  Connor, a former Las Cruces City Council member and previous candidate for Mayor, and Williams, who has had a career investigating sexual harassment claims and is currently an appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights New Mexico State Advisory Committee, are very unhappy that, even after admitting to his behavior, Gutierrez remains in his position and is still collecting his $65,500 annual salary.
After waiting four months to give Gutierrez a chance to take appropriate action on his own, Dolores Conner went to the county commission on Tuesday to inform them that she has found a state statute providing for the removal of an elected official under these kinds of conditions. NMSA 10-4-2 lists a cause, among several others, for removal from office as:
” [6] G.  any other act [or acts which] that in the opinion of the court or jury [amount] amounts to corruption in office or gross immorality rendering the incumbent unfit to fill the office.”
They argue that offering a female employee $1,000 for sex is a perfect example of “gross immorality.” Connor and Williams say they are currently looking into taking action through the courts and a possible abbreviated petition drive to have Gutierrez removed from office. They will be meeting with Gerald Byer, an attorney at the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Las Cruces, NM to look at the law to explore those options in the coming week.
Connor also wants to propose a change to the NMSA at the upcoming legislative session to add sexual harassment to the allowed reasons for removal from office. At this point, the only actions that have been taken against David Gonzalez has been a censure that didn’t actually affect him outside of a little bad publicity and action taken by the Democrat Party Central Committee to remove him from his position with them but it is possible that, ultimately, his actions could result in not only his removal from office, but also an important and fundamental change to state law and the level of behavior required of our elected officials.

Thoughts On The Movie, Selma

Martin-Luther-King-JrThis weekend, I watched the new movie, Selma. Oprah Winfrey, a notoriously close-minded liberal with a willingness to throw the race card almost as much as the likes of Al Sharpton, was heavily involved in making this movie, so I was a little concerned about what I was going to see.
Surprisingly though, Selma is much more accurate than I ever expected. The historical inaccuracies are relatively minor and most are easily overlooked. I was disappointed that there was no mention of A.D. King, Dr. King’s younger brother (and father of Dr. Alveda King), who was also present in Selma. I was a little disappointed, but not terribly surprised. After all, I’d be willing to bet good money that there wasn’t a single conservative involved in the creation of this movie. Just the subject matter alone is enough to raise some very uncomfortable issues for Democrats when dealing with racial issues in America in a factual way. After all. It’s pretty hard to avoid the fact that the racist politicians and lawmen who obstructed, intimidated, brutalized and even murdered those who were demanding the liberties we are all endowed with, were all, without a single exception, Democrats: Bull Conner, Wilson Baker, George Wallace and even J. Edgar Hoover. Including the father of one of today’s influential and passionate black women, a Christian minister, pro-life activist and, yes, conservative Republican, probably hit a little too close to home for them. There were only actually two things about this movie I wanted to address.

LYNDON JOHNSON AS A RACIST
Speaking of shortcomings in our education system, one of the first things I heard about Selma that piqued my interest, was from some very offended liberals. Beside the fact that liberals have a default setting of being offended most of the time, this caught my attention because they were upset at how ‘historically inaccurate’ the movie is because it portrays President Lyndon Johnson as a…gasp…racist! To be clear, Johnson was absolutely a racist. Yes, he did support and sign the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (the bill he referred to as “the n*gg*r bill”), but only after dragging his feet and opposing it. In 1948, then Senator Johnson said, regarding the civil rights efforts during the Truman administration that it, “is a farce and a sham–an effort to set up a police state in the guise of liberty. I am opposed to that program. I have voted against the so-called poll tax repeal bill … I have voted against the so-called anti-lynching bill.” I assume that, for a man like Johnson, it was very important to protect the practices of poll taxes and lynchings. He fought against Eisenhower’s 1957 civil rights bill, ultimately using his position and power in the Senate to gut the bill of all its enforcement powers. He also fought against the 1960 Civil Rights Act. Johnson kept company with many like-minded racists in the Democrat Party but, unlike most of them, he came to understand the potential political power of a voting black populace and decided to attempt to rewrite his own history to make it look like he was the type of man who embraced what he’d actually been fighting against his whole life. A line from the PBS special, LBJ, says, “But the real measure of a leader is what he gets done, the size of the problems he faces. Before Lyndon Johnson, we were essentially a segregated society.” The thing is, if Johnson had his way, we would still be segregated today. It’s true that you measure a leader by what he gets done, but make no mistake. Johnson was not the leader to ‘get done’ anything to further the cause of Civil Rights in America; he was simply dragged along against his will in the wake of the real leaders of the time; people like Martin Luther King, Jr., A.D. King, John Lewis, Hosea Williams, James Orange, Roy Innis, A. Phillip Randolph, and Bayard Rustin, among so many others. These were the people who effected positive change in spite of the opposition of men like Lyndon Johnson. It’s sad that so many have since been conned into mistaking Johnson’s political expediency for any sort of change of heart or, even worse, have just blindly bought into the narrative of the man as some kind of Civil Rights hero because the media and other voices on the left say it’s so.

ATTEMPTS AT POLITICAL REPOSITIONING
The second thing that struck me came straight from the movie itself. While I wasn’t particularly surprised, it was disturbing to hear the words ‘progressive’ (used once) and ‘liberal’ (used twice) to describe the people who were inclined to support the Civil Rights Movement and the efforts of Dr. King. While it is true that the progressive movement wasn’t terribly advanced or high profile yet and the term ‘liberal’ was only beginning to be taken and twisted by the left, it’s clear what the subtle message that the movie makers are trying to get across is: that it was those evil Republicans who wanted to keep the black man down and the ones who could be rallied to stand against that racism were the Democrats. Of course, they had to make this message subtle for the simple reason that it’s an outright lie. Every single name mentioned in Selma as an enemy of equality was a devoted Democrat. It was the religious leaders that Dr. King called on for support, the majority of whom, at least those who were affiliated, were Republicans and definitely conservative, much like Dr. King himself. It was Republicans, both black and white, who were standing beside these activists across the nation, often losing their lives in the process, too. It was the NRA that was created specifically in order to arm and train black Americans so that they had a chance of defending themselves against those who immersed themselves in racial hatred, especially in the form of the Democrat sponsored, funded and manned Ku Klux Klan.
And, yes, I’m already hearing this nonsense starting to resurface about how there was this great party switch and the Republicans of then are now the Democrats of today. That’s always been a lie and always will be. To this day, the only example anyone can point to of a Democrat of that time becoming a Republican is Strom Thurmond. The thing is, Thurmond had a major change of heart and deed and turned his back on his racist practices and words. Of course he had to leave the Democrat Party. To do otherwise would’ve been like someone turning vegan but staying a member of the steak of the month club. (I assume something like that exists because, if it doesn’t, then it really, really should!) Here’s just a handful of Democrats (this article would be HUGE if I put all of them in) who were opposed to civil rights and equality for blacks who never made a single move to leave the Democrat Party: Orval Fabus, Bull Conner, Benjamin Travis Laney, John Stennis, James Eastland, Allen Ellender, Russell Long, John Sparkman, John McClellan, Richard Russell, Herman Talmadge, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, John Rarick, Robert Byrd (Bill Clinton’s good friend) and Al Gore, Sr. (his son invented the Internet).
The truth is, the place where those who wallow in racism or victimization or a desire to imprison people, be it in chains of iron or the more deceptive chains of entitlement and dependency, feel the most comfortable is the Democrat Party. That has never changed from Day One. The only things that have changed are the words they subvert to describe themselves and the increasing sophistication of the shell game they play to fool so many people.

BACK TO THE MOVIE
Believe it or not, in spite of the time I took addressing these two factors, they’re actually pretty minimal problems in regard to this movie. Selma is a movie I’d really encourage people to see. I really like the way it portrays Martin Luther King Jr.; as a man who is, like the rest of us, flawed and at times unsure, but who follows his conscience and commits himself to promoting what is right and standing against what is wrong. He sets a standard in those ways that is worthy of emulation and it is an example that so many members of the modern Republican Party would do well to take to heart before we completely lose our way. I found myself crying at the sight of people’s capacity for cruelty towards others and my heart swelled with pride at those who answered the call to oppose such overwhelming hatred and violence. While I’m used to the sort of biased tripe that Oprah Winfrey and other Hollywood liberals put out, like that train wreck of a movie (but not the book), The Butler, I do have to give credit where credit is due. Other than a couple of minor attempts to alter the political reality of our history, this movie is very well done and worth the time to watch.
Next time, I’ll be talking about how the new Dumb and Dumber movie is a direct parallel to the Democrat National Convention. Well, probably not, but you never know!

Stand up and reject the entitlement mentality

There are plenty of fundamental problems in our society that desperately need to be fixed. One of the major issues facing us is this pervasive entitlement mentality that has been eating away at our character as a people, constantly making us weaker and weaker…and less American. The most recent and local example of this is the minimum wage initiative by NMCAFe here in southern New Mexico.

In spite of the Las Cruces City Council putting forth a reasonable compromise of an increased minimum wage of $8.50/hour (something that made no one really happy, but something everyone could live with), NMCAFe plugged their ears and shut their eyes and pushed forward to get the $10.10/hour increase they wanted, no matter what the concerns of others might be or who might get hurt in the process (including those they claim to want to help). It’s this attitude of “I deserve” and “I’m owed” that’s allowed that kind of behavior to be tolerated and even embraced. So many people on both sides have failed to do what used to be the norm in America: telling those like NMCAFe Director, Sara Nolan, to grow up and learn how to work with others for something beyond their personal wants.

It’s not just a left-wing thing, either. We had a Republican running for Senate this past year, Allen Weh, who was just as guilty of wallowing in an entitlement mentality. He decided that, because of who he was, what he’d done in his past and the station in society he now holds, that he simply deserved to be elected and everyone who considered themselves conservative should just fall in line and support him blindly. Unfortunately for him, there are way too many people on the right who are fed up with being treated that way. Add to that the fact that he blatantly alienated large numbers of grass roots-oriented conservatives while making absolutely no effort to connect with conservative Democrats (Yes, there are a lot of those in New Mexico.). His run was a spectacular failure as large numbers of voters simply stayed away from the polls altogether and a huge block who did vote, withheld their votes from him. Yet, we have so many who demand the allegiance of voters simply because of the letter beside their names and the candidates names. Like expecting workers who want higher pay to be willing to put out the effort to earn it, we need to start demanding that our candidates and officials do something to actually earn our votes and our support, too.

Our nation is founded on the principle that we’re all created equal, not that equality needs to be imposed upon us throughout our lives and definitely not that those who earn more need to be forcibly brought down to a lower level out of some twisted sense of fairness and not that we need to be told to shut up and show ‘gratitude’ or ‘loyalty’ to those who claim to know so much more than we do and who claim to be looking out for our wellbeing. We need to stop acting like victims and giving our power away and embrace individual responsibility again…in ourselves and those around us.

After all, equality doesn’t need to be imposed, only defended against those who would directly attack it or twist, diminish and pervert it under the guise of empowerment and doing away with perceived inequalities (like the false narrative about the so-called income inequality). We need to return to the idea that, if we want something, then we should put out the effort to get it. If we’re not willing to do what it takes, then it’s obviously not important enough to us. Handing people what they haven’t earned is like rewarding a child who has behaved badly. In that kind of an environment, there should be no surprise when that child continues to behave badly, just as there should be no surprise when those being given higher wages or benefits or even votes under the guise of ‘equality’ or ‘loyalty’ or ‘a lesser of two evils’, regardless of effort, show no desire to excel or put out extra effort to earn what they want.

In small increments, kind of like putting a frog into cold water and then slowly heating it up, we’ve accepted so much of this sort of entitlement thinking as a part of modern life and it becomes more vitally important every day that we wake up and jump out of that pot while we’re still capable as a society of embracing personal responsibility and excelling in the process.