Was Weh really taking on his party over Iglesias?
That’s not quite inaccurate, but it’s also not quite how things happened.
First what Weh has recently claimed. Here’s a paragraph from a recent Wall Street Journal article on the U.S. attorney scandal:
“Mr. Weh, who is currently running for governor of New Mexico, on Tuesday portrayed his role in the firing as demonstrating his willingness to take on officials of his own party. ‘I have been equally critical of leaders in both political parties, those who have either betrayed the public trust or failed to do their job,’ he said.”
And then this more definite statement, given in an interview with KKOB-AM radio in Albuquerque:
“Think about this. I was taking on my own party. This is an appointee of the president of the United States. There would have been a lot of people who would have said, ‘Well, I’m not going to say anything about that guy.’”
Now the reality:
Weh certainly has taken on members of his own party in the past. In addition to being involved in the push to get Iglesias fired, the former state GOP chairman pushed for the ouster of former Bernalillo County GOP Chairman Fernando C de Baca last year after C de Baca made comments some interpreted as racist.
And, after former state Rep. Rory Ogle, R-Albuquerque, was charged with domestic violence in 2004, Weh called on him to withdraw his bid for re-election.
But Weh wasn’t the only New Mexico Republican trying to get Iglesias fired, or even the leader of that effort. The leader was former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici.
In addition to Weh and Domenici, documents reveal that a number of other Republicans were expressing concerns about Iglesias’ job performance to officials in Washington, including Pat Rogers, a prominent GOP attorney.
They eventually convinced some officials in Washington, including Karl Rove, to side with them, and those officials made the case that Iglesias should be fired.
To be certain, Weh played an integral role in Iglesias’ firing, as has been well documented. But when many prominent New Mexico Republicans including Domenici — the state’s senior senator and grandfather of the state GOP — were on his side, was Weh really “taking on my own party?”
Weh said this in a statement released by his campaign:
“I pushed for David Iglesias to be replaced, and I did it even though he was a Republican public official and President Bush’s appointee. In my years of service I have been equally critical of leaders in both political parties, those who have either betrayed the public trust or failed to do their job,” he said. “I am proud of that record of service and believe that Mr. Iglesias’s replacement has clearly done a much better job of fulfilling the duties of that office.”