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Grisham should stop unfair attacks

Kim Griego

Kim Griego

We knew this would be a tough primary race with three strong candidates vying to represent Democrats in the general election. What we didn’t expect was that it would turn so negative and that Eric’s opponents would attack him so personally.

When my husband Eric and I decided that he was going to get into this congressional race, it was a big decision for our family. Our son Lucas is three years old and we both wanted to make sure we would be there for him. As a special education teacher, I know how important those early years are in a child’s life. We decided together that it was the right thing to do for our community.

We live in the house Eric grew up in Barelas. He has led the youth choir at his neighborhood church for the last 10 years and spent the last four years leading the state’s most prominent children and family advocacy organization. Almost every day, we drive by the place he went to Head Start, the public schools he attended and the place his single mother worked.

Growing up in a single-parent home shaped his values. As an Albuquerque city councilman, Eric led the fight against predatory lending, to increase the minimum wage for working families and for campaign finance reform. As a state senator he took on establishment conservative Democrats to try to pass early childhood funding, protect public education and eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations.

We knew this would be a tough primary race with three strong candidates vying to represent Democrats in the general election. What we didn’t expect was that the primary would turn so negative and that Eric’s opponents would attack him so personally. As his wife and as a woman, I am so disappointed and disgusted that Michelle Lujan Grisham and some of her prominent supporters including Diane Denish have decided to attack his character and motivation for running.

Rather than focus on the issues…

Rather than focus on the issues, Michelle has used her staff, surrogates and her allies in the conservative media to bring up old issues related to traffic tickets, Eric’s work on children’s issues, and even his hard work taking on establishment politicians in the Senate.


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During the televised debate last week, Michelle and Marty Chávez seemed to coordinate an attack on Eric’s work on behalf of kids and families – questioning his motivations. Instead of taking the high road, Michelle used the debate as an opportunity to question his character and commitment to kids and families.

Michelle has also criticized him for taking on these progressive fights in the Senate. Eric led fellow progressive Democrats in some of the toughest battles for working families. Sadly, because of establishment politicians and conservative Democrats, we could not pass legislation to provide adequate funding for early childhood, our schools were not adequately funded, and the wealthiest New Mexicans and out-of-state corporations were spared from paying their fair share.

The reason why almost every group representing working people – from the teachers to nurses to public employees – have endorsed Eric in this race is because they know his record and his character. They know he took on the tough fights many of his colleagues were not willing to take on, because of politics or fear of retribution from powerful establishment legislators.

The best person to fight for women and families

Michelle Lujan Grisham and her surrogates have suggested that only she can fight for women and families. I resent that as a woman. Eric has spent his career on the front lines of fighting for women and families as an advocate, an elected official and an active member of his community.

I hope other women and mothers will reject the attacks that Michelle Lujan Grisham and her conservative allies in the media and elsewhere have launched against Eric. I know him best. I have watched him as a loving father, dedicated husband and passionate fighter for kids who came from families like his. Those who know his heart know he is the best person to fight for women and families in Congress.

Kim Griego is Eric Griego’s wife, mother to Lucas their 3-year-old son, and has worked with and for young children with special needs and their families for 20 years. She currently works for the Albuquerque Public Schools in the Special Education Department.

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16 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.

  1. Nobody said anything about voting for crooks, Qui Tam.  I certainly wouldn’t!  I’m simply advising voters to ignore the mud-slinging and vote for the candidate who best shares their values.  I do not believe either the traffic tickets or late property tax payments are substantive issues.  (The nursing home and ABQPAC scandals are different in my view.)
    Seriously, you think this Congressional race is about speeding tickets and late tax payments?  Puh-leeze.  I resent the <i>ad hominem</i> argument against me, but I’ll ignore it for the time being.  If you knew me you wouldn’t say such a thing, but niceties like logic and common decency often go out the window in the least days of close campaigns.

  2. “petty distractions” – wow! Vote for Jerome Block! Vote for Manny Aragon! Vote for any crook with a history as long as your passionate. Spoken like a real Ward Chair…in the Democratic Party. God help us.

  3. Forget all the petty distractions: Eric’s tickets, Michelle’s late payments of property taxes, Marty’s alleged embezzler girlfriend and the like.  Vote for the candidate you believe will give you the best representation in Congress.  If you’re passionate about your preferred candidate, help him or her out in this last week before the election.  For me, that’s Eric Griego. 
    I could argue against most points the Lujan Grisham make, and refute most of them.  However, I’ve already done that in weeks gone by!  I’m finished wasting my time and breath arguing with Michelle’s staffers.  It’s GOTV for me.  The rest of you can do what you please.

  4. All this back and forth sniping is typical of politicians and politics. They’ll do and say anything just to win office, and when they do, they get co-opted by the system, work for themselves and become wealthy.

    Congress’ approval rating is in the sewer, and you all want to become a member of this elitist, self-serving group?  And don’t tell me it’s because you want to improve things or change things – that doesn’t happen in Washington. 

  5. Hahaha, there goes Ken505 again!  I think Ken505 might have a secret crush on Griego!  He sure spends all of his time thinking about him, writing about him, and doing his best to encourage all of us to vote for Eric Griego, just in spite of Ken505.  I know he’s now convinced me to vote for him.  Thanks Ken505, you helped me make my decision.  

  6. Rehashing these attacks and criticisms are really tiresome.  Eric is running a positive campaign, and I will respect that by refusing to stoop to these comments.  

    Time to get the vote out — THAT’s how we honor the military men and women on this Memorial Day! 

  7. These comments are tiresome. Same old, same old attacks and criticisms.  

    Eric has run a clean and positive campaign.  I won’t undermine it by resorting to my own criticisms of Michelle Lujan-Grisham.

    Instead, I’m going to help get the vote out next Tuesday — the best way to remember the men and women in the military on the Memorial Day.

  8. When your are talking about her friends in the right wing media, were you referring to the Weekly Alibi? This is what they had to say about her when they gave her their endorsement .The Alibi Endorses Michelle Lujan Grisham: District 1 Democrats are lucky this year. You’ve got two excellent congressional candidates to choose from. Lujan Grisham has shown that she knows how to work across the aisle and push forward-thinking legislation. She’s an obvious progressive. She also comes across as remarkably passionate about her district, the 99 percent and creating a better life for those who are scraping by in this economy,http://alibi.com/feature/41607/United-States-Representative.html

  9. The only attack that I have seen is Eric’s Super PAC ad attacking Michelle Lujan Grisham.  Eric needs to call for his PAC friends to stop attacking.  I am appalled that he has not done so.  We have not heard a peep out of him regarding Super PACs since one jumped into this race on his side.  If Marty or Michelle had a Super PAC fighting for them, Eric would be crying foul.    

    “Eric led progressive democrats”? when?  He voted for SB502 in 2011 legislative session that would have tied a teachers job to student test scores.  http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/11%20Regular/bills/senate/SB0502SVOTE.pdf
    He voted with the Governor on the most non-progressive issue in education.  

    Regarding Campaign Finance Reform, he did pass a bill as a city Councilor, but never used the reform for his election to the city council.  Where is the reform? The bill was good enough for everyone else but not Eric?  

    I am tired of the gridlock in Santa Fe and DC, Eric added to the gridlock in Santa Fe with his stick to my guns and Never compromise attitude and will only make things worse in DC. 

    I used to be undecided until the Super PAC got involved, now I am still undecided but will choose between Marty or Michelle.  

  10. Griego wants to live by his own set of rules
    ALEC

    Griego’s Public Position 
    Eric Griego is an outspoken opponent of corporate donations and ALEC.

    Griego’s Private Position 
     AltriaGlaxoSmithKline, and Union Pacific are all major players in ALEC and donated to Griego.
    Clean ElectionGriego’s 

    Expectations for Other Politicians 
    Eric Griego made cleaning up elections a center piece of this campaign. Senate Memorial 3 opposed Citizens United and called on Congress to send a Constitutional Amendment to the states to overturn the court’s ruling 

    Eric’s Expectations for Himself
    Griego is benefiting from a Super PAC that is launching a negative attack against his opponent. The Progressive Kick has spent at least $20,275 in support of Griego. 
    Fighting for Working Families

    New Mexico Voices for Children
    Griego was the Executive Director who earned almost a six figure salary. During his time there, he fought to increase resources dedicated to poor children.

    The Severance Package
    He took a $24,000 severance package that was not part of his contract. The poverty level for a family of four is $23,050. He did not need to work for the money meant for poor children.There is also a campaign component associated with the $24,000 windfall. Was the payout a campaign contribution? TheFEC took a look at that question. Listen to the FEC.
    Following the Rules

    The Bankers
    Eric Griego produced commercial where he said,” I won’t stop until Wall Street bankers who broke the law go to jail.”

    Griego
    He has had 11 warrants because he believes the rules we must live by do not apply to him.

    More at the linkhttp://griegovskeller.blogspot.com/2012/05/blog-post.html

  11. I am sure Lujan Grisham’s husband would have come to his wife’s defense but he died 7 years ago. This left her a single mother struggling to keep her family together. She had also started a new job a couple of weeks before he died. Her new job was the Secretary of Health and Human Services. She is the best person to fight for New Mexico working families because she has lived  their struggle. 

    The Griego campaign and unlimited money from a corrupt Super PAC is being used to distort her record. She was chosen to lead Health and Human Services because they knew she could clean up the mess. It was a very difficult time in her life but she rose to the challenge. A few months after she became the Secretary, she invited the DOJ to come in. They commended her for her work and her support of their investigation.

    The problems existed before she was selected as Secretary and clean house when she got there. She actually got the certification needed to run a nursing home so she could take direct control of the worst nursing home that existed before she was chosen to be the Secretary. This gave her the  power to demand the staff to change their practices. She should be commended for her work as the Secretary of Health and Human Services because nursing homes were in horrible shape before she took the job and they were much better shape when she left the job. 

    Blaming her for problems that existed before she was highered is like blaming Obama for the economic crisis. The Republicans are trying to do that. It is sad when a self-proclaimed progressive who says he fought for clean elections is willing to engage in deceptive Republican tactics. This isnt the first time he has turned his back on progressive values and it won’t be the last

  12. I agree with MHS. There is no indication that those tickets were anything serious.  And the DUI occurred when Griego was 31.  He is now settled down with a wife and a son.  I am more concerned about his one chaptered bill out of 51 sponsored bills.

  13. It has been my experience in life that people who do not respect our laws and show it by finding ways to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, whether traffic tickets, multiple DUI, or even jaywalking, are people who think they are above the law and too important to be bothered with such trivia.  Mr. Griego is not the only elected person to show this, there are many others. But, that doesn’t impress me wrt their character and certainly not to be elected to represent the people in our government.  But that’s just me, other people seem have no problems with it…..

  14. Michael,

    1).      Yeah, he could have run a school bus off the road and killed 50 little kids …  My point exactly.  I do believe in redemption.  But my point goes to poor judgment.  The failure to appear on the other tickets also shows poor judgment in addition to ther other things that I mentioned.

    2).      Frankly, I think he showed the justice system about as much respect as it deserved:  It is not about the tickets; it is his response once he gets the tickets – failing to show up at the appointed time.  In most cases, one can just mail in the payment for the ticket.  It would be a bit of a jump to asasume that he did not have the money to pay the tickets, but it is worth the question why he did not simply mail the payments in instead of waiting.  If this spouse /father/leader of children wants to be a credible Congressman, he should be willing to obey all of the laws – even the ones he does not like.  As a final note, I must ask, if he has gotten that many tickets, how many more times has he been pulled over?  Almost all of us have who have driven in NM realize that the traffic officers give a lot of breaks to a lot of people – especially to sitting State Senators.

  15. Paying your debt to society and moving on and becoming a productive member of society used to be considered a good thing.  Now we seem to be caught in this belief in endless punishment, in making sure that any mistake will ruin one’s entire life.
     
    The DWI conviction, though 15 years ago, shows a major case of poor judgment that could have caused the harm or death to an innocent.
     
    Yeah, he could have run a school bus off the road and killed 50 little kids, and one of those kids could have grown up to discover a clean and free source of unlimited energy, and another could have grown up to discover a panacea that cured all illnes, so he could be responsible for untold millions of deaths.  So we should hold him responsible for those millions of deaths he could have caused.
     
    You’re kidding, right? Because of what could have (but didn’t) happen 15 years ago we should decide that whatever he’s done with his life since we can never let him (and ourselves) move past that point in the past?
     
    Nor am I impressed that he showed disrespect for traffic tickets. Traffic tickets just aren’t a big deal. You pay your fine – or you pay the additional fine for failing to pay the fine when you were supposed to or whatever – and on you go. It’s not like untold millions of people were killed by his failure to pay his tickets, either. Frankly, I think he showed the justice system about as much respect as it deserved: he paid the penalties that the law imposes, and that should be the end of it. If you want to make Failure to Appear a 1st degree felony with the possibility of the death penalty, talk to the legislature and change the law.

  16. Mrs. Griego,

    Thank you for taking the time to pubicly come to the defense of your husband.  Your article is not too surprising since most spouses would do the exact same thing that you are doing (i.e., speaking up for their candidate spouse in time of travail).

    However, I take real issue with your glossing over of your spouse’s traffic record.

    The DWI convixtion, though 15 years ago, shows a major case of poor judgment that could have caused the harm or death to an innocent.  If he is such a good dad, why would he not strive to build the credibility with his kids on this issue in particular.    

    Multiple traffic citations is one thing – but multiple missed court appearances reflects the following attitude(s) of your spouse: 1). A complete lack of attenetion to detail that prevents him from appearing before a court of law when he is supposed to; and/or, 2). A contempt for the process of the laws of the state of New Mexico; and/or, 3). An arrogance that reflects the attitude, “I am too important of a person to have to appear when they say I do – I will take care of it later.”  Whether one, two or all three of the reason played a part, all three show a poor judgment.  The latest incident wass within the last five years!     

    I do hope the people of CD 1 realize that good values are not enough to earn a nomination, a record of good judgment should be required as well.  Your spouse’s judgment choices over the last 15 years do count and they do matter.

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