By Ed Yoon, Campaign Manager, Eric Griego for Congress (NM-1)
Yesterday, Marty Chavez claimed that “both Eric Griego and Michelle Lujan Grisham refused to even have a conversation about ending the absurd influence of anonymous, unaccountable third-party money in this campaign.” Chavez then sent out a fundraising appeal accusing Michelle Lujan Grisham and Eric Griego of “counting on their unaccountable third-party supporters to run negative ads” against him.
Let me get this straight: Marty Chavez is referring to Democratic Party allies -- including organizations representing women, conservationists, grassroots progressives, teachers, young people, seniors, and middle class workers -- to the anonymous, unaccountable corporate millionaire-funded groups led by George W. Bush operative Karl Rove and the industrial billionaires Koch Brothers?
In this election, Marty Chavez competed with Michelle Lujan Grisham and Eric for the same organizational endorsements from these Democratic allies working to create jobs and promote worker rights, conservation, women’s health, and progressive values. But he failed to win their support because of his record on their issues and less electability in the general election. So now, he has taken to equating these Democratic Party allies with tens of thousands of members in the district with the anonymous, unaccountable corporate-funded groups supporting the Republicans?
It is also richly ironic and hypocritical for Chavez to be condemning his competitors’ support in the race, and conveniently overlook his past of actively encouraging support from third party allies when it suited his own interest.
If Chavez is sincere about reform, he should follow Eric Griego’s example by embracing the Occupy Movement and pledge to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United; agree to support public financing of elections at all levels of elections; and support stronger ethical standards for elected representatives to hold them more accountable to the public.
What New Mexican voters deserve is for each of the candidates in the race – Democrat and Republican alike – and their supporters to run clean and honest campaigns focused on the ideas, values and issues that matter to the people of this district. That is why Eric Griego has led the field again by calling for the ‘Pledge for Clean Campaign’ in light of recent anonymous smear attacks against him inside the district outrageously comparing his support for Occupy protestors to flag burners and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Eric Griego pledges to honor the truth in this campaign. At no time during this campaign should any candidate, candidate's representative, supporter or endorsing organization distort the facts or spread falsehoods about any candidate's record. He has communicated to his staff and supporters that he will not tolerate any distortion of the facts in this campaign because the community deserves better than that. He calls on each of his opponents in this race – Democrat and Republican alike – to join him in pledging to run a clean and honest campaign.
And a final point: A smart and well-organized campaign does not count on anything other than their own ability to run a strong people-powered campaign. Thankfully, we seem to be in good shape: Eric Griego was just named one of the nation’s “Top 10 Grassroots All-Stars” in a national competition of more than 200 other progressive Democratic challenger and open seat candidates throughout the country. Eric’s thousands of supporters proved that Eric has the grassroots strength to keep this Democratic-leaning seat in progressive hands in 2012.
So here are my words of advice: Instead of attacking progressives and other Democratic allies, and sounding desperately afraid of competitors, each candidate should consider just trying to run a good clean and honest campaign like we are. We sleep well at night doing just that.
Learn more about Eric Griego for Congress, visit www.griegoforcongress.com.