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Republicans spew a lot of ugliness on gay rights, guns, abortion, and other subjects too numerous to name. But they usually keep their arguments against raising the minimum wage semi-wonky. Wrong, but at least not personally nasty. Not Steve Kush, executive director of the Republican Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, though! At a county commission meeting on raising the minimum wage, Kush had this to say about a 19-year-old Working America member there to testify:

Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch
@snkush via Facebook
Again, 19 years old, not an employee of an advocacy organization, there to tell her elected representatives on the county commission why she wants to see a higher minimum wage. But Kush didn't stop there. As Working America's state director stood to testify, Kush kept going:
Facebook exchange. Republican Party of Bernalillo County, NM, Steve Kush: “Uh oh another Working America chick…nice boots…” describing the organization’s director who was also in line to testify.   Bob Cornelius, the county party’s former executive director and former state land commissioner candidate, replied in comments:  “Maybe she used those shoes to walk Central…” a reference to Central Avenue, portions of which have been identified as hubs for prostitution.
As you might guess, "walking Central" is a reference to a street where prostitutes gather. And Bob Cornelius, the guy who said that? A former executive director of the county Republican party, and a former candidate for state land commissioner.

So to these New Mexico Republican leaders, raising the minimum wage—an idea with 71 percent support nationally, which 66 percent of Albuquerque voters voted to do in November, and which was passed by the New Mexico state legislature only to be vetoed by the governor—is a "radical" position. And apparently, the offense of being a young woman daring to speak out publicly in disagreement with these princes among men makes you a bitch and a whore. Way to help that whole Republican rebranding effort, guys.

1:32 PM PT: Bob Cornelius has deleted his comment and apologized. Steve Kush has not.

1:55 PM PT: The Bernalillo County Commission did vote to raise the minimum wage for the county. But millions of hard-working Americans still need a raise. Tell Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 and tie it to inflation so workers won't have to wait years for their next raise.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, New Mexico Kossaks, and Daily Kos.

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