Home  >  New Mexico  >  “I absolutely crossed the line” — Bernalillo County GOP exec suspended for Facebook comments

“I absolutely crossed the line” — Bernalillo County GOP exec suspended for Facebook comments

By   /   April 24, 2013  /   No Comments

It’s been said that what goes on the internet is never erased from the internet but a couple Republicans apparently missed that lesson and it’s resulted in a top-ranking official of the Bernalillo County GOP getting suspended indefinitely.

“I absolutely crossed the line,” Steve Kush, the executive director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party told New Mexico Watchdog Wednesday (April 24). “It was dumb; it was stupid.”

FACEBOOK FLAP: Two New Mexico Republican officials get in hot water over their comments on Facebook. Screengrab from 4/24/13.

FACEBOOK FLAP: Two New Mexico Republican officials get in hot water over their comments on Facebook. Screengrab from 4/24/13.

Kush and Bob Cornelius, who used to be the executive director for the same group, are under fire after posting a comments on their Facebook pages about two women taking part in public comment Tuesday night (April 23) at a Bernalillo County commissioners meeting on raising the minimum wage.

“Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch,” Kush posted while attending the meeting. Working America is a liberal group in favor of the proposal to raise the county’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour — something the commission approved on a 3-2 vote.

Kush later posted, “Uh oh another Working America chick…nice boots…I know she makes more than min wage” and Cornelius — who was not at the commission hearing — responded by writing, “Maybe she used those shoes to walk Central,” referring to a major street in Albuquerque known for prostitution.

Kush followed up by writing, “she was hot enough to almost make me register democrat.”

“It was my comments, made by me, on my personal internet account and in no way, shape or form does it reflect the opinions of the party,” Kush said in a phone interview. As a result, though, Bernalillo County Republican Party chairman Frank Ruvelo suspended Kush immediately, indefinitely and without pay. Kush said he’s a contract employee, working 20 hours a week, for the party.

Steve Kush, photo from his Facebook page

Steve Kush, photo from his Facebook page

“It was an ill-fated attempt at humor,” Kush said. “Do I regret it? Yes … I absolutely crossed the line.”

On Wednesday morning, Cornelius returned to Facebook page to write, “I did make that comment in jest & I do apologize to this lady for this off color comment. It’s not fair to her, and it was inappropriate for me to makes comments like that.”

Cornelius also posted an apology on Facebook to Chelsey Evans for his comments :

Chelsey-

Last night while friends of mine were attending the Bernalillo County Commission meeting, one of them made a snarky comment about you on Facebook. In response, I made a comment that was both inappropriate and un…fair to you. I did not attend the meeting. I do not know you and it is unfair for me to make such degrading comments in a public forum such as Facebook about someone I do not know. I made the comment in jest and it was indeed offensive. I have since removed that comment from my friend’s Facebook page and posted an apology to you in it’s place. I have also expressed my apologies to Miles.

I do applaud you for standing up and fighting for issues you believe in and it seems your efforts and others were successful last night at the meeting. Please accept my apology for my comment that was both unfair to you and inappropriate. I wish you continued success in your endeavors with Working America.

Bob Cornelius

New Mexico Watchdog left a voicemail message with Evans but as of 3:15 p.m. Wednesday had not heard back from her.

“We are disappointed by the attacks made through social media at yesterday’s county commission hearing,” Evans was quoted saying to the Huffington Post. “Comments like those have no place in public discourse. We have received an apology from one offending party and have accepted it.”

State Democrats are having a field day, with Scott Forrester of the Democratic Party of New Mexico sending out a news release headlined, “Bernalillo County Republican​s Resort to Childish Humor and Sexism During Minimum Wage Debate” and saying, “The Republican Party is out of touch, living in a different era, and every time they open their mouths they lose another chunk of mainstream America.”

“I know better,” Kush said. “I’ve been doing this (political work) for 20 years and I’ve helped people for doing stupid things. Now I’m the one who’s done stupid things.”

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rob@nmwatchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

Click here to LEARN HOW TO STEAL OUR STUFF!

Since 2010, Rob Nikolewski has covered New Mexico politics and investigated fraud, waste and abuse in government. He also writes an opinion column in the Sunday editions of the Santa Fe New Mexican. Rob joined New Mexico Watchdog after 20 years in television as a sports anchor and reporter. He anchored at MSNBC, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Reno and Boise, winning three regional Emmy awards along the way. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio.

x

Join other concerned citizens who get the latest updates from Watchdog.org on government waste, fraud, or abuse.


Read stories like:

Enter your email and stay on top of the news that matters.