Herrell takes unfounded jabs from Democrats

For the past month, almost daily, the Democratic Party of New Mexico has sent out an email accusing Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., and other state GOP leaders of continuing to “dodge the press.”

The allegations are false and a bit hypocritical. There is a member of the state’s congressional delegation who appears to be dodging the press, but it isn’t Herrell.

Herrell has given numerous interviews to media outlets throughout the state since she was elected in November. She’s tried to explain what has been her most controversial action: her objection to the results of the 2020 presidential election. And her office has also provided responses to specific questions the Journal and other media outlets have asked.

“We’ve literally done an interview or provided a response to every media outlet in the district who requested one,” Herrell’s spokesman, Jordan Haverly, said in an interview Friday.

Meanwhile, the Journal’s efforts to reach Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., have been unsuccessful – for more than two months.

Haaland and her communications team have been tight-lipped about some pretty historic topics, including her nomination to be the first Native American Cabinet secretary, the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the impeachment of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden’s orders curbing oil and natural gas leases on public lands.

I can’t find evidence of any interviews she’s given to any New Mexico media outlet on any of those topics since she was tapped to be interior secretary, though she did give an interview to a New York Times columnist in December.

“Rep. Haaland has given several public statements in recent weeks that the Albuquerque Journal has covered,” Felicia Salazar, her spokeswoman, said in an email. “Rep. Haaland continues her work in Congress, but the interest around her nomination leads to fewer interview requests about that work.”

I also asked the state Democratic Party if it was being hypocritical by accusing Herrell of dodging the press when Haaland has been MIA.

DPNM spokeswoman Miranda van Dijk said in a statement that the party thinks Herrell has avoided answering specific questions, including those about her objection to the election results.

“We are not simply asking her to speak to the press, but calling on her to address these specific issues, which are of concern to all of her constituents,” she said.

IMPEACHMENT: New Mexico’s two senators, both Democrats, voted Saturday that former President Donald Trump was “guilty” of “incitement of insurrection.”

And after Trump was acquitted by the Senate after his second impeachment trial, they castigated the former president and his hold on the Republican Party in public statements.

“Many members of Congress are literally scared to death of this man who has taken over the Republican Party and turned it into a dangerous and violent cult of personality. I get it. We all felt fear when we saw what that mob was capable of doing to us and to America,” Sen. Martin Heinrich said. “I was fearful that day that my sons might never see their father again.”

The Senate voted 57-43 in Trump’s impeachment trial, falling 10 votes short of the threshold needed for conviction.

“I took no pleasure in voting to convict President Trump for inciting an insurrection against the U.S. government,” Sen. Ben Ray Luján said. “However, there is no doubt that the former president did everything in his power to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”

Ryan Boetel: rboetel@abqjournal.com


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