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Gentry: How Low Can You Go?

Gentry: How Low Can You Go?

“I will not make personal attacks, OK? I will respond with the facts and with accurate information.” 

That’s Rep. Nate Gentry, an incumbent running against challenger Mary Ellen Broderick for the House District 30 seat. The next day – the next day! – mailboxes all over that district in Albuquerque started filling with a flier. “Should we stand with the victims… or the child killers?” it says, next to an image of a man in a zip-up hoodie whose face is shrouded by shadow. It’s a combination of gang-banger stereotype and the Grim Reaper. 

On the other side of the flier it says, in big yellow letters, “Mary Ellen Broderick sides with the child killers and against justice.” There’s a dark photo of someone’s head pressing up against jail-cell bars. This piece of cardboard trash was “Paid for by the Committee to Elect Nate Gentry.” It explains in a gray box that because Broderick opposes the death penalty “even for child molesters who murder their victims” she’s “standing with special interests.” 

That’s insane. That is so insane. Broderick responded on her great blog DemocracyForNewMexico.com with a nuanced argument against the death penalty on moral and economic grounds. She also has insight into the issue because Democracy for New Mexico covered the news story in 2009 when Republicans and Democrats voted together to pass the death-penalty repeal, a move supported by an overwhelming majority of New Mexicans. 

“Sides with the child killers against justice.” Jesus. This is base and disgusting and genuinely stupid, and it should disqualify Gentry for office. This should be a deal breaker with voters. The connection is nonexistent on this flier, but Gentry wanted to get a bad, black-and-white photo of his opponent next to the words “child killers” and “child molesters who murder their victims.” How infuriating that Gentry would scrape so low and assume voters are so empty-headed. 

I’ve seen Gentry in legislative action, and he’s bad news. In a very serious House Voters and Elections Committee meeting during the last legislative session, he acted the hacky caricature of sleaze-ball politicians. The subject was amending the New Mexico Constitution to say health care is a “fundamental right.” Instead of arguing in any intelligent manner about the issue, Gentry kept throwing his hands into the air and saying he didn’t know what the word “affordable” means. “What does ‘accessible’ mean? … I don’t mean to be flip.” Yeah, you do. All you have is flip. 

Gentry also had a push poll taken in District 30 for the race against Broderick. Not content to simply fear monger, his campaign got homophobic as well. “Would you vote for Mary Ellen Broderick if you knew she was a lesbian?” the poll asked. “Would you vote for Mary Ellen if you knew that she is going to try to get gay marriage passed?” 

That’s totally classless, considering the context. Broderick responded on her blog: “Yes I am gay. I am a lesbian. I had a wonderful soul mate for 23 years who passed away in December of last year after a short 3 month battle with colon cancer. We were never married, but I am a widow. … To whomever is responsible for this push poll, listen up – I am ready for the onslaught of disparaging remarks and fliers because I loved another woman. I run for this NM House of Representatives seat with a deep-seeded worry about many issues and matters facing all of us.” 

Gentry has been a goon for Gov. Susana Martinez. When a State Fair Commissioner named Charlotte Rode started digging into the billion-dollar State Fair lease that was weirdly awarded to under-qualified Martinez campaign donors, Gentry launched an investigation into Rode, formally requesting her emails for no possible good reason except to send a message from the angry governor. The Albuquerque Journal called Gentry “the designated hitter for the administration on the Downs deal.” That’s perfect, because the Downs deal is dirty as hell. 

Gentry also has a history with drunk driving, but Broderick doesn’t touch that in her campaign fliers. Instead of saying “Nate Gentry sides with drunk drivers because he IS one,” Broderick’s flier features a picture of her smiling and a list of her credentials. One of her little issues bullet points says “Restore accountability and transparency in the Roundhouse and cut through the partisan gridlock to find solutions to New Mexico’s problems.” 

Maybe she means it. No wonder they’re fighting so scuzzy. Seriously, the hoodied reaper and the child killer are stupid. It should be hard to believe this exists. Nate Gentry, you are truly lame.    

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