Jay McCleskey and Keith Gardner, the key members of Governor Susana Martinez’s “bad boys” team, are pulling their bullying tactics again.
They have launched another smear against Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, accusing him of misleading the public. They are referring to the now infamous recording made of Gardner by Brian Powell of Roswell during a lengthy conversation.
But facts are stubborn things.
Both McCleskey and Gardner are proven liars, with witnesses who refute each of their denials of battering women. It is doubtful that either one would recognize the truth even if right before their eyes.
McCleskey’s latest attack mailer from Reform New Mexico Now accuses Jennings of “distorting a secret recording between two fathers”.
But the recording’s content has been widely reported by the media. There are no distortions. Gardner’s own words hang him high.
The McCleskey/Gardner spin machine tried casting Gardner as a victim. But their ploy only lasted until the full recording was made public, proving Gardner was no victim.
The “two fathers”, as described in McCleskey’s mailer, were discussing a criminal case in which Brian Powell’s daughter was the victim of criminal sexual contact by a 47-year-old teacher at her high school.
Gardner’s offspring (McCleskey outed the relationship with the statement, “two fathers” didn’t he?) was a key witness, according to the discussion between Gardner and Powell. Gardner’s offspring played a key role in the situation, dropping Powells’ daughter off and picking her up from the rendezvous with the teacher.
Gardner referenced his offspring’s actions on the recording, describing it as “the drop off”.
Throughout the recording Gardner makes offers to Powell of high-level state jobs, but only if Powell commits to moving his family far away from Roswell where the case against the predatory teacher was to be tried.
To coax Powell into leaving Roswell, Gardner tells Powell how much he himself hates Roswell and how leaving Roswell was the “best” thing Gardner ever did when Martinez appointed Gardner chief of staff. (He even made sure his wife was given her own high-level state job.)
Gardner also tried to convince Powell that the people of Roswell will blame the Powell family instead of the predator over the criminal charges. Gardner clearly wanted to convince Powell that it was in his best interest to leave Roswell.
So Gardner’s own words prove that Jennings did not mislead the public with his advertisements using Gardner’s own words against him.
But the “bad boy” bully team seems to have forgotten one critical component to the recording. Brian Powell:
Powell made the recording because of his grave concerns Gardner, and Gardner’s offspring, might intentionally undermine the criminal prosecution and deny his own daughter a chance at justice. Powell simply sought to protect his daughter, the real victim, because of legitimate suspicions that Gardner might tamper with the criminal case.
What did happen at the trial? Were Brian Powell’s concerns about Gardner and Gardner’s offspring’s actions proven to be true?
According to the Roswell Daily Record article “Lawrence Trial, Day 2” dated May 10, 2012, “the student, who the victim reported as having seen the texts from Lawrence, denied seeing them and denied discussing the Feb. 4 incident with her. Hutchins (the ADA handling the trial) read excerpts of her testimony from a previous court hearing that appeared to contradict her current statements, and the witness said she did not remember.
Hutchins noted that the witness was friends of the Lawrence family, which she confirmed.
‘I noticed he gave you a wink when you left the court.’ Hutchins said.
Witt (defense attorney) objected, but Hutchins justified the statement as saying something about the witness credibility. Hutchins inquired if the high school student was still best friends with the victim, and she admitted that she was not.”
We can all do some basic math. You can add Gardner’s comments about the relationship between Powell’s daughter and Gardner’s offspring, to the reporter’s coverage of the trial. Two and two together equals four. It is readily apparent who the witness was that the reporter described in the trial coverage.
The truth means nothing to McCleskey or Gardner. They will say or do anything to unseat Jennings. Cliff Pirtle, Jennings’ opponent and beneficiary of McCleskey’s mailer, has made no effort to condemn their lies. And Governor Martinez continues to defend her “bad boy” bullies.