Joe Carraro and others say they were threatened with smear jobs if they challenged Darren White for CD 1
Janice Arnold-Jones and Mark Boitano were told to forget running for Heather Wilson's seat
Arnold-Jones is stunned by Republican smear tactics
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is checking out allegations that state Sen. Joe Carraro, an Albuquerque Republican, was threatened with a vicious smear campaign—including threats to bring up a 20-year-divorce case and attempts to embarrass his family—if he went through with his decision to seek his party’s nomination for the First Congressional District seat.
The AG’s office is analyzing information to see if it warrants a full-blown investigation, said office spokesman Phil Sisneros.
“He (Carraro) has talked to the Attorney General about his concerns and his concerns have gone into the hopper,” Sisneros said. “The usual process is that we determine if there is something actionable, if there is something we can do. It is an analysis of the information.”
Carraro, who says the threats amount to extortion, has also taken the allegations to the FBI. He says the feds should be involved because some of the threats involved a former state Republican Party official who now works in
“These people should be in jail the way they’re threatening people,” Carraro said.
Carraro, who is running for the congressional seat being vacated by Heather Wilson, isn’t the only one who said they were threatened by Republican Party insiders. State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, R-Albuquerque, and state Sen. Mark Boitano, R-Albuquerque, said they received similar threats when they were considering runs for
Arnold-Jones said operatives threatened to go after her 20-year-old daughter, a student at the
Boitano, a legislator for 12 years, said he was informed through his campaign manager that he would be attacked for being a member of the
All three said they were warned that party officials had already decided that their candidate was to be Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White.
Carraro said operatives threatened to embarrass him with details of a nearly 20-year-old divorce. He said he was told that his family would be dumped on and embarrassed if he ran.
"I went to the AG's Office about three months ago and spoke directly to Gary King," Carraro said. "A couple of weeks before the legislative session started (Jan. 15) he said he had assigned an investigator to it. I was interviewed by the investigator during the first week of the session."
The First Congressional District seat, which has been held by Wilson for nearly 10 years, was put into play late last year when Wilson decided to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Senator Pete Domenici. She’s battling Congressman Steve Pearce for the nomination.
“They threaten to spread rumors and all kinds of things. It’s smear tactics,” Carraro said.
Arnold-Jones said that she went to state Republican Party Chairman Alan Wheh last October when she was considering a run for
“The Republican Party first started telling me that I couldn’t raise any money,” Arnold-Jones said. “Then there were veiled threats and phone calls to my daughter. I was told that if I pursued this they would go after my daughter.
“My daughter is at the university. She is young, 20-years-old, and pretty conservative, but not nearly conservative enough. I did get an e-mail that was apparently cut and pasted from somebody else’s e-mail, and it said that they wanted the chairman to explain why I was tearing the Republican Party apart and that if he didn’t control me I would have primary opposition. I was stunned.”
Arnold-Jones said she got five phone calls during the period urging her not to run. She met once with White, who also urged her not to get into the race.
“One phone call said that Darren was a formidable opponent and that it would go badly for me if I pursued this,” Arnold-Jones said. “There was a face-to-face conversation with someone who said that they would go after my daughter."
Arnold-Jones did not name the people who allegedly threatened her.
Boitano also considered running for
The e-mail, dated
“State Senator Mark Boitano just sent me a letter asking my advice on whether or not he should run for Cong. Wilson’s seat. He’s a nice person but believes the Rev. Sun Myung Moon is the ‘Messiah.’ I’m concerned because Moon has deep pockets and could finance Boitano’s campaign. Is it just me, or do you find this alarming, too?”
“All this stuff goes on under the radar,” Boitano said. “I know the public is fed up with this kind of trash. I know that they don’t have the stomach any longer for this type of negative campaigning. This should infuriate Republicans.”