Wienergates 1 through 10: A recap of Michael Wiener’s Top-10 exploits

Wienergates 1 through 10.  A recap of Michael Wiener’s Top-10 exploits

 

 

NoMoreWiener.jpgBy this point, Michael Wiener has offended just about everyone except old white Republican men, and they should just be embarrassed.

While recent pictures showing the Bernalillo County commissioner happily posed between scantily clad young Asian women in one of the world’s most notorious sex-tourism destination earned him a now international reputation, local residents have been speaking out against Wiener grossly inappropriate actions for years.

Michael Wiener’s latest campaign mailer, titled “Michael’s actions speak louder than words” is exactly on point. 

In case you need a refresher on Michael’s actions in Wienergate numbers I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX or X:

Wiener on ethics

  • In 2008 Wiener solicited donations from 22 county employees via their county government emails for $100 donations to help retire his campaign debt because “It costs money to run a campaign.” Not only did this violate state law, but it is unethical to ask your employees for donations for your political campaign.

 

Wiener and African-Americans and Gays

  • In 2010, as a commissioner overseeing the Metropolitan Detention Center (county jail), WienerAnti-Wiener rally 2010 sent a racist and homophobic email to the county manager and the county’s African-American jail director just six-months after an African-American prisoner was beaten into a coma in the very facility Wiener is charged with overseeing. Commissioners are also responsible for implementing a federal court order to alleviate overcrowding and other issues that can lead to inmate abuse.

The joke (you can read the full version at DemocracyForNewMexio.com) stated that black men are most likely to engage in gay sex because they are all in, or will soon be, in prisons where the practice is commonplace. 

There were so many things inappropriate with that email that a coalition of African-American, LGBT, sexual assault victim advocates and religious and political leaders joined together to host a rally on civic plaza calling for Wiener to apologize.  He did so, half-heartedly, but remained steadfast in his belief that there was nothing wrong with that joke.

Wiener asked for forgiveness and said he had learned his lesson.  Apparently not.

  • The very next year, a county investigation in recounted another instance where Wiener signed a county email “Commissioner Rodney King” after quoting Rodney King’s “can’t we all just get along” in response to questions about a neighborhood noise complaint.

 

Wiener and Hispanics

  • The same 2011 report noted that in another email he described a Santa Fe man as “VERY Hispanic and NOT very sophisticated – very very BLUE Collar.”

 

Wiener and Women

This could be a very long section, but suffice it to say that the headline could read “where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

  • During a 2011 county commission meeting, “Wiener leaned over and made a sexual joke during a commission meeting. There was talk about changing positions on a certain issue, and Wiener told her, “I don’t care what position we take, as long as doggy style is included.”

  • In another instance, Wiener told a female staffer an offensive joke, a pun on his name and the last name of Commissioner Wayne Johnson: “Did you know that the (County Commission) now has a Wiener and a Johnson on it?” Wiener said later that he was talking about the different kinds of hot dogs, not male genitalia, and that he was just repeating a joke he’d heard from another commissioner.

  • The report also outlines another instance when Wiener “joked” about a woman being raped by multiple men in Central Park. The county clerk reported that she was offended before the joke was even concluded, and Commissioner Wayne Johnson even cautioned Wiener against finishing the joke.

  • Similarly, the joke he forwarded about sex among African-American inmates was perceived by many to describe sexual assault.

  • In a separate instance, Wiener told a female county commission employee that she was “looking good, looking real good” while briefly bent over a box in a county office. A full investigation was launched. Wiener responded that he was responding to the new coat of paint on the wall (a very plain brown color), not the young woman featured prominently in the room.

As an elected official, Wiener is exempt from sexual harassment laws, so the report could only conclude that his actions were inappropriate.

  • ProgressNow NM also reported on a 2011 Facebook rant by Wiener to a female constituent who criticized his public statement that “the ACLU can go to hell.” In that rant, he called the woman a “FLAMING LIBERAL,” suggested that her three male supervisors “implement a better hiring policy” and reminded the woman that his district is “SOLIDLY REPUBLICAN” and supportive of him, so her opinion was irrelevant. He suggested that the woman “go irritate someone else.”

  • Fast forward to 2012 and Wiener solicits a passing photographer to photograph him with women in Angeles City, a sex tourism destination described as being “where everyone is for sale.”

Of course, if Wiener is right, all of these instances are a misunderstanding. He is always misunderstood, and critics are too sensitive.  But, his misunderstandings have cost taxpayers and Bernalillo County a ton of time, money and reputation to investigate, correct and respond to his foolish behavior.

After the county issued it’s report in 2011, Wiener issued a public statement saying that he had undergone training in regard to appropriate conduct by elected officials. “Based on that training and this experience, I will use better discretion and judgment in the future,” Wiener concluded.

Clearly that is not the case.

While some have suggested that taking a firm stance against Wiener’s pattern of bad behavior is not a matter of pressing importance, most agree that few things are more pressing.

For years now, women, gays, African-Americans and Hispanics have all watched Bernalillo County wink-and-nod at Michael Wiener’s latest exploits.    But we have to remember that every day that passes where we take no action to stand up for our values is another day that a family, tourist or company Googling Bernalillo County as a destination chooses another place because we can’t seem to get three commissioners in the same room to pass a no-brainer decision to censure a colleague who has single-handedly connected Bernalillo County with everything that is wrong with racism, homophobia and exploitation.

On a related note, some have suggested this latest story of Wiener’s travels through a sex tourism destination has little to do with New Mexico.  That could not be further from the truth.

Over the past weeks, while news outlets, pundits and advocates alike have been roasting Michael Wiener for his failure to answer for his poor pattern of behavior, New Mexico extradited Elizabeth Gade back from Wyoming.  Gade and her accomplice Justin Grills were indicted in 2010 on charges of human trafficking, kidnapping and promoting prostitution in Bernalillo County after they allegedly kidnapped and forced a woman into sexual slavery in Southwest Albuquerque.

If Bernalillo County can’t bring itself to censure Michael Wiener for his pattern of grossly inappropriate behavior against nearly every class of persons imaginable, how can we expect victims of sexual assault in our jail, or civil rights violations on our streets, or human exploitation in our neighborhoods to come forward with any confidence that we will protect them?

On Tuesday, once again, the community will have its chance to stand up to Michael Wiener.  Everyone from the governor to the mayor to the Albuquerque Journal has called on Wiener to walk.  But until election day, the only people who can take any official action are his fellow county commissioners. Two commissioners, both women, have already made their position clear. 

Wiener could make a big statement by voting in favor of the censure himself, and his male colleagues would be wise to follow suit.

 

 

 

 

Action Alert

View the Event Page and Get the Full Info By Clicking Here

Bernalillo County Commission Meeting

Tuesday May 8

5:00 pm

City/County Building

1 Civic Plaza

Share your public comments and show your support for censure of Commissioner Wiener

 

 

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