More bad news for Trump and Trujillo and a look back over the past week with lessons from the Road Trip and the unfolding of a vision for a new political and economic system. Good stuff.More Bad News for Trump from the Farm Belt and Charles Koch. On Saturday, I reported that farm organizations were lining up in opposition to Donald Trump and his trade policies. I also cited polls describing plummeting poll numbers in key rust and farm belt states that had supported Trump in 2016. As reported in the Huffington Post, the news continued to get worse for Trump on Sunday, when Christopher Gibbs an Ohio farmer and former official for the U.S. Department of Agriculture published a scathing op-ed that compared Trump’s $12 billion farm relief bailout as a “hush money” payoff and went on to state that the $12 billion is “verification that the president’s protectionist’s trade policies are folly,”
In an analogy that is likely to get a good deal of press, he went on to state: “Let me tell you a riddle: I slept with a billionaire because he said he loved me. I expected to make love, but in the morning I realized I was getting screwed,” Gibbs wrote. “I was offered cash to keep my mouth shut. Who am I? No, I’m not … someone named Stormy. I’m the American farmer.”
Apparently even Charles Koch is having second thoughts, not just about Trump, but the entire GOP. In an interview on Saturday after discussing his unhappiness with the tax giveaways, the deficit and the tariffs, he pronounced: “I regret some of the [lawmakers] we have supported … we’re gonna more directly deal with that and hold people accountable,” Koch said.
Bonar Claims Affirmed by Special Legislative Subcommittee
As reported in The New Mexican, a special legislative subcommittee released a 43-page report that found “credible evidence” that Rep. Carl Trujillo had harassed Linda Bonar. The subcommittee did not find sufficient evidence to conclude that Trujillo also retaliated against Bonar by withholding his support for an animal rights bill that was pending at the time.
The report quotes Bonar as testifying that when she asked if she could take a seat next Trujillo at a legislative hearing, he said to her: “You can sit next to me anytime, Laura. At dinner, by the fire, in the pool.” Bonar also said Trujillo touched her thigh and was close enough that she felt his breath on her neck.
About a week later, Bonar said, she came across Trujillo in a hallway outside the floor of the House of Representatives. She said Trujillo grabbed her arm, pulled her close and pressed her against a wall. She quoted him as saying, “When are we meeting?”
Allusions to this kind of harassment were publicized when Bonar first made her claims. What the Legislative Report adds, however, is compelling corroborating evidence from Bonar’s then boyfriend with whom she was living at the time—Gene Grant, host of New Mexico In Focus.
The Legislative Report includes testimony from Gene Grant that corroborates Bonar’s claims: “Mr. Grant reported he vividly recalled the incident in 2014, when Representative Trujillo allegedly stopped Ms. Bonar in the hallway outside the House chamber. [Grant] stated that Ms. Bonar came home that evening very upset, pacing around the house without taking her jacket off, and told him Representative Trujillo had made a specific ‘ask’ for her to go away with him. Mr. Grant also corroborated certain details of her encounter, including that Ms. Bonar had told him about Representative Trujillo stopping her in the hallway and pulling her aside before he made the request.”
The Report also states that Grant said Trujillo’s behavior dominated his household conversations with Bonar for six to eight weeks. Certainly finding ‘credible evidence’ and strong corroborating testimony does not amount to a conviction, but Grant and Bonar had broken up well before the recent legislative session and hence Grant had no compelling reason to validate her claims, unless they are true.
I am sure there will be some Trujillo supporters who will continue to see conspiracies even now and who will believe that Trujillo is the victim of a witch hunt. But, I am hoping that the majority of Trujillo supporters will acknowledge that while “their guy” fought hard for them on water and easement issues, he also stepped well beyond the line in using his position of power to harass a colleague.
As a result of the subcommittee finding, a full public hearing will be held to determine what, if any penalties to levy against Trujillo.
Click here to read the full report from the New Mexican‘s Milan Simonovich,
Next week, we will begin a series of reports on a path forward from the current abyss and toward a far more just future. Stay tuned.
Paul & Roxanne
A Look Back at Last Week’s Posts: The End of the Entrada, A Vision of Future Justice & Equity and a Farm Belt Revolt
Options for a New Economy, Community & Future, Plus Fiesta Drops Entrada–More Rain Coming
Tuesday, July 24. Everywhere we go on the Road Trip, cities are grappling with affordable housing crunches much like those in Santa Fe. Today, we share some general themes and what is being done in cities across the nation and how they apply to NM. Fortunately, contrary to the headline’s projection, Santa Fe did not receive significant rain immediately after the downpour and flooding on Monday. Never thought I’d say I was grateful for it not raining in Santa Fe. Click here to read the full post.
Lessons Learned from the Road: A Vision of What Justice Could Be and the Challenge Ahead
Thursday, July 26. Today we report on the immense challenge posed by a fortified oligarchy, the inspiring work of activists on the ground, an emerging new vision of what REAL transformation could look like, plus a shot at the lack of vision & courage of Democratic Party centrists. This post also introduces The Next System Project, a project of the Democracy Collaborative, one of the groups with whom we have communicated on our trip. The project takes the position that the current political-economic system must be replaced, something that Retake has long been asserting. The Project is sponsoring ongoing research, collaboration, and convening to begin envisioning what that next system might look like. Stay tuned. Click here to read the full post.
Farm Belt Tariff Opposition Builds. Trouble for Trump Mounts
Saturday, July 28. The GOP is reeling as farm and rust belt opposition to tariffs builds, polling shows trouble ahead, yet the Democratic Party remains numb to the opportunity to nurture a progressive wave. Click here to read the full post.