Washington Post Fact Check gives Plame 3 Pinnocchios. WSJ goes MUCH further. Plus, Sen. Warren just gave Teresa a ringing endorsement. And 83% of Plame’s contributions are from out of state; just 33% for Teresa.
If you haven’t voted yet, we hope you will consider what follows, as it sheds a good deal of light on the two front-runners in the NM’s Congressional District 3 primary. First, something I’m surprised hasn’t been raised more often. Plame’s rhetoric about her CIA experience suggests that her background should assure us of her grasp of international relations. I’m sorry, but a spy is by definition someone who operates undercover and in clandestine ways. Is that the kind of qualification you are looking for?
What’s more, it isn’t as if Plame sat at the table with policymakers considering various international relations options. She was a spy, not Secretary of State. And her choice of ads are revealing: does driving a car like a maniac or crawling under netting provide you with the background needed to be an effective legislator? NASCAR maybe, but not Congress. But these are just my personal reactions. The rest of this post offers the perspective of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Wall St. Journal, OpenSecrets.org, and from Leger Fernandez herself.
Please share this post with anyone you know who hasn’t voted and is considering a vote for Plame.
Before getting to the Wall St. Journal editorial, let’s look at a couple of other pieces germane to this race. First, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has endorsed Teresa Leger Fernandez:
““I am honored to endorse Teresa Leger Fernandez to represent Northern New Mexico in Congress. Teresa has spent decades working in the diverse Native American, Latino and rural communities of Northern New Mexico and understands what poverty, environmental degradation and governmental neglect look like. I’m endorsing Teresa because she also knows the value of opportunity and will fight for bold and courageous action to help lift working families out of poverty, protect our environment, and achieve equality.”Senator Elizabeth Warren
Next, Valerie Plame has received over four times as much out of state money as Leger Fernandez, despite much being made of how Leger Fernandez has been the beneficiary of so much out of state money. A report from OpenSecrets.org presents the picture quite clearly:
According to the table above, less than 12% of Plame’s contributions came from New Mexicans, while almost two-thirds of Leger Fernandez’s contributions came from New Mexicans. That is not a small difference.
And it is worth noting that most of Leger Fernandez’s out-of-state money came from organizations like End Citizens United, Emily’s List, Latino Victory Fund, and other strongly progressive PACs.
Finally, despite what I’ve seen on social media, Leger Fernandez has been quite clear about her views on LANL and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Like many of you, I am very concerned about the proposed expansion of plutonium pits at LANL and even more alarmed about Trump’s recent tweets suggesting he may restart nuclear testing. Plame has strongly stated her opposition to increased funding for nuclear weapons. But while the internet has been abuzz about Leger Fernandez being less straightforward about her position on nuclear proliferation, in an interview with the Los Alamos Post, Leger Fernandez was quite clear.
“We must continue to recognize and remember the crucial role of Los Alamos National Laboratory, both in terms of our national security and the economy of our state. I will advocate for federal funding and support for LANL to ensure it remains a critical hub for not only innovation and scientific advancement, but also jobs for our New Mexico families and communities. I will also work to make sure that the necessary environmental protections and compliance mechanisms are put in place to provide for the safety of our surrounding communities and ecosystems. Finally, I will work to help ensure that LANL continues to evolve with the changing global landscapes. Climate change is a significant national security threat, and we should marshal our existing national scientific resources and labs to tackle this crisis.“Los Alamos Post: Teresa Leger Fernandez
LA Post: How would you balance arms proliferation with national defense?
“We must recognize that while nuclear weapons are a key component of our national defense, so is limiting nuclear proliferation. We must recommit to international treaties and processes to help safeguard against the spread of nuclear capabilities to rogue nations and terrorists, and to ensure that we do not spark a reckless arms race. We must rebuild our diplomatic presence and recognize the important role that diplomats and scientists must play in developing new agreements. We must reinstate the constitutional checks on a President’s power to act unilaterally without congressional oversight as we just witnessed with this President’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement and assassination of General Suleimani.“Los Alamos Post: Teresa Leger Fernandez
While indicating she would advocate for more support for LANL, she was clear that she would also seek to redirect its focus from arms to climate resesarch, that she would seek to limit proliferation, rebuild diplomacy, and not embark on a “reckless” arms race.
Finally, I reached out to a several respected anti-nuclear arms advocates to ask their views. There was general acknowledgement that Plame had made the strongest statements in opposition to expansion of nuclear arms, but they also said that they essentially didn’t really trust Plame and felt that Leger Fernandez would be someone who they could trust and with whom they could work.
If you want to better understand why Plame is not trustworthy, the Wall St. Journal certainly lays it out quite explicitly.
Wall St. Journal Blasts Valerie Plame
The Wall St. Journal is not a left-wing rag, it is the face of corporate conservatism. Yet, its Editorial Board published an op-ed exposing Valerie Plame for using a series of false claims to bolster her credentials as a viable candidate. In the end, the WSJ concluded: “her duplicity ought to be disqualifying.”
“Ms. Plame’s campaign has bent the truth of the scandal, starting last fall in a high-octane introduction video. “I was an undercover CIA operative,” she narrated, while hot-rodding a car in the desert. “Then Dick Cheney’s chief of staff took revenge against my husband and leaked my identity. His name? Scooter Libby. Guess who pardoned him last year?” Cut to footage of President Trump, pumping a fist in satisfaction.
This is political pulp fiction. The public record shows that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was not responsible for outing Ms. Plame.”Wall St. Journal: “Congresswoman Valerie Plame? She rewrites Scooter Libby history as she runs for Congress.”
The WSJ then cites Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who passed on the name of Valerie Plame to the media, i.e. she knows what happened.
“Ms. Miller says that Ms. Plame “keeps pretending that she was outed by Libby or the White House and that some great harm to her and the nation resulted because of the leak. Neither is true. See John Rizzo’s book (he was the CIA general counsel for years) who disclosed in his book that a national security assessment had concluded that the leak had caused no harm to her, any of her sources, or American national security.”Wall St. Journal: “Congresswoman Valerie Plame? She rewrites Scooter Libby history as she runs for Congress.”
Finally, the WSJ concluded its op-ed with:
“Now Ms. Plame, reborn a politician, has told voters that Mr. Libby “leaked my identity” to exact “revenge.” Maybe she thinks playing the Cheney-Trump card is the way to get elected, but her duplicity ought to be disqualifying.”Wall St. Journal: “Congresswoman Valerie Plame? She rewrites Scooter Libby history as she runs for Congress.”
If this were a normal election, this post would be timely. This is NOT a normal election and many of you have voted. But if you haven’t or if you know others who haven’t, please share this with them. NM deserves Teresa Leger Fernandez to represent us, not a spy who likes to drive fast, climb ropes, and dissemble the truth.
Paul & Roxanne
I’m a supporter of Fernandez but it is a real stretch to say that the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is “the definition of sober.” Scooter Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in what journalists refer to as the Valerie Plame case. The editorial page of the Journal defended Libby’s conduct when he was chief aide to Vice President Cheney. I would guess that it continues to do so as it chides Plame.
I wrote to Tom privately, but wanted readers who review the comments to know that I acknowledge the use of the term “sober” as being way off. It has been changed to say thatthe WSJ is the face of corporate conservatism and generally not a very reliable perspective on much of anything. It was used because if a rag like the WSJ would find Plame’s credibility wanting, then…..
I am on your side but would never quote the WSJ. Murdoch owned capitalist trash.
Thank you for your comments regarding Valerie Plame and Teresa Leger Fernandez.
I believe your readers might also find this article of interest via CNN entitled: “Armitage Admits Leaking Plame’s identity”. Please note, the article also states: “While no one has been indicted for actually leaking Plame’s identity, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has been charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators for allegedly giving false information about his discussions with journalists about Plame……Libby has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.” https://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/08/leak.armitage/
The USA, and particularly New Mexico, must divest from nuclear bomb production and nuclear waste management. The USA, and the other eight nuke bomb possessing countries, need to support ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons). This August, the citizens of the world needs to join hands, in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the invention of the atomic bomb (at LANL). It is my hope there will be a magnificent and global zoom concert for peace. Plus virtual or public demonstrations (if safe) around the world for global peace.
Finally, I want to share this video link and important message from former President Jimmy Carter: “In many countries around the world — my wife and I have visited about 125 countries — you hear John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ used almost equally with national anthems.”
Peace and love to all,
I agree in the choice of Teresa Leger Fernandez though I do not live in that District so my opinion may be moot. But there are 2 points in your piece that I think bare discussion. I believe you misread part of the message in the Plame commercials.
I must point out that men have worn their uniforms and espoused their military service as their qualification to hold office. We assume that kind of training comes with additional skills. You might be right that military training is probably more complex but a male “spy” could include his military style training without this complaint. She is telling women that she can “play with the boys.” I could argue whether that is a qualification for this job, but it is not an aberrant claim.
The other issue is regarding the damage to her from being “outed.” I find the WSJ rather hard hearted on that point. Cheney’s purpose was to ruin this couple’s life and she (the wife) was his target. I agree she ought to remember who were the principals. That would indicate to me that her training in obfuscation of reality might be undesirable. The description of “no harm” is a very narrow view that reminds me of Cheney’s press statements that she was of no importance. Whether true or not, her life was forceably disrupted because of the VP’s pettiness. He, in fact, broke the law in revealing her “special” relationship with the CIA. In effect she was working undercover not unlike police in our cities. I will NEVER give Cheney a pass on what he did.
My biggest objection to Ms Plame is that she has been in our State for 7 years and has not been involved with it’s politics until now and she jumps in for one of our highest offices. Where was she for the School Board, City/County Committees, or even a run for our State House. That paired with her many donations from out of state friends leads me to feel she wants a job back in Washington.
Whereas, Mrs Ledger-Fernandez has all the qualifications I would want in my Representative. She has demonstrated her heart to the community. She has spent the hours writing the letters and making the phone calls and sitting on civic committees. She is ready to represent us.
Wow. Tremendous comment. Can you tell I am not a vet. I see your point and am glad you made the other point I failed to raise. Seven years in NM and not a run for school board or legislature. As one colleague commented to me: “She just wants to get home to DC to run with her socialite DC pals.
Bravo, Paul, for posting the WSJ material about Valerie Plame. I’ve had a few personal experiences with her that showed several aspects of her character – essentially what the WSJ is pointing out – which eliminate her for consideration on our part. First, she and her former husband were only interested in high-profile social status in Santa Fe. It was all about her and being seen in the “right” places. Do we need another narcissist in office, whether Dem or Republican? No! We need someone interested in public service.
Secondly, she dismisses people out of hand that are not “useful” to her. This is very New York and East Coast, where people are users and have no real interest in relationships. No wonder most of her money comes from out-of-state sources. She should run in a state that shares her values, and I do not believe that New Mexico is such a state.
We support and have voted for Teresa Leger Fernandez.
I am not in that congressional district and so not able to choose a candidate there, but my first thought was the same as some others– WSJ is very conservative and not likely to be fair to any Democratic candidate.
The rest of the objections to Ms. Plame have more weight, I would say. WSJ’s opinion of her is not particularly meaningful.
She honestly was mistreated in a horrible, unethical and dangerous way by the Bush administration, whatever else may be said about her.
Could we please not trash New York and the East Coast as being “users” and not having any interest in “real relationships?” There are such people like that everywhere, including New Mexico. Just for the record I supported and voted for Leger Fernandez, and I’m thrilled that she won. But don’t you think the country is divided enough without insulting whole regions?
Hi Judith, I see your point, but the intent was not to bash east coasters but to bash her for being tone deaf to everything that makes NM special. But I see your point. Some of my best friends are from the east coast 😉