Democrat Who Employed Alleged Kiddie Porn Fan Denounces Mean Comments by Martinez Aides

Luján: Comments ‘speaks volumes’ about governor’s ‘character’
Rep. Ben Lujan and former campaign field director Jason Loera in 2010 / AP

Rep. Ben Lujan and former campaign field director Jason Loera in 2010 / AP

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Leaked audio of aides to New Mexico’s Republican governor making vulgar and disparaging comments speaks to the governor’s character, according to a Democratic congressman who previously employed an individual facing kiddie porn charges.

The leaked audio, posted on Wednesday by Mother Jones, revealed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s former campaign manager, Mark Kennicott, making fun of the late New Mexico House Speaker Ben Luján’s accent.

“Somebody told me he’s absolutely eloquent in Spanish, but his English? He sounds like a retard,” Kennicott said.

Rep. Ben Luján (D., N.M), Speaker Luján’s son, denounced the remarks in a statement on Wednesday.

“The decision by Gov. Martinez to surround herself with staff like this speaks volumes about her leadership and character,” Luján said. “It sends a message that this behavior is acceptable.”

Those comments could open a Pandora’s Box for Luján, who previously employed a New Mexico Democratic operative who did worse than make disparaging remarks.

Jason Loera, Luján’s former campaign field director, was arrested last year and charged with three counts of possession of child pornography.

Authorities stumbled across several CDs in Loera’s home containing pornographic videos involving minors when they served a search warrant pertaining to the illegal leak of Martinez’s emails by a disgruntled former campaign employee.

Martinez’s campaign said on Wednesday that Mother Jones “undoubtedly” obtained its leaked audio from the same individuals responsible for the email leak.

The campaign blamed the leaked audio on “individuals or their allies who are either under federal indictment, or have had their homes raided by the FBI for their role in stealing or distributing Gov. Susana Martinez’s email.”

Luján’s office did not respond to questions about his past association with Loera.

However, New Mexico property records show that Luján scheduler and executive assistant Chris Garcia owns the home where Loera lived when he was arrested, and where authorities found the CDs containing child pornography.

Loera and Garcia both lived in that house in 2007, when they hosted an event for the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Loera was also involved in the 2010 scheme to illegally leak campaign emails. According to an affidavit filed by federal prosecutors, he was in possession of numerous emails from Martinez’s campaign email account obtained through an illegal electronic breach.

The initial email leak came from Jamie Estrada, a former Martinez campaign staffer who was fired and allegedly maintained access to, and leaked messages from, Martinez’s email account.

According to prosecutors, Estrada forwarded numerous internal emails to Loera, who passed them along to state Democratic operative Sam Bregman.

Bregman, who would later serve as the chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, also employed Loera at his political action committee.