Cathey Jo Alberson would have voters in State Senate District 37 believe that she is an ethical person who can be trusted to represent the interests of her constituents. In her candidate’s biography in the Sun News (1 Oct), she writes that she is “resolute about leaving a legacy of ethical standards in business and life, and giving the people of Doña Ana County a senator they can trust.” On her website, she writes that she is “resolute to leave a legacy of ethical standards in business and life.” She professes presumably high ethical standards but practices deceit and dishonesty to distort or conceal discrediting information relevant to her candidacy.
Alberson’s constituents will not trust Alberson when they learn the truth about her narrow ideological agenda both political and religious. Among a cluster of concealed positions on social issues is her position on abortion, which is extreme and dangerous, with unforeseen consequences. For she questions whether those who disagree with her on abortion are trustworthy on other issues (imagine, for example, the pit rule for oil and gas operations). Her fanaticism on this issue alone makes constructive work with other legislators problematic and honest engagement with, and representation of, her constituents improbable. The questions: what and who does she represent?
This blog differs from my recent column. First, I elaborate and re-interpret what I know from public or multiple sources; I asked Alberson to confirm or deny membership in a previously undisclosed association, but she has not responded. Then, I report and examine a private letter from her to her supporters; I asked her to confirm or deny the authenticity of this letter, but she has not responded. Given her abrupt and unexplained cancellation of an interview, I infer that she seeks to avoid detailing or defending views which she thinks would be unappealing or alarming to voters.
In her candidate’s biography, Alberson responded to its request for “past political or public service positions”: “Junior League, USTA-Jr. Team Tennis, NRA, NRL, Teen Pact, active leader for various family and teen organizations.” Everyone knows that “NRA” is the National Rifle Association; many know that “NRL” is the National Right-to-Life organization. But she conceals her position as the Second Vice Chair of the Dona Ana Republican Party and her membership in the Tea Party.
Alberson also conceals her board membership in the Christian Association of Parent Educators. Its “Statement of Faith” asserts that “the Bible, in its original autograph, is without error in whole and in part; including theological concepts as well as geographical, historical and scientific details.” Her belief in Biblical inerrancy implies literalism, religious and moral absolutism, and creationism, among other anti-scientific and anti-historical positions suitable for a sectarian indoctrinator, not a public educator.
On her website, Alberson also conceals these affiliations. These omissions by a candidate for public office signal deceit in hiding relevant information from voters.
In her candidate’s biography and on her website, Alberson is consistent on what she claims are her three most important issues: the former states them as “jobs/economy, education, repeal of drivers licenses of illegal immigrants”; the latter states them as “Jobs and Business,” “Improve Education,” and “Safety.” These claims have two major defects.
Alberson is dishonest in giving misleading information about her qualifications to address the issue of education. First, although her candidate’s biography and her website claim that she has “experience in education” and has been “an educator for 20 years,” respectively, she does not specify that, in these years, she has homeschooled her children and thus has no experience with either public or private schools. Second, to support this deception, she claims that her second child is a “high school senior” and thereby misleads voters into thinking that he attends high school when, in fact, he is merely the same age as senior high school students. These deliberately misleading claims are intended to serve two purposes: to pretend to have, and to conceal not having, qualifications to address the important issue of public education intelligently and independently. Indeed, her website indicates her legislative inclinations to follow the lead of the Governor; “I am in favor of a lot of the things Susana Martinez has put forward.” Alberson thus declares herself a rubber stamp because she is not competent to assess education issues for herself on behalf of her constituents.
Albertson lies that the three issues which she claims are her most important ones are so. For her, the most important issue is abortion. She does not disclose its priority to the public; instead, she discloses its priority to anti-abortionists in a private fundraising letter. Her letter—I give a typescript below—does not detail her position. But I infer from its stridency that she favors a law or an amendment, state or federal, defining life as beginning at the moment of conception, and the zygote, embryo, and fetus as a person entitled to all the rights of personhood—with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life or health of the mother. She is neither the only candidate for public office to hold such views nor the only one to keep her strident position a secret from voters.
Alberson sets herself apart from other anti-abortion candidates in the pervasive influence of her ideology on this point; for her, the issue of abortion is “absolutely dominant.” Her commitment is so all-consuming that she questions whether those who do not agree with her position and its pre-eminence, can be “trusted on other issues.” For sheer ugliness in political perspective, I cannot think of an equal to this statement.
In her letter, Alberson decries the lack of “personal responsibility” in society. In her sweeping assessment of many people (like Romney’s assessment in his “47%” speech), this statement reveals smug self-righteousness and lack of personal responsibility. No responsible person seeking public office would be distrustful of legislators, or dismissive of constituents, who disagree with her view on abortion. Her dogmatic stance on this issue—not to mention her Tea-Party ideology—shows that Alberson is not suited for any position of public trust and public service. For someone who distrusts and disrespects those who disagree with her views cannot herself be trusted on any issue to represent her constituents or the best interests of the state and cannot leave “a legacy of ethical standards in business and life” worthy of the name.
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Cathey Jo Alberson
State Senate, District 37
P.O. Box 13336
Las Cruces, NM 88013
October 1, 2012
Dear Supporter of Life,
Thank you for supporting the fight for life and protecting our unborn. My belief in this important issue is quite strong. Unborn children are a very important part of our population and require protection. I have been, and continue to be, a strong supporter of the pro-life movement here in Southern New Mexico.
I believe this issue is absolutely dominant. It is from this perspective on life, that I will evaluate every vote. If a person does not have this fundamental issue, can they really be trusted on other issues? I humbly appreciate your consideration and ask for your vote.
Personal responsibility is seriously lacking in our society today. One’s decisions do have consequences that not only affect their life but the lives of others.
This coming term will see votes on many issues affecting the unborn. There will be legislative efforts to limit the kinds of abortions, provide parental notification, and stop our tax dollars from going to support abortions. Unfortunately, there will be proposals that would increase the number of abortions, the types of abortions, and the availability without parental consent.
As you know, this will be a fierce battle. I would appreciate your support in this coming election. November 6th will play an important role for the unborn. Your vote is vital in this election as I suspect that we will continue to see low voter turnout.
Early voting begins October 20th. Election day is Tuesday, November 6th. I need your vote in this fight to protect the unborn!
[signed: Cathey Jo Alberson]
Cathey Jo Alberson
“Life is the gift of God and is divine.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
[Note: The heading subtitle pretends that Alberson is the incumbent, not a candidate for an empty seat.]