"Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch," tweeted Steve Kush, the executive director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party in New Mexico.The tweet came Tuesday night after the county commission meeting. The ugly tweet came after a 19-year-old working American volunteer voiced her support before the committee for raising the minimum wage.
The insults, however, do not stop here. The Republican also verbally abused the organization’s state director, Chelsey Evans. On his Facebook page, he wrote, "Uh oh, another Working America chick...nice boots...I know she makes more than min wage."
He later added in the comments, "she was hot enough to almost make me register democrat."
During the meeting, he disparaged Maggie Hart Stebbins, the chairwoman of the county commission and a Democrat, writing on Facebook, "Gestapo leader Hart Stebbins reduced comments to 1 and a half mins. Anything to suppress opposing views."
Working America, a labor movement advocacy group, had sent several members to the county meeting on Tuesday to advocate for a measure that would increase the Bernalillo County's minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 per hour, which passed in the end by a vote of 3-2. Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, is the most populous county in New Mexico.
The comments by Kush are outrageous not only for the blatant insults, but also in a broader context. Republicans seem to be out of touch with national political trends and public opinion. Nationally, 71% of the population supports raising the minimum wage, and in November, 66% of Albuquerque voters voted to raise the minimum wage. The proposal was passed by the New Mexico state legislature only to be vetoed by the governor later.
Progress Now New Mexico, a progressive advocacy organization, asked Wednesday that Kush should resign. “In a state run by one of the country’s most high-profile Republican women, the party’s leaders appear to see nothing wrong with misogynistic statements towards working women time and time again," said spokeswoman Marsha Garcia. "Mr. Kush should resign."
As of Wednesday, Steve Kush has been suspended indefinitely without pay for his sexist and outrageous comments.