‘The best predictor of a

person’s future behavior

is their past behavior’

I read with great interest Gregg Schmedes’ editorial in the Aug. 8 Albuquerque Journal, “Vote for honesty, innovation and compassion.” In it, he makes a statement with which I wholeheartedly agree: “Show me a leader with compassion and the courage to tell you the truth, and I’ll show you a leader worth supporting.”

It’s a compelling statement, more so after his resounding Republican primary victory over me in June for House District 22. He won handily. Let me tell you how he did it: He fabricated a false negative narrative about me. We had never met before the 2018 Republican primary race.

During the primary race:

  • I received many calls from current legislators and county party chairs across the state advising me that he had called them to smear me.
  • I met with lobbyists whom Schmedes had called. They told me the lies he told about me, listened to what I had to say, and gave me their support.
  • I have been a panelist on the NM PBS program, New Mexico In Focus, for several years. Schmedes took clips of me commenting on the Las Vegas shootings and edited them to portray the opposite of what I actually said. He then showed these doctored clips to constituents as he went door-to-door.
  • He hired a phone-banking service to call voters. These paid out-of-state telemarketers would express a false statement about me, then ask the voter which candidate they preferred.
  • He opened a fake Twitter account impersonating me, representing me as an anti-Christian progressive somewhere to the left of Elizabeth Warren. Twitter removed the account as fraudulent.

He has proven in his 2018 primary campaign that he will absolutely say anything to get elected and stay in power. He has only lived in the state since the second half of 2016, and moved to Tijeras just in time to make candidate residency requirements for House District 22 in the 2018 campaign. He then announced his plan to challenge long-time Rep. Jim Smith in the primary.

Instead, he got me as an opponent. Now-County Commissioner Smith decided not to run and asked me to run earlier this year. I started collecting signatures, and subsequently received a phone call from Schmedes. He let me know he had planned a negative campaign against Smith. I said little and hung up.

Schmedes then simply inserted me into his planned negative campaign and made up a liberal record that wasn’t there. He won the primary by a landslide. Slander works if applied diligently, and Schmedes was quite organized and disciplined in his approach.

Now, in this week’s editorial, he attacks gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham. If all you can do is attack, either you don’t have a platform, or your platform is so extreme you can’t share it with anyone until you’re elected.

In the last sentence of his editorial, Schmedes writes, “the best predictor of a person’s future behavior is their past behavior.” I also agree with this statement. Voters in House District 22 should not expect Schmedes to change after November.

Merritt Hamilton Allen, Tijeras


Sharing a slice of history

found while cleaning

I was cleaning and found this letter from close family friend that he wrote the week he was coming home from Vietnam. Yes, he made it home and is back in California to this day. I can relate to using the rain to clean—I have moved my Jeep out in a heavy rain and soaped her down for the soft (not Edgewood ) water!

Leigh Parker, Edgewood

South Vietnam

Dear Family, Friends, Civilians, and Draft Dodgers;

In the very near future, the undersigned will once more be in your midst, Dehydrated and Demoralized, to take his place again as a human being, and enjoy the well-known forms of freedom and justice for all, and to engage in life, liberty, and the somewhat delayed pursuit of happiness. In making your joyous preparations for welcoming him back into organized society, you might take certain steps to make allowances for the crude environment which has been his miserable lot for the past months. In other words, he might be a little Asiatic from Vietnamesitis and Overseaitis and should be handled with loving care. Do not be alarmed if he’s infected with these forms of rare tropical diseases for a little time in the land of the “BIG PX” will cure him in no time.

Therefore, show no alarm if he insists on carrying a weapon to the dinner table, looks around for his steel pot when offered a chair, or wakes up in the middle of the night for guard duty. Keep cool when he pours gravy on his dessert, coffee on his cornflakes, or mixes peaches with his Seagrams V.O. Pretend not to notice if he eats with his fingers instead of silverware and calls the special spread you lovingly prepared especially for him ‘not bad chow.’ Take it with a smile when he insistes on digging up the garden to fill sandbags for the bunker he is building. Be tolerant when he takes his blanket off the bed and leaves the sheets, and puts it on the floor to sleep on.

Under no circumstances, move any of his articles of personal property when he is not present, and be wary of thin strings stretched across halls and doorways. When in his daily conversation he utters such things as ‘Xin Loi’ and ‘Choi Hoi’ pay no mind. Simply leave the room quickly and calmly if by some chance he utters ‘Di-Di’ with an irritated look on his face, because it means no less than ‘GET THE H— OUT OF HERE.’ Do not let it shake you if he picks up the phone and yells, ‘Reliable, Sir’ or says, ‘Roger OUT’ for good-bye, or simply yells, ‘WORKING.’

Abstain from saying anything about powdered eggs, dehydrated potatoes, fried rice, fresh milk or ice cream. Do not be alarmed if he, upon it starting to rain, pulls off all his clothes, grabs a towel and bar of soap, and runs outside for a shower on the front lawn. Never ask why the Jones’ son held a higher rank than he did, and by no means mention the words ‘Extend’ or ‘Enlist.’ Pretend not to notice if he should call the waitress at your favorite restaurant a ‘numbah one girl’ or uses his hat for an ashtray. He will probably keep listening for ‘Homeward Bound’ on the radio, and when he does, comfort him, for he has a bit to go yet. Be watchful when he is in the presence of a woman—especially a beautiful woman.

Above all, keep in mind that beneath that rugged and tanned exterior, there beats a heart of gold—the only thing of value he has left!! Treat him with kindness, tolerance, and an occasional fifth of good liquor, and you will be able to rehabilitate what once was, and now is the hollow shell of, the happy-go-lucky guy you once knew and loved. Last, but by no means least: