July 28, 2015

County GOP boots treasurer over Trump piñata

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Joey Peters

Ignacio Padilla

After driving an effigy of presidential hopeful Donald Trump around the streets of Santa Fe and finally holding an event to destroy it, a Santa Fe Republican leader was removed from his position.

As New Mexico Political Report previously reported, Ignacio Padilla held an event on the plaza in Santa Fe to give people a chance to break open a Donald Trump piñata.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that the same day that Padilla held the event, the Santa Fe County Republican Party voted unanimously to remove Ignacio from his position as secretary.

“I can expect something like that from the Communist Party, but not from the Republican Party,” he said in an interview with New Mexico Political Report.

From the Journal:

But county GOP Chairwoman Jo Ann Eastham said Padilla had previously been warned not to go forward with the event. She also said an internal rule requires elected party officers to remain neutral in primary elections, or contests between members of the same party.

Padilla maintains that he was not acting on behalf of the party, but instead as a citizen with a right to free speech. He added that he was never invited or made aware of the meeting that day.

“They should have never never had a meeting without me to decide what they were going to do about my position,” Padilla said.

On behalf of the statewide GOP, spokesman Pat Garrett said in an email that the party probably had the right to remove Padilla.

Assuming proper procedures were followed by the Santa Fe GOP, they were right to remove him from his position,” Garrett wrote.“Regardless of our personal views on candidates within our own Party, Republicans must be united and continue to fight for real solutions to the problems our country faces.”

Still, Padilla said the proper procedures were not taken and he plans on fighting the party’s decision.

“They violated my rights,” Padilla said.

When asked if the story of his piñata is giving too much attention to Trump, Padilla replied, “No, I think that we need to keep it up, the media needs to continue to cover him.”

Padilla, who was once a registered Democrat said he is currently working on Jeb Bush’s New Mexico campaign and is not sure if he will switch parties again.

If given a second chance, would Padilla do things differently?

“I will stand with what I did forever. I’m proud of it,” Padilla said

Update: Clarified that Padilla’s comments came in a conversation with New Mexico Political Report.