Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
Election Day for the Santa Fe mayoral race remains to be months away, however what remains to be a two-candidate race is already beginning to get ugly.
Mayor Alan Webber issued an announcement Monday condemning what he says is an anti-Semitic cartoon of himself, in addition to an commercial that appeared in final week’s Santa Fe Reporter, an alternate weekly newspaper.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers Native 3999, which represents Santa Fe metropolis staff, created and distributed a flyer that features the cartoon amongst its members, union management mentioned.
The cartoon depicts a person Webber says is supposed to symbolize him, besides with “a big, exaggerated nostril.”
Giant noses have traditionally been utilized in derogatory depictions of Jewish individuals, courting again to propaganda launched by Nazis within the Thirties. Webber referenced that historical past when denouncing the cartoon.
“This has no place in Santa Fe, not simply with regard to me, however for everybody in our numerous metropolis,” he wrote. “We should reject this type of divisive ugliness.”
The flyer claims that metropolis administration plans to quickly cease paying its 60% share of worker life insurance coverage and urges them to e mail metropolis officers, together with the mayor.
Nonetheless, union officers – who’ve been crucial of Webber’s time in workplace – instructed the Journal that the particular person depicted within the cartoon will not be alleged to be Webber. Somewhat, they are saying it’s a generic metropolis worker and isn’t based mostly on an actual particular person.
Native 3999 Vice President Gil Martinez mentioned he drew the cartoon and was not conscious that enlarged facial options had been derogatory towards Jewish individuals.
“That is actually offensive to even assume that approach,” Martinez mentioned of the anti-Semitism claims. “(Webber’s) marketing campaign regarded for one thing like that and so they discovered it. They’re gonna carry on wanting once more simply to make tales.”
Sascha Anderson, a spokesperson for the mayor’s reelection marketing campaign, mentioned they’re not shopping for claims the person depicted will not be Webber.
“The cartoon has a transparent resemblance to the mayor,” Anderson mentioned. “Feigned ignorance isn’t any excuse.”
Anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes have been on the rise lately. United Nations Secretary-Common Antonió Guterres mentioned in January the pandemic had, partially, led to a surge in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories throughout the globe.
Rabbi Rob Lennick, CEO of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, mentioned he discovered the cartoon “very disturbing,” and that he agrees with Webber’s sentiments.
“To see that propaganda rear its head in our time is a reminder that all of us need to work collectively to combat towards all caricatures,” Lennick mentioned.
Webber’s marketing campaign additionally denounced a full-page advert paid for by Spanish fraternal group Union Protectiva within the Reporter.
The advert makes a sequence of allegations towards Webber throughout his time in workplace, a few of which Webber says are unfaithful.
One declare was that Webber helps the destruction of the mural “Multicultural” on Guadalupe Road, which is on state property. The mayor has not publicly taken a place concerning the mural.
Regardless of this, Union Protectiva President Virgil Vigil mentioned there’s nothing inaccurate within the commercial and his group will not be endorsing a candidate for mayor.