Steve Kush, executive director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party in New Mexico, took to Twitter on Tuesday to verbally abuse a 19-year-old Working America volunteer who testified in favor of raising the minimum wage. Bernalillo County, the largest county in New Mexico, was considering a proposal to increase the county minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50.
Rather than listen to the 19-year-old woman’s testimony, Kush mocked her on social media, calling her a “radical bitch”:
As other advocates spoke on Tuesday, Kush was on Facebook, deploying a variety of sexist and offensive insults. He joked that Chelsey Evans, director of the New Mexico branch, “was hot enough to almost make me register democrat.”
Bob Cornelius, the former executive director of the Bernalillo County GOP, replied that Evans was using the boots to “walk Central,” a local street known for prostitution. Cornelius later deleted the comment and apologized. According to Evans, Kush has not yet offered an apology.
ProgressNow New Mexico called for Kush’s resignation, pointing out that a state run by a prominent Republican woman, Gov. Susana Martinez, should not be tolerating “misogynistic statements towards working women time and again.”
Also during the meeting, Kush called the Democrats the “Gestapo” multiple times. Despite the slew of hateful comments made by Kush over social media, the county passed the proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 by 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Gov. Martinez recently vetoed a similar measure to raise the entire state’s minimum wage. Evans pointed out at the time that New Mexico has the highest percentage of low-income working families and is ranked first in income inequality in the entire country.
Kush has been suspended indefinitely for his comments. He admitted late Wednesday to New Mexico Watchdog, “I absolutely crossed the line. It was dumb; it was stupid.”