Bernalillo County Republican Party Executive Director Steve Kush has been put on indefinite leave after naming a liberal activist a "radical bitch," among other incendiary online comments he made.
Kush posted the snarky comments on his Facebook and Twitter accounts during a Bernalillo County Commission meeting last night. At the time, the commission was hearing a proposal to increase the county's minimum wage rate from $7.50 an hour to $8.50 an hour over the next two years.
When a 19-year-old female activist with pro-minimum wage group Working America stepped forward to testify in favor of the proposal, Kush went straight to his Facebook account with a rebuttal:
"Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch," he wrote. The comment got two likes from his Facebook friends.
Kush didn't stop there, soon writing another Facebook update that calling Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins a "Gestapo leader."
After that, public relations consultant Steven Abbott, one of Kush's Facebook friends, hinted that maybe Kush should tone it down a bit.
"Be nice Steve!" Abbott wrote.
But Kush continued with his antics.
"What kind of crap is this Democrats can clap but I can't boo back! Freaking gestapo," he next wrote on his Facebook page.
Soon, Kush wrote yet another Facebook update, this time aiming at Working America state director Chelsey Evans' testimony supporting the minimum wage increase.
"Uh oh another Working America chick...nice boots...I know she makes more than min wage," Kush wrote.
GOP political consultant Bob Cornelius chimed in with a reference to an Albuquerque street notorious for prostitution: "Maybe she uses those boots to walk Central [Avenue]… even in this economy she can exchange bumper cables for boots.”
Kush added that she was "hot enough" to almost make him register Democrat. He finally ended the night with an Facebook update stating, "It's over!" to which Abbott responded with a snarky comment of his own: "The meeting, or your career?"
Today, Democrats and liberal organizations pounced on Kush's comments with calls for his resignation. The remarks even made their way to national news.
This morning, Cornelius quickly issued an apology to Evans, calling his remarks "inappropriate and unfair."
"I do not know you and it is unfair for me to make such degrading comments in a public forum such as Facebook about someone I do not know. I made the comment in jest and it was indeed offensive," Cornelius wrote, adding that he deleted his Facebook comment and replaced it with an apology. "I do applaud you for standing up and fighting for issues you believe in."
Kush also issued a formal apology this afternoon, calling his comments "insensitive and moronic."
"I take full responsibility for those comments and feel awful that I put my thumbs on the keypad of my smart phone," he wrote. "On a personal level, having two sisters, I most certainly should have know better. I know how I would feel if the shoe were on the other foot and I sincerely apologize to both the young woman in question and her family for my insensitive and moronic comments."
In the end, the commission passed the minimum wage increase by a 3-2 vote.