Memo: Heather Wilson’s Real Record

To: Interested Parties
From: Rodell Mollineau, President, American Bridge 21st Century
Re: Heather Wilson’s Real Record
Date: 6-5-12

Four years after her first Senate bid ended in a primary defeat, Heather Wilson has managed to at least gain her party’s support this time around. Unfortunately for her, that means general election voters statewide will be introduced to her record for the first time. What they’ll find is a corrupt former member of Congress, willing to use her official position to advance partisan politics at any cost.

Wilson’s tenure in the House of Representatives was notable for her proximity to the Bush White House.  A member of both the House Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,Wilson attempted to stall and bury a Congressional investigation into the intelligence failures leading up to the Iraq War. She was later implicated in the Bush White House’s politically motivated firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. This earned her a spot on the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)’s 2007 “Most Corrupt” list. After leaving Congress, Wilson maintained her close connection to the architect of Bush’s partisan politics by serving as a board member for Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

Wilson was also recently discovered to have been named in a pay-to-play investigation conducted by the New Mexico Attorney general’s office, stemming from her previous time in D.C.

The last thing New Mexico voters want is a return to the policies or politics of the Bush administration. That’s why Heather Wilson will find herself 0 for 2 in Senate bids come November.

BACKGROUND

Wilson Played a Key Role in the U.S. Attorney Scandal

Karl Rove Claimed Wilson Pushed The White House To Fire Iglesias Before The 2006 Election And Said He Spoke With Her Before The Election. “Rove says Wilson pushed the White House to fire New Mexico’s then-U.S. attorney, David Iglesias, before the Nov. 2006 election because he wasn’t moving fast enough on a corruption case involving New Mexico Democrats…Rove also testified that he spoke to Wilson about Iglesias, specifically on ‘the timing of the courthouse construction indictment.’ While Rove did not give a date for that conversation with Wilson, Rove’s lawyer Robert Luskin said that at least one discussion between them about Iglesias had occurred before the 2006 election.” [Politico, 8/12/09]

U.S. Attorney David Iglesias Alleged He Was Fired Because He Refused to Speed Up Indictment of Democrats Before Election Day. In February 2007, former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias alleged that he had been fired because he refused to speed up an indictment of local New Mexico Democrats before election day. Iglesias was ordered to step down on December 7th, 2006. Iglesias said, “I believe that because I didn’t play ball, so to speak, I was asked to resign.” Knight Ridder reported, “Iglesias said that two members of Congress called separately in mid-October to inquire about the timing of a federal probe of a kickback scheme. They appeared eager, he said, for an indictment to be issued before the elections in order to benefit the Republicans. He refused to name the members of Congress because, he said, he feared retaliation.” At the time, Senator Domenici and Wilson did not return phone calls seeking comment. [Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, 2/28/07]

Wilson Said She Stood by Statement That Call to David Iglesias Was Entirely Appropriate. “‘My call to David Iglesias was entirely appropriate and I’ve been very, very clear about that in a detailed written statement. I stand by that statement,’ Wilson said Friday.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 3/17/07]

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Named Wilson to Its “Most Corrupt” List in 2007. The watch-dog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Heather Wilson to its 2007 “Most Corrupt” list. They wrote of Wilson, “By contacting Mr. Iglesias about an ongoing investigation, whether to pressure him – as he believed – or merely to request a status report, Rep. Wilson violated House rules. … By contacting Mr. Iglesias to discuss an ongoing investigative matter for the impermissible political purpose of harming Democrats in the November elections, Rep. Wilson’s conduct does not reflect creditably on the House.” [Citizens for Responsibility in Washington, accessed 11/3/11]

Wilson’s History of Campaign Violations and Pay-to-Play

FEC Admonished Wilson and New Mexico Republican Party for Violation. In 2000, the Federal Election Commission admonished Heather Wilson and the New Mexico Republican Party over failing to properly report an in-kind contribution. Specifically, in 1998, the Republican Party had conducted a phone bank to benefit Wilsonduring the 1998 special election. However, instead of reporting the in-kind contribution as it occurred, and on the pre-election filing, it was not reported until the post-election report. The FEC found that this violated campaign finance regulations, but choose not to pursue the matter further or take any other steps other than issuing letters of admonishment to both Wilson and the Party. [Certification, Federal Election Commission, Case # 4754, Filed March 16, 2000; Notification to The Honorable Heather Wilson, Federal Election Commission, Case # 4754, Filed March 21, 2000]

Wilson Took More than $65,000 from “People and Groups Linked to” Jack Abramoff, Randall “Duke” Cunningham, and Tom DeLay, Returned $21,000. In September 2006, the Albuquerque Journal reported thatWilson took more than $65,000 from “people and groups linked to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Republican Reps. Randall ‘Duke’ Cunningham and Tom DeLay…. Wilson said she has returned or donated to charity all contributions she views as tainted, a total of about $21,000, according to records.” Wilson, according to the Albuquerque Journal, would not answer questions regarding why she only returned a portion of the money, instead pointing to her calls for DeLay’s replacement as Majority Leader. [Albuquerque Journal, 9/14/06]

Wilson Was Questioned By The New Mexico Attorney General In A Probe Over Federal Grants She Earmarked That Went To A Company Owned By Her Campaign Donors. According to the NM Telegram, “The progressive group ProgressNow New Mexico has some news — U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson is involved in a pay-to-play probe by the Attorney General. From the release: ‘You might remember in 2011 when news reports questioned the use of federal grants earmarked by Wilson to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department that ended up at a company owned by Wilson campaign donors. Now, ProgressNow New Mexico has learned that New Mexico’s Attorney General has been conducting an investigation and both Heather Wilson and then-sheriff Darren White were called in for questioning.’” [NM Telegram, 6/1/12]

Wilson’s Connections to Bush White House Advanced Partisan Politics

2006: President Bush Headlined Wilson Fundraiser. In June 2006, President Bush headlined a fundraiser forWilson [Albuquerque Tribune, 6/15/06]

In 2005, Wilson Said Investigating The Intelligence Failures Leading Up To The War In Iraq Were A Distraction And “Terrible Disservice” To The Country. According to the Albuquerque Journal, “The debate over pre-war intelligence came to Albuquerque on Monday as two prominent Republicans defended their decision to block an investigation into faulty information about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. The United States needs to look at the threats it faces now and in the future, and a House investigation into intelligence failures leading up to the war in Iraq would be a distraction, Rep. Heather Wilson said Monday. ‘We would do this country a terrible disservice if we spent our time looking in the rearview mirror,’ said Wilson, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.” [Albuquerque Journal, 11/29/05]

In 2002, Wilson Said She Was Voting To Authorize The Use Of Force Against Iraq Because The Country Possessed Weapons Of Mass Destruction. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Wilsonjustified her vote to authorize the use of force against Iraq, “I am voting to authorize the use of force against Iraq because it possesses and is further developing weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver those weapons and because I believe that Iraq intends to use those weapons against Americans.” [Albuquerque Journal, 10/11/02]

Wilson Was A Board Member of Crossroads GPS From August 2010 To February 2011. According to Wilson’s personal financial disclosure, she served as a board member for Crossroads GPS from August 2010 to February 2011. [Heather Wilson US Senate Financial Disclosure Report, 5/8/11

Important Players Behind Bush’s Ascendance Coordinated to Plot Republican Resurgence. In April, Mr. Rove summoned several of the important players behind Mr. Bush’s ascendance to his home once again, this time to draw up plans to push a Republican resurgence…. Republican fund-raiser Fred Malek, the onetime lobbyist and Bush White House counselor Ed Gillespie, and former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary Cheney, among others — agreed on plans for an ambitious new political machine that would marshal the resources of disparate business, nonprofit and interest groups to bring Republicans back to power this fall. [New York Times, 9/25/10]