The executive director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party in New Mexico has been suspended indefinitely without pay for calling a 19-year-old advocacy group volunteer a “radical bitch” on Twitter Tuesday evening.
Following testimony from the teenage volunteer – who argued before the county commission in favor of raising the minimum wage – Steve Kush took to Twitter to berate her.
“Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical b*tch,” Kush tweeted Tuesday. (Star is ours, not his.)
Working America, a labor movement advocacy group, sent several members to the county meeting Tuesday to voice support for a measure that would increase minimum wage.
Following his disparaging tweet about the 19-year-old volunteer worker, Kush switched over to Facebook in an effort to mock the organization’s state director, Chelsey Evans.
"Uh oh," he wrote in the Facebook posting, "another Working America chick...nice boots...I know she makes more than min wage." He later added in the comments section, "she was hot enough to almost make me register democrat."
Further, Kush referred to Maggie Hart Stebbins, the chairwoman of the county commission and a Democrat, as a “Gestapo leader,” writing on Facebook, “Gestapo leader Hart Stebbins reduced comments to 1 and a half mins. Anything to suppress opposing views."
ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive advocacy organization, said on Wednesday that Kush should resign. “In a state run by one of the country’s most high-profile Republican women, the party’s leaders appear to see nothing wrong with misogynistic statements towards working women time and time again," said spokeswoman Marsha Garcia. "Mr. Kush should resign."
“If the Republican Party wants to know why they have such a hard time connecting with young women, they should start by examining the very public way their leaders feel about young working women,” said executive director Pat Davis.
Despite his comments, Kush wasn’t the only politician to receive harsh backlash for his postings on social media. Bob Cornelius, who previously held Kush’s same position as the county Republican executive director, added a comment under Kush’s “nice boots” remark that joked about the teenager being a prostitute.
“Maybe she uses those shoes to walk Central," he wrote in reference to a street in the county that is notorious for prostitution. "Even in this economy she can exchange bumper cables for boots."
Cornelius later deleted his post and apologized. "I've been thinking about my comment last night," he wrote. "I did make that comment in jest & I do apologize to this lady for this off color comment. It's not fair to her, and it was inappropriate for me to makes comments like that."