Loyalty Oaths in New Mexico here to stay

By Stephen W. Stromberg
Published August 5, 2004 8:04PM (EDT)

The Associated Press reports that New Mexico GOP officials will keep making would-be spectators at Bush campaign events sign endorsements of the president before getting in.

"'If we feel our event will get disrupted again, we will use the same method to make sure it's a positive event,' Republican Party spokesman Yier Shi said Thursday, defining positive as 'without interruption, without debate -- just (without) disruption, period.'

"Shi said the GOP campaign plans to correct errors and omissions in the pledge: 'I ... herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States.' Besides correcting the spelling of hereby, it will make clear what office Bush is running for, Shi said."

It is not clear that the New Mexico Republicans' fears of Kerry-supporting interlopers are justified. But the Kerry campaign isn't making Republicans intent on ruining its campaign events sign similar loyalty oaths, and Bush supporters have actually been crashing Kerry rallies.

"Kerry campaign spokesman Ruben Pulido Jr. said the Kerry campaign had not attempted to screen Bush supporters out of Kerry's appearance at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque in July. About a dozen Bush supporters attended, waving flip-flop beach sandals over their heads and chanting 'Viva Bush.'

"'I think that every American should have the right to see their vice president and hear from him firsthand what he plans to do for our country,' Pulido said.

"Hunter said the Bush-Cheney campaign's action with its tickets 'is rather hypocritical coming from a group that just this month sent representatives to a Kerry-Edwards rally here in Albuquerque. Kerry asked that his supporters be tolerant of the dissenters.'"

Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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