GOP official's Facebook status: She's "hot enough to almost make me register Democrat"

A New Mexico official gets suspended for sexist social media activity -- during a meeting. It's just the beginning

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published April 25, 2013 4:44PM (EDT)

Steve Kush
Steve Kush

His Facebook friends call him "an honorable man" who was just "being funny." They say that "People are way to [sic] sensitive in this day and age." But when Steve Kush, the executive director of Bernalillo County's (New Mexico) Republican Party, went on a social media rampage during a local commissioners' meeting about the minimum wage earlier this week, his party chairman, Frank Ruvelo, saw things differently.

Seems his fellow Republicans did not appreciate what Kush said on Twitter and Facebook regarding a 19-year-old female at the meeting, "Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch." Nor did it enjoy his remarks depicting the organization's state director Chelsey Evans as "Uh oh another Working America chick," or his observation that she had "nice boots…I know she makes more than min wage." And they definitely didn't find it too amusing when he declared that she "was hot enough to almost make me register democrat."

He's currently suspended, indefinitely, without pay.

"It was an ill-fated attempt at humor," Kush told Wednesday. "Do I regret it? Yes … I absolutely crossed the line."

Kush has had an undeniably rough week. On Tuesday, just hours before he started opinionating about the relative bitchiness/hotness of the young women in his sightline, he posted that he was "absolutely devastated" at the recent loss of a close friend. And on Wednesday, he attempted to do damage control with all caps message that "I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE TO BOTH THE YOUNG WOMAN IN QUESTION AND HER FAMILY FOR MY INSENSITIVE AND MORONIC COMMENTS."

Yet while Frank Ruvolo insists that "I've known Kush for several years now and am quite certain he feels horrible about the entire situation," Kush's social media history does not reveal a man whose indiscretion was a recent, grief-related outburst, or a guy with too many regrets. Take away his Tuesday evening display of emotion, in which he also referred to county commission chairwoman Maggie Hart Stebbins as a "Gestapo leader" and you're still left with a guy who doesn't have a whole hell of a lot of parameters around what he chooses to share.

His "recent activity" on Facebook includes watching a video of a bottomless woman with a "Lost Skirt in Public." Last summer, he bragged, "McDonald's sweet tea $1. Throwing it against the windshield of an obnoxious Obama supporter's car, both priceless and fun."

He's posted a snap of a Powerball ticket, musing it could "buy a lot of beer," and one of a near-empty bottle of Crown Royal with the caption "cold medicine." He's declared that "glpbal warming is a bunch of crap" [sic], shared the image of a $274.74 receipt and said, "Our dinner bill and I ripped up a 50 bill in front of the waiter because he sucks and deserves no tip," and admitted, "I'm dealing with a big bunch of pansies."

Why so angry, Steve Kush? Could a clue be revealed in your twice-repeated post that "Gays have every bit as much right as the rest of us to be miserable and lose everything they worked for in a bitter divorce"?

If a man has fond reminiscences about "intentionally making inappropriate comments" and "passing out" on a friend's couch, he's welcome to them – but when he shares them with the world he's open to questions of whether he is appropriately representing his party in public. And when he boasts that during a meeting he's attending in an official county that "I'm staying until the end I have a fight to pick with the guy who gave me the dirty look for booing," he's not exactly inspiring an "I have my act together in a fully professional manner" confidence in his constituency.

But though he's facing an unspecified amount of free time for his recent oversharing, at least Kush will likely have fun with it. Just read through his timeline -- it's all out there for anybody to peruse -- and you'll see a man unafraid to ask his fellow citizens, "Does anyone know how to remove super glue from your fingers?" And when you see the photo of an "extremeley flammable" [sic] ping-pong ball blazing away in a beer glass, next to a pack of Newports, you get the sense that a guy who complains about attending commissioners' meetings where "my eyes have glazed over" and "thanks to John Jones for waking me up on the first snore," he would rather be somewhere else anyway.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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