He did it. Mark Ronchetti has launched the attack everybody thought was coming — hitting his closest opponent in the GOP gubernatorial race over a scandal at her daycare involving a molested child, a six-year prison sentence, and a six-figure settlement.
Here is the transcript of Ronchetti’s ad:
“Deeply troubling. Rebecca Dow ran a taxpayer-funded daycare. Her employee was accused of lewd conduct. Dow still promoted him, put him in charge of children at an overnight sleepover, where he assaulted them. Dow tried to bully the victim’s family, but they stood up and sued Dow. The predator was sent to prison, and the lawsuit? Victims were paid $260,000. Rebecca Dow can’t be trusted.”
The Ronchetti campaign has been diligent about fact-checking their TV ads. They launched DowRecord.com last month to provide the documentation behind an ad highlighting Dow’s record of voting with Liberals on stimulus checks and professional licenses for illegals. They did it with this one, too.
The facts of the case were covered in the press at the time.
Alejandro Hernandez was hired to work at Dow’s daycare despite a questionable application, was reprimanded for asking a teenaged girl about her sex life, and two months later was put in charge of “lockdown sleepover” where he molested a boy. That child’s parents sued.
In the suit, Dow was accused of improperly vetting Hernandez (prior references were not called, reasons for leaving past employments were not requested), failure to train him properly, and actually promoting him
According to NM Political Report:
“Republican state Rep. Rebecca Dow, who was elected last November, was accused of negligence when she hired and then promoted Alejandro Hernandez to work with children. Dow owns and operates both the Boys and Girls Club of Sierra County and AppleTree Educational Center. While working for the Boys and Girls Club of Sierra County, Hernandez had unlawful sexual conduct with two boys under his care. Hernandez is currently in jail for those crimes.”
Two months after the sleepover incident, Hernandez struck again, molesting another boy in a closet.
Dow was sued for negligence and settled for $260,000.
The original story was sensational, and its return could be devastating for Dow’s gubernatorial run, but the ad is nonetheless accurate. And it’s important. Not only would incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham wield this information as a dagger in the general election, but it’s important on principle, both politically and morally.
If the tables were turned — if Grisham or Ronchetti or any of the other candidates were involved in a case like this —no one could claim it was irrelevant information that New Mexicans shouldn’t take to the voting booth.
- Candidate for Legislature named in lawsuit by parents of sexually abused boy
- House candidate faces deposition in civil case after ex-employee’s child rape conviction
- State lawmaker settles lawsuit for $260,000
- Court Documents from the case