Last week, Hispanic cultural group Union Protectíva de Santa Fé published a scathing advertisement against Democrat Mayor Alan Webber in the Santa Fe Reporter, which was titled “Mayor Webber’s Dark Side.”
The advertisement included an essay claiming Webber “has attempted to privatize city services, discounted ‘attacks on our religion,’ and established a ‘Marxist’ process to address potentially controversial monuments across the city,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The advertisement shows images of the mayor surrounded by public monuments in the city, including the destroyed Plaza obelisk, which Webber instructed police officers to stand down during its destruction by domestic terrorists.
Webber later defended the Police Department’s decision to “stand down” and allow the riot, saying, “The choice to not incite more violence was the correct one.”
“The organization’s ad was the fourth in a series criticizing Webber. After Webber ordered the removal of a Don Diego de Vargas statue from Cathedral Park in the summer, the 106-year-old group placed an ad in The New Mexican calling on the mayor to protect the Kit Carson monument at the downtown U.S. District Court and the obelisk on the nearby Santa Fe Plaza,” according to the New Mexican’s report.
Triggered by the advertisement, Webber lashed out at the group, however, he did not overtly deny their accusations. He wrote, “These charges are wrong” in a statement. “The facts are wrong. Even worse, their intention is wrong: Their purpose is to inflame divisions in our city.”
“We pride ourselves on our histories, our diversity, our many cultures, backgrounds and experiences,” claimed Webber, despite letting anti-Hispanic hate groups rip down the downtown obelisk and his removal of the Don Diego de Vargas statue originally sitting in Cathedral Park to a city worker’s backyard.
Webber wrote in the statement Monday, “Everyone is welcome here. That’s what we believe, that’s how we live. It’s who we are.”
“We must reject this kind of divisive ugliness,” he added. “I know Santa Feans join me in standing against hate here and across our country.”
But the organization’s vice president, Gil Martinez did not agree with the childish ramblings from Webber. Martinez reportedly said he was “offended” that the mayor would suggest the image was meant as a racist attack. “I think it’s ridiculous in every form you can look at it,” he said. “They are grasping at straws.”
Webber’s challenger Joanne Vigil Coppler did not pay attention to the conflict, instead, focusing on her campaign against the deep-pocketed incumbent. “The only thing I can say is if he wants to run a positive campaign, then let’s talk about that,” she said.
Editor’s note from John Block: In the name of full disclosure, my father is and my late grandfather was a member of Union Protectíva de Santa Fé