It’s fitting that an equine costars in an advertisement for congressional candidate Marco Serna. As the Santa Fe-area district attorney, Serna has established a clear-cut record in less than three years on the job.
He’s a show horse, not a workhorse.
Nothing is easier for a politician than campaigning. Serna likes to shake hands, dispense platitudes and issue position papers. This beats working for living. He’s collecting a district attorney’s salary while functioning as a professional politician.
With Serna devoting so much time to next June’s Democratic primary election, he should be delivering all-star material in his campaign.
Instead, his pronouncements are thick with atrocious grammar and a lack of self-awareness. Here’s a sampling of the candidate in his own words, presenting himself as congressional timber.
• Serna writes: “The issues that surround our community is prevalent, I felt and heard the well informed passion in the room. When it comes to New Mexico, water is a precious resource we must protect!”
Comment: It used to be impossible for a candidate in the arid West to botch a prepared statement mentioning water. You defied the odds.
• Serna says: “The people of the 3rd Congressional District of New Mexico want to elect someone who knows our issues, understands our values, and fights hate crimes and antisemitism.”
Comment: Crime and punishment are dangerous topics for you, Mr. District Attorney. You have proven to be a disinterested and ineffective prosecutor for the people of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. For example, you and your crew failed to meet speedy trial deadlines while prosecuting a man in the murder of a 67-year-old librarian. The defendant walked free. And the values of almost everyone in your judicial district were trashed.
• Serna writes: “The problems we face with drug intervention is so massive the only way we can solve it is by developing a partnership with the federal government and local caregivers.”
Comment: The debt-ridden federal government in March allocated $2.77 million to combat opioid addiction in New Mexico. The state in August received another $6.1 million in federal grants for treatment and prevention of opioid addiction. This was followed last month by another federal grant of $4.75 million to the state Department of Health to abate overdoses.
• Serna is more committed than a tabloid editor to exclamation points. He writes:
“The Democratic Party would not be the party it is today without the strength, support and leadership of women!”
“The forum in Bernalillo County was fantastic!”
“It was wonderful to meet so many people at Taos’ beautiful Plaza!”
“One of the joys of campaigning is speaking to constituents and discussing the issues and hearing the personal perspectives!”
Comment: Less can be more. Your abundant use of slammers might detract from all your pandering.
• Serna writes: “My tour of the 16 counties in the congressional district opened my eyes to many of the problems facing rural New Mexico and reinforced my passion for civil service.”
Comment: You’ve lived much of your life alongside some of the most crushing rural poverty in America. But only now, as a candidate who’s made a whistle-stop tour of Harding and Colfax and Mora, are you identifying the problems?
• Serna eulogizes a congressman: “Representative [Elijah] Cummings was an activist, leader and true American hero. We should all aspire to approach civil service with the honor and grace that he did.”
Comment: Fine. The District Attorney’s Office would have been as good a place as any to provide competent public service. Your successor won’t have a tough act to follow.
• Serna sizes up the congressional office he covets: “The district needs — and deserves a candidate with a plan, not just idea’s [sic] and visions.”
Comment: Campaigns can be a sort of shell game. You don’t rate a passing grade as a district attorney, but you hope to sidestep those failings while discussing big-picture issues, such as the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Democrats have plenty of candidates to consider in the congressional campaign. Sitting high in the saddle for an ad might help you stand out for a moment.
It won’t be enough to sway voters who’ve watched you coast while hoping to climb to higher office.
Ringside Seat is an opinion column about people, politics and news. Contact Milan Simonich at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-986-3080.