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Washington Notebook: Vets group backs Damon Martinez for Congress

 ·  Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal   ·   Link to Article

WASHINGTON: VoteVets Action Fund – a progressive, pro-veteran advocacy group – will begin airing television ads in the Albuquerque market over the next week in an attempt to persuade Democrats to vote for Damon Martinez in the 1st Congressional District primary on June 5.

The $40,000 ad buy – much like Martinez’s own campaign ad launched on television last week – riffs on President Donald Trump’s former career as a reality television host on “The Apprentice.” It opens with footage of a younger Trump announcing “You’re fired” to an unknown contestant on the show.

The moment is meant to symbolize when Trump fired Martinez and 46 other U.S. attorneys in March 2017.

“Why did Donald Trump fire New Mexico’s U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez?” an announcer intones. “Because Martinez prosecuted corporations that pollute our environment, because he cracked down on domestic violence and took assault weapons off the streets, because he fought for his fellow veterans and our families.

“It’s time to send Trump a message … our progressive values can’t be fired,” the announcer says as the ad closes.

In announcing the group’s endorsement of Martinez, Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and chairman of VoteVets, said Martinez “puts country and community first.”

“From signing up after Sept. 11, to deploying to the Middle East, to serving as U.S. attorney to uphold justice here at home, Damon’s committed his life to serving,” Soltz said in a statement. “Right now, we need that in Washington – someone who puts others above himself.”