State auditor targeted on Twitter

State auditor targeted on Twitter

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Someone has set up a Twitter account full of offensive jokes and is posing as a prominent New Mexico politician.

Type in Hector Balderas and you might stumble upon a Twitter account with his picture and a link to his state website, but there is something extra you will find that pin-points the account is fake. The twitter account has an extra “s” on the last name.

“It’s almost that they’re more shocked,” Balderas said.

It’s a shock if people really think that the state auditor actually posted most of the tweets on the imposter Twitter account.

The tweets include racist jokes, sexist comments about job opportunities with the state, degrading comments about New Mexicans and tweets painting Balderas as a corrupt ladies man.

One tweet reads, “Best advice I never took – have your wife be wealthy, adoring and shallow and your mistresses be clean, brown and discreet.”

The account has nearly 900 followers, including political figures like Sen. Lisa Torraco and Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins. There are also political groups like the Democratic Party of New Mexico, Progress Now New Mexico and Paul Gessing, the president of a conservative think tank.

Gessing told KRQE News 13 that Twitter suggested the account. He accepted and then quickly realized it was a sham. Balderas thinks that’s probably the case for most of the account’s followers.

“Why there are so many initial followers is that they’re misled thinking that it’s me,” Balderas said.

The first tweet was posted last June not long after Balderas announced he’s running for attorney general. Balderas said he’s not worried about what the tweets could do to his campaign. He’s worried about the people who get duped into reading them.

“They not only get offended, but they’re very hurt by the discriminatory and sexist comments to women and people of color. It’s really uncalled for,” Balderas said.

Balderas said since the account states it’s a parody, Twitter told his officials it cannot take it down. At this time, no one has a clue who’s behind it.

So far, Balderas has no opposition in the Democratic primary for attorney general. Two republicans are running: Albuquerque lawyer Jim Baiamonte and former Las Cruces Judge Susan Riedel.

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