[Story Summary: Via extensive BRAD BLOG interviews, New Mexico's former Republican Governor repeats and adds fresh details to his allegations of Republican vote-buying by Congresswoman Heather Willson, tells us that the AG and SoS offices are now investigating the charges, and says he recently confronted Wilson, in person, about the allegations and was "stunned" by her response. KKOB's News Director Pat Allen offers a new reason as to why he spiked reporter Laura MacCallum's stories on the scandal and she dismisses the argument as being without merit. We also post the scripts of radio station KKOB's yanked stories, which led to MacCallum's resignation from the station last week.]
32-year award-winning news veteran and New Mexico's ABC field producer, Laura MacCallum, quit her job as afternoon anchor at Albuquerque's 50,000-watt blowtorch KKOB-AM 770, after she read an email from her News Director, Pat Allen, which said, among other things, "if there was anything to it the bloggers would have picked this up, let alone other news agencies."
Allen was referring to MacCallum's on-air investigative reports covering allegations of a vote-buying scheme by New Mexico's U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson at a recent Republican Delegate Convention. The 1st Congressional District Congresswoman is vying for her party's nomination to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated this year by outgoing Pete Domenici. MacCallum ran the stories about the charges on KKOB several times, in several different variations --- including several different interviews and sound bites from both the former Republican Governor of New Mexico, David Cargo, an eye-witness to the story, and a current spokesman for the state GOP, Scott Darnell.
The stories ran, five different versions in all, over a two day period before they were spiked by station management allegedly after pressure from Wilson's office. The BRAD BLOG has obtained the scripts of those original spiked reports (posted at the end of this article), though the complete audio is said to have been "dump[ed]...to make room for new stuff," according to Allen tonight.
In the email to MacCallum, sent last week by the News Director after he'd received several phone calls from Wilson campaign spokesperson, Whitney Cheshire, he informed his afternoon drive news anchor that he'd "pulled" the stories from the station's on-air news rotation. After reading the email from Allen, MacCallum told us she became livid. "I probably had flames coming out of my ears," she explained this afternoon during a long phone call. She immediately resigned in protest.
The BRAD BLOG has now spoken at length to Allen, MacCallum, and NM's former Gov. Cargo, as well as several others involved with the story and/or looking into it for further details. Suffice it to say, contrary to Allen's memo, "the bloggers" have now picked this up, and, according to MacCallum and other sources, so have several of those "other news agencies" that Allen referenced in his email.
Moreover, Cargo tells us today that the charges of felony vote-buying are now under investigation by both the Secretary of State's office as well as the state Attorney General. Further, he told us of his confrontation with Wilson about the allegations some weeks ago. Her response to the charges left the former Governor "stunned"...