SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (AP) — Scandals and dirty politics have long defined this dusty border town. So when a woman started dancing topless in mayoral candidate Gerardo Hernandez’s office, he says it crossed his mind it could be a setup.

“But then I thought to myself, you’re not that important, who would set you up?” Hernandez said in an interview Thursday.

It all started, Hernandez said, after a Mexican national fleeing threats south of the border offered to assist his campaign. During a meeting, Hernandez said, the man turned on some music and indicated the woman who was with him liked to dance. The dance turned sexual, Hernandez said, but there was no sex — just a dance.

“As any gentleman would know, it was a lap dance,” he said.

And all the while, Hernandez says, he was being taped without his knowledge.

His opponents say the married candidate is simply trying to cover up being caught in an uncompromising position.

“He made his cross, now he should carry it,” said City Council candidate Ernesto Marquez.

Marquez said he saw a video of the encounter after a flash drive was dropped off at an election booth in the parking lot of City Hall. He says the recording depicts Hernandez engaging in lewd acts with the woman that go beyond dancing. Marquez said he gave the memory stick to one of Hernandez’s rivals, Daniel Salinas, but doesn’t know what happened to it from there.

No one knows who placed the flash drive in the booth.

But the answer to that question is apparently what state police were looking for when they raided City Hall this week, a few days after Hernandez said he told authorities a stranger approached him and threatened to leak a sex video of him if he refused to drop out of the race.

Residents, meantime, are just plain fed up with a City Hall that has seen raids by state police three times in as many years and whose mayor acknowledged signing a million dollar contract last year while drunk.

“It’s been happening for years,” said grocery store cashier Roberto Perez. “They are all the same. … They just squander the money because it’s not theirs. They don’t give a (expletive.)”

Things have gotten so bad that state Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces, last year asked the state to take over government in the southern New Mexico town that borders Texas and Mexico.

Garcia’s request came after Mayor Martin Resendiz nearly came to blows with the mayor pro tem after council members questioned the mayor’s attendance and his approval of a $47,000 buyout for the city manager. Garcia said this week she has not heard back from the state, but may follow up after the mayoral elections next month.

“It’s always the same,” said resident Beatriz Perez. The politicians “keep saying they are going to do stuff, and they do nothing. It’s like no one cares about us.”

Hernandez says he is the target of a setup by Salinas. Salinas has denied any involvement and says he’s not under investigation for extortion. Attempts by The Associated Press to contact Salinas on Thursday were not successful.

State police and the district attorney have declined to say why they raided City Hall, saying the search warrant was sealed.

Hernandez said police were looking for surveillance video that might show who approached him in the parking lot and who left a copy of the questionable video at his opponent’s election booth near City Hall.

Meantime, police stand guard as voting continues in the March 6 mayoral race, which is already under review by the state after Hernandez alleged absentee voting applications were improperly withheld. City officials have denied any wrongdoing.

“We’ve been here since they started early voting,” said Jaime Reyes of the Sunland Park police. “Just to make sure everything stays quiet.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (74)
  1. lewie says:

    if it is an ‘uncompromising position”, then why was a story written?

    – or was it a “compromising position” and the writer/editor sucks?

    it is the media… so… yeah.

    1. rpstrong says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one. And I wouldn’t necessarily blame the editor – I’m convinced that in this world of self-publishing, more and more writers are foregoing editors entirely.

      And then there was “proofreading”, an art that started dying off the late ’70s.

      1. jimothy says:

        unfortunate to forget a word in a sentence deriding lack of proofing. nothing personal

      2. The guy who taped the dance says:

        Welcome to the jungle buddy. I really think these idiots that decide to go for public office should have “sewn their oats” before they start down this road.

        If you didn’t know it was taped, and you decided to do it, you sir, have no integrity.

        If you are concerned about 2012 and what it would be like to survive after the big economic collapse please check out thanks!

      3. VAL says:

        To rpstrong: A proofreader would have known that the word is “FORGOING,” NOT “FOREGOING.”

      4. Tacitus7 says:

        Actually “forego” and “foregoing” are perfectly acceptable. Check your dictionary. But Lewie’s point about “uncompromising” is well taken.

      5. Tim says:

        Your criticism of “self-publishing” is out of place given the fact that this article is published on a CBS-owned website. Perhaps the blame for a downgrade in journalistic standards lays at the feet of “real journalists.”

      6. Chuck says:


        FORGO (forgoing) is the ONLY CORRECT spelling and connotation for that sentence. FOREGO (foregoing) is also a correctly spelled word, but its meaning is different.
        FORGO – to go without
        FORGOE – to go before,; precede

      7. Chuck says:

        Still a bit sleepy-eyed here…

        ..correction of the TWO valid words..

        FORGO – to go without
        FOREGO – to go before,; precede

      8. Publicus Romulus says:

        Hey jimothy, it’s unfortunate you can’t use punctuation or capitalization properly. But you’re just so funny, Mr. tongue in cheek.

      9. Suzic says:

        Man I was hoping you guys had the entire video up when I read the headline… They have a part of the video up for now at If you have not seen it you should go watch it. lol, what an idiot candidate.

      10. Phil says:

        Good grief, it’s “sow” your oats, not sew! The blind leading the blind…

  2. MuneShadowe says:

    With what I have seen in Summit County Politics in the Akron Ohio Region of this nation I can believe what the candidate is saying.

    1. LaDonna says:

      It was on KVIA last night on the news. Parts had to be blotted out. So, yes, it does exist. Do I believe him? Nope. Not after seeing the tape.

    2. Vicky Bevis says:

      Ditto on the Sumit Co. thing; things aren’t much better here in Harrison Co. But then there’s always Youngstown! rofl

      1. William says:

        I take exception to that. Youngstown is only the mess it is in because democrats have been in total control for 30+ years. Akron’ politics are at least fun to watch because they are semi-competitive.

    3. Linda Shwartz says:

      Likely another made up story after the coup and cover up.

      The next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out.

  3. Midge Martin says:

    “If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”
    – George Bernard Shaw

    1. Bob says:


      You jew hating, jihadi appeasing, democrat voting, cunning stunt, get off our internet before we throw you off.

      1. stopthe says:

        lol. How do you propose to “throw someone off the internet?” And what are you, a fascist that you can’t have opinions that you don’t like on “your internet?”

      2. John Paulstrom Southwalk says:

        Bob knows when his sister has a yeast infection because his dad’s unit tastes funny … bring it on Bob you degenerate low grade moron.

      3. rufus levin says:

        anger management candidate, Bob?

      4. knuckledragger says:

        ….you joooz are a lot less tolerant when you get a little power. …almost time to play “yellow stars and box cars”, start lubing up the family diamonds…

      5. MarkSix says:

        Nice. Do you French-kiss your sister with that mouth?

  4. JustAGuy says:

    It probably was a setup, but nobody forced him to receive a lap dance.

  5. longarm11 says:

    What did you expect with a bunch of south of the border candidates ,They just bring their form of politics with them, corruption,vote rigging,back stabbing—-ohhh sorry that’s our country and president ;-0

    1. davec says:

      Yeah, theres too much Mexican crime these days, all the violent crime and murder around here is Mexican.

      So someone remind me WHY we need MORE of them?

  6. Juan Valdez says:

    Why is everyone in this american story have a generic mexican name? is this what NM is really like? wow. cross New Mexico off my vacation list. If i want mexico i’ll go to mexico.

    1. LaDonna says:

      I’m not sure I understand your statement. Are you complaining that NM is a melting pot? Yes, we have Hispanics, Anglos, Italians, Indians, African Americans, you name it. NM is a beautiful state. I’ve lived in the southern part and the northern part, both. It has it’s problems, like the good old boy network in our state govt. But our governor is trying to change that and she’s got an uphill battle. Come and vacation here. You’ll love it.

      1. davec says:

        Its not “melting pot” when Mexicans come here and REFUSE TO MELT.

    2. NooYawkah says:

      Exactly what I was going to say. Are they sure this is even an American city?

    3. Tacitus7 says:

      Actually most of the Hispanics in New Mexico are descendants of the Spanish colonists who came there in the 1600s and 1700s. Many of these families hardly lived under Mexican rule at all. Mexico secured its independence from Spain in 1821. Before Mexico could establish effective administration in New Mexico, the Mexican War happened. When the Mormon Battalion showed up, they surrendered because they had no particular allegiance to the Mexican rulers so far away in Mexico City. The locals became Americans, and have for the most part been very patriotic US citizens ever since.

      1. Bob says:

        Ridiculous. Most Hispanics anywhere in the US are NOT descendants of Spanish colonialist. More Hispanics cross the boarder every year than are descendants of Spanish colonialists.

  7. JamesD says:

    Democrats gone wild and feeding at the public teat like there is no tomorrow.

    Nothing new here.

  8. NOT BOB says:

    That must had made for sticky situation………………….

  9. Nomad says:

    This story is absolutely titillating!

  10. GUNTALOT says:


    1. StevenX says:

      No one’s hiding anything. This story was from a wire story which also didn’t mention party affiliation. There are hundreds of outlets running the same story. Even the guy’s campaign billboards don’t mention it. Nice try though.

  11. nequelquepart says:

    Look Her nan(nas) dez shaking ieen my face!
    Resendiz 4ss back to meh hee ko!

    Welcome to Meh hee ko!

    What do you mean the border is south, compadre?

  12. Rex Dart Eskimo Spy says:

    FYI. These are ALL democrats well versed in a culture of political corruption. Ever since the casino opened up at the old racetrack, the hogs have come from far and wide to feed at the slop bucket.

  13. TMA1 says:

    If it was a set up and you thoghy ‘ Hey this must be a set up1″ then the only reason you stayed is – you wanted too. The only thing you should have done was trough them both out or walk away. This is Obviously Dem/Commie/Lib Politics.

    1. StevenX says:

      Must be a Democrat who wrote the article. Unlike you, they know the difference between “to” and “too”.

  14. stopthe says:

    Part of the problem with American politics is that people actually care that a politician got a lap dance.

    Who cares???

    Meanwhile, the wars and the welfare state go on. Politicians are elected because they are “clean” (read: they are good at hiding their past) not because of what they think.

    We are morons. We deserve our tyrannical government, because we are too stupid to demand something better. And our Puritannical views on sex are one small part of our giant stupidity.

    1. Gregor Stephan says:

      Hey hey, “stopthe”. Nice to hear the tone of someone thinking clearly in amidst this cacaphony of same old same old predictable racist partisan thrashing. The trogs have really bought into the fantasy that their opinionating amounts to anything other than talking points and emotional buttons that keep them from asking, “who says?”

      1. NooYawkah says:

        Says you.

    2. davec says:

      “Who cares???”

      People who dont want to see Mexicans push this once great Nation further down the toilet.

  15. Kelvin says:

    You know this because if he was a Republican, it would be splashed all over the headline and in every paragraph.

  16. urstrange says:

    Maybe his rival sent the lap dancer…but he didn’t have to accept the dance. Kind of like O.blameduck claiming Bush sent him all his troubles…but he didn’t have to pass his own policies to make it worse.

  17. Steve M. says:

    “As any gentleman would know, it was a lap dance,” Hernandez says

    A “Gentleman” doesn’t go to Gentlemen’s clubs.

    You’re busted and this isn’t Playboy TV.

  18. Allen says:

    Dirty politics and dirty strippers, yet another violation of our rights. The gov’t constantly violates our rights.
    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like “America Deceived II”.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.
    Impeach Obama, support Ron Paul.
    Last link of “America Deceived II” before it is completely banned:

  19. rufus levin says:

    hey…it’s New Mexico politicians…what did you EXPECT…either money or sex…why else do they get themselves elected?

  20. ragu4u says:

    I’m gonna run for office. My lap can use the activity.

  21. fred says:

    Illegal squatters from Mexico can become Mayors of U.S. cities….pathetic.

  22. Steve says:

    This is the world of politics as run by Mexicans. Signing deal while drunk, 3 raids in 3 years. Mexican “national” fleeing threats “south of the border”, then works on a campaign. I didn’t think politics could get any more sleezy, but the Mexicans once again have outdone themselves

  23. knuckledragger says:

    ….can’t trust a man who turns down a free lap dance..

  24. Mememe says:

    Obama got all his opponents removed from the ballot and ran unopposed for the Democratic primaries then became state senator..

    Anything goes for ‘rats.

    1. digitus says:

      Sadly most Americans do not know this or are Dems and don’t want to hear it. It is true.

  25. fuzzy says:

    “keep saying they are going to do stuff, and they do nothing. It’s like no one cares about us.” – well, what we have here is the problem and the answer all in one. Some folks still don’t understand that it isn’t the duty of government to care – it is the duty of the people to care enough to create the proper government!

  26. Sammie Jo says:

    so he was “set-up” but if he didn’t go with it, there would have been no story. Why didn’t he just leave the room or tell the stripper to leave? Was he forced to endure the lap dance?
    His wife might buy that but I won’t.

  27. Jerry says:

    PICS or it never happened!

  28. Dave says:

    Did his rivals also force him to sit still for it and slip a twenty in her bra?

  29. JM in San Diego CA says:

    Anyone who thinks that politicians are worth knowing, please send me your brain. I can use it as a doorstop.

  30. IVillageIdiot says:

    Funny, its EXACTLY the same way in Mexico.

    People flee that system by the millions each year, they understandably come to America to get away from it, and then…. vote based on one’s surname and expect a different outcome?!!??

    Ya know… whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap….. it’s been written down for thousands of years….

    What more do you want, someone else to do it for you?

    Vote with your head, not with your EYES…..

  31. Venjeana says:

    People need to take responsibility for their actions. Just because someone tries to trap a person, that person still makes a decision to allow the action to take place. The mayor could have stopped the dancer and asked her to leave.

  32. DirtyDave777 says:

    What do you expect? The place is run by Wets ….They just do things here like they do there.and have for centurys.

  33. Mark Christopher says:

    In Vegas, times are tough. I’m just glad to see they’re putting someone to work.

    Viva Las Vegas!!

  34. Bippy Bellito says:

    I can’t believe it…A Heterosexual Democrat?? Who Knew? With all of the Effete Man Servants in D.C. catering to the Democrats there, it is refreshing to see that there are still some “throwbacks” to LBJ and JFK. There may be hope for the Democrats after all.

  35. bob litfin says:

    They are probably all Democrats trying to be ljke Clinton

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