- Governor’s million-dollar SuperPAC attacks responds to multiple ProgressNowNM campaigns with attack ads
- Ads targeting PN and our Exec Dir called “false” “convoluted” and “strange”
- Same group was under fire in 2014 for false ads against Democratic candidates
The governor’s favorite Super PAC is on the attack and their first big target is ProgressNowNM. We must be doing something right.
Last month, we launched a candidate accountability program challenging the polished records and personas of State House and Senate candidates backed by the governor’s network of SuperPACs.
After our report on Rep. Paul Pacheco’s (R-Corrales) work to earmark public pork dollars for his brother’s construction project, we tracked ads from Advance New Mexico Now responding to voters in the district.
When our sister 501c3 organization, the ProgressNowNM Education Fund, launched a series of TV ads to expose the governor’s failed environmental legacy, the governor used the SuperPAC to respond with a barrage of negative Tweets and comments against @ProgressNowNM and our executive director.
Now the Santa Fe New Mexican called out their new ad attacking ProgressNow and a democratic State Senator as “false” “convoluted” and “strange” — continuing a pattern from 2014 when the same group made up legislative votes to attack Democratic candidates opposing the governor’s agenda.
Read their full story here: Election ad watch: Conservative PAC shifts criticism of Gov. Martinez onto Democratic state senator
The New Mexican, in examining the ad from “a political committee linked to the governor,” says:
- “The election season’s most convoluted attack ad”
- “The flier’s central claim is simply false.”
- “So strange”
“Voters depend on the news to inform them about the issues and to fact-check attacks like this,” says Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico. “But despite fact-checks, the governor continues to appear in ads run by this group and to support their efforts sending blatantly false ads against anyone who dares to disagree with her.”
“Our state’s news outlets owe the public the truth and their year-over-year pattern of making up facts and distorting the actual record should put every political reporter in the state on guard.”
“Nowhere else is a sitting governor allowing this to happen under her own name. Governor Martinez owes us and New Mexicans an apology.”
During the governor’s 2014 re-election, ProgressNow’s PAC was the first to go on the air with an ad critical of her record.
She was so concerned to see a new critic on TV her campaign’s lawyers tried to shut the ad down before it aired.
“Governor Susana Martinez and her lawyers wanted to stop an ad critical of her from airing in the Albuquerque television market.
Better New Mexico Political Action Committee paid for the ad. The committee is supported by Pat Davis’ ProgressNow New Mexico, which has been among Martinez’s harshest critics.”
— “Governor tried to stop ad critical of her,” Santa Fe New Mexican, May 1, 2014
Later in that election cycle, fact-checkers in news outlets around the state routinely called out her new PAC for false ads:
- “PAC Attack Lacks Facts” , Santa Fe Reporter, October 16, 2014
- “State representative hit hard for vote she didn’t make”
- “Election Ad Watch: Attack mailer lies about state rep’s vote on expunging criminal records”, Santa Fe New Mexican, October 21, 2014
- “Election Ad Watch: Mailer accuses House Dem of robbing school kids”, Santa Fe New Mexican, October 9, 2014
- “at best deceptive and at worst a lie”
- “Accusations fly in key Albuquerque House race”, Albuquerque Journal, October 8, 2014
- “Thomson is the target of a mailer from Advance New Mexico Now – an independent expenditure group helping GOP House candidates – that claims she…“voted to let school districts take education dollars meant for classrooms and give them to wealthy lobbyists.”… “The failed amendment cited in the ad, however, does not mention lobbyists.”
The Albuquerque Journal reported in 2014 that the PAC was founded to send negative ads against Democrats and support Republican candidates for office. It recently reported raising more than $1.1 million, 85% of which came from out-of-state donors who are mostly previous donors to Governor Martinez’s campaign and various committees, to fund ads attacking her opponents and promoting her agenda, including a new push for the death penalty.
The New Mexican now reports that the PAC was taken over by Missy Sousa, Gov. Martinez’s former campaign manager and Jay McCleskey, the governor’s political operative who was recently investigated by the FBI for his use of shell companies to hide his involvement in negative campaigns. New Mexico In Depth reports that McCleskey alone made more than $370,000 in the previous six months from PACs connected to Governor Martinez and these ads.