[Voter Guide Preview] BREAKING: Sun-News reverses Andy Nuñez endorsement after ProgressNow investigation uncovers questions

[Voter Guide Preview] BREAKING: Sun-News reverses Andy Nuñez endorsement after ProgressNow investigation uncovers questions

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[Voter Guide Preview] BREAKING: Sun-News reverses Andy Nuñez endorsement after ProgressNow investigation uncovers questions

Voters in New Mexico can begin casting early and absentee votes TOMORROW so this news couldn't have come at a more important time. This morning, the Las Cruces Sun-News announce ...

Voters in New Mexico can begin casting early and absentee votes TOMORROW so this news couldn’t have come at a more important time.

This morning, the Las Cruces Sun-News announced that they had reversed their planned endorsement for Republican State Rep. Andy Nuñez because of the questions and investigation ProgressNow filed with the Attorney General about Nuñez’s activities and spending as a state lobbyists and legislator.

Las Cruces Sun-News

Steinborn, Small picks for Senate, House
Monday October 10, 2016


…our endorsement in this race originally would have gone to Republican Andy Nuñez… 

We changed our endorsement after recent revelations that allege Nuñez repeatedly used campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses, including during a period of time when he wasn’t even in the Legislature but was working as a lobbyist.

New Mexico generously reimburses lawmakers for expenses incurred in attending meetings or conferences. It is both illegal and unacceptable for lawmakers to dip into campaign contributions to cover those expenses.  

The deciding issue is ethics. Small has said improving state ethics laws and restoring faith in government would be a priority for him. The allegations like those against Nuñez are why people have lost faith in government.

(read the full endorsement switch below)

 

That’s a game changer in one of the tightest State House races in New Mexico.

Last month our Progressive Champions PAC endorsed City Councilor Nathan Small as a Progressive Champion for State House because we know he’s fighting for our side.

Democrats -led by progressive champions like Nathan Small in 10 of the tightest races – are fighting to pick up just 4 seats to take back control of the State House and give Governor Martinez a Progressive-led House and Senate her last two years in office.

Three of the 4 State House seats Democrats need to pick up this year are in Las Cruces and after two years of successful wins helping local progressive city councilors fight off Steve Pearce’s PAC attacks and organizing progressive voters, we knew this was the place we had a chance to win in 2016.

When it come election time, we turn our hard work into hard-hitting campaigns that reach voters in ways campaigns can’t.  

And our brand and our message fires up the progressive base too often taken for granted by candidates focussed on moving undecided voters.

 

So how do we turn this into a win for Progressive Champion Nathan Small?

We have programs ready to go to share the groundbreaking Sun-News endorsement announcement with absentee and early voters before they cast their vote – but we need your help NOW.

Donate

 

Wait! Andy Nuñez has been a legislator and lobbyist for more than a decade. How did no one know before now?

Understanding who pays and how legislators vote is harder than you might think in New Mexico.  There is no quick way to search for a legislator’s votes or connect those to campaign finance records.

Six months ago, we set up a project to pour through hundreds of lines of campaign finance reports and legislative voting records – and we found things (like Nuñez’s double-dipping travel problems and using his campaign funds to benefit his lobbyist business) that no one else had discovered.

Help us win this one.


Here is the full endorsement switch from the Las Cruces Sun-News today:

 

Steinborn, Small picks for Senate, House

In the race for House District 36, the Sun-News endorses Nathan Small. In the race for Senate District 36, we endorse Jeff Steinborn, Both are Democrats challenging republican incumbents.

We place a great value on proven effectiveness and the ability to ensure that southern New Mexico is well represented in Santa Fe. For that reason, we have tended to favor veteran lawmakers serving in leadership positions. And so, our endorsement in this race originally would have gone to Republican Andy Nuñez, a veteran lawmaker and a respected expert in the Legislature on issues dealing with water and agriculture.

We changed our endorsement after recent revelations that allege Nuñez repeatedly used campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses, including during a period of time when he wasn’t even in the Legislature but was working as a lobbyist.

New Mexico generously reimburses lawmakers for expenses incurred in attending meetings or conferences. It is both illegal and unacceptable for lawmakers to dip into campaign contributions to cover those expenses.

Small is well prepared to serve in the state Legislature, having previously served for two terms on the Las Cruces City Council and one term on the Doña Ana County Planning and Zoning Commission. That has given him a good understanding of the needs of his district.

Small and Nuñez have both shown a willingness to go against the party line. Nuñez began his political career as a Democrat, ran his only losing as an independent and the switched the Republican to regain his seat. Small bucked the local progressive movement when he pushed through a late change to the city minimum wage law.

The deciding issue is ethics. Small has said improving state ethics laws and restoring faith in government would be a priority for him. The allegations like those against Nuñez are why people have lost faith in government.