Rep. Steve Pearce is at it again, this time meddling in the nonpartisan Albuquerque Public Schools and Central New Mexico Community College elections.
This week Albuquerque Republicans began receiving a robocall from Pearce instructing them to vote for Republican candidates in their district in the upcoming February 7 election, so Republicans can take back the public school system in Albuquerque.
After receiving several tips about the calls, ProgressNow New Mexico’s researchers were able to contact a Republican voter in Albuquerque who did not approve of Pearce’s – whose southern New Mexico Congressional doesn’t cover Albuquerque – intrusion into APS and CNM matters.
The calls were traced to Republican Party Headquarters in Albuquerque. Staff at the party confirmed the calls.
Conservatives and the Tea Party wing of the GOP have targeted school board races nationwide for takeover. After Gov. Martinez used her Susana PAC to bring $15,000 in negative ads into an APS election in 2015, local Republican leaders took notice.
A supposed “grassroots” campaign opposing LGBT bullying and anti-discrimination rules by APS was outed by reporters at the New Mexico Political Report as a cut/paste email action from the head of the local Republican Party.
This year, the Tea Party put up their own local board members and have encouraged candidates running to take “political correctness” out of APS curriculum and promising to repeal anti-LBGT discrimination rules.
Why would Pearce try to influence elections 300 miles from his home in Hobbs? For one, Pearce is widely rumored to be considering a run for governor in 2018.
Their history: last minute negative attack ads to suppress the vote
Back in the fall of 2015, a PAC started by Pearce, in partnership with a handful of large Republican donors dropped more than $100,000 in last-minute ads against progressive council and mayor candidates in Las Cruces.
ProgressNowNM members banded together to launch a response PAC to defend those candidates, outing the donors behind the message and turning out progressive voters in opposition. Just $3,000 (1/30th of their money), good candidates and smart organizing out did more than $100,000 thrown at them.
The next morning, the Las Cruces Sun News printed this headline: “Progressives win in tight city Council races.”
As far as New Mexico’s Republican Party leaders are concerned, there was that one time an APS Board Member claimed to be flooded with emails from constituents enraged over the district abiding by the the federally-mandated LGBT anti-discrimination policies.
We have stood up to Pearce and other Republicans who have tried to manipulate Albuquerque’s public education institutions for their own gain, and we stand ready to do it again!
ProgressNow’s Progressive Champions PAC is setting the record straight. Our APS/CNM voter guide has already been viewed by 6,483 voters.
Help us push back on Pearce by doubling that number this weekend through calls to progressive voters and digital delivery of those guides before they vote.
Send Pearce the message: Keep your crazy out of our elections
Direct donate page here: https://progressnownm.nationbuilder.com/