[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 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.

Celebrating Reproductive Rights in New Mexico

Two New Mexico cities play host to events that celebrate Women’s Health this week. On Wednesday, September 28, 2016 in Albuquerque the Southwest Women’s Law Center is Celebrating Reproductive Rights and access in New Mexico. Join them for food, fun, poetry, music and more on Wednesday, September 28, from 6pm until 8pm, at the African American Performing Arts Center and Exhibit Hall, 310 San Pedro NE, 87108. For more information about this event, please contact Southwest Women’s Law Center. In Las Cruces, Strong Families New Mexico are holding an open house at Whole Women’s Health on Thursday, September 29 from 5:30pm until 7:30pm.

ICYMI: GOP State Rep candidate under fire for “Negligence”, “Outrageous conduct”

In new court records first reported by the New Mexico Political Report, the mother of a 13-year old boy who was sexually assaulted at a Truth or Consequences education center says the director who is also a state house candidate engaged in “negligence” and “outrageous conduct” by putting her own political ambitions ahead of justice for her child. According to court records, Rebecca Dow is the founder and director of AppleTree Educational Center who hired Alejandro Hernandez to work with young children in the center and associated Boys and Girls Club in TorC. The court filings came after the victim’s family had been unable to gain cooperation from Dow to determine if Dow had conducted a background check and proper training for Hernandez.  Dow has since claimed that a background check was conducted. On an AppleTree-sponsored overnight trip, that employee sexually assaulted two children.  He was arrested, pled guilty and is currently in prison serving his sentence.

Zika mosquito now found in NM; Rep. Pearce joins GOP efforts to avoid clean vote to provide help

The Flow of Money to Combat Zika Virus Festers in Stagnant Waters of Congressional Stalemate

No treatment, no vaccine, no cure. Now the Zika virus is spreading faster than you can say DDT and New Mexico’s only Tea Party Congressman, Steve Pearce, has joined House Republicans in their plan to hijack funding that could keep thousands of women and their children healthy. As of last month, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was almost out of Zika funding, and this week, Senate Democrats were wedged between a rock and a hard place when they made the decision to say no to  Zika funding at the tune of $1.1 billion. Saying yes meant accepting an absurd laundry list of items that included but were not limited to the defunding of agencies like Planned Parenthood, approving funds for military construction and allowing federal sites to continue to fly the Confederate Flag. Seriously?

Las Cruces woman hosts fundraiser to clear rape kit backlog for victims like her; Legislators: “do your jobs” so she doesn’t have to

There are over 5,000 untested rape kits in New Mexico evidence rooms. The issue with eliminating such a large backlog is funding. Funding is always an issue though, isn’t it? Tired of waiting, one former rape victim is launching her own campaign to raise funds to end the rape kit testing backlog to bring justice for victims like her. Here’s her story:

Jessi Lail and others have organized a fundraising dinner and concert for Friday, August 19th to raise funds for victims to be able to go and petition the legislature directly. Additional funds will supplement victim’s services at La Pinon Sexual Assault Recovery Services.

Las Cruces City Council passes background checks resolution. Which city will be next?

With dozens of local voters on hand to watch, the Las Cruces City Council voted yes Tuesday afternoon on a resolution that urges state lawmakers to pass comprehensive background checks on all firearm purchases within the state during the 2017 legislative session! Everytown for Gun Safety and ProgressNow NM teamed up to alert and turnout Las Cruces residents for the Council Meeting. Meanwhile, the NRA made defeating the Las Cruces resolution their national call-to-action on Independence Day:

After featuring it on the front page of their action page, NRA members from around the country inundated City Councilors with (mostly) out-of-state emails and calls in a well-worn tactic to tie up means for local constituents to show their support for similar legislation. From KRWG News:
Las Cruces City Council passed a resolution urging the State Legislature to pass legislation requiring comprehensive background checks for all gun sales in New Mexico by a vote of 5 to 1 with one abstaining. Many people packed the Council Chambers for the debate on gun legislation.

TURN OUT: Las Cruces City Council to consider Gun Violence Prevention resolution

Earlier this month marked the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history — and in the aftermath, once again, Congress failed to pass stronger gun laws. Hundreds of people turned out right here in Las Cruces for a vigil to honor the victims and to demand action to #DisarmHate. In Las Cruces, our elected leaders are listening. But we need your help. The Las Cruces City Council is voting next week on a resolution urging New Mexico to pass background checks for all gun sales — a proven way to help save lives.

2016 NM Progressive Voter Guide: Primary Edition

It’s finally here!  ProgressNow’s Progressive Voter Guide for the 2016 Primary Elections is out.  We’ve been doing this progressive advocacy thing for a while and one thing we know: who we elect matters.  Whether it’s a County Clerk who issues the first same-sex marriage license (thanks, Lynn!) or a State Rep. defending working families wages (thanks to lots of you!), electing the right candidates matter. Bernalillo County Voter Guide
Dona Ana County Voter Guide
*Why don’t you make one for other counties?  We’re working on it.  We’ll have individual guides for all 33 counties ready for the General Election.  We’re a small shop and these take a lot of time, so we focused on the counties where we had staff on the ground to do the legwork – want more ProgressNow?  Consider a donation to help us build that power.

Take our quiz: “Who said it?” Donald Trump or Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce has said some crazy things in his term as New Mexico’s hardline conservative member of Congress, but today’s announcement may be his craziest yet. Pearce told the Associated Press today that he’d back Donald Trump for president if Trump can win the nomination.  Don’t believe us? Read the story here. That announcement got us to thinking: is there really any difference between Trump and Pierce?

Are out-of-state private prison companies influencing Doña Ana County Sheriff?

Guest Column
By Peter Goodman
Las Cruces- NMSU hosted a panel discussion Wednesday on outside money spent to influence local elections. Is this a small example? In 2014 two gentlemen from Louisiana (Glenn Hebert and Steve Afeman) contributed $2300 each to a candidate for Doña Ana County Sheriff. Louisiana’s a good way off. Apparently, neither man had previously contributed to candidates in other states.