In first post-Trump elections, progressives sweep school elections helped by record voter turnout

Progressive candidates fought off pro-Trump Tea Party candidates in school board elections around the state, Tuesday. It was the first election test of the newly energized progressive movement in the Trump era. The results are still coming in but the early results are already clear:  this movement isn’t just about resistance in the streets – we’re voting, too! “Voter turnout in Albuquerque was almost double what it was two years ago, and early numbers show that those voters came out for a slate of progressive candidates endorsed by educators unions, progressive elected leaders and community organizations, including ProgressNowNM,” says Pat Davis, executive director of ProgressNowNM. In a sign of progressive voting power:

ProgressNowNM’s Progressive Champions PAC Voter Guide was viewed online more than 25,000 times – 14,511 times in the 7 days preceding the election.

[Video] Meet the inspiring, happy, dancing teachers Governor Martinez calls out as public enemy number one

Governor Martinez made headlines this week when she announced she was not going back to the negotiating table with the state’s public sector unions until they stopped using union dues to attack her. “We’re at an impasse with the current (contract negotiations) because I don’t want to take the checks out of the payroll and do their job so they can attack us,” [Martinez said]

Aside from the big problems with her misunderstanding of the way that whole thing works, she also came directly at teachers. Sidebar on “Fair Share”: Unions are prohibited from using those basic membership dues for political activity.  They raise political activity money in other ways, including optional contributions from members who want to contribute to political programs.

“Contrary to Martinez’s assertion that the dues are being used for political attacks, [AFSCME’s Miles] Conway said the fair-share payments are prohibited from political use. Instead, they go exclusively toward operating expenses, he said. However, the union also is allowed to have employees make additional payments for political work, which are deducted from state paychecks.