Behind the curtain of the Koch operations: local campaign disclosures provide window on Koch campaigns (if you know where to look)

Charles and David Koch spent $960 million in the 2016 elections, mostly on campaigns attacking progressive candidates and causes.  But because much of that money flows through non-profits and PACs, their fingerprints are often hard to identify and their playbook is even harder to pin down. But thanks to some of the country’s most progressive campaign disclosure laws, their local Americans for Prosperity chapter disclosed their ads, scripts and spendings in recent local elections – if you know where to find it. Since ProgressNow New Mexico started in 2011 we’ve been tracking the influence of corporate-backed right-wing astroturf organizations who come into our state trying to influence our elections. The Koch Brothers and their affiliated organizations – Americans for Prosperity and the LIBRE Initiative – are some of the worst offenders. They do this in a variety of ways.

Happening Now: Conservatives and Progressive face off for control in ABQ, Las Cruces elections

We are entering into a pivotal time in New Mexico. In Albuquerque, citizens are approaching a runoff in the mayoral race as well as in city council district 5. And in Las Cruces, municipal elections for three city councilors and a municipal judge are happening now. We’ve all seen what happens when progressive voters assume elections are already won and decide to stay home.  In New Mexico’s two most populous cities, progressive voters could be the largest voting blocs, but traditionally under-perform in city elections.  Now, more than ever, your local candidates are counting on your vote. Albuquerque: Citywide runoff, now through Nov.

Vote – Just Go Vote… #WhoWeElectMatters

Consider your options, talk to your neighbors, attend one of the remaining forums, and then go vote. Municipal level elections are where change is influenced most immediately. As an outlet for information, keeping people aware, informed and engaged, is always our focus. We urge you to keep the focus as we head toward October 3rd and November 8th and push your friends and fellow community members to vote. We appreciate it and you.

It’s Election Day in cities all across New Mexico!

It’s Election Day in cities all across New Mexico! Voters in Rio Rancho get to vote on a slate of new city councilors and ethics ordinances for elected officials and the Tea Party is working overtime to defeat a bond package to invest in streets and roads. In Santa Fe, a hotly contested city council race will likely help to decide how Santa Fe digs itself out of a budget deficit. Did you know?  New Mexico has more than 680 locally elected officials making villages, towns and cities work across the state.