[TAKE ACTION] Smarter gun policy needs to be forefront up and down the ballot across the state in 2018

Primary elections in New Mexico take place in June, and the general election isn’t until November but knowing where candidates stand on the issue of smarter gun laws is something we should all be paying attention to now. With the momentum from the brave students in Florida who survived last weeks massacre who are demanding something be done about the lax gun laws in this country, current elected leaders and candidates should be seeing this as cornerstone issue for 2018. And, this past 30-day session the issue of smarter gun laws hardly made a blip. As the Santa Fe New Mexican put it:

Debate over gun control may be raging in many parts of the country, but little of it has been heard at New Mexico’s Capitol. The issue barely registered during the legislative session that began a month after a gunman killed two students at a school in Aztec and ended the same week a shooter in Florida killed 17 people at a high school.

Background Check Legislation Stalls in House Committee

Legislation to help keep guns out of dangerous hands hit a snag in the House Judiciary Committee today where it was tabled on a 7-6 vote. The motion to table ends debate and keeps the bill in committee, essentially ensuring that the bill will not make it to the House floor for a vote. House Bill 50, the original legislation, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 10th and on to the house floor but was sent back by the bill’s sponsor, Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos), to have amendments made. The amendments targeted complications with the bill’s language on ‘gun transfers’ between family members and close friends. The substitute legislation, HB548, scraps the ‘gun transfers’ language and focuses the intention on requiring background checks for gun sales between strangers.

In spite of Trump, Progressives led Democrats to HUGE victories over governor and GOP agenda in New Mexico

While social media seems almost united in calling last night a “disaster” for Democrats nationwide, but here at home the results were a huge disaster for Governor Martinez and the Republican agenda. The State House is now led by a Democratic majority that includes the largest progressive caucus in history. Governor Martinez is now a lame duck forced to work with a larger caucus of progressives in the State Senate. They will decide which issues and bills define her final years in office. And voters finally sent a competent, responsible person to lead the Secretary of State’s Office.

NM GOP candidates hide “Republican” party brand from signs, campaign materials in races statewide

In the year when Donald Trump has all but destroyed the Republican brand with rational voters, Republican candidates are both refusing to denounce him while refusing to put “Republican” on their campaign signs and literature in campaigns across the state. Take one of the state’s top Republicans: House Majority Leader Nate Gentry.  As the most senior Republican in the State House, carrying the Republican brand in his election materials shouldn’t be hard. But he doesn’t. Gentry, who earned the distinction of serving as the only legislator to serve a term of criminal probation while also serving as a state legislator, has also refused to denounce Donald Trump, even after he mocked a disabled reporter, attacked a Gold Star family and was caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women.

New Death Penalty Bill includes public pregnancy examination for accused women, antiquated “retard” provisions

Buried within House Bill 7, the Republican bill to reinstate New Mexico’s death penalty, are provisions requiring accused women to undergo forced public medical examinations “in the presence of the court” and includes antiquated provisions governing processes for “retarded” persons and the “insane.” “Either the sponsors don’t know what is in this bill or they are so out-of-touch that they don’t understand the implications.  Either way these antiquated terms and barbaric assumptions show how extreme and political this entire death penalty proposal has become,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico. Section 10 of HB7 adds “new material” from the bill writers governing the punishment of “mentally retarded” persons. Section 14 governs the “insanity of the defendant.”

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.

Mike Who? 3 reasons NM voters will never want to have a beer with Trump’s veep

It takes a pretty special person to be Donald Trump’s… well, anything. 
Most candidates pick a running mate for the voters they can bring out to the polls. So who is Mike Pence? Why are politicos calling him Trump’s least worst choice and who in New Mexico would actually vote for him? Don’t know Mike Pence? Don’t worry, we follow right-wing politics so you don’t have to.

[LEAKED DOCS] Even Republican business leaders favor minimum wage increases

Conservative-minded groups like chambers of commerce or the Republican Party love trotting out their “the-sky-is-falling!” rhetoric whenever minimum wage increases are proposed. The tired refrain is that businesses don’t want these increases and implementing them will kill jobs. Now, leaked documents from the nation’s leading Republican pollster, Frank Luntz, have turned those clichés upside down. A huge majority of businesses executives actually support minimum wage increases and other pro-worker policies like paid family leave. The Washington Post has a story today about a leaked survey of 1,000 business executives, conducted by Luntz, showing 80% for minimum wage increases with only 8% in opposition.

Top 5 BEST things from #NMLEG 2016

Yesterday we ran through our “Top 5 WORST things from #NMLEG 2016.”

Though bad bills and bad actors were plentiful this year, there were also a lot of great things to look back on from the progressive point-of-view. Today we’re taking a look at the top 5 best things to happen in #NMLEG 2016. #5
Progressive champions in the House
Despite being in the minority, progressives in the House put forth a valiant effort this year to advance some key policies to help our kids, our economy, our education system, our voting systems, and much more. Here’s just a small sampling of these champions:

Rep. Bill McCamley had a bill to equalize the tax code in the state so that people earning most of their income from capital gains would pay the same rate as those who work hourly. “The bill would have increased the state’s Working Families Tax Credit from 10 percent of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to 20 percent.”

Rep. Jeff Steinborn got his bill to the governor’s desk – which he’s sponsored for years now – to allow some 17 year olds to participate in primary elections.