Koch Brothers are back in NM to teach Hispanics how to be Hispanic

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The Koch brothers guide to being the right kind of Hispanic.

Did you see this morning’s news?   New Mexico lost another 3,700 jobs in 2013. Those job losses were led by the government sector, including state government where Governor Martinez has been repeatedly criticized for failing to hire government workers and, instead, diverting salary dollars into special projects and budget surpluses.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reported Monday that the biggest losses state wide occurred in the government sector, which saw a net decrease of 3,200 jobs over the year. Among the industrial sectors losing jobs in the period were manufacturing, which lost 1,500 jobs, the professional and business services industry, down 1,100 jobs, and education and health services, which lost 1,000 jobs.

Some of the sectors adding to the payroll were mining, up 1,700 jobs; retail, up 1,200 jobs; financial activities, up 1,100 jobs; and construction, which added 500 jobs.  – Albuquerque Journal, March 18, 2014

If you are a teacher or social worker you are out of luck, but if you are a conservative political operative you are in luck – the Koch brothers are hiring again in New Mexico and they have big backup from national conservative donors.

First, the Koch brothers hiring spree:

In January, we broke the news that the Koch brothers-funded Americans For Prosperity was packing up shop and leaving New Mexico (story here: Huffington Post).

Now we’ve learned they are back, this time hiring field organizers in New Mexico to teach Hispanics how to be Hispanic (at least the way old white guys from Kansas see them).  Our right-wing watch project found this job description (here) for a New Mexico field organizer for the LIBRE Initiative, and it didn’t take long to find out who is behind this new program.

The Libre Initiative, a recently formed Hispanic-voter targeting effort, was funded by one of the Kochs’ foundations, according to a video on its website. – Reader Supported News

If you don’t know the LIBRE initiative, you should.  It’s sort of a “father knows best” program where two old white guys (ie, Charles and David Koch) teach Hispanics how to be Hispanic.

According to their website, the LIBRE Initiative “advances the principles and values of economic freedom to empower the U.S. Hispanic community so it can thrive and contribute to a more prosperous America.”

And here’s what the Koch brothers want America’s Hispanics, including New Mexicans, to learn:

  • In a nod to women who are subservient to men, their women’s initiative says a model Hispanic woman “respects authority.”
  • The rich are America’s only “productive class.”  Until you become a millionaire, apparently, your work is not worth the effort.
  • “We can strike a blow against poverty…[o]nly through the accumulation of capital, [and] wealth” (source)

And it’s not just the Koch brothers who are targeting New Mexico voters.   The Republican State Leadership Committee has named New Mexico as a target state for a conservative takeover of the legislature and all state elected offices (think Wisconsin without all the snow).

From Thom Cole in yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal:

The RSLC – formed in 2002 – raised and spent about $40 million nationwide in 2012. Major donors include big business, big pharma, big tobacco and big oil….

The RSLC in 2012 contributed nearly $1 million to Reform New Mexico Now, a super PAC, or political action committee, that was active in races for seats in the state Legislature. Reform New Mexico Now was led by Jay McCleskey, political adviser to Martinez.

[T]he Virginia-based RSLC, which works nationwide to get GOP candidates elected to state offices, says it “will wage an aggressive and well-funded effort in 2014.” The group says New Mexico is a target state.

Think 2012 was a nasty year for dirty politics and big spending Super PACs?  You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

What can you do?

It’s no joke.  The Koch brothers and GOP have shown that they are willing to spend whatever it takes to win.   But time and time again, progressives have fought back (and won!) when we get out and push back.

During the recent legislative session, we tracked hundreds of committee meetings and more than 1,000 votes to measure how well conservatives were really serving their constituents.

We tracked more than 500 votes conservative legislators missed in just 30 days, a sure sign that they weren’t interested in working to put their constituents back to work.  They didn’t put forward a single bill to help the working poor, or those not working at all, but they did spend weeks trying to push more big corporate tax breaks and undo freedoms like marriage equality.

We have a plan to hold them accountable and you can help.   More than 1,000 grassroots donors keep us going every year, but the more time we spend fundraising is less time we spend taking it to the Koch brothers.  If you haven’t pitched in, now would be a great time.  Your $25, $50 or $100 donation keeps our right-wing watch going.  Chip in to help here.

Spread the word

Help us sound the alarm!  Visit our Facebook page (be sure to “Like” it if you haven’t already).  Add your comments on this big news and share it to put New Mexico’s progressives on notice:  We’re not letting the Koch brothers take New Mexico.  Game on.