Anti-Minimum Wage Ideologues Lose Another Battle in Las Cruces

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OLE New Mexico supporting a minimum wage for all workers

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A view of the Organ Mountains


In yet another example of how out-of-touch New Mexico conservatives are with prevailing views about economic fairness, anti-minimum wage ideologues in Las Cruces have failed (yet again) in their attempt to recall a city councilor.

The Las-Cruces Sun News reports that the conservative PAC “New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow” failed to gather enough signatures to recall City Councilor Olga Pedroza. This comes a week after the group also failed to gather enough signatures to recall City Councilor Gill Sorg. From the article:

The Las Cruces city clerk’s office announced Thursday that supporters of a recall attempt didn’t get enough valid signatures to trigger an election against City Councilor Olga Pedroza of District 3.

“The initial petition filed Feb. 6 contained 586 valid signatures,” according to a city news release from Thursday. “The supplemental recall petition filed April 2 contained 351 valid signatures, which brought the new total to 937.”

Also, the clerk’s office got “285 requests from voters who signed the initial petition to have their names removed,” according to the news release.

“Only 233 signatures were eligible to be withdrawn, which brought the valid number of signatures to 704,” the city news release states.

[City Clerk] Martinez-Carrillo, during the first round of signature-gathering, sent a letter to three residents who started the recall process, warning them and other petition circulators against misrepresenting the nature of the petition. The Sun-News also fielded a number of complaints from residents who said circulators didn’t accurately explain the petition was aimed at recalling city councilors.

As the report states, hundreds of Las Cruces residents withdrew their names from the initial petitions because many of the anti-minimum wage organizers originally mislead residents about the true intent of the petition.

The ideologues behind the recall petitions claim that Gill Sorg, Olga Pedroza, and Nathan Small are “too progressive” because they voted to increase the city’s minimum wage. However, as poll after poll shows, the overwhelming majority of New Mexicans support minimum wage increases.

An ABQ Journal poll conducted during the 2015 legislative session showed that 71% of New Mexicans support a statewide minimum wage increase, with 62% of people supporting a wage increase of $9 or more.

Those numbers track closely with another poll conducted just before the legislative session by the Center for Civic Action. That poll saw 76% of voters supportive of an increase, with 59% supportive of an increase to over $10 an hour.

The fact that New Mexico conservatives think that support for a minimum wage increase makes you “too progressive” shows just how far to the right conservatism in our state and country has gone.

Extremist organizations like “New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow” are trying to push conservatism even farther to the right than it already is. A scary thought.

But when you get your marching orders from the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Rep. Steve Pearce, middle of the road views like supporting modest increases in the minimum wage must seem like socialism. In actuality, higher minimum wages are simply what most people in our state and country want.