Today is New Mexico’s FIRST Indigenous Peoples Day!

The 2019 legislative session brought us the passage of HB 100- Replace Columbus Day As Indigenous People’s Day, sponsored by Representative Derrick Lente (Sandia Pueblo). Here are some really easy ways to celebrate without being a jerk about not celebrating a rapist and murderer. Buy from inspired Natives (NOT “Native-inspired”!). There are Indigenous artists and business owners from all across Turtle Island that you can support and NOT be an appropriative ass. Check out: Milo Creations by Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo); Bethany Yellowtail (Northern Cheyenne/Crow); NTVS: The Originals by Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa-Choctaw);OXDX by Jarred Yazzie (Diné)Dale Ray Deforest- Dale Deforest Illustrations (Diné) (he created IWR’s logo and is creating some graphic novels I am really excited about!) Lisa Teparghuq Apangaluk (Siberian Yupik/Tlingit)- Mother & Child (@ken_yew_knot on Instagram!)

Steven Paul JuddOXDXBethany YellowtailMilo Creations

Read history by Indigenous authors (oh, Creator, please go read)!

Add your name to help protect healthcare in NM!

THE ISSUE

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a lifeline for millions of Americans while lowering costs and improving the quality of care. It has strengthened Medicare and Medicaid by expanding access while also containing costs and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse of public programs.

Despite the vast benefits it provides for millions of Americans, the ACA has become political fodder for its opponents. President Trump and his administration have consistently sought to undermine and repeal the ACA. Overturning the law would disrupt coverage for 15 million people, including 90,000 New Mexicans, who receive health insurance through an ACA exchange and 15 million more who were covered by the expansion of Medicaid. Medicare recipients would face steep increases in drug prices, disrupted access to free birth control, mammograms, and cholesterol tests, and children would potentially be prohibited from staying on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and Power the Future: Working together? CONFIRMED!

It also appears that NMOGA is working with top-tier far-right digital consulting firm Harris Media 

ProgressNow New Mexico has come into possession of a PowerPoint presentation from 2018 that was prepared by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and seemingly presented by their Communications Director Robert McEntyre. 

It contains slides with then forthcoming plans to expand their digital and traditional media reach into New Mexico, but more significantly, it confirms that NMOGA planned and has continued to collaborate directly with out-of-state lobbying group, Power the Future. 

You can see the whole slideshow here:

You can clearly see on slide six, the final bullet point: “Coordinate allied groups and align strategies and messaging.”

Given the layout of the presentation, it then appears that none other than Power the Future founder Daniel Turner himself was present to give some portion of the presentation, as his name card and that of his organization are similarly presented on slides 32 and 33. For the record, we know Turner was in NM during the summer of 2018. He tweeted a video of himself with a billboard Power the Future apparently bought in Sandoval County. 

Daniel Turner on Twitter

Here in beautiful New Mexico to support energy workers! Don’t let radical environmentalists take away your jobs. @powerthefuture #EnergyDominance #EnergyWorkers More to come, Sandoval County!! https://t.co/yF102QFP8l

Turner is based in Washington DC and started Power the Future sometime at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018. According to articles about him, he comes from working directly with Koch Industries and before that the Bush administration (Bush 2). Turner is obviously vehemently a climate science denier, but also a pro-Trump nationalist who echoes a lot of jingoist mantras on Twitter.

Wildlife corridors: What are they, why do they matter, and how do you help?

If you follow environmental news in New Mexico, chances are you’ve seen some of the great media coverage of what’s happening around wildlife corridors in the state. But what exactly is all the fuss? We’re going to give you a quick overview of the issue so that you can help get involved no matter what part of the state you live in: Wildlife matters to us all! 

Simply speaking, animals don’t recognize things like state boundaries, county lines, or different land designations from federal, state, and local jurisdictions; they just go where they need to for survival. Some people might be familiar with pictures of natural-looking overpasses for wildlife to cross over highways but wildlife corridors really represent large landscapes used for a variety of issues; migration, mating, foraging, etc. And it’s not just large mammals like deer or elk but almost every animal in some way utilizes the landscape, especially as more and more development encroaches on natural habitats.

ProgressNow NM calls for investigation into PRC Commissioner

Progress Now New Mexico today called for the investigation, by appropriate State officials including the Attorney General, Secretary of State and the State Ethics Commission, of various activities of Public Regulation Commissioner Valerie Espinoza. Those activities came to light after an examination by ProgressNow NM and others of responses to public records requests and other information provided to Progress Now. The activities, if verified, range from inappropriate to criminal, and would include violations of both statutes and regulations. 

PRC Commissioner Valerie Espinoza

“The information resulting from our IPRA request is deeply disappointing,” said Stephanie Maez, Executive Director for ProgressNow New Mexico. “It is our hope that by shedding light on this we can ensure that the Commissioner’s behavior is thoroughly investigated and future questionable activities by the Commissioner cease all together.”  

You can see the whole press release here:

PNNM Press-Release- Valerie Espinoza .pdf

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And you can find all the supporting documents here:

Exhibits1-4.pdf

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ProgressNow New Mexico is committed to keeping public officials of any party and at any level in New Mexico government accountable to the people. Stay tuned for any updates as this story develops.

GOP candidate condones “blowing them (aslyum seekers) away with my .44 Magnum” at New Mexico meeting

This week’s headlines have been absolutely dominated by the downright chilling effect of President Trump using overt, racist language about four sitting members of congress. His attempt on Thursday to walk back his endorsement of chants at his North Carolina rally of “send her back” is clearly disingenuous. The hate-filled rhetoric is out there and Trump supporters are clearly feeling free to express their own vitriol with wild abandon. Unfortunately, this appears to be manifesting itself right here in New Mexico and being encouraged by Republican candidates eyeing next year’s elections. 

Chris Mathys

Chris Mathys, a self-declared “conservative Christian and supporter of President Donald Trump,” held a listening session in the small community (less than 1000 people) of Mimbres in Grant County this past weekend. According to an article in the Las Cruces Sun-News, racists sentiment were loudly expressed by many in attendance and not at all rebuked by Mathys at any point.

It’s Always Susana in New Mexico (at least when it comes to oil and gas)

ProgressNow New Mexico has published a number of articles about the deep ties the oil and gas industry has with former Governor Susana Martinez’ administration. But when you stop and look at the makeup of top lobbying groups like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA), so-called Power the Future, and top lobbyists for other extraction industry titans, the numbers are truly stunning. At least nine top lobbyists currently working in the extraction industry (or lobbyist adjacent) came directly out of the Martinez administration. The big problem? New Mexico doesn’t have a law that requires a “cooling off” period for officials once they leave the public sector and return to private life.

Methane: What New Mexicans need to know

THE PROBLEM

New Mexico has a methane waste and pollution problem – it’s costing our schools millions in revenue, ruining our air and harming our climate for future generations. Methane is a powerful climate change pollutant responsible for 25 percent of the warming we experience today. It is also the primary component of natural gas and a valuable energy resource. Each year in New Mexico, oil and gas companies waste $275 million-worth of natural gas through venting, flaring, and leaks which costs the state over $40 million in royalty and tax revenue that could fund public education. Oil and gas operations also release ozone-forming pollutants that worsen respiratory diseases such as emphysema and trigger asthma attacks.

Almost 500 New Mexicans have already signed letters supporting our clean energy future: Now it’s your turn!

A few weeks back ProgressNow New Mexico published a blog exposing so-called “Power the Future” for the (likely) Koch Brothers-funded mouthpieces they really are. The response from across the state has been incredible! Click Here to send a letter NOW! Our friends at Conservation Voters of New Mexico even sent our blog out to their members with a call to action to tell Larry Behrens, PTF’s local spokes-lackey and long-time NM conservative mouthpiece, that New Mexicans are not reversing course. We’re invested in clean, renewable energy future AND in ensuring that workers from across the state, including those in the oil and gas fields, are represented with longterm and sustainable options not tied to the volatile global energy syndicates.