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ALEC Exposed: Names of NM Elected Officials LEAKED

Some elected officials hold town halls to listen to constituents. Some send out surveys and others hold gatherings at parks or churches. 

In New Mexico, however, some elected officials and community leaders choose to get their marching orders from corporations with extreme Right Wing agendas. 

Enter ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council. If you haven’t heard of this group before, you may have seen some of their policies either at the Roundhouse here in New Mexico or at the national level. They’re a Washington-D.C.-based, corporate-sponsored “think tank” that basically believes our society should be run like Gilead- see Handmaid’s Tale for reference, or, click here for a list of their bills. (Spoiler alert: abortion bans, “Right-to-Work” laws, privatization of public schools, voter suppression, climate change denial, etc.)

A couple of weeks ago, ALEC held their conference in Austin, Texas.

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.

Universal Pre-K: New Mexico’s Bold Next Step

Last week, we asked our readers their opinion about every three and four year old having access to high-quality, universal pre-k. Responses indicated that high quality, universal pre-k is not only a priority for families with young children, but it is also of importance to our community as a whole, providing a strong, educational foundation for future generations as well as an opportunity for New Mexico to improve pay for pre-k teachers, many of whom utilize food stamps and Medicaid to help make ends meet. 

Our readers wrote to us with their pre-k stories- both the good and the bad, a reflection of the current state of our pre-k system. Some readers talked about the ways in which the pre-k system helped ready their own children for school, while educators chimed in about the difference they were able to see when a child has attended pre-k. Others, frustrated with the system, talked about the never-ending wait-lists, the lottery system that only serves a small portion of the population of three and four year olds, and the shameful pay that keeps some pre-k educators living in poverty. However troublesome, these stories are not new.

**UPDATED-GOP Staffer: Blacks Should Thank Whites Post-Slavery

Yep, you read the headline right. This week, GOP Staffer, Stella Padilla, added to her own barrage of hate-fueled social media posts with a new image depicting deceased Civil War soldiers, the text above it reading: Over 620,000 White People Died to Free Black Slaves And Still To This Day Not Even 1 Thank You. (See below for original post and enlarged, *graphic* image.)

This is the same GOP contractor who sought to exploit the conditions in which asylum seekers were going to be housed in Albuquerque. After trespassing, she and GOP side-kick Dinah Vargas were kicked off the closed campus for unauthorized filming. You would think that the GOP-which has incessantly beaten the drum on Real ID initiatives, and is obsessed with people’s birth certificates would have done their due diligence to vet a prospective employee.

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.

Progress Now NM Welcomes New Progressive Voice

Last fall, our boots-on-the-ground grassroots movement helped ensure we elected more progressive legislators to office. This January, we pushed progressive policy issues to the forefront at the Legislature. It’s now June, which means our calendar is stacked with municipal elections, legislative interim committees and a clock that’s counting the days until primary season! Fortunately, our Progress Now New Mexico team is growing to help keep you informed every step of the way! We’re excited to welcome another team member ready to fight battles on behalf of our progressive community.