ProgressNow NM Names Big Election Day Winners!

Tuesday night was another HUGE night for female candidates, public schools and progressive values up and down New Mexico ballots! Are you confused about ranked-choice races and races that resulted in a run-off? No worries! We’re here to give you the scoop on top races we watched. It’s time for an election rundown!

It’s time for a change in New Mexico’s House District 41

Debbie Rodella has been the representative for House District 41 since 1993. After all that time, she’s barely faced any opposition from members of her own party, last facing a primary challenge in 2006. But after a series of votes over the last few years, it has become clear to many that it’s time for a change in the district. Rodella has taken nearly $20,000 from the payday lending industry in the last decade and made sure that at least three times bills designed to protect New Mexicans died in the committee she chairs. As a whole, that industry has spent almost A MILLION DOLLARS in the last few years to oppose common-sense consumer protections. Such protections would ensure that predatory practices from these high-interest lenders would at least have some checks and balances, as well as legal protections for consumers.

It is Election Day in Valencia County: Here’s what you need to know

It’s Election Day in New Mexico and most voters have no idea. That’s because today’s elections are for soil and water conservation districts across the state.  The Doña Ana County District election has become a hotly contested race after ultra-conservative members passed a number of Tea Party-inspired “Agenda 21” and anti-public lands resolutions along with a proposed tax hike on district residents last year. But other soil and water conservation districts are also having elections today. Supporters in Valencia County emailed us asking us to remind voters there about today’s election and highlighted progressive candidate Andrew Hautzinger who earned the Sierra Club’s endorsement as a write-in candidate.

Election Notice for Dona Ana County: May 5, Dona Ana Cty Soil & Water Conservation District

From our PAC, Better NM:
Election Notice for Dona Ana County

Quick Quiz: Which is a better use of taxpayer dollars by our elected officials? A)   Passing resolutions opposing a UN takeover of the United States and black helicopter invasion. B)   Conserving Doña Ana County’s land and water to provide for flood control, preserve wildlife, protect the tax base and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of Doña Ana County.  

If you chose “B” then you need to vote.  

That’s the mission of the Soil and Water Conservation District but Option A is what the district’s elected supervisors have spent the last few years doing – and they tried to raise our takes to give them more money and power to do it.

White House official: Martinez should donate money taken from domestic violence offender

The drum beat for Gov. Martinez to distance herself from a disgraced major Republican donor got significantly louder today when a former White House domestic violence advisor weighed in supporting State Senators and victims of domestic violence who have called for Martinez to donate more than $120,000 in campaign donations she solicited from a convicted domestic violence offender. Texas’ governor and lieutenant governor last month donated more than $700,000 they had received from the same donor to Texas domestic violence shelters. Martinez raised more than $8,000,000 for her 2014 bid for reelection.  She reported almost $250,000 cash remaining in her gubernatorial account in December.  Martinez is term-limited and cannot seek a third term.

Dianna Duran’s campaign painted over “Republican” on her signs. Her volunteers tell us why they don’t want anyone to know she’s from the GOP

This past weekend we ended up in tiny Lincoln, New Mexico for their annual Billy the Kid Days festival (If you get a chance, go.  It’s a lot of fun and the people there are some of New Mexico’s nicest).   The former county seat of Lincoln County, Lincoln and the surrounding communities are home base for New Mexico’s Republican Party. Safely conservative ground, Democrats did not even field a candidate in recent primaries in the state house race in District 56, for county clerk, county treasurer or any of the three local magistrate judge races. So it struck us as odd that the campaign signs and giveaways for Dianna Duran’s re-election for secretary of state never mentioned that she is one of the Republican Party’s two highest-ranking statewide officials.  

We snapped these shots of the Duran campaign’s all-terrain campaign buggy after we noticed that someone had painted over parts of the sign.

City Council to take up Garduno resolution to put pot vote on ballot in ABQ

What a rollercoaster ride this campaign has been!  

Last week, we turned in the names of over 16,000 supporters ready to see Albuquerque vote to reduce marijuana penalties this November.  

But two days after petitions were due, a Republican city councilor asked city hall to ‘reread’ the rules.   Now they say the 11,203 signatures they required when the campaign began wasn’t enoug, but they didn’t let anyone know until after the deadline for more signatures had passed. [Want to read more? “Everything you need to know in 60 seconds about ABQ’s pot petition fight”]

 

Good news for voters: We’re good at campaigns but we’re even better at fighting Republican shenanigans.

Everything you need to know in 60 seconds about Albuquerque’s potential pot election

At the end of May, ProgressNowNM and Drug Policy Action teamed up to put put the question of reduced marijuana penalties to Albuquerque voters this fall.  This historic election would be the first votes cast in New Mexico for marijuana reform. Supporters were eager to sign the petition, as KOAT found out when they followed our canvassers around one weekend:

 

But two days after petitions were due, Republican City Councilor Don Harris asked city hall to ‘reread’ the rules.   Now they say the 11,203 signatures they required when the campaign began wasn’t enough and they didn’t let anyone know until after the deadline for more signatures had passed. That’s shenanigans of the highest order and it even has the Albuquerque Journal calling foul:
The city had told supporters of the marijuana penalty petition they needed 11,203 valid signatures to get their question on a ballot. They turned in more than 16,000 signatures by Monday’s deadline, thinking that provided a cushion for almost 5,000 invalid signatures…