You think YOUR radio is cluttered with political ads? Check out all the radio spots in this New Mexico House District (in English & Navajo)

Think your radio is clogged with political ads?  Odds are it’s nothing like the onslaught of radio ads voters in New Mexico’s House District 4 are experiencing. HD4 is almost entirely Native American – and Democratic – in makeup, but it is represented by a first-term Republican legislator backed by Governor Susana Martinez, her army of political operatives and their million-dollar war chests, and big mining interests. Democrat Harrison Todacheene has proven to be a formidable force to unseat Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage.  In a year when control of the State House is at stake, close races like this get a lot of attention.

Sec. of State’s “Motor Voter” Failure Catching Up With NM Voters

SANTA FE — A Santa Fe man is the latest person to be affected by errors in the State’s voter registration system that are preventing eligible voters from being able to vote. As ProgressNow NM reported back in May, the “Motor Voter” program overseen by Secretary of State Dianna Duran fails to complete and submit voter registrations begun at MVDs across the state. Eligible voters are supposed to be able to update their voter registrations or complete a new registration when they apply for or renew their licenses. The requirement, known as “motor voter,” is a component of the National Voting Rights Act. However, as Brian Sweeney attests in an opinion piece he penned for the Santa Fe New Mexican this week, New Mexico’s required motor voter system is still not properly completing/submitting the voter registration forms:
When I moved to Santa Fe this summer, one of the first things I did was apply for a New Mexico driver’s license. At the same time, I registered to vote using a paper form.

MVD policy on “illiterates” and Navajo-only speakers generates outcry

Update, Thu. Oct 30 (4:35 pm): MVD clarified it’s policy on non-English speakers and shared the original directive with the public an employees. New Mexico MVD Clarifies Policies on Non-English Speakers 
 

Late today, New Mexico’s MVD clarified it’s directive to employees engaged in processing applications for licenses and ID cards after part of a directive posted in a Farmington office led employees to believe that non-English, and specifically Navajo, speakers were to be denied assistance with applications for licenses or identification cards.  

While the email summarizing the department’s policies for non-English speakers was poorly worded enough to allow staff in one office to interpret the directive narrowly and to apply the reference to illiterate applicants to all non-English speakers, MVD’s quick action to clarify the rules and policies to the public and staff is the right thing to do.  

We are confident that public attention to the issue will lead to the removal of the misleading directive from the employee area in the Farmington office and lead to better training to ensure that all applicants have access to translators and assistance they need to apply for services, whether applicants are seeking licenses needed to drive or identification cards to access services or voting for those who registered by mail.

House Whip ‘Moe’ Maestas Hits Opponent for Fraudulent Voting

Another New Mexico race is heating up over the issue of voter fraud.  And once again, its not Republicans crying foul. Dianna Duran has run statewide ads claiming she won convictions for voter fraud (she can’t) and is committed to finding more. She even ran an ad saying her opponent registered a dog to vote – ignoring the fact that we outed the man who registered the dog to vote for being the husband of a Republican operative for a statewide GOP campaign.  Duran never pursued that case.

[Audio] Women describe sexual harassment by House candidate Geoff Rodgers

Los Alamos County Republican Geoff Rodgers is running to unseat State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-43) in one of the most hotly contested state house races in the state. Currently a county councilor, Rodgers was previously the transportation director for the school district where his conduct with women he supervised cost taxpayers tens-of-thousands of dollars in legal fees and a sexual harassment settlement. In 2004, a bus driver accused Rodgers of sexual harassment on multiple occasions and several other women came forward as witnesses to support her claims.

A hearing was held and the findings were summarized in the commission’s report:

The Los Alamos Monitor reported on the case after Rodgers claimed in a candidate forum that his actions were merely “improper.” The school board later appealed the commission’s findings and after several prolonged court battles, the victim agreed to withdraw her claim in exchange for a taxpayer-funded settlement of $45,000. In their own words
We obtained the audio tapes of the hearing and after hearing the witnesses describe, under oath, Rodgers’ actions towards women he supervised, it is no wonder they three-person commission unanimously found that Rodgers had created a workplace full of sexual harassment towards women he supervised.

Dianna Duran’s new ad ignores one VERY important fact

Hold on just a second. Dianna Duran just launched a new TV ad in her run for Secretary of State.  We found it on YouTube. http://youtu.be/sIq3spGqa_E?t=21s

Duran hits her opponent, current Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, for “registering a dog to vote.” But that’s not what happened.

Why is Nate Gentry checking into hotels under an assumed name on official travel?

What would someone be hiding by checking into a hotel under an assumed name? That’s a great question to ask embattled Republican House Rep. Nate Gentry. While representing his constituents and New Mexico at a national conference for state legislators, Nate Gentry registered and stayed at a high-class hotel under an assumed name.  He even tried to stick organizers with the bill. Legislators from around the country, Democrats and Republicans alike, attend National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) events every year.  They are invited because they are elected leaders and they represent their states in various panels covering transportation policy, tax policy and education trends.

Your 2014 Progressive Voter Guide is Here!

Ok, so you’re not voting for Susana Martinez.  But how do good progressive voters know who the most progressive candidates are on their ballot?  
 
Google it?  Good luck.  With dozens of organizations putting out “vote for” and “vote against” press releases and Facebook posts you could spend hours trying to find which candidates support your values.

New emails show Susana Martinez campaign using law enforcement records to spy on Dem opponents

It’s a story everyone is talking about. First Mother Jones released explosive tapes from inside Susana Martinez’s 2010 campaign.  And that story included an allegation from a former staffer that the campaign routinely had investigators working for then-District Attorney Susana Martinez check license plates of vehicles supporting her opponent. In September, the new district attorney, Mark D’Antonio, announced that emails from the Martinez-era were “intentionally destroyed” before he took office. And that seemed like the end until ProgressNowNM identified a backup server in Albuquerque which contained some of those deleted emails.

Tommy Rodella and Nate Gentry teamed up to send almost $500,000 to aid notorious Rio Arriba Sheriff

Nate Gentry is one of the State House’s most powerful, and partisan, Republicans.  He spent the better part of this year raising and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to elect a Republican majority in the legislature. That usually doesn’t earn you many friends across the aisle; but Nate Gentry has never been one to follow the rules. Tommy Rodella isn’t known for following the rules, either.  He’s the now former Rio Arriba County Sheriff convicted by a federal jury last month of civil rights violations for chasing down a young Hispanic man and threatening him with a gun.