Steve Pearce is Mad at the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association?

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This past weekend, unemployed former Congressman Steve Pearce, chair of the deeply racist New Mexico Republican Party, threw stones at the glass house of his sugar daddy, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA). In all fairness, he wasn’t wrong about a lot of what he accused them of, but it certainly was amusing to see someone who’s whole career has been saturated in oil money yelling about the people who spend oil money with wild abandon. We lol’d.

Pearce, along with Rep. Jim Townsend of Artesia and Sen. Stuart Ingle of Portales, penned their missive to accuse specifically NMOGA’s President Ryan Flynn of making “false statements about the status of the industry and distorting the policy positions and actual votes on key legislation by our elected officials that impacts the industry’s future in New Mexico.” Um, damn Steve, that’s what we’ve been saying.

All this stems from former “Democrat” Harry Teague’s endorsement of Republican Yvette Herrell for New Mexico’s second Congressional district (yes, the same one that Pearce vacated to try and fail spectacularly at running for governor). In the AP article about the endorsement, Flynn was quoted as saying “Throughout her first term in Congress, she (Rep. Xochitl Torres Small) has been a strong advocate for our state’s energy interests and responsible production and has stood up to those in her party who want to completely ban fracking.”

Obvs we’re not stoked about that being true, but it is interesting to see Pearce get so ticked off that his oil buddies are happy working with his replacement. Pearce also claims that NMOGA has given too rosy of a picture of the future of the oil and gas industry’s recovery in New Mexico, trying to push his party’s line that the only cure for the state is full austerity like that instituted in Greece. In case you’re wondering how that worked out for Greece, that country has been on the verge of civil war for years with violent protests on the regular that make protests in the US look like Macy’s Day parades.

While Pearce and his GOP goons claim Rep. Torres Small “voted” to ban fracking, such a vote never took place, thankfully noted in the Santa Fe New Mexican version of the story published Monday. Pearce’s GOP is trying to start discord with one of their major donors during a time when their party is also fractured from other sources, most notably the extreme far-right stylings of Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin. The Otero County Commissioner called out the state party during his now infamous (and shockingly racist) rant wherein he called for all non-white people in the United States to “go back to where you came from.” Clearly and rightly most people focused on that part of the rant, but it’s worth noting that Griffin’s legions of angry far-right supporters seem eager to have someone THAT openly racist running their party, rather than the run-of-the-mill racism espoused by Pearce and his loyalists in power.

At the end of the day, whether it’s Pearce’s long-standing anti-immigrant and anti-climate science stances, NMOGA’s extreme online presence promoted by White Nationalists Power the Future and Harris Media, or Cowboys For Trump, we all know it’s bad and not in line with New Mexico’s values. Four out of five of NMOGA’s favorite corporate-backed Democrats lost their primary elections this summer, New Mexico is not in the mood to regress to the Wild West days of vigilante justice and open racism.

We’re going to grab some popcorn and watch while Flynn and Pearce go at each other in the press or online but we’re also going to just let them be and continue to organize around the principles we know New Mexicans ACTUALLY support, a just society where everyone gets a fair chance, corporations and wealthy individuals don’t make policy for the rest of us, and RESPECT is something given to all. Period.


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Alissa Barnes :: Executive Director
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you should know

Alissa Barnes is Executive Director at ProgessNow New Mexico where she leads a team that works on message development, issue and voter education, and amplification of progressive messages and values. She leads the organization in strategy development, fundraising, and organizational growth and sustainability.

Alissa’s background includes nearly 12 years at Roadrunner Food Bank where Alissa led the development and creation of multiple programs that are now national models, invested in community building and collaborations, and worked closely with elected officials, educating about hunger and why policies would either benefit or hurt clients in food lines. She has a BA from the University of New Mexico and various non-profit certifications.
  • If she followed her childhood dream, she would be a Broadway tap dancing star
  • Has seen Frozen 1 and 2 over 100 times
  • Loves heavy metal concerts
Marianna Anaya :: Deputy Director
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you should know

Marianna oversees strategic messaging and creative implementation tactics for issue-based and political campaigns. She leads the team’s digital and earned media programs, bringing a New Mexico values-based approach to her work. 

Marianna’s background includes race and ethnic studies in education as a focus at UT Austin and UCLA, political campaign work, staffing former Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as leading organizing and communications work for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.

  • She currently serves as the Board President of Emerge NM. 
  • Her hobbies include getting more women, queer folks and BIPOC elected to office.
  • She has three cuddle-worthy dogs at home
Lucas Herndon :: Energy and Policy Director
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you should know

Lucas’ focus is on all things energy and environment, election integrity projects and general messaging strategy. He is often the front facing voice for PNNM when it comes to issues surrounding methane, renewable energy, oil industry accountability, and public lands issues. 

Lucas has an extensive background in public lands and solar energy. He was instrumental in the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in 2014 and has participated in every local election since 2012 through phone banking, online organizing, and poll watching. Lucas is a lifelong resident of Las Cruces where he has served in various capacities of leadership including as President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, District Director for the Dona Ana County Democratic Party, and attending and completing the inaugural classes of the Las Cruces Neighborhood Leadership Academy and the Las Cruces Tree Stewards. 

  • Owned a tattoo shop called Omega Tattoo & Supply 
  • Once got a chin bump “what’s up” from James Harden on an airplane when Harden saw Lucas’ beard 
  • Has a minor in Medieval and Early Modern History
Josette Arvizu :: Communications Director
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you should know

Josette Arvizu is the Communications Director at ProgressNow New Mexico where she oversees the development and implementation of systems that further the external and internal communications of the organization.

Josette’s background in marketing includes copywriting, paid media, SEO and content strategy for businesses and nonprofits, including convention and visitor bureaus from Bermuda to Anaheim. She began her career teaching writing to college students while in New Mexico State University’s MFA in creative writing program. Her previous work promoting diversity and inclusion includes coordination of writing and traditional arts workshops for Native American youth at the Tucson Indian Center.
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Jackie Aguirre :: Communications Specialist
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you should know

Jackie’s focus is on graphics and social media marketing that promote progressive issues across our state. 

Jackie’s background includes work in the Reproductive Justice space focusing on Latinx, Chicanx and Mexican-American communities.

  • She is a co-owner of a community art gallery celebrating BIPOC artists
  • She is a long-time volunteer for Planned Parenthood and works with college students to provide condoms/dental dams, menstrual products & other resources
  • She is a part of a group of women who love craft beer and hosts monthly beer shares with beer from all over the country
Edgar Cruz :: Communications Specialist
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you should know

Edgar Cruz is a Communications Specialist at ProgressNow New Mexico where he focuses on video creation and research that promotes progressive issues across our state.

Edgar has a background producing multimedia initiatives. With over five years of radio production experience, he is a movement agent who believes in exploring all avenues of media to inform and engage community.

  • Is a host of Espejos de Aztlan on KUNM
  • Is a member of Generation Justice
  • First discovered his passion for organizing as a high school student after joining the Youth Alliance in 2009