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.