Pearce Votes Against Disaster Funding

As New Mexico Responds to Fires and Floods, Pearce Votes Against Needed Resources 

New Mexico – In spite of thousands of families recovering from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and intense flooding in Valencia and Socorro Counties this weekend, Steve Pearce voted today against federal disaster relief resources and needed flood insurance funds.

The bill, H.R. 2266, passed with support from both Democrats and Republicans, making it clear that Pearce is on fringes of the political spectrum.

“Pearce would prefer to leave families without power, shelter or resources during wildfire or flood emergencies, just to push his political ideology in our state,” said Richard Ellenberg, Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “As New Mexicans we believe in community and we believe in helping our neighbors; Pearce’s vote to gut funding to repair roads and power lines and provide services to families in need during New Mexico fires and floods is at odds with our values.”

New Mexico is no stranger to natural disasters—each year the state experiences wildfires and flooding. This year alone, the Cajete Fire and flooding in Hobbs, the Hatch ValleySocorro County and Valencia County have damaged property and infrastructure.

The bill Pearce rejected provides $16 billion in debt relief to the National Flood Insurance Program, which FEMA has said will run out of money as early asOct. 23 without action by Congress.

This vote follows a pattern of Pearce voting against the interests of New Mexicans, including his vote to take away heath care from more than 260,000 New Mexicans and his votes against the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides health care for more than 100,000 children in New Mexico.

#TBT: Steve Pearce Voted Against SCHIP—Twice!

New Mexico – Today, as New Mexico families worry about the lapse in authorization for the federal health insurance program that covers 11,300 New Mexico children, the Democratic Party of New Mexico is throwing it back to Congressman Steve Pearce’s two votes against SCHIP.
Pearce has a longstanding record pushing his view that keeps New Mexico children from accessing health care. In 2007, Pearce was the ONLY Member of the New Mexico delegation to vote to block a bipartisan expansion of children’s health care. And then one year later, he did it again, and and said he was proud to vote against overriding a veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. 
“With his votes against health insurance for poor children in New Mexico, Steve Pearce put his political ideology ahead of New Mexicans,” said DPNM Chair Richard Ellenberg. “Our families can’t afford a extreme right ideologue like Pearce as our Governor; he is too extreme for New Mexico.”

DPNM Mourns for Las Vegas, Nevada Mass Shooting Victims’ Families

New Mexico – The Democratic Party of New Mexico released the following statement on the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada:
“This tragic loss of life reminds us all that life is precious, and we must value our time with our loved ones. Our hearts are with the Nevada community and we mourn for the victims’ families of this mass shooting. We are especially grateful for the first responders and law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of our fellow Americans.
“During times of tragedy, Americans do what we do best: we come together, we help our neighbors, and we show that we treasure our similarities more than our differences. But we must also protect our communities from future events like this, and we call on our leaders to find solutions to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.”

Steve Pearce Silent on Bill to End Health Coverage for 230,000 New Mexico Residents, Blow $1.3 Billion Hole in State Budget

Pearce Voted For Previous ACA Repeal Bill

As the Senate continues debate on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, extreme right-wing Republican Steve Pearce has been in hiding, refusing to take a position on this dangerous plan that would hit New Mexico’s families and budget hard—even after he voted for a previous repeal bill that would devastate the state.

Studies have found that if the Graham-Cassidy plan passes, New Mexico would lose $1.3 billion in health care funding by 2026. Additionally, 230,000 people in the state would lose their coverage entirely, while premiums and out of pocket costs would shoot up by $13,000 annually for a 60 year old New Mexican. But Steve Pearce has continued to duck and cover, refusing to take a stand on this bill that could devastate the state he’s running to lead.

“By refusing to speak out against this bill that would devastate New Mexico’s families and budget and voting for a previous bill to take away healthcare from hundreds of thousands in the state, Pearce has made clear that he puts extreme right-wing party politics ahead of the welfare of New Mexico,” said Richard Ellenberg, Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “New Mexico families deserve a Governor who will stand up for our state, and it’s clear Steve Pearce puts his extreme agenda ahead of New Mexicans.”


McCamley Calls for Investigation After Major Break-through in Gov. Martinez Pay-to-play Scandal

Las Cruces, N.M. – Today,  Democratic N.M. Representative and Chair of the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee Bill McCamley called for an investigation after International Business Times reported a major break through in another Governor Martinez pay-to-play scandal. The news article goes in depth into the details of donations to Governor Martinez’s campaign and the wasteful use of tax payer dollars by the Martinez administration to give special advantages to donors.

In a letter to the N.M. Attorney General, N.M. Auditor and U.S. Attorney, N.M. Rep. McCamley writes, “I am concerned, especially given that these investments represent hard working New Mexicans’ public funds.” The letter calls for the New Mexico Attorney General and New Mexico Auditor  to investigate any possible violations of the Governmental Conduct Act, state disclosure laws, campaign finance laws, Securities & Exchange Commission rules and the State Investment Council’s Code of Conduct.

The news story goes on to point out the malicious pattern of pay-to-play tactics in Governor Martinez’s administration including:

In some cases, New Mexico investments flowed to firms whose top officials gave directly to Martinez — even though the Securities and Exchange Commission’s pay-to-play rule aims to prevent such donations. Some investments went to donors to the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) — which delivered money to Martinez-linked super PACs. Other investments went to donors to the Republican Governors Association (RGA), which Martinez chaired after it spent $2.5 million in New Mexico to boost her campaigns.

This breaking story has major ramifications, and N.M. Representative Bill McCamley is calling for an investigation to determine whether the Republican administration is again putting the interests of their well-connected friends ahead of New Mexico families.

This is not the first time Governor Martinez has been involved in a play-to-play scandal. In 2013, the Governor completely destroyed New Mexico’s behavioral health system to give contracts to donors from Arizona. She received a $5000 donation from K12 Inc., a company the state has employed to run a controversial A-F grading system in the public schools. And in the last legislative session, she tried to get a sweetheart deal for a large campaign contributor through the legislature while leaving them blind about the contributions.

Full text of N.M. Representative McCamley’s letter is attached.

Young Democrats Question Governor Martinez’s Motives on Carruthers Dismissal

New Mexico – Today, Young Democrats of New Mexico questioned Governor Martinez’s motives after her regents voted to dismiss President Garrey Carruthers from his position as President of New Mexico State University (NMSU). This decision comes on the heels of Governor Martinez’s disastrous decision to veto all higher education funding from the budget passed during the 2017 Regular Legislative Session.

“It has become increasingly clear that Governor Martinez does not understand her job, and this most recent political move puts the futures of students at risk,” said Zack Quintero, President of the Young Democrats of New Mexico and recent NMSU graduate. “President Carruthers put an emphasis on students and provided consistent leadership at a time when Governor Martinez was playing political games with higher education funding. Now, another reckless decision under Governor Martinez’s watch will risk the credibility of our university and harms the future of our state.”

Just yesterday, NMSU College Democrats sent a letter to Governor Martinez asking pointed questions about her plans for the position. In the letter, NMSU College Democrats emphasized the weight this decision carries on their education and questioned Governor Martinez’s motives, “We are requesting information regarding the reason why President Carruthers’ willingness to continue working for our school has not been accepted. Our school needs consistent leadership, and the arduous process of finding a new president would only lead to more uncertainty. There is no clear reason why President Carruthers’ removal would serve our state, and it only leads many to question whether you have other plans for this position.”

The NMSU College Democrats letter is available here.

Democrats Stand With DACA Recipients, Emphasize the Importance of DACA for Strong Families, Communities

Push to Protect DACA comes ahead of deadline to end DACA set by 10 Republican attorneys general

 Albuquerque, NM – Ahead of an announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from the Trump administration , Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) stood side-by-side with DACA recipients with United We Dream Action at a press conference emphasizing the importance the program to build strong families and communities.

DACA protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children from deportation and allows them to work in the United States.

During the press conference N.M. Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero said, “We believe in keeping families united and rescinding DACA would only tear families apart.”

N.M. Representative and DPNM Hispanic Caucus Co-Chair Roybal Caballero went on to clarify what the DACA program does, “Let there be no misunderstanding, DACA is a program that gives temporary relief for young people from deportation and the ability to work in the United States—DACA is not a pathway to citizenship, DACA does not guarantee federal benefits for youth. DACA is a program created from a movement of young people fighting for a better future whose only home they know is our country,” she said.

Jazmin and Yazmin Irazoqui Ruiz, two sisters who have DACA status and attend medical school and law school, respectively, shared their stories.

“We are a productive part of this community…this is our home. I have been here since I was three years old and we have found a home in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” said Yazmin Irazouqi Ruiz.

Currently, 6,815 New Mexicans are DACA recipients and 8,000 young people are eligible in the state. Many of those young people serve in the military, are working toward advanced degrees, and holding employment. A fact sheet on DACA is available here.

The press conference continued to emphasize the effect ending DACA would have on our communities, “We have a reality right now—our families are facing fear, our communities are facing fear, our DACA recipients are facing fear. To those serving in elected office, it is time to stand up for your constituents,” said Cindy Nava, DREAMER and immigrant activist.

“Republicans have fielded a candidate for governor who clearly and outspokenly does not support DACA,” said NM Representative Javier Martinez. “It’s time for Republicans like Governor Martinez and Steve Pearce to decide which side of history they will be on: are they going to support 800,000 young people who want a live of dignity and respect life and to contribute to our economy or are they going to side with Donald Trump’s decisive rhetoric? Keep in mind there’s no sound policy reason to rescind DACA.”

U.S. Senator Udall’s State Director Greg Bloom ended the press conference with a statement of Democratic values to keep families together and value our state’s diversity. The full message is available here.

N.M. Democrats Celebrate 97th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote, Urge Action for Equality

New Mexico – Today, Pamelya Herndon, DPNM’s First Congressional District Vice Chair released the following video statement celebrating the 97th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. In the statement, Herndon also urged action to continue fighting for women’s equality. 
Democrats work to expand opportunity for women by confronting violence against women, fighting for workplace equality, pushing for pro-family policies like paid family leave, and defending a woman’s right to control her own body. 
Messages from other Democratic elected officials are available here.

Pearce Doesn’t Want to Play by the Rules

New Mexico – Republican candidate for governor, Steve Pearce, is asking for special treatment instead of playing by the rulesPearce, in an effort to circumvent campaign finance rules, has asked to use dollars intended for a congressional race to run for governor blatantly misusing the trust of New Mexicans.
Pearce doesn’t want to play by the same rules everyone else does, which is a quality all too similar to Governor Martinez,” said Neomi Martinez-Parra, vice-chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico and resident of New Mexico’s second congressional district. “Maggie Toulouse Oliver is making sure we have a clear and transparent election process. If Steve Pearce doesn’t recognize that, he doesn’t hold New Mexico’s values of fairness and respect.”
In a clear political ploy, Steve Pearce asked a federal judge to change the decision which was applied uniformly to candidates who seek election for state office. Just today, his lawyer made the argument that Pearce should play by different rules than everyone else.