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Conservative groups funded by energy corporations pour money into final days of New Mexico’s primary election

By May 31, 2018November 29th, 2022Accountability, Campaigns & Elections, Press Releases

​Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, campaigns and political action committees reported their contributions and expenditures to the Secretary of State.
Of note:
A SuperPAC called NM Strong filings state that they are entirely funded by Chevron and Mack Energy. The filing also identifies plans to spend large amounts of money in the final days before the primary election to support anti-conservation candidates running for key races: Commissioner of Public Lands candidate George Munoz, House District 41 candidate and incumbent Representative Debbie Rodella and House District 46 candidate and incumbent Carl Trujillo.
​SuperPAC ​NM Prosperity, funded by Mack Energy and Enbridge, filings show that Gov. Susana Martinez’s top political advisor Jay McCleskey is working in support of Munoz, who has attempted to position himself as a friend to the environment in his campaign ads.
SuperPAC New Mexicans for Progress, also run by McCleskey, is funded solely by PNM and spent funds to attack Janene Yazzie, CVNM Action Fund endorsed for Public Regulation Commission District 4, and supporting Sandy Jones in District 5​, who is being challenged by CVNM Action Fund endorsed Steve Fischmann.​
Lastly, candidates for the House of Representatives received significant contributions directly from oil and gas companies. These contributions went to support: Roberto Atencio running against CVNM Action Fund endorsed Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero in House District 13, Mary Martinez White running against CVNM Action Fund endorsed Micaela Cadena in House District 33, Joseph Sanchez running against CVNM Action Fund endorsed Paula Garcia in House District 40 and Rep. Debbie Rodella being challenged by Susan Herrera in House District 41.
Amid these reports, Conservation Voters New Mexico Executive Director Demis Foster​ released the following statement:
“We shouldn’t be surprised these conservative groups are spending oil and gas money in primaries to support anti-conservation candidates, considering the real opportunity we have to elect conservation champions who will move us towards the renewable future we deserve. We also shouldn’t be fooled by their negative campaigning and distortions of the truth. Now more than ever, we need to rally behind the candidates we know care about our land, air, and water, and won’t put corporate greed ahead of what’s best for New Mexico.”
“Who we elect matters for the future of New Mexico’s air, land, water and communities. It’s clear that visionary progressive candidates represent positive change in New Mexico. Oil and gas companies​ and utilities​ are feeling threatened by the success these pro-conservation candidates have had thus far in their races and are jumping in last minute to keep the status quo that benefits their bottom line. Our shared future is deeply tied to clean, renewable energy and New Mexicans are ready to hold elected officials accountable to reflect our deeply rooted conservation values.”