John Block

RPNM pre-primary results: Martinez, Herrell, Garcia Holmes, Montoya to appear first on primary ballot

On Saturday, the Republican Party of New Mexico held its pre-primary convention at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the convention, candidates for federal races made the case for their candidacy with short pitches to the audience. With 20% of the delegates, candidates will advance to the primary ballot in June.

Results trickled in a little after 12 noon, with U.S. Senate candidate and pro-life advocate Elisa Martinez coming out strong with 241 delegates, ex-weatherman Mark Ronchetti receiving 198 Delegates, and shooting range Calibers owner Louie Sanchez with 113 delegates. 2018 nominee for U.S. Senate Mick Rich received 72 delegates, while Las Cruces resident and 2018 nominee for Secretary of State Dr. Gavin Clarkson got 66 delegates. Martinez and Ronchetti will be the only candidates to appear on the ballot, unless the other candidates submit additional signatures to the Secretary of State’s office.

In New Mexico’s First Congressional District, 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor, Michelle Garcia Holmes, received 135 delegates, lawyer Jared Vander Dussen received 64 delegates, and ex-Democrat Brett Kokinadis received 14 delegates. Holmes and Vander Dussen will advance.

In New Mexico’s Second Congressional District race, former New Mexico State Rep. Yvette Herrell annihilated her competition, earning 168 delegates to her closest competition, Claire Chase’s 83 delegates. Another candidate, Chris Mathys received 3 delegates.  Herrell and Chase will advance.

In New Mexico’s Third Congressional District, former Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya led the field with 86 delegates and small business owner Karen Bedonie received 69 delegates. They will both advance.

The primary election will occur on June 2, 2020, where the final nominees will be selected by Republican voters.

Torres Small sends voters mailers promoting herself—AT THE TAXPAYERS’ EXPENSE

On Friday, voters in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District received mailers from none other than Democrat Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, which touted her supposed “accomplishments” in Congress. The worst part about these mailers is that they were sent out at the taxpayers’ expense. 

The mailer touts Torres Small’s work on “veterans issues” and quotes local papers singing her praises. One quote says Torres Small was “instrumental in helping fix a communication problem between local veterans using the new Veterans Administration healthcare programs.” 

But Torres Small does not tout in her mailer — most likely meant to target wing voters — that she supported the far-left crusade to take down President Trump with the impeachment hoax, her refusal to support a bill that would protect babies who survive abortions, her support of a fracking ban that would destroy the state’s main source of income, and her support for rewarding criminal aliens with citizenship. 

Although it is not yet clear if Torres Small broke any legal or ethical rules by sending out the mailer — clearly meant to sway the outcome of her re-election campaign — but taxpayers having to shell out money for Torres Small to promote herself raises serious questions. 

Photographs of mailers courtesy of Roger Baker, candidate for New Mexico State Senate Dist. 36.

Columnist says RPNM lying about bill creating opportunity for voter fraud—he gets fact-checked

Liberal columnist claims GOP lying about election laws bill that would have loosened protections—ends up he’s totally wrong

Last week, liberal columnist Milan Simonich of the Santa Fe New Mexican wrote an opinion piece slamming a comment made by Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce, who said that the New Mexico “ House approved [House Bill] 229, legislation that would eliminate the need for three forms of voter identification for absentee ballots.”

Simonich wrote, “[Pearce] claims the bill would eliminate the requirement that an absentee voter provide their name, address and year of birth. That’s false. HB 229 makes no such change.”

But HB-229 did indeed eliminate the need for three forms of voter identification for absentee ballots. Simonich appears to be trying to refute Pearce’s claims by using Section six of the bill, which references the application for a ballot, not the ballot itself. Page 21, lines 18-21 of the bill explicitly remove the requirement that the voter fill in their name, address, and year of birth, contradicting Simonich’s claim.

Simonich seems to be unaware of how absentee voting works in New Mexico, especially since HB-229 would dramatically change the security behind absentee voting. 

The way the system works currently is that the voter writes to his county clerk asking for an absentee ballot (the ballot application). It does have to include a name, address, and year of birth.

The ballot itself (specifically, the outer envelope of the ballot) has fields for name, address, and year of birth, so if the ballot ends up in someone else’s hands, there’s some attempt to authenticate that the person who filled out the ballot and mailed it back was indeed the voter. 

The absentee ballots are often sent to places other than the voter’s home, such as an out-of-state address, a hotel, or somewhere else, and there is a risk the ballot can get into someone else’s hands.  

HB-229 attempted to remove that voter-ID requirement entirely, creating a new opportunity for the person who got their hands on the ballot to simply fill it in and send it back. A person committing a “crime of opportunity” by finding the ballot by chance would likely not take the time to look up the real voter’s name, address, and year of birth, which is why the need for a second verification is so crucial. 

Another way for voter fraud to happen is by a person getting the ballot and filling it out by accident, with the ballot being issued to one person, but another filling it out. Instances of this occurred in 2018’s CD-2 race. 

Simonich’s failed attempt at fact-checking flopped on its face, and the Santa Fe New Mexican should issue a retraction for the inaccurate commentary piece.

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