That billboard on Valley Drive, “Our Democratic Party was Hijacked,” raised some questions: Why doesn’t New Mexico, Las Cruces, or Doña Ana County, in particular, seem as liberal as its elected officials would suggest? Why was the “Respect New Mexico” effort born?
The answers may lie in an informative study performed by a 501c3, nonpartisan, charitable organization called the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF). The study can be found at
In short, the study talks about a “symbiotic relationship between [Doña Ana] County elections office and select third-party groups [which] was not an organic development.” Not organic, to wit: it did not happen naturally. It required an effort to develop.
This effort, which the reader infers was coordinated, demonstrates a “friendly takeover of an election office” by outside organizations. Through New Mexico’s open records statutes, PILF obtained, not without objection and denial, more than 500 emails between local election officials and third-party groups, which show a blurring of the lines between the County and left-wing activists.
Under the auspices of wanting to increase voter activity, the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office (DAC) established a citizen Election Advisory Council (EAC). This EAC was purported to be non-partisan. Whether or not it ever was is irrelevant because of what it became. It was never designed to have the involvement of paid Republican or Democrat party staffers. As a result, it eventually, ultimately, and quickly became only the community organizers who stuck around. What transpired was university staffers and activist groups’ engagement who oversaw a shift in power from election officials to outside ideologues. “Of the more than 500 disclosed email and calendar files, Common Cause New Mexico and Organize NM/NM CAFé show an outsized presence in County documents”. These groups, in these emails, regularly discussed voter registration procedures and training.
None of this is necessarily illegal, but it is clear that very few emails were discovered between DAC and any conservative organizers. As the reader weighs the evidence of what follows, it becomes charitably naive to assume that this was never the goal. Eventually, the County election staff asked NM CAFé to help facilitate and find locations for listening sessions. This report discloses emails during the NM CAFé organized minimum wage campaign, which suggests collusion between DAC and CAFé, allowing the organizers to establish, on an official basis, beneficial language and dates for the special election. Parenthetically, many of those involved on the part of NM CAFé have since become elected officials, most notably LC City Council member Johana Bencomo. Is it not a conflict of interest to have future Democrat elected officials very much in bed with county election officers? In some cases, literally so?
According to emails obtained, in 2015, CAFé Communications Manager Rose Ann Vasquez emailed former County Clerk Scott Krahling asking about re-registering voters who had been removed from the voter rolls. Motivations for the inquiry aside, months later, she was hired by Krahling. Vasquez eventually received promotions to Head of Communications for the county and Chief Deputy Clerk. Right before Krahling resigned in 2018, she admitted to an “intimate relationship” with Krahling. To the observer, the relationship between DAC and the left-wing appears to be an incestuous, bacchanalian cabal. Is it not a valid question to ask if Krahling, in charge of elections, had at least his thumb on the scale?
Again quoting “The close circle of County officials and third-party activists created its own culture of all being on the same team…Lobbyists received help in securing Airbnb lodgings personally connected to County officials…It naturally led to a personnel revolving door between outside groups and the County office where third-party activists shopped resumes for elections office jobs.” Free and fair elections?
For all but the most partisan left-winger, this is certain to cause concern. When the same Public Interest report uncovers that the NM voter rolls include the potential of 1681 deceased registrants, 1519 registered at over 100 years of age, 1584 duplicate registrations at the same address, 55 duplicated registrations voting across state lines, 30 duplicated registrations across county lines, and 188 registrants claiming potential commercial addresses for voting, how many are gullible enough to assume that this benefits Republican candidates? For locals, recalling the 2016 election evokes the words “ballot harvesting” and the late-night counts and multiple recounts which, now questionably, pushed Xochitl Torres-Small across the finish line. Are voters really supposed to pretend that none of that, occurring in a clearly compromised Dona Ana county, takes place in a different light now? Are New Mexicans not supposed to be leery of “mail-in voting”?
Leftists don’t trust the electorate to make the right choices. Leftists don’t respect New Mexicans. Leftists don’t respect New Mexico.