Politics Newsletter: Election deniers in the legislature

States United Action released a report about election deniers in state legislators. The report identified three election deniers currently holding office in New Mexico. These three, according to the report, are Rep. John Block, R-Alamogordo, Rep. Cathrynn N. Brown, R-Carlsbad, and Rep. Randall Pettigrew, R-Lovington. “Being attacked by a national dark money leftist group for […]

Politics Newsletter: Election deniers in the legislature

States United Action released a report about election deniers in state legislators. The report identified three election deniers currently holding office in New Mexico.

These three, according to the report, are Rep. John Block, R-Alamogordo, Rep. Cathrynn N. Brown, R-Carlsbad, and Rep. Randall Pettigrew, R-Lovington.

“Being attacked by a national dark money leftist group for fighting fraud in elections is just another badge of honor,” Block told the NM Political Report. “I will continue to advocate for election integrity, an issue important to my constituents, with legislation such as Voter ID to ensure fair, free elections…Attacking those seeking transparency in elections proves these shady elitists have something nefarious to hide, so I am happy to be their target.”

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New Mexico was one of seven states the Center identified as having election deniers in their state legislatures.

The other states were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

States United Action is a “nonpartisan organization advancing free, fair, and secure elections,” according to its website.

Data was collected by States United Action and the McCourtney Institute for Democracy out of Penn State University.

The groups found 202 state legislators in the seven states that they classified as election deniers.

According to the report, to be classified as an election denier a legislator has done at least one of the following:

  • Falsely claimed former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election instead of the legitimate winner, President Joe Biden.
  • Spread lies or promoted conspiracies about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles in public, including in social media, press statements, or comments to the press.
  • Refused to certify, or called on or pressured election officials to refuse to certify, the 2020 presidential election results or a race in subsequent elections based on meritless claims about election fraud, voter fraud, misinformation or lies.
  • Taken action to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and/or subsequent election cycles, including:
    • Filing or supporting litigation seeking to overturn the results based on conspiracies or baseless legal theories.
    • Filing or supporting litigation that was sanctioned for being malicious or without merit in the aftermath of an election.
    • Promoting or participating in a Stop the Steal-sponsored or branded event or rally during or following the 2020 election.
    • Calling for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election or a race in subsequent elections after the results were certified, were officially audited, or stood up to multiple legal challenges.
  • Refused to concede a race, or publicly supported a candidate’s refusal to concede a race, after the results were officially audited or stood up to multiple legal challenges

All three legislators were contacted for comment. Brown and Pettigrew did not respond to an inquiry for comment.

Also this week, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed 69 bills into law and pocket vetoed two bills.

You can read about the bills here and here.

Meanwhile on the Hill

Budget talks continued with the House and Senate approving appropriations bills to keep the government open while other deadlines approached.

The Senate passed a six-bill appropriations package Friday to keep the government open after March 8.

The vote was 75-22. The $467.58 billion package went to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

This package includes the Agriculture Appropriations bill; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill; the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill; the Commerce, Justice and Science bill; the Interior and Environment bill; and the Energy and Water Development bill.

The package funds that part of the government until Sept. 30.

Six more appropriations bills need to be enacted by March 22. These are the Defense; Financial Services and General Government; Homeland Security; Labor-Health and Human Services; Legislative Branch and the State and Foreign Operations bills.

“After these bills are passed, it will depend on the timeline Congress sets for the 12 bills to expire,” Sen. Martin Heinrich spokesman Luis Soriano told the NM Political Report.

Thursday was President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in which he discussed reproductive rights among other things.

Read more about this from my colleague Susan Dunlap here.

Also, the Senate passed a bill to expand Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or RECA, eligibility.

Read more about this from my colleague Hannah Grover here.

2024 Primary Election

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot disqualify a federal candidate from that states’ ballots based on the 14th Amendment Disqualification Clause. State candidates can be removed from the ballot based on the 14th Amendment, the Court decided.

Read my story here.

The New Mexico primary is June 4 with candidate filing day for statewide offices set for March 12.

The 2024 Primary Election Contest/Candidate List can be found on the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office website.

For more information about elections contact your local county clerk’s office which can also help you check on or update your voter registration, a process that can also be done online at NMVote.org.

Interim meetings

When the interim committees begin meeting, their information will be posted here.

For more information on interim committees visit www.nmlegis.gov

Tips, subscriptions and more info

If you enjoyed this newsletter and other reporting by NM Political Report why not donate? We are a nonprofit newsroom that is funded through grants and donations. In order to keep NM Political Report running and ad-free, we need support from readers like you.

This is one of several newsletters produced by NM Political Report, check them out here

Have a tip? I can be contacted by email at [email protected]

Correction: This story initially said the organization was called the States United Democracy Center. It is the States United Action.

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