Congressman Ben Ray Luján had his emails hacked by those with ties to Russians, according to a report in the New York Times. Luján was the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, an organization that seeks to elect more Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives. The DCCC was the target of the hacking incident, which was similar to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Media reports have also said that the Republican National Committee saw its emails hacked, though the organization has denied this. The DCCC acknowledged it was hacked in July of this year.
Democrats in Congress voted to stay the course with leadership, including with one New Mexican in a key role. Ben Ray Luján, a Democratic congressman from northern New Mexico, will lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a second election cycle in a row. The position is not elected and is instead selected by the Democratic leader. That leader remains Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who was reelected to the minority leader position over Ohio’s Tim Ryan on a 134 to 63 vote. Pelosi has led the Democratic caucus since 2002, and often saw very little or no opposition for her time as Minority Leader or, when Democrats had a majority in the House of Representatives, Speaker.
Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are among the high profile Democrats scheduled to appear in Santa Fe this weekend for a Democratic conference. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Issues Conference will take place this weekend with a number of high profile Democrats. Related: Michelle Obama to give commencement address at Santa Fe Indian School
The Santa Fe location is likely thanks to Ben Ray Luján. The congressman who represents the state capital is the chair of the DCCC. Luján is the first Hispanic chair of the Democratic group dedicated to elected Democrats to Congress. “I look forward to welcoming Leader Pelosi, Vice President Biden, and my colleagues to New Mexico for this opportunity to show off the state and all the great things New Mexico has to offer,” Luján said in a statement.
While he initially supported Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, Steve Pearce ultimately voted for Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House on Thursday. Ryan won the position, replacing John Boehner, who announced last month that he would be leaving Congress and relinquish the position as Speaker of the House. Pearce explained his vote in a statement on Thursday afternoon. “As I’ve said often, every American deserves a government that is effective, efficient and accountable,” Pearce said. “Today’s election marks a transition.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from New Mexico’s Third Congressional District, slammed House Republicans over actions related to the Confederate flag. A vote on a spending bill was delayed over whether to stop flying the Confederate flag at National Parks. “It is shameful that on the very day South Carolina acted to take down the flag, House Republicans are standing up for the Confederate Battle Flag and the intolerance it represents,” Luján said on Thursday. Luján is also the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the top Democratic congressional entity for elections. Weeks after the a mass shooting at a black South Carolina church and hours after the South Carolina Legislature voted to take down the Confederate battle flag—more commonly cited as the Confederate flag—the House Republicans find themselves in the middle of a controversy over the flying of the flag.
Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico were in the minority in voting against what they call a fast-track for trade deals, including a deal with Pacific Rim countries that is being negotiated right now. Republicans overwhelmingly supported the bill. It is a very rare instance where Republicans have sided with Obama on a controversial issue. Obama has publicly clashed with Senators from his own party over the bill. Heinrich and Udall, both Democrats, had some high profile members of their party on their side.