In his story, “Committee tied to PNM spends heavily in primary,” Albuquerque Journal reporter Dan McKay made much ado about a political action committee spending $180,000 in a one-month period (just before the election) to support two incumbent Public Regulation Commission members. As long as he was writing about PAC-supported campaigns, it is curious why he failed to mention that political action committees CVNM Verde Voters Fund and Responsible Leadership NM spent $650,000 in the weeks leading up to the election to install their preferred candidates.
In May, CVNM Verde Voters Fund shelled out $472,000 to two out-of-state consulting firms and a media buyer. Responsible Leadership NM’s expenditures included $86,600 to a Denver-based voter outreach firm and a Seattle political consultant.
When McKay asked Ben Shelton of Conservation Voters New Mexico about contributions to my re-election effort, he said it was “deeply troubling to see a regulated utility like PNM put that sort of money into selecting its own regulators.” It certainly didn’t trouble him too deeply to write two $50,000 checks to CVNM Verde Voters Fund. The double standard here is staggering, as is the media bias.
Also overlooked is the number of outsiders playing a role in New Mexico politics. April and May campaign finance reports show CVNM Verde Voters Fund raised nearly $619,000 and Responsible Leadership NM collected almost $192,000, mostly from out-of-state donors and associations with deep pockets such as: Michael Bloomberg, $185,000; League of Conservation Voters, $286,000; and Green Advocacy Project, $100,000.
It should be noted that the founder of Responsible Leadership NM, Mariel Nanasi, who is also executive director of New Energy Economy and a $10,400 donor to the aforementioned PACs, is asking the Supreme Court to kill solar and geothermal energy projects that would power homes, schools and businesses and create economic investment and jobs.
The geothermal plant is the only one in New Mexico capable of utility-scale production and would bring a $40 million investment to Hidalgo County, one of the poorest counties in the state. Her meddling also halted a solar project in Dona Ana County and improvements to a wind farm on the Eastern Plains that would increase energy output.
If this is the “progressive” way, business, industry and jobs will suffer in New Mexico. I urge voters to do their research, be informed and not allow third parties to decide an election.