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Politics Notebook: Ad points to rift between moderate, progressive Dems

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s no secret that New Mexico Democrats are not a monolithic group.

But a new online ad posted by a nonprofit organization funded by oil and natural gas companies warns that the schism between progressive and moderate Democrats could be growing wider.

The ad posted by New Mexico Turn Around accuses progressives of seeking to destroy New Mexico culture, attack local traditions and regulate land use decisions.

It features interviews with several residents and ranchers, including Northern New Mexico Livestock Association President Carlos Salazar.

New Mexico Turn Around was created in 2001, according to records filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. In recent years, the group has gotten big financial contributions from Artestia-based Mack Energy Corp. and Albuquerque-based Jalapeño Corp., whose president is New Mexico Republican National Committee member Harvey Yates Jr.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce highlighted the ad in a Wednesday fundraising appeal, claiming the state Democratic Party was being taken over by “out-of-state left-wing extremists.”

In the June primary election, two moderate Democratic legislators considered friendly to business interests – Reps. Debbie Rodella of Española and Carl Trujillo of Nambé – were unseated by more progressive challengers.

HIGH PRAISE: Michelle Lujan Grisham’s newest TV campaign ad isn’t for those afraid of heights.

The ad depicts the Democratic gubernatorial nominee climbing a 265-foot-tall wind turbine in Cibola County – with a helmet and harness – to tout her clean energy plan.

Lujan Grisham’s plan calls for New Mexico to have a 50 percent renewable energy portfolio by 2030 and to retrofit state buildings with energy-efficient technology, among other ideas.

The ad started running Tuesday on cable and network channels statewide, a campaign spokesman said.

OUTSIDE ADS: Two outside groups are launching television ads in the New Mexico race for governor, both backing Lujan Grisham.

Save the Children Action Network, a Washington, D.C.-based group, is planning to spend at least $372,000 on television and online ads that will begin airing today.

The ad, filmed at Kennedy Middle School in Albuquerque, focuses on New Mexico’s low ranking in national education

Meanwhile, an independent expenditure committee affiliated with Emily’s List, a national group that supports female Democrats who support abortion rights, launched its own new ad earlier this week.

It targets Pearce for past votes on health care bills as a member of Congress – including legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Dan Boyd: dboyd@abqjournal.com

 

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