A progressive group with a history of sharp-edged “civic engagement” campaigns is targeting Democratic state Sen. Carlos Cisneros of Questa for his vote this year against a high-profile early childhood initiative.
The Albuquerque-based Center for Civic Policy, which has previously targeted other Democratic lawmakers, accused Cisneros in a full-page advertisement in Thursday’s Taos News of “killing” the proposal.
In response, Cisneros said the group’s tactics are not persuading lawmakers, saying, “I think it’s doing the exact opposite of what they’re trying to accomplish.”
He also said backers of the plan to earmark funds for early childhood programs from New Mexico’s largest permanent fund want to spend money like “drunken sailors.”
Cisneros, who is not up for re-election until 2016, was one of eight senators who voted to table the early childhood measure in a Feb. 17 Senate committee hearing.
Javier Benavidez, the nonprofit group’s communications director, suggested Cisneros could be targeted again, depending on his response to this week’s ad.
“This civic engagement campaign will continue until our Legislature accepts responsibility for our state’s critical issues impacting working families such as poverty, child well-being, economic insecurity, and income inequality,” Benavidez told the Journal.
The group, which is not required to identify its donors, has successfully argued in federal court that its efforts are educational and do not amount to electioneering, which would be barred under their tax-exempt, nonprofit status.
PUPPY LOVE: Gov. Susana Martinez turned heads this week by taking a new companion to a news conference – her dog, Mica.
It turns out the first dog, a female blue Weimaraner that’s almost 8 months old, actually has been a member of the governor’s family since September.
Martinez and her husband, Chuck Franco, got Mica several months after they had to put down all three of their previous dogs due to cancer.
As for the reason that Martinez decided to take Mica to this week’s news conference announcing a new television series that will film in New Mexico, a spokesman said the governor had a flexible schedule Wednesday and figured it was a way to get the rambunctious puppy out of the Governor’s Mansion for a few hours.
Mica already has chewed through 12 pairs of Martinez’s shoes and has figured out how to open doors, according to the Governor’s Office.
Martinez, who had a member of her State Police security detail hold the dog’s leash during this week’s news conference, hopes to get a companion for Mica in the next few months, the governor’s spokesman said.
Dan Boyd can be reached at email@example.com.