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Politics Notebook: Conservation advocates rate lawmakers’ votes

Conservation Voters New Mexico has released its legislative scorecard for 2013-14, with ratings ranging from 100 percent for 14 Democratic lawmakers to a goose egg for one Republican.

The scorecard was based on 14 votes in the Senate and 15 in the House taken during the two-year span of the 51st Legislature on measures affecting land, air and water.

Seventeen of New Mexico’s 112 legislators earned above 90 percent, according to the conservation group.

Scores of 100 percent went to Sens. Cisco McSorley and Bill O’Neill of Albuquerque; Sens. Nancy Rodriguez and Peter Wirth of Santa Fe; Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez of Belen; Reps. Gail Chasey, Miguel Garcia, Georgene Louis, Patricia Roybal Caballero and Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque; Rep. Nate Cote of Organ; Rep. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces; Rep. Brian Egolf of Santa Fe; and the late Rep. Stephen Easley of Santa Fe.

The only zero ranking went to Sen. Lee Cotter, R-Las Cruces.

The conservation organization also gave Republican Gov. Susana Martinez an F, saying she “aggressively championed polluting industries.”

The scorecard was based on votes on legislation that Conservation Voters New Mexico supported or opposed, including this year’s bill to allow electric utilities to offer “economic development” rates to businesses. The group objected that the proposal was too open-ended and the rates would be subsidized by residential and small-business customers.

Find the full rankings online at

Eyeing House Races: A national Republican group aimed at recruiting Hispanic and minority candidates for elected offices around the country and backed by Gov. Susana Martinez ranks two New Mexico state House races among its top 14 races this year.

The Future Majority Project says it’s eyeing New Mexico Republican House candidate Conrad James – challenging Rep. Elizabeth Thomson, D-Albuquerque – and Republican House candidate Sarah Maestas Barnes – challenging Rep. Emily Kane, D-Albuquerque – as challengers to watch as New Mexico Republicans push to win control of the state House for the first time in decades.

The group, co-chaired by Martinez, is an arm of the Republican State Leadership Committee.

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