COMMENTARY: This November, voters in New Mexico face a very stark choice in the race for secretary of state.
I am running to restore integrity, transparency and accountability at all levels of government. I will fight for ethics reforms to hold corrupt politicians accountable and I have proposed vital fixes to our campaign finance system to make sure that every dollar donated to and spent on campaigns or lobbying can be tracked and audited.
With corruption and abuse of power by public officials headlining the news far too often in our state, it’s time for a change from politics as usual.
The truth is we need a secretary of state focused on protecting our right to vote and who can restore the public’s trust, not another partisan extremist tainted by corruption.
Unfortunately, it’s just hard for my opponent, Republican Nora Espinoza, to hear and speak the truth about not only about my record, but even her own.
Most recently, Espinoza has made a series of completely false accusations about my campaign in a blatant attempt to distract voters from her record of extremism and ties to corruption. Her suggestion that I have evaded campaign finance laws is completely and utterly false.
Fortunately, New Mexico voters know better than to fall for tired political tricks.
After our last secretary of state, Republican Dianna Duran, went to jail for corruption, Espinoza opposed efforts to strengthen anti-corruption laws and even skipped out on a critical vote to crack down on corrupt politicians like Duran. Then Espinoza went out and hired Duran’s inner circle to run her own campaign.
That vote was to create a statewide, nonpartisan ethics commission for New Mexico — something all but six states in our nation have adopted to ensure accountability, transparency and integrity in government at all levels.
Sadly, Espinoza favors the current system under which very few corrupt politicians are actually held accountable. I think we can all agree that the current system is broken and it’s time for a change.
Additionally, from the beginning of this campaign, Espinoza has asked voters to erase any memory of her legislative record from their minds because, as she told the Santa Fe New Mexican, her record is “not relevant” to the choice voters face this November.
That Espinoza has even suggested that her legislative record doesn’t deserve consideration is absurd, but let’s take a deeper look at why she doesn’t want people talking about the extremism and divisiveness that are the hallmarks of her time in Santa Fe.
Just three years ago, in response to a memorial praising the diversity in curricula in our public schools, Espinoza received national attention for her call to ban Mexican-American literature from schools.
Yes, my opponent favors banning books.
Even worse, Espinoza tried to pass one of the most extreme bills on women’s health care in the nation. Her law would have required doctors to falsely tell women that having an abortion increases the chance of getting breast cancer. She even wanted to bring criminal charges against doctors who didn’t provide this false information.
With a record like that, it’s no wonder that Espinoza is launching false, baseless attacks in the waning days of the campaign. The truth is not on her side.