Information on the Secretary of State’s website pertaining to funds being spent by the Council for a Competitive New Mexico on Democratic senate campaigns. Screenshot/Los Alamos Reporter
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Senate District 5 candidate Leo Jaramillo is reacting strongly Saturday afternoon to negative campaigning by supporters of incumbent Sen. Richard C. Martinez.
The Los Alamos Reporter was notified by Thursday by Los Alamos residents who received robocalls from a group called Council for a Competitive New Mexico. The recording on the call stated that Martinez has “worked with Governor Grisham to keep our state moving forward but his opponent doesn’t even support Governor Grisham”.
The caller states that Jaramillo “has worked actively to undermine our Democratic leaders and I’m afraid that our region would get the short end of the stick if he was elected”.
The Los Alamos Reporter reached out to Senator Martinez and asked him about the calls. He responded that he had never heard of the Council for a Competitive New Mexico and that the content of the message was “not my style”. He said he would see what he could find out. Attempts to contact Martinez Saturday afternoon were unsuccessful.
While seeking information about the Council for a Competitive New Mexico, the Reporter found a Facebook page for the group claiming it is “working to raise awareness and advocate for smart policies and effective elected officials with a clear vision of how to get New Mexico back on the road to prosperity and long-term economic security”.
Then, on Saturday morning, sources directed the Reporter to the Secretary of State’s website campaign financing report for the period ending May 28, which indicated that the Council for a Competitive New Mexico paid thousands of dollars to the Lincoln Strategy Group to support several candidates including Martinez, and to oppose other candidates, including Jaramillo by providing advocate calls and opposition mailers. See https://portal.sos.state.nm.us/IESearch/
The Lincoln Strategy Group’s website notes that it has run political campaigns domestically and in a global capacity, “including projects with the Republican National Committee to state-wide and Congressional campaigns”. The website says Lincoln has two former Republican Party executive directors and veterans of many political campaigns.
In addition to Martinez, the group is advocating for Senators Clemente Sanchez, John Arthur Smith, Gabriel J. Ramos and Joseph Cervantes and is opposing their opponents, Jaramillo, Siah Correa Hemphill, Pamela M. Cordova, Neomi Martinez-Parra.
With just three days left until the June 2 Primary Election, the affected candidates are trying to get the word out about the source of the campaign calls and materials. Jaramillo’s campaign manager Loyda Martinez said his supporters know he stands with the working families of Senate District 5.
“It’s a stark contrast indeed from Richard Martinez, who is relying on out-of-state corporations and national Republican operatives to try to help him win this race,” she said.
“The Senator claims he represents our Democratic values however, based on the dark money he’s taking from a Republican PAC, that’s clearly not the case,” Jaramillo told the Reporter Saturday afternoon. “If you haven’t mailed your absentee ballot hand deliver it to your county clerks office or take it to your polling site on June 2nd. Please make sure you cast your vote to make your voice heard.”
District 5 includes parts of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe Counties.