“The New Mexican Republican Party knows they can’t run on their lack of legislative accomplishments, so they send a racist mailer that distorts both the facts and the original stock image to mislead and scare voters,” said Democratic Party of New Mexico Spokesperson Daniel Garcia. “It’s disturbing the Republicans think it’s appropriate to darken someone’s skin to depict them as a frightening sexual predator.”
In addition to purposefully using the racist image on their mailer, the NM GOP presented misleading information about bills that received bipartisan support.
The mailers, which were sent to at least 9 competitive House districts across the state, reference 2019’s Senate Bill 385 and 2021’s House Bill 54. SB 385 was sponsored by Republican Senator Mark Moores. The legislation was a “second chance” bill designed to prevent criminal records from prohibiting individuals who have paid their debt to society from earning a professional license, unless the conviction was related to the profession being pursued. This legislation passed with strong bipartisan support, 34-2 in the Senate, and unanimously in the House.
HB 54 broadly addressed licensing and regulation of barbers and cosmetologists. Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) attempted to add a floor amendment unrelated to the purpose of the bill, it was also likely unconstitutional according to the floor debate. The unrelated amendment was tabled and the legislation passed with bipartisan support.
“The reason why I voted for that bill is I believe once you’ve served your full debt to society, I think we need to do everything we can to rehabilitate you,” Rep. T. Ryan Lane (R-Aztec), one of several House Republicans who supported the bill, told the Santa Fe New Mexican