Earlier this year, the Koch Brothers hosted the elite of the tea party Republicans at a posh resort here in New Mexico. This meeting was so exclusive and private that they rented the entire resort and did not allow anyone including the media anywhere near the place.
The speculation that ensued had Democrat Senator Tom Udall and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham certain they would be targets in the sights of Republican hopefuls for the 2014 elections. Well in fact, Senator Udall and Congresswoman Grisham are indeed high value targets for Republican strategists, however the story doesn’t end there.
The greater Republican strategy incorporates winning and maintaining offices at the very root of government in New Mexico counties. From school board, city council, mayoral and county commission races.
Democrats in red Counties with little financial support from local donors, and even less support from the State Party, are hamstrung when trying to find candidates to compete in local races. Who wants to put up big dollars only to get their butts handed to them on election day. I sympathize with them, I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
When Republican Party officials at a national level with all of the PACs and hidden money target local races slowly but surely Republicans win the day not because of public support but because of the money and organizations behind their candidates.
Chaves County is a perfect example. We have a single elected official on the City Council and not another official anywhere else in the county. Despite turning out an additional 6 percent of Democratic voters in 2012, we lost a veteran state senator of 36 years to a tea party candidate with barely a high school education. Already part of the local Republican boondoggle, this kid will reportedly put an excess of 2 million dollars in his pocket.
Don’t believe me? Then explain this. Why would Republicans in Washington be conducting a Push Poll for a local tea party mayoral candidate when that candidates opposition is also Republican? Why is Gov. Martinez paying so much attention to this race?
Republicans have placed paid operatives in local communities to orchestrate voter registration drives that only register Republicans or pay kids $14 per hour to canvass and push poll the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in a negative light. They own the newspapers and local radio stations and apparently have unlimited resources to do their biding.
We Democrats, by neglecting our local races and letting our share of power sift through our fingers like sand, will wake up one day living in an America void of Democracy.