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New Mexico Senate Race: GOP Candidate Didn’t Withdraw, State Restores Straight-Party Voting

New Mexico Senate Race: GOP Candidate Didn’t Withdraw, State Restores Straight-Party Voting

“Pushing voters toward straight ticket voting is a worn-out staple of major party incumbents…”

You all know I’m excited that Gary Johnson entered the New Mexico senate race as a Libertarian candidate. I told Professor Jacobson I need to cover this race because I know Johnson has a decent chance to defeat the Democrat incumbent. A poll released only two days after Johnson announced proved me correct because he shot up to second place.

The establishment in both parties have felt the heat. Republican candidate Mick Rich refused to bow out of the race to unite the GOP and Libertarians behind Johnson. Now New Mexico all of a sudden decides to restore straight party voting.

Still a Three Man Race

In that poll I mentioned, Rich placed third with only 11%. Back in July, matt Welch wrote at Reason that in mid-May, “Rich trailed Heinrich in available campaign funds, $166,000 to $3.993 million.” Santa Fe New Mexican columnist Milan Simonich described Rich as a “tomato can.”

Rich has shown his ignorance about libertarians when he said that Johnson is “more in sync with [Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders] than he is with Republicans.”

Unfortunately, Rich and the Republicans remain stubborn and he didn’t pull out of the race by August 28 to unite behind Johnson to take down incumbent Martin Heinrich.

Straight Party Voting

To make matters worse for Johnson, Democrat New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced that the state has restored the straight party voting option for November. This means a person can vote for every candidate on the ballot of a single party by clicking one box or filling in one blank. Reason reported:

As of July 31, 45.9 percent of eligible New Mexico voters were registered Democrats, compared to 30.5 percent Republican, 0.7 Libertarian, and a combined 1.0 percent other (21.9 percent were unaffiliated). Johnson, in the only three-way poll conducted since he officially announced, was at 21 percent, compared to incumbent Democratic Martin Heinrich’s 39 percent and Republican nominee Mick Rich’s 11.

Oliver, who made the changes reportedly without so much as a single public hearing on the issue, cast her narrow-casting decision as matter of expanding choice.

“The more options people have, the easier it is for more eligible voters to participate—and participation is the key to our democratic process,” she said in her statement. “As Secretary of State, I am committed to making it easier—not harder—for New Mexicans to vote….From moms juggling work and kids to elderly veterans who find it hard to stand for long, straight-party voting provides an option for voters that allows their voices to be heard while cutting in half the time it takes them to cast their ballot.”

This is a bunch of crap. Voting should not be easy. A responsible citizen should take his or her time when voting for any candidate. It’s just another excuse for the dominant party to stay in power. Johnson agreed:

Johnson’s reaction was withering.

“Suggesting that New Mexico voters don’t want to take the time to actually indicate their preferences for each office is ridiculous,” he wrote in an email. “Pushing voters toward straight ticket voting is a worn-out staple of major party incumbents, and flies in the face of the reality that the great majority of voters are independent-minded and don’t need or appreciate a ballot that provides a short-cut to partisanship.”

The Libertarian Party of New Mexico and the Republican Party of New Mexico joined forces (too bad they couldn’t do this over Rich) along with a PAC and a Democrat state candidate and filed a lawsuit to stop the decision about straight party voting. From Los Alamos Monitor:

Libertarian Party of New Mexico Chair Chris Luchini, who is running for Los Alamos County sheriff, said the party was “deeply concerned” about Toulouse Oliver’s decision.

“It is so transparently partisan,” he said.

The state Republican and Libertarian parties were joined by two others in the court filing. Elect Liberty, PAC, is a political action committee working on behalf of Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Gary Johnson.

Democrat Heather Nordquist, a write-in candidate for New Mexico House District 46, is running against Andrea Romero. Nordquist is a Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist who lives in El Rancho.

Toulouse Oliver made the decision without a public hearing, which is part of the mandatory state process and decided to make the change 66 days before the election, Luchini said.

“We are deeply concerned by the abuse of power via executive fiat that the Secretary of State with the support of the Attorney General is engaged in a blatant act of self-dealing to give their political party an advantage in this election,” Luchini said. “This effort is clearly an attempted to interfere with our major party status and to disadvantage our candidates’ prospects, up and down the ballot, of winning any election to public office in New Mexico.”

That’s exactly what it is. It’s an opportunity to implement an easy way for the Democrats to remain in power and defeat any chance that Johnson has to win the senate seat.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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OK. You like libertarians. I do too. Why doesn’t LI do more Drug War coverage?

Like how the government lies on the issue.

Drugs don’t cause addiction.

Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.

Addiction is a symptom of PTSD. Look it up.

The NIDA says Addiction Is A Genetic Disease

    Mac45 in reply to MSimon. | August 31, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Even though I disagree that drug addiction can be solidly linked to PTSD, whatever that is this week, I just have to play your little game.

    All human being suffer from “PTSD” at some point in their life. And, “PTSD” can not be cured, only lived with. Therefor, it is both pervasive in society and can not be cured. If 70% of the heroin addicts in America suffer from PTSD and the possession and sale of heroin is currently illegal, what would happen if heroin was both legal and readily accessible? That’s right, more addicts and more deaths. How then, is society supposed to control heroin addiction and its disastrous aftermath? Logically that would be to eliminate heroin.

    You might consider putting down the bong and applying critical thought to your position on drugs.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Mac45. | August 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Perhaps a middle ground on drugs would produce a better outcome, making drugs free to addicts, their choice, treatment, or all the drugs they want. Drugs should be self administered with them in lockdown at a facility. No efforts should be made to save those who OD.

      Some people are defective, and self destructive. Our efforts should be to protect others from them. For the most part, you cannot save these people. Giving them drugs in a controlled setting would destroy the bulk of drug related crime and make the business much less profitable.

        This is sarcasm, right?

        Drug use accounts for millions of lost dollars to America every single year, and that is before we factor in the cost of rehabilitation. Then you have all the innocent people who drug users harm every year. Now, it would be a reasonable to allow drug users to simply OD, but that would only account for the current batch of drug users. Stupid people are always going to do stupid things, such as use addictive drugs. So, if drugs are readily available, then a new generation of drug users will crop up immediately. Even if you are giving drugs away for free, what makes you think that most drug users would take advantage of that? Juveniles would not be able to legally obtain drugs. And, adults are not going to allow themselves to be incarcerated to use drugs, if they can score them on the street. So, you still have to have drug laws and enforcement.

        If drug use were strictly a victimless crime, then all drugs could be legalized. But it is not. It impacts the entire society, not just the drug user. That is why we have strict DUI laws and do not sell liquor to minors.

          Prohibition has been a rousing success hasn’t it? /sarc

          After the 1920 to 1933 episode who could have predicted its failure? /sarc

          Heroin was once over the counter. And then we got the nanny State. Which, in case you haven’t noticed, doesn’t work.

      You missed the part about PTSD is a genetic condition.

      The genes have been identified. If you don’t have the genes long term PTSD is unlikely (impossible?). About 20% of the population has the genes. About 1/2 of those get enough trauma to activate the genes.

      As to not “believing” in PTSD. It is a well known condition and was called “the soldiers disease” in the aftermath of the Civil War. It got the name PTSD in the aftermath of Vietnam.

        Mac45 in reply to MSimon. | September 1, 2018 at 1:01 pm

        PTSD is NOT a genetic condition. I suggest that you read the current literature on what causes PTSD. People do not simply develop PTSD while sitting on their front porch drinking a sweet tea and counting their money. PTSD is a condition which results from excessive traumatic stress.

        Now, some people are perhaps more genetically disposed to developing PTSD than others. Just as some people have addictive personalities while other do not. But, PTSD IS NOT GENETIC in nature. And, people who suffer from PTSD can be trained to control its symptoms.

        What you are trying to do is to infer that only people who suffer from PTSD will use and become addicted to heroin. However, heroin, just like other opioids, causes permanent changes in brain chemistry and structure which render a person physically addicted to it for life.

      The cure for our current problem? Dr. Marks in England found it.

      Dr Marks could see the difference between the street addicts stumbling into the clinic for help for the first time, and the patients who had been on legal prescriptions for a while.

      The first people to notice an effect were the local police. Inspector Michael Lofts studied 142 heroin and cocaine addicts in the area, and he found there was a 93 per cent drop in theft and burglary.

      And something nobody predicted took place. The number of heroin addicts in the area actually fell.

      So how long has this knowledge been out there? Over 35 years.

        I should add that “play your little game” indicates you know nothing about the subject except government propaganda.

        A point I made at the beginning of my post.

        Like how the government lies on the issue.

        You don’t even know as much about it as President Trump does.

        Addiction is a medical problem – Trump

        Mac45 in reply to MSimon. | September 1, 2018 at 1:12 pm

        You really don’t understand how this all works, do you.

        Heroin causes permanent changes in brain chemistry and structure. This results in a lifetime need for a regular ingestion of heroin, or a similar drug. Once you are a heroin addict you are a physical addict for life. This was the reason for methadone clinics, which have been around for the last 40 years. However, methadone clinics and free heroin do not address the initial problem which is the development of the addiction in the first place.

        Giving an addict a controlled source of heroin will reduce the criminal activity necessary fund an illicit drug habit. It will stabilize the health of the addicted individual. As to a source for legal heroin for addicts might cause the number of heroin addicts in an area to fall, there is no reliable data as to what caused the reported decline in heroin addicts. It is equally possible that people who might have been heroin users simply started and stayed with another drug, rather than getting involved with heroin.

        Now, one thing to consider here, cost. What does it cost society to fund a free heroin program, for addicts? How long does such a program have to be funded? And, what mechanism exists to keep more drug addicts from being developed?

          I have looked at the research. And the “heroin causes changes in the brain” is not proved.

          Why not “PTSD causes changes in the brain” – which has been proved?

          What would be required is a large study carried out over two or three decades with regular looks at the brain condition.

By the antics described in this story, both major parties have clearly demonstrated that they are only interested in politics and power, and not liberty and prosperity.

New Mexico is a pretty weird place; look what happened there when they accidentally caught some terrorists.

So, why should Rich pull out of the race in favor of Johnson? Johnson’s policy views are well known and he solidly supports abortion, the UN, open borders and a national sales tax [which he opposed before he supported it]. Rich, on the other hand, seems to favor pretty much the Trump agenda. So, if Heinrich is replaced with Johnson, what exactly do we get?

Also, as registered libertarians comprise only 0.7% of the electorate and registered Republicans comprise 30%, shouldn’t Johnson throw his support behind Rich? All Johnson has going for him is name recognition.

I understand what they’re saying but frankly I don’t see it having that much effect on the voter. Anyone who would see voting a straight ticket as a good idea would probably take the time to vote for each of the major party candidates.

What they’re essentially saying is that it keeps mistakes from happening as straight ticket voters are forced to go thru the ballot and that they might miss one or vote for the wrong person. That’s how it looks to me.

I never saw the point of removing straight ticket voting except in hopes it will discourage voters or they’ll make mistakes which is exactly what they seem to be saying will happen.

Doesn’t make either party look very good.

    Mac45 in reply to jakee308. | August 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    A straight party voting option is not a good idea for those states using electronic voting machines. It can all too easily be used to switch votes. New Mexico uses an optical scanner vote tallying method so a straight party voting option is more of a convenience than a danger to vote security.

I understand that Johnson is still popular in New Mexico, but I honestly thought he ended his political career in the last election.

Crying about politics being partisan is just silly. Kinda like complaining that water is wet. Politics is partisan. Period.

Will NM’s voters not have the option to straight party vote for the Libertarian Party? If enough voters want Johnson it won’t matter whether there’s straight party voting or not. If they don’t want him, then a reinstatement of straight party voting won’t be the reason why.

Splitting the non-Democrat vote with an independent candidate and then shaming the legitimate Republican candidate for not walking away from his commitment to his party’s voters in order to default the landscape for a late-to-the-game Johnson sure seems to be a rather weak strategy for unseating an incumbent Democrat.

New Mexico law eliminated straight party ticket voting in 2001. Of course democrats immediately ignored the law, claiming it only applied to a specific type of ballot, which they eliminated. Straight party ticket voting was eliminated again in 2012 by the secretary of state because the law didn’t authorize it. Now Oliver is claiming the law allows her to determine how the ballot should be written and she’s bringing it back. I’m just shocked that given her new found powers, she isn’t eliminating all republican names from the ballot.

Elected officials in NM have always had difficulty following the law.

so Johnson’s turning likely Democrat Voters 39% to likely 32% GOP Voters into 39 21 11 is Progress?? SMH

Johnson will never take significant votes from Democrats,

Johnson could have primaried in the Republican Primary
ICYMI Bernie Sanders’ has been doing this with Democrats in Vermont for the last 30 years…

Johnson converted the New Mexico Senate election into a Democrat Blow Out Where the National Democrats Will Save A lot of campaign money to spend elsewhere.