New Mexico: Wolves, wilderness, drilling and Latinos

 

"Nothing is more attractive to a wolf than the sound of a crying baby," said then-Rep. Steve Pearce, R, during a 2007 debate over one of his bills, which sought to kill funding for the federal Mexican wolf reintroduction program in southern New Mexico, Pearce's district. More recently, Pearce expressed his views of land protection and immigration by opposing a wilderness bill along the Mexico border because it would "provide new corridors of access for drug trafficking and human smuggling." Stances like these got Pearce a lifetime score of 3, out of a possible perfect 100, from the League of Conservation Voters -- which is about 3 points higher than his scores from other progressive groups.

Pearce's anti-wolf bill lost. And in 2008, Pearce lost, too, in a face-off with Democrat Tom Udall over a Senate seat. Now Pearce wants his old House seat back from the Democrat who won it in 2008, Harry Teague. Given Pearce's stances on wolves, wilderness and drilling -- his top campaign contributors are oil and gas folks -- environmentalists are jumping into the fray. Defenders of Wildlife has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads painting Pearce as corrupt.

The liberals are more anti-Pearce than pro-Teague. Teague made a career in oilfield services and leans to the right. He voted against health-care reform, and despite the fact that he favors cap-and-trade climate legislation, the oil and gas industry contributes generously to his campaign. Polls show the two in a dead heat.

Republicans are also looking to reclaim the 1st Congressional District seat, which centers on Albuquerque. The Democrat who won in 2008, Martin Heinrich, leans to the left and has a 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. The Republican candidate, Jon Barela, is a former president of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce and vice chairman of the state's Republican Party. Polls indicate the Democrat has a slight edge.

Also watch Gov. Bill Richardson, one of the stars of the Democratic uprising in the West, is stepping down this year, opening things up for either Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish or Republican Susana Martinez. Each follows her party's line on the issues, but the so-called identity politics are more intriguing: Will the Hispanic vote go to the Hispanic candidate, Martinez? Or to the Democrat -- Denish is courting Hispanics by choosing Brian Colón as her running mate -- as it usually does? Either way, the winner will make history, becoming the first woman to lead the state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Country News Classifieds
  • PUBLIC LANDS PROGRAM MANAGER
    Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a candidate with excellent communication skills and a commitment to environmental conservation for the position of Public Lands Program Manager....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Western Slope Conservation Center in Paonia, CO, seeks a dynamic leader who is mission-driven, hardworking, and a creative problem-solver. WSCC is committed to creating...
  • PLANNED GIVING OFFICER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks a Planned Giving Officer. Do you find energy in...
  • NORTHERN NEW MEXICO PROJECT MANAGER
    Seeking qualified Northern New Mexico Project Manager to provide expertise, leadership and support to the organization by planning, cultivating, implementing and managing land conservation activities,...
  • REGIONAL TRAIL STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with trail maintenance and volunteer engagement...
  • TRAIL CREW MEMBER
    Position Title: Trail Crew Member Position Type: 6 month seasonal position, April 17-October 15, 2023 Location: Field-based; The RFOV office is in Carbondale, CO, and...
  • CEO BUFFALO NATIONS GRASSLANDS ALLIANCE
    Chief Executive Officer, Remote Exempt position for Buffalo Nations Grasslands Alliance is responsible for the planning and organization of BNGA's day-to-day operations
  • IDAHO DIRECTOR - WESTERN WATERSHEDS PROJECT
    Western Watersheds Project seeks an Idaho Director to continue and expand upon WWP's campaign to protect and restore public lands and wildlife in Idaho, with...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, NA'AH ILLAHEE FUND
    Na'ah Illahee Fund (NIF) is seeking a highly qualified Development Director to join our team in supporting and furthering our mission. This position will create...
  • DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, NA'AH ILLAHEE FUND
    Na'ah Illahee Fund (NIF) is seeking a highly qualified Operations Director to join our team. This position will provide critical organizational and systems support to...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is seeking a leader to join our dynamic team in the long-term protection of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). We...
  • GRASSLAND RESEARCH COORDINATOR
    The Grassland Research Coordinator is a cooperative position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that performs and participates in and coordinates data collection for...
  • HYDROELECTRIC PLANT
    1.3 MW FERC licensed hydroelectric station near Taylorsville CA. Property is 184 deeded acres surrounded by National Forrest.
  • "PROFILES IN COURAGE: STANDING AGAINST THE WYOMING WIND"
    13 stories of extraordinary courage including HCN founder Tom Bell, PRBRC director Lynn Dickey, Liz Cheney, People of Heart Mountain, the Wind River Indian Reservation...
  • GRANT WRITER
    JOB DESCRIPTION: This Work involves the responsibility of conducting research in the procurement of Federal, State, County, and private grant funding. Additional responsibilities include identifying...
  • ASPIRE COLORADO SUSTAINABLE BODY AND HOME CARE PRODUCTS
    Go Bulk! Go Natural! Our products are better for you and better for the environment. Say no to single-use plastic. Made in U.S.A., by a...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in the natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau, with lodge and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • ATTORNEY AD
    Criminal Defense, Code Enforcement, Water Rights, Mental Health Defense, Resentencing.
  • LUNATEC HYDRATION SPRAY BOTTLE
    A must for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cools, cleans and hydrates with mist, stream and shower patterns. Hundreds of uses.
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.