Co-chair: Hannah Burling
Co-chair: Nancy Cushing
The Issues Committee is currently working on ways to bring Money Out of Politics issues into the forefront in political campaigns, and in State legislation. NM MOP has six basic goals:
- Public Financing of all congressional and presidential elections
- 28th Amendment overturning Citizens United and similar decisions
- Lobbying reform and regulation, giving all Americans equal access to elected officials
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Eliminate the effects of the Electoral College, ensuring that the US President is chosen by National Popular Vote.
- Establish a Voter’s Bill of Rights, guaranteeing all Americans access to their right to vote
Issues Committee Sets Direction for 2018
Reported by Hannah Burling and Nancy Cushing at the General Meeting on November 13, 2017
The Issues Committee will focus on the following six topics during 2018 with the goal of supporting legislative measures that address the six goals of NM MOP during the 2019 New Mexico State Legislative Session. We will be educating ourselves on the issues, preparing to debate the pros and cons of each, assessing the importance of these issues in New Mexico and identifying allies.
Independent Commission on Redistricting
Redistricting is the process by which new congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn. All United States Representatives and state legislators are elected from political divisions called districts. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States Census. The federal government stipulates that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. A number of states have shifted redistricting of state legislative district lines from the legislature to a board or commission. New Mexico does not have such a commission.
Relevance to NM MOP: Goal #4
National Popular Vote
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It has been enacted into law in 11 states with 165 electoral votes. This interstate compact will take effect when enacted by states with 105 more electoral votes for a total of 270 electoral votes.
Relevance to NM MOP: Goal #5
Public Campaign Financing
Some states allow candidates to use public funds while campaigning for state offices. In order to receive public funds for their campaigns, candidates must meet state requirements and agree to adhere to certain restrictions and spending limits. The methods of collecting and distributing funds for these public financing programs vary widely. As of October 2015, 13 states provided for some method of public campaign financing. Presidential candidates are also eligible to receive public funds for their primary and general election campaigns. This program is funded by voluntary donations made on federal income tax returns.
Relevance to NM MOP: Goal #1
Automatic Voter Registration
Automatic voter registration makes two transformative, yet simple, changes to voter registration: Eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote unless they decline, and agencies transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials. These two changes create a seamless process that is more convenient and less error-prone for both voters and government officials.
Relevance to NM MOP: Goal #6
An open primary is any primary election in which a voter either does not have to formally affiliate with a political party in order to vote in its primary or can declare his or her affiliation with a party at the polls on the day of the primary even if the voter was previously affiliated with a different party.
Relevance to NM MOP: Goals #5 & 6
Disclosure Legislation on Campaign Finance
Disclosure legislation, also known as Sunshine Legislation would allow citizens to know who finances candidates and issues. Undisclosed campaign financing allows for corruption, undue influence of wealthy bodies (individuals, corporations, unions, foreign states) and the erosion of the democratic process. New Mexico has campaign disclosure procedures which are currently under attack.
Relevance to NM MOP: Goal #2