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NM Secretary of State’s New Measure Violates First Amendment

By Concerned Veterans for America

Albuquerque, NM –  New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has released a proposed rule that would force many non-profit organizations and charitable groups to disclose the names and addresses of their supporters, leaving those individuals subject to harassment and intimidation. Such a measure would have a chilling effect on free speech and open debate in New Mexico.

Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) and its New Mexico chapter of volunteers and concerned citizens will be engaged in a grassroots effort to stop Secretary Toulouse Oliver’s proposal, and encourage them to contact the Secretary as well as their lawmakers to prevent the measure from passing. The group is currently engaged in an ongoing effort to educate New Mexicans on their First Amendment rights.

CVA Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:

“The new measure Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver has proposed would have a troubling impact on freedom of speech. Citizens should not be subjected to harassment and intimidation by their own government based on the causes they support. Governor Martinez was right to oppose an earlier anti-free speech measure, S.B. 96, because the legislation would have chilled free speech across the state. We encourage Secretary Toulouse Oliver to retract her ill-advised proposal and protect free speech in New Mexico, instead of hindering it.”

Governor Martinez vetoed S.B. 96 in April. CVA led a coalition of eleven different organizations and sent a letter to Governor Martinez asking her to reject the measure. The group also launched a targeted digital campaign, including a tool which allowed New Mexico constituents to contact Governor Martinez directly via email, Facebook, Twitter, and phone to warn her about the dangers of S.B. 96.

Earlier last year, CVA started “Defend the First,” a project dedicated to beating back threats against free speech at the state and federal level.