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Secretary Oliver Lacks the Authority to Force Through Anti-Free Speech Measure

By Concerned Veterans for America

Albuquerque, NM – This week New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced revisions to her proposed measure that would force citizens who support causes to list their names and personal information publicly, leaving them open to retaliation and intimidation.

Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) is opposed to Secretary Oliver’s measure because it not only hurts the First Amendment rights of New Mexicans, but Secretary Oliver does not have the authority to implement such drastic changes to New Mexico’s laws. Earlier this year, Governor Martinez vetoed S.B. 96, a similar anti-free speech measure that passed the legislature in April which should have ended the process.

CVA Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following comment:

“Secretary Oliver does not have the authority to unilaterally force citizens to report what causes they believe in to the government. A similar law failed to pass the legislative process and this measure is being pushed through in response to that failure. Secretary Oliver is transparently overstepping in an effort to silence her constituents, and our activists remain committed to fighting this flawed measure.”

CVA recently launched a direct mail and web ad campaign urging New Mexicans to contact Secretary Oliver with a digital tool that allows them to call or email her office in opposition to this anti-free speech measure. CVA also led a coalition of 29 individuals representing 14 different organizations that submitted a letter to the Secretary pledging to protect free speech in New Mexico. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson was among the signers urging the Secretary to abandon her measure.

Prior to Governor Martinez’s initial veto of S.B. 96, CVA led a coalition of 11 different organizations and sent a letter to Governor Martinez asking her to reject the law. 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.

Last year, CVA launched “Defend the First,” a project focused on protecting the free exchange of information and ideas at the state and federal level.