Sun News Distorts Bad Bills

The article printed on the 8th of July in the LC Sun-News sorely mis-stated the facts when it comes to the six (not five) bills that are being petitioned for referendum as provided for in the NM Const. Art. III, Sec. 1; NM Const. Art. IV, Sec. 1; NM Const. Art IV, Sec. 21, and NM Const. Art IV, Sec 23.  To try to point to the conservative Republican right-wingers alone as the ones wanting to make lawmakers and voters together take a harder look at what they passed only makes sense when we realize the measures the progressive left took to get these bills passed and into operation.

It’s intolerable to think how those in the State House had to act in order to get their agenda won.  Those of the left know very well there were many dissenting opinions. They don’t want you to know that during the floor debates an overwhelming number of the public waited to speak but were ignored.  They don’t tell you that hundreds of thousands of logged communications indicated disfavor and were completely dismissed by their representatives.  It is hard not to wonder what kind of backroom deals occurred, what the lobbyists paid.

Let’s review why.

HB4 & SB 180, the “bad” election bills shut down transparency by removing them from the definition of public records under IPRA, adding more layers of unsupervised methods to vote without sufficient chain of custody, inserting undefined and vague language into the election rules, and giving access to your tax filings to the Secretary of State (SOS). 

HB7, SB397, and SB 13, the “bad” health care bills, violate parental & community rights in an effort to provide “healthcare” including abortion and transgender treatment.  Alarmingly, the bills fail to limit their parameters to exclude the very young and innocent who cannot weigh the ramifications of their decisions, risk the lives of children who are too young to decide for themselves, and ignore parents’ rights in the decision.

There are misleading statements in articles where the SOS jointly states these bills are exempt from referendum.   She states that not only are the bills are exempt from referendum, but that the referendum petitions are illegal and were not approved due to having been passed as “providing or necessary for the preservation of public, peace, health and safety.” 

Our State Constitution outlines 3 qualifications to exempt bills from referendum:  1)   the legislature would have voted for these bills by at least a 2/3 vote,  2)  the bills’ language includes that it is for the “preservation of the public peace, health and safety”, and 3)  they take immediate effect upon adoption by the legislature.

These six bills went into effect on June 16, 2023, 90 days after being signed.  They were not effective immediately upon passing.  None of the six bills were passed by at least a 2/3 majority.  None of the bills are stated to be necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety. 

The Referendum Project is working to gather signatures from 10% of registered voters in order to put the bad laws on the ballot for the voters to decide.  An ingenious right, protected by the state Constitution!!!   The public can now be educated on what their Legislators did to them, and we can now see that there are people and an agenda who want to intimidate, suppress speech, and spew misinformation in order to stop the process. These are the facts.  You decide.

Joan E. Scherer

Election Integrity Action Team Leader CCIA

(575) 649-8970



Hi Peter,I hope you and your family had a nice July 4th holiday.
I saw your article about the referendums and was kinda surprised at the tone and content of your piece.  I wanted to reach out and connect with you about this. 

For me personally, the main reason for my involvement in the Referendum Project is the infringement on parents’ rights to be involved in their children’s healthcare decisions.  Abortion and transgender healthcare aren’t categorically black-and-white issues to me, but I believe that cutting parents out of involvement and support in these decisions is wrong and harmful.

Parents and teachers from across the state have expressed concern to me about these Bills, as well as the many other ways in which the schools and state are pushing transgender ideology on children at school while excluding parents from the conversation. (I have quite a bit of documentation about that if you’re interested.)

If you’re willing, will you please take a look at the two attached Bills, which I have annotated with notes? I’d very much like to hear your perspective on these Bills as related to parents’ rights, especially given your legal background. 

I really don’t see the Referendum Project as a “right-wing” movement.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Moderate (and registered as a Democrat); there are also many other Moderates (as well as Democrats) who are concerned about these Bills and therefore signing the petitions (as well as volunteering to gather signatures).   

I look forward to hearing back from you about this.
–Sarah Smith


Prayer Guide