Nora Says No to the League


Errors of Enchantment avoids politics — the Rio Grande Foundation is a nonpartisan, tax-exempt research organization — and won’t tell you how to cast your vote for New Mexico’s next secretary of state.

But yesterday, an article in The Santa Fe New Mexican on the race caught our attention. It highlights the need for voters to be aware of the ideological leanings of benign-sounding organizations active in lobbying and elections.

Noting that “no fewer than 17 of the officers and leaders of the League of Women Voters in chapters around the state are solidly and openly backing my opponent,” Nora Espinoza, the GOP’s nominee for secretary of state, has refused the group’s invitations to appear at public forums with her opponent, Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

League officials have donated “more than $8,000” to Oliver, Espinoza said — a “substantial amount for an office that is administrative in nature, and from members of an organization that touts itself as being ‘nonpartisan.'”

Predictably, the league’s president denounced the GOP candidate’s comments as an “offensive, untrue, intentional misrepresentation and a flimsy excuse for not participating in our candidate forums.”

But the record is pretty clear. The league is committed to an undeniably — many would say radically — liberal agenda. Last year, the Capital Research Center published a useful primer on the organization’s history and record. Founded in 1920, when women won the right to vote nationally, the league quickly involved itself in lobbying. (It supported the creation of the United Nations, and was heavily involved in the civil-rights movement.) In our era, it “has been a steady voice for legislation to deal with climate change, establish stricter gun control and environmental legislation, and make the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) the law of the land.”

Espinoza has a personal reason to eschew involvement with the league. Reporter Steve Terrell wrote that earlier this year, the “League of Women Voters openly opposed a bill sponsored by Espinoza that would have required voters to present photo identification at polling places.”

So nationally and in New Mexico, the league doesn’t represent women. It speaks for left-wing women. Nothing wrong with free speech, of course. But for citizens, taxpayers, and voters, truth in advertising matters. It’s easy for unsophisticated observers to get snookered by liberal organizations that cleverly craft an image of moderation. (New Mexico Voices for Children is another example of a mom-and-apple-pie-named entity. It advocates for Big Government “solutions” to New Mexico’s many socioeconomic woes.) The League of Women Voters has every right to participate in the political process. But the lobbying group shouldn’t be shocked and offended when a politician opposed to its agenda refuses to lend credibility to the organization, and says “thanks, but no thanks.”

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5 Replies to “Nora Says No to the League”

  1. This is the same league who listed, in their last voter guide, a Republican legislator, Jane Powdrell-Culbert, as a Democrat. Why? Because she was a black female and, of course, she must be a Democrat! She is a Republican!

  2. Welcome back to Errors of Enchantment, Dowd! It is a shame that a so-called non-partisan organization like LWV has become so very left-wing. They have lost all credibility in my opinion.

    Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s I volunteered with the local chapter of LWV in South Orange, NJ, and that group seemed to be fairly non-partisan then. But the whole organization has moved far to the left since then; or perhaps I have just become more aware of the issues since then.

  3. Last year during our “Save the Bag” campaign here in Los Alamos, the LWV members were for banning plastic bags. Their members were are all members of the Los Alamos Democratic Party too. When researching the group more. I noticed that their platform mirrored that of the national Democratic Party as well. I think Ms. Espinoza is right to turn them down.

  4. It’s now necessary to look under the hood of any organization that claims to be nonpartisan. The ACLU champions illegal immigrants but not veterans. AARP colluded with the White House to advocate for Obamacare. And the media fact-checking services often represent the bias of their parent organizations.

    1. Very true. Every organization has its quirks. I would give kudos to the ACLU, however, for supporting the Citizens United speech decision by the US Supreme Court. They also recently came out against using the “No Fly List” for restricting gun rights. No one is perfect, but the ACLU does take principled stances against left-wing orthodoxy as does the Rio Grande Foundation against supposed conservative positions!

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