By Larry “Lead” Marker
Radical Laws and the need for Referendum Petitions:
The 2023 legislative session was the source of six of the most radical state laws ever passed in the history of our nation. To combat these radical laws, hundreds of grassroots organizations, citizen groups, churches, radio stations, pro-family, pro- life supporters, partisan and non-partisan parental rights’ groups and individuals have joined in an effort to exercise a Constitutionally reserved right to repeal these laws by placing them on the ballot for a vote of the citizens. This effort is known as the “Referendum Project”.
How have the SOS and Republican Caucus responded to the Referendum Efforts?
The Office of the Secretary of State has resisted the referendum effort in an illegal and unethical manner, using the state’s nearly unlimited legal resources. The Secretary of State has illegally designated these six laws as exempt from referendum. By law, only the legislature can designate laws as exempt from referendum. Obviously, the Democrat Caucus Leadership would not challenge the SOS or her abuse of authority.
The question is: why has the Republican Caucus Leadership failed to challenge the actions of the SOS? Only a handful of elected Republican Representatives and Senators have taken a legitimate, active role in supporting or assisting the Referendum effort!
Lack of Support from Republican Caucus, Quasi-Remedies and Sabotage of Referendum Efforts:
One of the most egregious of the six laws up for referendum is HB-7: “Gender Affirming and Reproductive Healthcare Protection Act”. This allows students to make life-altering decisions without parental notification or consent. Whereas previously, parents’ notification and permission were required for children to take aspirin or other medications while at school, this law authorizes radical, life-altering treatments with no parental notification.
Rather than support referendum efforts already underway with statewide citizen support and unprecedented momentum, Caucus Leadership, through its PAC, has poured significant funding into publicizing and distributing an “exemption from the law letter” which they urged parents to submit to the school their child attended. Unfortunately, the introduction of the exemption has, however, resulted in a diversion of attention and energy from the Referendum effort. This quasi-remedy potentially will expose parents to years of litigation and expense. The leadership suggests that out of state lawyers will swoop in and save the day. The evident truth is that no one is coming to save us. This is our fight- and Caucus Leadership should join us in it. That is the very reason they were elected.
The best effort that the Caucus Leadership seems willing or able to make is to write a futile request to the most corrupt SOS in history in an attempt to steal the spotlight and end up on the front page. Letter writing, Facebook posts and weak, hat- in- hand requests are not impactful. Our children and grandchildren deserve better. Caucus leadership should know the facts of the matter–especially this matter. Caucus leadership is either incompetent, weak, or scared.
The “Referendum Project” and the hundreds of Citizen Volunteers are worthy of front-page coverage. News coverage of the “Referendum Project” should not include uninvolved, self-serving politicians or Caucus Leadership, with unknown motives and quasi-remedies, who are unwilling to put themselves on the line.
Intentional Undermining of Referendum Efforts by Caucus Leadership??
In previous months, I, as well as other citizen volunteers, requested assistance from the Minority Caucus Leadership. All those requests have been ignored. Thus, the majority of “Referendum Project” citizen volunteers have determined that Caucus Leadership would likely be as irrelevant and useless in this project as they are during the legislative session. “Irrelevant and useless” may be a correct assumption; however, we should consider the more sinister possibility that Caucus Leadership is actually working to intentionally undermine the “Referendum Project” with covert activities, refusal to support or participate in the effort and the introduction of quasi- remedies that have only served to divert energy and interest from the referendum.
The other possibility and the most likely reason Caucus Leadership has refused to engage, is the simple fact that they fear the opposition – and are trembling at the possibility of what they call “energizing the opposition base.” Too bad they are not as concerned with energizing their own base. Willingness of citizens of all parties to sign the petition when asked indicates that not even the average Democrat supports child mutilation and cessation of parental rights – meaning caucus leadership has little to fear from the majority of the people of New Mexico if they were to publicly support the Referendum Project.
You, as a citizen and voter of this State, can and will undoubtedly form your own opinion of the motives and actions of all parties involved or not involved.
Let’s Examine the Facts:
Fact: The referendum process is a legitimate, Constitutionally- authorized remedy for an out-of-control legislature.
Fact: Caucus Leadership has refused to legitimately support the “Referendum Project”.
Fact: We can all agree: any and all recognition for the success of this project rightfully goes to the hundreds of Citizen Volunteers, who have not sought any recognition or reward for their efforts.
Fact: Citizen Volunteers did not ask me to defend them or prevent self-serving politicians from hijacking or undermining their work; however, self-serving politicians are now indeed, attempting to do exactly that. Such actions are insulting and inequitable on all levels.
Fact: As the individual who presented the legal remedy of the referendum to these incredible Citizen Volunteers, I am obligated to stand and defend these citizens and their tremendous efforts against any entity or individual who would seek to undermine them.
Fact: The citizen volunteers and I wish to Thank the few courageous Representatives and Senators currently participating and supporting the referendum efforts.
The future of our state, our way of life and the future of our children and grandchildren hangs in the balance.
–Larry “Lead” Marker (For more information on the “Referendum Project”, the subject laws and the “Not My Kid” outreach as well as signature events and signing opportunities at upcoming county and state fairs- go to: Bettertogethernewmexico.org or larrymarker.com)