Can you imagine where our great nation would be without freedom of speech? For centuries, Americans have built a diverse and vibrant nation on the idea that every citizen has the right to freely express their ideas. Veterans have proudly fought and sacrificed to defend this principle throughout our nation’s history.
But a threat to this fundamental right has emerged in New Mexico. Recently, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver set forth a measure that would severely chill free speech in the state. The proposed rule would require some private organizations and civic groups to reveal the personal information of their members and supporters. This would leave citizens open to public harassment and intimidation, simply for supporting a cause they believe in.
Earlier this year, Governor Susana Martinez wisely vetoed a similar measure, Senate Bill 96, that would have obstructed the free speech rights of New Mexicans. As the governor said when she vetoed the measure, this violation of a citizens’ privacy “would likely discourage charities and other groups that are primarily non-political from advocating for their cause and could also discourage individuals from giving to charities.”
Now, in a blatant attempt to stifle her perceived opposition, Secretary Oliver is circumventing the legislative process and forcing this measure through without the state legislature or the consent of the governor. Let’s be clear: this is a measure specifically designed to silence New Mexicans by limiting free and open debate.
The good news? You have a chance to join us in fighting back.
On Wednesday, August 30th the Secretary of State will host a hearing at the State Capitol Building in Santa Fe to review this rule and you can stand with our activists in opposition to Secretary Oliver’s proposed measure. This hearing will give you the opportunity to speak up in defense of the First Amendment and stand in solidarity with likeminded citizens who are deeply concerned about this flawed measure.
Together, we can let officials in New Mexico know that citizens won’t stand by silently while their right to free speech is under attack.