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New Mexico Republicans want Catholic Church official punished for calling them racist

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A group of Republican lawmakers want a Catholic Church official reprimanded for calling them racist for their opposition to funding programs for poor children.

Allen Sanchez, executive director of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, took part Feb. 14 in a candlelight vigil outside the state Capitol in support of a proposed constitutional amendment to increase funding for early childhood programs, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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“We feel there’s an element of racism here,” Sanchez said at the demonstration. “If you look at the footage of the hearings around this proposal, the opposition came from people with power and wealth. They don’t understand what is going on in our communities with poverty.”

The Catholic Church officially backed the proposed measure, but a group of 33 GOP lawmakers sent a letter of complaint asking for action against Sanchez, the newspaper reported.

“The political debate is divisive enough in this country and this state without unwarranted accusations of racism being thrown about without evidence,” said the letter addressed to Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester. “The fact that this accusation was levied [sic] by a representative of the Catholic Church only makes it more troubling.”

“As leader of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe do you condone this type of political debate?” lawmakers asked Wester. “Are you comfortable with the Catholic Church being represented in this manner? Does the Church wish to set the example that the political ends justify the rhetorical means?”

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The constitutional amendment, which would have taken an additional 1 percent from the state Land Grant Permanent Fund to pay for the programs, passed 36-33 in the House but died in the Senate Finance Committee.

Committee chairman John Arthur Smith, a Democratic state senator from Deming, refused to hold a vote because he said it would not pass — and Sanchez blamed racism by the bill’s opponents.

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“I don’t see (Smith) having a personal racial bias,” Sanchez last month. “But his decision reflected an institutional racism.”

Most of the bill’s opponents were Republicans, including several Hispanic lawmakers, and one of the two Democrats to vote against the amendment was also Hispanic.

A 2012 report by the state Public Education Department found Hispanic students made up 82 percent of the total number of students enrolled in the state’s pre-kindergarten programs.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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RNC’s Ronna McDaniels scorched for calling Elizabeth Warren a ‘liar’: ‘Every word Trump utters is a lie’

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The Republican National Committee chairwoman faced swift backlash for calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a liar for claiming Native American ancestry.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly slurred Warren as "Pocahontas" to mock claims about her background, and the Democratic presidential candidate apologized Monday to Native American tribal leaders for any harm she had caused by promoting DNA test results to prove native ancestry generations ago.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel gleefully mocked the Democratic presidential candidate.

Elizabeth Warren by the numbers:

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Trump’s rabid fans will back his racist lies — but some might not appreciate him wrecking the economy

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Donald Trump's propaganda apparatus is mighty — much more resilient and effective than any of his business endeavors ever were in the decades before he ran for president. While most Americans haven't bought into Trump's lies — which are up to an average of 13 a day — his base of supporters, who have way more power, in our undemocratic system, than their actual numbers justify, gobble up every ridiculous assertion emanating from the Oval Office.

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‘Paranoid’ GOP lawmaker who is obsessed with ‘Biblical War’ sought GPS devices to track adversaries: report

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Republican state Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane, Washington reportedly sought GPS devices and other spycraft to use against his political adversaries.

The revelations are part of a trove of emails obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

The paper said that Shea, who has connections to the Christian identity movement, believes that "Muslims, journalists and critics of all political stripes are 'supporting tyranny' if they don’t support his view that the United States is 'a Christian nation.'"

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