Tag: A Blair Dunn

Gary Johnson Will “Very Likely” Enter New Mexico Senate Race

By Drew Zirkle | New Mexico

The New Mexico Senate race, a competition that was previously thought to be a predictable stroll for incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), is expected to change drastically in the coming hours and days. Gary Johnson, prominent Libertarian Presidential candidate & former Republican Governor of the state is expected to enter the race soon.

The current candidate that the Libertarian Party is fielding for Senate, Aubrey Dunn, is expected to relinquish the nomination for the race today at 2:30 PM EST according to the chair of the NM LP, Chris Luchini. This will allow the New Mexican Libertarian Party the opportunity to nominate a new candidate for the upcoming general election in November. Luchini has confirmed that the New Mexico Libertarian Party Central Committee has already scheduled a meeting for this coming Saturday to choose a replacement candidate to run for Senate.

When reached by phone, Luchini stated that he spoke with Gary Johnson earlier today and that Johnson was “very interested in considering getting into the race.” Luchini also stated that there were no other candidates interested in running and that the central committee was ready to “offer [Johnson] the position.”

This development comes at an incredibly crucial time for the Libertarian Party, as the New Mexico LP has reportedly received an incredible increase in donations and interest for the upcoming Senate race. In addition to the increasing strength of the Libertarian Party, the GOP is facing difficulties in this particular race. The GOP candidate, Mick Rich, has no political experience, is polling very poorly, and has reportedly only raised around $650,000. Additionally, according to an unnamed source, Mick Rich refused to accept campaign donations at a recent campaign event in Los Alamos, leading to some speculation that Mick Rich may drop out of the race, leaving the Senate race wide open for a potentially powerful Johnson campaign to take on Heinrich.

Regardless of whether Mick Rich drops or not, his campaign is beginning to flounder, with most polling data putting him under 40% despite the fact that most GOP candidates are competitive in statewide races in New Mexico. Gary Johnson, a popular former Governor and a recurring figure in national politics, is expected to have a competitive advantage over Rich. Johnson is also expected to be a problem for Martian Heinrich, as Johnson’s familiarity with voters and established base of support ought to give him an energized base of support at the onset of his campaign.

Although Johnson has not publicly announced his intention to run for the Senate seat yet, it is abundantly clear that the Libertarian Party of New Mexico is preparing for Johnson to take up the torch behind the scenes. Furthermore, social media groups have sprung up on Facebook and Twitter suggesting that Johnson’s team is gearing up for the announcement. This preparation combined with Johnson privately confiding his interest in running indicates that in the coming days, Johnson is likely to launch a formal bid and this previously quiet Senate race will turn into one of the wildest races to watch this November.


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Featured Image (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

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Inside The 2018 New Mexico Libertarian Convention

Spencer Kellogg | Albuquerque NM

The Libertarian Party of New Mexico held their annual convention in downtown Albuquerque on Saturday afternoon. An impressive group of almost 20 candidates accepted nominations and unified behind a campaign of fighting corruption throughout the state.

Headlining the convention was New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn who last week filed to run for US Senate against Democrat incumbent Martin Heinrich. Dunn, a former bank president and cattle rancher auctioned off two pieces of gold while admonishing the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

https://twitter.com/TheNewTreasury/status/970169127326248960?s=19

Mr. Dunn railed against the FISA court and pointed to his experience in banking as proof of government overreach:

“I was a banker for 25 years. I saw first hand what the government did to the banking system. Every check you wrote they had access to it. And they still do today. It’s even worse. Any transaction over three thousand dollars is tracked to know where it came from.

State Chair Chris Luchini proudly announced surging membership numbers that have risen from 5,200 to 7,600 in the past year alone. Across New Mexico, the Libertarian Party will run 3 federal campaigns, 3 state wide and 14 local campaigns that include races for Sheriff, Magistrate and City Council. Luchini also informed members that a $100,000 dollar donation has been left to the party after a recent death.

A. Blair Dunn

Aubrey Dunn’s son, Blair, commanded the room during an impactful speech that lobbied against the unconstitutional practices of current Attorney General Hector Balderas. Blair was instrumental in his father’s upset bid for Land Commissioner and is seen as a rising legal star in the state. His candidacy for Attorney General represents one of the strongest on the ticket.

Entrepreneur & consultant Lloyd Princeton, candidate for the New Mexico District 1 Congressional race, was on hand for the afternoon festivities. Princeton’s campaign is amongst the best organized and well funded in the state and he spoke on the foundation of liberty as a principle of personal responsibility. Later, he won a gold bill during Mr. Dunn’s auction.

Lloyd Princeton

Military veteran Chris Manning, a candidate for US Representative of District 3, spoke passionately about the lagging school system of New Mexico suggesting they could be better.

Chris Manning

Former democratic state legislator Sandra Jeff is running for Secretary of State and gives the ticket what it notably lacks – legislative experience. Her time in the New Mexico state legislature was remembered for Jeff’s falling out with the Democrat Party when she refused to vote and play by party lines.

Sandra Jeff

Other notable business included a vote for delegates to represent New Mexico at the 2018 Libertarian National Convention in New Orleans. In an impressive turnout that signaled the momentum of the state party, double the amount of open delegate spots were contested for. In comparison, many states have trouble filling their delegate roll especially for an off-year convention.

Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon, senior aide to Gary Johnson’s 2016 campaign, was the last delegate to speak. His high-powered voice boomed across the room and an energized crowd celebrated his surprise announcement to run for the Libertarian National Committee this summer.

The 2018 New Mexico State Libertarian Convention will be remembered for its energetic and supportive spirit. Here, in the high desert, a group of anti corruption, pro freedom candidates appeared in solidarity behind a message of liberty. Taking advantage of their newly acquired major party status in New Mexico, the party is running a strong group of contenders for state and federal office.

Oh and did I mention there were rocket launchers?

New Mexican Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Files For US Senate As Libertarian

Aubrey_Dunn_Web

Spencer Kellogg | New Mexico

Ahead of this weekend’s New Mexico Libertarian State Convention, Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has thrown his hat into the US Senate race.  He will compete against Republican contractor Mick Rich and incumbent Democrat Martin Heinrich. A well liked Land Commissioner, Dunn is known for battling corruption throughout the state and speaking honestly about our rights as written in the Constitution. He recently changed his voting registration from Republican to Libertarian in anticipation of the campaign.

The Libertarian Party received major party status in the state after Gary Johnson achieved more than 5% of the vote in the 2018 election. With major party status in hand, The New Mexican Libertarian Party has an easier path to ballot access than ever before. A full slate of candidates have joined various races in New Mexico including Aubrey Dunn’s own son Blair who has filed to run for Attorney General.

Born in Alamogordo, in the south central part of New Mexico, Mr. Dunn grew up on an apple farm in Otero County. He earned a degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University and a graduate degree in Banking at the University of New Mexico before becoming CEO and President of First Federal Bank of New Mexico. His tenure as CEO saw the bank grow its commercial loan portfolio to $170 million and saw an increased stock share valuation of 10x. Dunn is also a cattle rancher and has owned over a dozen ranches in his life.

Mr. Dunn’s success as a businessman and commissioner have made him a well known figure in state politics and his candidacy should further legitimize the New Mexican Libertarian Party that is coming off the successes of the Johnson era. Dunn believes the race for Senate is a winnable one and has suggested the poor polling numbers of Democrat incumbent Heinrich show an eagerness for change in New Mexico.

Since Johnson’s bright years as governor that saw the state finish with a one billion dollar surplus, New Mexico politics have become best known for corruption of the law and a nose for spending more than they bring in. Mr. Dunn’s work as Land Commissioner has been seen as a bright spot for a state that has most recently found itself at the top of every bad list and at the bottom of ever good one. Touting the best year for earnings in the 100 year history of the commission, Dunn is an advocate for school funding as New Mexico lags behind most states in education statistics.

Dunn is a strong proponent of libertarian philosophies and has suggested that what people do on their own property is none of the government’s business. This week he demanded the Air Force pay $25 million to the state after new flight training plans threaten to downsize more than 100 wind turbines on New Mexico state lands. Dunn had struck a deal with Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables before the Air Force’s decision. Mr. Dunn called the move “military tyranny.”

Mr. Dunn plans on making his pitch to New Mexicans by driving around the state and meeting with citizens face to face. In his upset victory over Ray Powell for Land Commissioner in 2014 Dunn was quoted as saying he put 70,000 miles on his pickup truck while driving the state to speak with citizens at their front door. For US Senate, he’s promised 80,000.

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New Mexican Libertarians Achieve Major Party Status

By Spencer Kellogg | NEW MEXICO

On Monday night in downtown Albuquerque New Mexico, Libertarians were in celebratory mode as they presented a bold and diverse set of candidates set to challenge local and national races across the state. In Santa Fe earlier that day, state election officials announced that Gary Johnson’s performance in the 2016 Presidential Election had ensured the Libertarian Party of New Mexico receive major party status in the upcoming election cycle. The significance of this announcement lies in the vast reduction of required registrations needed to appear on the ballot and means that running as a Libertarian has never been easier in the State of New Mexico.

Bolstered by the relaxed registration rules and a newfound energy in the post-Gary Johnson era, the list of candidates running in New Mexico include the current State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, who has left the Republican Party due to dissatisfaction with their policies that have hurt the state economically. If Mr. Dunn wins as a libertarian he will become, arguably, the highest office holding libertarian in the entire country. His son, A. Blair Dunn (A. Blair Dunn Runs For New Mexico Attorney General), was the de facto spokesman of the night and his words rang through the conference room to roars of applause. A. Blair Dunn is running for Attorney General and has claimed current AG Hector Balderas to be one of the most corrupt lawmakers in state history. Besides his own campaign, A. Blair Dunn has been instrumental in leading and organizing a group of diverse and impassioned candidates seeking to displace corruption and restore civil liberties throughout the Land of Enchantment.

Former Democratic State Representative Sandra Jeff, running for New Mexico Secretary of State, took questions from intrigued and skeptical libertarians. She showed a video that highlighted the political and judicial scandals of the New Mexican legislature while also suggesting she was railroaded by the Democratic Party for voting against their wishes (New Mexico Corrupt Politics). Jeff’s inclusion at the event and her campaign at large brings political weight and tactical know how to the party infrastructure. Jeff is known throughout the state as a straight shooter willing to vote for what is right and her entry into the party signals a pragmatic model of libertarianism in the vein of former Governor Gary Johnson.

Entrepreneur Lloyd Princeton made perhaps the biggest splash at the event with his charming personality and impassioned advocation for impoverished New Mexicans. Owner of a national recruiting service and recent transplant to New Mexico, Princeton is running for Congress out of the 1st District of New Mexico and he was interviewed by two major outlets regarding his candidacy. A former New Yorker, Princeton displayed all of the qualities we associate with the Big City, and his well-spoken defense of principled and pragmatic libertarianism should quickly assert him as a major player in the national party structure moving forward.

The night felt like a fresh chapter in many ways and the new leadership of the LPNM could be proud of the 50 person strong turnout at the rooftop bar. Newly elected Party Chair Chris Luchini and Vice Chair Helen Milenski were beaming as interested onlookers showed up to meet the candidates. Both Luchini and Milenski live and work in Los Alamos, the county that received the highest Johnson vote total in the entire country and have been integral in leading an upstart revolution of the state party infrastructure. Luchini, a ballistics expert, announced his candidacy for Sheriff of Los Alamos with Milenski, a tough no-nonsense chemist, setting her eyes on a City Council seat.

Other candidates present at the meeting included Grady Owens and Chris Manning. Owens, who works at an observatory nestled deep in the Sacramento Mountains, is running for Republican Steve Pearce’s empty congressional seat in District 2. Mr. Owens made fiery remarks about our impossible path to legal citizenship and the utter ridiculousness of spending billions of dollars of taxpayers money on a border wall with Mexico that will not work. Manning, running for District 3 in the northern part of the state, is a former National Guardsman who spent 6 years deployed in Afghanistan and has the disposition of a man about business. Manning is running on a platform of education reform, expansion of civil liberties and a reduction of government in the lives of its citizens.

The onslaught of new candidates and interest in the Libertarian Party of New Mexico represents a victory of sorts for the former candidacy of Gary Johnson. While some members of the libertarian lexicon bemoaned what they saw as a poor performance by the Johnson campaign in 2016, here on a crisp and warm night in Albuquerque New Mexico, the evidence of Johnson’s success was on display. Because of his vote-getting total in the state, the LPNM has expanded exponentially and with relaxed regulations on ballot access, the sky seems the limit for the libertarians of New Mexico. For more information about the LPNM and their candidates please visit their website: Libertarian Party of New Mexico.

Troublemaker: Libertarian A. Blair Dunn Runs For New Mexico Attorney General

By Spencer Kellogg | USA

In a crowded room, you can’t miss A. Blair Dunn. The grandson of a newspaperman and son of a rancher, A. Blair Dunn stands 6’9 and has the gait of a man on a mission. The first lawyer of his family, A. Blair Dunn has witnessed striking corruption and cronyism in the New Mexico judiciary and announced his candidacy as a Libertarian for Attorney General just after the New Year. He is known throughout the state as a promoter of honesty and as a thorn in the side of a political system that continues to see New Mexico lag behind economically while a select few in New Mexico’s powerful government benefit greatly. 71 Republic’s Spencer Kellogg sat down with Mr. Dunn to discuss the reasons why he is running as a Libertarian for Attorney General of New Mexico.

On Libertarianism, Family & Truth:

I’ve always been socially tolerant and fiscally conservative. Part of that is being a rancher in the west .We mind our own business, we don’t want anyone telling us how to live our lives and we don’t want to tell anyone else how to live their life.

My great grandfather was in the New Mexican legislature and my father is the current State Land Commissioner. We believe you’re not allowed to bitch unless you’re willing to walk the walk to make the state better. My grandfather was honest and only did what he thought was best for New Mexico. Lying, dishonesty, and crookedness are the biggest pet peeves in my family. My grandfather, when he was in the legislature, never took a meal from a lobbyist. He didn’t want to be influenced or even have the appearance that he could be influenced.

I want to actually see this work. Not just be a discussion point. We’ve done the discussion part for too long. We need to start moving the needle. You move the needle by actually winning elections. You need power to make change. On some level, I’m a minarchist. I think if you look at the founders, that’s what they had in mind when they wrote the constitution. When I read the constitution, I see the maximum amount of liberty possible and we’ve lost that.

On New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas:

Honesty is by far, the most paramount thing, which is why I’m running for Attorney General. Hector Balderas, the AG, is the most corrupt politician in New Mexico, bar none. The number one thing that I believe is your government should be transparent and honest with you. No matter what they’re doing, they have to represent those ethics or else you have no idea what your government is doing and they can completely trample you. Hector, as the chief law enforcement officer, is charged with enforcing the Inspection of Public Records Act. My major gripe with Hector is that he is the least transparent politician in the state and his office fights every public inquiry to get records. The guy who is supposed to be sharing public information is the person who is concealing it. He fights everybody with lawsuits, they don’t turn over public records, they destroy records and they get away with it. The average citizen has to sue him to get records and he fights you tooth and nail.

One lawsuit we have against the AG office, we requested records of communications between one of Hector’s attorneys and a private law firm out of San Francisco. This private law firm doesn’t have a contract with the state. They weren’t involved in the lawsuit and yet Hector’s office claimed attorney-client privilege between the attorneys from the state and the attorneys from a private lawsuit representing a special interest. My point is, if you’re the Attorney General for the State of New Mexico, your client is the State of New Mexico which means your client is all of us who live here in the state, not a private law firm.

If you look at Hector’s campaign finances from his last run, you find big donations from law firms in New York and San Fransisco and then those law firms get contracts to represent the state. For instance, today, the State of New Mexico is in the United States Supreme Court on a water case. Hector was there, but he wasn’t arguing. As the Attorney General of the State he didn’t argue the case! Instead, the law firm of Robles, Rael & Anaya argued the case for the State of New Mexico. They were also big donors of Hector’s campaign from New Mexico and he used to work for the law firm. They made a huge profit off the case while Hector sat there and watched the hearing even though he didn’t argue the case. The State of Texas and the State of Colorado had their own solicitor generals argue the case and yet the The State of New Mexico paid Hector and his associates to go watch while also paying a private firm to make the arguments.

On What He Would Do Different As Attorney General:

We’d be absolutely transparent. The AG’s office has to be the most transparent office in the state and we have to set the example. No matter where you look, there’s some amount of corruption that goes on in the state agencies, whether in the AG’s office itself or in our judiciary. Nobody in this state prosecutes corruption. Hector’s biggest feather in his cap is the Dianna Duran case which he almost botched. Her biggest issue was that she was kiting funds. There are a lot bigger fish to fry than Dianna Duran’s gambling problem. We just elected Tim Keller as Mayor of Albuquerque. Tim Keller has committed three felonies: criminal fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. I will call a spade a spade. People’s constitutional rights need to be respected and they can’t be trampled by judges. We can’t have a court system, an Attorney General and a government that is so corrupt that the people have no faith in it.

On Water Rights in New Mexico:

Certain oil companies are mad because we believe they need to pay their fair share and do conservation when it comes to our Ogallala Aquifer. That’s not popular with some of the oil and gas companies who would rather cut the corner, pay a lot less to take the Ogallala water that we need to frack wells. We don’t have a problem with fracking but we have a problem with irresponsible uses and cutting the state short on the severance tax that we should be getting on that water. That’s the only way we can pay for schools and hospitals in New Mexico. I don’t care what political supporters think, I’m here to to do the right thing. The small ranchers and farmers get trampled by the big cities and corporations who have the power to pay for lobbyists and pay off the government to take that water and that lifeblood away from those ranchers. I fight for the little guy, whether it’s a civil rights case or a water rights case.

On Right To Work:

I support Right to Work because of what my grandfather saw working in the mines and for the smelter in Silver City. Because he wasn’t union, he was ostracized and given the shit jobs. He died from cancer and he thought he was breathing stuff he really shouldn’t have. He didn’t have protection and believed it was because he refused to let someone have his political will and force to pay to be part of a group I didn’t advocate for. I am a big believer in the First Amendment and the freedom to associate but I think that also means the freedom not to associate. In order to have a job, you shouldn’t be required to join a union. What it has done for economies has been demonstrated. If you look at Kentucky and how much growth they have seen from doing local ordinances and state laws, I think the proof is in the pudding with Right to Work.

On Why New Mexico Lags Behind Other States:

We are kept that way mainly because of corruption. People call it the Patron state. We have a Patron system here which goes back to the old Mexican system and the joke goes ‘New Mexico… pretty much like the Old Mexico.’ We get politicians in there that operate thinking about state contracts for their buddies and Hector Balderas is a prime example of that with the contracts he gives out. That Patron system is what keeps us in the 1800’s with the way New Mexico operates. That’s one of the main reasons I am leaving the Republican Party. It’s a different side of the same coin and the problem we’ve always had in New Mexico. Whether it’s the Republicans or Democrats in charge all that they do is help their friends and they don’t actually do what’s best for New Mexico.

Some of my earliest memories are being on the apple farm with my grandfather discussing water rights, natural resources and why they’re important. That’s why I became a lawyer, because of the conversations we had. In New Mexico, more than in a lot of places, people are fed up. We are on the brink of a revolution. You don’t stay on the bottom of every good list and the top of every bad list for as long as this state has without everybody getting fed up and saying enough! You either leave or you fix it. That’s how revolutions start, there’s no opportunity to leave and you have to change it.

On Marijuana Rights in New Mexico:

I’m for legalization. I’m not sure I’m even for taxing it. Some amount of regulation? Yes. I don’t think it should be different than any other consumption tax. I don’t think there is any need to tax it. There is some amount of regulation and taxation that might be acceptable simply because there is at least the indication that marijuana may have affects on society beyond that one person.

On Gary Johnson:

For a while I was the State Director of the Johnson campaign here in New Mexico. I was a proponent of finding a few states where we could win and use the constitution to disrupt anyone from receiving the majority of the electoral college. Around the beginning of August they got it in their heads that they could win the whole thing. My grandfather was a huge Gary Johnson fan. If you look at 75 years of New Mexico governance, he’s the only bright spot we can point to. Gary’s ability to use responsible government to build infrastructure to move New Mexico forward is unparalleled and nobody in New Mexico has been close. We had a billion dollar surplus. Today, we’re a billion dollars in the hole.

On a Note From His Grandfather:

My grandfather wrote a letter to me that was supposed to be opened on my 21st birthday. We didn’t find it until he was long gone but in the letter he gave me apple seeds, pecans, a jar of water from the farm and a film capsule filled with manure with a note in it that said ‘political fertilizer, otherwise known as bullshit’. In the letter he wrote that what New Mexico really needs is someone that is willing to stand up for its people and actually make sure that people are taken care of in the state. That we should use our natural recourses to make our own lives better rather than just simply taking it from them to make a few of us great. That’s what drove me back towards politics was finding the capsule in 2012 and it set me on the path to be involved in politics as a public servant.