SANTA FE – At least three left-leaning advocacy groups in New Mexico now say they have received threatening letters in the final weeks before Election Day containing antisemitic symbols and a ripped-up political mailer.
One group, Conservation Voters New Mexico, reported its letter last week, triggering an FBI investigation.
The other two organizations – the Environmental Defense Action Fund and the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO – came forward Friday.
“This type of hate speech and domestic terrorism simply have no place in our democratic process,” Jon Goldstein of the Environmental Defense Action Fund said in a written statement.
The announcement comes a week after Conservation Voters revealed it had received an envelope at its Santa Fe office with threatening language, antisemitic symbols and a chemical substance.
Testing showed the substance contained the ingredients of a toxin used in terrorist attacks, Conservation Voters said.
It wasn’t clear Friday whether the envelopes reported by the other two groups also included a chemical substance. But they’ve delivered the material to law enforcement.
An FBI spokesman said last week the substance sent to Conservation Voters wasn’t harmful.
Frank Fisher of the FBI said Friday he couldn’t comment on the developments announced by the Federation of Labor and Environmental Defense Action Fund. He didn’t address whether they might be connected.
No one, in any case, was injured, the groups said.
The Environmental Defense Action Fund and Federation of Labor each reported Friday having received at least one letter addressed to the “Nazi Party.”
As with the Conservation Voters material, the letters included language attacking state Rep. Nathan Small, D-Las Cruces, and the Democratic Party, along with images of Small defaced with drawings of swastikas and markings intended to make him resemble Hitler.
Small, a member of the House since 2017 and cosponsor of the landmark Energy Transition Act in 2019, is up for reelection this year.
“While these attacks are frightening, rest assured that we are undaunted in our drive to turn out every vote this Tuesday,” said Ashley Long, president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
The Federation of Labor received two letters – at least one of which appeared to have dead bugs or something similar in it, according to a spokesman for the organization. The other letter was turned over to law enforcement before it was opened.
Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce said Friday the state GOP “condemns any kind of hate speech, bigotry, discrimination or antisemitism.”
He added that his party knows “firsthand what it’s like to be a victim of hate.”
In 2019 and 2020, the state Republican Party’s headquarters in Albuquerque was defaced by vandalism.
“We experienced it two years in a row when our headquarters was desecrated, vandalized with spray paint,” Pearce said. “We stood in horror when a comedienne decapitated President Trump as a joke. These types of acts cannot be tolerated.”
Democratic leaders in New Mexico said they hope the person responsible is identified.
“At this time of heightened risk and tension,” Rep. Small said, “it’s important that all residents be alert for signs of violence. I encourage anyone with knowledge of these attacks to notify law enforcement.”
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said she hopes “law enforcement swiftly finds those responsible and holds them accountable immediately.”
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, for her part, called the letters a “clear consequence of escalating political extremism.”