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New in the Press: New Mexico: Wolves, wilderness, drilling and Latinos

High Country News

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by Jonathan Thompson
 
"Nothing is more attractive to a wolf than the sound of a crying baby," said then-Rep. Steve Pearce, R, during a 2007 debate over one of his bills, which sought to kill funding for the federal Mexican wolf reintroduction program in southern New Mexico, Pearce's district. …

Pearce's anti-wolf bill lost. And in 2008, Pearce lost, too, in a face-off with Democrat Tom Udall over a Senate seat. Now Pearce wants his old House seat back from the Democrat who won it in 2008, Harry Teague. Given Pearce's stances on wolves, wilderness and drilling -- his top campaign contributors are oil and gas folks -- environmentalists are jumping into the fray. Defenders of Wildlife has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads painting Pearce as corrupt.

The liberals are more anti-Pearce than pro-Teague. Teague made a career in oilfield services and leans to the right. He voted against health-care reform, and despite the fact that he favors cap-and-trade climate legislation, the oil and gas industry contributes generously to his campaign. Polls show the two in a dead heat.

Republicans are also looking to reclaim the 1st Congressional District seat, which centers on Albuquerque. The Democrat who won in 2008, Martin Heinrich, leans to the left and has a 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. The Republican candidate, Jon Barela, is a former president of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce and vice chairman of the state's Republican Party. Polls indicate the Democrat has a slight edge. …

 
To read the full article, published in the High Country News October 14, 2010 issue, click here.

Please submit a letter to the editor urging members of Congress to support Mexican gray wolf recovery here

Photo credit: Mexican wolf pup courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service