Steve Pearce and his Protege Recklessly Oppose Consumer Protections

LAS CRUCES – The irresponsibility of Rep. Steve Pearce’s blanket opposition to government regulations was made clear this week by the scandal engulfing Rebecca Dow, Republican candidate for New Mexico House District 38 and CEO of the AppleTree Education Center in Truth or Consequences.

To Pearce, regulations are job-killers. Following in Pearce’s footsteps, last month Dow opposed regulation changes proposed by the state Children, Youth and Families Department that would increase background checks for adults engaged with children. In May the People for Pearce campaign gave Dow’s House campaign a $2,500 contribution.

According to a New Mexico Political Report article, in March 2016 Alejandro Hernandez, a former employee of the Sierra County Boys and Girls Club which Dow founded, was sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two boys in separate incidents at the club in 2015. Dow is president of the Sierra County Boys and Girls Club.

A civil suit planned by the mother of one of the abuse victims alleges that Dow did not subject Hernandez to an adequate background check.

Opposing government regulations made to protect consumers is standard procedure for Pearce. In April Pearce voted for failed legislation aimed at overturning a federal Department of Labor fiduciary rule which mandates that Wall Street retirement account advisers put the financial interests of their clients ahead of their own. Pearce sided with the financial sector that opposed the new fiduciary rule.

“Whether in Santa Fe or Washington, D.C., we need common-sense leadership that puts the interests of the people, and the interests of children, first,” said Merrie Lee Soules. “Steve Pearce’s financial support for a state candidate who opposed regulations designed to increase protections for children is disturbing. It’s not entirely surprising, however, since he has continued to oppose measures aimed at protecting the financial interests of retirees.”