In a radio interview earlier this month, Rep. Steve Pearce likened efforts to get Latino voters to the polls in 2016 to Russia’s interference to help elect Donald Trump.
Pearce, the Republican nominee for governor of New Mexico, said Google employees’ efforts to boost Latino electoral participation was a nefarious plot to “boost Latino voting to help Hillary Clinton win the election.”
“At a time when we’ve got the Mueller investigation going on to determine if the Russians were influencing elections, actually it’s happening right under Mueller’s nose that Google was trying to rig the elections,” Pearce said, referring to Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia’s efforts and connections with the Trump campaign.
Google’s efforts, which the company said were nonpartisan, were the subject of a Sept. 10 story by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has repeatedly attacked the notion that diversity is positive for the United States.
Fox News reported that a leaked email written by Google’s former head of multicultural marketing “details a range of efforts to increase Latino turnout, including the support of a partner organization that helped to drive voters to the polls.”
In the email, which was sent after Trump’s election, the employee acknowledged that Latino colleagues were “probably hurting right now” and that it was “tough to handle now that we know not all of us were against this,” acknowledging that Latino support for Trump was higher than anticipated.
Nearly half of New Mexico’s population is Hispanic, according to the 2010 Census, and Pearce is running in his first statewide contest since losing the 2000 Senate primary with less than 22 percent of the vote.
In an interview during Pearce’s weekly radio show on KEDU-FM, he cited the email that Fox unearthed, saying “the leaders of Google characterized their efforts as silent donations to help boost Democratic turnout.”
“They would fund buses to get Latino voters to go to the polls in battleground states like Florida,” he said. “This is an example of just how big tech companies were, can and will be working to influence elections.”
Pearce has a record of downplaying election security.
In 2011, Pearce voted to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, established in 2002 as a bipartisan clearinghouse of election administration in the wake of the problems during the 2000 election.
In 2008, he voted against reimbursing states and counties that converted to paper ballots ahead of the 2008 election or needed help auditing the results.