Until this week, state Rep. Cathrynn Brown was best known for sponsoring a bill that would have made it a crime for victims of rape or incest to have an abortion.
Brown’s proposal said this: “Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or coercing another to obtain an abortion of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.”
Critics from around the country pummeled Brown, R-Carlsbad. They said she wanted to prosecute and incarcerate women who had been raped.
Brown, an attorney, blamed the bill drafters for the messy legislation carrying her name. That’s an old trick.
She also told me she didn’t practice criminal law, as though a legislator had to be F. Lee Bailey to understand she couldn’t force women to bear the children of their attackers.
Brown scrambled to rewrite her bill. She said her focus was on rapists who force their victims to have an abortion. All she wanted to do was help victims of a terrible crime, not turn them into convicted felons.
Almost eight years have gone by since Brown’s fiasco. She scarcely rated a mention in news columns until this week.
Now Brown is back with another time-wasting bill that’s not worth the paper it would be printed on.
Brown says she will introduce a bill to decertify New Mexico’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.
“All legislators have a duty to act when serious and substantial irregularities occur in an election, resulting in vote counts that cannot be trusted,” Brown said in a statement.
Like defeated President Donald Trump, Brown wants to spread the myth that the 2020 election was corrupt. In her alternate reality, New Mexico residents don’t believe Biden won.
Without any proof to offer, Brown is left to follow Trump’s lead. She makes a point of being imprecise.
More than two months after the election, Trump says fraud enabled Biden to steal votes using dead people and dishonest poll workers. Brown and other followers of Trump repeat his claims. But where’s the evidence?
Trump didn’t have it when he harangued Georgia election officials for an hour in hopes of intimidating them into reversing his loss in that state. His error-filled, tape-recorded monologue revealed a sore loser bent on cheating his way to a second term.
Brown wants to continue the baseless claim that Trump lost unfairly by memorializing her stand in legislation.
“A pattern of premeditated fraud has been seen in a number of states,” Brown said.
Seen by whom? In what states? Who were the culprits, and why doesn’t she name them?
Like the Trump clan and its laughable lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Brown is full of generalities or something worse.
Brown extends her unfounded charges to a place dominated by the rival party.
“In New Mexico, we have examples of foul play over multiple elections, specifically in Doña Ana County,” she said. “I can tell you that New Mexicans are contacting lawmakers in record numbers and asking us to address the fraud.”
As is her habit, Brown didn’t cite any particulars of election fraud — not in Doña Ana County or anywhere else.
Brown for years spoke of rampant fraud when she introduced bills that would have required photo identification to vote in state elections. She couldn’t supply any evidence then, either.
Her version of the 2020 presidential election amounts to her echoing Trump’s claims that he was robbed in a half-dozen states. She accepts his story without question. And she expects her repetition of Trump’s whining and conspiracy theories to substitute for proof of wrongdoing.
Brown represents a solidly Republican district. She can parrot every false claim the lame-duck president has made without much of a backlash from her constituents.
Her timing is bad and her cause is nonsense.
Biden defeated Trump in New Mexico by 100,000 votes — or 11 percentage points. The race was a runaway. Stung by the result, Brown plans to concoct an attempt at rewriting history to soothe the bruised ego of her candidate.
If she’s daft enough to squander public money and legislative time on the bill, the outcome will never be in doubt.
Fellow lawmakers will bury her proposal. All Brown will have done is show she knows every bit as much about election law as she did about Roe v. Wade.