Sunday, December 21, 2014
A Winter Solstice Message - December 21, 2014
Happy Winter Solstice! It has been a very very long time since I have come over here to write a piece. I am not sure what motivated me this morning to actually take action on finally writing something here but I am going with it.
This note finds me , Mary Ellen - save, secure, in good health and loved. Life is nothing as it was in the past but I am resigned to accept this and go with it, I liken it to drifting.
Three years has past and I still grieve Barb. Wow I loved her more than I knew. She was a powerhouse. One reason I had to abandon posting here is it was so hard to grieve her not being here and return here to her daily writings and her heart poured into trying to make the world a better place.
But alas, on the Winter Solstice one of her favorite days of the year I return in her absence. If you have any curiousity as to what time the winter solstice happens in your neighborhood go here. She loved the whole pagan history of this short day. And the believe that other religions commondeered the pagan custom.
I am going to link to a couple of her Winter Solstice posts:
On the Winter Solstice 2010, the last true Winter Solstice celebration together we had the rare delight of being able to witness a full moon eclipse that year. And as usual Barb and I stayed up til past midnight to try to capture these minutes. Here are some of the images from that night -
this first image was taken at 12:29 AM:
This second image was taken at 1:05 AM
The Third image here was taken at 1:16AM
And this last image was taken of Barb as I looked through the window at her working on something online. Either persuading someone to think about some thing differently or listening to music, or reading, or just exchanging thoughts with her FB friends.
It amazes me that the eclipse of the moon took about 45 minutes that night. Life is going that fast as well. There is so much going on that we have no clue of. I am not sure if there are any coincidences. I love this planet earth and the universe we spin in.
Mushy love to all this Winter Solstice!
From Mary Ellen and Barb in remembrance.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
VOTE Pete Dinelli for Mayor of Albuquerque
Pete's running for Mayor because he won’t stand on the sidelines while City Hall is engulfed in a public safety crisis & petty partisan politics. Pete knows our prosperity depends on creating the good-paying, long-lasting jobs of the future, providing a world-class education for our children & public safety that will make our city a model around the state & nation.
Pete has served as Chief Public Safety Officer, Deputy City Attorney, Director of the Safe City Strike Force, Chief Deputy District Attorney, 911 Interim Director, Workers’ Compensation Judge, Albuquerque City Councilor, Assistant District Attorney and Assistant Attorney General.
See where Mr. Dinelli stands on the issues by following this link.
Vote Pete Dinelli !
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
My Renewed Faith in Santa Fe by Javier Gonzales
Javier Gonzales the former State of New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman issued the following heartfelt statement regarding his own coming to terms with his sexuality. Follow this link to the original article in Familia es Familia.
When a Bishop named Jorge from Buenos Aires took the name Francis, he made an immediate connection with Santa Fe. But when Pope Francis visited Brazil recently, he spoke directly to me, when he said, “who am I to judge?”
You see, when you come from a traditional family with deep roots in this community, the process of accepting that you are gay is complicated with fears about disappointing those you love, or becoming disconnected with a sense of place that is as much a part of me as my sexuality.
Growing up in this town, I felt myself fully embraced by la herencia, the traditional ways that defined the history of Santa Fe. Much of it is beautiful, a celebration of family, a spirit of community, a sense of obligation to those who came before us and responsibility to those who come after us. Knowing you are a part of a continuum gives a young person a sense of place and a sense of pride. These are all gifts I hope to pass on to my two daughters.
But along with that sense of pride also comes, real or perceived, the hint that those who step away from the expected path would be judged poorly, seen as unappreciative or disrespectful, or worse. As a kid, I never considered a lifestyle different from that of my parents and theirs before me. I thought I’d marry a local girl, have kids, and then grandkids. I tried my hardest not to be different, but the reality was I am, and I have a failed marriage to prove it.
Single again, I took steps towards accepting who I am. Yet I still worried about any embarrassment I would bring to my family, questioned whether being gay was a choice as many still believe it is, and whether I was right in the eyes of God.
So I gathered the courage to speak with my parents, who responded with a much needed abrazo. I spoke to my friends, who after an initial awkward silence, asked, where are we going for lunch? I spoke to my daughters, who like many in their generation, asked what the big deal was.
To have this sense of distance removed from those most important in my life is an incredible relief, and a reminder, that there is not true understanding without open, honest communication.
The life of St. Francis teaches us to discard the superficial and recognize the dignity in all of humanity. And in naming the cathedral in Santa Fe in his honor, our ancestors embraced that message. For over 400 years we have been a multi-cultural community that has thrived on our diversity.
It is that spirit that has made us the City Different, a town that can embrace all kinds of people, from the children of traditional, culturally conservative Hispanics to the kids of hippies, from businessmen to artists, from natives and the old families that built this town to newcomers who help keep the economy alive. Our very existence as a community is proof that we are better when we value and except one another for who we are without judgment.
Follow Javier on Twitter@Javiermgonzales
Gay Marriage Licenses Being Issued in Dona Ana County New Mexico
The following was provided by the Democratic Party of Dona Ana County by Stephen Jones
Photo above by Rep. Bill McCamley
Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins (D-Doña Ana County) has announced that his office is now issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples.
Photo to the right is Mr. Ellins taken by Stephen Jones.
Ellins said that he has been considering issuing licenses since last June, when New Mexico Attorney General Gary King issued a position paper stating that New Mexico’s ban on issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples is unconstitutional. Since then, the Attorney General – in a legal brief to the New Supreme Court – has refused to defend the ban and has asked the Supreme Court to declare New Mexico’s prohibition of same-gender marriage unconstitutional under the state’s constitution.
Last week, Ellins said, the New Mexico Supreme Court declined to issue a ruling sought by attorneys for same-gender couples seeking marriage licenses from the county clerks in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties. Instead, the Supreme Court sent these matters back to the lower courts for an initial review on the merits.
“That means it could be many months or years before the matter is resolved,” Ellins said. “In the meantime, I am mindful that I took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the State of New Mexico as Doña Ana County Clerk. I am an attorney, and I have read the AG’s opinion, and I find it to be sound. After careful review of New Mexico’s laws it is clear that the state’s marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Doña Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act. Doña Ana County is upholding New Mexico law by issuing these marriage licenses, and I see no reason to make committed couples in Doña Ana County wait another minute to marry.”
Ellins said couples requesting marriage license will no longer be turned down, and starting today, licenses will be issued at the Doña Ana County Government Center for information about New Mexico marriage license requirements, call the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office at (575) 647-7421.
Follow this link to a KRQE article about the reaction from NM Politico's regarding this harmless celebration of a commitment of two people in love.
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Diane Gibson for City Council District 7
Firefighters, City Employees, Distinguished Community Leaders and Neighbors Endorse Diane Gibson for City Council District 7
Diane Gibson has received overwhelming support in her bid for City Council District 7. She is humbled and grateful. "Our campaign has been going door to door for months talking to folks in District 7. These endorsements confirm that the hard work is paying off and we are on our way to winning in October." stated Diane.
List of Supporters:
- Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters, Local 244
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
- City Councilor Isaac Benton – "Diane Gibson is the engaged, proactive, inclusive, communicative leader that is right for District 7. She is committed to the efficient delivery of City services, as well as protecting and improving its unique neighborhoods. We agree that a change of direction must be made if we are to have a vibrant city that our children will want to stay in."
- Merri Rudd - "I am impressed by Diane Gibson. She cares about our district and is knowledgeable about the challenging issues our city faces. Diane has integrity and is down to earth, intelligent, and a good listener. When I served as probate judge, I believed strongly that elected officials should be ethical public servants. I believe Diane Gibson will be an ethical and responsive public servant, and I am honored to endorse her for City Council District 7.."
Senator Cisco McSorley
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino
Senator Michael Sanchez
Representative Gail Chasey
Representative Emily Kane
Representative Georgene Louis
Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas
Representative Nate Cote
Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton
Representative Mimi Stewart
Representative Liz Thomson
Representative Christine Trujillo
County Cmr. and Fmr. City Councilor Debbie O'Malley
County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins
Ahmed Assad, Attorney
Ella Joan Fenoglio, Attorney
Bob Matteucci, Jr.
Fonda Osborn, President, 1199 Hospital and Health Care Employees
Monday, July 22, 2013
Time Moving On
Hello folks! Low and behold I got the inkling to write a blog post. I was thinking on one of my long commute drives that Barb started this DFNM Blog on July 15, 2004. Nine years ago!
There has been so many happenings to post about these past months. Super great end to DOMA, and a great victory against the haters in California. Most of the issues Barb would write passionately about though still continue. Racism, greed, lack of leadership, corruption. On and on.
Personally I am working on very meaningful work to me. I have a temporary job which expands often enough to keep me going and challenged. The economy is still shakey but there is improvement over here on the east coast. I watch with dismay as the economy in NM still struggles.
Looks like many qualified people trying to step up and run for offices. I look forward to seeing a true contender to run for Governor. I also hope that someone is talking daily to Sen. John Arthur Smith about how bad things are and the rainy day is here. I cannot imagine four more years with all the same nonsense. No sense!
Today, I was thinking how much I miss Barb. A Phobe Snow song came on and I just stopped and cried at my desk. Coming to the blog is hard cause her being is totally here. I always respected her vision and her desire to do this work, she was magnificant at persuading, and challenging. I was able to keep this blog going for a full year after her death, now these days I don't visit here often. I am always surprised at how many hits it gets without daily input though. Just shows what she built nine years ago.
I am sorry that I can't carry the torch that Barb carried. I carry a different torch, we all carry different torches. I love to do architecture and I am grateful to be continuing that passion and on healthcare design to boot.
Bye for a while again, who knows what will move me to come and update all our great relations in the southwest.
Cheers to Barbara Wold - for her desire to take action and follow her passion and start this blog.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Happy Mothers' Peace Day MessageBarb Wold first wrote this post for Mother's Day in 2006. Barb always wanted us to remember the basis of this day was for peace.
From this weekend's Code Pink Mothers' Day Peace Demonstration
Mother's Day was created after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. The first person to fight for an official Mother's Day celebration in the United States was Julia Ward Howe, who had nursed wounded soldiers during the Civil War. You may be more familiar with her as the writer of the lyrics of the Civil War song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.Howe was born in New York City on May 27, 1819. Her family was well respected and wealthy. She was a published poet and abolitionist. She and her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, co-published the anti-slavery newspaper The Commonwealth. She was active in the peace movement and the women's suffrage movement.
In 1870 she penned the Mother's Day Proclamation. In 1872 the Mothers' Peace Day Observance on the second Sunday in June was held and the meetings continued for several years. Her idea was widely accepted, but she was never able to get the day recognized as an official holiday. The Mothers' Peace Day was the beginning of the Mothers' Day holiday in the United States now celebrated in May.
The modern commercialized celebration of gifts, flowers and candy bears little resemblance to Howe's original idea. Here is the Proclamation that explains, in her own powerful words, the goals of the original Mother's Day in the United States:
Mothers' Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870
Monday, April 29, 2013
Congratulations New Dem State Chairman - Sam Bregman
Picture above from Sam Bregman's FB page linked from the Dona Ana County Dems excellent website. See more about Sam and his appointments here.
Sam Bregman won the New Mexico State Democratic Chairman position this weekend. He will be the chair for the next 2 years. A very hard position it is. Many struggles are within the great state of NM, jobs and the economy being on the top of the list. Maybe dems can get the economy moving, but seeing the lack of movement on anything politically both with the feds and state politicians is very depressing.
Big kudos goes out to Roxanne Lara for stepping up and running for the state party chair. In the bigger scheme of things maybe it is better you were not victorious, it is a brutal job, imho.
A big thanks goes out to Javier Gonzales the exiting Dem party chair. Javier and his staff did the best they could, remember we are talking about the equivolent of herding cats.
Good luck Sam! We dems are counting on ya!
Friday, April 19, 2013
Roxanne Lara for NM Democratic Party State Chair
It is that time again, for the Democrats of New Mexico to come together to elect their State Party Chair. The Meeting will be held in Las Cruces on April 27th. This is the meeting where the elected members of the state central committee come together and vote in a chair, this year there are two running Roxanne Lara from Eddy County, and Sam Bregman from Bern County.
Roxanne’s background and info can be seen at Lara4nm.com and her facebook page here. And here is a link to Sam’s facebook page. Much of his campaign info has been cross posted to his FB page as well as his very often newsletter "thoughts from sam."
Number one job for a state party chair is to help democrats get elected to offices up and down the ballot. I believe that a democrat should support a democrat running for an elected office, especially in these times of such division. Division on marriage equality, division on immigration, division on a woman’s right to choose, and gun control, division on energy matters, education and taxes. You name it the democrats and republicans are much divided on the issue.
While running for the HD 30 seat last year as a democrat one of the people running for state party chair was in the closet as a supporter of my campaign. He could not outwardly support my campaign because his alliance was with his law partner, and his law partner was a good friend of my republican opponent for HD30. At least that is what Sam told me was his reason he could not outwardly support me. I must admit Sam’s allegiance to his law partner was unwavering which is commendable. However when you are running for the position of State Party Chair all other promises, pledges, alliances must be trumped by your allegiance to help democratic candidates get into office. Period, and I ask - can Sam do that? Will Sam do that?
Now Sam is a nice enough guy for sure. He has done great things for the Dem Party. He loves to be generous to people. He is a brilliant lawyer, and I would hate to ever cross him. Probably so for other sitting elected officials that have endorsed him. His messaging regarding Gov. Martinez is very strong. But it is time to have a woman’s voice of reason be at the helm on the NM State Dem Party. A reasoned leader not someone who is like the big bad wolves; I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down.
Third strike for Sam is about money in politics. Now Sam has done well for himself and his family and that is fantastic. But I have heard from friends that Sam is “throwing money around” now I doubt that is true but I can see him being generous with some SCC members to persuade them he would be the better candidate. Like let’s say a night at his box suite for an Isotopes game. Or some other form of persuasion. All well and good but money in politics today is a huge problem. What politician would stand up against Bregman now when they are going to need a donation soon? Yuck. No more money in politics. It is obscene where we are as a country with money in politics and policy.
Roxanne can raise the money needed to have a strong Dem party and run strong elections. Roxanne will support every democrat across the state, period, regardless of colleague bonds and affiliations. Roxanne is "tough as nails" and she can take on the Governor more effectively than Sam. Roxanne spent the last four years fighting for what's right as a Democrat in a red county dominated by men in politics. Roxanne is assertive, she will not shrink from defending our democratic values, she will be firm and unwavering, and in my humble opinion she will be more effective and methodical which will achieve greater results.
Lastly, I believe more democratic woman should be in positions of leadership in our world, in our country and in the great state of NM.
So there you have it, I wholeheartedly endorse Roxanne Lara for State Party Chair. Let’s have a woman lead the Democratic Party for the next two years.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Boston Marathon Sadness
Patriot's Day is always a special day off in Boston. For as long as I remember the Monday Patriots day is celebrated on is the day the Boston Marathon is run. Think of 30,000 runners gathering to run 26.2 miles. Spectators line much of the route cheering the runners on. I have always marveled at that long distance run, and the diligence to prepare for a marathon.
Yesterday's Boston Marathon is very different. Explosions at the end of the 26.2 miles, purposely timed to go off at the time most number of runners would be crossing the finish line. What kind of a depraved human would do this?
Some people like Brian Colon can take this horror and use his efforts to turn this horror into something positive for the victims. Brian is holding a 5k run in Albuquerque New Mexico to raise funds for Boston. Today while I was kind of moping around I thought hell, get on that treadmill and walk Mary Ellen, You have perfectly good legs and others lost their legs yesterday in an instant. So I did. And I am committed to walking the 5k here in Methuen Massachusetts in support of Brian's supportive event. And that is how love works. One does for the other to the other for the other and on and on.
From Brian Colon on Facebook: Sunday APRIL 28 @ 1pm is #ABQ5k4Boston We need donations, volunteers & entrants! Goal: 1000 entrants + $20k in sponsors = $47,000 from #47! Go-NM!
Because I am not in NM and am living here 30 minutes from Boston, I too am going to walk the 5k and I am going to try to help my dear friend Brian Colon with his generous heart, being the human that he is and helping people 2500 miles away.
Maybe it will inspire you as well.....let's all walk for those that can't. Love is the answer.
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Lovie McGee to Seek Election to Abq City Council
Ms. McGee is currently a professional real estate broker, specializing in residential sales in the Northeast and Southeast Heights of Albuquerque. Before becoming a broker, she worked for 20 years as a federal computer, finance and data specialist at Kirtland Air Force Base, Department of Defense. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computers and Information Systems degree (Cum Laude) from National College in Rapid City S.D.
Her long history of community involvement includes service as Chair of the New Mexico Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and working with the State Fair Commission to establish the African American Pavilion. She currently serves on the Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent’s Council on Equity and has been the chair of her Neighborhood Association. She previously served on the City of Albuquerque Human Rights Board and volunteers with Roadrunner Food Bank.
Ms. McGee will focus on ensuring that District 9 has responsive, energetic and fair leadership on the City Council. Her priorities will be:
- Reforming Albuquerque Police Department and devoting adequate public safety resources to keep our neighborhoods safe;
- Cooperating with Albuquerque Public Schools so every child gets a great education;
- Supporting firefighters and first responders.
- Growing small, local businesses and making Albuquerque attractive to employers.
- Building and maintaining city infrastructure throughout District 9
In announcing her bid for Council, Ms. McGee said: “For too long, the needs of our neighbors in District 9 have been overlooked. On City Council I will be a tireless advocate for safe, attractive neighborhoods where families can thrive.”
Ms. McGee firmly believes that the special interests who finance campaigns have too much power in our government. Therefore, she has committed to seeking election under the City’s groundbreaking Public Financing System, which will require her to gather $5 contributions from hundreds of District 9 residents.
“Alone we can do very little – Together We Can Move Mountains,” Ms. McGee said
Friday, March 22, 2013
Help Pete Dinelli Qualify for Public Financing
From Pete Dinelli for Mayor Campaign:
What a week!
With just 9 days to go until the deadline for qualifying for public finance our campaign is picking up tremendous momentum. But there is lots more work to be done to ensure that we meet our goal.
The special interests don't want me in City Hall because I won't represent them, I’ll represent YOU! Please click to chip in $5 or volunteer this week to help us qualify for public finance.
This week we also announced an incredible amount of endorsements for our campaign to move Albuquerque forward. I'm honored to have the support of so many important public officials from all across our city and state.
Remember to join us online on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest in campaign news.
Thank you for all you do,
P.S. - We need volunteers to reach out to as many voters in the city as possible over the next few days. Please click to chip in a few hours of your time to support clean campaigns in Albuquerque.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Real Story - Tax Bill Shows Need for Legislative Reform by Heath Haussamen
By Heath Haussamen,
New Mexico In Depth
As House Speaker Ken Martinez put an end to the 2013 regular legislative session on Saturday, a number of journalists and others took to Twitter to express their shock at what had just happened.
Members of the N.M. House of Representatives approved a number of tax reforms that had each provoked long debates in the past. They lumped the proposals into one, complex bill that essentially shifts tax burden from corporations to cities and counties, which forces the local governments to decide in the coming years whether to make budget cuts or raise your taxes.
The House and Senate both approved the legislation in the final hour of the session, without many lawmakers taking time to understand how their votes might affect their constituents and what cities and counties will do to plug budget holes. Many didn’t have details on how the changes would impact the state’s budget or data to support the bet that cutting corporate taxes will bring significant numbers of new jobs to the state.
In the House, Martinez allowed the bill to bypass the scrutiny of the committee process despite his past statements about the importance of that process. On the floor, the majority of lawmakers chose to vote without any debate. As the session concluded around noon on Saturday, the House gave final legislative approval to a major rewrite of the tax code most had seen for the first time only minutes earlier.
“That’s insane,” one woman, her voice captured on an archived video recording of the final moments from the House, muttered as she watched the tax bill win approval.
The Senate had approved the bill minutes before the House. At a post-session news conference, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who participated in secret negotiations on the legislation, promised to sign the legislation and called it “an important victory.”
Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, told me having little information about the impact of the bill is why he joined 25 other House and Senate members in voting against it. He called the last-minute push for a secretly negotiated bill an “ambush” that showed a lack of leadership.
“If you have a good policy, it should withstand debate and scrutiny,” Cervantes said. “If you have an uncertain and unclear position, then you pass it without an opportunity for scrutiny.”
How it happened
Most legislators didn’t know leaders were negotiating the tax bill as the 60-day session wound down last week. The governor, Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith and a handful of others kept discussions secret.
A version of the tax proposal became public Friday night when Smith’s committee approved Senate Bill 538. That legislation went nowhere following the committee vote.
But the proposal gained new life in the final hour of the session, around 11 a.m. Saturday, when proponents stuffed it into House Bill 641 on the Senate floor. Senators voted 34-8 to approve the proposal, with only Democrats dissenting.
There was little debate. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, called the legislation “complex” but urged approval. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, decried the lack of information and voted against it.
The House took up the proposal with less than 20 minutes until the constitutionally mandated noon end of the session. Before House members had a copy of the bill, Minority Whip Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, proposed voting without allowing debate. Speaker Martinez, D-Grants, delayed Gentry’s motion long enough for members to get the bill and be told by a cabinet secretary that it would have a positive impact on the state’s budget each of the next five years.
Then more than two thirds of House members who were present agreed to skip debate and go straight to a final vote.
House members didn’t have time to read the bill carefully, if at all. Many said they got no written report on the impact of the legislation, while others received a copy of a report on the earlier version of the proposal, which was outdated, just before they voted.
Though Finance Secretary Tom Clifford promised a positive impact on the state budget for five years, he provided no details and said nothing about the impact on local governments or your wallet. A legislative analysis released Wednesday – four days after lawmakers voted to approve the bill – estimated a positive impact on the state budget for the first two years but a negative impact for the following two years.
Before the House voted to skip debate and then approve the bill, Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, tried to debate, but Speaker Martinez cut him off. Instead, there were periods of silence as the speaker waited for a legislative staffer and Clifford to provide information.
“They were stalling so there wouldn’t be time for debate,” Rep. Stephen Easley, D-Santa Fe, was quoted by The Santa Fe New Mexican as saying. “That was pretty unfortunate in terms of process and procedure.”
“I’m all for sensible tax reform and balanced tax reform, but it needs to be done with debate and forethought and very sound financial data,” Steinborn told me Tuesday. “That’s why I was standing up to debate, and why I took exception with this.”
In the final seconds of the session, House members voted 46-18 to approve the bill, with Steinborn and Easley among the handful of Democrats and Republicans in opposition.
House Majority Whip Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, who had earlier said he didn’t know whether to approve the “complex” and “major” proposal, voted for it. After the session ended, he told KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, “It’s a great day for New Mexico because it’s jobs, it’s economic development. We came together. We listened to one another.”
Listened? During debate that never happened?
A duty to be deliberative and transparent
Many components of the legislation had been discussed individually before. But lumping them together created massive tax reform whose impact hadn’t been scrutinized. In addition, the House has 18 new members this year, including Easley – that’s about a fourth of the chamber’s 70 members – who might not have been familiar with the individual proposals.
Those who negotiated this proposal and shoved it down lawmakers’ throats – and legislators who went along with that effort – tossed principles of good government, like scrutiny and transparency, out the window. Why?
Smith was quoted by The New Mexican as saying he didn’t know any other way to pass such legislation “when we’re running out of time.” Rep. Tim Lewis, R-Rio Rancho, who voted against the bill, told me he didn’t have time to look over the bill before voting but “didn’t really mind the process.”
“I know it happens sometimes,” said Lewis, who said he supports the legislation now that he’s had time to look it over.
Time is an issue. Lawmakers aren’t paid, and many have other careers. The prospect of returning to Santa Fe for a special session can be daunting. In this case, the governor threatened to veto the budget and call another session, but Smith and others believed she might sign the budget if she also got a significant tax-reform bill.
Hence a deal that Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, who voted against the bill, called a “royal screw job.” Many lawmakers who voted for the tax bill were apparently influenced by a desire to avoid another session.
That’s outrageous. Lawmakers have a duty to be deliberative and transparent, to take the time to gather information, analysis and opinions needed to make reasonable decisions. If that means another session, so be it.
Cervantes said New Mexico’s legislative process is designed to avoid debate and scrutiny. He has pushed for years, unsuccessfully, for the creation of a commission tasked with proposing constitutional reforms, including changes to the legislative process.
If the current system hinders lawmakers’ ability to do their jobs, then it’s time for structural reform.Haussamen, New Mexico In Depth’s deputy director, can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @haussamen. Find NMID at nmindepth.com.
Pete Dinelli Is Marching Along to be the Next Abq Mayor
“It's time to move our city forward and I'm proud to stand with Albuquerque families as we work to recover our economy and restore faith in government,” said Dinelli. “I'm honored to have the support of so many important community leaders.”
Dinelli has assembled an incredibly broad coalition that includes current and former elected officials, public safety officials and community activists.
Adding their names to the growing coalition of supporters today is House Majority Whip Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas, Representative Edward Sandoval, Representative Sheryl WIlliams Stapleton, Albuquerque City Councilor Issac Benton, former Bernalillo County District Attorney Jeff Romero and former Mayor of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Harry Stowers.
In endorsing Dinelli, Maestas said, “Albuquerque needs to move forward again and I believe in Pete Dinelli's vision for our city's future. Pete will get our families back to work by investing in important public infrastructure and make sure our kids get the education they deserve. Pete has the backbone to restore the broken trust and confidence in our city’s leadership and that's why he has my support.”
Below is a complete list of announced endorsements:
State Auditor Hector Balderas
Fmr. NM Attorney General Patricia Madrid
Albuquerque City Councilor Issac Benton
Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño
Fmr. Albuquerque City Councilor, Michael Cadigan
Fmr. Albuquerque City Councilor, Steve Gallegos
Fmr. Albuquerque City Councilor, Miguel Gómez
State Representative Rick Miera, Majority Leader
State Representative Moe Maestas, Majority Whip
State Representative Ernest H. Chavez
State Representative Miguel P. Garcia
State Representative Emily Kane
State Representative Edward Sandoval
State Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton
State Representative Christine Trujillo
State Representative Luciano “Lucky” Varela
State Senator Michael Padilla
State Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto
State Senator Gerald Ortiz Y Pino
Fmr. State Senator Dede Feldman
Fmr. State Senate Candidate Bill Tallman
Fmr. Public Regulations Commissioner, Jason Marks
Fmr. Bernalillo County District Attorney Jeff Romero
Bob Stover, Fmr. Chief, ABQ Police Department
Robert Ortega, Fmr. Chief, ABQ Fire Department
Ross Aranda, Fmr. Deputy Chief, ABQ Fire Department
Fmr. Mayor of Española, Joseph Maestas
Fmr. Mayor of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Harry Stowers
John Wertheim, Fmr. Chairman of Democratic Party of NM
Linda Stover, Fmr. President of Democratic Women of NM
Cynthia D. Borrego, MPA, Fmr. State PERA Chair
BACKGROUND: Leader. Problem Solver. Born & raised in Albuquerque. Pete Dinelli is running for Mayor because he won’t stand on the sidelines while City Hall is engulfed in a public safety crisis & petty partisan politics. Pete knows our prosperity depends on creating the good-paying, long-lasting jobs of the future, providing a world-class education for our children & public safety that will make our city a model around the state & nation. Pete has served as Chief Public Safety Officer, Deputy City Attorney, Director of the Safe City Strike Force, Chief Deputy District Attorney, 911 Interim Director, Workers’ Compensation Judge, Albuquerque City Councilor, Assistant District Attorney and Assistant Attorney General.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Diane Gibson for City Council District 7
She has worked as a Sandia National Laboratories prototype machinist and an Environmental, Safety and Health Coordinator and a Tax Professional. Now Diane Gibson is seeking election to Albuquerque City Council for near-northeast heights District 7.
A long-time resident of the area, Diane’s priorities on City Council will be reforming Albuquerque Police Department, growing jobs by supporting local, home-grown businesses, expanding Albuquerque’s high-tech and tourism industries, and partnering with Albuquerque Public Schools and CNM to build a highly trained, well educated work force.
Diane’s background is varied and particularly well suited for bringing jobs to Albuquerque. In 1985, Diane became just the third female to graduate from Sandia National Laboratories’ Journeyman Machinists program. She worked at Sandia for 17 years as a machinist. After leaving the labs, Diane became a tax advisor for H&R Block, where she currently prepares tax returns for individuals and small businesses.
Diane is a dedicated volunteer in several community organizations. She has served as an Ombudsman for the New Mexico Agency for Aging and Long term Services. She is active in the District 7 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations and the Jerry Cline Park Neighborhood Association. In addition she has been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and is a member of Animal Protection of New Mexico.
In addition to years of professional and vocational training, Diane is a graduate of the College of Santa Fe where she received a Master of Business Administration. She also attended UNM University of Colorado and CNM and has personally rehabilitated two dilapidated homes, one of which is her current home. She enjoys gardening, fishing, travelling and community work.
Diane feels that District 7 needs strong representation and a responsive Councilor. Her life experience, work history and professional education make her the best choice for City Council District 7. Diane believes that big campaign donors have too much power in local politics and will be seeking public financing of her campaign under Albuquerque’s Open and Ethical Elections Code.