« February 2005 | Main | April 2005 »

Thursday, March 31, 2005

DPBC Committee Meeting Update

Members of the Resolutions and Credentials Committees of the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County were elected at Monday's ward and precinct meetings. There has been some confusion about when and where these committees will meet. Please note that these are the correct dates, times and locations:

Resolutions Committee:
Today, Thursday, March 31, 6 PM, IBEW Hall

Credentials Committee:
Tomorrow, Friday, April 1 at 6 PM, IBEW Hall

Click for a map and directions to the IBEW hall.

March 31, 2005 at 03:04 PM in Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (0)

Join the Albuquerque Morning Seditionists This Friday

MarcbigFolks around the nation are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the launch of Air America radio this week. Locally, Tom Hughes is organizing a get-together this Friday, April 1st, at 5:30 PM at RB Winnings Coffee House (111 Harvard SE near UNM) for the newly formed Albuquerque Morning Seditionists.

This is a chance for fans of Air America's morning show, Morning Sedition, with Mark Riley and Albuquerque's own Mark Maron (above left), to celebrate a year of entertaining political talk radio. Tom hopes those attending will be motivated to meet informally on a monthly basis to discuss politics and Sedition.

If you're interested in learning more, please call Tom at 898-0909 or 401-8923.

March 31, 2005 at 11:07 AM in Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hatemonger Phelps in Santa Fe Next Month

Ed_phelpsandgson
Phelps with his grandson.

Phelps1
Phelps with his sign.

It's being reported that the the infamous "Reverend" Fred Phelps will be in Santa Fe in April to push his hate-filled, anti-gay message. Phelps is the guy who takes his troops around the country to harass any groups or individuals who support equality.  Funerals of gays are some of his favorite places to picket. He made quite a name for himself at the Matthew Shepherd funeral in Laramie, Wyoming.

Phelps' visit to Santa Fe apparently aims to bring conflict to churches that support gay rights, especially those that took a stand against the recent savage gaybashing of James Maestas in Santa Fe. Santa Fe clergy from targeted churches are encouraging folks to come and worship with them to stand in solidarity. 

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the First Baptist Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Cristo Rey Catholic Church, St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Grace Community Church, Lutheran Church of the Servant, St. John's United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church have been identified by Phelps as targets for his protests. The New Mexican also reported that "The targeted churches were described in Phelps' news release as 'Sodomite whorehouses masquerading as churches.' " His delegation will also target city government offices the following day.

Although Phelps originally announced he would be in Santa Fe on April 17, he is now saying it will be on April 24. It's not known if this is an attempt by him to confuse people or if the date has really been changed. We'll be keeping an eye on this and will keep you posted.

To learn more about Phelps and his horrible activities, visit the dkosopedia site. Or, if you can stomach it, check out Phelps' own website, entitled GodHatesFags.com, where, among other monstrosities, you can see photos of children wearing GodHatesFags.com t-shirts. His other sites are GodHatesAmerica.com and GodHatesCanada.com.

UPDATE: According to a revised schedule on his website, Phelps will be in Albuquerque on April 23rd at UNM, Central and Stanford, from 11:30 AM to Noon. Then he moves up to Santa Fe later that day and has events scheduled thru April 25th. Of course things can change, so keep an eye out. Go to the continuation page of this post for his entire NM schedule:

April 23, 2005
11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Albuquerque, NM
University of New Mexico, Central & Stanford

April 23, 2005
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Santa Fe, NM
Cristo Rey Catholic Church, 1120 Canyon Rd

April 23, 2005
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Santa Fe, NM
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 417 Agua Fria St

April 24, 2005
8:15 am – 8:45 am
Santa Fe, NM
Lutheran Church of the Servant, 2481 Legacy Court

April 24, 2005
9:00 am – 9:30 am
Santa Fe, NM
First Presbyterian Church-Rosario Chapel, Paseo de Peralta & N. Guadalupe

April 24, 2005
10:00 am – 10:30 am
Santa Fe, NM
St. Bede Episcopal Church, 1601 S. St. Francis Drive

April 24, 2005
10:30 am – 11:00 am
Santa Fe, NM
St. John United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail

April 24, 2005
11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Santa Fe, NM
First Baptist Church of Santa Fe, 1605 Old Pecos  Trail

April 24, 2005
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Santa Fe, NM
Grace Community Church, 2247 Camino Carlos Rey

April 25, 2005
7:30 am – 8:00 am
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe City Hall, 200 Lincoln Ave.

March 31, 2005 at 09:22 AM in Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Many Victories for Progressives at Bernalillo County Ward & Precinct Elections

Results and responses from Monday's Bernalillo County Ward and Precinct Meetings have been streaming into my email box. Many of the meetings were reportedly well-attended and full of energy, while a few were somewhat chaotic, confusing or more sparsely attended. But almost to a person, folks seemed to be very happy to be participating.

Candidates from the DFNM community were incredibly successful in winning ward and precinct posts, especially considering how new we are at this. I haven't received all the results yet from our folks, but so far it looks like we may have wins for:

  • 8-10 Ward Chairs
  • 3 or 4 Ward Vice Chairs
  • about 20 Precinct Chairs
  • around 5 Precinct Vice Chairs
  • about 5 precinct treasurers and secretaries
  • a few extra delegates to the County Central Committee and
  • a handful of folks serving on the Credentials or Resolutions Committees

It will be terrific to see so many familiar faces who are new to the process at the Bernalillo County Central Committee Meeting this Saturday morning at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

I guess this is what Howard Dean meant when he encouraged us to Take Back Our Party (and also to work with the good folks already there)! It seems clear that the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party is on a roll here in New Mexico. Let's all give ourselves a pat on the back for this one. Whether you were a candidate, a winner or a participant at the ward and precinct meetings, YOU have the power:

You have the power to take back the Democratic party and make us stand up for what's right again, allow us to fulfill the dream of Harry Truman in 1948 that he laid out when we would no longer be the last industrial country on the face of the earth without health insurance, allow us to stand up again for the rights to organize for ordinary men and women, allow us to stand again for the principles of equal rights under the law for every single American. You have the power to take our country back so that the flag of the United States of America no longer is the exclusive property of John Aschcroft, and of Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell, that it belongs to all of us again. --Howard Dean

March 30, 2005 at 05:02 PM in Democratic Party, DFNM - Albq, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (4)

Call Domenici Tomorrow On Environment

Have Your Voice Heard for Wildlands!

Tomorrow morning, New Mexico's own senior Senator Pete Domenici will be on 770 KKOB AM, answering your questions! This is an extraordinary opportunity for those who support Wilderness to call in and express your views with the Senator!

As many of you know, Senator Domenici is leading the fight to Drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is a terrible stance and the Senator needs to be called on it. In addtion, Senator Domenici supports Drilling in New Mexico's Otero Mesa and Valle Vidal. Again, this is an important opportunity for us to call in live and express our discontent with the Senators stances.

When you call the number below, you might be asked what you want to talk about (for screening purposes). Be very general. Say something like you want to ask the Senator a question about Otero Mesa, or that you would like to ask the Senator about a vote he cast.

If anyone has questions about talking points or anything else, please respond to this email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Here is the information to make your Voice Heard on the Radio:

770 KKOB-AM

Live Call in Show with Senator Pete Domenici

9:00 am - 10:00

(505) 243-3333 (in Albuquerque)
Or Toll Free on your Verizon or Alltel Wireless
Phone #770

(From NM Wilderness Alliance)

March 30, 2005 at 02:38 PM in Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

What's Going On?

Paul Krugman has it just right on the extremists that are now in control of much of America. Click to read his column, "What's Going On." And how will future presidential candidate Jeb Bush explain his utter disdain for the separation of powers in ordering the seizure of Terri Shiavo?

For more info on this, here's the Knight-Ridder story that originally exposed the thwarted plans of Jeb.

March 30, 2005 at 11:14 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Join Otero Mesa Campout

Otmesa_1

From the NM Wilderness Alliance:

With the recent heavy rains and snow New Mexico has received over the past couple of months, Otero Mesa is blanket of flowers! Spring time has arrived in this southern New Mexico gem.

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, in conjunction with other local conservation groups will be leading a weekend campout to Otero Mesa April 16-17, 2005. Please RSVP to reserve your spot for this great trip. Below is a brief write-up about the weekend. If you have any questions please contact me at the information below.

Otero Mesa Weekend Outing: April 16th - 17th:
Come join us in Otero Mesa and watch the desert come to life! We will be exploring the Cornudas Mountains, the expansive grasslands  and documenting the petroglyphs on Alamo Mt. This will be a fun filled weekend of social gathering and adventure in New Mexico's wildest grassland. Bring plenty of sun screen, a good hat, a good pair of hiking boots, and plenty of water. You will be responsible for your own meals, except for Saturday evening, which will be a social potluck. A tent and sleeping bag are also recommended.

To RSVP or for more detailed information contact Nathan Newcomer out of Albuquerque: [email protected], 505-843-8696 ext.107.

Nathan Newcomer
Otero Mesa Campaign Organizer

(Photo by Stephen Capra.)

March 29, 2005 at 04:06 PM in Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (2)

NM Democratic Party Responds to Heather Wilson's Townhall Meeting Today

Heather1_1 As Rep. Heather Wilson leads a townhall meeting on the Medicare prescription drug benefit today at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, it's useful to ponder the truth of the situation rather than her talking points provided by the RNC. Here are some facts from Matt Farrauto of the DPNM that provide a more realistic picture. Writing a letter to the editor on this seems like a great idea:

THE WILSON PLANS

Medicare:
The Medicare prescription drug benefit was passed by Congress in 2003.  The program is costly for those who enroll in it and that it will not provide much of a benefit.  The U.S. Health and Human Services website set up to help New Mexico seniors determine where they can purchase prescription drugs at a discount was rife with errors.* *A report prepared by U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform at the request of Senator Jeff Bingaman 

  • Of 29 independent pharmacies listed as participating in the Medicare drug discount card  program, 18 were either closed or do not accept any of the various discount drug cards issued last year. 
  • A state prison was erroneously listed as a participating pharmacy throughout 2004. 
  • The Hima Bindu Smelse Mora Clinic was named as a participating pharmacy, despite the fact that they sell only herbal remedies, not prescription drugs. 
  • Sixteen of the 29 pharmacies listed as participating in the drug discount card program were actually closed. 
  • Only 11 pharmacies were identified correctly, yet even the information related to those contained errors.  In each of those cases, the pharmacy accepted either more of the drug discount cards than were listed, or fewer of them. 
  • The discount cards, which seniors had to seek out and sign up for, were supposed to provide a $600 credit toward the purchase of prescriptions for the years 2004 and 2005, while the new Medicare prescription drug benefit is set up. 
  • Only about 11,000 of the estimated 50,000 low-income New Mexicans would were supposed to benefit from these drug discount cards actually received them last year. 
  • Over $23 million in prescription drug assistance to New Mexicans was lost in 2004 due to this failure.”
  • By January 1, 2006, 6.4 million seniors nationwide who currently receive prescription drug coverage through Medicaid will have to sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug plan.  Medicaid is the federal health care program for the poor; Medicare is the federal health plan for seniors.   There will be just a six-week window, beginning on November 15, 2005, in which seniors will be allowed to sign up.
  • Seniors will be inadvertently left out and left without any coverage at all. 
  • Even if 80% of dual eligibles can e educated and correctly enrolled by January 2006, more than a million of the frailest Medicare beneficiaries will lack access to needed medications.

Social Security (A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM THAT WORKS):
Wilson voted for Bush’s 2006 budget, which also neglects to account for the difficult trade-offs between increases in the debt, benefit cuts, and tax increases necessary to fund the White House's privatization proposal.  In fact, the Wilson-supported House GOP budget raids the Social Security Trust Fund of more than $1.1 trillion over the next five years. [H. Con. Res. 95 Roll Call #88; CQ House Action Reports, FY 2006 Budget Res, 3/14/05] 

The GOP plan to establish private accounts requires borrowing nearly $5 trillion, largely from foreign countries, and increasing our debt for the next 50 years, threatening rising interest rates today, and raising taxes on our children and grandchildren tomorrow.  Bush’s privatization proposal would cut guaranteed benefits by more than 40 percent, and, as the nonpartisan U.S. Comptroller General recently confirmed, “would not improve the system’s financial situation and would ‘accelerate’ insolvency.” [Sammon/Fagan, Washington Times, 3/10/05]

March 29, 2005 at 11:22 AM in Current Affairs, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Santa Fe Central Committee Backs Pullout of Troops in Iraq and Gay Marriage

From and article in the Santa Fe New Mexican by Steve Terrell:

While the war in Iraq and gay marriage divide Democrats on the national level, Santa Fe County party members are unified on these issues.

More than 200 local Democrats attending the 2005 meeting of their county party's Central Committee voted nearly unanimously Monday to back resolutions calling for a pullout of American troops in Iraq by June 2006 and for the right of homosexuals to marry.

The Democrats also voted overwhelmingly to back a resolution calling for tougher restrictions on payday loans. The issue of payday loans was one that divided Democratic lawmakers in the recent session of the Legislature.
[. . .]
Local Democratic activist Charlotte Roybal was cheered after she read the Iraq resolution, which said, "Our occupation and the associated violence in Iraq has increased recruitment by terrorist organizations intent on attacking the U.S."

The resolution passed by a voice vote with only one voting no.

The Iraq resolution puts on record the county party's opposition to "the continued military occupation of Iraq" and says the federal government should immediately start planning to withdraw.

"The plan should specify a target date for the completion of the withdrawal," the resolution says. "The target date should be no later than June 2006."
[. . .]
The gay marriage resolution "directs each and every legislator who is a member of the Democratic Party to vote against any and all legislation that seeks to reduce or destroy the civil rights of people in New Mexico who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender."

Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano argued in favor of the resolution. "This is the civil-rights movement of this generation," he said. "We need to take a stand."

Only one person argued -- and voted -- against the resolution. "We should leave this matter up to the state representatives," he said.

(Click the link at the top of this post to read the entire article. Click to read the text of the LGBT rights resolution passed by the Santa Fe County Democratic Party.)

March 29, 2005 at 10:55 AM in Democratic Party, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 28, 2005

Rep. Sanders Headlines 4/10 Social Change Forum in Albuquerque

All are invited to:

A Forum
Acting Together for Social Change

Bernie Sanders, U.S. Representative from Vermont
The Only Independent Voice in Congress

Sunday, April 10, 2-5 PM
First Congregational Church (Corner of Lomas and Girard NE)

Sponsored by:

The Coalition To Take Back Our Government
Gray Panthers
The Social Action Committee -1st Unitarian Church of Albuquerque
Community Coalition for Health Care Access
Quote...Unquote/Channel 27

Call 275-0597 or 463-3774 for more information

March 28, 2005 at 09:42 AM in Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sunday Bird Blogging

Ncaab_illinoisfightingilliniWe're still recovering from the Fighting Illini's come from behind victory over Arizona yesterday in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and so is Bosco. It was a nervewracking affair. Four minutes to go, Illinois down by 15 points. Major turnaround. Illini win in overtime 90-89! I'm an Illinois alumnus, having spent the late 60s in Champaign-Urbana hanging out on the quad, playing old-fashioned pinball machines at local student hangouts and staying up all night typing English lit papers on a manual typewriter. So I was very excited about my team, rated number one in the nation this year, being in the Elite Eight. Now they're in the Final Four! More nail biting to come next weekend.

Bosco is also an Illini fan, as you can see from his orange head and blue tailfeathers:

Dscn0125_1

We're trying to find him a Fighting Illini lovebird-sized t-shirt, but so far, no dice.

March 27, 2005 at 11:19 AM in Bird Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

DPBC Meeting Highlights

Last Wednesday's special meeting of the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County at the UNM Law School began with State Senator Linda Lopez, who is also the current Bernalillo County Democratic Party Chair, being presented with a bouquet in appreciation for her stellar work in negotiating the election reform bill and getting it passed at the Legislature. Here's Terry Riley presenting the flowers to Senator Lopez on behalf of DFNM, NM Democratic Friends and others. That's County Vice Chair Marvin Moss at the podium.

Lindalite

Senator Bingaman then spoke about Social Security and the severe problems that would result if President Bush's privatization plan were adopted. Afterwards, he graciously answered questions for more than an hour on a variety of topics. Regarding his recent vote for the very controversial bankruptcy bill, Senator Bingaman admitted it might have been a mistake given the fact that important amendments to improve the bill did not pass. He said the issue might well have to be revisited in the near future to make it more fair to ordinary Americans. (You might say.)

Dscn0157

Marvin Moss welcomes the Senator to the meeting above.

Jefflite

Senator Bingaman takes numerous questions from the overflow crowd.

March 26, 2005 at 12:10 PM in Democratic Party, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)