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Monday, June 30, 2008

Udall, Luján, Colón to Speak at Wednesday Opening of Dem Party Santa Fe Office

From DPNM: The Democratic Party of New Mexico is holding an office opening party for our new Santa Fe offices.

  • WHAT: Santa Fe Office Opening Party
  • WHO: Rep. Tom Udall, CD-2 Candidate Ben Ray Luján and DPNM Chair Brian Colón are scheduled to speak
  • WHEN: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 from 5:00-7:00 PM
  • WHERE: 720 St. Michael's Dr., Suite 2L; Santa Fe 87505

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June 30, 2008 at 03:05 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Democratic Party, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008, Santa Fe | Permalink | Comments (0)

After Midnight ...

... it'll be too late. Too late to donate to one or all of our True Blue New Mexico candidates before the end of the second quarter campaign finance reporting period. Consider donating even $1 or $5 to help Beforemidnight remake our state into a True Blue New Mexico. If we'd all do our part, the totals would rise dramatically. Lots of small donations can often overcome the influence of big donations from all the wrong people to the GOP candidates running against our Dems. But to make it work, we all have to participate.

Take Martin Heinrich's race for Congress in NM-01. Bush flew into town recently and raised more than $300,000 in whopper donations from GOP bigwigs for Repub Darren White. How do we help to undercut that advantage? By clicking here and donating even a few bucks to Martin Heinrich's campaign. Martin's aiming to raise at least $75,000 $100,000? online by midnight tonight. Can we help put him over the top?

You can plug in an amount at the top of the ActBlue page to be split among the five True Blue candidates or you can scroll down and give only to one or two. But I do hope you give something, whatever you can, before tonight at 11:59 PM.

Down-Ticket Races
Are you more motivated to give to candidates in down-ticket races? You can easily do just that on ActBlue too. Whether you live in their districts or not, onsider donating to these Dems in contested New Mexico legislative and other races:

New Mexico State House Races:

Janice Saxton (website)
Dem candidate for NM House in HD 22
ActBlue page

Ben Rodefer
Dem candidate for NM House in HD 23
ActBlue page

Ellen Wedum (website)
Dem candidate for NM House in HD 59
ActBlue page

Craig Cosner (website and address for check)
Dem candidiate for NM House in HD 67

More New Mexico House candidates

New Mexico State Senate Races:

Jeff Carr (website)
Dem candidate for NM Senate in SD 7
ActBlue page

Victor Raigoza (website)
Dem candidate for NM Senate in SD 10
ActBlue page

Tim Eichenberg (website)
Dem candidate for NM Senate in SD 15
ActBlue page

Jessica Wolfe (website)
Dem candidate for NM Senate in SD 21
ActBlue page

More New Mexico Senate candidates

Bernalillo County Clerk:

Maggie Toulouse Oliver (website and donation button)

Did I leave out a favorite candidate of yours? Let me know in the comments and I will add the name to my listing.

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June 30, 2008 at 12:21 PM in 2008 Bernalillo County Elections, 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, 2008 NM State Legislature Races, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008, True Blue New Mexico | Permalink | Comments (0)

NM Voices for Children Releases Report on Immigrants and Economy

ImmigrantsWhen we consider a controversial issue like immigration, it helps to have the facts in hand. The more controversial an issue becomes, the more likely it is that unsubstantiated myths and muddled, distorted logic become part of the dialogue. New Mexico Voices for Children cuts through the often negative propaganda about immigrants with a just-released a report entitled, "Immigrants and the New Mexico Economy: Working Hard for Low Wages," which documents the positive impact of immigrants on the state's economy:

The current debate over immigration – and particularly over immigrants without legal residency status – often centers on whether or not this group of people contributes to the economy or diminishes it. A 2006 Fiscal Policy Project report, “Undocumented Immigrants in New Mexico: State Tax Contributions and Fiscal Concerns,” concluded that undocumented immigrants contribute more in state and local sales, income and property taxes than the state spends to educate their children.

“Immigrants and the New Mexico Economy: Working Hard for Low Wages” concludes that immigrants make a very significant contribution to the New Mexico economy while at the same time they have a very small impact on national safety-net programs.

The report's major findings include:

New Mexico’s foreign-born population – regardless of their legal status – contributes to the state economy through their high participation levels in the work force.

Because foreign-born workers skew toward low-wage occupations, they tend to have lower earnings as a group.

It is very clear that immigrants do not constitute a drain on the economy through transfer payments such as Social Security and Medicare benefits.

While undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits, many of them pay into the trust funds that support these programs through the payroll taxes that are deducted from their paychecks.

You can download an executive summary of the report here (pdf) and the entire report here (pdf).

New Mexico Voices for Children is a progressive, non-partisan organization that advocates to improve the health and well-being of children, families and communities in New Mexico. Our work to eliminate child poverty is focused by four core values: economic justice, healthy communities, citizen participation and human rights. To donate or sign up for action alerts, visit the organization's website.

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June 30, 2008 at 10:43 AM in Economy, Populism, Immigration, Labor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bill Richardson to Raise Money in NM for Hillary Debt?

According to ABC News:

Clinton ally James Carville may have called him "Judas" when he endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in March, but that isn't stopping Gov. Bill Richardson D-NM., from offering to raise money to help Sen. Clinton retire her significant campaign debt.

"We've been asked to help. So in principle we are going to help," Richardson told ABC News after addressing members of the Democratic Leadership Council in Chicago at the centrist group's annual gathering. "I think the party needs to come together," he added.

Unite

... Gov. Richardson then mentioned that he has seen some hopeful signs of the party stitching itself back together and that he is "going to be involved in a debt event for Sen. Clinton in New Mexico." He later added that the event has yet to be scheduled.

Remember, Gov. Richardson is also working on getting rid of campaign debt from his own presidential run. According to the AP, it's now down to about $285,000 -- no match for Clinton's debt of about $10 million owed to vendors plus $12.2 million in personal loans to her campaign. Maybe the Governor can host some two-fers, not to mention some events for our THREE U.S. House races and U.S. Senate race.

Richardson was in West Palm Beach, FL this weekend too, at a dinner for prominent Dems:

More than 25 tables were filled with big-name Democrats, mostly from South Florida. Perhaps the biggest name at this dinner was one of Barack Obama’s possible picks for vice president. "I’m not launching any campaigns," said New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. "It’s his decision. If it doesn’t happen, I’m still going to be very happy."

"I’m still Governor of New Mexico. I still can ride my horse in the morning, keep my beard."

RichardsonbeardAha! A flip-flop on the beard? Lately, Gov. Richardson has been saying he'll be shaving off his beard any day now, but the quote implies it's here to stay -- unless he gets picked for VP or another job by Obama.

Regardless of who Obama chooses, Richardson says he should wait to announce his decision right before the Democrats' convention. "There’s a short list and I’ve seen my name on some short lists," said Richardson "I think Senator Clinton is a strong candidate. I think there are a lot of other candidates that would bring strength to the ticket."

Richardson was also in Florida working on party unity, and bashing McCain:

Richardson’s goal at this event was to unite Florida Democrats, by luring Hillary Clinton supporters into Obama’s camp. The former presidential candidate also wants Florida's large hispanic population, including Cuban republicans. "We’re ready to lift the embargo, but we want Cuba to become more democratic," said Richardson.

When it comes to the high cost of fuel, the former energy secretary in the Clinton administration says he would focus more on conservation and renewable energy. "There’s so many things we need to do where we need presidential leadership," said Richardson. "Instead of drill, drill, drill, the way John McCain and President Bush want to do."

Richardson says he opposes drilling of the coast of Florida and California. He calls it bad energy policy that would not lower fuel prices until 2030.

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June 29, 2008 at 03:30 PM in 2008 Presidential Primary, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (3)

(Updated) Monday: Join Protests of Pearce Policies at the Pump

UPDATE: Bryan Barash over at the Tom Udall blog was at two of this morning's protests and has feedback and photos. Check it out and also learn about the Udall campaign's new text messaging service, TextMyTom.
**************
From the Democratic Party of New Mexico: On Monday, locals will protest Steve Pearce's choice to support Big Oil, while New Mexicans suffer at the pumps.

WHAT: Pearce = Pain at the Pump protest
WHO: Outraged Consumers
WHEN: Monday, June 30, 2008 at 10:00 AM
WHERE: Albuquerque, Clovis and Las Cruces, NM

  • Albuquerque: Phillips 66, 4th and Montano; Diamond Shamrock, 2550 Central SE; Diamond Shamrock, 3440 Isleta Boulevard SW
  • Clovis: Town & Country #248, 3412 North Prince
  • Las Cruces: Brewer Oil Co Inc. Shell Self-Serve, 2512 E Lohman Ave.

"Pearce has repeatedly voted against measures that would help lower gas prices. New Mexicans deserve leaders that will fight for lower gas prices and not for Big Oil's record profits," Josh Geise, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Pearce has opposed legislation that would:

  • Make price gouging by Big Oil a crime
  • Take away $14 billion dollar tax breaks from Big Oil
  • Increase fuel efficiency standards to get more miles per gallon
  • Require utilities to produce 15% of electricity through renewable energy like wind or solar energy

More Criticism of Pearce
Americans United for Change also issued a statement criticizing Steve Pearce on his energy stance, including his vote last week against legislation that aimed to lower gas prices and end profiteering by Big Oil barons and energy speculators.

“It’s almost unfathomable that at a time when his constituents are having to choose between putting gas in their cars or food on their tables that Rep. Pearce would block common-sense legislation that would provide tangible relief and lead the way to a cleaner, more secure energy future,” said Caren Benjamin, deputy executive director of Americans United for Change, the progressive issue-advocacy group behind this summer’s Bush Legacy Tour.  (The Tour will stop in Albuquerque in August, on its way to the Dem Convention in Denver.)

“This is just another – particularly egregious – example of how some members of Congress are putting loyalty to their corporate sponsors and to President Bush’s conservative corporate-driven agenda above the needs of the people they were elected to represent,” Benjamin added.

In lock-step with President Bush and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rep. Pearce voted against the “Use It or Lose It” bill, which would compel the oil industry to start drilling on the 68 million acres which they are currently warehousing or be barred from obtaining any more federal drilling leases until they demonstrate that they are diligently developing those lands.   

“Clearly, Rep. Pearce is out of touch with the needs of the people of New Mexico,” Benjamin said. “He must be held accountable.”

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June 29, 2008 at 02:24 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Democratic Party, Energy | Permalink | Comments (5)

Eric Griego on 'We The People' Wednesday

WE THE PEOPLE: Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Eric Griego, NM Senate District 14
Victorious Candidate who followed his ideal of grassroots--clean money--donations and defeated the big money special interest backed campaign of the incumbent by a wide margin.

Comcast CABLE Channel 27, 1st and 3rd Wednesday - 6 PM
or ON THE WEB:  www.quote-unquote.org
Click for Channel 27's [3rd oval down] Media Stream
Mickey Bock, Host; Judith Binder, Producer
Mission: Truth and Transparency in Government

June 29, 2008 at 01:38 PM in 2008 NM State Legislature Races, Media, Progressivism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Noted Foreign Affairs Expert to Speak at League of Women Voters July Luncheon

From the League of Women Voters/Central New Mexico:
Patricia Kushlis, Ph.D, a former career Foreign Service Officer and international affairs specialist in Europe, Asia, the US, politics, public diplomacy and national security -- who now blogs on foreign affairs at WhirledView -- will speak at the next League of Women Voters/Central New Mexico luncheon. Dr. Kushlis will be the keynote speaker and address the topic: "The World's View of the United States: How Can We Fix It?"

The meeting will be held at the Albuquerque Grand Airport Hotel on July 10, 2008 at 11:45 AMReservations are required. Contact the League office at (505) 884-8441 by 10:00 AM on Monday, July 7th to make reservations. The cost of the luncheon is $16.00 at the door. For more information about the League, visit www.lwvabc.org.

June 28, 2008 at 11:45 AM in Current Affairs, Events, International Relations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Richardson Gives Dem Radio Address; Praises Obama on Energy Plan

Billbarack

Gov. Bill Richardson delivered the Democratic radio address this week, and praised Sen. Barack Obama for his ability to bring change to Washington and help American families struggling with the high cost of energy. Richardson, who served as Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration, applauded Obama for his dedication to ending the country’s dependence on foreign oil and his commitment to investing in alternative energy sources.

Richardson also stressed that that John McCain’s support for expanded offshore drilling will do nothing to help struggling families and a faltering economy. He says McCain offers gimmicks and quick fixes instead of substantive, long-term solutions to our energy and climate woes.

The transcript of the radio address is below. To listen to the address, click here (mp3).

Transcript of Radio Address:

Good morning. I’m Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico.

Across this country Americans are hurting – struggling to cope with the soaring cost of gas and groceries. And they know that Washington hasn’t done enough to bring prices down or to end our dependence on foreign oil. And they certainly know that we haven’t done enough to help struggling families in the short term.

A failure of leadership has gotten us into this situation and only real, honest leadership can get us out. When times are tough it’s easy to go with what seems like a quick fix. But in government, just like in our personal lives, quick fixes are gimmicks that often just make things worse.

John McCain is offering gimmicks that on the surface may sound good; but, in reality will cost us jobs and won’t help families. And they certainly won’t reduce our addiction to imported oil. Senator McCain’s gimmicks – a gas tax holiday that will save consumers at most a gas tax holiday that will save consumers—at most—thirty cents a day for three months, and offering a prize for inventing a car battery - are not answers. As former Secretary of Energy, I know they won’t work.

Barack Obama is proposing real solutions that will provide immediate relief to Americans and build a new energy economy for the future. Senator Obama will push for a second stimulus package that will send out another round of rebate checks to the American people.  He’ll tax the record profits of oil companies and use the money to help struggling families pay their energy bills. He’ll provide a $1,000 tax cut that will go to 95 percent of all workers and their families in this country.  And he’ll close the loophole that allows corporations like Enron to engage in unregulated speculation that ends up artificially driving up the price of oil.

Obama will also raise the fuel standards in our cars and trucks and provide financial help to our automakers and autoworkers to help them make this transition.  He’ll invest $150 billion over the next ten years in alternative sources of energy like wind power, and solar power, and advanced biofuels, creating up to five million new jobs.

President Bush and Senator McCain want to open our pristine wilderness lands and shorelines to unrestricted drilling.  That is beyond irresponsible- it is dangerous and unnecessary. And will do nothing to provide immediate relief for families struggling with the high cost of gas. We’re not against responsible drilling. We believe the oil companies should drill on some of the millions of acres of land they already have but aren’t using, instead of snapping up new land and putting our natural resources at risk. We’re against irresponsible drilling. And the truth is we have just less than 2% of the world’s oil reserves but 25% of the demand.  We can’t simply drill our way out of this energy crisis.

Barack Obama is offering a serious national commitment to transition our economy from our dependence on oil to clean, affordable sources of energy. He’ll make it a priority to finally reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And instead of giving out tax breaks to the oil companies, he’ll put tax breaks in the pockets of the middle class Americans who are the true engine of our economy.

As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s independence, let us all join with Senator Obama in a commitment to declare our independence from imported oil.  Barack’s plan to build a new energy future and a stronger middle class is not a partisan issue- It’s an American issue. It’s the right thing to do.

This Fourth of July, please keep our men and women serving in uniform in your prayers and in your hearts.  God Bless You, and God Bless America.

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June 28, 2008 at 09:06 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Energy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 27, 2008

U-N-I-T-Y: Today and Saturday


Barack and Hillary: Unity in Unity NH Today

Following on the heels of today's rally in Unity NH with Barack and Hillary, tomorrow there will be more than 4,000 Unite for Change events across the country. Last time I looked, 39 of them were organized in New Mexico, including house parties, a picnic and a gathering at a burger joint.

There's still time to RSVP for an event or create your own. Click here. According to Obama '08, "You'll gather -- not just with Obama supporters, but with anyone who's tired of the politics of the past and ready for something new -- to discuss our common vision for the future. And you'll start planning how to build this movement across the country in the weeks and months ahead."

Unite4_2

Read the New York Times account of the Obama-Hillary unity action today. Quote:

“Unity is not only a beautiful place, it’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?” Mrs. Clinton said. “I know what we start here in this field of unity will end on the steps of the Capitol when Barack Obama takes the oath of office.”

... On a sultry summer day, with the aroma of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs in the air, the rally took on the trappings of a political festival. A giant blue banner, “Unite for Change” provided a backdrop against a meadow of trees. Many of those in the crowd, who came from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and beyond, wore faded stickers of their favorite candidate.

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June 27, 2008 at 03:18 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

RSVP for Children's Cabinet Town Hall on Building NM's Workforce

From Diane D. Denish:
As chair of the New Mexico Children’s Cabinet, I want to hear from YOU. Please join us, along with youths, business leaders, educators, and community groups at the Children’s Cabinet Career Cluster Initiative Town Hall on Monday, June 30th, from 9 AM to 3 PM. This is an AmericaSpeaks 21st Century Town Meeting and will take place at the Hilton Albuquerque Hotel located at 1901 University Blvd. NE.  Breakfast, lunch, and parking will be provided.

We will be developing a long-term plan for building a more powerful workforce in New Mexico. You can contribute recommendations that the Children’s Cabinet will consider over the next 6 months and into the January legislative session on how to strengthen New Mexico’s workforce. The Town Hall will use technology to meld small-group discussions into large-group priorities. Key constituencies will join forces to build a more powerful workforce in New Mexico and the focus of the day is your input.

The goals of the Town Hall are:

  • To build a bridge between youths and business
  • To provide an opportunity for business leaders to define their needs
  • To allow participants to learn more about New Mexico’s emerging markets and the Career Cluster Initiative

RSVP NOW TO SAVE YOUR SEAT

  • By Phone: (505) 222-6651
  • By Fax: (505) 841-6412
  • By Mail: The NM Children’s Cabinet, 5301 Central NE, Suite 1510, Albuquerque, NM 87108
  • By Email: andrea.rascon@state.nm.us

I hope to see you there.

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June 27, 2008 at 01:11 PM in Business, Economy, Populism, Education, Events, Labor | Permalink | Comments (0)

More on Bingaman and FISA

BingamanI posted about Sen. Jeff Bingaman's vote for cloture on the FISA bill yesterday, and received a response from the Senator's staff providing an explanation of the vote. According to State Director Terry Brunner, Sen. Bingaman "believes it is reasonable to debate the bill to allow it to be altered." In that vein, Sen. Bingaman has drafted an amendment to the bill -- designed to fix problems with the telecom immunity provisions -- that's currently being circulated in the Senate to garner co-sponsors.

A number of watchdog groups have signed onto a letter (doc) describing Bingaman's amendment and urging Senators to support it, including the ACLU, People for the American Way, Constitution Project, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The amendment "would delay the effective date of the immunity provisions in Title II of the FISA Amendments Act, H.R. 6304, until ninety days after an Inspectors’ General report on the President’s warrantless surveillance program and related surveillance activities is submitted to Congress."

In other words, Congress would have 90 days to decide, based on the results of an audit of the actions of the telecoms by the Inspectors' General, whether they should be granted retroactive immunity from lawsuits filed in response to the telecoms' cooperation with the federal government. If the audit revealed conduct that Congress felt should not be immunized, it would have time to act to "adjust the immunity provisions."

As it stands, the FISA bill grants retroactive immunity to telecoms before the Inspectors' General audit is complete, "before Congress knows what conduct it is immunizing."

Brunner also provided a reminder that Sen. Bingaman voted against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, voted against the early ’08 Senate FISA bill and has "spoken out against it every time it has come before the Senate."

FISA Vote Delayed to July 8
Senators Russ Feingold and Chris Dodd worked with the Senate leadership to delay the Senate floor debate and vote on the FISA bill until the Senators return to DC on July 8th, after the Independence Day recess. Feingold and Dodd have said they'll introduce an amendment to strip the FISA legislation of telecom immunity in its entirety. A Feingold email says:

I hope that over the July 4th holiday, Senators will take a closer look at this deeply flawed legislation and understand how it threatens the civil liberties of the American people.

"It is possible to defend this country from terrorists while also protecting the rights and freedoms that define our nation."

It's been confirmed that Bingaman's amendment will be one of only three to be considered when the FISA bill comes up, including the the one from Feingold/Dodd and another I haven't heard about yet.

Activists are being urged to contact their Senators and/or talk to them at events where they appear during the holiday recess. One suggestion is that they be urged to actually read the bill.

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June 27, 2008 at 10:05 AM in Civil Liberties, Corporatism, Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (3)

NM-Sen: 21st Century Democrats Endorses Udall

Yesterday, 21st Century Democrats endorsed nine "progressive leaders" including Rep. Tom Udall, who's running for Senate in New Mexico. According to their email, Udall and the others "represent a cross section of Americans who are dedicated to putting our country back on the right track."

21st Century Democrats is seeking donations to help them place what they call "highly trained grassroots organizers" in the field for the nine candidates. Every dollar they raise before the 4th of July will be matched by one of their longtime supporters -- doubling the number of organizers they can put on the ground. The nine candidates:

  • Tom Udall - US Senate, New Mexico
  • John Adler - US Congress, New Jersey
  • Gary Peters - US Congress, Michigan
  • Suzanne Kosmas - US Congress, Florida
  • Larry Kissell - US Congress, North Carolina
  • Hannah-Beth Jackson - State Senate, California
  • Michael Calderin - State House, Florida
  • Anton Gunn - State House, South Carolina
  • Summer Starr - State House, Hawaii

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June 27, 2008 at 08:45 AM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Progressivism | Permalink | Comments (0)