Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Wednesday: SD-15 Candidate Tim Eichenberg on 'We The People'
Tim Eichenberg, the Democratic candidate in NM Senate District 15, will appear on We The People on October 1, 2008 and discuss how we can invest in domestic renewable resources---and ease out of our dependence on foreign oil and loosen the grip of the lobbyists. The TV show is aired on Albuquerque Cable Channel 27 on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM. You can also watch it live-streamed at www.quote-unquote.org. The show is hosted by Mickey Bock and produced by Judith Binder.
Eichenberg is challenging Repub incumbent State Senator Diane Snyder in a hard fought, neck and neck race. Many believe this race represents our best chance to pick up another seat in the State Senate, so let's donate some time and money to the cause.
LWV to Launch Voters' Guide at Candidate Reception in ABQ
On Tuesday, October 7, from 5 to 6:30 PM the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico will launch its 2008 General Election Voters' Guide at a free reception for the public, members of the press and candidates running for office in Bernalillo, Sandoval and Valencia counties. The event will be held in the Foyer of the Simms Center for the Performing Arts on the Albuquerque Academy campus. More than 120 candidates have been invited. A large mock-up of the front of the Guide will be unveiled during the ceremony. Call 884-8441 for more information.
McCain: For Deregulation Before He Was Against It
The "Straight Talk Express" hits another roadblock. It should be clear by now that the "honorable" Mr. McCain will say almost anything to try and get elected -- even if it completely contradicts what he's said before. Does McCain have a shred of credibility left after his careening performance during this financial crisis? Oddly, after the faux-suspension of his campaign and the bragging about his success in gaining support for the bailout bill -- only to have it fail -- McCain is again making noises about "suspending his campaign" to insert himself into the process. What's more, he and Palin are rapidly becoming cartoon caricatures in the popular culture -- a phenomenon that can be hard to defuse once it gains momentum.
This truly is a campaign grasping at straws and lurching from misstep to misstep without any apparent overriding strategy. One wonders what he will attempt next to try and convince people what he's saying is truthful or relevant -- or to distract voters from the record he's built up over the years on the issues.
Meanwhile, Obama continues to surge. According to an early look at the Diageo/Hotline tracking poll by Political Wire:
Among registered voters surveyed in Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and Nevada, Obama tops McCain 50 to 40%. Just a week ago, Obama led 45% to 42%. Nationwide, Obama leads 47% to 41%.
As the McCain campaign continues to flounder, and the polls keep trending towards Obama, it will be fascinating to see what kinds of desperate measures he'll employ. This could get even more surreal as we head into the last month before the election and McCain pulls out all the stops. I'm especially interested in seeing whether we get another Theater of the Absurd performance by Palin in Thursday's VP debate.
Monday, September 29, 2008
NM-01: White (and Others) Named in DOJ Report on Improper Firing of U.S. Attorneys
A hefty 300+ page U.S. Department of Justice report (pdf) on the firing of U.S. Attorneys by the Bush administration was released today. It mentions a number of New Mexico Republicans including Pete Domenici, Heather Wilson and Darren White. U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey has named Connecticut Acting U.S. Attorney Nora R. Dannehy, a federal prosecutor for 17 years, to serve as special prosecutor in this case.
According to an article in the Washington Post:
The investigation uncovered "significant evidence" that partisan political factors played a role in some of the 2006 dismissals. Particularly "troubling," according to the report, was the sacking of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias after several Republican elected officials complained about voter fraud and public corruption cases he pursued. That episode raises the possibility that obstruction of justice and wire fraud laws were violated.
... Reached by phone, Iglesias said he was cheered by the findings and said he looked forward to the results of the investigation as it proceeds.
Also check out this nugget, unearthed by TPM:
Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) told Karl Rove at a November 16, 2006 meeting: "Mr. Rove, for what it's worth, the U.S. Attorney in New Mexico is a waste of breath." Rove's response: "That decision has already been made. He's gone."
It's a big report to get through to document the involvement of members of the NM GOP, but the Martin Heinrich campaign has already issued a statement detailing the report's info about Darren White:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a scathing report today blasting Darren White and other Bush cronies for their role in the firing of non-partisan U.S. Attorneys based on partisan political pressure, and the DOJ has appointed a special prosecutor to determine if criminal charges will be brought against those involved.
Darren White, the 2004 Bush-Cheney Reelection Chair for Bernalillo County, is named multiple times in the today's DOJ report -- specifically in the improper firing of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. The report shows that while serving as George W. Bush's Campaign Chairman, Darren White was using the Sheriff's office to try to inappropriately influence a federal investigation.
"Darren White is knee deep in one of the largest scandals in the history of the DOJ and he needs to come clean immediately to the voters of Central New Mexico about his role in the potentially illegal firing of U.S. Attorneys," said Martin Heinrich. "Central New Mexican voters deserve to know the truth before Darren White testifies under penalty of perjury for the newly appointed special prosecutor. How many times did Darren White speak with Heather Wilson, Pete Dominici or Karl Rove about firing David Iglesias? How did he use his official position to pursue political witch-hunts? This scandal clearly demonstrates Darren White is anything but an 'independent voice' for New Mexico, and the voters of Central New Mexico will see him for the partisan hack that he is."
White earlier admitted he had complained to both Attorney General Gonzales' Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice and Senator Pete Domenici about Iglesias, who subsequently said that White was part of "a political chorus that got to Pete Domenici." [Albuquerque Journal, 4/15/07, 4/19/07]
Today, the Department of Justice released a report on its investigation into the removal of nine U.S. attorneys. The report mentions White several times by name, including but not limited to two instances that follow. [An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006, Department of Justice, September 2008]
o "Among those who urged Iglesias to investigate and prosecute voter fraud cases in New Mexico were Allen Weh, the Chairman of the state Republican Party; Patrick Rogers, a former general counsel to the state Republican Party who continued to represent the party on voter fraud and ballot access issues; Mickey Barnett, an attorney and former Republican state senator active in party politics; Steve Bell, Chief of Staff to Senator Pete Domenici; and Darren White, the elected Republican Sheriff of Bernalillo County and Chairman of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign in New Mexico. Iglesias said he knew all of these individuals and considered many of them to be his friends."
o "Sheriff White told us that he thought the [U.S. Attorney's Office] should have investigated and prosecuted cases without involving state agencies, and that Iglesias's concern about appearing nonpartisan was misguided."
Today, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others in connection with the firings of the nine U.S. attorneys. [New York Times, 9/30/08]
More will be revealed. These developments could entirely change the political playing field here, and maybe even result in serious charges being brought against one or more New Mexicans. However, the investigation is expected to carry over into the next administration so it's anyone's guess how events will affect the election here as they unfold. One thing we do know: things are not looking good for Republicans, either nationally or in New Mexico. Imagine what we'll find out as more and more shields are peeled away from the actions taken by the Bush administration over the past 8 years.
NM-Sen: Udall Explains His No Vote on Bailout Bill
The campaign of Dem Senate candidate Tom Udall layed out the reasons for his no vote today on the bailout bill in a
diary on Daily Kos, (where you can weigh in on your views):
Tom Udall wanted me to get you this statement as quickly as possible, now that the bailout bill has gone to a vote:
I cannot in good conscience vote for a rushed $700 billion taxpayer funded bailout to shore up Wall Street while ignoring our middle class and the nation's underlying economic flaws that caused this crisis in the first place. I will, however, continue fighting to do what's right and fix our financial markets to prevent similar crises from occurring again.
Tom Udall laid out his priorities for any bailout bill that he could support last week:
"The Administration's proposal, as it has been presented to Congress, needs significant changes. First, any plan that puts taxpayer money at risk must ensure that taxpayers get paid back before shareholders, bondholders or executives—so that corporate CEOs do not get a golden parachute while taxpayers are left to pay the bill.
“Additionally, Congress should act further to keep Americans in their homes by addressing the crisis in the mortgage industry as well as the one in the financial sector. Any economic package that allows tens of thousands of Americans to lose their homes is simply inadequate.
“Finally, there must be accountability. If we invest taxpayer dollars to protect our financial markets, we should make sure that money is spent effectively and efficiently, with proper oversight and accountability. No administration should be given unlimited authority over the spending of $700 billion or more of taxpayers’ dollars. Any bailout plan needs to ensure that those managing the bailout are responsible to Congress and the American people.”
Tom has carefully considered the current version of the bailout bill, and has decided that it falls short. It does not meet the principles he laid out at the time this bailout was proposed, and does not address those who are hurt the most by this crisis. Tom Udall knows that we can do better.
Author of Book on 2004 Ohio Vote Fraud to Speak in ABQ Tomorrow
A talk about the new book, Witness to a Crime, concerning the 2004 Ohio vote fraud, is being presented by the author, Dr. Richard Phillips, on Tuesday, September 30 at 7:30 PM at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center. Phillips will detail the many ways that the vote can be falsified and what to look for in the upcoming elections. His book will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served. Information: 505-242-5511 or Contactus@cardnm.org. Check out this Truthout article by Dr. Phillips on how Latinos were disenfranchised in the 2004 election in Ohio for a taste of his writing. You can check out the author's website at witnesstoacrime.com/.
(Updated) Bailout Vote Fails in House
Here we go, and where we stop, nobody knows.
Final Vote: 205 Ayes, 228 Noes
Heather Wilson votes aye; Tom Udall and Steve Pearce no. Democrats: 140 ayes, 95 noes. Republicans: 65 ayes, 133 noes.
I caught a nasty cold/flu this weekend and I'm nursing it today so I got on the couch, got me some tea and watched the chaos descend on the TV pundits (in between naps). Largest point drop ever in Dow, by 777. Rs blaming Pelosi for giving a "partisan" speech today and upsetting Rs who then voted no. Spare me. McCain looks like an idiot given his bragging about getting the Rs in line for this. Obama says, "get it done."
I say, let's take some time and do something meaningful that will move capital from the bottom up rather than following the defrocked theory of top down, tickle down. However, I have a strong feeling that no matter what we do or don't do now, we'll end up in the same place -- economically destroyed for years to come.
This is a situation conceived in Reaganomics that has continued in fits and starts to this place of no return. The bottom line: if a nation doesn't make and sell anything of value, there is no real value in its so-called assets. They're just paper, and their value is subject to whims, fakery and fraud. Especially when appointed regulators are into looking the other way on even basic oversight, and most meaningful regulations have been watered down or removed completely. We're seeing the myth of the magic hand of the market completely unmasked for what it really is without proper regulation -- unbridled greed and thievery.
NM-01: New Heinrich Ad Goes After White's Dismal Record
Can we trust George Bush's favorite sheriff? That's the question asked of viewers in Martin Heinrich's new, hard-hitting TV ad in the NM-01 race. The ad's narrator accuses White of lying in his ads attacking Heinrich's record, and states that Heinrich is the only candidate in the race who has cut taxes.
The ad goes on to mention some of the bleaker moments in Darren White's career, when he was New Mexico's Secretary of Public Safety. Like getting caught misspending thousands of dollars of drug enforcement money for things like luxury cars and lawnmowers. How the wives of state cops accused him of endangering their husbands' lives. And how 89% of state cops voted for a no-confidence measure against White -- a development that ultimately drove him to quit the post.
The ad ends with the narrator askng, "If New Mexico police can't trust him, how can we?" Good point. It's satisfying to see Heinrich's campaign hitting back hard with the facts. White's campaign has relied almost entirely on less than truthful negative attacks on Heinrich to try and fool voters. That's what happens when the "conservative" political philosophy of a candidate like White has been clearly shown to be a farce, and a damaging, destructive farce at that. White, like many other Repubs this cycle, can hardly campaign on the issues -- so his campaign has been flailing about making bogus claims about Heinrich.
Heinrich Up About 5 Points in Polling
White's nasty campaign tactics are apparently not working very well as Heinich is up 6 points over White, 48-42%, in the campaign's latest internal polling of likely voters conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. With leaners, Heinrich leads 50-45%. This follows a September 3rd Roll Call/Survey USA poll that showed Heinrich with a 5-point lead over White.
Beat the Deadline
The ad comes at a time when the September 30 candidate fundraising deadline is upon us. Martin and the rest of our True Blue New Mexico candidates could use a bunch of small (or not so small) donations to give them what they need to battle through the last month of this long election season. We make it easy for you here.
NM-03: Lujan Endorsed by All Indian Pueblo Council
Ben Ray Luján announced the endorsement of the All Indian Pueblo Council in his race for Congress in New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.
"I'm honored by the endorsement of the All Indian Pueblo Council," said Luján. "I look forward to working with the pueblos and standing up for them in Congress."
Luján has been a strong ally of tribal governments. As a Public Regulation Commissioner, he worked with the commission to adopt a resolution for the PRC to officially recognize a government-to-government relationship concerning regulatory processes with sovereign Indian Nations. He also worked with a Native American liaison to establish open communication between state and tribal governments.
Prior to the endorsement, Luján delivered a speech to the All Indian Pueblo Council at the University of New Mexico.
"If elected to Congress, I will be a strong advocate to protect and sustain cultural diversity and tribal sovereignty," said Luján. "I am committed to supporting legislation that fully funds the Indian Health Service and to expand health services for Native Americans."
Joe Garcia, Chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council, recognized Lujan's commitment and values.
"Ben Ray Luján comes in the true spirit, values, beliefs and principles that come from the heart," said Garcia. "That is what the Native Americans are about. When in Congress, he will do a great job. We are proud to endorse him."
The All Indian Pueblo Council is made up of the 19 pueblos, including 15 in the 3rd Congressional District. The Council's mission is to promote justice and encourage the common welfare and to foster the social and economic advancement of all the Pueblos Indians, and to preserve and protect our common interest.
Bailout Can Still Be Defeated: Call or Email Now
It's still up in the air whether the bailout bill has the votes to pass. I'm sure most of you reading this have seen and heard many convincing arguments against this fraudulent giveaway. Here are some more by David Sirota that provide useful summaries you can tap when contacting your members of Congress. It's not often we can see ourselves on the same side as the rightwing Republicans, but this is one of those times, isn't it?
Joshua Holland at Alternet provides a glimpse of what a progressive bailout would look like. Why aren't more Dems pushing for this kind of solution? They're certainly feeling pressured by Wall Street's clever extortion plot, but let's hope enough of them see through this ploy and vote for the interests of their constituents. We have to apply some pressure in the opposite direction if there's any hope for defeating this boondoggle.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Concerned About Fair Elections? Become a Poll Worker for Democracy
From NM PIRG: Of course you'd expect NM PIRG to encourage you to get out and vote on Election Day. Casting your ballot is a big part of making your voice heard on issues that matter to you. But this year, we're encouraging you to take it one step further, and to make sure that everyone else gets to make their voice heard, too.
NM PIRG is partnering with TrueMajority and CREDO Action on the Pollworkers for Democracy project -- a nonpartisan effort to get more people involved in protecting our elections. We're asking you to help the effort by signing up to be a pollworker on November 4. We'll provide you with information to supplement your pollworker training, and also a system to report and track any problems on Election Day.
Your county still needs pollworkers for the November 4 general election. Signing up as a pollworker is easy. Plus, you support our democratic system ... and get paid. Click here to learn more and sign up. The fairness of this year's election is in your hands, and the best place to protect the election is at the polling location.
Don't want to have to go through that kind of misery again? Get registered if you're not and request a vote by mail ballot using one of these tools:
Why vote by mail? It's easy. It's fast. It will allow you to work on GOTV for candidates or at a polling place on election day on November 4th. It will also stop those phone calls from candidates urging you to do it!
YOU MUST BE REGISTERED TO VOTE BY OCTOBER 7TH TO VOTE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION.