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Friday, October 10, 2008

Guest Blog: The Pivotal Race You May Not Know About

This is a guest blog by John McAndrew, sometime Democratic volunteer and activist in Santa Fe.

I know a lot of DFNM readers are working for Obama, Udall, Heinrich, Lujan, and other candidates. I am really, really proud to work for this man, Rick Lass. The PRC District 3 race has major implications for all New Mexicans. Compare and contrast the positions of the candidates for yourselves: visit www.ricklass.net and www.jeromeblockforprc.com. The following speech, given by Lass on October 1st at the forum in Los Alamos hosted by the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women, is a good synopsis of the race and its issues. He's a good man, but even with all he has going for him, and everything that has come to light about his opponent, his victory is anything but a foregone conclusion (see Charlotte Roybal's guest blog on DFNM.). Please help to inform voters in PRC district 3 about this important race.
* * * *
Thank you so much for coming out tonight and being involved in our democracy, and thanks so much to the League of Women Voters and the Association of University Women for hosting this forum.

My name is Rick Lass and I am running for the Public Regulation Commission. For those of you who don't know, the PRC regulates utility, insurance, telecommunications, transportation and other corporations doing business in New Mexico.

I am in this race because I believe it is critical that our government stands up for everyday New Mexicans- consumers, working people, and small business owners who are struggling everyday to make ends meet.

I have been a New Mexico resident since 1984, and have been working in New Mexico politics for 15 years to make sure our government does the right thing.

I have lobbied on behalf of working people to raise the minimum wage and repeal the tax on food and medicine.

I have worked for the Santa Fe Independent Business Alliance on the Buy Local campaign to make sure that we remain in control of our own economic destiny here in New Mexico.

I have worked as an advocate for voters to secure public campaign financing and paper ballots for our elections,

And I have lobbied on behalf of all New Mexicans to oppose dirty, coal fired power plants and promote wind and solar as viable, future focused sources of electricity.

Now, I want to continue my work as a Public Regulations Commissioner.

This is a race with stark contrasts between myself and my opponent, and I am sorry he is not here to present his views.

My opponent's father and grandfather held this seat before him, and he represents more business as usual on the Commission. But I will bring fresh ideas and a new perspective.

He responds only to Business and Industry groups- in fact he is at a conference of Telecommunications executives tonight- while I am eager to meet all of you and all of my constituents.

I worked hard to create public financing of elections, and was recently appointed by Santa Fe's Mayor Coss to serve on the Public Campaign Financing Advisory Committee-while my opponent is under investigation by the Attorney General for misuse of public money.

This position is too important to elect someone who is clearly uncommitted and unqualified.

Every time you pay your utility bills-

The PRC affects your life.

Every time you pay insurance premiums, or don't get the coverage you deserve-

The PRC affects your life.

Every time the government subsidizes antiquated coal plants instead of clean wind and solar-

The PRC affects your life.

I, Rick Lass, will bring honesty and integrity to the Public Regulation Commission.

I will stand up for strong consumer protections,

I will fight for affordable utility rates,

I will make sure people get comprehensive insurance coverage at reasonable rates, including much needed reform of the title insurance industry, and I will do everything in my power to make New Mexico a leader in clean renewable energy technology.

I firmly believe in government accountability, and as your Independent Commissioner, I pledge to be accessible and responsive.

Please, on November 4, cast your vote FOR Rick Lass For Public Regulation Commissioner.

Thank you.

This is a guest blog by John McAndrew, sometime Democratic volunteer and activist in Santa Fe. Guest blogs provide our readers with an opportunity to express their views on issues of interest to our readers. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

October 10, 2008 at 09:20 AM in 2008 PRC Election, Guest Blogger | Permalink


It's important to know that if you plan to simply vote straight party for the Democratic ticket, you WILL be casting a vote for Jerome Block for this PRC race. See http://www.sfreporter.com/stories/detail/blockgate/4121/ for what you might be getting us into with that vote.

However, you CAN go down the list and cast a vote for Rick Lass for PRC after indicating a straight party vote, and it will be entirely valid. It will only make an exception in the District 3 PRC race case and all of your other votes for Democrats will be intact.
(the same would hold true for Republicans, who have no candidate in this race)

Posted by: Michal | Oct 12, 2008 12:56:55 PM

There is so little reaction from Democrats and Democrat blogging about this race that methinks they actually would accept, if not cheer, a Block victory and be perfectly happy with him as a PRC Commissioner.
Is this so?

Why hasn't DFNM come out in more vocal support for Rick Lass or at least, a condemnation of Jerome Block?

How is democracy with a big or little "d" served by electing by default, which will happen with straight party voting, a commissioner Block????

And further, we need a multiparty push for Ranked Choice Voting, something that candidate Rick Lass has been actively working for in SF, to ensure that the Democrats don't split a primary and end up with the underDog.

How about it DFNM?

Posted by: Michal | Oct 14, 2008 11:39:40 AM

You have to remember that many progressives hold official positions in the Democratic Party structure and are precluded by Party rules from publicly supporting a non Democrat in this race.

Don't underestimate what is being said and done behind the scenes however. The word is getting out on how awful Block is and what a good candidate Lass is. We all do what we can. Maybe you should send in a guest post on your views. I'm sure Barb would publish it.

Posted by: Old Dem | Oct 14, 2008 12:07:53 PM