Thursday, August 21, 2008

NM-Sen: Tom Udall to Speak Next Wednesday at Dem Convention

The DNC reports that Rep. Tom Udall will be speaking at the Dem Convention in Denver next Wednesday. Udall will join New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and Maine Rep. Tom Allen, former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Oregon state House Speaker Jeff Merkley on the third night of the convention, which has a national security theme. The headline speech that evening will come from Obama's running mate, whoever that may be.

"As a proud Westerner and candidate for United States Senate, it is my honor to take part in this historic Convention for change," said Udall. "In my home state of New Mexico and around the nation, it's clear that voters will have a choice between leaders who will fight for our middle class and do what's right no matter what, or those who choose to stand for the same failed policies of the past."

All four Dems who'll be joining Schumer on stage are running for Senate seats this cycle -- in four of the premier Senate races in the nation. Jeanne Shaheen is challenging Sen. John Sununu in New Hampshire. Tom Allen is trying to unseat Sen. Susan Collins in Maine. Jeff Merkley, ironically enough, is challenging Sen. Gordon Smith -- a cousin of Tom Udall -- in Oregon. And, of course, Tom Udall is going up against Repub Steve Pearce to capture the Senate seat in New Mexico that's being vacated by Pete Domenici.

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August 21, 2008 at 10:34 AM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 New Mexico Convention Delegation, 2008 NM Senate Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Personal Countdown to Denver

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Denver Auditorium, site of 1908 Dem Convention,
the last time Denver hosted it

I'm finding it difficult to keep up my posts on local politics when there's so much preparation and planning to complete before heading off to Denver this Friday for the Democratic National Convention. We're expecting chaos no matter how much we manage to nail things down, and we're way behind on nailing things down.

I'm beginning to think that delegates have it easy. All they have to do is show up and allow themselves to be shepherded around, from the Albuquerque Sunport to DIA to the direct shuttle to their hotel, to the official events and parties. They're handed info packets and vouchers, maps and schedules, and they're all staying together at a hotel not far from the Pepsi Center, Convention Center and Mile High. They can focus on enjoying the events they attend. That's their job. Of course the downside is that they won't have anywhere near the freedom we'll have in Denver. We can go almost anywhere, anytime, following our curiosity wherever it leads. Or we can just sit still and watch the crowds passing by.

Still, it can be daunting to consider the challenges to be faced by the blogger contingent. We'll have to solve a myriad of technical and logistical problems, find the events we want to cover among a confusing array of calendars and listings, shoot the video and photos, take the notes and come up with story ideas. We'll have to write the stories and take the time to get everything uploaded with a variety of tools, some of them fairly complicated and new to us. We'll be dependent on phone and net connections that might be overwhelmed because so many other people will be trying to do the same thing at the same time. We've even been warned that Denver may experience brownouts because of the massive increase in power usage, especially if the weather is hot.

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Quite a difference from the Pepsi Center,
and no TV cameras or net access

Blogger Logistics
As members of the DNC State Blogger Corps, our status is rather ambiguous. We're not delegates, yet we'll be sitting with our New Mexico delegation on the floor of the Pepsi Center. We're not really press either -- we don't have the support of any media outfit -- but we'll have media credentials and we've been receiving numerous emails that pertain to things that have nothing to do with bloggers. I'm still not positive we can ride the shuttles that will carry delegates to and from their hotels and around town, because we aren't delegates.

The NM delegation will be staying at the Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Denver. We'll be staying where the DNC housing office assigned us -- about 35 minutes away (in normal traffic, which we won't have) in something called the Crosslands Economy Studios in Aurora out towards the airport. That means we really can't go back to our room during the day to rest, drop stuff off, change clothes, write, recharge batteries for our gear or upload files. We've been encouraged to attend and cover NM's delegate breakfasts -- which start at about 7:00 AM each day -- so we'll have to leave our room at some ungodly hour and we won't return until late at night. That means we'll have to lug everything with us all day and into the night.

At a minimum, Mary Ellen and I will each have a laptop, digital camera, Flip Video, cables, battery charger, spare batteries, extension cord and cell phone. Probably a jacket or sweater, rain poncho, water and munchy food. Of course we can't take the water or munchy food into the Pepsi Center -- there's a page-long list of items that aren't allowed.

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We've seen schedules that claim the official events in the Pepsi Center will begin anywhere from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM each day. We still don't know which is right. To get in, we'll first have to work our way through several layers of security perimeters we've heard will begin a couple blocks out. We have to pick up a new credential each day downtown. The delegates get theirs each day at their hotel, where they also will receive various info and tickets for other events and parties. We're on our own in that regard. We hear the media will have access to a bunch of gatherings, but we don't know which ones yet. Almost no parking. Many major streets, and even I-25, will be closed at times. Cabs will be scarce.

We're Anxious, But Really, Really Excited
I know, it sounds like I'm whining, and I guess I am to some extent. We're leaving in a couple days so we're feeling just a bit nervous and overwhelmed. But make no mistake about it, we're also incredibly excited and feeling really lucky to be the recipients of blogger credentials that will give us unprecedented access to the action. We still have to pinch ourselves at times. And I guess that's part of the pressure we're feeling too -- we want to do a great job of providing coverage to you and people, literally, around the world. We've been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we want to perform at our very best -- but still leave time to have some fun.

I wish we knew more about the conditions under which we'll be operating. I keep having this dream that all the power goes off in Denver and stays that way for a good long time, causing fumbling and confusion galore. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

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I'm glad we purchased passes to what's known as The Big Tent, created by bloggers for bloggers. It'll probably serve as our main sanctuary when we aren't at other events. It's a couple of blocks away from the Pepsi Center and will be filled with geeks and writers from all over the country who will certainly know more than we do if our equipment goes haywire. The Big Tent will offer daily food, drink, camaraderie, moral support, wi-fi, speakers, panels, entertainment, live feeds from the Convention and workspace all week -- for the measley sum of $100 per person. They even have yoga in the mornings.

As part of the DNC's state blogger corps, we'll have more connection with our delegation, more deals and more access to official events than others who are going up there independently, either for blogging, protesting or side events. We should be counting our blessings instead of venting our anxieties, right? Well, there's a time for everything. The anxieties are coming out now; the awe and joy will come later. No doubt about it.

Check in Often
Keep coming back for video, photos, stories and anecdotes about the Convention from now until Obama is offically nominated before 75,000+ people at Mile High Stadium on Thursday night, rain or shine. If we can work out all the technical, geeky details as we go along!

Support Us If You Can
If you still haven't donated to help us cover our expenses, I hope you'll click on the orange "Donate" button on the upper left-hand side of the page. We have to cover more than a week of hotel bills, food and gas. We each paid $100 for Big Tent passes. We've purchased Flip Videos, a new digital camera, extra memory cards, a MacBook to replace my olden Dell PC, extra cell phone service, various wires, cables and gizmos and a few bags to carry it all in. Our time and energy is donated too.

If you like reading our blog, please support us financially, either by donating or purchasing ads, and please do the same for New Mexico FBIHOP. Matt has been running up gas bills like crazy covering the campaigns, and he's also heading up to Denver this weekend. We need your help now. Big shout out of thanks to all of you who've already contributed -- or who'll click that button now.

Click on photos for larger images. Click to see additional Convention photos at the DNCC website.

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August 20, 2008 at 02:26 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 New Mexico Convention Delegation, Democratic Party, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (4)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

(Updated) Thursday: 3 NM Stops for Howard Dean and Register for Change

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Dean for Prez rally, Santa Fe Plaza, June 3, 2003

It's been more than five years now since many of us got more active in politics than we ever dreamed we would. The involvement of many of us dates back to Howard Dean's 2003 presidential campaign. Because The Doctor (Is In) is visiting New Mexico later this week, I thought some of the old Deaniacs out there might enjoy seeing a few photos from that era. If it wasn''t for Howard, much of what we're involved with today would never have become a reality.

I know, you've been bored because there hasn't been much happening of late in New Mexico in the way of political dramas and events. Wait, that was just a bad dream I had last night -- nothing could be farther from the truth.

We've go the exciting campaigns of Barack Obama, Ben Ray Lujan, Martin Heinrich, Harry Teague, Tom Udall and a flock of legislative candidates going full throttle, and the convening of the oddly timed and confusing Special Legislative Session in Santa Fe. There are the controversies being fed by desperate backlash against highly respected nonprofits and progressive candidate victories, and an abundance of events organized by a diverse bunch of groups like the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and Wellstone Action-- not to mention the countdown to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Political junkies, activists and this blogger have barely had a chance to take a deep breath. And the pace can only accelerate as we move closer to November 4th.

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Dean walks with supporters to Prez debate at Popejoy, September 2003

So I almost hate to tell you that there are three more fabulous events set for next week in New Mexico. DNC Chair (and grassroots hero) Howard Dean will be visiting Albquerque, Santa Fe and Santo Domingo Pueblo with the DNC's Register for Change Tour bus:

Dean & Register for Change, Thursday, August 21:

Santa Fe, NM: 10:15 AM, Casa Solano Shopping Center Parking Lot, Alameda Street & St Francis

CANCELLED: Santo Domingo Pueblo, NM: 1:00 PM. New location being sought.

Albuquerque, NM: 3:15 PM, Albuquerque Campaign for Change Office Parking Lot, 3523 Central Avenue

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West Side Dean Meetup group and Ken Harper and their Dean Van

Come on down to hear 50-State-Strategy guru Howard Dean's always rousing words -- and if you aren't registered to vote you can do it right there, no sweat. If you have friends or neighbors who need to register, bring them along too. The more folks we get registered, the better chance we have to win all up and down the ticket.

Onward to Denver
Howard and the Register for Change Tour will be heading up to Denver next as Dems pretty much take over the city of Denver to officially nominate Obama and his VP choice at the Convention. We'll be there too, reporting from the Convention Floor, seated with the New Mexico delegation as part of the DNC State Blogger Corps. So we've been spending a lot of time trying to raise money for our expenses (hint, hint), buying better equipment to cover the events and trying to get everything set up so it works right (grrrr). If some of our coverage on the multitude of events happening here this week isn't as comprehensive as usual, you'll know why.

New Mexico FBIHOP also needs donations, as he'll be heading up to Denver on his own to cover events using The Big Tent as his HQ (we'll be popping in there too). I understand Dave Maass of Swing State of Mind, Peter St. Cyr of What's the Word, David Alire Garcia and Tracy Dingman of the New Mexico Independent and who knows who else will also be in Denver sending back stories, video and photos from lots of different angles.

A multitude of national bloggers will also be on the scene, either inside the Pepsi Center (and Mile High Stadium) or in other places, so your blog reading should be quite an experience starting Saturday or Sunday, when folks are traveling to Colorado. Wish us luck!

Click on photos for larger images. Photos from New Mexico's Dean for America Meetup collection.

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August 17, 2008 at 03:50 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 General Presidential Election, Democratic Party, Election Reform & Voting | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gov. Richardson to Speak on Third Night of Convention, When VP Nominee Will Also Speak


CD1 Obama delegate Pamelya Herndon, of Albuquerque, talks about the upcoming Convention

The DNCC has announced the speakers for the third night of the Dem Convention, and Gov. Bill Richardson is among them. I would think that pretty much rules out Richardson being picked by Obama for VP because the VP nominee is set to be the keynote speaker that same night. Of course it also appears to rule out Evan Bayh and Joe Biden, who will also be addressing the delegates on Wednesday evening.

Will Obama's VP be a Republican? Notice how Obama's foreign policy is characterized as essentially nonpartisan in the release. A clue that Sen. Chuck Hegel -- or even Colin Powell -- will be Obama's pick? Pure conjecture at this point.


A political newcomer, Gaye Pollit, a NM-03 Obama delegate from Santa Fe, is excited about Denver

From the DNCC and Obama for America Campaign: Wednesday’s program – Securing America’s Future – will feature the voices of Americans who share Barack Obama’s vision of making America stronger and safer. The headline prime-time speaker on Wednesday will be Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential Nominee.

Barack Obama offers a new, tough foreign policy approach that is neither Republican nor Democratic.  Obama will implement a strong, smart American foreign policy that makes us more secure at home and advances our interests in the world by ending the war in Iraq responsibly and focusing on the threats of the 21st century - al Qaeda, nuclear weapons, and energy security.


Hillary Clinton delegate Johnny Montoya of Taos, in CD3 is ready to learn something and have some fun 

Former President Bill Clinton will speak on Barack Obama’s commitment to a stronger and safer America, as well as the history of Democrats making positive change in the lives of all Americans.

Governor Bill Richardson and Senators Evan Bayh, Joe Biden and Jay Rockefeller will echo Obama’s call for a new direction in national security and outline his policies and plans to secure America’s future.

One of the greatest security challenges facing the country today is reducing our dependence on oil, especially from foreign sources. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will discuss Barack Obama’s plans to make America more secure by investing in smart energy policies.

Senator Ken Salazar, the Convention’s home state Senator, and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn will also speak as part of the Securing America’s Future program.

A bedrock component of Obama’s national security plan is increasing our support to active duty military, veterans and military families. Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth will lead a tribute honoring those who give so much to secure our nation’s future.

Click to see the complete listing of New Mexico delegates to the 2008 Dem Convention. Check this archive for previous posts with videos of our delegation and this one for other Convention-related posts.

The Democracy for New Mexico blog was selected by the DNC to serve on its State Blogger Corps representing New Mexico. We have floor credentials and will be seated with the NM Delegation for the four days of the Convention so we can blog about the local angle from Denver. DFNM will have videos, photos and stories about the event starting the weekend of August 23rd.

Videos by M.E. Broderick, from a recent gathering of NM delegates.

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August 14, 2008 at 03:40 PM in 2008 Dem VP Candidates, 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 New Mexico Convention Delegation | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, August 11, 2008

DNCC/Obama Unveil Convention Speakers and Themes

The Democracy for New Mexico blog was selected to represent our state on the DNC's State Blogger Corps at the Convention. We'll be reporting from Denver and will be seated with the NM delegation. We attended a recent gathering of our delegates and Dem officials and got a chance to interview many of them about their thoughts on the Convention. Keep an eye out because we'll be posting videos like this one with State Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas, an early Obama endorser who'll be in Denver as part of Obama's team.

In a press release today the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and the Obama for America Campaign announced the themes for each night of the 2008 Convention, which will be held in Denver from August 25th through August 28th.

"The 2008 Convention is about ensuring that those peoples’ voices are heard and their call for change is heeded,” said Kansas Governor and Convention Co-Chair Kathleen Sebelius. “From Monday through Thursday, our Convention program will highlight the people of this country who want positive change and who believe Barack Obama is the leader who will listen to their concerns and get our country moving in the right direction again.”

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State Auditor Hector Balderas talking with State Treasurer James B. Lewis at NM delegate gathering earlier this month

Monday, August 25 -- One Nation
Headline prime-time speaker: Michelle Obama.

Tuesday, August 26 – Renewing America’s Promise
Headline prime-time speaker: Senator Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, August 27 -- Securing America’s Future
The Vice Presidential Acceptance Speech
Headline prime-time speaker: Vice Presidential Nominee.

Thursday, August 28 – Change You Can Believe In
Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech

Note: The word is that former President Bill Clinton will be among the speakers on Wednesday, but he's apparently not being billed as a headliner.

On Thursday night, the DNCC says it will throw open the doors of the Convention and move to INVESCO Field at Mile High so that more Americans can be a part of the fourth night of the Convention as Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination. Obama will communicate the urgency of the moment, highlight the struggles Americans are facing and call on Americans to come together to change the course of our nation. 

The DNCC will unveil additional Convention program details and speakers throughout this week.

Click on photo for larger image. Photo and video by M.E. Broderick.

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August 11, 2008 at 11:10 AM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 New Mexico Convention Delegation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bernalillo County Dems to Host Fundraiser for Convention Delegates

The Democratic Party of Bernalillo County is hosting a
Unity Lasagna Dinner for all Bernalillo County Delegates
To help with their expenses for the upcoming
Democratic Convention in Denver
Door Prizes-Raffle-Music-Fun-Food!!

Saturday, August 9, 5:00-7:00 PM
Plumbers and Steamfitters Hall-510 San Pedro SE
Tickets are $20.00 each
Call Terri Holland at 604-3589 or Richard Cooley at 268-2439

August 2, 2008 at 09:24 AM in 2008 Democratic Convention, Democratic Party, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Deadline Nears for Dem Convention YouTube Contest

You have until August 1 to submit a short video (2 minutes or less) at YouTube on "Why I Am A Democrat in 2008," and enter the DNC contest described above by Chairman Howard Dean. Not only will the winner travel to Denver for the Convention, but the winning video will be shown to the Convention audience including elected officials and delegates. On top of that, the winner will also travel with Senator Obama’s campaign for a day, documenting life on the campaign trail.

A multitude of creative and powerful entries from across the country have already been uploaded. Click for examples here and here.

Even if you don't submit a video, you can view and rate the submissions here. Also check out videos by Gov. Bill Richardson and former mayor Federico Peña on why they're Democrats. They can't win the contest but you can -- if you upload your video by August 1st. Tick tock.

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July 29, 2008 at 06:06 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 General Presidential Election, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Colorado Activists Set Up Defense Fund for Librarian Cited at McCain Event


Rachel Maddow reports on Denver free speech incident

Beware the wrath of foes of civil liberties if you intend to use your free speech rights anywhere near the McCain campaign events in Albuquerque next week. McCain will be here for two days -- at a big ticket fundraiser on July 14th at the home of car dealer Ken Zangara, and at a town hall meeting at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town the next day. (Doors open at 8:45 AM but all seats have been filled.)

McCain held what was called a "public" town hall meeting yesterday in Denver, but it turned out to be none too public as a peaceful and polite woman holding a sign outside the event was cited and threatened with arrest for "trespassing." ProgressNowAction, a network of Colorado grassroots activists, fills in the details with an email today, and asks for donations for a defense fund they've set up for Carol and others who may get caught exercising their rights:

This is what we're up against. 

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain's Secret Service detail had a 60 year-old librarian removed from a public plaza.  The librarian, Carol Kreck, was merely carrying a sign that said: McCain = Bush.

As our state moves to the national spotlight later this summer, you can bet there will be more occurrences like this. And you can bet we'll be there to document and publicize it [see video above].

... After you've seen it for yourself, I hope you'll pitch in and help us help Coloradans like Carol Kreck. Please make a donation today at the following link.

Here's the thing: while other people in line were sporting pro-McCain messages only the 60 year-old librarian was cited - for trespassing and ordered to appear in court July 23rd.  That's just wrong. And illegal. 

We believe her First Amendment Rights were violated and we're going to help her fight back.  We can't allow this instance to set the precedent for how Colorado treats its citizens who choose to make good on their freedom of speech during a critical election year.

Like New Mexico, Colorado is a battleground state this election cycle and has a good chance of turning Blue. Both presidential candidates are sure to visit often and then, of course, there's the Democratic Convention in Denver on August 25-28. Time to stake a claim for freedom of speech and help Colorado progressives prepare for the possibility of many more incidents like this one. Click to make a donation to our compadres to the North. I just did. Who knows? Since I'll be covering the Dem Convention as New Mexico's rep on the DNC's State Blogger Corps, it could be me that needs some help later this summer.

Lawsuit Already Filed on First Amendment Rights
By the way, the ACLU and several advocacy groups have filed suit against the U.S. Secret Service and the city and county of Denver that says protestors and demonstrators may have their First Amendment rights violated by security restrictions for the Convention. One point of contention is a chicken-wire or chain-link fence that will be placed around the so-called "public demonstration zone" outside the Pepsi Center, which is the main Convention venue. Stay tuned.

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July 9, 2008 at 02:54 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 General Presidential Election, Civil Liberties, Progressivism | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dems/Obama Ask for Input on National Platform; Patricia Madrid Co-Chairs National Platform Committee

Be a Part of the Process
As I reported back in January, former NM Attorney General Patricia Madrid was elected to serve as one of three Co-Chairs of the DNC's national Platform Committee, along with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former president and chief executive of Discovery Communications, Judith McHale. The Co-Chairs will be overseeing an intensive party platform process -- designed to be inclusive and transparent -- that will ultimately produce the Dem's national platform for 2008.

Today, the DNC and Obama for America released a statement announcing an initiative to reach out to Democrats nationwide for their input into the national platform. This year, for the first time, voters will have the opportunity to take part in Platform Meetings in all 50 states to help shape the Democratic Platform. DNC Chairman Howard also announced that Governor Napolitano will chair the Platform Drafting Committee. Michael Yaki will serve as National Platform Director and Karen Kornbluh will be the Principal Author of the Platform.

How You Can Get Involved
Members of the public are invited to host and/or attend Platform Meetings in their communities as an opportunity to exchange ideas and share perspectives on the challenges we face. To facilitate the process, the Obama campaign and the DNC will send policy experts and DNC Platform Committee members to as many meetings as possible to serve as facilitators. Each Platform Meeting will produce a written summary that will be reviewed and considered by the Platform Committee.

From today through July 15th, you can register to attend or host a Platform Meeting here -- where you can also download a host guide with everything you need to create your won Platform event. The Platform Meetings will occur across the country from July 19th through July 27th.

"From the beginning, we said we were going bring down the traditional walls of the Democratic Convention and make this event more accessible and include as many people as possible," said Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean in a statement today.

"This process will empower Americans in all 50 states to make their voices heard as they help write the document that embodies our Party's values and vision for the future. Barack Obama will bring real change to Washington, and as we write the Democratic Platform, there will be a clear choice between more of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration with John McCain or real change with Barack Obama who will make the American people, not the special interests, the priority again."

"Barack Obama believes that every American should be able to contribute to the Democratic Platform, just as record numbers have participated in this campaign," said Steve Hildebrand of Obama for America. "It's not the lawmakers in Washington who live the day-to-day reality of our policies--it's workers, teachers, parents and first responders--everyday Americans who just want to the best for their families. What better way than to incorporate their voices into the process than to have them help shape the Democratic Platform, the statement of our ideals, values, and proposal for change."

What Happens Next?
A National Hearing will take place August 1st in Cleveland, Ohio, where presentations will be made before the Platform Drafting Committee. The Committee will then meet separately August 2nd and 3rd to draft the Democratic Platform. The Platform Drafting Committee is responsible for preparing an initial draft of the Platform, which is used as a working document by the Platform Committee at its meeting.

Also named as members to serve on the Platform Drafting Committee are: U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin; State Representative Dan Blue of North Carolina; Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown; Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman; U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro; DNC Secretary Alice Germond; Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm; Donna Harris-Aiken, a National Education Association Policy Advisor; Platform Policy Advisor Heather Higginbottom; Platform Policy Advisor Chris Jennings; Florida Tallahassee Commissioner Alan Katz; AFL-CIO Policy Director Thea Lee; UFCW Local 1428 President Connie Leyva; U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy; Speaker Emeritus of the California State Assembly Fabian Nunez; Obama for America Foreign Policy Advisor Susan Rice; U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez; Youth Representative Giancarlo Sopa of Florida; Ron His Horse is Thunder, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota.

Madrid's Role
The full Platform Committee will meet and recommend adoption of the platform August 9th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, former New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid, and former Discovery Communications President and CEO Judith McHale serve as Chairs of the full Platform Committee. At the Platform Committee meeting, members discuss each plank of a draft platform. They have the opportunity to submit new proposed planks, or amendments to the draft. Proposals and amendments must be approved by a majority of the members present and voting.

Meetings of the Drafting Committee and full Committee are open to the public and press. Details will be announced at a later date.

Michael Yaki will serve as National Platform Director. A lawyer in private practice, Yaki is a former senior aide to Speaker Pelosi from 1989-1996 and worked on the 1992 Democratic Platform. He also served as a member of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, CA from 1996-2001 and has served as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 2005 to the present.

Karen Kornbluh will be the Principal Author of the Platform, while on leave from Senator Obama's Senate office where she serves as Policy Director. Previously, Kornbluh directed the New America Foundation's Work and Family Program, where she published articles in the Atlantic Monthly, New York Times and Washington Post calling for new policies to support families in the global economy. Kornbluh served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Treasury Department and Director of Legislative Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission.

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July 8, 2008 at 02:00 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 General Presidential Election, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (7)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Catching Up After the Fourth

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Dem float in Capitan NM 4th of July parade*

The long Independence Day weekend has been a welcome respite from blogging and politics, but now it's time to jump back into the fray. Here are a few items to help you do just that:

Following on rumors bubbling up over the holiday weekend, the DNCC announced that Obama will give his nomination acceptance speech on the final day of the Dem Convention in Denver at Mile High stadium (er, Invesco Field), where the Broncos play. Pepsi Center, site of the Convention, holds 20,000. Mile High 75,000. All of Thursday evening's Convention events will take place at the stadium and the public will included in the festivities.

Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki is signaling he just might want to set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops. Imagine that.

Nathan P. Small's post on Heath Haussamen responds very effectively to Jim Scarantino's claim that Rep. Steve Pearce's phony Dona Ana County public lands bill is a widely supported and effective way to protect the Organ Mountains and other natural jewels down south. But then, passing off an anti-public lands bill as being pro-public lands is something of a GOP habit.

The New York Times profiles Mark and Tom Udall and examines the pluses and minuses of their family's history of environmental activism.

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Another photo from the Capitan NM 4th of July parade*

Contrary to the talking heads, Obama has Hispanic voters solidly behind him according to polling by Gallup. In June, Obama had the support of 59% compared to McCain's 29% nationally. And in data collected by Pacific Market Research and combined for the Southwestern battleground states, which include New Mexico, Obama is leading McCain 57 percent to 26 percent. Read the New Mexico Independent article by Marjorie Childress for more.

An anti-worker business PAC is backing Darren White for Congress in NM-01.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will appear at Netroots Nation in Austin on Saturday morning, July 19th to take questions. (You can submit your question at the link.) Our state should be well-represented at the blogger convention. Mary Ellen and I will be there, as will Matt of New Mexico FBIHOP and a number of other New Mexicans who participate at Daily Kos. Dem Congressional candidates Martin Heinrich (NM-01) and Ben Ray Luján (NM-03) will be panelists for a discussion on New Mexico: Case Study for the Interior West.

*Note: Photos sent along from Dem Ellen Wedum, who's running for the NM House in HD 59. She had this to say about the celebration in Capitan: "I was in the 4th of July parade in Capitan (which is actually 2 miles west of the border of House District 59 in Lincoln County) and both NM-02 Congressional candidate Ed Tinsley and his wife were there. Lots of Tinsley stickers around. Both HD 57 candidates, Democrat Mary Barron and Republican Dennis Kintigh, were there -- Capitan is in HD 57. My HD 59 opponent, Nora Espinoza, was not. She missed a fun parade. The Capitan main street is lined with trees and friendly people."

Meanwhile, NM-02 Dem Congressional candidate Harry Teague visited five communities during the holiday weekend.

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July 7, 2008 at 10:10 AM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, Democratic Party, Environment, Iraq War, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DFNM Selected as Official DNC Convention Blogger for NM (Can I Say WOW?)


How I learned of my selection. Thanks, Howard!

I'm incredibly honored (and ecstatic) to report that the Democracy for New Mexico blog has been selected by the Democratic National Convention Committee to be the official New Mexico blogger at the Democratic Party Convention to be held on August 26-28, 2008 in Denver. DNC Chair Howard Dean announces our selection in the video above, standing alongside a shot of the blog. Given my long-held enthusiasm for all things Howard Dean, stretching back to his run for president in 2004, the news couldn't come from a more admired source in my book. Yowsa.

Some months ago the DNC solicited applications from bloggers in all 50 states (plus several territories) to vie for one blogger slot per state. They'll form what's called the State Blogger Corps at the Convention. You can see a listing of all the blogs selected to be a part of the team here. And here's a description of the process from the release announcing the selections:

More than 400 applications were received from bloggers across the United States and multiple territories.  Some of the blogs selected for the State Corps are full-time, professional endeavors while others are the work of individuals, who through their own efforts have become recognized authorities on state and local politics.  Bloggers had to submit daily audience information and provide examples of posts that made their blogs stand out as an effective online organizing tool or agent of change, a demonstration of both the reach and impact blogs have had and will continue to have on the 2008 election.  The program recognizes the growth of more localized blogs and is in line with Governor Dean's 50-state strategy.

Each official state blogger will be credentialed for seating with the state's delegation on the Convention floor, and will be an integral part of the Convention action. That means I'll be reporting to you directly from Denver and sharing my experiences and insights day by day as the drama unfolds. I hope I can do the job justice. Lots of fun, but lots of work too. Have I said I'm excited?

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The seating of bloggers on the Convention floor is unprecedented in the history of the event. It reflects the Party's embrace of the power and value of the progressive blogosphere in helping to support our candidates and causes, and the Dem's continuing dedication to establishing a two-way feedback loop with ordinary voters all over the nation.

In addition to the State Blogger Corps, the DNCC will soon credential a General Blogger Pool, to include local, state and national political bloggers, as well as niche and video bloggers from across the country. All applicants not selected for the State Blogger Corps are now eligible for selection as part of the General Blogger Pool.

Oh, did I tell you I'm excited?

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May 14, 2008 at 12:35 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 Presidential Primary, Democratic Party, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (21)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Laurie Weahkee Chooses Obama; Barack Catches Clinton in Superdelegates

I'm sure you've heard by now that New Mexico add-on delegate Laurie Weahkee, the Native American Voters Alliance Coordinator at Albuquerque's SAGE Council, has publicly endorsed Barack Obama for president. I'd like to welcome Laurie to the Obama fold -- I know there was a lot of pressure applied by the campaigns of both candidates. Weahkee was one of nine superdelegates and a union leader who endorsed Obama on Friday. Obama is now about even with Clinton in the superdelegate count, depending on the source that's doing the counting.

Laurie Weahkee's official statement released late Friday by the Obama campaign:

“Today, I’m proud to announce my support as a presidential delegate for Barack Obama. After the primary elections in Indiana and North Carolina, it is now absolutely clear that Barack Obama will be our nominee.  I’d like to applaud both Senators Clinton and Obama for their commitment and dedication. In particular, I’d like to recognize Senator Clinton for her many years of service to this country, and for laying the groundwork for women across this country to run for office.  It is time for all of us to unite behind Obama as we head into a difficult general election.  Obama has proven that he can campaign in a difficult environment and still inspire thousands of new voices to take part in the democratic process. As a Native American woman, I’m proud to support Obama, and I ask all of us to now join together and start building the movement for victory in November.”

The New Mexico Independent has an excellent interview with Weahkee, where she goes into more depth about the reasons she decided to endorse Obama and describes her reaction to the local Clinton campaign's challenge to her selection:

... I was a little disappointed by the aggressive tone of the New Mexico Clinton campaign to challenge my selection as a delegate, because I really was at that time undecided. The aggressive tone from folks here locally just added into the my overall sense that the Clinton campaign was really aggressive. It was disappointing. I was truly undecided and they were already putting me in one camp or another. I just felt it was a bad representation on Hillary Clinton and her overall campaign.

I'm sure you recall that Laurie Weahkee won the election to become New Mexico's at-large, unpledged add-on delegate at the April 19 Dem Party State Central Committee meeting, and that the procedure was challenged unsuccessfully by the Clinton camp.

One of the criteria Weahkee cited as a basis for making a decision on an endorsement was the candidate's positions on Native American issues. Here are Obama's Principles for Stronger Tribal Communities. Also check out a Native American Times article on Weahkee.

PetroWeahkee was heavily involved for many years in working to preserve the spiritual and physical integrity of the Petroglyph National Monument on Albuquerque's West Mesa in the midst of heavy sprawl development in the area. Here's a 1999 article from the High Country News that provides good background info on the issue. Here's a statement about the Petroglyphs written by Weahkee, and this article from the now defunct Albuquerque Tribune reports on the controversial extension of Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyphs that was punched through in June 2007 despite the protests and legal challenges of Weahkee's group and others.

Rep. Tom Udall is now the only so-called superdelegate in New Mexico who hasn't yet chosen sides. Until Udall makes his endorsement, it's a 6-5 split for Clinton among New Mexico's supers:

Governor Bill Richardson (Obama)
Lt. Governor Diane D. Denish (Clinton)
U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (Obama)
Congressman Tom Udall (Undecided)
DPNM Chairman Brian S. Colón (Obama)
DPNM Vice Chairwoman Annadelle Sanchez (Clinton)
DNC Committeeman Raymond G. Sanchez (Clinton)
DNC Committeewoman Mary Gail Gwaltney (Clinton)
DNC Committee Member Fred Harris (Obama)
DNC At-Large Member Mayor Martin Chavez (Clinton)
DNC At-Large Member Christine Trujillo (Clinton)

Add-On At-Large Unpledged Delegate Laurie Weahkee (Obama)

A complete list of New Mexico's 42-member delegation, which includes four alternates, is here. Clinton won 14 of New Mexico's 26 pledged delegates as a result of our presidential preference caucus on February 5th. She won the state by about 1000 votes, although she lost both the First and Third Congressional Districts to Obama. All the margins were tight.

Petroglyph photo by Isaac Eastvold.

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May 10, 2008 at 02:37 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2008 Presidential Primary, Local Politics, Native Americans | Permalink | Comments (0)