Friday, January 02, 2009

Jason Marks Sworn in for Second Term on New Mexico Public Regulation Commission


The swearing in


Jason Marks addresses crowd with family by his side

Democrat Jason Marks was sworn in yesterday to serve his second four-year term on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission representing PRC District 1. The ceremony and celebration, hosted at the Marks residence on Albuquerque's West Side, was packed with supporters and dignitaries, friends and family.

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Jason Marks and family

Chief New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Edward L. Chavez did the honors -- traveling from Santa Fe to Albuquerque on his father's birthday to administer the oath of office to Commissioner Marks. Introductory remarks were also provided by Marks' campaign treasurer and Albuquerque City Councilor Ken Sanchez and New Mexico Senator Dede Feldman.

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Hon. Ed Chavez, Jason, wife Maxine, son Levi, daughter Nikki

Others in attendance included State Treasurer James Lewis, State Senator-Elect Tim Eichenberg, State Representative-Elect Ben Rodefer, newly reelected AMAFCA board member Danny Hernandez, Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Chair Ana Canales and numerous political activists and government workers.

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Hon. Justice Ed Chavez, Jason Marks

The friendly celebration featured lots of homemade delicacies prepared by Jason's wife Maxine, with help from their children Levi and Nikki -- college students at Loyola Marymount in LA and New York University, respectively. Warm company, good conversation and high spirits were the order of the day.

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A true grassroots success story, Jason Marks is known by one and all as "The Consumer Watchdog" -- and a man on a mission to help make New Mexico a leader in enlightened yet cost conscious renewable energy, telecom and water policy. Congratulations to Jason Marks on his reelection victory. We're lucky to have Jason for another four years of dedicated public service on the PRC.


Slide show from swearing in. To see larger versions and captions, see our Flickr album.

(See more videos from swearing in at our YouTube account.)

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January 2, 2009 at 04:36 PM in 2008 PRC Election, Events, Government, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Re-Election of PRC Chairman Jason Marks a Public Financing Success Story

Jason Marks rooftop (2)
PRC Chairman Jason Marks: long-time renewables fan

I'm happy to report another public campaign financing success story -- this one about newly re-elected PRC Chairman Jason Marks. So far at the state level, candidates for the Public Regulation Commission and certain judicial posts can voluntarily opt in to public campaign financing. In Albuquerque, public financing is now available to mayoral and city council candidates. And when the New Mexico Legislature convenes in Santa Fe in January, campaign reform advocates will be pushing for the adoption of a similar public financing system for state legislative races. Wouldn't that open up the process?

The advantages? Candidates don't have to waste time cozying up to big donors, and they owe the voters if they win -- not the special interests and wealthy elites. Public campaign financing is one of the most powerful tools in the movement towards better government transparency, improved ethics and increased accountability of elected officials to the citizenry.

First Publicly Financed PRC Victory vs. Trad Candidate
Public Regulation Commission Chairman Jason Marks (D-Albq.) used the occasion of filing his final campaign finance report for the 2008 General Election last week to recognize the success of New Mexico’s public election financing law. Marks’ re-election victory over challenger E. Tim Cummins, a Bernalillo County Commissioner, represents the first victory of a publicly-financed PRC candidate over a traditional, privately financed opponent. New Mexico’s public election financing law, which applies only to candidates for Public Regulation Commission and appellate judges, is known as the Voter Action Act.

Marks stated that, “As someone who supports expanded public financing of elections in order to remove the undue influence large campaign contributions can have on our democratic system, it was important to demonstrate that public financing works, even against a well-funded privately financed candidate. Even though we were ultimately outspent by our opponent, matching funds under the Voter Action Act allowed us to effectively respond to late-in-the-game to negative attacks.”

Jason on rooftop 2Finance Reports
According to campaign finance reports filed with the Secretary of State, Cummins had spent $102,725 on his General Election Effort through October 30, 2008. Because this was more than the base public financing amount provided to Marks at the start of the race, Marks qualified to receive matching funds. Marks received a matching funds check of $25,247.31 on October 30, 2008 and a second check of $19,991.93 on November 3, 2008.

Marks’ campaign ultimately spent around $87,000. Cummins total spending will be available when his final General Election campaign finance report, due today, is filed.

On December 3, 2008 Marks delivered a check to the Secretary of State in the amount of $16,540, this being the amount of unspent public election funds, augmented by a $750 voluntary contribution from Commissioner Marks and his wife Maxine to the public election fund.

Marks went on to comment, “I want to thank the staff at the Secretary of State’s Office for their hard work and dedication in making the system work. We had some speed bumps with the first matching check, but all in all, things went very well.” 

Suggestions for Minor Changes
Based on his experience, Marks will be suggesting minor changes to the law during the upcoming Legislative session in order to accelerate the calculation and distribution of matching funds, in light of the increasing importance of early and absentee voting. Marks added, “I’m very grateful for the Voter Action Act because it allowed me to focus on campaigning instead of fundraising, and without the pressure of being indebted to anybody except the people I serve.”

Celebrating Marks
As I've said before, Jason Marks is one of the good guys in politics. Even better, now he's one of the good guys in politics who won his office with public financing.

There's a good reason why Jason's known as our consumer watchdog.

Click on photos for larger versions. Photos by Jason Marks for PRC.

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December 8, 2008 at 05:39 PM in 2008 PRC Election, Ethics & Campaign Reform | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The State of the Election (and Me)

You may have noticed that I've been concentrating on posting info on candidate- and election-related events. You may also have noticed that I'm still not keeping up with the explosion of events that are happening all over New Mexico as we count down the six days left before the November 4th election. Democrats are swarming to early voting events, polling places, canvasses and phone banks. Our candidates are all making the final push for money and volunteers. Get out the vote is the imperative. GOTV is IT.

Protest

Meanwhile, the Republicans are concentrating almost entirely on slinging mud, trying to create doubts about our candidates and attempting to suppress voting in any way they can, no holds barred. Truth, ethics, fairness, facts? Not much of that on the R side of political spectrum as a tsunami of change builds and threatens to swamp Republicans up and down the ticket in almost every state -- even the red ones like Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia and more.

The Morally Bankrupt GOP
Maverick1The GOP and its candidates are running scared, rudderless and desperate -- and their last-ditch efforts are taking on the gothic tones of a horror movie, the anti-logic fog of a dadaist work of art (without the irony). Without any appealing policies and few positive, attractive candidates, the Repubs have given up on winning on the issues and plunged into the realm of outrageous smears, illegal tactics, baseless innuendo and outright lies.

The Rove-Limbaugh-wingnut buzzwords are parroted everywhere among their ranks, calling our candidates socialists, Communists, fascists, redistributors in chief, elites, eco-terrorists, extremists, pals of domestic terrorists, scary, outsiders and worse.

Barracuda1The "voter fraud" hounds are on the loose again, digging up fake "evidence," intimidating voters at their homes, using Drudge and Fox to flog their false claims and insulting community activists like ACORN.

They've been busy in battleground states trying to "purge" legitimate voters from the rolls in the tens of thousands and hold up the registrations of tens of thousands of new voters. They've been orchestrating vile robocalls, airing crazy ads, distributing phony election information and sending out viciously dishonest direct mail pieces.

The Good News? IT'S NOT WORKING
This time, it's not working. At last, it's not working. And candidates, activists, organizations, the Party and voters are fighting back. Lawsuits are being filed against the perpetrators, like "voter fraud" pusher Pat Rogers, his hired-hand private investigator and the New Mexico GOP. We're challenging the massive purge projects, and winning in the upper courts. Our candidates are refusing to take the bait, and are staying cool, loose and rational -- continually turning the focus back to the issues, where we're winning on almost every single one with Americans.

Party

The Dems are on the right track. Electing more Repubs would keep us on the wrong track. These are the memes that are predominating among the voting public. Turning the page. Making a new start. Daring to try something new and different. Basing votes on the issues, not the scare tactics. Hoping. Uniting. Working hard to make it real. Winning.

Enough Is Enough
I know I'm not alone when I say I've had enough of the hate mongering, the veiled racism, the vapid insults, the accusations that we're not REAL Americans or patriotic, the nasty lies and the desperate, unethical measures being employed by the GOP and its minions. I find I can't even bring myself to write about it anymore, except generically. To probe and report every instance of the GOP's wrongdoing takes too much energy and brings too little return.

We all know what they're doing, and what they've been doing in every election in the past decade or more. They're just doing it with more vehemence and with even fewer ethical considerations this time around -- if that's possible. Because they know their neo-con, anti-regulation, screw the middle class concoction has been deconstructed, defrocked, thoroughly discredited and rejected. They know they're gonna lose, big time. And they just can't quite believe it. But as Honest Abe once said, you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Voters have wised up, mindful of the awful consequences of the Bush years that are crashing down on America, and the world.

10-18-08 Ellen Alamogordo rally

Onward to the Finish Line
So, anyway, I guess I'm gonna stick mostly with helping to publicize the events we can attend, the actions we can take, the info we need to help our GOTV be the best it's ever been. If you want the latest details on the latest outrages, the latest attack ads, the latest "voter fraud" garbage etc., it's easy to find elsewhere in this era of the internet. Thank goodness. As for me, I'll mostly keep plugging along with the tedious calendar items, the event announcements, the press releases and the recaps of gatherings for now.

Martinbaracksm

I've been blogging and we've all been meeting and working and pushing for grassroots activism and progressive Democratic gains since 2004 now -- and we're coming into the home stretch of what could really be our time, our mandate, our widespread victories. The only thing left to say is: vote early, volunteer, donate, don't let up, go to rallies, bring your friends, show up. They could still steal it. They could still pull something that works. We could still lose, so keep the pressure on.

Six days, six days, six days. We have to do whatever we can to elect Barack Obama, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan, Harry Teague, Jason Marks, Rick Lass, Victor Raigoza, Tim Eichenberg, Jeff Steinborn, Mimi Stewart, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Bill O'Neill, Steve Fischmann and more. (Who am I forgetting?) It's now or never.

PS: Talk about timing. I just received a nasty robocall from the RNC "on behalf of John McCain," warning me how Obama is "dangerously inexperienced" and droning on about his intent to sit down with terrorists and side with all the wrong people. Ha. If they're robocalling the likes of me -- a Democrat since day one -- they must REALLY be panicking.

PSS: I just learned that people in ARIZONA are getting the same robocall. My, my. McCain's home state.

October 29, 2008 at 03:54 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, 2008 NM State Legislature Races, 2008 PRC Election, Democratic Party, John McCain, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008, Progressivism, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Update from Rick Lass for PRC Campaign

Rick_lass_201x300 From the Elect Rick Lass Campaign: As the campaign enters its final push, we want to bring you up to date on recent developments in this high-profile, pivotal campaign for a seat on the Public Regulation Commission in District 3 in Northern New Mexico.

In the last week we've seen a marked increase in the flow of endorsements to our campaign – and at least one organization's withdrawal from the list of Jerome Block, Jr.'s endorsers. Our list of endorsers can be found here. It includes new endorsements from the Los Alamos Monitor, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Santa Fe Reporter, the Las Vegas Optic, and a number of Santa Fe city councilors. The article about Block, Jr.'s former endorser can be found here.

Jerome Block, Jr. decided to take on Rick Lass in one area of his expertise: campaign financing (Lass lobbied for public financing and then co-founded the nonprofit Voting Matters). Block, Jr.'s dubious complaint to the Secretary of State, and Lass's response, can be found here. The New Mexican's story on the fine levied on Block, Jr. for misuse of public financing campaign funds can be found here.

Jerome Block, Jr. finally agreed to appear in public with Rick Lass. He and Lass met at a forum (open to the public, but costing $25) co-sponsored by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Commerce and Industry. The New Mexican has an article and video of the forum which you can find here.

For Rick Lass and his campaign team, this has always been about the fundamental pocketbook issues, the roles and responsibilities of corporations in our society, and the importance of a future focused energy policy. We are seeing on an international scale the effects of poor and poorly enforced regulation. Every New Mexican is affected by the decisions of the PRC regarding insurance, utilities, energy and transportation policies, and the PRC's other oversight responsibilities.

Rick Lass has a web site with his positions clearly stated, and has been ubiquitous in Northern New Mexico as he has made himself available to voters and the media alike, because he believes in advocacy and transparency in the PRC and its candidates. If you compare his and his opponent's records of advocacy, their web sites, and their itineraries, a clear picture of the candidates and their relative strengths emerges.

In addition to and independent of the hard work of our own campaign's volunteers, other groups have been weighing in: Conservation Voters of New Mexico and Democrats for Rick Lass. You can hear a radio ad from CVNM at Swing State of Mind. You can see the Dems for Lass press conference at here, and hear their friendly robo-call at here.

October 25, 2008 at 11:49 AM in 2008 PRC Election | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Conservation Voter Action Fund's Radio Ad Flushes GOP PRC Candidate Cummins

FlushThe Conservation Voters NM Action Fund is running a new radio ad supporting the re-election of Dem Jason Marks to the Public Regulation Commission in District 1 -- and featuring a flushing toilet message about his GOP opponent, Tim Cummins. Great stuff:

The ad refers to the revelation that Repub Tim Cummins is one of the most extravagant over-users of water in the area. And he serves on the board of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority! Cummins used a whopping 942,480 gallons of water at his Tanoan home in 2007, nearly nine times the average use for a residential home in Albuquerque, according to water authority numbers -- and sixth among the biggest residential water users last year. Cummins has admitted he has a large lawn, a fountain and a pool -- but claims that's not what's running up his usage. Uh huh.

As bad as having a water hog like Cummins on the water board is, having Cummins on the PRC would be even worse. According to an article in today's Albuquerque Journal:

Republican challenger E. Tim Cummins says PRC policies slow down decisionmaking and end up costing businesses and, ultimately, consumers time and money.

Got that? Cummins essentially says he's against regulations imposed by the Public REGULATION Commission because they bother businesses. Isn't this the same kind of deregulation worship that got us into the financial crisis we're facing globally? Believe it or not, Cummins is also against the PRC looking out for consumers.

"When these guys [on the PRC] hold themselves out as consumer watchdogs and protectors of the public, they're not doing justice to the state and consumers as a whole," Cummins said.

Incumbent Dem Jason Marks, on the other hand,

... lists several issues facing the commission that he says will require decisions that protect not only consumers and companies but the long-term future of New Mexico's economy and environment.

Marks is known as our consumer watchdog -- and he's also been a real leader on the PRC in terms of renewable energy, the mitigation of global warming and requiring telecoms to live up to their promises. In other words, he recognizes the importance of the PRC in helping New Mexico move forward as technological opportunities -- and complexities -- increase. He knows his stuff, and he works for us, not the special interests. Be sure to vote for Marks when you mark your ballot. Although the PRC may not be the most well known of governmental entities, its work is incredibly important, and subject to ethical lapses if the wrong people get elected as commissioners. Cummins calls himself a conservative, and we know what that means in this era -- free reign for the piggies and to hell with ordinary people. Don't let him anywhere near the PRC.

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October 21, 2008 at 05:06 PM in 2008 PRC Election, Environment | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Guest Blog by Eric Sedillo Jeffries: Vote for PRC Candidate Jason Marks

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Jason Marks (blue shirt), our PRC consumer watchdog, and supporters.

This is a guest blog by Eric Sedillo Jeffries, an Albuquerque trial attorney who has practiced law in New Mexico for over 30 years, initially as a prosecutor in the DA's and AG's office and thereafter as a civil defense and plaintiff counsel. He has had a great deal of contact and interaction with the PRC and its subdivisions over the years. Democrat Jason Marks is running for re-election to the Public Regulation Commission from District 1.

This is to address the defamatory card you may have received last week in the mail from Jason Mark’s opponent. As some of you may know I have over 30 years experience with the PRC, from interfacing with the State Fire Marshall’s office on arson cases as a prosecutor, fighting title insurance companies and representing insureds and insurers before the PRC Commissioners. In my humble opinion, Jason Marks is the best or among the very best PRC commissioners we have or ever hope to have. Contrary to the false accusations it was Jason’s skillful negotiations, backed by potential votes of PRC commissioners, that forced the corrupt former Insurance Superintendent, Eric Serna, and his wayward assistant out of office. As you may recall, Serna’s assistant was subsequently prosecuted and convicted of taking kick backs. The Superintendant’s position, statutorily, was practically impregnable. Without Jason’s skillful negotiations it could have taken another year to remove Eric Serna from office.

In rate making, the rate payers do not have a better watchdog than Jason. His background is in both law and, prior to law school, in rate making. If you ever attended a PNM rate hearing you probably would have seen Jason whip out his calculator to cross examine a PNM expert on the basis of his justification for rate increases. Nothing can cause more fear for the untruthful witness than to see Jason punching the buttons on his calculator.

There had to be some PNM rate increases last year because of the increased cost of energy sources, but it was Jason who was primarily responsible in saving consumers millions of dollars in the initial unjustified PNM rate increase demands. Jason’s opponent neither has the desire nor skill to save rate payers the monies Jason saved them.

Lastly, under Jason’s leadership, our PRC has implemented practical energy generation and savings plans. In accomplishments, not talk, Jason is ahead of both of the presidential candidates.

I strongly recommend you reject the midnight mailing of false accusations and vote for Jason Marks.

Eric Sedillo Jeffries, Albuquerque, NM

This is a guest blog by Eric Sedillo Jeffries. To submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

Photo by Maxie Marks. Click on image for larger version.

October 20, 2008 at 11:52 AM in 2008 PRC Election, Guest Blogger | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

10/17: Democrats for Rick Lass Press Conference in Santa Fe

From Democrats for Rick Lass:
Democrats for Rick Lass will announce its plans for support of Public Regulation Commission candidate Rick Lass at a press conference to be held at 2:00 PM Friday in front of the P.E.R.A building @ 1120 Paseo De Peralta in Santa Fe. Come and show your support and join us. Everyone is welcome.

Democrats for Rick Lass is a independent political committee formed last month by long time Santa Fe Democrat Bernie Logue Y Perea, Lawyer John Howard, former State Democratic Chair Earl Potter, Charlotte Roybal, Gideon Elliot, Dr. Leslie Lakind and others. Its purpose is to urge party members to support Rick Lass.

“Frankly, as Democrats we are embarrassed by Jerome Block Jr.’s behavior since he was nominated,” said Logue Y Perea. “Rick Lass has a record of dedication to important public issues, and we believe he will serve all citizens well at the PRC.”

Donate and Sign Petition: Yesterday the organization opened a web site where Democrats can sign a petition of support for Lass and make contributions at Democrats For Rick Lass PAC. “Already we’re had 25 persons sign up” said Perea “ We also reported $6,968.00 in contributions in our state filing on Tuesday. You can watch an interview with Rick Lass from New Mexico In Focus here.

October 16, 2008 at 01:37 PM in 2008 PRC Election, Events | Permalink | Comments (3)

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 | Comments (3)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Guest Blog: Don't Be Blindly Loyal, Vote for Rick Lass for PRC

This is a guest blog by long-time health care advocate and progressive Democratic activist Charlotte Roybal of Santa Fe.

The following editorial by the Las Vegas Optic expresses my views on the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) race in Northern New Mexico where Democrat Jerome Block Jr. is running against another candidate, Rick Lass. As a life-long Democrat, I cannot support a candidate who is unwilling to tell us where he stands on PRC issues. Many other Democrats share my views on this race and have come out in support of Lass. Unfortunately, Block's troubling statements and actions in this campaign have demonstrated such poor judgment, dishonesty and instability that we cannot support his candidacy.

We hope other Democrats will consider voting for Rick Lass for PRC in November. This of course means that you must take the time NOT to vote straight party ticket in the north. For more information go to Rick's web site at: www.ricklass.net.

Las Vegas Optic Editorial: Don't Be Blindly Loyal

Make no mistake about it, northern New Mexico is solidly Democratic. As a result, the party sometimes takes this area for granted.

Some people are loyal to the Democrats, others to the Republicans or Greens. But no party has a monopoly on wisdom and that's why we recommend against blind loyalty to your party. As such, we encourage voters to think twice before they vote straight ticket for any party.

Look at the District 3 race for the state Public Regulation Commission. It's between Democrat Jerome Block Jr. and Green Party candidate Rick Lass; no Republican entered the race. Amazingly, Block beat five candidates in the June Democratic primary — all of whom had more experience for the position involving regulation of utilities and insurance. But Block had an asset the others didn't — a politically powerful name. Both his father and grandfather had served on the PRC's predecessor, the State Corporation Commission.

In our view, Block's lineage shouldn't serve as a reason for his election as commissioner. Indeed, he has nothing much to offer the people of northern New Mexico.

The biggest problem with Block is that he seems to have an unhappy relationship with the truth. It's been well-documented in this newspaper that Block lied about having a country music band perform at a local rally. Indeed, he paid the band for a performance that never happened. A band member said he gave the money right back, but there's nothing to show for it in Block's campaign finance report. (PRC campaigns are publicly funded.) To make matters worse, Block has lied about his arrest record and inflated his educational credentials.

So if you vote straight-party Democrat on Nov. 4, you would essentially be supporting a candidate who would not only be ill-prepared to handle the responsibilities of PRC commissioner, but also not have the integrity that the public rightly demands of its leaders.

So far, the Democrats have yet to repudiate Block's candidacy. Maybe they don't want to go "off message." But we think it's time the party machine recognizes reality.

This is a guest blog by Charlotte Roybal of Santa Fe. Guest blogs provide our readers with an opportunity to express their views on topics 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 on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

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October 2, 2008 at 11:55 AM in 2008 PRC Election, Guest Blogger, Santa Fe | Permalink | Comments (12)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

North Valley Coalition Candidate Meet & Greet Set for 10/2/08

The North Valley Coalition (NVC) would like to invite you to come and meet your candidates for political office for the November election. This event will take place Thursday, October 2, 2008 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the Los Griegos Health and Social Service Center located at 1231 Candelaria Rd NW, Albuquerque. The NVC Candidate “Meet and Greet” will give you the opportunity to interact with the candidates one-on-one and talk to them about the issues that matter most to you! The following Candidates have been invited:

U.S. Senate: Tom Udall, Steve Pearce

U.S. Congress, NM-01: Darren White, Martin Heinrich

NM Legislature, District 17: Edward Sandoval, Ronald Toya

NM Public Regulation Commission: Tim Cummins, Jason Marks

Bernalillo County Clerk: Maggie Toulouse-Oliver, Richard Abraham

For additional information, please contact Chris Catechis at 271-9876.

October 1, 2008 at 09:31 AM in 2008 Bernalillo County Elections, 2008 NM Senate Race, 2008 NM State Legislature Races, 2008 PRC Election, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tonight: Volunteer Kickoff for Jason Marks for PRC


Jason's new TV ad for general election

I meant to get this up earlier, but Denver got in the way. It's essential that we support Jason Mark's campaign for re-election to the PRC. He's qualiflied for public funding in this race so he doesn't need our monetary donations, but he needs as many volunteers as possible for voter outreach. Jason is up against Repub Tim Cummins this time -- and Cummins is backed by all the wrong people. If we want to keep Jason's ethical voice on the PRC, we need to get involved now:

You are invited to show your support for Jason Marks as he runs for Re-Election for the Public Regulation Commission District 1:

A Great Opportunity to Hear and See
"Your Consumer Watchdog!"
JASON MARKS
Public Regulation Commission, District 1

Volunteer Kick-Off
Join Jason Marks for refreshments after work!
Friday, August 29th at 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Home of Jason & Maxine Marks
4916 El Aguila Pl NW
(Near Wal-Mart shopping center, Coors & Ouray)

RSVP to antonio@jasonmarks.com or by calling 280-3223

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August 29, 2008 at 01:11 PM in 2008 PRC Election | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

2008 New Mexico Primary Winners; Upset Victories for Griego, Keller, Chavez

Martin Heinrich wins NM-01 in 4-way race. Ben Ray Lujan handily wins NM-03. Still too close to call in NM-02 between McCamley and Teague, though Teague is in the lead and has claimed victory. McCamley hasn't conceded. There are a bunch of Dona Ana County precincts still outstanding, where McCamley draws his greatest support. Problems have been reported with getting these votes transported and counted so things are at a standstill. I think McCamley can still pull it out, IF he gets big numbers from those outstanding precincts. Go, Bill!

Griego Echavez Keller
Griego, Chavez, Keller: Incumbent Topplers

But what can only be called upset victories by three Dem primary legislative race challengers in Albuquerque have really made my day (and night). They're a wonder to behold, beautiful to absorb, shocking to realize. Eric Griego, Tim Keller and Eleanor Chavez victorious over entrenched, status quo incumbents! Griego whomped Paul Taylor in SD 17. Keller positively crushed Shannon Robinson in SD 15. Chavez won by a smaller, but still very healthy margin, in HD 13. And because they won in heavily Dem districts, the three intrepid change agents have effectively won seats in the NM Legislature.

Stunning. All three ran terrific campaigns. All three will bring truly progressive values to Santa Fe. All three represent victories for the people over the special interests. DFA-Democracy for New Mexico endorsed all three, as did many other folks in the grassroots, progressive and union communities. This is a BIG win for the forces of clean government and reform.

Update: Check out this post by Marjorie at m-pyre about Eleanor Chavez and Silva's hit piece on her during the campaign. Nice shots of Eleanor in her youth with Cesar Chavez and with her campaign manager, Tomas Garduno.

Results available at NM Secretary of State and at KRQE-13 News and many other places. At 10:40 PM, here are some select results, winners in red:

NM-01 Dem Congressional Race
Martin Heinrich 44%
Rebecca Vigil-Giron 25%
Michelle Lujan Grisham 23%
Robert Pidcock 8%

NM-02 Dem Congessional Race
Bill McCamley 42%
Harry Teague 52%
Teague claiming victory but McCamley says too close to call

NM-03 Dem Congressional Race
Don Wiviott 27%
Ben Ray Lujan Jr. 41%
Benny Shendo Jr. 16%
Harry Montoya 11%
Jon Adams 3%
Rudy Martin 2%

Dem U.S. Senate Race: Tom Udall unopposed

Repub U.S. Senate Race
Heather Wilson 49%
Steve Pearce 51%

Dem NM State House District 13
Eleanor Chavez 54%
Dan Silva (incumbent) 46%

Dem NM State Senate District 15
Eric Griego 63%
James C. Taylor (incumbent) 37%

Dem NM State Senate District 17
Tim Keller 66%
Shannon Robinson (incumbent) 34%

Bernalillo County Clerk
Maggie Toulouse Oliver 70%

Ambrose Chavez 30%

More results:

NM-02 GOP Congressional Race
Aubrey Dunn 20%
C. Earl Greer 10%
Edward R. Tinsley 31%
Monty Newman 21%
Greg Sowards 18%

Dem NM State Senate District 11
Linda Lopez 53%
Michael Padilla 47%

Tough race for John Blair against Eichenberg, who's much better known in Dem circles, even though Blair got the Albuquerque Journal's endorsement and campaigned very hard. Mr. Blair, you must run again for something soon. We need you in office.

Dem NM State Senate District 15
John Blair 40%
Tim Eichenberg 60%

Buh bye, Dan!

GOP NM House District 57
Dan Foley (incumbent) 46%
Dennis Kintigh 54%

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June 3, 2008 at 10:55 PM in 2008 Bernalillo County Elections, 2008 Judicial Elections, 2008 NM Senate Race, 2008 NM State Legislature Races, 2008 PRC Election, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8)