Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Obama and Richardson in Las Cruces


These photos (click on images for larger versions) show Barack Obama appearing with Gov. Bill Richardson yesterday at a Memorial Day gathering of about 200 veterans and their families at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces and talking about veterans' issues. Gov. Richardson introduced Obama before a backdrop of the Organ Mountains. In his introduction of Obama, Gov. Richardson said, "He's a man of principle and impeccable character. He's a patriot who loves this country with all of his heart. He's an extraordinary leader, a once-in-a-generation leader."

Obama gave a short speech honoring veterans and describing ways he would work to vastly improve veterans' benefits. After his remarks, Obama took questions from the crowd. Obama and Richardson later made a surprise stop at the Las Cruces Veterans Memorial Park to lay two large wreaths honoring local veterans.


Thanks to Ellen Wedum, who's running for for State Rep in District 59, for passing along these photos taken by NM Rep. Nathan Cote of HD 53, himself a Navy veteran. In an article about Obama's visit in the Las Cruces Sun-News, Rep. Cote was quoted as saying Obama was knowledgeable about veterans issues. "I think it was extraordinary for Las Cruces and the vets of Las Cruces," he said of Obama's visit. The Sun-News also has a nice collection of photos and videos of Obama's visit.




And here's another photo of Obama, this time with the New Mexico flag, taken by Obama supporter Rep. Al Park (D-HD26) of Albuquerque:


Above is a video of Obama's remarks in Las Cruces provided by his campaign. Click for the text version of his speech. The Obama website also has photos of the wreath laying at Veterans Memorial Park. And be sure to check out the coverage of the Las Cruces events in today's New Mexico Independent.

More photos of the day's events at Yahoo News.

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May 27, 2008 at 10:49 AM in 2008 Presidential Primary, Local Politics, Veterans | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Journal Dem Prez Primary Poll in NM-01, NM-03: Obama Leads

The Albuquerque Journal today released results from a survey by Research and Polling Inc. on the Dem presidential primary race in New Mexico's First and Third Congressional Districts. Matching the February 5th Dem caucus results, Barack Obama is ahead in both Districts. He's widened his lead over Hillary Clinton in both the Albuquerque metro area and Northern New Mexico since the state's Dem caucus:

Results in NM-01: Telephone poll conducted May 20-22 surveying 402 likely Democratic primary election voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 5 points.

44%  Obama
38%  Clinton
04%  Neither

Obama beat Clinton in NM-01 in the February 5th primary balloting in New Mexico by about 2.6%.

Results in NM-03: Telephone poll of 500 likely Democratic voters conducted May 20-22. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 points.

43%  Obama
37%  Clinton
06%  Neither

Obama beat Clinton by about 3.6% in the 3rd District in the February 5th Dem caucus in New Mexico, mostly by running up margins in Santa Fe, Taos and Los Alamos.

The Journal did not poll New Mexico's Second Congressional District in this survey.

According to the Journal's reporting on the May 20-22 poll in NM-01:

  • Among Hispanics surveyed, Clinton had a 10 point lead over Obama— 48 percent to 38 percent. "Hillary Clinton is still the preferred candidate among Hispanics," Sanderoff said. "However, Obama's share of the Hispanic (vote) is significant."
  • Among all poll respondents between the ages of 18 and 34, Obama had a 13 point advantage— 51 percent to 38 percent— while Clinton led Obama among voters ages 65 and older, 43 percent to 34 percent.
  • Among those whose education doesn't exceed a high school diploma, Clinton had a 22 point lead— 52 percent to 30 percent. The opposite was true among college graduates, who favored Obama by 21 points. The margin was even higher for Obama among Democrats with postgraduate work or degrees.
  • Among men, Obama had a 12 point advantage over Clinton— 46 percent to 34 percent. Among women, the two were practically even.

According to the Journal's reporting on the May 20-22 polling in NM-03:

  • Among college graduates, Obama held a 17 point advantage over Clinton— 49 percent to 32 percent. The two candidates were practically tied among those whose education didn't exceed a high school diploma, though Clinton had at least a small edge among Democrats with some college time.
  • While support from Hispanic voters elsewhere in the country has been a major advantage for Clinton, she had a 6 point margin over Obama among Hispanics in the 3rd District— 44 percent to 38 percent. "Hillary Clinton is still the preferred candidate among Hispanics. However, Obama's share of the Hispanic (vote) is significant," Sanderoff said.
  • Clinton had the support of 42 percent of the women surveyed, compared with 36 percent for Obama. Among men, Obama had a 21 point advantage— 52 percent to 31 percent.
  • On the 3rd District's conservative east side, which includes Portales, Clovis and Clayton, Clinton had a 26 point lead— 46 percent to 20 percent. In the north-central area, which includes Santa Fe, Obama had a 7 point advantage.
  • In the reverse of what's often been the case nationally, Clinton edged Obama among younger voters— 44 percent of those age 18-34 backed her, compared with 40 percent for Obama. Obama had the support of more voters ages 35-64.

Clinton edged Obama by 1,709 votes statewide to win New Mexico's Super Tuesday Democratic presidential caucus in February, mostly by winning downstate in rural areas of the Second District and on the rural east side of the state generally.

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May 25, 2008 at 10:03 AM in 2008 Presidential Primary | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, May 23, 2008

(Updated) Barack Obama to Visit Las Cruces Monday

UPDATE 5.24.08: According to a press release from the Obama campaign, the early afternoon event will be a Memorial Day Veterans Town Hall with Barack Obama and Gov. Bill Richardson. Attendance is by invitation only and the Town Hall is not open to the public. The location of the event is not yet being made public.
Barack Obama will be in Las Cruces on Monday, May 26, 2008 for a public event of some kind according to his campaign. No other details are available yet, but the word is the event will be related to honoring veterans. I'll let you know when more info is released. In the meantime, content yourself with checking out the video above. Yes We Can!

Michelle Obama, John McCain and George Bush will also be in New Mexico next week. Click for info.

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May 23, 2008 at 10:23 AM in 2008 Presidential Primary, Bird Blogging, Events | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Michelle Obama, George Bush, John McCain Heading to New Mexico

Michelle_3Get ready for the general election onslaught -- even though we're technically not yet out of primary season. Bush, McSame and Michelle Obama will all be at events in New Mexico next week -- the start of what will no doubt be an unprecedented torrent of A-list politicos, surrogates galore and 24/7 campaign ads blanketing our political landscape. With three open Congressional seats and one Senate seat up for grabs, and with New Mexico expected once again to be a much sought after swing state in the prez race, this should be a doozy of a general election cycle in Enchantment Land.

The Failed President
Bush himself will be here next Tuesday, March 27, at a $1000 per person fundraiser for Senate candidate Darren White and the New Mexico Repub Party. It looks like the event will be held at a private residence in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Could it be that the GOP bigwigs will gather once again at the home of Los Ranchos Mayor Larry Abraham? Bush appeared at a fundraiser there for Pete Domenici back on August 27, 2007, when Domenici still claimed he was running for another Senate term.

If so, it would be ironic given that the ACLU has filed suit against Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and others for their actions during Bush's August '07 visit. The suite complains that law enforcement officials kept protestors out of sight, more than 150 yards away, while a group of people holding a banner reading “God Bless George Bush! We Pray for You!” were allowed within feet of Abraham's house.

Michelle Obama Fundraisers
Also scheduled for next Tuesday, May 27, are two fundraisers with Michelle Obama -- one in Santa Fe and one in Albuquerque, according to the AP. A $500 per guest - $2300 per co-host reception and luncheon with Gov. Bill Richardson and Michelle Obama will be held at Yanni's Mediterranean Bar and Grill in Albuquerque. A $1000 per person fundraiser with Michelle will take place later that day at the home of former AG Paul Bardacke in Santa Fe. These events are a little rich for my taste. Sure would be nice if Michelle squeezed in a low dollar event for People Like Us, or we're out of luck catching Michelle this time around.

The Man Who Would Be Bush II
John McCain will be in Albuquerque on Monday, May 26th, to speak at a Memorial Day tribute to veterans that's open to the public. It will take place from 10 AM to Noon at the New Mexico Veterans' Memorial at 1100 Louisiana SE. McCain will attend another event in Albuquerque that day, but details haven't yet been released.

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May 21, 2008 at 04:09 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, 2008 Presidential Primary | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tonight: Kickoff for Santa Fe Grassroots for Obama

From Santa Fe Grassroots for Obama: JOIN US on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of May and June, starting TONIGHT:

May 19, June 2, June 16: 6:00 to 7:00 PM
Santa Fe Main Library, Community Room

The May 19th agenda will include making plans for a Santa Fe Voter Registration drive scheduled for June 28th. Please invite other Obama enthusiasts to join you. And be sure tell anyone who admires your Obama button or bumper sticker that they can get involved, too, by coming to our meetings. Click to RSVP. You can find other local Obama events and join groups at the New Mexico for Obama page on Obama's campaign website.

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May 19, 2008 at 12:25 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 Presidential Primary, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Quote of the Day: Huckabee Jokes About Gun Aimed at Obama

I wish I were kidding, but I'm not. Not that this is something to kid about anyway, given the toxic nature of too many right-wing extremists stirred up by the likes of smiley Huckabee and his ilk. I guess nothing's off limits in the prez campaign now that Bush himself has compared Obama and the Dems to Nazi appeasers while speaking to the Knesset in Israel.

From the CNN Political Ticker:

During a speech before the National Rifle Association convention Friday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee — who has endorsed presumptive GOP nominee John McCain — joked that an unexpected offstage noise was Democrat Barack Obama looking to avoid a gunman.

“That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he's getting ready to speak,” said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. “Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”

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May 16, 2008 at 03:01 PM in 2008 Presidential Primary, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

(Updated) Breaking: Edwards to Endorse Obama

Update: Video clip of Edwards' endorsement

The one many have been waiting for: According to a post by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, John Edwards will endorse Obama for president tonight in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This former Edwards supporter is very happy with this news! Edwards has 18 pledged delegates, but it's not clear whether they'd all switch to supporting Obama. This is the second big endorsement for Obama today. Earlier, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced its support for Barack. The group has supported Hillary Clinton throughout her political career. From Cillizza:

Matt Bennett, a former Clinton Administration official, described Edwards as the "troubadour of the working class" and said the North Carolina senator's endorsement of Obama makes it "tougher for Clinton to make the case that working class Democrats can't [or] won't support Obama."

... Aside from the obvious demographic benefits an Edwards endorsement could have, his decision to throw his backing behind Obama also has symbolic import. Edwards is widely seen as one of the major party figures who had remained on the sidelines in the race between Clinton and Obama. That he has stepped in to the fray in hopes of, perhaps, bringing this race to an end should send a powerful signal to undecided superdelegates about the direction of the contest.

Former senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, a major Obama backer, told CNN: "I think John Edwards is a tremendous national leader and obviously it's no seceret that we've been trying to get his support, his endorsement, his supporters, his counsel as we go through the balance of this campaign for a long period of time."

"All I know is that it's very, very important that as we go forwards, we unite this party," Daschle added. "John and Elizabeth Edwards have a tremendous following in our party. The more we can unite along with their leadership and their followership, the better off our party and the better off Barack Obama is going to be in November."

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May 14, 2008 at 04:23 PM in 2008 Presidential Primary | Permalink | Comments (3)

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?


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)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dedicated to Our First African-American Presidential Nominee

I just discovered that Wolfgang's Concert Vault now has embed code for much of its material. Nice. I thought this was the perfect time to put up a musical salute to our first Black presidential nominee -- Barack Obama -- on a weekend when he has surpassed Clinton in the superdelegate count and leads her by virtually unassailable margins in pledged delegates, states won and popular vote. Enjoy a White working class Texas redneck playing a song by Hendrix, possibly the first African-American psychedelic rock guitarist in the world. Seems fitting. Unity.

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May 11, 2008 at 08:30 AM in 2008 Presidential Primary, Music, Racial Minorities | Permalink | Comments (1)

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)