Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ray Powell Endorsed by Albuquerque Journal in Dem Land Commissioner Primary

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, organizer Dolores Huerta and Ray Powell

Today the Albuquerque Journal editorial staff endorsed Ray Powell for Land Commissioner in the June 1 Democratic primary. In endorsing Powell over the two other Dem contenders, the Journal had this to say, in part:

On the Democatic side, former Land Commissioner Ray Powell comes with unique credentials, including a good record of doing this important job.

To make the office more transparent, ethical and responsive, he would set up a task force to review the office's policies and practices and to make recommendations for improving accountability. He would put proposals for public land exchanges, long-term leases or land sales out for thorough public airings, pass long-term leases through local land use processes, set up joint planning agreements with other governments to determine best uses of state land, and work to establish public financing for election of the commissioner.

Powell's primary goals are reforming the office and restoring its credibility. Powell, who refused to sell White Peak when he was commissioner, would put all land sales out to bid. He says he would do trades only if they are in the best interests of the state and surrounding communities. He's against credits for developers' planning expenses. He favors working with the labs and academia to develop renewable energy sources that would complement oil and gas, which provides more than 90 percent of revenues to the land office. A botanist and veterinarian, Powell believes in protecting public lands while allowing appropriate uses.

His past service on the State Investment Council would be an asset as the council works to straighten out past investments scandals.

Powell has a slew of other endorsements in this race:

  • American Federation of Teachers NM (AFT NM)
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club
  • Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM)
  • Albuquerque Area Firefighters (IAFF)
  • Association of Federal, State and County Employees (AFSCME)
  • Teamsters
  • Operating Engineers
  • IATSE Local 423 – International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
  • Animal Protection Voters

He also has the support of three land office reform legislators, as well as Santa Fe Mayor David Coss.

The other candidates for land commissioner in the Democratic primary are Sandy Jones and Harry Montoya.

See all our previous posts on the 2010 land commissioner race.

Photo by M.E. Broderick.

May 18, 2010 at 07:14 PM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 10, 2010

AFT and NEA Endorse Ray Powell for NM Land Commissioner

RayPowell110Racking up those endorsements: In an email to supporters, Democrat Ray Powell revealed that his candidacy in the June 1 primary has been endorsed by both teachers' unions. These endorsements are especially important because the Land Office is responsible for managing the state's public lands in a way that best benefits the funding of education in the state. It's telling that both teachers' unions agree that Ray is the best candidate for that vital mission.

Christine Trujillo, President of the American Federation of Teachers of New Mexico, said:

"Let's get Ray back at the Land Office! The State Land Office matters so much to our schools and our kids. We're committed to doing all we can to make sure he's back at the helm come November."

Sharon Morgan, President of the National Education Association of New Mexico, stated:

"We're pleased to recommend Ray Powell for the State Land Office. He has a proven record of caring and doing the right thing with our public lands when it comes to our school children, parents and education employees."

Powell has previously been endorsed by these organizations:

  • Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club
  • Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM)
  • Albuquerque Area Firefighters (IAFF)
  • Association of Federal, State and County Employees (AFSCME)
  • Teamsters
  • Operating Engineers
  • IATSE Local 423 – International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
  • Animal Protection Voters

Powell is facing PRC Commissioner Sandy Jones and Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya in the Democratic primary election.

May 10, 2010 at 02:04 PM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conservation Voters New Mexico Endorses Ray Powell for Land Commissioner

RayPowellKickoff1 Yesterday, I reported that Ray Powell was endorsed for New Mexico Land Commissioner by the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club. Now we learn that Conservation Voters New Mexico has followed suit, giving Ray a clean sweep of conservation endorsements as we celebrate Earth Day.

"Ray Powell will generate critical resources for our school children while protecting our prized state trust lands and providing access to lands that rural New Mexico communities have relied upon for generations," said Sandy Buffett, executive director of Conservation Voters New Mexico, in a statement released about the endorsement.

Powell, an Albuquerque veterinarian and former Land Commissioner, thanked Conservation Voters for their support in the upcoming June 1 primary election.

"Environmental protection and economic sustainability go hand-in-hand," Powell said. "It is our duty to protect our treasured public lands for the benefits they offer today and for future generations."

Powell, who served as NM State Land Commissioner from 1993 to 2002, has worked extensively to protect New Mexico's land and water quality. During his previous term, Powell worked with opposing groups to find common interests and solve problems. His accomplishments won praise from business, labor, sovereign tribes, agriculture groups, sportsmen, academic researchers, and conservationists. Ray Powell is running for Land Commissioner on a platform of reform in the State Land Office, creating economic development, and conserving and protecting New Mexico's valuable public lands.

Powell currently works as regional director for the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research Education and Conservation. He's running in the Democratic Primary against PRC Chairman Sandy Jones, and Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya. To date, Ray has also been endorsed by AFSCME, IATSE Local 423, Operating Engineers, Animal Protection Voters, and the Teamsters.

April 22, 2010 at 11:15 AM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Environment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Endorses Ray Powell for State Land Commissioner

Ray Powell at DPNM Convention

After what it called "a full review of the candidates for New Mexico's State Land Commissioner," the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed Ray Powell Jr. for the position.

"Ray Powell stands out among the candidates as the person with the most balanced view of the responsibilities and environmental priorities of the office," said the Chapter's Political Chairperson, Susan Martin, in a statement released by the group. "Along with our endorsement comes the active support of our members in political campaigns for environmentally sympathetic and active candidates," Martin concluded.

"As a 40-year member of the Sierra Club, I'm more than familiar with the good works of the Sierra Club, said Ray Powell. "As one of the oldest and most influential conservation groups in the Country, I am grateful for their endorsement and support."

The Rio Grande Chapter had previously supported Powell in his successful run for State Land Commissioner when he served from 1993 to 2002. As the Chapter finalizes its endorsements for selected primaries and the general election they are posted on its new web site: http://nmsierraclub.org.

The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest environmental volunteer organization since 1892, and with over 7,500 politically active members, the endorsement of the Rio Grande Chapter is widely sought by candidates for elected positions across the state.

April 21, 2010 at 06:08 PM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Environment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 16, 2010

NM State Land Commissioner Candidate Sandy Jones Unharmed by Drive-By Shooting on I-40

SandyJones120 Now this is downright frightening. Sandy Jones, Democratic primary candidate for State Land Commissioner, reports that he was not hurt after his truck was shot at earlier today by a passing car on Interstate 40, just a few miles south of Clines Corners, NM.

“I am a little shaken by the incident, but I was not hurt and that’s what’s important,” said Jones in a statement released by his campaign. “I was just a few inches away from getting out of the land race,” he joked.

Jones, who currently serves on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, said he was pulled over on the side of the road to use his cell phone when the back passenger window on his truck was shot. Jones only saw that a van was passing by but did not get a good look at the vehicle. Jones was on his way to Lovington to the Lea County Rural Cooperative meeting this evening.

“I was talking on the phone and the next thing I knew there was a loud boom and the back window of my truck was completely gone.”

Jones flagged down a State Police officer and the incident is being investigated.

April 16, 2010 at 03:09 PM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Crime | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss Endorses Ray Powell for State Land Commissioner

Mayor David Coss, renowned activist Dolores Huerta and Ray Powell at recent political event

Today, Santa Fe Mayor David Coss announced his endorsement of Ray Powell for New Mexico Land Commissioner. The announcement from Mayor Coss is the latest endorsement for Powell, who is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for State Land Commissioner in the June 1st primary election.

"I have personally known and worked with Ray Powell for over 15 years," said Coss, who is serving his second term as Santa Fe mayor, in a statement released today. "Ray's wise leadership will help better Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico through these trying economic times."

Coss and Powell have both worked at the State Land Office. Coss served as a natural resources manager, working to restore and protect the cherished Santa Fe River. Powell served as NM Land Commissioner from 1993 to 2002.

“When Ray served as Land Commissioner, he was recognized for running of the best land management agencies in the country. He works with communities, and not against them. He’s a partner I need,” continued Coss.

"As a northern New Mexican, I know Ray Powell shares our commitment to water quality protection. Ray is a true steward of New Mexico's most treasured natural resources, and I look forward to seeing his ethical leadership return to the State Land Office," Coss said.

Powell, a veterinarian who works for Dr. Jane Goodall, thanked Mayor Coss for his support in the upcoming election.

"Mayor David Coss is honest, hard working, and a man of vision. He is a champion of New Mexico's working families and has been a progressive supporter of water quality and local economic development," Powell said. "I am honored to have his backing."

Powell is running for Land Commissioner on a platform of reform in the State Land Office, creating economic development, and conserving and protecting New Mexico's valuable public lands.

His Democratic primary opponents are PRC Chairman Sandy Jones and Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya.

April 14, 2010 at 10:44 AM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Santa Fe | Permalink | Comments (10)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tonight: DFA-DFNM Meetup with Ray Powell, Pat Davis, Rep. Moe Maestas

Our April DFA-DFNM Meetup is scheduled for tonight, Tuesday, April 6, at 7:00 PM at the First Unitarian Church Social Hall located on the SW corner of Carlisle and Comanche in Albuquerque. All are welcome to attend.

Tonight's Meetup will provide an important opportunity to interact personally with Democratic primary candidates Ray Powell, who's running for Land Commissioner, and Pat Davis, who's running for Bernalillo County Sheriff. They'll be talking about their campaigns and answering your questions.

Also on hand will be Democratic State Rep. Moe Maestas, who will discuss his take on the legislature this year and what's going on this election cycle. We'll also be discussing the possibility of another candidate forum and other election-related issues.

Hope to see you there! You can RSVP for tonight's Meetup and/or join the group and get on our email list at http://dfa.meetup.com/160/.

April 6, 2010 at 01:02 PM in 2010 Bernalillo County Sheriff Race, 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, 2010 NM Legislature Races, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Events, MeetUp | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mike Anaya Endorses Ray Powell, Drops Out of NM Land Commissioner Race

Powell accepting nomination at Pre-Primary Convention: Why should you care about the Land Office? It looks after 13 million acres of your public lands -- hundreds of billions of dollars of your public natural resources, a $10B permanent fund.

In an announcement on Santa Fe Radio KSWV or Qué Suave this morning, Santa Fe County Commissioner and State Land Office candidate Mike Anaya endorsed Ray Powell for State Land Commissioner and has ended his bid for the seat.

Both men were on the radio to discuss the endorsement and the importance of the position.

“I’m honored to have the support of Commissioner Mike Anaya,” said Ray Powell. “As I’ve come to better know Mike, it’s clear he’s passionate about his support for rural communities. It’s clear he got into the race for all the right reasons: he’s dedicated to bettering the lives of New Mexican families.”

“We see eye-to-eye on the need for strengthening local economies and taking care of important state lands like White Peak,” said Ray Powell.

“I appreciate Mike Anaya’s offer to help my campaign, especially given his deep understanding and appreciation of the importance of our working lands and his breadth of knowledge of issues facing New Mexico’s families,” Ray continued. Mike Anaya and his brothers and extended family have a family ranch in Stanley, New Mexico.

Speaking to why he’s supporting Ray Powell, Mike Anaya had this to say:

“We’ve seen the smart leadership Ray brought to the Land Office. He knows the land, he knows New Mexicans, and he knows the job. I trust him and believe he’s is the best choice for Land Commissioner.”

“Ray’s is committed to preserving the farming and ranching traditions on our state lands in New Mexico. He will maintain access for sportsmen”

More info on Ray Powell:

Ray Powell is running in the Democratic Primary against Sandy Jones and Harry Montoya. At the March 13 Democratic Pre-Primary convention, Ray Powell received 44% of the delegate vote and became the only candidate to qualify at the Pre-Primary for the June 1 ballot. Candidates must receive at least 20% in order be on the Primary ballot without having to gather and submit additional petition signatures.

Ray Powell is running for Land Commissioner on a platform of reform in the State Land Office, creating economic development, and conserving and protecting New Mexico’s valuable public lands.

Ray Powell served as Land Commissioner from 1993-2002 and worked with opposing groups to find common interests and solve problems. His accomplishments won praise from business and agriculture groups, sportsmen, academic researchers, and conservationists.

Ray Powell is a veterinarian and currently works as a regional director for the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research Education and Conservation in Santa Fe. 

Video by M.E. Broderick.

March 23, 2010 at 02:39 PM in 2010 DPNM Pre-Primary Convention, 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race | Permalink | Comments (6)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

(Updated) Back from the DPNM Pre-Primary Convention: Down from the Mountains and Through the Snow

Update: The preliminary hand recount is over and here are the latest results for the Lt. Gov. race:

  • Brian Colon- 591 delegate votes, 34.54%
  • Lawrence Rael- 379, 22.15%
  • Joe Campos- 337, 19.69%
  • Jerry Ortiz y Pino 323, 18.87%
  • Linda Lopez 81, 4.73%

VoteBlueCr We're back in Albuquerque after The-Best-New-Mexico-Democratic-Convention-Ever. Energy, enthusiasm and Democrats galore all weekend at Buffalo Thunder. We drove back late this morning through a blowing snowstorm that turned into wind and rain that turned into spectacular cloud formations all around with big sunbeams breaking through and spotlighting the snow-sprinkled mountains surrounding us. We're in a great mood and we'll be working hard to get all our photos, videos and commentary ready for publication but, at the moment, we're eating breakfast burritos and catching our breath.

If you haven't yet seen the results of the three main contested races, here they are:

Lieutenant Governor

  • Brian Colón, 34.3 percent*
  • Lawrence Rael, 21.9 percent*
  • Joe Campos, 19.9 percent
  • Jerry Ortiz y Pino, 18.6 percent
  • Linda Lopez, 5 percent

Land Commissioner

  • Ray Powell, 44.4 percent*
  • Harry Montoya, 19.3 percent
  • Sandy Jones, 18.6 percent
  • Mike Anaya, 17.6 percent

NM Court of Appeals

  • Judge Linda M. Vanzi 72.32*
  • Dennis W. Montoya 27.68*

* = qualified for primary ballot without the need to submit additional signatures. The rest will have to submit more signatures within 10 days.

NOTE: Joe Campos missed the ballot cutoff by one vote, or he made the number needed exactly -- depending on how certain percentages are handled. He and Harry Montoya and Sandy Jones each called for a recount, which reportedly is still ongoing.

I'll be back soon with more, but at this point we want to extend big thanks for a job well done and so much hard work to Chairman Javier Gonzales and all of the Party officers, as well as the staff and volunteers of the Democratic Party of New Mexico! This was one for the history books in more ways than one. Gracias and congratulations to all involved!

March 14, 2010 at 01:48 PM in 2010 DPNM Pre-Primary Convention, 2010 Judicial Races, 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (22)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Harry Montoya for Public Lands Commissioner Releases Endorsements

Harrymontoya The Harry Montoya campaign has announced that the following elected officials have endorsed his candidacy for Commissioner of Public Lands:

Santa Fe County Commissioner Virginia Vigil; Santa Fe City Councilors Carmichael Dominguez and Ron Trujillo; Former Santa Fe County Commissioners Paul Campos and Jack Sullivan; Hobbs City Commissioner Joe Calderon; Taos City Councilor Rudy Abeyta; Espanola City Councilor Dennis Tim Salazar; Guadalupe County Treasurer Marcos Salas; Sandoval County Assessor Rudy Casaus; McKinley County Commissioners Billy Moore and Ernest Becenti; Espanola Mayor-Elect Alice Lucero and State Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas.

“I am honored and humbled by the support I have received state wide” said Montoya in a written statement.

March 11, 2010 at 10:50 AM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ray Powell Commends AG King for Lawsuit to Stop White Peak

Powell discusses problems with Pat Lyons' land swap policies

State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons has been at the center of controversy for his decision to trade away White Peak state lands in northern New Mexico. Sportsmen, elected officials, former State Land Commissioner Ray Powell and leaders from northern New Mexico communities have been critical of the exchange.

Lyons has been under investigation by both the New Mexico Attorney General and New Mexico State Auditor regarding the process for selling, exchanging, and leasing of trust lands. Yesterday, Attorney General Gary King sued the State Land Office in the New Mexico Supreme Court, requesting an emergency stay for the White Peak Exchange.

“The decision by the Attorney General to protect lands treasured by hunters and used by generations of northern New Mexicans is a good one,” Powell said in a written statement. “I fully support the decision to take this case to the State Supreme Court. We must keep White Peak open to hunters and the public.”

“From the onset, this exchange needed more oversight and scrutiny. Affected group, local communities and the public were never consulted. The danger, as noted by the Attorney General, is that more White Peak exchanges are forthcoming in the remaining nine months Lyons has in office,” Ray Powell said.

Powell continued, “The State Land Office’s proposed land exchange around White Peak represents a case study of what not to do when one is responsible for our public lands. "I am committed to working to reform the policies and procedures at the Land Office to increase transparency and accountability and prevent abuses like this from happening in the future."

Veterinarian Ray Powell is a Democratic candidate for the position of state land commissioner. Powell served as Land Commissioner from 1993-2002, and was recognized for running one of the best land management agencies in the country.

February 2, 2010 at 10:39 AM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Justice, Land Issues, Legal Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Harry Montoya Guest Blog: Transparency, Accountability and Ethics are the Pillars of Good Government

HarryMontoyaCr This is a guest blog by Harry Montoya, who is a Santa Fe County Commissioner from
 Pojoaque and a Democratic candidate for State Land

There’s been much discussion lately at the local and national levels about transparency, accountability and ethics in government. Most of the conversations have centered on the fact that these three government pillars have been conspicuously absent in the actions of our elected
 officials and people in positions of authority at all levels in both the public and private sectors.

As an elected official having served as a Pojoaque School Board member and now as a two term Santa Fe County Commissioner, I have been given the opportunity by the public to work on behalf of the people’s trust to make a difference in our communities by confronting challenges,
 collaboratively working on solutions and constantly striving to improve the quality of life of our residents while always mindful of the impact of our decisions on future generations. For me, there is no other reason to even consider becoming an elected official if not for this purpose.  Throughout my career in public office and as the CEO of an Española non-profit I have always believed that, in order to effectively keep the public trust placed in me by the voters, transparency, accountability and strong ethics are the foundation of an honest, open government that complies with and delivers on the oaths of office we take as elected officials.

Now, as a candidate for the State Land Commissioner, I applaud the actions of three legislators that have introduced legislation that strengthens these three pillars. House Bill 141, introduced by Representative Nathan Cote, will require that the Commissioner of Public Lands develop, operate and maintain a single web site that is searchable and accessible to the public that hosts
 financial information relating to state trust lands. Another bill, Senate Bill 110, introduced by Senator Stephen Fischmann with a companion bill in the House introduced by Representative Jeff Steinborn, will prohibit certain contributions and solicitations of contributions by persons
 contracting with the state land office.

The adage that actions speak louder than words is truly
 personified by these legislators and every other elected official at the roundhouse or the schoolhouse that take the necessary steps to find effective ways to ensure and maintain the public’s trust.

The controversial White Peak land exchange has generated much public interest and has rattled the pillars of good government. Earlier this week I introduced a resolution that was approved here in Santa Fe County that asks Commissioner Patrick Lyons to consult with the Commission before trading 3,607 acres of land south of Española as part of the exchange. My Commission 
district includes the acres in question and, in light of the controversy surrounding the exchange, I felt it was in the public trust to do so. Again, actions speak louder than words and I commend my colleagues on the Commission for supporting my resolution which seeks to restore the foundation on which the pillars of good government rest.

To quote President John F. Kennedy, “A government that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a government that is afraid of its people.” If we, as elected officials, do not take action to establish transparent, accountable and ethical standards and continue to let the house of government crumble on shaky pillars then we are not living up to our
 oaths of office. Then, truly, the government’s “fear of the people” that President Kennedy spoke of will continue to make unethical decisions that lack transparency and those in authority will be accountable to no one and the public trust will continue to erode.

This is a guest blog by Harry Montoya of Santa Fe. 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.

February 1, 2010 at 11:51 AM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Ethics & Campaign Reform, NM Legislature 2010, Santa Fe | Permalink | Comments (0)