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Friday, October 15, 2010
Bill Clinton, Diane Denish Energize Crowd at Espanola Plaza Rally
President Bill Clinton traveled to Espanola, New Mexico yesterday to pump up the volume on Diane Denish's campaign for governor and talk about how incredibly important this election is, and why. About 4,000 or so people packed into the Plaza, and Clinton worked his magic to energize the crowd -- and Democrats all over the state -- as we head into the final two and half weeks before election day.
Mariachi music greeted the crowd as folks snaked through the long line and filed in to fill the Plaza in the still hot October sun. Preliminaries were short, but sweet, with quick speeches from Espanola Mayor Alice Lucero, DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales and Senator Tom Udall. Then up came Diane Denish and Bill Clinton to take the stage together to a warm Rio Arriba County welcome.
Denish: I Will Fight For You
Denish spoke first, welcoming Clinton back to New Mexico -- a state that supported him in two presidential elections. She said she remembered seeing her father, Jack Daniels, speaking here in the plaza in 1972, 38 years ago, during his campaign for the Senate. It had been a much colder day back then, with some snow falling, and she recalled him proclaiming to the crowd, "I am proud to be a Democrat!"
Denish repeated her dad's sentiment saying, "I'm here today to say I'm proud to be a Democrat in New Mexico. And what does that mean? Being a Democrat means fighting for New Mexico families ... for your jobs, for our public schools and keeping money in our public schools. It means protecting New Mexico's precious water, land and resources. That's why I'm running for governor."
"I want to fight for those values we all share ... I will fight for your families, for your children, for your grandchilden, to make sure they have the jobs of the future, to make sure they have a quality education," she said. "And I will fight against anybody who tries to take our water to Texas! And I will fight against anyone who tries to take advantage of our families -- the big corporations."
"Now my opponent, she doesn't share those values. In fact, she's come down every day on the side of those big corporations. And we've watched that money from the fat cats flowing into her campaign. She may have the money but we will have the votes on November 2nd, won't we?"
Saying she was honored and pleased to have President Clinton here, Denish quipped, "You know, he knows something about turning around a tough economy. He was our leader for eight years ... he created jobs ... ten million jobs. And he left us with a surplus, but then along came the other side and drove us into the ditch, the failed economic policies of the other administration. We don't want to go back there, do we?"
President Bill Clinton: Jobs Not Jail
Clinton followed with a half-hour speech full of sometimes humorous, but still very pointed, criticisms of Republican Susana Martinez -- warning New Mexicans of the damage that would be done if Democrats don't get out and vote for the Denish-Colon ticket. Clinton said New Mexico needs a governor who's on the side of working families and has a plan for creating jobs. He said Diane was the type of governor New Mexico needs during these difficult times -- someone who's committed to improving education and has innovative ideas for creating opportunities for New Mexico's workers.
Clinton said he's so far made 80 stops like this one around the country. He hadn't planned on doing so many but, "... then I got out here and started stirring around and realized that a lot of people were mad and even more confused. And I didn't want it on my conscience, so I just sorta loaded up and started touring around."
He said he and Hillary are friends of Denish and naturally wanted to support her but, "I'm here because of you, because of the future of New Mexico. I'm here because when you voted for me twice I got to know this state and know its people and know the unique heart and soul and dreams. And I know the way you accommodate all this diversity and build a common sense of humanity here. It means something to me. You're special to America."
Noting he thought he had some credibility on the issue given the budget surpluses he built up and his eight years as governor, Clinton explained that his area of the country back then was experiencing economic problems like the whole country is experiencing now. "So I understand these issues and here's what I want to say -- it really matters who the governor is now more than ever because you're facing critical economic challenges."
"You have to make decisions that are good for you in the short run AND in the long run," Clinton continued. "And there is a very, very big difference between these two candidates. Look, I've got nothing against Diane's opponent and I'm grateful that she's worked as a prosecutor for many years and I understand she's telling you all about it in her television ads. Look, that's important but frankly, today we need to worry more about putting people in jobs, than putting people in jail!" Clinton said.
Cut Through the Smoke and Mirrors
Clinton said there are more "smoke and mirrors going on in this election than at any time I can ever remember. All that really matters is where are we, what are we gonna do about it and who's more likely to do it." Clinton explained how America's economy was already bad before the economic collapse that happened four months before Obama took office. "And to listen to Republicans tell it, we should have been able to stop it 13 seconds after Obama took his hand off the bible in the Oval Office."
Clinton noted that, since then, the U.S. has recovered 70% of what we lost, considerably better than the European nations. The jobs are in the last 30% so, "you have to ask yourself, which candidate is more likely to create jobs New Mexico needs to get out of the hole and go into the future? Which candidate is more likely to see that our children all the way through our adults have the education they need to fill those jobs? And, along the way, which candidate is most likely not to go for some short-term gain that sacrifices the unique quality of life of New Mexico? The crowd yells out, "Denish!"
"This should not be a close race," Clinton continued. "If it weren't for this economy, it might not be."
Clinton then listed off some of what makes Denish the best --and only -- candidate in the race qualified for the job: small business experience, a credible economic plan, the only candidate who's proven to be a reformer -- like cleaning up the housing authorities, pushing for legislation to outlaw predatory mortgage loans and taking on pay-day lenders. "Now we've got to create jobs and Diane Denish has a plan to give incentive loans to small businesses ... you've only got one person with a plan to get bank lending going again."
"... She's also worked on micro-loans a lot, which is important to me -- giving small loans to individuals who don't have a lot of money but do have skills, have talents and have a reputation for paying loans back. This has worked all over the world."
"Then she wants to give a tax credit of $2,500 for every job created from 2011 forward ... and that will draw huge numbers of jobs ... it looks to me like our opponent's economic plan is to maintain a tax loophole for out-of-state companies already operating here ... and it means middle class New Mexicans have to pay more taxes. Diane Denish has the only credible plan that will really get you more jobs."
Education and Training vs. Private School Vouchers
"There's only one candidate you can vote for who's got any kind of record on education and training, who expanded pre-kindergarden programs across the state, worked on increasing graduation rates for all groups of New Mexican kids, got money to connect local farmers with schools to have healthier children in schools," Clinton said. "Her opponent's education program, as near as I can see, is to give vouchers for people to go to private schools that still will require them to have to pay tuition, so most of your kids won't be able to afford to go, even with the vouchers."
Clinton then discussed the many benefits of the student loan package passed by Democrats in Congress, and how it will help New Mexicans afford college and not have to drop out because of financial fears. However, he said, "The Republicans have promised to repeal that student loan package. They want to make it more expensive to go to college and harder to repay the loans, and it would add $60 billion to the debt," because of the middle men. He explained how "the middle men are giving money to the Republicans and they want their $60 billion back."
Meanwhile, Clinton said, Diane's opponent has "promised to cut the budget by 50%. The only way you can do that is to gut education and to gut Medicaid." If she does that, "New Mexico will never have the money we need to train people for those open jobs here. This is a huge deal," Clinton exclaimed.
Water and theTwo Governors for Texas?
Clinton emphasized that New Mexico can have a balanced and sustainable economy with a continued high quality of life, but, "Enter the Texas water companies ... I feel bad about Texas being short of water ... but, you know, I don't feel so bad that I think they should have two governors and New Mexico none!"
"You know Diane is going to protect enough water to make sure you're okay today, and ten years from now, and twenty years from now and thirty years from now. And her opponent sounds like of ambivalent ... might sound like a nice way to make money," Clinton continued. "And there's a reason, besides being a native Texan, that she's gotten all that money from those people who are interested in your water. They want to drain the Rio Grande and the Pecos," Clinton said.
There's a reason that Republican fella gave her hundreds of thousands of dollars. He created the Swiftboat ads -- maybe the most dishonest ads in my lifetime," Clinton said. "They didn't just say, oh, there's a girl that's born in Texas, I think I'll send her 800,000 bucks. I just feel so good that that girl from Texas made good in New Mexico, I think I'll ship 800 grand over there. I don't think so ... So if I were you, I would talk to my friends who are independents or Republicans or who are undecided or wondering whether they should vote and I'd say New Mexico needs a governor too, and Texas doesn't need two!"
Mercury in the Water
Clinton then discussed how there's only one candidate who has a plan to get construction workers back on the job by lending money to retrofit buildings for energy conservation and get it paid back over time through saving on utility bills. And only one candidate who's promised not to allow any weakening in New Mexico law to stop pollution from fuel tanks or to stop electric utilities from emitting highly toxic mercury into your water. "In fact, her opponent says we ought to relax those regulations," Clinton said. "That's one way you could keep Texas from taking your water -- fill it with mercury and they won't want it anymore!"
A Clear Choice Based on Facts
"I know there are a lot of people are mad, angry, confused -- they're saying throw everybody out, don't make any distinctions. But facts are important," Clinton said.
"... When we care about something that's really life or death, the facts are really important. But when it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, like the future of our water, the future of our children or the future of our economy -- the whole way we're gonna live -- we say, oh don't bother me, I just know what I like," he said."Folks, if you look at the facts, there is a clear choice and, if you love New Mexico, you care about your kids and you want to bring your economy back just as quick as you can -- there is really no choice, but Diane Denish."
Follow the Money
"You have a proven leader with a proven plan and the best positions," Clinton said. You have somebody who has a record in all these areas that you care about. And you don't even have to think anything bad about a Republican opponent except to analyze her positions -- or lack of them -- and FOLLOW THE MONEY. That's all you have to do. I'm pleading with you."
In closing, President Clinton said, "Diane Denish would be a great governor, a great governor. She got more done as lieutenant governor ... than anyone who ever held that position. But she can't do it without you ... you cannot afford to get tired. You need to bear down and bring this election home!"
All photos and videos by M.E. Broderick.
Please, could Diane make an ad with Clinton's speech? Jobs not jails. That would be a good piece to use. I think any number of his words would make a good ad. Could it happen? Clinton did deliver on the economy. Speak it. Bring it.
Last night TV said 5,000 people were there.
Posted by: bg | Oct 15, 2010 9:14:45 AM
Top notch coverage once again. For those who didn't get to be there this is wonderful. I hope voters heed Clinton's words. He lays it out for all to see. Martinez would be a disaster as governor.
Posted by: In Soccoro | Oct 15, 2010 11:58:48 AM
Amazing report and coverage. The nice thing about logs is they are not limited by broadcast time or newspaper space. Keep up the good work -- in New Mexico - ladies.
Posted by: Doug | Oct 15, 2010 12:52:39 PM
I hope people who are thinking about voting for Susana Martinez will listen carefully to what Clinton had to say. He said it plain and honest-follow the money.
Posted by: Cuidado | Oct 15, 2010 5:08:52 PM