Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Hector Balderas Announces Diane Denish Endorsement for U.S. Senate
During a conference call with media and bloggers today, State Auditor Hector Balderas announced that Diane Denish, former New Mexico Lt. Governor and 2010 Democratic nominee for Governor, is endorsing his campaign for U.S. Senate. The Balderas campaign later released a statement about the endorsement, noting that Denish cited "his record of bringing accountability to government in order to invest in education and economic opportunity" as being a major reason for her support.
In an email to supporters Denish said, "The Senate needs more leaders like Hector Balderas. Leaders who reject the premise that 'fiscal responsibility' and 'accountability' are Republican words. Leaders who recognize that typical Washington, D.C. insider politics will not solve the problems that are hurting the hardworking families of New Mexico. I'm confident that leader is Hector Balderas."
"As both a statewide elected official and candidate, I know firsthand that to represent everybody in New Mexico you must understand our communities and their diversity. Hector Balderas understands New Mexico because he is the embodiment of what is possible here. The first person in his family to go to college and the first from his town to become an attorney, Hector is one of the New Mexico's great sons. I know he will be one of New Mexico's great leaders when he represents us in the United States Senate," Denish continued.
"I'm humbled that Diane Denish, a trailblazer for women and one of New Mexico's most dedicated public officials, has endorsed my candidacy for United States Senate. We're building a true grassroots campaign and Diane is a great addition to our team," Balderas said.
The Balderas campaign also noted that, "This major endorsement comes on the heels of the Balderas campaign announcing second quarter fundraising numbers that far exceeded expectations and a poll showing Balderas well positioned to beat any of the Republican candidates in the general election. Diane joins 34 state and local elected officials from across New Mexico who have endorsed Hector Balderas for Senate."
Full text of the Diane Denish email is below:
As New Mexico Democrats, we have a choice next year for who we want to represent us in the race for United States Senate. And while I have tremendous respect for both candidates, today I'm excited to share the news that my choice is Hector Balderas!
Why? Our country and state face tremendous challenges. Too many New Mexicans are looking for work. Too many of our communities are struggling. And too many people in Washington think the answer is to go back to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
So when Hector asked me for my help, I didn't hesitate because he has proven to be a different kind of leader. And the Senate needs more leaders like Hector Balderas. Leaders who reject the premise that "fiscal responsibility" and "accountability" are Republican words. Leaders who recognize that typical Washington, D.C. insider politics will not solve the problems that are hurting the hardworking families of New Mexico.
I'm confident Hector Balderas is that leader.
Watching Hector campaign for Senate has been inspiring. His message of bringing Wagon Mound values to our nation's capital is not mere rhetoric, but, rather, a deep seeded understanding that the values that make New Mexico great -- hard work, respect, lending a hand to a neighbor in need, and determination -- are values Washington desperately needs.
And I've seen Hector stay true to these principles while serving the people of New Mexico. During Hector's time as State Auditor -- our state's fiscal watchdog -- he has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are treated with the respect and accountability they deserve, so that we can invest in education and creating economic opportunity for all New Mexicans.
As both a statewide elected official and candidate, I know firsthand that to represent everybody in New Mexico you must understand our communities and their diversity. Hector Balderas understands New Mexico because he is the embodiment of what is possible here. The first person in his family to go to college and the first from his town to become an attorney, Hector is one of the New Mexico's great sons. I know he will be one of New Mexico's great leaders when he represents us in the United States Senate.
No one can really fill the shoes of our Senator Jeff Bingaman. But with our help, yours and mine, Hector Balderas will be a Senator that honors Jeff's legacy while blazing a new path towards opportunity and prosperity for all of New Mexico's diverse communities.
Please join me in supporting Hector's candidacy for the United States Senate. You won't regret it and we will keep the Senate seat in 2012!
Diane D. Denish
P.S. Recent polls show Hector leading both Heather Wilson and John Sanchez, but trailing in the primary because he is not as well known as his opponent. Please sign up for Hector's campaign and help us spread the message! I believe Hector is our best bet for holding this Senate seat -- but only with your help!
A very powerful and welcomed endorsement from New Mexico's favorite daughter, Lt. Governor Denish!
Posted by: Javier | Jul 6, 2011 4:17:00 PM
Shame on Diane Denish for putting her losing self in the middle of this primary. Who does she think she is? She lost the election because she had no message and refused to support things like the pit rule, full gay rights and worker rights. When she was called on the fact her "moderate" campaign was losing big time, she ignored the advice.
She is picking an anti-union, anti-environmental group side again with this silly endorsement and I hope people see it for what it is.
Fiscal responsibility? Like what? She is backing a candidate who has taken a stand on nothing except he is against waste and fraud in government. Who isn't?
Some politicians when they get to the end of their careers go away with dignity. Not Denish. This is nothing but revenge and kissing up to fake Democrats in the party. Booooooooo.
Posted by: Ward Chair | Jul 6, 2011 4:24:40 PM
Wow! Ward Chair - where's the civility? How do you back up your claim that Diane is picking the anti-environmental group side with this endorsement? Hector has been a strong supporter and defender of our environment (he was awarded the CVNM Sunshine award just a few months ago!)Look, politicians will almost always endorse a candidate that they perceive to be strong and qualified for the office that they're running for. I am sure Rep. Heinrich will roll out heavy hitting endorsements as well at some point. For those of us who have followed Diane's career, we think that this is a very powerful endorsement from someone who has truly been a trailblazer for women in politics not only in New Mexico, but in the entire Southwest. We may disagree with Diane on some issues, and we have every right to do so. But to diminish her and her accomplishments the way you have is quite disrespectful. Again, let's be civil. As I always say when I comment on this or other blogs, we have two very good candidates running for Senate. Let the best win!
Posted by: Javier | Jul 6, 2011 4:40:25 PM
So does Denish think Congressman Heinrich has no sense of fiscal responsibility or accountability? That's what this goofy endorsement suggests. We can only hope that Balderas follows in her footsteps so he can have the same kind of electoral success she has had.
Maybe Denish doesn't get how angry Democrats are with her for the lousy campaign she ran and for her running to the right of Martinez. This won't help Balderas it will hurt him. Denish showed where Democratic candidates shouldnt' go, not where future success lies. This stinks.
Posted by: Progressive Not Blue Dog | Jul 6, 2011 4:40:26 PM
Maybe Denish should endorse Marty Chavez for the CD1 seat too. He likes to work with Republicans and he isn't progressive like Eric Griego. Denish still clings to that disproved idea that pretending to be a Republican is the way to victory. It didn't work for her.
Posted by: Esq. | Jul 6, 2011 4:58:36 PM
Looks like the canditates are civil but Democratic voters are not.
Posted by: Preciliano Martin | Jul 6, 2011 5:11:46 PM
I have heard many rumors that the big shots in the party want to push it to the right because it is "too progressive" and there are too many gays and gay rights supporters involved. People also say they they want to get money from nuke power and coal companies. This early endorsement by the losing candidate for governor seems to go along with that. Democrats beware.
Posted by: Democratic Wing | Jul 6, 2011 5:30:44 PM
The vitriol displayed here by Heinrich supporters reminds me of the way some of Hillary's supporters in the primary conducted themselves when their "Sure Thing" candidate was challenged legitimately. I would urge "Ward Chair" and "Progressive not blue dog" to remember that this race does not belong to anyone by virtue of being "anointed" beforehand. May the best man--the one who generates the most excitement and can get the best results for the party and runs the best campaign and can engage new activists and voter blocs--win!
Posted by: yesnomaybeyes | Jul 6, 2011 8:22:04 PM
You've got it wrong. Balderas and Denish were for Hillary. The Clintons are one of the strongest forces in the D party against progressive change and for many of the "moderate" policies that have put us where we are today. Balderas and Denish are lined up with the Blue Dogs who have helped the right wing bring so much damage to working people. If you don't believe it watch where they take this campaign.
Posted by: Progressive Not Blue Dog | Jul 6, 2011 11:58:13 PM
This is a huge mistake for Balderas and its laid out for all to see on Monahan:
"If you didn't know better, you might have thought Denish and Balderas were a pair of cautious accountants--not the opposition to one of the most conservative Republican parties in modern history. On a telephone news conference, she said:
"I think that Hector's experience, his approach to fiscal accountability, fiscal responsibility, is one of the great parts of his record and the kind of skill set that we need in Washington."
Well, as Di's critics might say, "There she goes again." It was that kind of vague semi-conservatism that cost Denish and Brian Colon emotional support in their own party in last year's Governor's race, and it could signify a weakness for Balderas as well. Hector's news release announcing the endorsement came with this head scratcher of an opening:
Citing his record of bringing accountability to government in order to invest in education and economic opportunity, former New Mexico Lt. Governor and 2010 Democratic nominee for Governor Diane Denish today endorsed Hector Balderas for United States Senate.
What? No Social Security, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no unemployment, no talk of massive income inequality? And nothing about higher taxes for the uber-rich? The "fiscal accountability" talk in Washington is scaring the bejesus out of Mr. and Mrs. America, has Republicans on the defensive and the nominating wing of the Democratic Party on the move. And Hector decides to go vegetarian when the crowds are crying for red meat?
Some of this might resonate in a general election, but Balderas remains the decided primary underdog against a sitting U.S. Congressman who has a 2 to 1 money lead and a 23 point polling lead. What are these consultants playing for here? Senior partner in an accounting firm or a seat in the United States Senate?
Balderas seems to be indicating that the national deficit is the most pressing issue facing the USA. Many, many Democrats who vote in primaries are not going to get warm and fuzzy feelings hearing that. And big Dem money givers might also be inhibited.
In making a smooth play with Denish, Hector revealed his biggest current weakness--an inchoate message that indicates his campaign believes (wrongly) that conservative sounding, diaphanous talk is going to win this primary. Or maybe their thinking is that ethnicity will trump everything. But ideas still matter. Having a world view matters. Didn't Denish and Colon learn that the hard way? And while ethnicity is important, perhaps it is not quite as important as Team Balderas is supposing in a high information race like US Senate."
Posted by: Alligator Time | Jul 7, 2011 1:18:01 AM
Democratic Wing is trying to scare folks away from Hector. I do not think it will work, Just ask.
Posted by: preciliano Martin | Jul 7, 2011 7:13:18 AM
I am a progressive and a Balderas supporter. The reason you have only heard about Balderas' stance on waste, fraud, and abuse is because his most immediate government focus as State Auditor; and why not tout what your strengths when running a campaign? We are all grateful to Hector for saving this poor state money. Money, that he points out, that could be better spent on our children and elderly. This steady stream of lies that attempts to paint Hector as a "anti-progressive" is deplorable. We are a year away from the election so there is plenty of time to get his position on other issues including those near and dear to progressives. I have to assume unless someone has expressed an opinion contrary to the party platform that every democrat who runs for office is in agreement with democratic values. To argue otherwise on this endorsement is just sour grapes. And to say he is anti-union is outrageous. Don't assume that the candidate who didn't receive the early and perhaps imprudent union nod is anti-union. Hector does have some formal and informal union support. (I would stay tuned on that point) Do your party a favor and keep this primary clean. The candidates know it's the right thing to do- and you'd be wise to follow their good example.
Posted by: Observer | Jul 7, 2011 7:19:03 AM
Balderas has Denish come out and make statements that strongly suggest that Heinrich is some kind of awful "DC insider" when he is nothing of the sort and has worked his butt off for his district. She and the Balderas campaign hint that Heinrich isn't into fiscal responsibility or accountability. Based on what?
Then Balderas supporters whine that critics of Balderas are being mean and unfair? Balderas could have strengthened the hand of the party by running for CD1 or waiting and challenging Martinez for governor. Instead he makes this divisive move and has the losing candidate for governor come out and shill for him to get Hobbs oil money and nuke money. I don't believe that is admirable.
Rep. Heinrich won in Bernalillo County in the last election. Denish did not. He ran what is probably the best Dem campaign in the state last year and it paid off in a year when so many Dems went down here and everywhere. Instead of getting support for this it seems like Denish is out to punish him. It makes no sense.
Posted by: Democratic Wing | Jul 7, 2011 8:27:31 AM
OK Democratic Wing. You are obviously angry. That's OK. Neither HB nor Denish have uttered a single attack on your candidate as you keep suggesting. I am not sure why you so desperately want to see this endorsement as an attack on anyone. We each have our opinions on how HB and MH should manage their political careers-I for one agree with you that MH was an outstanding congressman and think it's sad that he gave it up to run for this open seat just 4 months after winning his election. Whether HB or MH should run for Governor, Senator, or congressman is NOT our choice. The candidates made their choices and we must work to keep our primary clean. The US senate seat is an OPEN SEAT and no one is automatically entitled to it. Primaries can be civil or divisive. I guess you have made your preference known.
Posted by: Observer | Jul 7, 2011 9:11:53 AM
My two cents: I respect and like Balderas, Heinrich and Denish. They are all good Democrats. Primary battles are always hard on a party as we have seen on the GOP side. I hope that the focus will change to the very important issues we face as time goes on and stop being about catfights like the ones on this thread.
Posted by: Just Another Progressive | Jul 7, 2011 9:17:10 AM
Some endorsements are helpful in broadening your fundraising capabilities but for the most part have no impact on voters..especially coming from someone as dull and monotone as DD. Martin is a fighter and one of the few democrats in the country to retain his seat during 2010 election and achieved this by sticking to democratic/progressive principles. I like Hector, but Martin deserves the nomination.
Posted by: D | Jul 7, 2011 10:03:51 AM
I agree with Observer and Just Another Progressive. Let's keep this primary clean. Let's keep our discourse positive. That goes for all sides.
The fact is that Hector has beaten the money expectations and has now landed a heavyweight endorsement. Whether we agree with Denish's politics or not, the fact remains that she is a political heavyweight and has now made her preference known. Do endorsements matter that much? Depends on who you ask. But one thing is true. Hector far exceeded the fundraising goals that were set forth by the pundits (local and national bloggers said needed at least $200K to stay competitive) and as we saw, he doubled that amount. Aside from Hector's impressive fundraising, another fact remains: Martin's best bet for a short and relatively easy primary is now gone - he needed to financially out-muscle Hector, and he failed to do so. What we now have is a highly competitive Dem primary, and people across NM are taking notice.
Posted by: Javier | Jul 7, 2011 10:51:19 AM
Thanks to those who understand that we all have a right to choose our candidates in primaries. Some of the folks who commented on here seem to have forgotten that the real opponents are not me or Hector but Heather Wilson and/or John Sanchez. Remember Heather Wilson was part of the team who came in with a huge surplus? Then, that team managed to not only squander the surplus but create an unmatched national deficit! It does neither Heinrich nor Balderas any good to have their supporters tear down other Democrats, or shoot the messenger because you have made a different choice. Please note, in my endorsement for Hector, I stated my respect for both candidates and stated my case for Hector. I think it is also important for those of you spouting vitriol to avoid selective reading...fiscal responsibility has many meanings, including both cost cutting and finding new revenues.Hector has a record, as does Martin, of standing for many Democratic values and principles.These are questions both candidates will be asked to answer in the primary. As a strong pro-choice, pro-GLBT, pro-teacher,pro-child,pro-working families, pro-small business, pro-environment Democrat, I am very proud of my endorsement for Hector. I would urge all active Democrats to choose the primary candidate they believe can win in November, as I have, work hard, and then commit to working together for the successful candidate in November. That's my plan and I hope it is yours too...whomever you choose.
Posted by: diane | Jul 7, 2011 10:51:43 AM
Thanks for contributing to the conversation, Diane. You make many strong points. Always helps to hear directly from the source, so to speak.
I would like to follow your lead and urge all Dems to remember we are all Dems and it's imperative that we conduct our debates with respect and civility if at all possible!
Posted by: barb | Jul 7, 2011 12:25:17 PM
A lot of comments! Usually a post here excites a handful, and not such engagement.
Heinrich would seem perfect as a prospective US Senator. His background in science and especially in alternative energy are just not your usual political pedigree. Having served in Congress as well as on a city council is an extremely appropriate background.
At this point in time, such a person is poised to do some very important work as a Senator.
The Republican attitude towards science in general is a disaster for this country. Translated into anti education attitudes and policies, it is leadership that can actually cause a lot of damage. The last thing a state struggling with educational challenges needs is to prove that a science background is a negative.
It may be that oil interests will continue to push back against science and energy alternatives, and we certainly have seen this feeding a generalized short term panic, in the Tea Party and throughout society. Mostly it is not reasoned, but about the way special interests have habitually responded and the way a lot of people have not intellectually risen to the true nature of what faces us in the future.
The political system as a whole, from coast to coast, is really a system that is moving slower than it should. This developed during historic periods of the past in which this pace was better matched with surrounding conditions in society in general.
You see the stress around us in the frustration we all have with systems such as the media. The volume and complexity and the global scope of knowledge needed can't possibly be reflected in media coverage.
In the face of mounting anxiety over what is going on, the Republican strategy is to promise that this is not really happening and that we can move back to the fifties. Unfortunately a lot of people want to believe there is comfort to be had and might rather be lied to.
Thus, it is imperative that Democrats have a keen sense of what is really true and a Founding Father ability to articulate honestly. This has to come from a real education and background, and especially if it is rooted in science.
Having worked in politics in the Texas environment, I am sure that there is a storm coming from there. It is in the form of really big money and behind the scenes ultra conservatism. It could lead to some dark times ahead if it is allowed to blow in without everyone being prepared for it.
I think the basic preparation is just knowing that the paradigm has shifted and that progress will come with stiff headwinds from reactionary influences at every level and in all kinds of forms.
Heinrich is absolutely what is needed at this time in our history. There is a lot that he gets that anyone else would find impossible to come up to speed on.
This is Washington we are talking about - and the entire international leadership circumstance at a time in history when understanding science is very critical.
Posted by: Stuart Heady | Jul 8, 2011 5:58:12 AM
I agree with everything stated, Stuart. Martin brings very strong qualifications to this race.
But again, so does Hector. We need critical thinkers who are willing to make the tough choices for the good of our state and our country.
Here's a statement released by Hector Balderas a few minutes after the latest jobs report. http://hectorbalderas.com/press_070811.html
Posted by: Javier | Jul 8, 2011 11:17:28 AM
People have a tendency to think that auditors and CPAs ought to get elected when the economy goes south. It usually turns out to be a fallacy.
The problem in Washington is not a lack of accountancy, but a lack of vision and a sense of the future as something to fear. That really took hold of Washington during the Bush years.
One of the biggest problems facing the US is that much of the Washington leadership does not get it. At the state level, that is a problem across the country, no matter which region.
A lot of people have administration confused with leadership. The US Senate should be about leadership on national priorities for the 21st century ahead. We can predict that gas prices are likely to continue to rise with some relationship to increased consumption in India, and that global warming will demand real comprehension of science issues. There is a lot that cannot be predicted that will require the keenest possible appreciation for what the scientists, engineers and other innovators are saying.
There are a whole lot of people who are fundamentally convinced that the future is pretty much like the past. Most of those vote Republican. Democrats have a better sense that the future is not like the past, but is a paradigm already unfolding that we must be ready to respond to in ways that get beyond the usual assumptions.
That is not a business as usual circumstance.
Posted by: Stuart Heady | Jul 8, 2011 3:00:29 PM
I definitely agree that it is imperative that we elect candidates who value education, and that this sentiment is not exactly shared by both parties. I do take offense, however, to the claim that “There is a lot that he [Heinrich] gets that anyone else would find impossible to come up to speed on.” I may have misunderstood, but it seems that you are making the claim that the only way to demonstrate a commitment to education or to understand complex issues is by obtaining a degree in the sciences. It seems a little condescending to imply that those of us who did not pursue science are incapable of comprehending and articulating a position when things get complicated.
I don’t present this as an attack on Heinrich’s credentials. I agree that his background in science and alternative energy is a positive. I also agree that Hector Balderas’ education (he does have a “real education” – a Juris Doctor is actually a higher degree than a Bachelor of Science, just sayin…) is an asset.
Posted by: Mariposa | Jul 8, 2011 3:29:31 PM
Good comments both by Stuart and Mariposa. I particularly agree with Stuart on one point "A lot of people have administration confused with leadership. The US Senate should be about leadership on national priorities for the 21st century ahead." I ABSOLUTELY AGREE.
That is why I am supporting Hector. He has inspired me to think outside the box, to see beyond hyper-partisanship, in order to LEAD our country from this terrible hole that we're in. Don't confuse Hector's background as an auditor who has fought hard for fiscal accountability and against fraud with a monotone, boring, short-sighted government accountant. He wouldn't have raised over $400k in 60 days. He wouldn't have been able to organize the army of supporters that has been organizing tirelessly state wide (more than one year from the actual primary election).
It is Hector's vision, leadership and promise that a better future is possible for ALL New Mexicans that has inspired me and many others to think big. His personal experience as the child of a single parent from one of the most impoverished villages in New Mexico have shaped Hector's vision for equality and justice. His educational background provides him not only with an appreciation for education but, perhaps most importantly, with first-hand knowledge of what is wrong with New Mexico's education system. Let us not forget, according to the statistics, Hector should have probably been a high school dropout – remember that New Mexico’s dropout rate hovers at around 40% (depends on how you measure it) and it is even higher for Latinos, Native Americans and African American students). It is true – Hector has a professional degree. But it is not his JD that inspires me and the thousands of others whose lives Hector has touched – it is his deep understanding and appreciation of the plight of the everyday man, woman and child. Regardless of race, sexual orientation, national origin or party affiliation. It is his understanding of what it’s like growing up as a member of the working class, oppressed by the economic injustices of our country. When I hear Hector talk about his background, I see myself. When my parents (both immigrants to this country) hear him speak, they see their story reflected in his words.
You are correct, Stuart. We need leaders in Washington DC who can articulate a vision for our country, and who can mobilize entire communities to achieve that vision. That is why I am supporting Hector Balderas.
Posted by: Javier | Jul 8, 2011 4:25:15 PM
I have no idea if Balderas has any understanding of science, climate change, alternative energy, education policies, the federal budget or the factors that are working together to create an emergency situation in terms of our economic and environmental systems. He has never spoken or written about such things as far as I know. I have only the word of whoever "Javier" is-probably a political campaign guy of some kind from the style of his rhetoric. So that's meaningless.
Balderas has an inspiring bio/story but so do many people. That doesn't mean they will make effective Senators. Many people who have been the most effective political leaders on issues of poverty and the working class have NOT emerged from poverty or the working class. Think Ted Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt for instance. The Senate is all about seriously wonky policy issues, strategic planning and action and the ability to interact smartly with the media. Because someone rose from poverty to get a law degree doesn't mean they have the required skills or knowledge.
That's what so odd about the qualities being praised by Diane Denish and some of these commenters. They don't jibe with what's needed in the Senate. What kind of fiscal policy knowledge did Balderas get in the auditor's office? He has hired auditors to do the numbers and the position is not responsible for crafting economic policies. It's about checking agency books.
How does Balderas see the future and its challenges? We have no idea so why would anyone commit to him before he's spelled anything out? Because he's a nice guy with an inspiring life story? That is hardly enough to meet the challenges he would face as an inexperienced legislator jumping from a minor state office to the club of 100 Senators.
Rep. Heinrich on the other hand has beaten two tough foes in campaign and has performed incredibly well in the House, in front of the cameras and in debates. He has taken clear stands on many of the important issues at hand. He is impressive for his work ethic, calm problem solving and careful consideration of policy issues. He is not liked and admired merely for his bio.
Please answer this question-what is "hyper-partisanship" and do you really believe that's the problem we've seen in Democrats? Laughable!
Posted by: Esq. | Jul 8, 2011 4:48:20 PM
"Javier" is my real name. I dont use a pseudonym. I am not a "campaign guy."
I am a private citizen who enjoys policy and political debate. I supported Martin in his 2 congressional races and I think he's a great guy. If Hector wasn't running for this senate seat, I'd probably be supporting Martin.
It is obvious from this and previous comments you've posted that you're an angry individual who is incapable of fruitful, positive debate. I won't even legitimize the rest of your attack on Hector with a response. It's too bad that our great Congressman Heinrich has to deal with such angry followers. It reflects poorly on his campaign.
Posted by: Javier | Jul 8, 2011 5:01:57 PM
What's angry about questioning the logic of claiming that an inspiring bio means a person will be an effective Senator and pointing out that Balderas has not taken any stands? These are facts and rational arguments, not rants. Perhaps you have no reasonable answers to my questions, like the definition of "hyperpartisanship."
Posted by: Esq. | Jul 8, 2011 5:29:27 PM
Your questions are valid.
It's your personal attacks that are concerning, and disturbing.
Posted by: Javier | Jul 8, 2011 5:46:23 PM