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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Eric Griego Delivers Petitions to John Boehner

From the Progressive Candidate for CD1 - Eric Griego

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I went to Speaker John Boehner’s office on Wednesday to help deliver more than 35,000 petitions calling on him to stand with the 99%. The petition also called on Boehner to stop playing political games and pass the President’s jobs bill.

Even though his office had a sign saying “welcome, please come in”, Boehner wouldn’t see us. Instead, he sent a staffer out to take our petitions. But as promised, we had lots of media there with us to cover it, including CNN, CBS, NBC, and the Politico.

Click here to watch the video of the petition delivery to John Boehner and share it with your friends.

The Republican Congress is too busy coddling the richest 1% to pay attention to the 99% of us who want Congress to create jobs instead of playing political games.

Help send me to Washington to keep fighting for the 99%, and not just the richest 1% that Boehner and the Republican Congress continues to coddle, by chipping in $1.99.

October 29, 2011 at 02:27 PM in Eric Griego, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Occupy Wall Street | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Women’s Equality Activist Lilly Ledbetter Endorses Marty Chavez for Congress

“Marty Will Be a Voice for the Families He Represents”

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, women’s equality activist Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, endorsed former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez in his bid to represent New Mexico’s First Congressional District in the House of Representatives.

“I'm proud to announce my support of Marty's candidacy for Congress, a true friend in the struggle for equality.

I know he will serve New Mexico's 1st Congressional District with honor and integrity and be a voice for the families he represents,” said Ledbetter.

“I’m honored to have the support of someone who has so significantly advanced equality issues in our time,” said Chavez.

Ledbetter added, “Together, we can make a difference by sending the right kind of representatives to Washington.  I'm living proof that the right thing doesn't always happen automatically and that even today, equality and fairness can still be hard to come by. I hope you'll join me in helping Marty Chavez become the next leader for equality in Congress.”

Ledbetter’s announcement comes just days after United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta endorsed Marty’s campaign.  

October 27, 2011 at 01:01 PM in Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NM Business Leaders Urge Secretary Salazar to Support Responsible Clean Energy Development on Public Lands

On the heels of a successful statewide renewable energy conference, the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce announced this week that 31 New Mexico business leaders have sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, encouraging him to support the development of clean-energy projects on New Mexico's public, private, and Tribal lands for the benefit of the state's economy and environment. The complete text of the letter can be found here (pdf).

"These New Mexico businesses believe responsible clean-energy development on our state's abundant public lands will help spur economic growth and job creation, and urge Secretary Salazar to push on this transition to a new clean-energy economy," said Allan Oliver, CEO of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce.

The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce's September conference in Las Cruces attracted 200 business leaders, representatives of industry, government, higher education, and research laboratories, as well as policy-makers from across the state and region.

Interior Department Adviser Alan Gilbert was a keynote speaker, and carried a message from the Secretary: "Encouraging new sources of renewable energy for our country on our public lands is a high priority for President Obama and Secretary Salazar, both for the energy people will be able to use and for the jobs these new and important businesses will bring."

To encourage a continued conversation with Secretary Salazar, New Mexico business leaders this month sent a letter to him asking that he work with them to "create local jobs while protecting our national treasures," adding that "New Mexico has some of the best clean energy resources in the nation but we are behind other states in harnessing new energy development... We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to develop additional new projects in New Mexico that meet your goals to both build America's new energy future and protect our treasured landscapes."

"This letter to the Secretary underscores the commitment of New Mexico's business leaders to clean energy," Oliver added, "and reflects our ambition for New Mexico to be a leader in the responsible transition to job-creating renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and biofuels."

According to the Brookings Institution, New Mexico has over 17,000 clean economy jobs, with each job producing approximately $10,000 in exports on average, but ranks 36th in the nation in the overall size of its green economy industry.

October 27, 2011 at 07:16 AM in Energy, Environment, Green Economy, Las Cruces, Obama Administration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Local New Mexico Leaders Endorse Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate

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Clara Apodaca, Rep. Heinrich

Today, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Clara Apodaca, New Mexico State Representative Eleanor Chavez and New Mexico State Representative Eliseo Alcon have announced their support of Martin Heinrich in his campaign for the U.S. Senate.

"It is with pride that I endorse Martin Heinrich for the United States Senate because he is putting New Mexicans back to work," said Las Cruces native and former First Lady of New Mexico Clara Apodaca. "Martin understands the unique cultural heritage that we celebrate here in New Mexico and will fight for all citizens while in the U.S. Senate."

HCHALNM State Rep. Eleanor Chavez echoed Apodaca’s words. “I was proud to stand by Martin's side last year as we went door-to-door talking with families about the issues they face every day,” said Rep. Chavez. “Martin proved to me then that he is a true fighter for New Mexico's working-class families and I'm proud to stand by his side again as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. With courage and leadership like Martin's, I know New Mexico's best days lie ahead."

HALCONM State Rep. Eliseo Alcon supports Heinrich because of his work as U.S. Representative. “Congressman Heinrich has hit the ground running in Washington as the Representative for the First Congressional District of New Mexico. Between his constant hustle and his true home-boy candor, Martin Heinrich is my choice for the United States Senate.”

“I’m honored to have the support of some of New Mexico’s finest community leaders,” said Heinrich. “It’s with the backing of these individuals that we are building the strongest coalition of grassroots supporters that New Mexico has ever seen. These leaders are the essence of our campaign.”

Heinrich's campaign noted that Apodaca, Rep. Chavez, and Rep. Alcon join 52 other local leaders throughout New Mexico who have endorsed Martin Heinrich for Senate, and pointed out that his candidacy has also received strong and early support from a variety of organizations such as labor unions, environmental organizations, and advocates for senior citizens.

Top photo by M.E. Broderick.

October 26, 2011 at 08:09 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (4)

Hector Balderas: Why Cain's Electrified Fence Is Not So Shocking

Images-1Today, NM Democratic candidate for Senate Hector Balderas wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Huffington Post Latino Voices about how GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain's offensive and unbecoming call for an electrified border fence is not shocking, considering the rest of the Republican agenda. It can be found HERE, or see the full text below.

An electrified fence. On the border. Designed to kill people. Along with "real guns with real bullets."

This is the immigration "plan" recently proposed by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

And he's one of his party's frontrunners.

There's no question that immigration is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. No one wants to see people entering this country illegally -- that's why we need bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform in this country. We need leaders who aren't afraid to take up this problem and acknowledge the realities of how we live. For too long, Washington has failed in its responsibilities and not lifted a finger to do anything about this issue.

But Mr. Cain doesn't support bipartisan immigration reform. Neither do any of the other Republican presidential candidates. They all oppose a path to citizenship. They all oppose a federal DREAM Act. They all support Arizona's draconian law that promotes racial profiling.

Instead, Mr. Cain supports electrified fences, guns and bullets. His proposal is not just offensive to the Hispanic community but unbecoming of someone seeking high office, and it flies in the face of everything this great country stands for.

After repeating his comments several times, Mr. Cain said he was merely joking. But there's nothing funny about the violent imagery he's espoused. His comments are reprehensible and should be condemned.

Instead, what we got from the other Republican candidates was silence. They spent the most recent debate pandering to the worst elements of the Tea Party and arguing over who was the most right-wing, but not one critical word was said about Mr. Cain's remarks.

Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Sadly, no.

The Republicans running for president, and many running for other office (like Senate candidate Heather Wilson in New Mexico) have embraced a Tea Party agenda that will hurt many average Americans -- but will be particularly devastating to Hispanic Americans.

While Mr. Cain may try to laugh off his offensive comments about an electrified fence as a joke, there are very serious consequences to the Tea Party agenda shared by Cain, Romney, Rick Perry, Heather Wilson, and Republican candidates across the country. Thirty-one percent of New Mexico Hispanics under the age of 17 live below the poverty line. Yet the Republican candidates continue to coddle Wall Street, millionaires and large corporations while proposing to slash Medicaid funding, causing 36 million people to lose their coverage. And they would cut food stamp benefits for a family of four by nearly $1,800 a year. As someone who grew up in public housing while living on food stamps, that's no laughing matter.

Nearly half of New Mexico's Hispanic students don't graduate from high school. Many of them come from rural communities that are among the most economically distressed in the country. Yet the Republican candidates have a plan that would cut federal spending for education and training by 25 percent -- it would cut 320,000 children from Head Start and cut assistance for families trying to send their children to college. As the first from my town to graduate from law school, the husband of a public school teacher, and father of children in New Mexico public schools, that's not funny.

There are over 60,000 Hispanic senior citizens in New Mexico. Yet the Republican candidates have proposed privatizing Social Security, putting it at the mercy of a volatile stock market. And they support eliminating Medicare as we know it, increasing costs for seniors by $6,400. As someone who was raised by a single mother that now relies on Medicare, there is nothing funny about that.

For too long, the wealthy and powerful have benefited from Washington policies that continue to help them at the expense of everyone else. Rather than focus on policies that will grow our economy, create jobs, hold both Washington and Wall Street accountable, and lift everyone up by bringing people together, Republicans and the Tea Party have decided that it is in their political interest to continue dividing us by pitting us against one another.

Mr. Cain's remarks take that to a whole new level. That, I'm sorry to say, is no joke.

And, sadly, given the harmful plans they have for the country, his "joke" about an electrified fence is not that shocking all.

Hector Balderas is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate from New Mexico. If elected, he would be the first Hispanic Senator from New Mexico since 1977. He was elected New Mexico's State Auditor in 2006 at the age of 33 (making him the youngest statewide Latino elected official in the nation), and he was overwhelmingly reelected in 2010. For more information, visit www.HectorBalderas.com.

October 26, 2011 at 06:11 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Border Issues, Hector Balderas, Hispanic Issues, Immigration, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

11/5: Matanza Celebration in Honor of Marty Chavez for Congress

From New Mexicans for Marty Chavez:

Please Join
Ambassador Ed Romero & Cayetana Romero, State Representative Ernest Chavez, City Councilor Ken Sanchez, Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz & Annette De La Cruz, The Honorable Steve Gallegos & Bev Gallegos, ABQ Fire Chief (ret.) Robert Ortega, Democratic Ward 14A Chair Tony Barboa, Democratic Ward 12A Chair Arlene Chavez, Albert & Irene Chavez, Chris & Janette Baca, Diego Gallegos, Eddie & Christine Lopez, Mary Molina Mescall, Larry Nelson, John & Klarissa Pena, Frances Ray and Lawrence Torres
For a
MATANZA
In honor of our own
MARTY CHÁVEZ
Candidate for Congress in NM’s First Congressional District
Saturday, November 5th, 2011, 1PM to 5PM
At the Home of Eddie and Christina Lopez in Duranes
1514 Gabaldon Drive NW
Food and beverages will be provided
$5 Suggested Donation
Click for Invitation with Map
Please join Marty and friends for a celebration marking
one year before the 2012 election

October 25, 2011 at 06:06 PM in Events, Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

10/29: Dem Women of Sandoval County BBQ Lunch and Wine Tasting

The Democratic Women of Sandoval County are hosting a BBQ lunch, wine tasting and silent auction fundraising event on Saturday, October 29, from Noon to 4:00 PM, at the Anasazi Fields Winery located at 26 Camino de los Pueblitos in Placitas. Admission is $20 and includes: BBQ lunch (beef, chicken, & pork) catered by the Placitas Cafe, silent auction, door prizes & live music by Doug Peterson, blues guitarist. Wine bar available. Something for everyone!

Directions to the winery: From exit 242 off I-25 go east on Highway 165 approximately 6 miles to a sign "Entering the Historic Village of Placitas." Turn left onto Camino de los Pueblitos, which is the first street on the left past the sign. Stay on Camino de los Pueblitos which ends at the Anasazi Fields Winery.

For tickets please call Janice Saxton at 867-1139 or email [email protected].

October 25, 2011 at 12:43 PM in Democratic Party, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

25 NM Health Centers to Share in $42 Million National Grant to Improve Care

Yesterday, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced it would be granting approximately $42 million over three years to 500 community health centers in 44 states across the country. This will mean a dramatic improvement in coordination and quality of care to seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare in New Mexico, according to a statement released by Know Your Care. Twenty-five New Mexico community health centers in 23 communities will share in the grants.

As part of the Advanced Primary Care Practice demonstration established by the Affordable Care Act, community health centers will be funded by Medicare based on the quality of care delivered. Medicare enrollees and people with disabilities will benefit especially with this system set up to reward clinics for helping their patients manage their chronic conditions. Centers will also be able to handle more same-day appointments, help those with urgent care needs, and expand their hours.

New Mexicans enrolled in traditional Medicare will have 25 community health clinics that could one day serve as advanced primary care centers, based on results from the demonstration. Through October 31, 2014, these health centers will be paid a monthly fee for each eligible person with Medicare who receives primary care services.

An independent evaluation will be conducted by the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to determine whether the project helped decrease hospital admission rates and emergency department visits, as well as its cost-effectiveness.

Community based health centers in these New Mexico communities are funded under the announced grant:  Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Artesia, Bayard, Belen, Carlsbad, Cloudcroft, Clovis, Cuba, Deming, Edgewood, Espanola, Gallup, Grants, Hatch, Las Vegas, Lordsburg, Los Lunas, Questa, Rio Rancho, Roswell, Silver City and Socorro.

A full list of community health centers sharing these grants, including those in New Mexico, is available online here from CMS.

October 25, 2011 at 12:34 PM in Healthcare, Obama Health Care Reform | Permalink | Comments (0)

11/10: Fundraising Reception at Imbibe for Marty Chavez for Congress

From New Mexicans for Marty Chavez:

PLEASE JOIN 
Wes Golden,
Nick Bakas, Butch Keiser, Fred Mondragon & Dan Silva

AT A FUNDRAISING RECEPTION 
for
Marty Chavez
CANDIDATE, N.M. 1st CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Co-Hosts:
Gabe Apodaca, Damon Maddox, Judy Pacheco, John Wertheim and Jacob Winowich (Host committee still being formed)

Thursday, November 10, 2011  
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Imbibe
3101 Central Ave., NE, Albuquerque
See INVITATION for more information

Suggested Contribution: 
Co-Host $250 ~ Supporter $100 ~ Friend $50 ~ Guest $25
RSVP to: Janis Hartley (505) 412-2642 or [email protected]

October 25, 2011 at 12:14 PM in Events, Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lora Lucero: Open Letters to Democrats and Republicans on Occupy Wall Street (OWS)

32572_1490148059567_1409943325_31274466_3382950_nThis is a guest blog by Lora Lucero, a long-time resident of Albuquerque, NM, an adjunct professor of law at UNM and the Natural Resources Director for the League of Women Voters of New Mexico.

Open Letter to Democrats
As a fellow Democrat, I “get” your enthusiasm for the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and the protesters gathering in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos and Las Cruces. These young people, old people, veterans, union members and others are putting their bodies on the line and their voices to the bull horns for many of the same values that the Democratic Party considers its bedrock principles. I don’t speak for the OWS but we’ve all heard that their demands include social and economic justice for all Americans, accountability from Wall Street for the mess it has created and reining in the influence of corporations, lobbyists and money in our elections. 

We may not be able to camp out and sleep on the ground with them, but we certainly want to show our support and align ourselves with the OWS energy. A couple of examples of Democrats supporting the OWS this week, however, raised alarm bells for me.

The UNM Teach-In at the Student Union Building presented good speakers all week on topics of interest to the OWS movement. I attended one day and heard a CNM professor talk about the history of protest movements and the importance of organizing strategically to grow the OWS movement. He then urged the OWS protesters sitting in the audience to redirect their energy into electoral politics, and specifically urged them to support a specific Democratic candidate running for Congress in CD-1. I cringed when I heard this, even though I personally support his candidate.  

The second “cringe” moment occurred this weekend when I heard that Democrats were going to march with the OWS and carry their Democratic Party banner. Ouch!  

Let’s be frank. The 99% (as the OWS protesters call themselves) have a lot of work to do to grow the OWS movement. They need our support and active participation. Every Democrat should attend at least one Assembly meeting at Yale Park next to the UNM Campus Bookstore.   

Truthfully, however, the OWS movement would not have captured as much of the popular outrage among Americans if the Democratic Party had been true to its bedrock principles over the past twenty years. Many Democrats see very little difference between the political parties. Young people even question the wisdom of voting --- and I don’t blame them.

The Democratic Party has failed the 99% and should acknowledge its failure. I don’t believe we have much to teach these OWS folks, but we can certainly learn alot. Having spent hours watching and listening during their Assembly meetings, I know these young people have wisdom beyond their years.  

Please don’t misunderstand me. I encourage people of every stripe to actively engage with the OWS movement, but let's do so humbly and with respect, as individuals who identify with the hopes and aspirations of the 99%. Individuals can support the OWS by:

  1. Donating pizzas and eats 
  2. Donating warm clothing and bedding
  3. Donating supplies for signs, bullhorns, flashlights, etc.
  4. Attending Assembly meetings and actions as individuals
  5. Increasing the OWS visibility in the community by writing letters to the Editor, talking to neighbors and putting up a 99% sign in your yard.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has a lot of work to do to regain the faithful, perhaps the subject of another letter. But please don’t try to turn the OWS movement into a partisan movement. It isn’t and it won’t be. As one OWS leader said at the UNM Teach-In last week in response to the discussion about organizing: “It is complex when we have such a diverse group. We need to speak about our commonalities, but also acknowledge the differences and respect how we see the world differently.”

Open Letter to Republicans:
As a life-long registered Democrat, I don’t “get” you but many friends and family members are registered Republicans, and so I want to extend an invitation.  

Please check out the Occupied Wall Street (OWS) movement in your town. When you hear protesters shouting “We are the 99%” --- please know that they are building a movement big enough for everyone.  We may have very different ideas about how to fix things, but I suspect we can find agreement on what is broken.  

The growing income disparity in this country impacts us all. The lack of accountability by our government and corporate America should alarm everyone. The diminishing prospects for my granddaughter’s future are shared with your grandchildren. 

We don’t have to agree on everything, we just need to listen respectfully. That is exactly what I have seen at every OWS meeting that I have attended. 

People with divergent views and opinions come together to share, discuss, hash out and decide together what direction to take. I was stunned and thrilled when a middle-aged, self-identified Tea Party person attended and shared her ideas with the OWS folks. They listened to her deeply and with respect. She was heard and could see for herself how her words were influencing the group.

This is a watershed moment and we’re lucky to be alive to witness it. Let’s not be mere observers though.

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

October 24, 2011 at 03:31 PM in Democratic Party, Guest Blogger, Occupy Wall Street (Everywhere), Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (11)

UFW Co-Founder Dolores Huerta Endorses Marty Chavez

DoloresHuertaCrToday, in a letter to supporters, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta endorsed former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez in his bid to represent New Mexico’s First Congressional District in the House of Representatives.

“I have known Marty personally for many, many years and I can attest to his skills as a bold and innovative thinker. Simply put, Marty is the kind of leader the working class needs; someone who will put the needs of ordinary working families ahead of the corporate elite,” said Huerta.“That's why I'm proud to endorse Marty for Congress.”

“Dolores has been long-time friend and colleague whose lifetime of advocacy on behalf of working people is inspiring. I am extremely proud to have her support in this election. At a time when working people and labor unions are under attack, we need to redouble our efforts to ensure that New Mexico’s middle class families can thrive.”

“In these times of economic uncertainty, America needs people like Marty Chavez – a leader who will empower struggling workers across the country to stand up for their rights and demand equality in the workplace. As a native New Mexican, I've seen first-hand the transformation Albuquerque has experienced under Marty's leadership. Working with organized labor and community groups, Marty has helped New Mexico become a center for growth and an incredible place to work and raise a family. His efforts to protect the environment have been groundbreaking and have resulted in Albuquerque being named one of the “Greenest” cities in the country. That's the kind of leadership we need in Washington,” added Huerta.

The Chavez campaign for Congress noted that Marty has been endorsed by IBEW Local 611 and received strong personal backing from Democratic, progressive and environmental leaders from New Mexico and around the country including Ambassador Joe Wilson, Ambassador Ed Romero, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Carbon War Room CEO Jigar Shah, President of the Earth Day Network Kathleen Rogers and President & CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies Thomas Peterson.

Photo by M.E. Broderick.

October 24, 2011 at 03:05 PM in Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (11)

10/29: Common Cause NM Luncheon Features Discussion on Money and Politics, Award to Sen. Peter Wirth

From Common Cause NM:
Please join Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) for lunch on Saturday, October 29, as we bring together some of the smartest, most creative minds to discuss the future of money in politics reform in our state. You definitely want to be a part of this event!

  • WHAT: Money and Politics in New Mexico 
  • WHEN: Saturday, October 29, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM
  • WHERE: UNM's Continuing Education Building, 1634 University Blvd NE in Albuquerque 
  • WHO: State Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), UNM Professor of Political Science Gabriel Sanchez, Director of the Native American Voters Alliance Laurie Weahkee, KNME-TV’s Gwyneth Doland (moderator) and you
  • ADMISSION: $20, which includes a delicious catered lunch. 

SWIRTCCNM Honors Sen. Peter Wirth With Jack Taylor Award: As part of the luncheon, New Mexico State Senator Peter Wirth will receive the 2011 Jack Taylor Best in Government Award. This award is bestowed each year on a distinguished New Mexican who has done an exceptional service to the state by advocating reforms to make government more accountable to ordinary people. Wirth’s tireless efforts to refine and improve New Mexico's ethics and campaign finance laws have made him a respected leader among both his legislative peers and the civic organizations who are working on these issues.

“There are very few legislators who understand the complex campaign finance issues facing our state as well as Senator Wirth does,” says James Harrington, chair of Common Cause New Mexico. “During the 2012 election cycle, we will likely see more special-interest money than ever flowing into New Mexico campaigns, much it coming from out of state. We at Common Cause are grateful to have an effective champion like Senator Wirth working on legislation to ensure that voters are fully informed about the nature and origins of this special-interest money."

In particular, Harrington praised Senator Wirth’s sponsorship of SB547, a campaign finance disclosure bill presented during the 2011 legislative session that sought to make desperately-needed fixes to the New Mexico Campaign Reporting Act. In previous sessions, Wirth has also sponsored other successful campaign finance reforms designed to increase the transparency of campaign finance in New Mexico.

Please RSVP today at www.commoncause.org/nm/2011luncheon! We know how bad the situation has become. For this event, we want to focus on solutions, and we'd love to hear from you! Hope to see you on the 29th!

October 24, 2011 at 02:44 PM in Ethics & Campaign Reform, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)