Friday, June 01, 2012

Sierra Club Primary Endorsements: Vote June 5!

On May 31, Sierra Club released the following endorsements for primary candidates.

On June 5, we have a golden opportunity to select candidates who will protect New Mexico's air, land, and water.

In several Democratic primary races, we have excellent chances to replace anti-environment elected officials with environmental champions. Check out our endorsements below and vote early until Saturday or on Election Day, June 5.

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter endorses:
(Note: non-incumbents not listed if they are in unopposed primaries.)

U.S. Senate: Martin Heinrich

U.S. House of Representatives, District 1: Eric Griego
U.S. House of Representatives, District 3: Ben Ray Luján

Public Regulation Commission, District 3: Virginia Vigil

Santa Fe County Commission, District 2: Maria-Ester De Anda
Santa Fe County Commission, District 4: Kathleen Holian
Santa Fe County Commission, District 5: Elizabeth Stefanics

New Mexico House of Representatives:

District 14: Rep. Miguel Garcia
District 16: Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas
District 17: Rep. Ed Sandoval
District 18: Rep. Gail Chasey
District 21: Rep. Mimi Stewart
District 34: Rep. Mary Helen Garcia
District 35: Rep. Antonio Lujan
District 42: Rep. Bobby Gonzales
District 46: David Coss
District 47: Rep. Brian Egolf
District 48: Rep. Lucky Varela
District 50: Stephen P. Easley
District 65: Rep. James Madelena
District 69: Rep. Ken Martinez

New Mexico Senate:

District 3: Sen. John Pinto
District 6: Sen. Carlos Cisneros
District 8: Sen. Pete Campos
District 9: Ben Rodefer
Disrtict 11: Sen. Linda Lopez
District 12: Sen. Jerry Ortiz Y Pino
District 14: Eleanor Chavez
District 15: Sen. Tim Eichenberg
District 16: Sen. Cisco McSorley
District 17: Sen. Tim Keller
District 21: Senator Lisa Curtis
District 24: Sen. Nancy Rodriguez
District 25: Sen. Peter Wirth
District 26: Jacob Candelaria
District 28: Sen. Howie Morales
District 29: Sen. Michael Sanchez
District 30: Maxine Velasquez
District 36: Sen. MaryJane Garcia
District 38: Sen. Mary Kay Papen
District 39: Jack Sullivan

See the "Politics" section of our website to learn more about these candidates.

June 1, 2012 at 08:24 AM in 2012 Legislature Races, 2012 NM PRC Races, 2012 NM Senate Race, 2012 Primary Election, Environment, Eric Griego, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest Blog: Why Vote? A Young Person’s Perspective by Hannah Siegel

Photo-01Following is a guest blog by Hannah Siegel. A 2012 Sandia Preparatory School Graduate and Intern for Martin Heinrich’s Campaign for U.S. Senate.

"This coming Saturday I will graduate from Sandia Prep in Albuquerque. For the past year, I have been the news editor of my school paper and I have always held a deep seeded interest in politics. Over the past month, these two passions have come together through my Senior Experience internship with the communications director of the Martin Heinrich for Senate campaign.

As a result of this experience, I was motivated to write an op-ed for other young people, giving my opinion on the importance of voting and explaining why I support Martin Heinrich. I hope you will consider publishing this op-ed in Democracy for New Mexico before next Tuesday’s primary."

Perhaps it was the midterm election cycle, the time of day (just after school), the polling place, or simple serendipity, but the first time I ever cast my vote, I was pretty much alone. There was no line and no need for the voter card I had carried around like a talisman since I first got it a few weeks prior.

Voting was simple and easy. I had done my research so thoroughly that I even knew which judges I wanted to keep. I could have filled in the circle that would allow me to vote straight Democratic, but for some reason I felt the need to bubble in each and every individual oval, and every time I did so, I felt a spark of adrenaline and a feeling of accomplishment and importance.

No longer would I just have to sit behind the phone and urge people to do what I so longed to do. No longer would I have to walk from house to house for hours in 100 degree weather with the bitter, yet hopeful knowledge that volunteering was all I could do. Finally, I had my own say. Finally, I could use my civic voice. At last, I could vote.

There are many reasons I could name that would  explain my voting excitement or why I would encourage other young people to vote: every vote matters, voting now creates good habits later, and voting is the most important civic duty a person has. But those are just facts, and none of them really capture my enthusiasm. You see, I vote for my future. Incidentally, this is also why I cast my primary vote for Martin Heinrich and why I will do so again come November.

Right now, there are several bills floating around congress that would keep the interest rate on federal student loans low. And though, at this current moment it doesn’t look like I’ll need a government loan for college next year and the years beyond, for many of my peers, a government loan is their only option. The only thing the bills really differ on is how they would be paid for. The bill introduced by Republicans in the House of Representatives will cut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is aimed at stopping serious health risks and chronic diseases like HIV/AIDS and cancer before they happen, and is included in the Affordable Health Care Act. The bill that Rep. Heinrich supports will raise taxes by six percent on oil companies. Since oil companies are currently raking in more money than any other industry in America, I think they can afford a small tax increase to support the future generation of CEOs.

But there are other issues currently being debated on Capitol Hill that are just as important if not more so to my generation and future generations.

Firstly, being a relatively private person and having also recently joined Facebook, I can say that privacy on the internet, a place where confidentiality can easily be breeched, is a serious matter. But it’s not just hackers that can compromise private information. Recently, there have been rather terrifying reports that employers are demanding to see employees’ and job applicants' passwords so they can access information that may be hidden from the public eye on Facebook and other social media sites. To counteract this new trend, Rep, Heinrich took action and introduced the Password Protection Act, which would make it illegal for employers to demand online, private information.

Secondly, I have lived in New Mexico my entire life, which has given me a clear window into the debate over illegal immigration. We should build a higher fence; employers should be penalized for employing illegal immigrants; all illegal immigrants should be rounded up and deported; illegal immigrants shouldn’t have drivers’ licenses: these are all common opinions voiced about illegal immigration. But one thing that isn’t talked about enough is the children who come to our country at a young age. Though they are not American citizens, many of them have grown up in America. This is their home. They know English just as well as their fellow students and are just as driven to make the American dream their own—many serving our country in the military. Rep. Heinrich is a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), which would allow students, who are just like me, only different in their country of birth, to receive full status as a U.S. citizen.

Thirdly, I would like to take this time to talk about bullying. Yes, former Congresswoman Heather Wilson was right when she said recently that it is the job of parents to teach their children empathy and acceptance. However, I disagree that the government has no role in addressing the problem of bullying. This issue is especially close to my heart as someone who has been bullied because of perceived sexual orientation. In recent years, there has been a dramatic upswing in students committing suicide because they were bullied, especially kids who were bullied because of sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, which is why a bill called the Student Non-Discrimination Act has been introduced. The act, which, again, Rep Heinrich co-sponsors, would outlaw bullying and harassment of students in public schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity both by bullies and by school staff and programs. The bill would not criminalize bullies, but would penalize schools that allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Lastly, Rep. Heinrich also fought against the House Republican budget which would make serious cuts to Social Security and Medicare. You may point out that neither of those things really affects me because, as a healthy young person, I don’t need them. But the truth is I won’t always be young and more importantly there are parents and grandparents out there who need these programs to insure their well being and the well being of their children and grandchildren. If I work hard and pay into the system, I should be able to receive the benefits I've earned when I retire. That’s only fair. But if the Republican budget passes, the rug may be pulled out from under me and everyone else because Medicare and Social Security will end as we know it.

When I go to the polls to vote, or when I weigh positives and negatives of both sides of an issue, I’m not just cognizant of my own situation, but of others’ as well. A country is a lot like a really big, dysfunctional family: we are united by a common citizenship and have a responsibility to one another. If one person is struggling, it is the duty of the entire family to help that person out, regardless of how that person may have fallen into that situation. The same is true of a country, but on a much larger scale. So when I cast my vote, I do it not just for my own gain and for my future, but also for everyone else’s. If we recognize that we are all in it together, we are stronger. That notion, I believe, is one that Rep. Martin Heinrich shares and that is why I will continue to throw my support behind him through voting and volunteering.

May 29, 2012 at 06:05 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Guest Blogger, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Youth | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Destination Education Tour with Hector Balderas

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On Friday May 18, I accompanied New Mexico State Auditor and U.S Senate candidate Hector Balderas as he traveled across the state on his “Destination Education” tour.  Balderas had students from Wagon Mound—many of whom were featured in Balderas’ recent ad—with him.  UFC fighter John Dodson, another New Mexico native, also traveled with us on the campaign bus.

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Balderas to grads                    John Dodson w Mrs.B 

Our first stop was at Albuquerque High School, where Auditor Balderas gave the keynote address at the farewell assembly for the graduating seniors.  Balderas’ touching and inspiration speech to over 1,500 students and staff congratulated the seniors for overcoming great adversity in order to graduate.  Balderas also challenged the students to never let the obstacles ahead stop them from achieving their dreams.  “If you have a plan, work at that plan, and never give up, the world will get out of your way.  I know this because I lived it,” Balderas said.

DSC_1374 copyAfter Balderas’ speech I had the opportunity to get on the campaign bus with Balderas, the students, and Dodson.  It was great getting a chance to talk to the kids from Wagon Mound and hearing why they are so inspired by Balderas’ candidacy.  These Wagon Mound kids were very excited and very proud of their home legend Hector Balderas. The kids were also thrilled to hear about Dodson’s path and career. I asked the kids what they liked about Hector and the video is below.

After about an hour drive we arrived in Santa Fe and met with Representative Luciano “Lucky” Varela and Santa Fe School Board Member Linda Trujillo outside the State Capitol.  The students delivered the letters they had all written explaining what education means to them.  A couple students even read their letters aloud.  Varela and Trujillo were clearly touched and inspired that students traveled so far to express their thoughts and concerns.

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After only two stops on the tour I was exhausted and headed back home. The campaign, on the other hand, was forging ahead, heading to Las Vegas, Taos and Española.                

May 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Education, Hector Balderas | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

$642,000,000,000 (billion) for the War Machine "Ike was Right"

Ike was right$642,000,000,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Budget, 8 billion more than what Obama or the Defense Secretary even asked for. I bet the Department of Education would love 8 bil more for their FY2013.

When will this craziness stop? CD1 Congressman Martin Heinrich voted yes, CD2 Congressman Pearce voted yes, CD3 Congressman Lujan voted no. Heinrich voting with Pearce is not good. Heinrich's press release is at the end of this post. To see how Congressional votes across the Country were cast for this bill see this article.

This kind of obscene money spent on war and defense has got to stop. 88 billion still going over to Afghanistan for 2013, that is $1.5 bill every week. Think of what this Country could do with $1.5 bil every week. The bill funds a missile defense site to be built on the east coast, that the military itself opposes, old star-wars garbage, and even Russian cold war garbage. We have gone insane, when we will fund things the military does not even want and threaten drastic cuts to social security for our seniors which is desperately needed now, we have gone insane.

Ok yes there are jobs that come from all that obscene money for people in NM. At Kirkland mainly, yes these jobs have real people working in them, but it is time we ask; do we spend our precious tax dollars on space war or fireman, Russian cold war or teachers, more nuclear weapons or solar energy, fixing the San Juan coal plant that we know is killing people which will cost $800 mil, or 1.5 bil for another week in Afghanistan?

Heinrich says in his statement below: "H.R. 4310 includes language that restores these missions, and includes $25 million for the continuation of the ORS program and $45 million for the continuation of STP. The United States Air Force (USAF) estimates that there are 68 jobs at the KAFB ORS headquarters office, not including the New Mexico small businesses that contract with and provide support to ORS. Further, the USAF estimates there are 74 jobs at the KAFB STP office." So let me do a quick calc...that is 142 jobs for $70 mil tax dollars. Not a good return I say. Maybe if it was even 1,420 jobs or 14,200 jobs for 70 mil I would be more in favor. If you are one of those 142 people working on this project you are psyched, but if you are us underemployed and unemployed, we are not so psyched.

How about the constant drum beat of the funding social security, and medicare costing the country too much money. We have paid into this fund for all the years we have been working, let's face it, it has been used as a slush fund for other war machine spending. It is time we stop being a super power around the world, rebuilding and protecting the world meanwhile our own needs go untended. Our seniors struggling, our children slipping more and more behind. Channel 7 is having a debate tonight with the CD1 Candidates I hope they ask how each of the candidates would have voted for this bill.

These are the questions we face this election. More of the same use of our money for war machine spending or funding realistic things for our citizens needed now. Like President Eisenhower said in his 1961 farewell address "restrain the "military-industrial complex." you can read the entire speech here. 51 years ago, and we are have done nothing but increase our military industrial complex to the point it is now the only budget of our country that receives more and more than requested and has very little accountability for where the funds go, and meanwhile we are out of work, kids have no food to go to school with a full belly, moms and dads are not working, no money for healthcare, no money for sustainability projects.

If the election was today who would you vote for? Who would be the most likely to not cave for star war spending, even if it does have jobs related to it in Kirkland, does it make sense for now? Is it the best use of your/our tax dollars? I do not think so. You decide.

Heinrich Fights to Save KAFB Missions and Boost New Mexico’s Economy
Defense Authorization Bill to Strengthen National Security, Ease Export Controls and Promote Tech Transfer Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 18, 2012) – Today, U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) announced that H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 passed the House by a 299 to 120 vote. The bill ensures that our military is fully prepared for threats and challenges worldwide and that our troops get the benefits they deserve and have earned. This year’s NDAA includes several important provisions authored by Rep. Heinrich that support U.S. service members and their families, create jobs, and spur economic growth in New Mexico.

“I will keep working to ensure that our national laboratories and military installations have the resources they need to perform their critical national security missions,” said Rep. Heinrich.

In February, as part of the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, the Department of Defense recommended eliminating funding and terminating the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program and the Space Test Program (STP), both of which are headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB). Since that time, Rep. Heinrich, a Member of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee, has led the fight in the House to restore the ORS and STP missions.

As a result of Rep. Heinrich’s work, H.R. 4310 includes language that restores these missions, and includes $25 million for the continuation of the ORS program and $45 million for the continuation of STP. The United States Air Force (USAF) estimates that there are 68 jobs at the KAFB ORS headquarters office, not including the New Mexico small businesses that contract with and provide support to ORS. Further, the USAF estimates there are 74 jobs at the KAFB STP office.

“I asked the tough questions and I worked with my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, to protect these missions at Kirtland,” said Rep. Heinrich. “As the Department of Defense looks for ways to cut spending across the country, I am committed to fight for New Mexico and ensure that jobs remain intact.”

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-9) added, “I applaud Congressman Heinrich for his hard work in bringing the committee to a more sensible approach that prevents the loss of the ORS and STP missions and their personnel.”

Additional provisions included in the NDAA that are positive for New Mexico:

  • Preserved Directed Energy jobs at KAFB. NDAA provided an increase of $30 million to preserve the skilled workforce that was involved in the Airborne Laser Test Bed program and to accelerate experimentation with next generation directed energy system development.
  • Increased Technology Transfer. Rep. Heinrich successfully offered an amendment that would authorize a pilot program between one national laboratory and one non-profit entity for the purpose of accelerating technology transfer from national laboratories to marketplace.
  • Ease Satellite Export Controls To Boost NM Small Business. An amendment, based on legislation Rep. Heinrich introduced last year to ease satellite export controls, was accepted. Easing export controls will provide a strong boost to New Mexico’s aerospace industry.
  • Possible 2013 and 2015 BRAC Rejected. KAFB, Cannon Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and White Sands Missile Range would be protected from a 2013 or 2015 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC).

May 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Eric Griego, Hector Balderas, Martin Chavez, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Military Affairs, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (8)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Heinrich in New TV Ad: I’ll Never Stop Fighting for New Mexico

Martin Heinrich released his third television ad in three weeks today, one that assures voters that he will “fight for the things New Mexicans have worked so hard for.” The new spot highlights the jobs Heinrich saved at Kirtland Air Force Base and his effort to stand up for seniors and stop Republican attempts to weaken Social Security and Medicare. The ad will air in both the Albuquerque and El Paso media markets.

Since he was elected to Congress in 2008, Martin Heinrich travels home almost every weekend to meet with the people of New Mexico. From day one, Martin has put the interests of his constituents before the special interests and knows that the best ideas don’t come from Washington, they come from the folks back home. That is why he organizes job fairs, speaks directly with small business owners, visits with veterans at the VA hospital in Albuquerque, and meets with seniors to discuss how he's protecting their Social Security and Medicare.

May 17, 2012 at 02:06 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Jobs, Political Ads, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Social Security, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Teachers and Education Leaders Support Eleanor Chavez

Eleanor Chavez candidate for NM Senate District 14 has officially been endorsed by:

  • Albuquerque Teachers Federation Local 1420
  • National Education Association-NM
  • Albuquerque Educational Assistants Association Local 4129
  • Albuquerque Secretarial and Clerical Association Local 4127

“I am extremely grateful to have the support of teachers, school counselors, psychologists, social workers, librarians, nurses, secretaries, clerical employees and educational assistants. I appreciate and value their dedication to the success of our children. I will always be committed to supporting our team of teachers and all education employees who work hard everyday to provide students with the quality education they deserve,” said Eleanor.

Eleanor understands that New Mexico faces many unique challenges. As a member of the Legislative Education Study Committee, Eleanor actively supported a constitutional amendment to fund early childhood education and signed on as a cosponsor of Rep. Miera’s HJR15. She believes that we can improve educational outcomes in our state by investing in the early years of a child’s learning, reducing class sizes and supporting our teachers.

“I believe that providing access to a quality education is the key to improving our economy and the lives of all New Mexicans,” said Eleanor Chavez.

Please click here (http://www.eleanorchavez.com/endorsements/) to see a complete list of Eleanor’s endorsements.

May 7, 2012 at 07:00 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Republican Senate Candidate Heather Wilson Says "She Can Tolerate the Bullying of Gay Kids"

Anti gay bullyingThere has been very little media coverage of the statement made by the New Mexico Republican Candidate for Senate Heather Wilson. She recently went on record with an out of touch position regarding the bullying of gay kids.

At a forum in Otero County, Heather ridicules Sen. Al Franken's bill he introduced SB555; the Student Non-Discrimination Act From Al Frankens website:

"The proposed bill establishes a comprehensive federal prohibition against discrimination and bullying in public schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Specifically, the bill would forbid schools from discriminating against LGBT students or ignoring harassing behavior. Fifty years of civil rights history shows that similar laws are effective in preventing discrimination from happening in the first place. Like other civil rights laws, SNDA would prompt schools to avoid liability by taking proactive steps to prevent the discrimination and bullying of students protected by the bill."

"While federal civil rights statutes clearly address discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, and national origin, they do not explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity. As a result, LGBT students and parents have limited legal recourse for this kind of discrimination."

The video above shot by American Bridge captures Heather Wilson's entire response to her tolerating of LGBT bullying. Be sure to read her words accompanying the video. She goes on to say it is the parents responsibility to make the kids stronger. No mention of the fact that the harassing and bullying by the bullies is bad. She goes on to say: "It is a act that would criminalize harassment or bullying in schools...of...of a...of children who...uh...mm...who are gay or who-it criminalizes bullying."

Heather sounds like a bully herself in this video. Her final statement in the video of the proposed Franken bill: "it (the bill) actually punish children and say that it's prohibited to express an opinion with respect to homosexuality in the schools...um I just think that's wrong..." Can she really believe what she is saying? So many pauses, and ums and ahs, she is condoning the right of young kids to mock and hurt other kids due to their homosexuality. It is OK for kids to make fun, harass, mock, even hit a fellow student that is maybe gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Imagine the outrage if Heather was admitting this same condoning of bullying of other minorities to say hurtful/hateful words causing emotional and at times physical violence.

Imagine the other Matthew Shepard's, the torturing and the killings Heather Wilson is allowing to have happen, due to uncontrolled rage and hatred towards LGBT people. Bullying today results in a hate crime tomorrow, very easily. Just remember Matthew Shepard.

Matthew shepard portrait     Matthew shepard fence
Heather is merely spouting the hatefilled Republican party line. She even calls the bill Franken introduced an "Agenda". Sure we all know the code for "gay agenda." The radical gay agenda which is teaching young people to not hate themselves and to survive the Heathers of the world. Code that prohibits the bullying of young kids, and not having these young kids carry with them self hatred for their lives because of being lesbian or gay. With so many LGBT bullying induced LGBT suicides being in the news currently, it is unconscionable Heather Wilson could say this and not be held accountable.

IgbHeather obviously has not heard of the; "It Get's Better" campaign. In Heather's world it would be "It gets worse." Bullying is real, it hurts, it changes lives, it affects many, it kills, it is wrong and should be stopped at a young age, not condoned by our elected officials. Watch some of the videos recorded on the It Get's Better link above. These are real people on these videos all reminding young people that your life will get better.

Who knows what Heather's sexual preference is? There have been rumors for years that she had a woman lover in Washington DC., was even seen in lesbian bars. The rumor is her husband is gay as well, and their marriage is one of convenience. Honestly, Heather is kind of butchy and her hubby is kind of fem. It is conceivable this could be a marriage of convenience. But how would we ever know and to be clear "not that being gay is a bad thing."

Also, when ever we can bring up the "Heather Wilson cover-up for her husband scandel" we must. Remember how Heather was caught and admitted to lying about removing a file of information regarding her husband and what he did to warrant a CYFD file. A previous post on this website describes this Heather cover-up and can be seen here. What ever her husband did she did not want anyone to see it and this CYFD file has never seen the light of day. One can just assume the contents of the file would have derailed the Heather Wilson train to power.

The Huffington post covered this admittance by Heather Wilson to tolerate the bullying of LGBT kids. You can read the Huff post piece here.

The only local TV news coverage was done by KOAT TV channel 7, their coverage is here. It is appalling that the republican candidate for the United States Senate has the audacity to say this. It is made worse that no main street media has covered this outrageous statement.

May 2, 2012 at 04:18 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, Heather Wilson, Republican Party, Youth | Permalink | Comments (2)

Heinrich Statement on the President's Speech in Afghanistan

U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich released the following statement in response to President Obama's address from Afghanistan tonight:

It is time to end the combat operations in Afghanistan. A nation at war comes at a great cost to its people. Our brave men and women in uniform have made incredible sacrifices over the last decade. It is time to bring them home to their families.”

Heinrich, currently serving his second term on the House Armed Service Committee, traveled to Afghanistan nearly two years ago to Kabul and Kandahar to meet with troops, military and diplomatic leaders, and humanitarian workers in the region.

May 2, 2012 at 10:50 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Afghanistan, Military Affairs, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Veterans | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) & Sierra Club Endorse Maxine Velasquez

LAGUNA PUEBLO, NM (April 25, 2012) Maxine Velasquez has secured the official endorsement of two of the biggest environmental organizations in New Mexico in her bid for the New Mexico State Senate district 30 seat. The support of both Conservation Voters New Mexico and the Sierra Club is a huge advantage for Velasquez's campaign in the rural Senate district 30.

Velasquez faces incumbent David Ulibarri and two other challengers in the Democratic Primary. She was raised in Laguna Pueblo and has worked as an attorney advocating for economic devlopment in rural communities in New Mexico for over a decade.

“I'm honored to announce the endorsement of both Conservation Voters New Mexico and the Sierra Club today. Growing up, we were taught that it was the responsibility of each individual to be a steward of the land and to protect it for future generations. As Senator, I will continue to fight to preserve our environment, our rural way of life and to focus on job creation in renewable and green sectors.”

Today's official endorsements follow a historic convening where three tribes in Senate district 30 - Laguna Pueblo, Zuni Pueblo and the Alamo Chapter of the Navajo Nation - announced their support for new leadership, endorsing Velasquez.

More information about Maxine can be found at www.maxineforsenate.com

April 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Democrat, Environment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Mexico State Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Endorses Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate

Heinrich profile speakingYesterday, the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Executive Board voted to endorse Martin Heinrich in his race for U.S. Senate. The NMFL, AFL-CIO is New Mexico’s largest federation of labor organizations representing more than 171,000 union members and their families and 36 unions throughout New Mexico.

In a statement, New Mexico Federation of Labor President Jon Hendry credited Heinrich’s unwavering commitment to fighting for working families as the reason for the endorsement.

“The NMFL, AFL-CIO endorses Martin Heinrich because he is the best person to represent the 171,000 union members and their families in New Mexico who are looking for someone to fight for jobs and stand up for working and middle-class families,” said President Hendry. “We value hard work. Martin comes from a union family and will fight for us and hold corporations and Wall Street bankers accountable.”

“It’s an incredible honor to receive the endorsement of the New Mexico NMFL, AFL-CIO,” said Martin Heinrich. “My dad was an I.B.E.W. lineman and my mother worked in a factory. Growing up, I saw how important organized labor was to my family and the respect that it has brought to working people across this country. I’ll never stop fighting for working families and I look forward to working alongside the NMFL, AFL-CIO in this important campaign.”

Martin Heinrich has received overwhelming support from New Mexico’s labor community but the endorsement of the NMFL, AFL-CIO is the most significant to date. The NMFL, AFL-CIO mobilizes hundreds of volunteers to organize voter registration drives and get-out-the vote campaigns on behalf of their endorsed candidates. For more information on the NMFL, AFL-CIO you can visit www.nmfl.org.

April 20, 2012 at 08:32 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Unions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima Endorses Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate

Heinrich profile speakingYesterday, City of Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima announced his endorsement of Martin Heinrich in his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Mayor Miyagishima was elected Mayor of Las Cruces in 2007 and was re-elected with 62 percent of the vote in a three-way contest in 2011.

In a statement announcing his support, Mayor Miyagishima praised Heinrich’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, “I’ve met Martin and we share a commitment to solving our budget crisis with common sense and fiscally responsible reforms like PAYGO. Martin has never been afraid to make the tough decisions necessary to cut budget deficits and maintain vital services for our seniors, children, and working families here in New Mexico.”

In Congress, Heinrich is an original cosponsor of legislation to reestablish the statutory “pay-as-you-go” (PAYGO) requirements that helped turn deficits into surpluses during the 1990's under the Clinton Administration. Reinstating the budget discipline of PAYGO is based on the simple principle of paying for what we buy.

“Mayor Miyagishima’s leadership is making a big difference for the people of Las Cruces and I’m honored to have his support,” said Martin Heinrich. “Ken has kept Las Cruces moving forward during tough financial times and made smart investments in the future by exercising sound stewardship of public funds. He knows how to work cooperatively with the city council, local businesses, and coalitions – that’s the kind of leadership the people of New Mexico need.”

Mayor Miyagishima joins more than 60 local leaders across New Mexico who have endorsed Martin Heinrich for Senate. Heinrich’s campaign for the United States Senate has also received strong and early support from a variety of organizations such as labor unions, environmental groups, and advocates for senior citizens. For more information on Martin Heinrich’s campaign, please visit www.martinheinrich.com.

April 18, 2012 at 09:42 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Las Cruces, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On Equal Pay Day, Gender Equality Champion Dr. Martha Burk Endorses Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate

Dr martha burkeFrom the Martin Heinrich for Senate Campaign:

Today, as the country marks Equal Pay Day, U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich and gender equality champion and scholar Dr. Martha Burk highlight the importance of fair pay for women in New Mexico. Dr. Burk joins a growing list of women leaders across New Mexico endorsing Heinrich.

"Martin Heinrich has served New Mexico well in the U.S. House, and has taken the lead on issues most important to women and families. As a father with a working spouse and two small children, he understands the challenges of work/life balance,” said Dr. Burk. “As our next Senator, Martin Heinrich will fight for equal pay for women, safe and affordable child care, and quality education for New Mexico girls and boys. It is my honor to endorse him for this most important office."

Martha Burk is a political psychologist and women's issues expert who is co-founder of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy, a research and policy analysis organization in Washington, D.C. She is currently Director of the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women’s Organizations. She also serves as the Money Editor for Ms. Magazine, and she is host of the public radio show Equal Time originating at KSFR public radio in Santa Fe. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her latest book Your Voice, Your Vote: The Savvy Woman's Guide to Power, Politics, and the Change We Need (March 2012) is a Ms. Magazine book selection.

“It is an incredible honor to receive Dr. Burk's support—someone who has made women's equality her life's work,” said Heinrich. “In an economic climate where every penny counts, rewarding work fairly is critical. We must end pay discrimination and ensure equality for women in the workplace—creating a fairer, more just society and strengthening the economic stability of our families.”

Although the gap between men’s and women’s wages has narrowed over the past five decades, the typical woman continues to be paid substantially less than the typical man. According to a new report by the National Women's Law Center, the typical woman in New Mexico working full time, year round was paid only 79 cents to every dollar paid to a man working full time, year round in 2010. That is 2 cents narrower than the nationwide wage gap of 77 cents. The wage gap is even more substantial for Native American, Hispanic, and African-American women.

A strong advocate for women and working families, Martin Heinrich cosponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is now law, to restore the right of women and other workers to challenge unfair pay in court. Heinrich is also a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act to give teeth to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by creating stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, and gives women the tools they need to fight pay discrimination. Additionally, Heinrich has consistently fought back against Republican attacks on women's health care and Social Security, and he led the effort to increase the minimum wage when he was on the Albuquerque City Council.

April 17, 2012 at 03:45 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)