Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lt. Gov. Candidate Jerry Ortiz y Pino Raises $53,756 This Period, Has $4,646 Cash on Hand

OrtizYPino Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino has raised $53,756 during this reporting period, almost all of it in small donations.

His campaign had an opening balance of $7,710. Ortiz y Pino spent $56,820 this reporting period, leaving a balance of $4,646 in cash on hand. In addition, he received in-kind services of $12,700. Although his report is not yet entered into the Secretary of State's formatted system, you can see his report as submitted here.

April 13, 2010 at 01:56 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Jerry Ortiz y Pino | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Lt. Gov. Candidate Ortiz y Pino's Push Poll Accusation Re Colón is Far-Fetched

Yesterday, the Jerry Ortiz y Pino campaign for lieutenant governor sent out an email to supporters (pdf) announcing it had gathered the additional signatures needed to get onto the June 1 Democratic primary ballot. The email also claimed that the Brian Colón campaign had done something that was characterized as push polling, and said it represented negative campaigning because it spread false rumors about Ortiz y Pino. It also claimed that Colón had "admitted" his campaign had, indeed, conducted a push poll.

I contacted Colón's campaign last night to discuss the accusation. In response, the campaign unequivocally stated that they never have and never would use what is known as push polling in this race. They said they had received a phone call from Sen. Ortiz y Pino complaining that they had conducted a push poll, and that they had informed him that they had not done so.

I believe them. Why? First of all, in all my dealings over the years with Brian Colon and, now, with his campaign, I have never encountered dishonesty or distorted spin on their part. Second, using push polling at this stage of the campaign would make absolutely no sense. 

Let's look at what a push poll really is. Wikipedia defines push polling this way, in part:

A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll. Push polls may rely on innuendo or knowledge gleaned from opposition research on an opponent. They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. The term is also sometimes used inaccurately to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative. Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants, and is illegal in New Hampshire.

IF the Colón campaign is doing any polling at all of ANY type -- and I don't know whether they are or not -- what would be the benefit of using precious funds at this stage of the race to conduct a push poll? The Democratic pre-primary convention voting is over and Colon won by a significant margin: Brian Colón 591 votes 34.54%; Lawrence Rael 379 votes 22.15%; Joe Campos 337 votes 19.69%; Ortiz y Pino 323 votes 18.87%; Linda Lopez 81 votes 4.73%.

Democrats around the state will not vote in the primary until June 1 -- months away. I've never heard of a push poll used this far ahead of any voting. Push polls are designed specifically to shock voters with disinformation right before they vote, so that's the last information they get on the race before they mark their ballots.

IF the Colón campaign were conducting any polling at this stage of the race, they'd be crazy to do push polling rather than the kind of legitimate polling that's normally done at this stage to gather info on name recognition, messaging etc. Most voters wouldn't even remember a push poll call by the time they headed off to the voting booth months later. Besides, the Colón campaign has never exhibited negativity of the kind Sen. Ortiz y Pino is claiming in any of the debates or forums that have been held in this race. It's not their style.

For more on what push polling is and isn't, check out this article by noted political analyst Stuart Rothenberg. Excerpt:

Polls are methodologically rigorous public opinion surveys of generally 500 to 1,000 people intended to learn about and measure voters’ opinions and test possible campaign messages. Advocacy telephone calls [push polls], on the other hand, are made to tens of thousands of people and are intended to create or change opinion.

If the Colón campaign was conducting push polling, a multitude of people would be receiving the calls and we'd surely be hearing about it or getting a call ourselves. That hasn't happened. And as Rothenberg explains, push polls are only effective if they involve very large numbers of potential voters:

Hiring a firm to do 500 or 800 advocacy calls in a Congressional district or state — where thousands or tens of thousands or even millions of voters are going to go to the polls — would be idiotic, since it wouldn’t accomplish what advocacy calls are trying to do, which is change opinion.

I'm sure I'm not alone in having received genuine push poll calls. They always come at the last minute before an election, are short and to the point and usually feature a nasty-sounding recorded voice making a wild claim about a candidate you've indicated you support. Then there's a quick hang up. Little or no demographic info is taken, and little or no data of any kind is captured. In other words, it's a propaganda call, plain and simple, that goes to as many potential voters in an election as possible, right before they make a decision. 

That's not where we're at in this campaign cycle. Instead, we're at a time when candidates are known to be conserving their funds for advertising on TV, radio and other media, and setting up their on-the-ground infrastructure. Any polling done almost always is data collection that's part of a campaign's research about effective messaging, name recognition, etc.

Bottom Line: Why do I care about this issue? Because I find it upsetting and depressing when a Dem candidate makes false or exaggerated claims against a fellow Dem candidate in an obvious attempt to gain political points or raise money. I think it's important to point out whenever any candidate resorts to this kind of behavior, no matter who they are. In this case, the push poll claim of the Ortiz y Pino campaign make no sense in my book. I hope they stop the nonsense and focus on raising money and gaining support in a positive, issue-based manner, as would befit a campaign that characterizes itself as progressive and above board.

April 2, 2010 at 12:30 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Polling | Permalink | Comments (57)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

4/9: Fundraiser & Fun-Raising Party for Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Gov.

Jerry at DPNM Pre-Primary Convention

From Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor:
You're invited to a Fundraiser and Fun-Raising Party to benefit the campaign of Democrat Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor on Friday, April 9, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM at Jerry's Office at Winrock Center in Albuquerque.

There will be music, poetry/spoken word performances, a dinner and a drawing for prizes -- all for $25 at the door or $20 in advance. See this FLYER for more information. If you have questions, please call 554-2571.

Photo by M.E. Broderick.

March 27, 2010 at 01:20 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Videos: Lt. Gov. Candidate Speeches at 2010 DPNM Pre-Primary Convention

This another in a series of posts about last weekend's Democratic Pre-Primary Convention. We've only got a few more posts to go. Phew! Click to see the whole series of posts or my earlier report with a photo slide show of the Lt. Governor candidates at the Convention.

Here's a collection of videos covering the appearances of the five Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor during their nominations at the Democratic Party of New Mexico's 2010 Pre-Primary Convention last Saturday, March 13, at Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque. They're in the order that was followed at the event.

Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino arrival and speech

Cheering for Joe Campos and nominating speeches

Joe Campos gives acceptance speech

Brian Colon arrival and acceptance speech

Sen. Linda Lopez accepts nomination

Nominating speeches for Lawrence Rael and arrival onstage

Lawrence Rael's speech accepting nomination

All videos by M.E. Broderick. More usable video was obtained of some candidates than others due to a variety of factors beyond our control.

March 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM in 2010 DPNM Pre-Primary Convention, 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Photos Part 2: Lt. Governor Contest, DPNM Pre-Primary Convention 2010

Brian Colón was the top vote getter with 34.5% and gave a fiery speech accepting the nomination

This is one of a series of posts about this weekend's Democratic Pre-Primary Convention. Check back for more photos, videos and commentary on all the action as we get everything processed and organized. Click to see the whole series of posts.

This year, Democrats fielded five primary candidates for Lieutenant Governor and the competition for delegates was spirited. Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colón, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael participated in a number of candidate forums and debates and worked hard to attract supporters, get them elected as delegates and convince State Central Committee members to get on board.

With two large video screens bracketing the stage and animated, sign-wielding campaigners leaping in the aisles or hopping up onto the platform, there were numerous colorful and noisy tableaux of the political kind for delegates to savor. We had family members, former teachers, energetic supporters dressed in all kinds of get-ups, fellow politicos and more joining in the nominating spectacles.

Lawrence Rael's supporters marched onstage blowing train whistles. Jerry Ortiz y Pino had almost all of his supporters dance up the aisles and try to get on stage with him, all at once. Joe Campos filled the stage with friends and followers with his family front and center. Brian Colón provided a contrast by commanding the stage on his own, with hundreds of cheering supporters all over the hall. Linda Lopez concentrated on speech, emphasizing her "passion and hunger for politics." You can get a taste of what went on in the photo slideshow below:

Click for larger version or photo album

When all was said and done, only two candidates got the 20% needed to get on the primary ballot without having to get more petition signatures according to the machine count and a later review. The latest results are the product of a ballot review (or preliminary recount) performed because some of the candidates were so close to getting the 20% needed to get on the primary ballot, although the review didn't seem to change things much on that score:

Lt. Governor
Total votes: 1711
Gerald Ortiz y Pino: 323 votes, 18.87%
Jose Campos: 337 votes, 19.69%
Brian Colón: 591 votes, 34.54%
Linda Lopez: 81 votes, 4.73%
Lawrence Rael: 379 votes, 22.15%

We understand that a formal recount for certification will start tomorrow morning at the DPNM office, so we'll see how that goes.

It was a heartbreaker for Joe Campos, his family and all his supporters. In the machine tally, he was two tenths of a percent away from 20% -- at least given how the figures were rounded. If you looked at it another way, he had the exact number of votes needed -- but the official rules dictated otherwise. Ortiz y Pino was also very close to 20%. Indications are that all candidates under 20% will try to get the signatures they need by March 31 to get onto the ballot despite the Party vote.

Colón Comments
Brian Colón's campaign released a statement saying he had "solidified his place as the front runner."

"I'm honored by this nomination and humbled that so many Democrats from all corners of New Mexico are supporting our campaign because they share my belief that Government should be in the business of helping people," Colón said. "Democratic values are much more than cheap campaign rhetoric. They make a difference in people's lives. I know, because I've lived those values," Colón continued.

"Growing up I learned that we help our neighbors when they're down. We make sure every child gets a good education. And if somebody's sick, they get the best health care available. That's what the Democratic Party stands for and that's why I'm working so hard to be Diane Denish's running mate for Lieutenant Governor," Colón added.

Rael Comments
Lawrence Rael released a statement saying he had "strong support" from delegates, that "reflected a growing sentiment that Rael is the best complement for Diane Denish on the Democratic ticket."

“I’m pleased that New Mexicans are responding to the many things we have accomplished together during my 25 years of public service,” Rael said. “My experiences, coupled with Diane Denish’s leadership, are key to moving our state forward.”

“It’s really remarkable that the other four candidates in this race have all run for office before and have been working on the convention delegates for years,” said Rael campaign manager John Gerhart. “We’re pleased that people have been won over this quickly to Lawrence and his candidacy. We’re really looking forward to the primary campaign.”

Campos Comments
The Campos campaign hasn't released a formal statement, but Joe wrote these comments on his Facebook page:

"Thanks to our many friends & supporters. We fell just short of our goal of 20% of the 1776 votes - got 355, needed 355.2. This is amazing considering the time dedicated to the legis. session and special session midcampaign. I'm overwhelmed w/ your support & desire to go on with the campaign. The actual vote recount is on but regardless of the outcome WE'RE GOING FOR IT! Go Team Campos! Go Diane Denish!"

Ortiz y Pino Comments
On Monday, Jerry Ortiz y Pino sent an email message to supporters that said, in part:

"We will start gathering additional signatures on petition forms and submit them by the deadline in ten days. And on with the campaign! Now we have the toughest part of the race, but the one that we all know is the most crucial: getting our message out to the voters and then getting those voters out to the polls on June 1.

"... If we don't get a big turnout of the left wing of the Party, it will be very hard for Diane to win. None of the other candidates for the Lt. Governor nomination have a message that will excite the left wing."

Lopez Comments
I haven't seen any statement released by the campaign of Sen. Linda Lopez.

March 14, 2010 at 11:46 PM in 2010 DPNM Pre-Primary Convention, 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (16)

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

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

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

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

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

Lieutenant Governor

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

Land Commissioner

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

NM Court of Appeals

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DFA-DFNM Dem LG Candidate Debate: Honesty and Openness in Government

Here's another follow up to my posts yesterday and Monday on Saturday's DFA-DFNM debate for Democratic lieutenant governor candidates at UNM Law School.

Below are videos of Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael answering a question from the audience about restoring honesty and openness to government.

Sen. Linda Lopez (L); Rep. Joe Campos (R)

Brian Colon (L); Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino (R)

Lawrence Rael

March 10, 2010 at 04:07 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (9)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dem LG Candidate Debate: Social Issues, Drug Offender Sentencing, Budget & Taxes, Jobs, Why They're Running

Following up on our post with a photo slideshow and videos yesterday, here are more clips from the DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Democratic Lt. Governor candidate debate held on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the UNM Law School in Albuquerque. Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael answer questions posed by DFNM and the audience on a variety of issues. If you couldn't make it to the debate, here's your chance to gauge how the candidates responded on a variety of issues. If you were there, these videos might refresh your memories of what was said.

Above: Candidates answer a three-part question on social issues. Do you support a women's right to choose? Do you support marriage equality for LGBT citizens? Do you support concealed carry of guns in restaurants with beer and wine licenses?

Above: Candidates answer a question on whether they support HB 178, the bill sponsored by State Rep. Moe Maestas that would allow for a sentence of treatment for nonviolent drug offenders rather than jail time. The bill passed the House in the recent special session but never got a vote in the Senate.

Above: Candidates answer a question on whether they support the budget and tax package passed in the recent special session of the New Mexico Legislature.

Above: Candidates answer a question on how we can get more jobs in New Mexico.

Above: Candidates answer a question on why they want to be Lt. Governor, what makes them the best candidate for the job and what they would bring to the ticket.

We'll have additional videos from the debate posted soon, so keep checking back.

Delegates to the DPNM Pre-Primary Convention on March 13 at Buffalo Thunder Resort will vote on candidates in this race and other statewide contests to determine their positions on the June 2 primary ballot. A candidate must get at least 20% of the delegate vote to appear on the ballot without having to obtain additional petition signatures.

Video clips in this post courtesy of Mike Swick.

March 9, 2010 at 11:16 AM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (7)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Dem Lt. Gov. Candidate Debate Featured Lively Exchanges Before 150+

Click for larger version or album

More than 150 Democrats attended the DFA-Democracy for New Mexico debate with the five Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor on Saturday morning at the UNM Law School in Albuquerque. Turns out most of them will serve as delegates at the DPNM Pre-Primary Convention in Pojaoque on March 13, where they'll be voting for their favorites in this race, as well as in a number of other statewide contests. The League of Women Voters provided the moderator and time keepers for the event.

Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael each answered a set of questions submitted by DFNM and the audience, and got to pose a question of their own to the candidate seated next to them. The seating was determined by picking numbers out of a container. Each candidate also got an opening and closing statement.

The candidate-to-candidate questions, as well as one from the audience that asked each participant to announce who'd they'd vote for if they weren't in the race, produced the most lively and compelling interchanges. Generally, interactions were spirited but good natured, although there were a couple of moments where some minor sparks flew. These are, after all, all Democrats -- and Democrats are generally quite opinionated!

Here's a video of all the candidates' answers on who they'd support if they weren't in the race:

Below are a collection of videos of each candidate responding to a question from another candidate.

Above: Brian Colon answers question from Rep. Joe Campos on 2008 NM Presidential caucus (L); Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino answers question from Brian Colon on taxes Jerry voted for in legislature (R).

Above: Lawrence Rael answers question from Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino on whether Lawrence would make a better chief of staff than a lt. governor (L); Sen. Linda Lopez answers question from Lawrence Rael on the issues that will be important in November (R).

Above: Rep. Joe Campos answers question from Sen. Linda Lopez on who has given him the best advice in his life (L); Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino answers question by Lawrence Rael on how Jerry can work with Diane Denish on the ticket (R).

Above: Brian Colon answers question from Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino on his ties with Gov. Bill Richardson (L); Rep Joe Campos answers question from Brian Colon on for-profit prison in Santa Rosa (R).

Above: Sen. Linda Lopez answers question from Rep. Joe Campos on how she will complement Lt. Gov. Denish on gubernatorial ticket (L); Lawrence Rael answers question from Sen. Linda Lopez on what advice he'd give his daughter when she runs for office (R).

I'll be posting more videos from the debate as they gets processed, so check back soon. In the meantime, you can listen to audio of the entire debate here:

Audio courtesy of Peter St. Cyr

March 8, 2010 at 05:08 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (14)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Saturday: Dem Lt. Gov. Candidate Debate at UNM Law School

The DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Meetup is excited to be hosting a debate for the Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 10:00 AM in Room 2401 at the UNM Law School located at 1117 Stanford NE in Albuquerque (map).

Sign-in will begin at 9:30 AM that day, and the event will start promptly at 10:00 AM. The debate will be moderated by a representative from the League of Women Voters.

To join the Meetup group and/or RSVP, go to: http://dfa.meetup.com/160/.

Please tell your friends and neighbors about this. We'd love to have a large turnout as all of the five candidates for Lt. Governor have blocked out time in their busy schedules to participate. Confirmed participants are: Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael. This is the last chance to see the candidates before the DPNM Pre-Primary Convention set for March 13 at Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque.

Please keep an eye out for further emails about his event, however, as it may have to be rescheduled if the special session of the New Mexico Legislature runs through Saturday. We'll keep you posted!

The DFA-DFNM Meetup has been happening monthly since 2003, when it began as a Dean for America Meetup. The LG candidate debate will replace the group's regular monthly Meetup for March.

March 2, 2010 at 11:52 AM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez, MeetUp | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

NM Senators -- Including Dems -- Decide to Tax Food (and Cigs) Instead of the Wealthy and Corporations

There are a number of Democratic State Senators -- both conservative and progressive -- who should be ashamed of themselves today. Contrary to the Party's long-time core value of supporting working and low-income people, a significant number of Democrats voted last night against valuable amendments to SB 10 -- the horrendous food tax bill. The amendments would either have improved the bill or added back some progressive tax elements. And then -- lo and behold -- EIGHTEEN of them voted to approve the so-called tortilla tax in all its regressive and punitive glory, regardless.

One defeated amendment, offered by Sen. Eric Griego, would have taxed all food, but provided a rebate for low-income families. This would at least have made the food tax a little more progressive, while simplifying the process that grocery stores will have to go through to mark each and every food item according to whether it's on the WIC list or not.

Sen. Griego also proposed amendments that would have decreased the capital gains exemption from an incredibly generous 50% to 25%, and raised the top income tax rate slightly. Sen. Peter Wirth proposed an amendment to implement "combined reporting" that would force big corporate businesses to pay taxes in the state just like small businesses do. More than a dozen Democrats voted with Republicans to defeat all three. I don't (yet) have their names, but I'm hoping someone will come forward and provide them.

Who Voted for Food Tax?
Unbelievably, even some "progressive" Democrats voted to tax the foods common to the diets of ordinary New Mexicans, Asians and working people -- in fact, most food items in the grocery store. The "tortilla tax" will be applied even to organic and brown eggs and other healthy items (see here). And yet enough Democrats embraced it for it to pass on a vote of 23-19

Remember, State Senators aren't up for election this year -- House members are. It will be interesting to see how House members react when the budget goes to the conference committee. The House, you may recall, passed much more sensible measures to deal with the deficit -- including a temporary hike in gross receipts taxes and the rates out-of-state taxpayers must pay. The Senate blew those away.

Let's look at the final vote in the Senate on SB 10. Here are the Senate Democrats who vote FOR the tortilla tax:

  • Pete Campos
  • Carlos Cisneros
  • Tim Eichenberg
  • Stephen Fischmann
  • Phil Griego
  • Tim Jennings
  • Richard Martinez
  • Howie Morales
  • George Munoz
  • Mary Kay Papen
  • John Pinto
  • Bernadette Sanchez
  • Michael Sanchez
  • John Sapien
  • John Arthur Smith
  • David Ulibarri

Democratic Senators who voted AGAINST the food tax -- and should be THANKED -- were:

  • Mary Jane Garcia
  • Eric Griego
  • Tim Keller
  • Linda Lopez
  • Lynda Lovejoy
  • Cisco McSorley
  • Peter Wirth
  • Cynthia Nava
  • Nancy Rodriguez

Sen. Feldman's Take
Here's what Sen. Dede Feldman had to say about her vote, in an excellent run-down of what happened by Marjorie Childress of NMI:

“I came into this session thinking I’d never vote for a food tax, but I realized this could be the biggest boon to health in NM,” said Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque. “This is a tax on salt, sugar, white flour and processed foods. ... [when] over 60 percent of New Mexicans are overweight or obese. Mothers will be cooking more and cooking from scratch. That is a good thing.”

Sen. Feldman has long been a true champion of progressive issues and ordinary New Mexicans, but I think on this one she is dead wrong. Could a comment appear to be more elitist, out of touch and holier-than-thou to ordinary New Mexicans than this one? For one thing, isn't it more than a little sexist to suggest that "mothers" will be cooking more from scratch? Not families, not fathers, just mothers. You know, like they did in the 1950s when mothers were at home and had the time to "cook from scratch."

Does Sen. Feldman really believe this is how modern society works for people who are scratching to keep their apartments, homes and bad-paying jobs with few benefits -- while trying to make sure their kids are fed? Does she believe mothers are just sitting there idle, refusing to buy and make the kinds of foods Sen. Feldman and the others have deemed "healthy" and proper? 

I think all the Dem Senators who voted for this bill should take a trip to the grocery store in downtrodden areas and talk to real people about the real economic and other problems they are facing thanks to the greedy and criminal actions of Wall Street, the big banks and our "investor class." This is the bunch who have reaped incredible amounts of cash and are not even being required to pay even a small share of taxes on their ill-begotten riches. No, let's tax the food of the workers -- and, hey, we can make them "healthier" in the process!

I'd love to see Sen. Feldman and Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and all the other Dems who voted to TAX FOOD in a time of economic upheaval try working two miserable jobs to make ends meet and then come home to cook meals "from scratch." Why? To please the crowd that thinks people who are forced to survive on tortillas and beans, mac and cheese, spaghetti, hot dogs and canned soup are just so, you know, fat, ignorant and lazy. If they'd only listen to us, they'd be healthier for their dead-end jobs and help fix the deficits produced by all those tax breaks on the rich!

Dem Party Today
I've been a loyal Democrat all my life. I was raised by loyal Democrats among loyal Democrats and I know that those Dems I grew up with must be rolling in their graves. They'd be shocked, indeed, to see the spectacle of politically correct Democrats (nay, progressives) voting to tax the food staples of the working class at a time when huge numbers are barely able to feed their families anything, let alone the preferred foods of the high and mighty. And Democrats wonder why working and middle class citizens are voting Republican.

This is not the Democratic Party with democratic/Democratic principles that I grew up with. In my view, the votes of these Democrats represent the polar opposite of a Party that is supposedly dedicated to economically supporting ordinary, hard-working people. Unfortunately, they seem to represent a part of the Party that has lost all touch with working class realities, with working class problems, with working class values. Instead, too many Dems apparently are content to embrace the values of those with the most and mock the lifestyles (and eating habits) of those forced to live day to day and paycheck to paycheck to survive at all. I think it's tragic on a moral basis, and bad politics to boot.

Tax Cigs, Not Cigars
It was also mostly Senate Dems who voted to pass SB 30, a bill sponsored by Sen. Feldman that will slap another dollar-a-pack tax on cigarettes, by a margin of 24-18. That means the same people who are paying for the beloved S-CHIP health care program for children can pay even more, while New Mexico's mansion dwellers remain untouched by even the most minute tax increase. The topper? This taxes only cigarettes, NOT cigars or other tobacco products. That's right, folks. The big fat cigars of the big fat rich and politically connected cash cows can continue to be smoked without increased taxes in all those cigar bars and backrooms dedicated to their pleasure. I mean, if we raise any taxes on them, they may -- gasp -- leave the state! And you know, they make so many jobs ... or at least make a lot of big dollar donations.

Of course, Dem Senators were faced with a nasty choice -- either tax cigarettes (not cigars) or force state employees and educational workers to pony up another 1% of their pay into New Mexico's retirement funds. It was add another tax on working class smokers or cut pay for teachers and other state workers. And, besides, we know our Dems are always on the side of forcibly ensuring that workers live healthier lifestyles whether they want to or not. Food tax, cigarette tax -- in the same mold. Neither tax will impact many with big bucks in banks or invested on Wall Street. They remain immune.

My Question
Is it ever time to draw a line in the sand and state unequivocally that we will vote for NO tax, until there's an increase on taxes on the rich and corporations? No, our progressives get hoodwinked time and time again by being so easily forced into a situation where they have to choose between things like a food tax and cuts in education, Medicaid or pay for state workers. This will continue to happen unless they unite and pledge to do nothing until a once fair and progressive tax structure is repaired. Right-wingers know the progressives will always cave. So why should they ever give an inch? Yes, this tactic could be risky. But until we call the bluff of the Republicans and Conserva-Dems, we'll be stuck in this same quagmire year after year.

Hispanics Taxing Tortillas
Finally, check out all those Hispanic Senators who voted yes on the food tax, despite the vigorous opposition of the Catholic Bishops that allegedly stops many of these same Senators from voting for domestic partnerships. Voting to tax their fellow Hispanics on the very tortillas that have been the staff of life for so many? No problem! Could they get any more hypocritical than this?

February 14, 2010 at 12:38 PM in Business, Children and Families, Corporatism, Economy, Populism, Eric Griego, Faith Community, Food and Drink, Hispanic Issues, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Labor, NM Legislature 2010, Taxes | Permalink | Comments (7)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

(Updated) Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino Wins Taos County Dems Lt. Gov. Straw Poll; Claims 24/48 Delegates

Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino

Update: I heard from the Brian Colón campaign and was informed that, according to their data collected on delegates pledging to vote for Colón, Brian received "between 12 and 14 hard yeses" from delegates elected in Taos County. They stressed that they believe their count is very accurate. The campaign also told me they secured well over their 30 percent delegate goal in Valencia County.
The Taos County Democratic Party held a straw poll last night on the Lt. Governor race, and Sen. Jerry Ortiz Y Pino came out on top by a healthy margin, according to information provided by Jerry's campaign:

  • Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino 41%
  • Lawrence Rael 28%
  • Rep. Joe Campos 28%
  • Sen. Linda Lopez 2.6%
  • Brian Colón 0%

All of the Dem Lt. Gov. candidates except Brian Colón spoke to attendees before the vote. Colón sent a statement to be read to the group.

Today, the Taos County Dems voted to elect delegates who will attend the Party's Pre-Primary Convention set for March 13 at the Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque. The results were very similar to the straw vote the night before.

Ortiz Y Pino Wins at Least 24/48 Delegates:
According to Steve Cabiedes of Ortiz y Pino's campaign, at least 24 delegates who plan to vote for Jerry will go to the Pre-Primary, out of the 48 delegates Taos County will send -- or 50% of the total. Cabiedes believes Rael and Campos each got about 25% of the delegates, while Lopez got one delegate and Colón got none. He said the campaign was very happy with the results, and that Taos County was one of their targeted areas.

It's hard to get an exact count because folks vote for delegates, not candidates. However, Cabiedes said he was confident about the numbers because the campaigns make contacts within each county and keep tabs on people who say they'll vote for each candidate. When folks are elected as delegates, the campaigns have a pretty good idea who they'll vote for at the Party Convention.

The only other straw poll of LG candidates took place at the December meeting of the Sandoval County Dems. The vote results there were: Brian Colón 39, Rep. Joe Campos 33, Lawrence Rael 27, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino 25 and Sen. Linda Lopez 11.

Democratic candidates must receive at least 20% of the statewide votes at the Pre-Primary Convention to get their names on the June primary ballot without having to gather additional petition signatures. The number of votes also determines the order the names will be printed on the ballot.

The Mora County Dem Party is also holding its delegate election today, with 8 slots at stake. Delegate ward elections in Bernalillo County are set for this coming Thursday evening, February 4. By far the largest of the county parties in the state, Bernalillo Dems will send a total of 610 delegates to the state Pre-Primary -- or about 40% of the total.

January 30, 2010 at 05:01 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez, Taos | Permalink | Comments (6)