Friday, January 11, 2013
Governor's Plan For Jobs = Epic Fail
It's Arithmetic: Governor's plan to create four times the jobs with half the budget reveals predictable results
REPORT: Other states took opposite result and added jobs ASAP
As New Mexico struggles to explain its unrelenting job loss problem, the budget for the state’s only agency tasked with recruiting business was slashed in half, a recipe Governor Martinez and her economic development team believed would spur four times the job growth previously achieved, a report by ProgressNow New Mexico Education reveals.
On paper, Martinez set an expected outcome of 2,200 jobs created by the New Mexico Partnership – a non-profit business recruitment agency funded by the Economic Development Department. This was more than four times the number of jobs created by the agency in the previous year and the largest component, in terms of job creation, of her Economic Development Department.
But records show that while promising impressive job growth from the Partnership, she cut the budget for the department by more than 46% - almost half – while expecting it to perform four times greater than the previous year. Predictably, the agency created just 1/3 of the jobs she promised.
By contrast, Nevada and Colorado added investments to their business recruitment programs at the same time– almost doubling the budget in Nevada – and realized growth for the first time in years.
“This report is a cautionary tale for decision makers. It begs us to look closely at promises by this administration when it comes to job creation. We can’t permit them to give the unemployed hope for new jobs coming if there is no real commitment to follow through,” says Pat Davis of Progress Now NM Education.
“This administration has adopted a fatalistic approach to job creation. They claim that government can’t grow jobs and business doesn’t want to move here. Then they slash the funding of any agency looking to prove otherwise. It makes no sense, but it’s our reality.”
Read the full report at ProgressNowNM.org/blog.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Cong. Pearce and NM GOP Mislead Public & Victims Regarding Violence Against Women Act Vote
Earlier today, women and advocates representing a diverse group of proud New Mexicans gathered at the New Mexico Republican Party headquarters to call upon Republican Congressman Steve Pearce to support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act that provides protections for every victim of domestic, dating and sexual abuse - including children, immigrants, Native Americans and LGBT persons.
After the press conference and launch of a public petition at StevePearce.us, Mr. Pearce and the New Mexico GOP both released statements accusing those women and ProgressNow New Mexico of misleading the public because Mr. Pearce voted for a House bill in the last session whose only similarity to the VAWA was the substitute title they created for it.
Efforts by Mr. Pearce and the NMGOP only serve to dissuade the media from covering this issue which has brought renewed public attention and pressure on Mr. Pearce to part from his extreme positions against vulnerable New Mexicans.
Here are the facts:
- The US Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act (S. 1925) by a bi-parisan 68-31 margin on April 21, 2012. That bill ensured that no victim of sexual, dating or domestic abuse would be denied the protection of prosecution and aid provided under the VAWA. The House Republican caucus refused to hear such a bill.
- Instead, in May, the Republican caucus crafted their own bill which had no chance of passing and gave it a similar name. It blocked any protections for Native Americans, LGBT persons or immigrants, among others - even if the victim was a child. That bill had no chance of passing or being signed by the President. New Mexico's other Congressmen voted against such a bill and have called, appropriately, for the new Congress to quickly take up the proper bill protecting all victims.
Today, Mr. Pearce further insulted victims, and especially those in New Mexico's precious pueblos, immigrant and LGBT communities, by again asserting that he sees different classes of victims. To Pearce and his colleagues, some victims are "legitimate" while others, including innocent children in those special communities, are simply left to fend for themselves at the hand of their abuser. It is disgraceful that Pearce would turn his back on those constituents and that the New Mexico GOP would come to his defense.
Since noon today, more than 500 persons have used the petition StevePearce.us to call on him to back the version of the VAWA that protects every victim of abuse without regard to ethnicity, sexual orientation or family history.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Governor Martinez-led Board Denied Request for More Vote Machines
Press release from ProgressNowNM:
Governor Martinez and her hand-picked Board of Finance denied funds to run a smooth election in Sandoval County.
Newly uncovered emails from the Secretary of State’s Office show that her office knew of potential voting delays on Election Day but Governor Martinez’s and her Board of Finance denied a request to purchase more machines just a month before voting started.
Martinez told KRQE on Election Day, “the Secretary of State was able to spend what was necessary to make sure that there were enough machines at every location." This new information directly contradicts Martinez’s assertion.
During Thursday night’s Sandoval County Commission meeting, Chairman Darryl Madalena read from a portion of a September 18, 2012 email from the Director of the Secretary of State's Elections Bureau showing that the Secretary of State asked Governor Martinez and the Board of Finance (Martinez is its president) for $1.4 million in emergency funds to "meet the requests for an increased number [of Autovote machines] for the General... Our request was tabled. The Board did not allocate any additional funding to cover the costs of the Election."
ProgressNowNM has posted the entire two-page email on its website at ProgressNowNm.org/blog
In the email to clerks from Bobbi Shearer, Elections Bureau Director, she blasts Martinez’s Secretary of Finance Tom Clifford and the Board of Finance, of which Martinez is the president and appoints all four public members, saying "the Board does not have an adequate understanding of the election process” and ridicules their questions about voting convenience centers.
From the email it is clear that that the Secretary of State accepted responsibility to provide sufficient Autovote machines to the clerks and acknowledges that more had been requested after the primary election. The clerk request for more equipment prompted a budget crisis for the Secretary of State who had already spent election money on non-election day items like voter purge cards and postage.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Congress expands voter suppression investigation to New Mexico after ProgressNowNM exposes improper training
STATEMENT OF PROGRESSNOW NM ON NEWS THAT CONGRESS EXPANDS VOTER SUPPRESSION INVESTIGATION INTO NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque - ProgressNow New Mexico's Executive Director Pat Davis issues this statement on the news that a Congressional committee has expanded its investigation into voter suppression into New Mexico after ProgressNow NM exposed improper training of poll challengers by a GOP official and improper coordination between the party and non-profit True The Vote.
"We thank Congressman Cummings for recognizing the important challenge efforts like those we exposed, and others exposed across the country, are having on our elections. This is welcome news coming on the heels of Attorney General King's announcement of a similar investigation announced last week. Though Congressman Pearce has said he endorses these illegal tactics, we encourage the rest of our congressional delegation to stand up for fair elections and support this important inquiry. We also continue to implore Governor Martinez, as our state's highest ranking elected Republican, to repudiate these tactics and support these investigations, especially now that voters have already begun voting."
ProgressNow New Mexico made national news when it released secretly recorded video of a Republican party official training poll challengers in illegal voter challenge techniques. The video has been viewed more than 50,000 times. Just days later, we returned to another training session and were denied entry by True The Vote's state leader telling us, on tape, that the training was only open to Republicans. Non-profit organizations, like True The Vote, are not permitted to work on a partisan basis.
We contacted Cong. Cummings office and shared these videos after learning of his investigation. Cummings specifically cites ProgressNowNM's work as justification for expanding the investigation.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King announced an investigation into voter suppression in New Mexico after we released these videos.
Despite these investigations, True The Vote released additional training videos this past weekend. They continue to teach improper poll challenger tactics to participants.
A copy of the Congressional letter is here.
Friday, October 05, 2012
NM GOP Trains Poll Workers in Voter Suppression from ProgressNowNM
On October 4, 2012, ProgressNow New Mexico released an undercover video showing a Republican and Tea Party leader training “poll challengers” to illegally deny thousands of legal New Mexico voters a ballot on Election Day. To see the whole story click here.
Undercover video recorded by ProgressNow New Mexico shows the Republican Party training poll challengers in illegal tactics that could potentially restrict the voting rights of as many as 1-in8 New Mexicans in November.
A recording of the September 26th official "Poll Challenger Training" conducted by the Republican Party shows a GOP & Tea Party leader giving false and/or misleading information about voting rights and regulations to the training's attendees. The training was replete with misinformation about ID requirements, the use of provisional ballots, assistance for Spanish-speaking citizens, change of address requirements, and the rights of the disabled at the polls.
The group even created it's own poll challenger guide complete with instructions on how to demand ID and force legal voters to vote by provisional ballot in blatant contradiction with election law.
The tactics disseminated at the Republican "Poll Challenger Training" have the potential to restrict the voting rights of New Mexicans throughout the state by making it harder for eligible voters to exercise their civic duty and by compromising the integrity of the entire state electoral process.
But, The Nation caught up with Rep. Steve Pearce to ask his opinion about issue. He told them that these illegal tactics are the way the GOP will take back New Mexico. Really:
Pearce appeared to be aware of the NM GOP’s poll watching efforts, and supported them. “We’re simply saying that we’re going to start, we’re going to take it back it into our hands,” said Pearce. “We should check for ID since you have to show an ID to do anything in America.” He did, however, admit that doing so would be against the law. “Its against New Mexico law to check for ID,” the congressman conceded.
ProgressNow says "We aren't going to let them get away with this. State GOP leaders like Steve Pearce are encouraging their own party to break the law and we need your help to bring pressure to stop them."
Please help ProgressNow NM get this story out to the media in New Mexico and across the country. We can’t let Tea Party extremists break the law and bully voters into staying home on election day. Take a minute to give $5, $25 or $50 to help us keep up the pressure on Tea Party trainers to stop training challengers to bully our voters.
After you give, share it on Twitter and Facebook; email it to your friends; call your local news station. Whatever you can do to spread the word. New Mexicans need to know the tactics being used by those who want to limit voting rights and compromise the integrity of our election.
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Pro-Custer RNC Official Resigns Firm Post, Under Pressure
The following update regarding the Republican leader Pat Rogers is provided by our friends at ProgressNow NM. Resignation comes after week of pressure from ProgressNow NM and Activists.
Pat Rogers, the embattled lawyer, lobbyist, and state Republican National Committeeman, has resigned his position as Vice President of Modrall Sperling law firm following public pressure from ProgressNow New Mexico, as well as Native, Hispanic, and LGBT communities.
The controversy began last week after ProgressNow NM publicized a June 8, 2012 email Rogers sent to senior members of Governor Susana Martinez's staff. In the email, Rogers says that "The state is going to hell" and claims that Governor Martinez "dishonored" the memory of George Armstrong Custer - the notorious U.S. Army commander who killed scores of Native peoples during the Indian Wars of the mid-19th Century - by meeting with New Mexico's tribal leaders at the annual state-tribal leaders summit.
Last Friday, ProgressNow New Mexico began a petition signing campaign calling for the Republican National Committee to denounce Rogers' remarks and dismiss him from his post. Yesterday, ProgressNow New Mexico organized a press conference and protest outside of Rogers' law firm, Modrall Sperling, where concerned citizens from a diverse array of communities delivered more than 700 petitions calling for Rogers' resignation. "Here in New Mexico...we cherish all of our communities and to be so contemptuous toward Native Americans is inappropriate," said Laurie Weahkee of the Native American Voters Alliance after the press conference.
"As the face of New Mexico's Republican Party and a lobbyist for a number of corporations that do business on tribal lands, Mr. Rogers' derogatory remarks are particularly insulting and have no place in modern discussions of politics and policy. We wish Mr. Rogers the best in his future endeavors and hope that he will also see fit to step aside from his postition representing New Mexico to the nation through his Republican Party post," said Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico.
In July, Rogers also resigned from his board position at the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government after the Independent Source PAC discovered Rogers had been using a private email address to conduct what should have been public communications.
Read the official announcement of Pat Rogers' Modrall Sperling resignation here.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
2 - 4 - 6 - 8 How Do You Know Your Kids are Straight? Chick-Fil-A Protest
At mid day in Albuquerque New Mexico the sun is real hot. But that did not keep the friends of the LGBT community from showing up to protest the latest bigoted anti-LGBT company Chick Fil-A. And it also did not keep the friends that support Chick Fil-A's bigotry and discrimination from showing up either.
There were many customers driving up to the drive thru and waiting in-line for their chicken sandwiches, I would assume in support of the Dan Cathy statement opposing same sex marriages. Then there were the pro-LGBT supporters maybe 150 on the sidewalk with signs and chicken costumes and free chicken sandwiches being handed out!
The anti-LGBT bigots complaint is "they have a right to disagree with whomever they want to disagree with" and that the pro-LGBT agenda is being intolerant. If actions like educating the public about anti-LGBT issues stated by big businesses in our communities and deciding not to spend my own money at those places of business and urging others to not spend there money their is in tolerant.....in the words of Dan Cathy below "well- guilty as charged."
However what Dan Cathy says below: "I think we are inviting God's judgement..." now that is appears to be a tad intolerant!
The Chick Fil A President Dan Cathy who makes gobs of money selling processed chicken sandwiches started the furry recently when he went on about his family values. The following is from the Huffpost:
"Cathy's somewhat glib response: "Well, guilty as charged."
He went on to note, "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that...we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about," Cathy said in that interview, which can be heard here.
Needless to say, Cathy's remarks quickly sparked the ire of a number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates and bloggers. "Regardless of where you stand, the placement of LGBT people within our societal picture and within our body of laws is the conversation at hand," wrote Hooper. "That is not the same thing as 'support for the traditional family,' no matter how aggressively the self-appointed values movement attempts to (mis)name reality!"
So another day goes by when the right to love is held back by those who claim they have the special God given right to love. I appreciated the sign 2-4-6-8 how do you know your kids are straight. What if one of these pompous rich asses fanning the fire of this anti-LGBT fight ends up with a gay kid or grandkid?
On the positive side; the LGBT side of the brick wall was light hearted and fun. We ate our own Chick fil-gay sandwiches provided by Roma Bakery and Deli and they were very great simple chicken sandwiches made with TLC not stick it in your face HATE.
Below is a short video from Bruce co-owner of Roma Bakery and Deli:
And below a video of Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow NM. ProgressNow NM were the organizers of the protest event.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Love thy chikn. Love thy gay. Guest Blog by Cara Valente Compton
You know, it is easy for me. I am a straight woman, married for many years to the same man. We have four kids. We live here in the city, and we raise our children with the liberal values of inclusion, equality, and tolerance. No one told me I couldn't marry the man I love. No one ever told me that my family was wrong, immoral, or a sin. I have it easy.
This is not the case for so many of my friends, who see their relationships demeaned, disrespected, and condemned by people who think that they know the way, the light, and the truth. They claim to be pro-family, but they are not promoting love, they are encouraging hate. Such is the case with Chick-fil-A, who now is backpedalling, issuing this statement today:
"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena..."
Those words ring pretty hollow when you go online and read the commentary left by people who call themselves Christian, yet promote hate for gays. Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, two well-known, anti-gay Republicans, are leading the charge for a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on August 1st, asking those who agree with the anti-gay messaging of Chick-fil-A, to come on down and spend their money to show just how many good Christians agree with this homophobic agenda. Well, as alluring as a peach shake sounds on this hot summer day, I will pass. Instead, I will be joining my friends...people who believe in LOVE and equality, and the dignity of all people outside my local Chick-fil-A for the "Love thy Chikn, Love thy Gays" Rally!
What: "Love thy chikin, Love thy gays!" rally
When: Wednesday August 1, 2012, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Where: Chick-Fil-A, 5009 Montgomery Blvd, NE, Albuquerque, NM (San Mateo & Montgomery)
What: LGBT community supporters will provide 100 "hate free" chicken sandwiches to the community, and will rally in cow suits with signs and statements against Chick-Fil-A's hateful and community divisive policies.
Visit the Facebook event for more information.
The community is welcomed to join and encouraged to show their opposition to fundamentalist hate and intolerance by wearing cow and chicken costumes adorned with gay pride accessories.
"Chick-fil-A and these fundamentalist leaders are doubling-down on hate, trying to capitalize on intolerance by asking people to eat at their restaurant if they hate their neighbor," says Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico. "We want to show Chick-fil-A that our community has another choice, and by giving our sandwiches away for free we won't be trying to make a buck off of intolerance." at no charge on Wednesday, August 1, from 11:30 to 1:00, to support equality for all.
The truth is you CAN eat your chicken without swallowing your pride. On August 1st I will stand proudly with my friends in the LGBT community in solidarity for equality and justice. I urge you to do the same.
So come on down, bring your friends, bring your lover, bring a happy heart and a hungry belly, and take a stand for love, for freedom, and for equality.
Love thy neighbor. Love thy chikn. Love thy gay.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Major Martinez Donor Outed as “Secret” Company to Win Multi-Million Dollar Tax Appeal; Threatens to Bankrupt NM Cities
From ProgressNow NM
A Florida for-profit prison company who gave tens-of-thousands of dollars to Governor Susana Martinez has been outed as the secret company whose sudden tax appeal threatens to bankrupt at least one New Mexico city.
In early July, municipalities including Santa Rosa, Grants, Hobbs, Jemez Springs and Guadalupe County reported receiving large tax bills from the state. The bill to Santa Rosa demanded immediate payment of more than $1.2 million - half the city's budget - though the Martinez administration refused to disclose the name of the corporation it had awarded the tax appeal. The administration also refused to cite the tax code provision which had been appealed.
The Guadalupe County Communicator now reports that of the industries that paid large tax bills in the past six months, only the GEO Group, a Florida-based for-profit prison company, did business in Santa Rosa.
Similarly, the for-profit Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) operates private prisons in Grants and Hobbs and would have also benefited from the administration's tax decision.
ProgressNow NM has discovered that the GEO Group gave more than $41,000 to Martinez - $33,000 of it directly to Martinez herself - and the Republican party since 2010. That is more than five times the amount given to Democrats.
In early July, Santa Rosa officials petitioned the state Board of Finance, chaired by Martinez, to provide a temporary $1 million loan to allow the city to avoid bankruptcy. Despite the state reporting a $250 million surplus, Martinez and the board denied the request.
"This entire tax process was undertaken between the governor's administration and a corporation which gave her huge campaign donations, and now local taxpayers are being held accountable to foot the bill," says Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a non-profit government and corporate watchdog group. "This governor is letting an entire town go bankrupt to fix her administration's mistake, and the only one who wins is some huge Florida corporation?"
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Once Again New Mexico Posts Worst Job Losses In West
From ProgressNow NM:
3,800 fewer workers on payrolls in June, 7,400 fewer than April.
Numbers just released from the US Department of Labor show that New Mexico again lost jobs in June –with 3,800 fewer New Mexicans on payrolls in June 2012 than May 2012, and still 2,100 fewer than a year ago.
“New Mexico, Vermont, and Wisconsin experienced the largest over-the-month percentage declines in employment” according to the BLS release. Other Western states added 65,000 jobs last month.
While New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped slightly since last month, the civilian labor force also shrunk by 4,000 people, an indicator that many New Mexicans have simply given up on finding work.
June’s decline in employment continues a trend that ProgressNow NM has been chronicling for months. New Mexico has seen three straight months of job loses – and three straight months of having the worst job growth in the West.
Since April, New Mexico has lost 7,400 jobs.
“The administration in Santa Fe doesn’t seem to have a jobs plan,” says Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico, a public interest watchdog group. “They won’t even talk about jobs and we are living the consequences.”
According to the governor’s website, she has issued just one news release relating to new jobs in the past two months, while making 29 political appointments. And the consequence is that fewer New Mexicans are working.
Read more at ProgressNowNM.org/blog
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
New Mexico Got Bain’d, too: Romney took $2.5M in NM Taxpayer Funds to Outsource 1,100 NM Jobs
From ProgressNow New Mexico:
Mitt Romney's Bain Capital duped New Mexico more than a decade ago when it set up a Silver City call center, promising more than 1,000 local jobs, only to have it close just two and half years later in a wave of off-shore outsourcing, laying off almost 800 middle-class workers and taking New Mexico taxpayers for more than $2.5 million in the process.
ProgressNow New Mexico recently reviewed the record of Bain Capital in New Mexico and discovered that Romney’s Bain Capital bought Stream International, a Chicago business services company, just as the company was in the midst of a large US-based expansion. One of those expansion sites was Silver City where Stream promised to create more than 1,100 full-benefits career track local jobs in Grant County.
Among the findings:
- New Mexico taxpayers provided Bain with more than $2.5 million in free rent and job training to lure the company to Silver City
- The company promised to create more than 1,100 career track jobs for Silver City
- As Bain was telling New Mexico it was creating long-term jobs, it simultaneously stopped US expansion and rapidly expanded overseas with new facilities in Spain, Canada, Ireland and France.
- When Bain sold Stream and its Silver City facility just over two years later, the company was positioned for the new buyer to transfer all of its jobs overseas.
- Just two years later, the new buyer suddenly closed Streams two large US call centers, laying off more than 800 in New Mexico, and told a newspaper the jobs were likely going overseas.
In their short tenure in New Mexico, Bain Capital took more than $2.5M in free rent and taxpayer-funded subsidies to fund the building of foreign call centers which would house the jobs those funds were supposed to create in New Mexico.
“In Silver City, Bain created almost a thousand American jobs just to siphon the profits from that work to build overseas facilities where our jobs would go to die,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico.
“What Mitt Romney and Bain did to Grant County is unconscionable. They told those people that they were building life-long careers, all the while knowing they were taking their taxpayer-subsidized profits to move our jobs overseas.”
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
New Mexican Attitudes On Marriage Evolving With President’s
From ProgressNow New Mexico:
Recent polling shows that New Mexican opinions on marriage equality are evolving much like those of President Barack Obama who today courageously announced his support for endinging marriage discrimination in the United States.
Polling shows a consistent increase in support for marriage equality, particularly in New Mexico. In 2010, a Bendixen & Amandi poll found that 74% of Hispanics (a group that comprises 46% of New Mexico’s population) support either marriage or marriage-like legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. According to a 2012 PEW poll, a full 63% of young Americans say they favor same-sex marriage.
A December 2011 poll of New Mexicans found that support for same-sex marriage had increased 8 points over six-months and was nearing a majority. From the poll:
New Mexico joins its northern neighbor Colorado and nearby Nevada in a growing list of Southwestern states in favor of same-sex marriage. When PPP last polled the state in June, voters were against legalizing it by a 42-48 margin. In the intervening half-year, opinion has moved eight points, with 45% now wanting gay couples to be able to legally marry in the state, and 43% still against it. The reason for the shift is that Democrats (from 34% to 28%) and independents (44% to 37%) have lowered their opposition by six or seven points. Further, two-thirds of New Mexicans also still favor these relationships being recognized with at least the legal equality of civil unions. That includes 78% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 41% of Republicans.
Since late last year, two cabinet members (HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Education Secretary Arne Duncan) and Vice President Joe Biden have publicly endorsed ending marriage discrimination. Today, President Obama threw his support behind what is perhaps the most important civil rights issue in a generation, becoming the first sitting president ever to do so.
Speaking to ABC News’ Robin Roberts, President Obama said that, “for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
With his statement today, President Obama has shown that he is in-touch with America’s changing attitudes on this issue.
“All families matter, plain and simple,” said Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico. “Nobody should be discriminated against because of who they love or how they choose to live their private lives. President Obama’s statement affirms the American values of equality and mutual respect and the families of New Mexico applaud this final step in his evolution on this issue.”