Friday, March 01, 2013

Sequestration Day = Citizen's Screwed, Elected Officials Safe - Time to say NO

Websters Dictionary Definition of Sequestration:

In law, a writ authorizing a law-enforcement official to take into custody the property of a defendant in order to enforce a judgment or to preserve the property until a judgment is rendered. In some civil-law jurisdictions, contested property may be deposited with a third party until it is determined to whom it properly belongs.

Breaking%20Down%20the%20Sequester%20Pie%20Chart

Image above from the BiPartisan Policy Center

Sign this petition http://signon.org/sign/recall-the-dc-535 and like this FB page. 

If the Sequester kicks in, it is because the Congress has demonstrated a persistent inability to do its job as set forth in the Constitution. Therefore they should be recalled as a body.

However, as recall elections of federally-elected officials are not permitted, we the undersigned declare this Congress and its members illegitimate, and state our intention to remove every member from office, regardless of party affiliation, in the next election.

Do your job. Or go home.

Also Go LIKE this FB page:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Recall-the-DC-535/543177652368994

To the people who are looking for jobs this sequestration is very real. The economy is extremely fragile. This is already having effects. It is unbelievable to have this acually going to occur, mostly this affects the poor and elderly.

The solution in my humble opinion, elect women up and down the ticket. No more men in office til they can play fair with others.

March 1, 2013 at 10:05 AM in Candidates & Races, Corporatism, Current Affairs, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Republican Party, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Tom Udall, Steve Pearce | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Congressman Luján Elected First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congresswoman elect Michelle Lujan Grisham elected Whip

Two Huge Cheers for New Mexico's Congressman Ben Ray Lujan elected First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus by his colleagues! And Congresswoman elect Michelle Lujan-Grisham elected as Whip.

Brl sfrCongressman Luján issued the following press release from the CHC announcing the caucus’ new leadership. (Photo at right from Santa Fe Reporter)

Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX 20) released this statement following the election of Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX 15) as CHC Chairman for the 113th Congress, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM03) as First Vice Chair, Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA39) as Second Vice Chair and Congresswoman-elect Michelle Luján Grisham (NM01) as Whip.

Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX 20):  “It has been an honor to serve as CHC Chairman alongside Congressman Hinojosa and I’m certain that his extensive experience as a legislator and an advocate for Hispanic issues will greatly benefit the CHC of the 113th Congress.“Congressman Hinojosa’s passion for extending opportunities to Hispanic youth was demonstrated by his tireless efforts on the CHC’s Education Task Force and as First Vice Chair. I look forward to seeing how his abilities as a strong leader and advocate, combined with the largest delegation of Latinos to ever serve in Congress, will advance the issues most vital to our community.”

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX 15), Chair-elect: "I want to thank my colleagues for showing their support as I proudly take on the role of the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. For 36 years the CHC has focused on legislative priorities covering all areas that have a direct impact on the Hispanic or Latino community. We will continue to bring new ideas and new vigor to pave our way towards our great future in this country.
“In the 113th Congress we will have 30 Latinos in Congress. This is the largest Hispanic group in our nation's history to serve in Congress. The recent Presidential election proves that the Latino vote is a crucial voting bloc. No longer will our voices be silenced. No longer will we be placed in the back of the line.
“The challenges we face are arduous and no doubt we will suffer some set-backs during our climb, but we will not turn back. I along with my fellow CHC colleagues will join with President Obama as we work to pass comprehensive immigration reform. We will work together to not only allow DREAM Act students to earn a college degree, but to grant them a path to citizenship in the U.S.A., the country they already call home.
“As the new Chairman of the CHC, I will work to reorganize task forces to address high priority issues such as: our economy and creating jobs, addressing and improving the way home mortgages and micro loans are handled for our Latino communities and small businesses. On health care, we will address particular areas of the Affordable Care Act and make certain that our doctors and hospitals are reimbursed. In education we must protect the Pell Grant so that it does not drop below the current $5,550. We will also see that the Direct Federal College Loan Program continues to offer our children an opportunity to register and attend college.
“Again, I thank my colleagues for their faith in me and together we will continue to improve the quality of life for not only the Latino community but for all Americans."

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM03): “This is an important time for the Hispanic community across the country as we have seen our numbers and influence increase in all facets, from government to small businesses. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as First Vice Chair, and I look forward to working with them and my colleagues in the House to advocate for an agenda that helps Hispanics, and indeed all Americans, by growing our economy, spurring job creation, and investing in education.”

Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA39): “It is an honor to have been selected by my colleagues to serve as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Second Vice-Chair. I look forward to working with the CHC to address the issues that matter most to Latinos. I am excited to work with the CHC to ensure we create jobs, grow our economy, and achieve comprehensive immigration reform. It is also with great pleasure that I welcome the new members of the CHC. Together we will fight to ensure that Latinos have a strong voice in Congress.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.

November 15, 2012 at 06:39 PM in Hispanic Issues, Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM Congressional Delegation, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Congressman Luján: House Republicans Turn Out the Lights on the American People

Donothingcongress
Above image from blogforarizona

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today on the House Republican leadership’s decision to recess the House until November 13.

“With millions of Americans still looking for work and with the country rapidly approaching a fiscal cliff, House Republicans have packed up, turned out the lights on the American people, and headed home until after the November election. This is the earliest Congress has adjourned before an election in more than 50 years. This dubious distinction is on top of the ‘Do Nothing’ Congress’ record for being the least productive Congress in a generation. Between August 3 and November 13, the House of Representatives will have been in session to vote for a total of only eight days.

“The list of unfinished business that the Republican majority leaves behind severely impacts the people of New Mexico who are looking to their elected leaders to address the nation’s challenges. Farmers and ranchers in New Mexico are suffering from the impact of a severe drought, yet the House Republicans are kicking the can down the road on the Farm Bill. They are refusing to bring up a bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization that includes protections for Native Americans. They have failed to take action on a Senate-passed postal reform bill at a time when rural post offices are seeing their hours cut. And House Republicans are refusing to take steps to ensure that tax cuts for working families do not expire at the end of the year.

“The House has a responsibility to the American people to stay in session and complete this important work. I am disappointed that House Republicans have thrown in the towel and put our country’s business on hold for the next seven weeks. I encourage the Republican leadership to reconsider their decision, bring the House back into session, and get to work.”

What Others Are Saying About the Do-Nothing Congress

Norm Ornstein, Congressional Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, and Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institute: Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.” [4/27/12]

Baltimore Sun: A do-nothing Congress returns to Washington; don't expect much

The 112th Congress has passed far fewer bills than any Congress in recent years…Compromise is now a dirty word and, as the debt ceiling fight proved, there is a large faction among the House Republicans who would close the government and bring down the economy rather than vote for the tiniest of taxes. [9/18]

Bellingham Herald Editorial: Farmers pay the price for GOP politics

House Republicans are once again stalling passage on a crucial bipartisan bill for purely political reasons, and putting Midwest farmers and low-income families at risk…While Boehner plays politics, real American farmers and ranchers are facing the loss of their land or selling off their cattle because this year’s merciless droughts have dried up their pastures. They need to know what kind of help is coming their way to make informed decisions about crop insurance and land management…Where are the senators and representatives who truly care about people – the working poor and the farmers besieged by natural disaster trying to provide plentiful inexpensive food? We know where they are not: in the House Republican caucus. [9/18]

News Chief (Florida) Editorial: Congress is not doing its job

After being here only two days in August, according to House Republican leader Eric Cantor's schedule, the House returned this week to a huge, and hugely important, workload…The fact that Congress has to do this at all should reflect very badly on them because it means that not only did they not get their constitutionally mandated work done on time; they didn't get it done at all, although the GOP-controlled House was repeatedly able to find time to repeal Obamacare.[9/13]

September 21, 2012 at 03:05 PM in Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Luján Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic heritage monthCongressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15.

“Hispanic Heritage Month represents an opportunity to reflect on the enduring contributions of a community that has strengthened the fabric of a nation whose diversity is a source of strength and pride. As one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, Hispanics have increasingly played a vital role in our country as businessmen and women, members of the armed forces, teachers, and first responders.

“As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and this year’s theme of ‘Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit,’ we are reminded that we are united by the common bonds that include the belief in the American Dream and the desire for a brighter tomorrow.

“With the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, we also recognize National Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Week. HSIs play a key role in educating approximately 50 percent of all Hispanics enrolled in colleges and universities. A quality education is essential to a stronger future not only for Hispanics, but for all young Americans. The role that HSIs play is critical to providing Hispanics with the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge that is necessary to get ahead in an increasingly global economy.

“This month, as we recognize the impact of the Hispanic community and the rich culture, traditions, and values that have influenced our nation, let us continue our efforts to live up to the hopes and aspirations of a community whose influence on our nation runs deep.”

September 17, 2012 at 09:51 AM in Hispanic Issues, History, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Luján Announces Nearly $2 Million in YouthBuild Grants for Northern New Mexico

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District announced on Wednesday, August 29th that Santa Fe Community College and Luna Community College in Las Vegas are receiving YouthBuild grants that total nearly $2 million. The grants, which are awarded by the Department of Labor, help out-of-school youth earn a GED or high school diploma while learning critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology, and other fields. Many participants have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are otherwise at risk of failing to reach key educational milestones that lead to career opportunities.

“YouthBuild is a tremendous program that gives young people a second chance to get the education and training they need to get a job and contribute to their community. In addition, it gives them the confidence to achieve their goals,” Congressman Luján said. “The young adults who complete YouthBuild programs demonstrate the determination and perseverance that will be so important to building a successful future for themselves and for their communities.”

Santa Fe Community College is receiving $1,096,661 and Luna Community College is receiving $852,920. The YouthBuild grants announced today are the first awarded under new program regulations, which expand occupational skills training beyond construction to include fast-growing industries such as health care and information technology. The construction skills training programs teach valuable skills to participants who build or rehabilitate housing for local low-income or homeless individuals and families. The non-construction skills training programs include leadership development and community service elements to ensure that youth maintain a connection to their communities through service and volunteerism.

August 31, 2012 at 09:00 AM in Education, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Luján: New Reports Show Affordable Care Act Is Saving Seniors Money on Prescription Drugs and Reduces the Deficit

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District highlighted two new reports that were recently released on the impact that the Affordable Care Act is having on New Mexico’s seniors as well as the effect it will have on the deficit.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data showing that health insurance reform has already saved New Mexico seniors on Medicare $18,751,250 on prescription drugs. A report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the Affordable Health Care act will reduce the deficit by $109 billion over ten years.

“Thirty-three times House Republicans have voted to repeal the health care law. Thirty-three times House Republicans have voted to increase the deficit and force seniors to pay more for their prescription drugs,” Congressman Luján said. “In addition to the many other benefits – such as ending discrimination for pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26 – these reports make it clear that the people of New Mexico have much to gain through the Affordable Care Act and that they have already have more money in their pockets thanks to lower prescription drug costs. For seniors on a fixed budget, saving hundreds of dollars on life-saving medication will have a significant impact during this tough economic time.”

Key provisions in the Affordable Care Act addressed the rising costs of prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare. The law has already helped seniors who hit the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole.” In 2010, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole received a one-time $250 rebate, totaling more than $5 million for seniors in New Mexico. In 2011, people with Medicare began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 7 percent coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole. Last year, more than 19,000 Medicare beneficiaries in New Mexico received $9.7 million in discounts, saving the average beneficiary $497. This year, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has increased to 14 percent, already saving seniors $4 million.

The CBO’s findings, released on Tuesday, make it clear that efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act will significantly add to the deficit. While the law will save $109 billion over the next ten years, CBO also found that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit by roughly $1.5 trillion in the second decade.

July 26, 2012 at 12:40 PM in Healthcare, Obama Health Care Reform, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Senior Citizens | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Luján: House Republicans’ Partisan Agenda to Repeal Health Care Ignores Need to Create Jobs

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today on House Republicans’ attempt to once again repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“It is time for House Republicans to stop wasting time on partisan efforts to repeal health insurance reform. Today’s vote – the 33rd time House Republicans have tried to repeal patient protections – will not hide the fact that they have failed to offer an agenda to create jobs for the American people.

“Instead of trying to repeal a law that protects people with pre-existing conditions, provides free preventive care to seniors, and helps small businesses provide health insurance for their workers, the House should spend time on legislation that can put people back to work.”

July 11, 2012 at 03:09 PM in Healthcare, Obama Health Care Reform, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affordable Care Act Upheld by Supreme Court

The Health care reform act was challenged clear up to the US Supreme Court and the decision was rendered today. It is satisfying to know the highest court in the land upheld the constitutionality of this important legislation. The final deciding vote was cast by Chief Judge John Roberts, appointed by Bush 43.

This will not stop the republicans at all, in fact it will embolden them. As Pearce says at the end of these statements, "The House has scheduled a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare during the week of July 9."

What a contrast of message from the R's to the D's about good news for the people of this Country.

Let's contribute to the State races for the NM House of Representatives. You know the SusanaPac is rolling in the dough today with this news. Please start with a contribution to my race for NM House District 30. Please go to this ActBlue link here, thank you in advance.

Below are the statements from all of NM Congressional leaders:

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s CD-3 released the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

“For too long, families and small businesses in New Mexico have seen their health care costs skyrocket as they continue to pay more and receive less. The ranks of the uninsured grew while insurance companies continued to deny or drop coverage for those who needed it most. That is why President Obama and Democrats in Congress took action to pass health insurance reform that ends the insurance companies’ worst abuses, expands coverage, and takes steps to bring down costs for hard-working New Mexicans.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the law is an important victory for the people of New Mexico. Young adults will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plan, those with pre-existing conditions will be assured that they will have health insurance, and seniors will continue to pay less for prescription drugs and receive free preventive care.

“It is now abundantly clear that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and that the people of New Mexico will continue to benefit from its many important provisions.”

Congressman Martin Heinrich (CD-1) Statement On Supreme Court Decision Upholding Health Care Reform 

U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional:

“The Supreme Court has spoken, declaring the Affordable Care Act constitutional. This decision means New Mexicans will continue to benefit from expanded access to quality, affordable health care.

“Now it’s time to move on to the major economic problems facing our country. Our focus needs to be on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track. The finger-pointing needs to end and Washington needs to get its priorities straight by cutting waste and ending the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and companies that outsource jobs, so we can focus on job creation and strengthening Social Security and Medicare."

Michelle Lujan Grisham Candidate for CD-1: Health Care Debate Must Shift to Controlling Costs

Congressional candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has spent her career as an advocate for quality health care, said the Supreme Court’s decision today is a victory for the thousands of New Mexico families that deserve access to quality, affordable health care.

“This is a victory for New Mexico families because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or force women to pay more for health care,” Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “This is a good first step toward reforming our broken health care system.

“However, there is still work to be done. When I get to Congress I will work to require health insurance companies to put patients before profits. We must control health care costs, improve quality and train more health care workers.”

Senator Udall Statement on Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling Following the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

"When Congress and President Obama first took up this issue, we knew it wouldn't be easy. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is the best possible outcome for the American people. Today, quality, affordable health care is a major step closer to becoming a reality for millions of Americans who live one accident or diagnosis away from losing everything. For these families, health care is an economic matter with the very real consequences of life, death and bankruptcy. As a nation, and across New Mexico, we cannot afford to go back to just a short time ago when insurance coverage for all was further from reach, when children with cancer could be denied coverage, and when unemployed, recent college graduates would be kicked off their parents' insurance by age 22.

"We can still improve upon the law we've put into place, but today, New Mexico has already received more than $200 million in grants and loans to establish an insurance exchange, strengthen community health centers, train new health professionals and so much more. Since passing the law, more than 26,000 young adults under 26-years-old in our state have been allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. Almost 20,000 New Mexico seniors on Medicare received a rebate to help cover prescription costs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. And 285,000 New Mexicans with private health insurance no longer have to pay a deductible or copayment for preventive care like physicals, cancer screenings and vaccinations. More is yet to come.

"Today's decision marks another turning point in our country's approach to health care equality. Now’s the time to put aside partisanship and work together to make our health care policy even stronger."

Republican NMCD-2 Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

Supreme Court Decision Allows for New Obamacare Tax on New Mexico Families

“I have long believed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011 was an unconstitutional overreach by the President. ObamaCare is a violation of our individual rights and an expansion of federal government power our nation’s founders would have found unfathomable.

“The Supreme Court, which has the responsibility of interpreting the law, found this overreach acceptable as a tax. While I do not agree, I respect its authority to make this interpretation.

“Since day one, the Obama Administration has denied that his law was a tax on the American people. Yet, the Obama Administration will claim victory, when all this law does is assess a greater financial burden on hardworking American families and small business owners.

“ObamaCare puts government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors, hurts small businesses and creates trillions in new government spending that will add a huge new weight to our already overloaded deficit.

“We need to get back to work on repealing this ‘tax’ and reforming our healthcare system. These reforms must be focused on protecting patient access to the care they need from the doctor they choose.”

The Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the law is constitutional. The House has scheduled a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare during the week of July 9.

June 28, 2012 at 04:17 PM in 2012 Legislature Races, Healthcare, Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM Congressional Delegation, Obama Health Care Reform, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Sen. Tom Udall, Steve Pearce | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Luján Bill to Strengthen Santa Fe Indian School Passes in the U.S. House

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 1556, his legislation to encourage educational sovereignty by providing Santa Fe Indian School with the tools to generate income for its own academic and cultural programs. The bill passed the House with unanimous support and will now move to the Senate to await further action. Below are Luján remarks as prepared. Click below to watch his speech.

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Chairman Hastings, Chairman Young, Ranking Member Markey, and Ranking Member Boren for working with me in the Natural Resources Committee to help address the many issues impacting Indian Country and the tribes I represent in New Mexico.

“I also want to recognize the hard work of the Superintendent of Santa Fe Indian School and Former Governor of Kewa Pueblo, Everett Chavez, and former AIPC President and former NCAI President Joe Garcia on this bill. They worked with the Pueblos and the All Indian Pueblo Council to support this legislation which will help Santa Fe Indian School and New Mexico’s 19 Pueblo’s achieve educational sovereignty for Native American students across New Mexico.

“Santa Fe Indian School and the 19 Pueblos approached my office early last year seeking the introduction of a technical change to the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act to allow certain lands designated to the school to be used to generate income to provide funding for academic and cultural programs at the Indian School. Knowing the importance of what Santa Fe Indian School provides to Native American students in New Mexico, I was very interested in this approach to move toward true financial independence and educational sovereignty for Santa Fe Indian School and its students.

“I want to point out the importance of sovereignty and what it means for our tribal brothers and sisters to be able to provide a quality education for their own children. Education is truly empowering – especially when Native American students are able to get an education that embraces their cultural and traditional identities – and that is the type of education Santa Fe Indian School provides.

“I worked with Superintendent Chavez and Santa Fe Indian School to draft a bill that would make a technical amendment to allow the school to explore economic opportunities so that students at the Indian School can attain the best possible education and to be able to support their mission.

“Santa Fe Indian School provides a challenging, stimulating, and nurturing learning environment that shares educational responsibility with Native communities, parents, and students to develop the students' true potential to meet obligations to themselves and their tribal communities.

“In this time of financial uncertainty and the limitations of the federal government to assist in federal education programs, it is important to give Santa Fe Indian School the tools they need to help their students receive a quality education regardless of the political and financial climate in Washington. H.R. 1556 would achieve that goal.

“I am proud to be able to assist Santa Fe Indian School in amending the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act to allow the school to achieve new heights in educating Native American students. This technical amendment will help make Santa Fe Indian School more self sufficient and create greater opportunities for students attending the Indian School by ensuring the financial capability to maintain and expand the level of academic and cultural education for Native American students.

“This is a common-sense amendment that will help Native Americans students in New Mexico and I urge the support of my colleagues, and I thank the Chairman for his support as well.”

June 19, 2012 at 07:40 PM in Education, Native Americans, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Santa Fe, video | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Luján Recognizes Local Efforts to Call for an End to Corporate Influence in the Electoral Process

Ben ray lujanCongressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District recognized efforts of local governments to call for the end to corporate influence in the electoral process. With localities nationwide this week highlighting resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, Luján applauded the efforts of the cities of Santa Fe and Taos.

Earlier this year, the City of Santa Fe and the Town of Taos passed resolutions expressing strong opposition to the Citizen United decision and urging Congress to take action to reduce the influence of corporate money in the democratic process. The City of Albuquerque is expected to have a similar resolution on the agenda on Monday, June 18.

“Citizens United has opened the floodgates for special-interest corporate money that seeks to influence elections and drown out the voices of the American people. Third party groups can spend unlimited amounts of money and hide their donors to prevent the American people from finding the truth behind where their money comes from,” Congressman Luján said. “I welcome the efforts of local communities around the country, especially those in New Mexico, that are standing up this week to call for action that removes corporate influence in our elections and reaffirms the bedrock principles of our democracy by giving voice back to the people. It is time to restore accountability and transparency, which are so vital to the electoral process, and take steps to get corporate money out of politics.”

Luján is cosponsoring legislation to amend the Constitution to overturn the decision in Citizens United. He has signed onto the House version of legislation introduced by Senator Tom Udall in the Senate. Luján has also cosponsored the DISCLOSE Act, which increases transparency by: enhancing public reporting of campaign-related activity by corporations and other outside groups; requiring corporations and other outside groups to stand by their ads; requiring corporations and other outside groups to disclose campaign-related spending to shareholders; and requiring lobbyists to disclose campaign-related expenditures in conjunction with their lobbying activities.

June 16, 2012 at 01:00 PM in Citizens United, Corporatism, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), U.S. Constitution | Permalink | Comments (3)

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)

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)