Friday, May 11, 2012
Please Join LGBTQ Community Leaders & Friends To Support One of our State’s Young Leader Senator Tim Keller
Many of the social decisions facing the Country are being passed down to the States Legislatures. The LGBT community had an inspiring week with President Obama coming out in full support of marriage equality. However as he said in his statement, something to the effect that he agrees this should be decided by each state. So with this direction our country is taking on LGBT rights, the right to choose rights, contraception rights too now. Now more than ever we must elect a strong legislative body.
A young dynamic leader like Senator Tim Keller is precisely the type of leader we need to be electing into our state legislature. Please attend this fundraiser for Senator Tim Keller this evening. And if you cannot attend please donate to his reelection campaign. Click here to Download TK4NM 2012 GLBT invite
Friday, May 04, 2012
Guest Blog by Sen. Tim Keller and Dede Feldman: ‘Getting Things Done’ for CD-1
It’s that time again, one month before a crowded Dem primary and the negativity, Dem vs Dem, is starting to fly on the airwaves, on our mailboxes and on our computer screen. As we talk with folks in our district, you can feel the increasing irritation folks have as everything crescendos to June 5th.
This year with a three-way congressional and two way senate race, let’s hope we can avoid one of primary reasons politicians are less popular than any other profession in our society. For those of us in Albuquerque, the CD-1 race is already filling with all sorts of claims.
Another claim is the “doesn’t get things done” attack against Eric Griego. As colleagues, we know Eric’s record, and we know that he has never stopped fighting for New Mexicans -- not only “to get things done,” but to get the right things done.
We have both been fortunate to pass several bills up in Santa Fe, but we know it can take a small army to pass a bill. It takes the leadership from both houses coordinating the process, it takes committee chairs assuring a hearing, and it takes outspoken liberals who help to strengthen the negotiating hand for sponsors who get work done.
There is a reason why multiple legislators in CD-1, including both of us, have strongly endorsed Eric for Congress. For four years Eric Griego has been the progressive spear tip who helps legislators like me to get workable solutions into law.
It might not show up in the bill sponsor logs, but Senators know Griego even crosses the aisle. It was Eric who brought Albuquerque Dems, the Governor and GOP Senators together on 2011 funding vote for the Paseo interchange!
The other attack we hear a lot is “elect me, because candidate A and B can’t win the general election.” Given where redistricting took CD-1, recent performance of Obama and Heinrich, and an uninspired CD-1 GOP, we believe any one of the three candidates will win in November. We love passionate debates and action packed campaigns, but bitter infighting will drive down Dem turnout; and that is what will cost Dems the general election regardless of who wins the primary.
If you’re tired of all the negativity, and tired of politicians, there is clarity: vote for sure, shun the political games, pick a Dem based on your conscience, on their action plan to: create jobs, champion renewable energy and fight for social justice. Save your vehemence for the general and unite behind the Dem winner June 6th.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Sen. Tim Keller’s Energetic Campaign Kick Off
A boisterous crowd of 200+ cheered State Senator Tim Keller (SD-17) as he announced his candidacy for reelection for East Central Albuquerque and the International District. He thanked the friends, family, colleagues and even a few GOPers present for their encouragement of his efforts to shake things up in Santa Fe and fight for meaningful change in our state.
Below: Land Commissioner Ray Powell and City Councilor Rey Garduno warm up the crowd for Keller
Above: Senator Keller discussing his initial run, the past 4 years and future ideas regarding a vision for NM and restoration of the American Dream
Tim faces former 20 year senator Shannon Robinson in this year’s general election. Robinson, who was famously plagued with multiple ethics scandals in his last term, switched parties to run as a Republican against Democratic Sen. Tim Keller, who won the primary election against Robinson four years ago. Robinson’s change of party was colored by the fact that his registrant was former GOP chair Harvey Yates. Word is Republicans are funding opposition to young Keller because he is seen as a rising threat for higher office runs down the road.
Keller has been a breadth of fresh air in state politics fighting for social justice and working families. He has been a prolific lawmaker, working hard with both sides of the aisle passing impactful legislation including the in state business preference, local food purchasing requirements, 40% renewable solar tax credit, children’s safety, community schools, PRC reform and reshaping the state investment council.
From day one, Senator Tim Keller developed a reputation for responsiveness to his diverse constituent base and personally bringing together community leaders to revitalize the SE Heights and champion the "International District” brand. His website has great info, photos, restaurant picks, videos as well as legislation details at www.timkellerfornewmexico.com
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
3/24: Come Celebrate the Re Election Campaign of One of New Mexico’s Most Dynamic Young Leaders State Senator Tim Keller
Senator Tim Keller was elected in 2008 to serve the people of Senate District 17. He has done a great job in that endeavor. The area of Albuquerque once called the "War zone" is now called the "International District" do in large part of Tim's outstanding leadership for the community. If you drive through the International District there is a sense of pride and dignity that has developed since Tim has been their Senator.
Tim Keller is being challenged by Shannon Robinson the old Democrat that used to represent District 17. Tim Keller beat Shannon Robinson in the 2008 Democratic primary. Shannon has been upset over this defeat since then, crying foul in every possible manner. Shannon has gone to the extreme now to change to a Republican so he can run against Tim Keller. Talk about the quintessential "GOP turncoat Sour Grapes Campaign." Shannon your constituients voted you out and voted Senator Tim Keller in.
Senator Tim Keller needs our help right now. Please attend Senator Tim Keller's Re-election campaign to be held on March 24th. Download TK4NM Re Election Launch.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Senator Tim Keller; "We Need A New Vision For New Mexico"
In New Mexico, times have been tough. The Land of Enchantment has been gripped by economic uncertainty for over three years now. But, after almost half a decade living year-to-year (and sometimes month-to-month), New Mexico may be turning a corner and it’s time we got serious about a new, long-term vision for the Land of Enchantment. We must stop rehashing the same old issues and put forth some bold new initiatives.
That’s why the Senate unveiled a comprehensive economic development and job creation program. The bills included in the Senate’s Helping Incentivize Real Employment (HIRE) Initiative offer solid strategies to getting New Mexico on the right track. The time is right to rebuild our economic foundations, starting with a level playing field for every New Mexico business. The Senate Democrat’s proposal encourages every business, not just those in special industries, to hire New Mexican graduates, thereby making our education system stronger and our communities more viable. Additionally, new investments in a state entrepreneurial fund will give all startups with a good idea a chance to develop into solid New Mexico businesses and employers.
Over the years, our state has been guided by incremental ideas and spending triage that have left us adrift without a long-term, common-sense plan for our future. It is time to abandon the notion that a tax giveaway to a single company or long-established industry will create across the board growth from Chama to Catron County. Instead, it is time we build up new industries; small businesses and our education system reward those who play by the rules. By leveraging our strengths in energy technology potential, laboratory research and development and unparalleled cultural diversity, we must align bold, meaningful changes and encourage businesses to do the same. This is how we will grow New Mexico’s workforce.
Instead of offering token tax cuts to just a handful of businesses, let’s create a tax system that gives every business the help they need and ensures they are playing on a level field. We can broaden our tax base and lower the overall tax rate so that all New Mexicans are better off. Instead of piecemeal education reform let’s promote a system that prioritizes early education and generates pathways to jobs being created right here in New Mexico.
Our state government must get down to the work that moves us forward, and do so quickly. Every day we are distracted by menial education reforms or grandstanding on driver’s licenses is another day lost. It is during these lost, distracted days that we should be bringing together business, labor, teachers, parents and communities to build new infrastructure, encourage innovative research and care for those in need. As our legislature enters our final few weeks, the question now is how quickly we will get there and how far we will go.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sen. Keller Announces Gov Reform for PRC, State Fair and SIC
State Senator Tim Keller (SD-17) announced a package of bills that have been pre-filed for the upcoming 2012 legislative session. “These bills are needed government reforms to tackle problem areas in our government, and increase transparency, accountability and effectiveness. Reforming areas of government like the PRC, the State Fair and the SIC remain critical to government’s ability to serve citizens and work with businesses.” Keller explained at a gather of supporters.
Sen. Keller’s package includes a combination of State Fair, PRC reform, increased oversight. Legislation includes:
- SJR 2: Redesign the PRC: leverage governance best practices and recent studies finding various problems with PRC operations and structure. Create a process similar to judicial standard's committee to appoint commissioners, require relevant experience or education, term limits of one 5 year term, ban personal contracts with regulated entities and lobbying for3 years, and require four superintendents for each division that would have to be confirmed by the Senate.
- SB 4: Expo NM/State Fair Governance: restructure the management of Expo NM such that the director be confirmed by the senate and hired by the commission, require the commission to take public comment at each meeting, require them to comply/post on the sunshine portal, and procurement code, ban campaign contributions from long term leasers with leases greater than $1m are, Require the director of the fair to report twice a year to the legislature once on general operations and once on state fair performance (similar to what we do with space port and others).
- SB: Remove Politics from the SIC (Neville/Keller): the number one recommendation by the Ennis Knupp research completed in 2010 was to remove the Governor as chair of the State Investment Council (SIC). SB 18 in 2010 attempted this but was amended at late stages in the legislative process to keep the Governor on the board. This bill would remove all elected and replace them with appointees. Executive branch power and representation would remain via several executive appointed seats and representation of the DFA secretary. NM is currently the only state in the country with a Governor personally residing on the state's investment fund board and directly responsible for investment decisions.
- SB: Foreclosure Property Maintenance: similar to the ordinance in Rio Rancho, bill that requires cities to establish rules for owners of foreclosed properties to maintain base level of property maintenance. This deters foreclosures in the first place, helps cities and neighborhoods retain property value and decreases blight.
- SJM: Interim committee on Inter Government Reform, Structure and Process: that would shine a light on challenges in Government operations, conflicts of interest, inefficiencies and overlapping mandates.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Senator Keller Announces New Mexico Economy Legislative Package
State Senator Tim Keller (SD-17) announced a package of six job creation and economic development bills that have been pre-filed for the upcoming 2012 legislative session. “These bills are designed to provide short term jobs and a long term vision for economic development in New Mexico. Over the last few years we have looked at various one off proposals for economic development, now is the time to take it a step further and consider a wide range of legislation that can really move the needle toward a new strong economic future in our state.” Keller explained at a meeting with supporters in a South Valley restaurant.
Sen. Keller’s economic package includes a combination of tax reform, small business investment, strategic planning, and research and development funding for Universities designed to address multiple aspects of short term job creation and long term economic development in our state. Legislation includes:
- SB 5: Capital Expenditure Tax Deferment: designed to make NM more tax competitive and stimulate infrastructure for big and small businesses, this bill would create a tax credit for all capital expenditures that can be used to defer state tax GRT payments until debts are repaid or 5 years have passed. In effect this bill would establish a tax free loan (via a tax credit) for capital expenditures, it would also align the timing of capital expenditure tax liability with incremental revenue associated with the investment
- SB 16: NM “Reverse the Brain Drain” Incentives: creates a structure for companies to receive a tax credit for hiring NM University graduates to full time positions that include benefits. This will incent both on time graduation and retention of our best and brightest by NM firms (reverse the brain drain). Funding for this program will be offset by the reduction in demand for lottery funds for students taking additional years to graduate due to lack of jobs
- SB 21: Energy Technology Higher Education Endowment: will gradually intercept funds going into permanent funds to 'invest' in our high education intellectual infrastructure. Over time the fund would endow 30 chairmanships, curriculum and research at our states three universities for the purposes of coordinated nationally leading energy technology state wide economic development strategy
- SJM: Centennial Planning Task Force: the creation of inter-governmental planning initiative to create a vision for NM for the next 100 years. The task force shall consider state assets including energy, tourism, the arts, water, technology, genetic research areas and any fields or industry in their deliberations to develop a comprehensive plan including the integration of communities and agencies for our State's future.
- SB 28: Finance NM small businesses by increasing the SIC Private Equity Investment Program (PEIP) to 10% (from 9%), and the Small Business Investment Corporation doubled to 2% (from 1%). This would add~ $10-40 million in new monies for NM businesses. The funds are currently used specifically for financing NM small businesses. The estimated incremental funds available from this bill would be 4 to 12 million depending on matching funds and leverage. The bill also contains a "use it or lose it" clause that would claw back unused distributions to the general fund
- HB 34 (Gentry/Keller): Red Tape Reduction/Rule Making Regulatory Reform: this bill is the outcome of the year long task force based comprised of business, environmental, legal and community members. NM is the last state in our country that does not follow this standard, as a result any executive agency can change/alter the licensing/permitting process as they see fit as many times as they like. The result is the ‘rules of the game’ are different for nearly every entity that touches state government. This bill would standardize procedures such as public comment periods, appeal methods, fee structures and response requirements among others
Bill details can be found at http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_locatorcom.aspx?year=12 . Most of the bills will be automatically germane for the thirty day session based on their relevance to tax and budget. Messages from the Governor have been requested for those that outside the constitutional scope of the thirty day session.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
12/1: Fundraiser to Support Senator Tim Keller
Please Join Community Leaders to Support One of the State's Most Dynamic Young Leaders State Senator Tim Keller for a fundraiser to support his re-election in 2012! See invitation here.
- New Mexico's First Bipartisan Rising Star Award Winner
- ABQ Chamber "E" for Effort Award Winner
- New Mexico Business Weekly Top 40 under 40.
The event will be held on December 1st from 5:30-7:30 PM at the home of Gary Goodman, located at 5200 Eakes Road, NW in Los Ranchos, 87107.
For more information or to RSVP, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 346-0018.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Senate Dems Statement: Business as Usual at Expo NM, Missed Opportunity at State Fairgrounds
Following is a statement by the Senate Democrats.
“Yesterday’s actions by the state fair commission to approve the Downs 25 year land deal at our fairgrounds represents a huge missed opportunity to create a true pride point for our city and state. My constituents from surrounding areas and I are deeply disappointed that despite all past troubles and challenges outlined in the Audit, the commission voted to perpetuate the status quo at Expo NM,” stated Senator Tim Keller (SD-17).
Keller added, “It has been 25 years since we’ve had the chance to redesign the State Fairgrounds (now officially known as Expo New Mexico). As the state senator representing most of the area, I know that the communities surrounding Expo New Mexico have repeatedly called for an opportunity to participate in a formal strategic plan for the development of the 250 acres in the middle of our city.”
With just 30 days to respond, only two entities met the deadline. No formal community input was solicited, plans were kept secret, accountability measures have not been put in place yet, and broader plans for Expo New Mexico were excluded from the discussion.
With little transparency and accountability, today’s state fair commission meeting the rules were changed to amend previous motions and change the agenda so this lease could be approved without event taking public comment.
The 2011 Legislative Audit further revealed a disturbing history including millions of dollars in mismanagement, questionable short-term decisions and annual taxpayer bailouts. Then on Nov. 8, the Albuquerque Journal reported $70,000 of campaign contributions went to the governor from the Downs’ ownership.
“We had hoped things would be different under a new administration, but nothing has changed when it comes to Casinos at the Fairgrounds. Tax payers deserve a lot better from our State. If these trends continue, many of us State Fair supporters worry that legislators statewide may not continue to foot the bill even with this new deal. This new rushed 25 year land lease blocks any significant redesign and perpetuates business as usual at Expo,” Sen. Keller noted after a tax committee meeting today in Santa Fe.
The new casino lease is less than 26 years and is solely within the governor’s responsibility and therefore today’s action will not go to legislature for approval. Senator Keller intends to bring forth legislation to clean up the governance at Expo New Mexico in the upcoming legislative session.
Friday, October 21, 2011
State Sen. Tim Keller Endorses Eric Griego for Congress in NM-1
Popular progressive State Senator Tim Keller (D-17 Albuquerque) today announced in an email that he is endorsing fellow lawmaker Eric Griego for Congress in New Mexico's First Congressional District. The Griego campaign pointed out that the endorsement is especially meaningful not only because Sen. Keller has been a colleague of Griego in the New Mexico Senate, working with him on a number of important reform issues, but because Keller himself was mentioned as a strong candidate for the slot early on.
The campaign also noted that State Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas (D-16 Albuquerque) -- another Dem lawmaker known for his dynamic progressive leadership who was also mentioned prominently as a possible strong contender for the U.S. House seat -- endorsed Griego's campaign in the 3rd quarter. Click for a full list of endorsements for Eric Griego for Congress.
Here's the endorsement email by Sen. TIm Keller:
I want to give you an update in the important race for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. After years of working side-by-side with Eric Griego in our State Senate, I’m honored to endorse his candidacy for U.S. Congress.
As you’re probably aware, there are three Democratic candidates in the open seat to succeed Rep. Martin Heinrich. In this wide-open race, which candidate we support is an important decision to determine who will take the fight to the Tea Party Republicans in 2012 and who we can count on to fight for us in Washington.
Eric has long been the conscience of our progressive values in our community. He also knows a thing or two about creating jobs and protecting our environment. Eric passed landmark legislation for green job creation in our state legislature. He has a critical combination of passion, experience and a no-nonsense approach needed to beat back the Tea Party and straighten out Washington.
That’s why I proudly endorse Eric Griego for Congress and ask you to chip in $3 to his campaign.
We need Congress to create jobs, not play political games. In the State Senate, Eric reached across the aisle to fight for bold investments to spur jobs in New Mexico and supported my bill to create more than 3,000 jobs in the state. He has also started a petition calling on Speaker John Boehner to pass the President’s jobs bill before Thanksgiving, which can create thousands of additional new jobs in New Mexico.
Eric is a progressive reformer who will stand his ground against Tea Party extremists and lobbyists from Big Oil and Wall Street in Washington. But we can trust his record of getting things done for the people of New Mexico.
Eric is running a strong grassroots campaign and is going to take the fight to the Tea Party Republicans in 2012. He reported a strong fundraising quarter with more money in the bank than any of his competitors. Eric also counts on early support from more than 1,000 New Mexican grassroots donors -– nearly four times that of his closest competitor. Eric also has more political endorsements inside New Mexico than both of his competitors combined. Click here to take a look.
We can also be proud that Eric is the only candidate in the race to stand firmly and early with the growing movement calling on Washington and Wall Street to stand with the 99% of us, not just the richest 1%, Wall Street and Big Oil.
Let’s send Eric Griego to Washington to fight for us.
New Mexico State Senator
Photos by M.E. Broderick.
Sen. Tim Keller: We Need Sweeping Reform to Address Expo New Mexico Audit Findings
Yesterday, the Legislative Finance Committee issued its report on the historical financial performance and operations of Expo NM (the state fair grounds). Sen. Tim Keller, who represents the area in and around the Fair Grounds, responded to the findings. “It is now abundantly clear Expo New Mexico operations are rife with challenges and have been for some time.”
“New Mexicans deserves a well-run operation that is a pride point for the city, state and surrounding community. Expo has been in crisis mode for years and run adrift with millions of dollars for long enough. It's time the legislature reign in Expo operations with oversight and increased accountability. I will be proposing legislation to reduce Expo’s autonomy and bring it under compliance with state purchasing (SPO), the sunshine portal and department of finance (DFA) regulations. I will also be restructuring the powers and duties of the State Fair Commission.”
As highlighted in the report, Expo New Mexico is run as in independent ‘enterprise’ that does not have to follow standard transparency and accounting practices required by the state purchasing office and the Department of Finance. Although it has been subsidized by the state for decades, it gets to make its own rules, Keller explained. With millions in budget dollars and contracts worth in excess of $50 million, this enterprise has been slowly drowning. “As you can imagine, the state, city and surrounding neighborhoods are very discouraged by these findings,” noted Keller.
Pending Downs at Expo New Mexico Lease
The audit discussion also raised questions about the pending new $50 million lease for the racino grounds -- Downs at Expo New Mexico. Sen. Tim Keller stated, “The process seems overly rushed, and I’m concerned Expo is getting into a 25-year lease without giving enough time to analyze various options and build a long-term vision for the grounds as whole. The RFP should be re-opened, a long-term plan should be in place, optimal lease rates determined and the community should have some input. It just makes business sense to allow for proper analysis of a $50+ million dollar land deal. “We can do a lot better than this,” concluded Keller.
In reaction to Commissioner Rode’s statement that the “tax payers are subsidizing a racing company making millions and there is zero participation by state fair commissioners ... as it stands we are rubber stamp,” Keller noted, “It sounds like this RFP process has turned into a sham, and the Governor’s office should postpone it immediately.”
Need Totally New Structure
“The commission has too much power; it’s a playground for commissioners to come in and do whatever they want ... they do whatever they want when they want ... money thrown around left and right with no consequences,” stated state fair commission chairman Hossie Sanchez. Keller noted, “We have to totally change the structure of state fair management. This is irresponsible and it’s been going on far too long. It reminds me of the SIC a few years ago, and I’m going to do all I can to reign this in during the next session. I hope others and Governor will join me in that effort.”
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Keller, Maestas Criticize Romney for Calling Middle Class Tax Breaks 'Band-Aids'
On Friday, New Mexico State Senator Tim Keller and State Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas held a press conference call to discuss Mitt Romney’s comments at the GOP debate in New Hampshire that tax cuts for the middle class were nothing more than “little band-aids” that he doesn’t support. Romney has long made noise about opposing tax cuts for the middle class, but his latest statement exposes just how out of touch Mitt really is with the lives of ordinary Americans.
Earth to Mitt: tax cuts in the thousand-dollar-plus range and beyond can make the difference in whether there's adequate food on the table or whether needed medical prescriptions are filled for working class families. A thousand dollars more or less probably doesn't mean much in the elite financial world of Romney and the other one per centers, where greens fees for golf outings can cost that much. But in the real world of working for a paycheck to make a living, it's not exacty chicken feed.
After the conference call, Sen. Keller and Rep. Maestas released the following statements pointing out the arrogance and ignorance demonstrated by Romney's statement.
“Romney and his Republican colleagues in Washington who voted against the American Jobs Act claim they are for tax breaks, but would let the payroll tax cut expire and take money out of the pockets of working Americans," said Sen. Tim Keller. "Mitt Romney doesn’t get what economists and the American people are saying: Middle-class tax cuts make sense for the economy and for our families. Instead, Romney continues to push more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and corporations while doing nothing for the middle class.”
Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas said, “Mitt Romney may claim he isn’t ‘running to support the rich,’ but his economic proposals support more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and corporations while doing nothing for the middle class. When asked about extending a payroll tax credit that averages more than $1,360 for the typical American family, Romney said he doesn’t support little ‘band aids.’ That’s just wrong."
"For the wealthiest Americans and corporations that Mitt is running for, $1,360 is not much, but for middle class families trying to make ends meet here in New Mexico it would make all the difference in the world," Rep. Maestas continued. "It can be four months of groceries or months of rent –- not to mention that middle-class tax cuts make sense for the economy. It’s clear that Mitt Romney has no plan to provide relief to the middle class and no plan to immediately create jobs.”
Wealthy elitist Republicans are like that.
The DNC has pointed out that at the same time Romney is belittling middle class tax cuts as “little band-aids,” he seems quite proud of the fact that he's leading the money race for campaign cash from Wall Street. Considering that Romney has promised Wall Street’s big banks that if he’s elected he'll allow them to write their own rules again -- just as they were doing when the economy nearly collapsed just three short years ago -- perhaps no one should be surprised that he’s raking in big bucks from the banks for his campaign. Or that he seems to have the interests of the moneyed classes as his sole concern.
You can watch the Republican presidential candidates debate again tonight at 6:00 PM mountain time.