Tuesday, July 24, 2012
NM Senator Udall Advocates for Constitutional Amendment at Hearing
From Senator Tom Udalls office:
At a committee hearing on Capitol Hill today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) built support for the constitutional amendment he is sponsoring to give Congress the authority to undo dangerous Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and rein in the unprecedented flood of secret money in the campaign finance system.
"Money has poisoned our political system," Udall said. "We, as Americans, believe in government 'of the people, by the people, for the people' – and so we must work to put in place a constitutional amendment that will restore integrity to our elections and the legislative process."
Click above to see video of Udall at today's hearing.
In November 2011, Udall introduced S.J. Res. 29, a proposed amendment to allow Congress to regulate the raising and spending of money, including restricting independent expenditures by so-called “Super PACs”. It would give the states the same authority to regulate campaign finance at their level. Udall’s amendment currently has 23 cosponsors.
Legislatures in six states, including New Mexico, have called on Congress to send an amendment to the states for ratification. "Over the past few months, the unfair influence exerted by Super PACs has become abundantly clear to voters in New Mexico – and they are calling for campaign finance reform. Our Founders did not intend for elections to be bought and paid for by secret donors and special interests. My amendment simply puts our elections back in the hands of ‘we the people’,” Udall said.
At the hearing, Udall noted the long and bipartisan history of support for constitutional amendments dealing with campaign finance. Since 1983, bipartisan proposals similar to Udall’s have been introduced in almost every Congress.
“James Madison argued that the U.S. Constitution should be amended only on ‘great and extraordinary occasions’,” Udall said. “I believe we have reached one of those occasions. I know amending the Constitution is difficult. And it should be. But I believe the growing momentum demonstrates that this is the right time for Congress to act," said Udall. "Our elections no longer focus on the needs and interests of individual voters, but are instead shaped by multi-million dollar ad campaigns funded by special interest groups with unlimited resources. Americans’ right to free speech should not be determined by their net worth.”
The hearing included testimony from other members of Congress and outside witnesses before the Senate Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, was titled “Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs”.
Click here to view the legislative text of Senator Udall’s amendment.
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.”
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Bernalillo County Commissioner Wiener Complete Video of Censure
Video above taken of the County Commission censure of Commissioner Wiener.
On Tuesday evening the Bernalillo County Commission held one of their scheduled meetings to conduct the serious business of the County. The agenda was long, the Commissioners approved the county budget for 2013 which totals $229 million. Follow this link to see how our Bern County funds will be allocated. And at the end of the meeting other important county business had to be conducted, the first censure of one of the County Commissioners. If you do not know why Wiener was being censured see these past DFNM posts here.
During the public comment portion of the meeting a few men stepped up to the mic and spoke in support of Wiener. No big surprise there. They spoke at the meeting of what a waste of time it was for the commissioners to have to deal with this matter of Commissioner Wiener having a lay over in Angeles City and being photographed with scantily clad women. "Let him be, the trip was done on his own time and on his own dime. He didn't do anything wrong."
One of the men speaking said he could go over the allotted two minutes because Wiener said he could. Note no one else was able to go over the two minutes, in fact when the two minute bell was rung you had to stop where you were in your statement and step away. It was an uncomfortable meeting to say the least.
The women who spoke about the Wiener censure all spoke how he should be censored, that it is not befitting of an elected official to be caught up in this scandal. Wiener has a history of poor judgement while serving on the county commission. He has wrote emails containing racist statements, he has been involved with sexual harassment matters, and now this.
Of course Wiener in his prepared statement stated his innocence, and how he is being victimized. How it would be different if he was a democrat. How he has been tried in the court of public opinion unfairly. The fact is that Wiener has lied from the beginning about the reason he was in Angeles City, because of a plane layover? It has been researched there are no layovers in Angeles City. It does not add up. It seems Commissioner Wiener has much to keep hidden about this trip. Commissioner Wiener has poor judgement, and should be investigated in more detail. Where there is smoke there is fire.
Thank you to the three County Commissioners; Maggie Hart Stebbins, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Art De La Cruz who stood up to Wiener, and censured him. Commissioner Johnson recused himself, stating he had already asked for Wiener's resignation a few days prior to the censure.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Tik Tok (not just a Ke$ha song!) Sign SB9 Susana!
Let's talk a little about the Governor's role after the legislative session!
Contact the Gov and tell her you want SB9 to get passed!
On the phone: 505-476-2200
Friday, February 24, 2012
We gots to get this bill signed! SB9
Great creative video from ClearlySK. Describing the SB9 bill and how important it is for Governor Susana Martinez to sign it into law. Keep our tax dollars here in New Mexico.
When life hands you lemons, make those lemons pay their fair share in taxes.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Voter ID Bills and NM
The latest from ClearlySK.
Let's not make it harder to vote. We should protect our right to cast a ballot by NOT passing Voter ID bills, y'all.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
Early Education with a Chance of Precipitation
The latest timely video from ClearlySK.
It's important to invest in our future. We need to pass HJR15 and SJR9 so that we can properly fund early education programs!
Invest in Kids NOW Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Invest-In-Kids-Now/174579369243848
Friday, January 27, 2012
FREE Speech for The People
ClearlySK has this to say about Citizens United and FREE Speech for The People: