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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Small Victory for Neighborhood Organizing

New West reports a victory in saving, at least for now, a prime piece of agricultural land in the South Valley. Read it and cheer. We urged people to attend the Bernalillo County Commission hearing about the proposed 54-acre shopping mall for Coors and Rio Bravo in an earlier post. For once, the good guys won. Along with the sandhill cranes and the winter geese. A thank you is in order for the County Commissioners who voted against the mall: Deanna Archuleta-Loeser, Alan Armijo, Tim Cummins and Teresa Cordova. Michael Brasher also voted against it, but later claimed he didn't understand the motion. You can email them at links on the right-hand side of .

October 26, 2005 at 04:21 PM in Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What Kind of Party Are We Having?

In what some are speculating may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, our ears on the ground are telling us that Brian Monaghan, the Democratic Party of New Mexico's Comptroller, has given his two week notice. Compounding the drama is word that Monaghan's resignation was quickly followed by that of Judy Baker, State Party Treasurer and former IRS agent from the 2nd Congresssional District.

Monaghan was first brought on board by then Party Chair Diane Denish to help steer the party out of the legal trouble it had gotten itself into with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) during the 1998 election cycle. Locally and nationally, Monaghan is considered to be one of the best comptrollers in the country because of his knowledge and commitment to adhering to complicated national and state campaign finance laws.

One has to wonder what drove Monaghan to decide to leave now, and why Judy Baker decided to tender her own resignation immediately after he did.

Monaghan's departure from the Democratic Party of New Mexico also represents the fourth resignation to land on Chairman Wertheim's desk since the State Central Committee Meeting in April. These include Gideon Elliot, Deputy Executive Director; Sarah Rosenzweig, Finance Director; and Marci Youngmark who resigned after being promoted from Volunteer Coordinator to Finance Director. Terri Holland, the former Director of State Party Affairs, is also gone, having moved over to the Bernalillo County Party as Executive Director.

All this reinforces the serious concerns being raised by State Central Committee (SCC) members and party activists regarding the DPNM's financial dealings and effectiveness.

What gives?

October 25, 2005 at 12:39 PM in Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (39)

Honor the Fallen Tomorrow

Editor's Note: Move On, Democracy for America, True Majority and the American Friends Service Commitee are all invoved with this or similar events. Here's the event announcement sent out by DFA:


Today marks the day that 2,000 brave servicemen and women have sacrificed their lives for the war in Iraq. Most of us cannot imagine what it must be like for their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. But as a nation, we can take a moment to send our gratitude and support to those families.

Democracy for America is joining with MoveOn and TrueMajority to host candlelight vigils across the country and offer our condolences to the families and friends of the American servicemen and women who have given their lives. The vigils will take place at 6:30 PM tomorrow night, Wednesday, October 26. To find a vigil in your community, visit:


If there is not a vigil already planned in your community, then sign up to host one yourself. It's easy. All you need to do is find a place for people to congregate, register it online and gather the group together when people arrive. To host a vigil, visit:


These vigils aren't rallies or places to give long-winded speeches. They are moments to solemnly come together and mark the sacrifice of those who have died and their families.

If you can't join a vigil in your community, then please join the "Honor the Fallen" campaign and write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper asking them to place all casualty reports on the front page. With this one small action, we can continue to honor the fallen and remind the public of the dangers that our troops face everyday.


Thanks for all you do,

Tom Hughes
Executive Director
Democracy for America

October 25, 2005 at 12:30 PM in Events, Iraq War | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, October 24, 2005


All that Tom DeLay's official mugshot tells us is that he's a wiseacre smiling through his indictment. Now THIS gives us some insight into his character (or lack thereof):


That's DeLay and his wife in a photo from his website in what appears to be the era of the late 1970's or early 80s. Note his white belt. I bet he's wearing white patent leather shoes to boot. Dork quotient? One hundred percent. Back in those days he was known as "Hot Tub Tom" for his after hours partying with women other than his wife. Before he became "born again" of course. Check out the Newsweek profile on DeLay.

I wonder if Cheney and/or Rove and/or Scooter Libby will be smiling if and when (as expected) they are indicted this week for their roles in Plamegate. What, me worry?

October 24, 2005 at 09:43 AM in Visuals | Permalink | Comments (1)

Winter Soldier at Guild, Nov. 4-10

From Viet Nam Veterans Against the War:
Sunday, NOVEMBER 4 - Thursday, November 10
Special showing, Wed. Nov. 9, 8 PM with panel of Viet Nam Veterans Against the War activists
Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave., Albuquerque, NM
255-1848, www.guildcinema.com

WINTER SOLDIER (4:00, 6:00, 8:00* *NOTE: No 8:00 PM show Tuesday, November 8): A documentary chronicle of the extraordinary Winter Soldier Investigation conducted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in Detroit during the winter of 1971. Produced and Directed by Winterfilm Collective in association with Vietnam Veterans Against the War - 1972 - 95 minutes

Veterans from all branches of the US military came from across the country to speak out about the atrocities they had committed and witnessed while stationed in Vietnam.

Recognizing the urgency and historical importance of the investigation, a remarkable group of independent filmmakers came together to document the veterans¹ testimonies. Calling themselves Winterfilm, their collective, including David Grubin, Barbara Kopple, Roger Phenix, Benay Rubenstein and many others, some of whom would go on to be the seminal documentary filmmakers of our time, recorded the proceedings.

Over the course of four days and nights, using donated equipment and film stock, they shot footage of more than 125 veterans (including a very young John Kerry). 

These men, who represented every major combat unit that saw action in Vietnam, gave eyewitness testimony to war crimes and atrocities they either participated in or witnessed.  Eight months was spent distilling the footage and adding archival materials, resulting in WINTER SOLDIER.

Because the proceedings went virtually unreported by the media, WINTER SOLDIER remains the only audiovisual record of this historic turning point in American history.  Yet after unanimous acclaim at international festival screenings, the film was seldom seen in the USA with virtually no screenings outside of New York City.  As critic Amos Vogel wrote, "this is a film that must be shown in prime time evening on national television, and never will be." He was correct - even Public Television declined to show it nationally.

Now, nearly thirty-five years after the hearings in Detroit, the veterans' courage in testifying and their desire to prevent further atrocities and regain their own humanity remain deeply moving, and provide a dramatic intensity that makes WINTER SOLDIER an unforgettable experience.

It reminds us that recent reports of wartime atrocities are not isolated incidents, as the U.S. media often reports. Milestone Films has resurrected this all-but-lost work, and our screenings are the first ever in the Southwest.

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 9 ONLY: Please join us for a panel discussion of the film, the issues surrounding it, and current events after the 8:00 PM screening. Included with regular admission.

October 24, 2005 at 08:57 AM in Film | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Join Citizens for Global Solutions at Annual Conference and Event Honoring Stewart Udall

You are invited! Join us for a weekend loaded with fun, learning, entertainment and action!
La Fonda Hotel
Santa Fe, New Mexico
November 4-6


“Global Solutions, Local Connections” will bring together renowned authors, leading policymakers, and activists from New Mexico and beyond to discuss how we can work together to find solutions to problems facing citizens of New Mexico, the United States, and the world — challenges like climate change, renewable energy, water conservation, genocide, globalization, and United Nations reform. Come learn more about the issues affecting New Mexico and the world — and more about how you can take action and make a difference. Click for flyer.

In addition, please join Citizens for Global Solutions as we honor Stewart Udall for his extraordinary contributions as one of the founders of the international environmental movement

Saturday, November 5, 2005
6:30 to 8:30 PM
Manitou Gallery
123 West Palace Avenue
Santa Fe , New Mexico

Suggested donation: $50 ($25 if attending the CGS annual meeting). Please RVSP by Wednesday, November 2, 2005 to Min Yoo at myoo@globalsolutions.org or 202-546-3950, extension 109.

Citizens for Global Solutions is a national non-partisan membership organization dedicated to the idea that the world must find solutions to those problems that no nation, no matter how powerful, can solve on its own.  This reception is being held in conjunction with the Citizens for Global Solutions' 2005 Annual Meeting, "Global Solutions, Local Connections: Making the Global Local One Activist at a Time," at the La Fonda from November 4 to 6, 2005.  For more information or to register, please go to our website, www.globalsolutions.org/santafe2005 , or call Erica Tafoya at 202-546-3950, extension 124.

Host Committee Co-Chairs for Udall Reception
Gay Dillingham
Kimi Green
Earl James

Host Committee for Udall Reception
Kenny Ausubel
Stan Euston
Ana Gallegos y Reinhardt
Hugo Hinojosa
Owen Lopez
Penelope Penland
Arturo Sandoval
Selena Sermeno
Janice Varel

October 22, 2005 at 11:41 AM in Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

KOB-TV to Air Richardson Documentary Today

KOB-TV will air a 30-minute, commercial-free documentary on Governor Richardson today, Saturday, October 22, at 6:30 PM.

From childhood, through his congress days and the present, the show features interviews with leading democrats in the state (including Governor Richardson) and people who worked with him in his early days in New Mexico. Produced by Neil Simon

October 22, 2005 at 11:28 AM in Democratic Party, Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Artist Retreat/Call for Art by NM Wilderness Alliance

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance has two upcoming Wilderness Art events that will nurture the artist in you and help raise money for wilderness protection.  Please read on for information about an Artist Retreat and a Call for Wild Art!

The Organ Mountains Artist Retreat
November 4th-6th: Learn about art and wilderness!
Spend 3 days and 2 nights at the beautiful Meson de Mesilla B&B in Historic Old Mesilla located in southern New Mexico near Las Cruces.  Enjoy guided painting trips to the Organ Mountains with outdoor "plein air" painting instructor, Michelle Chrisman, and New Mexico Wilderness Alliance guide.  The retreat will begin at noon on Friday and end at noon on Sunday.  Nightly activities include:
    -Guest Speaker:  Anthony Howell will be giving a presentation on NM Rock Art.
    -Slide show on Wilderness and Wildlands Art
    -Group critiques  and Activist Film: MONUMENTAL

The retreat is for artists of all levels and media
Retreat cost with private room and breakfast: $375
50% deposit required by Octover 26th
Space is limited, so call now for reservations. Proceeds to benefit the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

Contact: Trisha London at New Mexico Wilderness Alliance: 505/843-8696 or trishal@nmwild.org

Don’t miss this great opportunity to paint on location with wilderness painter, Michelle Chrisman, founder of Wildlands Painted! art show (2003 and 2004).  Michelle will teach the basics of outdoor landscape painting, based on the principals of French Impressionists.  Artwork produced during the retreat will also be considered for the Wildlands Art! 2006 exhibit (see below).

Call for Art - Wildlands Art! 2006 Exhibit and Fundraiser
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is seeking artwork of New Mexico's wilderness areas and wildlands for a juried artshow: Wildlands Art! 2006.  The show will be an exhibit and fundraiser for the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and will be held in March 2003 at the Albuquerque Arts Alliance Gallery located at 1100 San Mateo NE.  All original artwork and various media will be considered including (but not limited to): photography, sculpture, painting and mixed media.  All submissions must be received by February 1, 2006.  Finalists will be selected by February 10th and included in the exhibit for the month of March.  A certain percentage of all sales made during Wildlands Art! 2006 will benefit the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

Submission Requirements:

1) Up to five images of original artwork in JPEG format can be emailed or sent on CD to the NMWA address listed below.

2) Annotated image list that clearly indicates the title, dimension, material, date of work and location.  Image names should match JPEG image names.

3) Professional resume or personal contact information including email and phone number.

Send or email materials no later than February 1, 2006 to:

Wildlands Art! 2006
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
PO Box 25464
Albuquerque, NM 87125
Email: tisha@nmwild.org

Please contact tisha@nmwild.org for additional information.

October 21, 2005 at 01:52 PM in Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Help Oppose Assault On Prime Agricultural Land in South Valley

From Zoe Economou:

It's very important to have a good turnout of activists at the next Bernalillo County Commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 5:30 PM at the City/County Building 5th & Marquette. 

They will be considering a 54 acre shopping mall next to the Wal-Mart on Coors and Rio Bravo.  The proposed mall is on prime agricultural land, fast-disappearing in the South Valley, as is the Wal-Mart that was shoved down our throats by the City Council. We need MANY warm bodies and people to sign up in opposition to yet another doomed strip/big box wasteland brought to us by John Black and the Black Family Trust (Cottonwood Mall).

If you have any questions please contact Zoe Economou at zoecon@unm.edu or 873-3096.

October 21, 2005 at 10:55 AM in Current Affairs, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

US Senate Defeats Raise in Minimum Wage

Many of the forces who fight against local and state minimum wage hikes -- like Republicans on the Albuquerque City Council and Democrat Marty Chavez -- claim they support a raise in the minimum wage at the national level. However, we can see how silly and damaging this position really is.  A proposed hike was defeated again yesterday by the U.S. Senate. From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON -- Senate proposals to raise the minimum wage were rejected Wednesday, making it unlikely that the lowest allowable wage, $5.15 an hour since 1997, will rise in the foreseeable future.

A labor-backed measure by Sen. Edward Kennedy would have raised the minimum to $6.25 over an 18-month period. A Republican counterproposal would have combined the same $1.10 increase with various breaks and exemptions for small businesses.

The Kennedy amendment to a spending bill went down 51-47, and the GOP alternative 57-42. Under a Senate agreement, they would have needed 60 votes for approval.

Kennedy, D-Mass., said Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the depth of poverty in the country and he pointed out that a single parent with two children working a minimum wage earns $10,700 a year, $4,500 below the poverty line.

He said it was "absolutely unconscionable" that in the same period that Congress has denied a minimum wage increase, lawmakers have voted themselves seven pay raises worth $28,000.

But Republican opponents, echoing the arguments of business groups, said higher minimum wages can work against the poor if they force small businesses to cut payrolls or go out of business.

Yeah, once again, we have the anti-worker contingent claiming jobs will be lost by the poor if they get paid an even nominally decent wage. Since this bunch hasn't shown any concern for the poor in terms of any other bill or issue for decades, you have to wonder why they think we'd believe them on this claim. I guess because they have the votes, all paid for by certain segments of the "business" community, and don't really care what ordinary people think or what's good for the nation as a whole.

This same Republican cabal is now going about the filthy business of attempting to cut Medicaid, Medicare, student loans, food stamps and more to pay for their absurd pork barrel spending, unending billions for Iraq, "defense,' "homeland security" and more than $40 billion in additional tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens. Moreover, they just voted themselves a pay raise in terms of Congressional salaries. Yet they balk at raising the minimum wage to a measley $6.25 an hour. Sorry, if a business can't pay its workers at least that much, I think they should close their doors because their product is probably as poor in quality as their pay scale. Shameful.

October 20, 2005 at 02:54 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)