Saturday, March 29, 2008
NM-03: NM Communication Workers Endorse Luján
Today the NM Communications Workers of America announced their endorsement of Public Regulation Commissioner Ben R. Luján for U.S. Congress in New Mexico's 3rd District. The CWA, which represents 6,500 workers in New Mexico, joins the League of Conservation Voters, the New Mexico Professional Fire Fighters Association, the IBEW, and all 18 unions of the New Mexico Building and Constructions Trades Council in supporting Luján's candidacy for Congress.
"Our New Mexico CWA locals want to thank you for your energy and commitment to working families in New Mexico," CWA State Council President Phillip Sweeney told Luján. "We wholeheartedly look forward to your firm support of the Employee Free Choice Act and ongoing efforts to improve access to health care. New Mexico deserves a Congressman who has the courage to do what's right and who has the integrity and experience we can trust to support working families in New Mexico."
"There's no better partner in the fight for working families than organized labor," Luján said. "I am grateful for the CWA's endorsement and look forward to working with them to improve health-care access, create more good-paying jobs and support the middle class."
Ben R. Luján is a New Mexico Public Regulation commissioner and former chairman who is running for U.S. Congress in New Mexico's 3rd District. He has been a leading proponent of renewable-energy development and a strong advocate for consumers' rights and improved access to health care.
Friday, March 28, 2008
NM-03: Wiviott and Luján Close in New Pollng But Most Still Undecided
The primary race is tight in NM-03 between fellow Dems Don Wiviott and Ben Ray Luján. Internal polling conducted for Wiviott's campaign shows Luján in the lead but within the poll's statistical margin of error (numbers rounded up*):
The poll of 500 likely Dem primary voters in New Mexico's Third District was conducted by Lake Research Partners from March 24-27, 2008, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%. No crosstab data is available. Click for the polling memo by Celinda Lake and Daniel Gotoff. Excerpt:
When asked whom they would vote for if the election were held today, fully 48% of voters are undecided. Underscoring that this race is far from over, the number of undecided voters is more than double the support of any candidate in the race. In the same initial trial heat, Luján leads Wiviott by a statistically negligible margin (23% to 16%), with the remaining candidates clocking in at single digits. Montoya, Adams and Shendo each draw 4%, and Martin attracts just 2%.
In other words, this race has a long way to go and it's clear that Wiviott is more than holding his own. This, despite Luján's perceived advantages related to name recognition and political help provided by his father, Ben R. Luján, Sr., who is Speaker of the NM House of Representatives.
Caroline Buerkle of the Wiviott campaign had this to say about the poll results:
Just a few weeks ago, Don Wiviott was polling in single digits. Now, he's closing in on the lead! With just over two months to go until the primary election, Don Wiviott has surged to within just single digits of his nearest rival. There's a large undecided and Wiviott and Lujan are polling within the margin of error. This race is wide open and Wiviott is surging.
Don Wiviott has the momentum. These encouraging numbers show that Don's commitment to our shared values is beginning to resonate among the electorate. They also show that the voters - not the insiders - will decide this nomination.
Don Wiviott said:
"I am very humbled by the outpouring of support our campaign continues to generate. People are desperate for change and leaders who can deliver it. For too long, Congress has stood idly as Bush Republicans replace our government with divisive politics and right-wing ideology. New Mexico needs to elect leaders who will fight tooth and nail to move our country forward and put the interests of the American people first."
In a release the campaign added:
Wiviott's momentum is a reflection of his growing grassroots support from New Mexicans disillusioned with insider politics and the influence of corporate lobbyists in Washington. Wiviott believes too many politicians have lost touch with the people who sent them there and are turning a blind eye to the most pressing problems confronting Americans, such as skyrocketing gas prices, an ailing economy, and lack of adequate health care coverage.
Wiviott seems to be picking up significant momentum in the race when compared with results from a February poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the Luján campaign. Although no documentation was provided, the Luján campaign reported that Luján had 35% of the vote, with Harry Montoya at 9%, Don Wiviott at 6%, Jon Adams at 4%, Benny Shendo, Jr at 4%, Derrith Watchman-Moore at 3% and Rudy Martin at 2%.
At the March 15, 2008 Dem preprimary nominating convention, the candidates came out like this among the delegates:
Ben R. Lujan: 40%
Don Wiviott: 30%
Benny J. Shendo Jr.: 16%
Harry B. Montoya: 11%
Jon Adams: 2%
Rudy Martin: less than 1%
(*The actual numbers in the Lake poll before rounding were: Lujan 22.5%, Wiviott 16.1, Shendo 4.3, Montoya 4.3, Adams 3.5, Martin 1.6, Undecided 47.6.)
To read our previous coverage of the 2008 NM-03 Congressional race, visit our archive.
NM-Sen: Gov. Richardson Urges Dems to Join Tom Udall's Team
Gov. Bill Richardson sent out an email today urging our support NOW for Rep. Tom Udall's campaign for the U.S. Senate:
I've known Tom Udall for more than 25 years. But more than just being my good friend, he has shown himself time and again to be a voice for reason and solid Democratic values.
In fact, he was one of the very few Members of Congress to have the courage to vote against the War in Iraq, even when George W. Bush was stampeding the entire country into an invasion that we now know was completely unjustified and ultimately deeply damaging to America. You can hear Tom talk very eloquently about his plan to end the war in the video above.
You, I and all of America need his wisdom now in the U.S. Senate--particularly when we've seen how 49 Republicans can block the entire progress of the country through political maneuvering and threats of filibuster.
Today I'm asking you to join all of us who support Tom by becoming part of his New Mexico Progressive Action Network. All New Mexicans--and all Americans--must be united in our resolve to take back our country after eight years of the Bush-Cheney Administration.
Without Tom in the Senate, along with a veto-proof Democratic majority, we cannot begin to undo the terrible damage George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the Republicans have done to our economy, our environment and our future.
Millions of Americans now face home foreclosure while trillions of dollars in personal wealth have been wiped out because of Republican aversion to financial regulation. 37 million Americans face every day without health insurance because of Republican devotion to insurance company profits. And America is hobbled by its dependence on foreign oil while the Republicans have blocked a meaningful renewable energy policy for the future.
Tom Udall is exactly what New Mexico and America needs right now. And with your help, he can represent us all in the U.S. Senate. Click here to join the effort.
I know that right now the media and many voters are focused on the presidential election. And there is no question that it is critically important. But it is every bit as important that we elect as many Democrats to the Senate as possible.
A Democratic president will need a Senate that will fully support the change America needs now. And if, despite our best efforts, the Republicans hold onto the White House, it will be like a third term for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney unless we have a veto-proof majority in the Senate.
Even though my own presidential bid is over, I remain keenly engaged in this election at every level of government. We have an opportunity to take our country back now that we simply must not miss. My fondest hope for you and every other activist is that you remain engaged in this election as well. And that you support my friend Tom Udall's campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Thank you for being the kind of American who is willing to stand up for what you believe.
All the best,
NM-01: Two More Unions Endorse Heinrich
Yesterday, two more unions announced their endorsements of Martin Heinrich in the NM-01 Congressional race. The Sheet Metal Workers Local 49 and the Albuquerque Federation of Teachers Local 1420, a division of the American Federation of Teachers, both came out in favor of Heinrich. Altogether, eleven unions have endorsed Martin's campaign.
In addition to the strong union support, four organizations, two pueblos, eight state legislators, six city councilors and nine other former elected officials and community leaders have formally endorsed Heinrich. Click here for a full list of endorsements.
To donate to Martin's campaign, click here. He's exceeded his original goal of raising $15,000 online by the end of this quarter's fundraising cycle on March 31st, and is now shooting for $25,000 in donations. Also, there are some terrific fundraising events happening tonight through Monday, from a wine and cheese tasting to a house party to a gourmet BBQ with the candidate. Click here to learn more and RSVP.
Two Senators Come Forward to Declare Win for Obama
Following on the heels of Gov. Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama, are other Dem leaders coalescing around the candidacy of Obama and opening a dialogue to encourage Clinton to admit defeat and withdraw from the race? At least two have come forward since yesterday, as reported by Taegan Goddard:
Yesterday, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT:
"I think it's very difficult to imagine how anyone can believe that Barack Obama can't be the nominee of the party. I think that's a foregone conclusion, in my view, at this juncture given where things are."
Today, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT):
"There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination. She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama. Now, obviously that's a decision that only she can make frankly I feel that she would have a tremendous career in the Senate."
More good news for Obama's campaign -- he's now up by eight points in Gallup's daily national polling.
Meanwhile, DNC Chair Howard Dean is talking to the media about ending the contest by July 1st at the latest, after the June primaries. From the AP
Dean's supporters say he's working behind the scenes to resolve some of the issues. He's been consulting with party stalwarts about how to wrap up the nomination quickly after the voting ends in June, including former Vice President Al Gore, former presidential candidate John Edwards, former Sen. George Mitchell, former president Jimmy Carter, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
"There'll be some nasty fights if it goes to convention, and people will walk out,'' Dean said. "But I've also been talking to a fairly significant number of, by and large, nonaligned people about how we might resolve this.''
Dean wouldn't talk in detail about what the plan is, but it likely involves encouraging superdelegates to pick a candidate shortly after the voting ends. He said he will not encourage any delegate to vote one way or another.
Dean today on the CBS Early Show (with video):
"Well, I think the superdelegates have already been weighing in. I think that there's 800 of them and 450 of them have already said who they're for. I'd like the other 350 to say who they're at some point between now and the first of July so we don't have to take this into the convention."
Thursday, March 27, 2008
NM-03: Wiviott Endorses "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq"
Darcy Burner, Dem Congressional candidate in WA-08, and Major General Paul Eaton worked together, with input from other distinguished experts, to produce "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq." The plan was unveiled at the recent Take Back America Conference in Washington DC. Its supporters are encouraging candidates for U.S. House and Senate seats and others to band together and formally endorse the plan so they can be on the record about the policies they support to end the Iraq occupation and change course to a more rational policy in the region. In this way, the grassroots/netroots can target support to candidates who are willing to demonstrate their commitment to bringing our troops home in an expeditious manner and working to make meaningful diplomacy and green energy intiatives top priorities.
Here's a list of the endorsers of the plan to date. Activists around the nation are being urged to submit the plan to U.S. House and Senate candidates in their districts and request their endorsements. NM-03 candidate Don Wiviott is the first New Mexican candidate to sign on. His campaign released the following statement today about his decision to support the plan:
Today, Don Wiviott officially joined 41 other congressional challengers across the country and endorsed “A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq,” a comprehensive, 36 page document endorsed by Major General Paul Eaton, Dr. Lawrence Korb (Asst. Secretary of Defense under President Reagan), Brigadier General John Johns and Captain Larry Seaquist (former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning). The plan has also been endorsed by a 37 U.S. House candidates and 4 U.S. Senate candidates.
Endorsing the plan, Don Wiviott said, “It's time to bring George Bush and Dick Cheney's foreign policy disaster to a responsible end. Make no mistake about it - fixing the quagmire that Bush, Cheney and the Washington Republicans created won't be easy. But with this plan, we have a thoughtful and responsible approach to bring our troops home, promote stability in Iraq, deal with the humanitarian crisis and take care of our troops when they come home. I’m pleased to endorse this comprehensive and responsible plan to bring the war in Iraq to an honorable end.”
Joining Wiviott in endorsing the plan is Major General Paul Eaton. From 2003 – 2004, Major General Eaton served in Baghdad and was charged with rebuilding the Iraqi army. He said, “What we’re after with this plan is a means of responsibly concluding the military war in Iraq... I’m proud of this document and the people that produced it.”
In Congress, Wiviott will work with America’s military leaders and fight for legislation that keeps our troops safe and restores America’s strength on the international stage. Wiviott will stand up to the Bush Republicans that seek to continue a failed strategy in Iraq costing lives and untold billions.
The Responsible Plan endorsed by Wiviott includes the following major components:
End U.S. military action in Iraq. There is no military solution in Iraq. Our current course unacceptably holds U.S. strategic fortunes hostage to events in Iraq that are beyond our control; we must change course. Using diplomatic, political, and economic power, we can responsibly end the war and removing all of our troops from Iraq.
Leverage U.S. Diplomatic Power. Much of the remaining work to be completed in Iraq requires the effective use of diplomatic power. Many of Iraq's neighbors are currently contributing to instability and need to be persuaded to assist instead in stabilization.
Address Humanitarian Crisis. The humanitarian crisis caused by Iraq's situation is destabilizing to the region and damaging to America's moral credibility. We must both take responsibility for the Iraqis who are now endangered because of their assistance to the U.S. and begin to address the regional problems of displaced Iraqis.
Restore Our Military. Repairing the damage done to our military will require reforms in contracting procedures, restoring benefits for members of the military and veterans, and investment in repairing or replacing damaged military equipment.
Move America Toward Energy Independence. Finally, we are clearly tied to Iraq through our dependence on oil, which makes us vulnerable. Moving away from that dependence is necessary for strategic, economic, and environmental reasons.
For a full copy of the plan, visit www.responsibleplan.com/plan.
New Report Tallies Likely NM Deaths Due to Lack of Health Coverage
From Families USA:
Five people die each week in New Mexico because they don’t have health insurance, says a new report by Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers. The Families USA report, the first-ever state-specific report of this type, is based on a groundbreaking national study by the Institute of Medicine, which in 2002 forged the direct link between a lack of health coverage and deaths from health-related causes. (Read the entire report, Dying for Coverage in New Mexico.)
“Our report highlights how our inadequate system of health coverage condemns a great number of New Mexicans to an early death simply because they don’t have the same access to health care as their insured neighbors,” Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, said today. “The conclusions are sadly clear—a lack of health coverage is a matter of life and death for many New Mexicans. Health insurance really matters in how people make their health care decisions,” Pollack said. “We know that people without insurance often forgo checkups, screenings, and other preventive care.”
As a result, he said, uninsured adults are more likely to be diagnosed with a disease, such as cancer, in an advanced stage, which greatly reduces their chance of survival. The Institute of Medicine found that uninsured adults are 25 percent more likely to die prematurely than adults with private health insurance.
Another recent academic study found that uninsured adults between the ages of 55 and 64 are even more likely to die prematurely. For this group, a lack of health insurance is the third leading cause of death, following heart disease and cancer.
The Families USA report for New Mexico makes three specific points about uninsured adults:
- Families USA estimates that five working-age New Mexicans die each week due to lack of health insurance (approximately 260 people in 2006).
- Between 2000 and 2006, the estimated number of adults between the ages of 25 and 64 in New Mexico who died because they did not have health insurance was nearly 1,600.
- Across the United States, in 2006, twice as many people in that same age category died from a lack of health insurance as died from homicide.
“Too many New Mexicans are suffering because they lack access to life-saving health care,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) said today. “This growing crisis is made worse by the difficult economic times families are facing. We must find a way to tackle the problem of the uninsured.”
In its 2002 report, the Institute of Medicine estimated that 18,000 adults nationwide died in 2000 because they did not have health insurance. That estimate was later updated by the Urban Institute, which reported that at least 22,000 adults died in 2006 due to a lack of health insurance.
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
DNC Seeking Applicants for Candidate Training for LBGT People of Color
From Parag Mehta at the DNC:
Please forward this info and the flyer linked below to any LGBT people of color you know who might be interested in running for office.
The Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute is partnering with the Democratic National Committee and the National Black Justice Coalition to host a training for LGBT candidates of color - including African, Asian, Hispanic, Native and Pacific Islander Americans. It will take place in Baltimore, Maryland from April 23-26, 2008. To learn more or apply, please go to: www.glli.org/training. Scholarships are available. Click for flyer (pdf).
1Sky Launches First Action: Ask Heather Wilson to Sign Global Warming Pledge
If you're not yet familiar with 1Sky New Mexico, you should be. According to their website, "1Sky is an effort to galvanize a more powerful climate movement. It is not a new institution or even a coalition. Its purpose is to communicate a positive vision and a clear, simple set of goals and policy initiatives that are commensurate with the scale of the climate challenge, and to build the necessary power to solve global warming and put America on a new path for energy. 1Sky New Mexico is a project of New Energy Economy and is intended to aggregate the power of those concerned about climate and energy." Click to learn more about their team.
1Sky is holding its first action event in the state -- B.Y.O. Blue -- on Friday, March 28, at 10:00 AM at the Albuquerque office of Rep. Heather Wilson at 20 First Plaza NW. You're invited to join other advocates for solutions to global warming at a press conference and rally highlighting Rep. Wilson's record on climate change -- and urge her to take the 1Sky pledge:
I support the solutions to global warming that will protect our society and future generations from climate change and will create a new energy economy. In particular, I support:
- The creation of five million new green jobs;
- A science-based reduction of emissions of at least 25% by 2020; and
- A moratorium on all new coal-fired power plants nationwide.
Participants are being asked to wear blue in solidarity for blue skies and a moratorium on coal-fired power plants in New Mexico. You can learn more about 1Sky and the pledge from Juan Reynosa's post at Clearly New Mexico, and add your name to the pledge here.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Amy Goodman to Celebrate Community Activism at UNM Appearance 4/18
Note: Amy and David Goodman will be appearing at similar events in Santa Fe and Taos on April 19, 2008.
Amy Goodman and David Goodman are celebrating 12 years of broadcasting of “Democracy Now!” (on KUNM weekdays at 4 PM) and the release of their third book, Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times. Amy Goodman is the co-host and executive producer of “Democracy Now!,” an independent, award-winning news program airing on over 650 radio and TV stations.
The Goodmans will give a talk and sign their new book at UNM’s Woodward Hall on April 18 at 6:30 PM. This inspirational event, cosponsored by Bookworks, is a benefit for KUNM 89.9 Community Radio and honors the170+ community volunteers and students working at KUNM.
Amy Goodman, known worldwide for her courageous coverage of news missed or ignored by the USA’s mainstream media, is now on tour to tell the inspiring stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary work in countering the “madness” of current White House policies. These stories are recounted in her latest book, Standing Up To The Madness, which is co-authored with her journalist brother David Goodman. The book release date is April 8, 2008 and is published by Hyperion.
Amy Goodman has a strong, and growing, audience; previous events in Albuquerque have sold out. FOR TICKETS:
$20 general admission; $10 UNM students (with valid ID) UNM Ticket Offices (The Pit and Bookstore), UNMTickets.com. Call (505) 925-5858 for phone orders.
Select Albertsons stores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (listing is available at UNMTickets.com).
Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd., next to Flying Star Café. Call (505) 344-8139 to order by phone. ($5 discount on general admission ticket with purchase of the book & ticket from Bookworks.)
Woodward Hall is located just west of the Student Union Building (turn west between Popejoy Hall and the SUB). Parking is free on campus after 6 PM on Friday except at reserved and handicap spaces and paid parking is available at the nearby Cornell parking structure. Additional info: https://www.kunm.org or from KUNM membership coordinator Cris Nichols at (505) 277-3968.