Monday, July 11, 2011

Dem Senate Candidate Hector Balderas Calls Out GOP's Heather Wilson for Refusing to Take Stand on Medicare

In an interview with POLITICO on Friday, GOP Senate candidate Heather Wilson continued to deflect questions about whether she would vote for Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare as we know it. She told a reporter, "I'm not in the House of Representatives. This is not something that I have to vote on."

When pressed, Wilson took it one step further, indicating that she didn't need to take a firm stand on the proposal and deflecting blame to Senate Democrats, saying, "It's not my job to do Harry Reid's job here."

In response to Wilson's continued refusal to take a stand on protecting Medicare, State Auditor and Democratic US Senate Candidate Hector Balderas issued the following statement, challenging Wilson to stop weaseling on this issue:

With all due respect to Congresswoman Wilson, that answer is just not good enough. She's interviewing with the people of New Mexico for a job in the United States Senate. They deserve to know how she would act in that job.

In the last job she had serving the people of New Mexico, she voted for the policies that turned America's largest surplus into America's largest deficit and that led us to the brink of economic collapse and high unemployment. So it's even more important that people know this time if she would continue to support policies that are damaging to the economy like the Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it.

The question is not that hard. If you got this job that you're applying for, would you vote yes or no on this plan? I don't believe the answer to deficit reduction or job creation is to pull the safety net out from under New Mexico's seniors, so my answer is no. Congresswoman Wilson, what's yours?

Come on Heather, fess up! You're either supportive of our seniors or you stand in agreement with the miserable plans of GOP leader Paul Ryan to undermine Social Security and punish seniors in order to protect lavish tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations. Which is it? Are you ashamed of your position on this issue, or what? 

July 11, 2011 at 08:27 AM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, 2012 NM Senate Race, Healthcare, Heather Wilson, Hector Balderas, Senior Citizens | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

(Updates x 6) Results: 2009 Albuquerque Municipal Election

Update 11:13 PM: Chavez 35.05%; Romero 20.89%% ; Berry 43.88%; 181 Out Of 186 Precincts Counted. Voters approved all the bond issues, the transportation tax extension and the propositions to change the City Charter.

Update 10:13 PM: Chavez 35.34%; Romero 22.28% ; Berry 42.17%; 132 Out Of 186 Precincts Counted

Update 9:40 PM: Romero lagging with totals ranging from 23-25%, Chavez at 35-36% and Berry at 39-41% or so. Half of precincts counted.

Results at 8:30 PM:

Chavez 35.68%; Romero 24.27% ; Berry 39.85% with some more Dem district results in.

Results at 8:12 PM:

Candidate Absentee Early Total Percentage
RICHARD M. ROMERO 1,904 2,594 5,225 23.08%
MARTIN J. CHAVEZ 3,466 3,842 8,102 35.78%
RICHARD J. BERRY 3,994 4,460 9,273 40.95%


First Number = Early Voting Totals: 7:09 PM
Second Number = Early Voting Plus About 90% of Absentee

    Berry:   40.85% --- 41.62%

    Chavez: 35.19% --- 36.03%

    Romero: 23.76% ---- 22.18%

Latest City Council:

Ike Benton 57.98%; Alan Armijo 42.02%

Dan Lewis 55.47%; Michael Cadigan 44.53%


You can track the results of today's Albuquerque election at the . Vote tallies from the precincts should start coming in sometime after 7:00 PM when the polls close.

Results will also be reported by:

RACES (Red = Unofficial Winner)


    Martin Chavez (Incumbent)

    Richard Romero

    RJ Berry

City Council District 1

    Ken Sanchez

City Council District 3

    Isaac Benton (Incumbent)

    Alan Armijo

City Council District 5

    Michael Cadigan (Incumbent)

    Dan Lewis

City Council District 7

    Michael D. Cook


City Council District 9

    Don Harris (Incumbent)

    David Barbour


October 6, 2009 at 07:08 PM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, 2009 Albuquerque Mayoral Race | Permalink | Comments (19)

Need Voting Info for Today's Albuquerque Municipal Election?


October 6, 2009 at 02:07 PM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, 2009 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 05, 2009

(Updated) Guest Blog: ABQ City Councilor Harris Feels Being Pious a Qualification

Update: Gwyneth Doland at NMI has an enlightening reporting a response by Don Harris to the discussion about his hit piece directed against David Barbour on the basis of religion.
This is a guest blog by Cornelia "Nili "Lange, MD, who serves as a Democratic Ward Chair in Ward 28B in Albuquerque.

The last time I read the City Charter, I did not see any requirement of religiosity to be an Albuquerque City Councilor. Yet, Mr. Don Harris, District 9 City Councilor, in a mail piece I received last Thursday, set religious affiliation as a preferred qualification for a City Councilor; implying that his opponent is an atheist. Click to see the direct mail piece (pdf). Is he trying to lead us lambs of District 9 to the choice of a pious leader? Is Mr. Harris telling us lambs of District 9 that we should indicate our religious affiliation or lack of it to assist his judgment of us?

The two campaigns for City Councilor in District 9 had already presented two very different and clear choices before this piece arrived in our mail boxes. Sadly, with numerous glowing endorsements in his back pocket, Mr. Harris decided to pull this stunt. Our District 9 Councilor’s innate ability to drum up conflict in the past has resulted in one costly recall election for Albuquerque voters.

I suggest that Mr. Harris revisit the Bible lesson of what a real religious leader said regarding casting the first stone in the story of Mary Magdalene. I suggest that he revisit the Golden Rule. I also suggest that Mr. Harris get used to having an opponent in every election. His juvenile behavior will drive future political opponents to run against him from the diverse constituency which he is supposed to serve.

This is a guest blog by Cornelia “Nili” Lange, MD, who can be reached at The candidates for City Councilor in District 9 are incumbent Don Harris and challenger David V. Barbour.

If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

October 5, 2009 at 05:28 PM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, Civil Liberties, Guest Blogger, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

10.6.09 Albuquerque Municipal Election: Voting Information You Need

Images-2 After all the gnashing of teeth, knocking on doors, robo-calls, debates and discussions, it's time to VOTE in tomorrow's Albuquerque municipal election.

The polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, October 6, 2009. You must be registered in the City of Albuquerque proper to vote, and you must show a picture ID when you do (see rules).

On the ballot will be the mayor's race, , a and . If you live in an odd-numbered City Council District, you will also be choosing a city councilor. Click for an official list of candidates and write-ins. If no mayoral candidate gets at least 40% of the vote total, there will be a run-off election on November 24, 2009 between the top two vote getters.

Find Your Polling Place:
Visit the Albuquerque City Clerk's page at to check out the election info and click on the "where do I vote link." You can also go directly to a provided by the Bernaillo County Clerk to get the same info. These sources will also tell you in which city council district you reside. If you can't get through to the page, you can call the City of Albuquerque information line at 311, or get the info by calling the Democratic Party of New Mexico at 830-3650 in Albuquerque. Even if you think you know where to vote, please double check as some precinct voting locations may have changed since the last time you voted.

Information on Candidates, Ballot Questions and Bonds:
The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County League of Women Voters has an excellent nonpartisan election guide. The Albuquerque Journal also provides a guide to the election. The City Clerk offers a . Note that the slot for City Council will vary, depending on your district.

Absentee Ballots:
If you have an absentee (mail-in) ballot, it must be received by mail or in person at the City Clerk's office by 7:00 PM on Election Day, October 6, 2009. Absentee ballots may only be mailed or hand delivered to the City Clerk's office by the Voter, the Voter's immediate family member or the Voter's care giver. No absentee ballots will be accepted at polling places.

October 5, 2009 at 04:34 PM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, 2009 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, City of Albuquerque, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

ABQ City Councilor Isaac Benton Rolls Out List of Endorsements

Isaac_photoCounselor Isaac Benton, who currently serves as the President of the Albuquerque City Council, rolled out his campaign endorsements for re-election in the upcoming Albuquerque Municipal Election at a press conference yesterday at Tingley Park. Councilor Benton is running for re-election in District 3.

“I truly believe that the support for our campaign is a testament of the tremendous work our office has accomplished in the last four years," said Councilor Isaac Benton. "I am humbled by the positive reception we have received from the diverse citizens of my district as our campaign has moved forward. When re-elected I will continue the hard work we need to get done to improve our community and public safety in these troubling economic times. I stand by my commitment to public service. I seek no other ambition than to be responsive to the needs of City Council District 3.”

Benton’s campaign is the only campaign in District 3 that has opted for open and ethical financing; his opponent, on the other hand, has relied on the money of special interest donors to fund his campaign, broadening the risk that he will represent them when sitting on the City Council and not the constituents he was elected to represent. Benton says that's a risk District 3 residents cannot afford to take.

Supporters tout Benton's ability to collaborate, lead and respond effectively to the needs of the neighborhoods and working families in City Council District 3. To learn more, visit Benton's campaign website.

Councilor Isaac Benton has been endorsed by the following:

  • The Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter
  • The Central New Mexico Central Labor Council
  • Representative Miguel P. Garcia
  • The Weekly Alibi
  • Representative Eleanor Chavez
  • Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
  • Senator Cisco McSorley
  • City Councilor Rey Garduno
  • City Councilor Debbie O’Malley
  • The Albuquerque Journal

October 1, 2009 at 10:02 AM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Re-Elect Councilor Michael Cadigan Fundraiser 9/17

From the Michael Cadigan Campaign:

Please join us for a fundraiser for
City Councilor Michael Cadigan’s
Re-election Campaign
Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM
At the home of Pat & Richard Branda
4404 Oxbow North Trail NW
Host Committee:
Richard & Pat Branda
Councilor Rey & Ilsa Garduno
Ed Marinsek
Directions: Coors to Namaste, east on Namaste,
south on Oxbow North Trail,
gate will be open or attendant will be present
Suggested Contribution: $50.00
Please make checks payable to Cadigan for Council
Personal Checks Only
R.S.V.P. Traci 505-401-5974 or
Click for FLYER (pdf)

September 15, 2009 at 02:00 PM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Albuquerque Interfaith Election Assembly Set for 9/13

From Albuquerque Interfaith: City elections are upon us. Join AI in "Standing for Families."

Albuquerque Interfaith will hold its elections assembly, “Standing for Families” with Albuquerque City Council and mayoral candidates on Sunday, September 13th, from 3:00 to 4:30 PM at Holy Rosary, 5415 Fortuna Rd. NW, which intersects S. Coors near West Mesa HS between Coors and Atrisco, south of I-40 (map). For more information email

There are three key issues that we will ask all candidates to address.

  • Workforce Training Strategy – AI is working toward a strategy that connects real, good-paying jobs, to people with the training and support they need to succeed.
  • The ¼ cent for Public Safety - AI worked successfully to pass the tax and broaden the definition of public safety, from just police and fire protection, to include before and after school programs, and addiction intervention and prevention programs. The monies have not been used as intended.
  • City Transit Workers – Bus drivers are being treated unjustly, due to internal departmental politics, resulting in costly suspensions and a high turnover of drivers that undermine public safety.

September 10, 2009 at 11:57 AM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, 2009 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rio Grande Chapter of Sierra Club Endorses Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton for Re-Election in October Municipal Elections

IBentonThe local chapter of the Sierra Club, one of the most effective advocates for the environment, has publicly endorsed Isaac Benton for re-election to the Albuquerque City Council in District 3. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club includes all of New Mexico and the part of west Texas due south of New Mexico. It is governed by an executive committee elected by its members. The Sierra Club has more than 2,000 members in Albuquerque.

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed Councilor Benton because of his strong support of energy efficiency and climate change issues on the City Council, according to a statement released by the group. "I will continue to work towards making a significant difference for quality of life in Albuquerque, in the effort to combat global climate change, and for the conservation of our precious natural resources," said Councilor Isaac Benton.

Albuquerque Municipal Elections will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 throughout the city of Albuquerque. Only voters registered within the Albuquerque city limits may vote on Tuesday, October 6, 2009, and only those registered in District 3 (see map) can vote to reelect Benton to the City Council.

Registered voters may vote through the mail by requesting an Absentee Ballot from the Albuquerque City Clerk's office. Also, at the Albuquerque City Clerk's office and three other locations will begin on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. The deadline to register to vote is TODAY, Tuesday, September 8, 2009. Polling Locations will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM on Election Day. For more information on Polling Locations, Voter Registration, Absentee Ballots, Early Voting or any other questions please contact the Albuquerque City Clerk at (505) 768-3030.

September 8, 2009 at 11:42 AM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, Candidates & Races, City of Albuquerque, Environment | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

August 5: Candidate Forum for ABQ City Council Districts 1, 3, 5

From the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (WSCNA): The WSCNA will host a Candidates’ Forum for City Council Districts 1, 3 and 5 (district map) on Wednesday, August 5, from 6:30 – 8:45 PM. The Forum will be held at the Don Newton Taylor Ranch Community Center located at 4900 Kachina NW in Albuquerque (map).

WSCNA is a group of recognized neighborhood associations on Albuquerque’s West Side that often work together toward common goals. Our community members are extremely active and our events are always well attended.

The Forum will be moderated by KOAT Anchor Weatherman Joe Diaz, who will ask the candidates questions generated by members of WSCNA that represent issues important to West Side communities. All six candidates are expected to attend. Everyone is welcome to attend the WSCNA Candidates’ Forum.

The candidates are:

  • District 1: Ken Sanchez (incumbent)
  • District 3: Isaac Benton (incumbent), Alan Armijo
  • District 5: Michael Cadigan (incumbent), Dan Lewis, Jeremy Toulouse

July 28, 2009 at 08:30 AM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, Events | |

Monday, July 20, 2009

ABQ Councilor Ike Benton Needs Our Help on Re-Election Campaign

Isaac_BentonAlbuquerque City Councilor Isaac "Ike" Benton is running for re-election in District 3. Ike currently serves as Council President. Last month, he was unanimously elected to serve as Chair of Rio Metro, the Regional Transit District Board, where he held the role of Vice Chair during the past two years. Councilor Benton, who served as Chair of the City's in 2008, has been a leading advocate for providing comprehensive transit service ever since joining the City Council in 2005.

An architect by trade, Benton has also been heavily involved in legislation and other efforts related to issues like planning, zoning and sustainability. You can read about some of those here. And if you don't know much about Ike's background, be sure to read this. It's an interesting story.

As Councilor Benton explains in a new message to supporters, he is committed to open and ethical elections and has qualified for public campaign funding. Benton's challenger in the race, County Commissioner Alan Armijo, has decided not to pursue open and ethical financing. Instead, Armijo will have to depend on campaign donations from monied interests to conduct his campaign. You know what that can mean once a candidate gets into office.

According to Ike, he needs our help, not our money:

This campaign is not funded by the dollars of big-shot donors but rather the sweat and blood of the working families that I am honored to represent. I am not asking for your donations but for something much more precious: your time and energy. Our campaign doesn't have the cash coffers to hire a team of field mercenaries. We need our supporters to take the lead on contacting voters in the district, letting them know that with their support I will continue fighting for City Council District 3 neighborhoods and the best interests of the whole city for the next four years.

Join Us... There is Pizza in it for You! Please contact our campaign's Volunteer Coordinator and he will schedule you for an opportunity to help make phone calls, knock on doors, or help with our get-out-the vote effort during the week before the October 6th Albuquerque Municipal Election.

How to Sign Up to Volunteer. Call Peter Rice (Volunteer Coordinator): 559-0541 or Email:

Visit Councilor Benton's campaign website to learn more. You can also check out Benton's Facebook page and become a supporter.

July 20, 2009 at 12:24 PM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races, Environment, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Sprawl Development, Transportation | |

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ike Benton Becomes First ABQ City Council Candidate to Qualify for Public Funding

IkeBentonIsaac (Ike) Benton, who represents District 3 on the Albuquerque City Council, is running for reelection and will be using the public campaign funding option. His campaign made its first turn-in of $5 qualifying donations on Wednesday and met the threshold of one percent of the number of voters registered in the District on the first try. He's one popular Councilor. The campaign is now qualified to participate in the Open and Ethical Elections financing, the first 2009 Council campaign to do so. Qualified City Council candidates receive $1.00 per registered voter in their District.

"We're well-organized, but asking for $5 from average citizens is harder than you might think, said Councilor Benton. "What made it work was a great group of volunteers! The really good news is we don't have to depend on contributions from special interests. We can focus on the issues facing the city instead of fundraising, and I hope many more folks can help us with that dialogue."

Councilor Benton was elected unanimously to serve as President of the Council for 2008-2009. Previously, he served on both the Council's Finance & Government Operations Committee and on the Land Use, Planning & Zoning Committee, which he also chaired for two years. Ike is a New Mexico licensed architect and contractor and a member of the Urban Design Forum, Public Library Association, the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, the United States Green Building Council, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Benton will will likely face former City Councilor and County Commissioner Alan Armijo, a fellow Democrat, in the October municipal election. Armijo has announced he intends to run, but no word yet on whether he'll be seeking public campaign funding. District 3 encompasses neighborhoods in the downtown, UNM, Ridgecrest and Nob Hill areas (see map).

Informal photo of Ike Benton taken by M.E. Broderick at a recent political event.

May 22, 2009 at 12:05 PM in 2009 Albuquerque City Council Races | Permalink | Comments (1)