« October 2009 | Main

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Mexico Environment Department Obeys Court Order to Release Secret TechLaw Report to Citizen Action

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) decided to drop its appeal of the lawsuit it lost against Citizen Action New Mexico, an Albuquerque-based public interest group. NMED sued Citizen Action seeking to withhold a secret 2006 technical report written by TechLaw, Inc. The TechLaw report reviewed a computer model that was written by Sandia Laboratories to assure the public that poisonous wastes from the Mixed Waste Landfill (MWL) would not contaminate Albuquerque’s drinking water, according to a statement released by Citizen Action. The group received the TechLaw report on Tuesday.

Attorney Nancy Simmons stated, “What was the point of the Environment Department to spend a huge amount of taxpayer dollars, more money than dozens of New Mexico taxpayers combined make in a year, to generate and hide this report from the public and to sue my client in court to block its release? Now my client has discovered that the Department has literally hundreds of other technical reports that they're also refusing to release.”

The TechLaw report presents serious doubts as to the reliability of the Sandia computer model used to predict contaminant movement beneath the MWL dump. Dave McCoy, Director of Citizen Action states, “NMED secrecy put Citizen Action and the public at a disadvantage in proceedings held to determine if it would be safe to leave the dump’s cancer-causing, long-lived radionuclides, solvents and heavy metals under a dirt cover in unlined pits and trenches. NMED ran interference to avoid public scrutiny until Sandia Labs could complete installation of the dirt cover rather than excavate the dump’s 720,000 cubic feet of radioactive and hazardous wastes above Albuquerque’s drinking water.”

The TechLaw report describes the Sandia computer model as a “Black Box.” TechLaw said, “We caution NMED against its acceptance.” TechLaw cites the lack of adequate information to assess whether the model could actually perform satisfactorily. Software quality assurance was absent. A special TechLaw concern is that the computer model is not accurate to identify the danger of the mobile contaminants like tritium and the cancer-causing solvent PCE to contaminate groundwater. The Sandia record of disposal shows a large inventory of solvents including PCE and the radionuclide Tritium buried in the dump. The computer model does not recognize that Tritium and many solvents have already been released from the dump and thus did not identify the danger for solvents including PCE and Tritium to contaminate the groundwater.

The computer model predicts that tritium would not contaminate the groundwater in a thousand years. Registered Geologist and hydrogeologist, Robert Gilkeson, said that, “As real time proof that the Sandia computer model is worthless, Tritium is already found in a groundwater monitoring well MW4 that was installed deep below the dump. In addition, there is a plume of nickel contamination in the groundwater below the dump that is growing in size. The groundwater may also be contaminated with PCE and other solvents but the monitoring wells and sampling methods have many features to hide the detection of the solvent contamination. The National Academy of Sciences has rejected the Department of Energy’s use of computer models that are not supported by accurate data. There has never been a reliable network of monitoring wells at the MWL dump to provide accurate data to a computer model.”

Gilkeson added that “TechLaw’s recommendation to improve the design of the dirt cover were not paid attention to. TechLaw also identified that the placement of neutron probes beneath the unlined pits and trenches of the dump has no value for monitoring the movement of water through the dirt cover that is above the dump. The NMED did not make the important changes to the methods used to monitor the performance of the cover that were identified as necessary by TechLaw.” The NMED did not inform the stakeholders of TechLaw’s concerns for the design of the cover and the inappropriate methods used to monitor the integrity of the cover.

TechLaw raises the significant issue that the dirt cover cannot be shown to provide long term protection of the public as required by Department of Energy Order 435.1. The report stated, “[I]t appears unlikely that the United States federal government can or will be able to maintain the integrity of the cover for the entire 1000 year performance period.”

TechLaw pointed out that the storm water run-on and run-off controls are inadequate for protecting against damage to the cover for that period of time. Plutonium wastes in the dump can remain dangerous for 250,000 years.

Citizen Action received Freedom of Information documents showing that large portions of the protective berms placed around the MWL dump washed away in major storm activity in 2007. The storm water collected in pools above the buried wastes and the water was a driver to move contamination toward groundwater.

Background of the lawsuit In October 2008, New Mexico 1st District Court Judge Daniel Sanchez rejected the NMED argument that the TechLaw report involved NMED “thought processes” and could not be examined under the Public Records Act. The Court refused to allow the NMED expansive interpretation of “executive privilege” for withholding the report. Before the NMED lawsuit, Citizen Action requested an opinion from the New Mexico Attorney General. The Attorney General twice issued written decisions that the TechLaw report was subject to being furnished under the Public Records Act and also intervened after NMED filed the lawsuit against Citizen Action.

The 1st District Court decision stated that, “Public business is the public’s business. The people have the right to know. Freedom of information about public records and proceedings is their just heritage. Citizens must have the legal right to investigate the conduct of their affairs.”

A year of appellate delay by NMED ensued after Citizen Action won its counter lawsuit. Citizen Action charged that the state violated the Public Records Act by failing to provide the TechLaw document to Citizen Action. Citizen Action could not obtain the TechLaw document pending the Department’s appeal.

The Appellate Court twice sent notice to NMED of its intention to dismiss their appeal because NMED improperly filed its appeal. NMED explained that the District Court Clerk somehow misplaced the paper work. The Court of Appeals gave NMED 60 days to proceed to an evidentiary hearing in District Court about the excuse. The Court’s deadline passed on September 22, 2009 with no action taken by the NMED attorney. Citizen Action then filed a motion to dismiss the NMED appeal.

For more information contact Citizen Action New Mexico: (505) 262-1862 or visit the Citizen Action website. Citizen Action is a project of the New Mexico Community Foundation.

November 14, 2009 at 06:20 PM in Environment, Legal Issues, Nuclear Arms, Power | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reminder: Ray Powell's Land Commissioner Campaign Kickoff Today 3-5 PM

Raydog From Ray Powell for Land Commissioner: Today marks the official launch of Ray Powell's campaign for Commissioner of Public Lands. As Commissioner, Ray will protect and manage our public lands. After eight years of controversies and distractions, it’s time to restore trust in the State Land Office.

Ray will once again work to create good jobs through collaborative ventures on state trust lands, generate more money to improve our children’s schools, restore and enhance the health of our working lands, and provide ethical and honest government. Powell’s message to “Restore the Trust” will bring change to the land office with renewed priorities for managing and protecting our lands.

With family and supporters present, Ray will address why he is running again for Land Commissioner. Join us:

Saturday, November 14, 2009, 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Ezra’s Place in the Lucky 66 Bowling Alley
6132 4th Street NW
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

Host Committee
Hon. Debbie O’Malley, Hon. Adrian Oglesby, Hon. Danny Hernandez, former US Senator Fred Harris, Tomas Garduño, Juan Vigil, Olivia Ximenes, Bob Jenks, Dale Petty, Juan Carlos Holmes, Jean Civikly-Powell, Vince Murphy, Curt Johnson, John Silver, Carol Oppenheimer, Chuck Davis, Chuck Spath, Dennis Hazlett, Arturo Sandoval, Kent Salazar, and Helen Davis.

Ray is a veterinarian. He is the regional director for the Jane Goodall Institute and served as Land Commissioner from 1992-2002. He lives in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque with his wife, Jean Civikly-Powell. The Primary election will be held on June 1, 2010.

November 14, 2009 at 10:56 AM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish Issues Statement on Budget Cuts

New Mexico Lt. Governor Diane Denish released the following statement this afternoon in response to budget actions taken yesterday by Governor Bill Richardson on the legislation passed at last month's special session of the Legislature:

"The national recession has hit New Mexico hard and difficult times require difficult decisions to be made. Unfortunately, the cuts announced by the Governor are less than those passed by the legislature. This means we have yet to find the savings needed to balance our budget.

“Eliminating 84 exempt positions is a good start, but we must take a hard look at each appointed government position to make certain the position is providing value to the taxpayer.

“Instead of cutting Medicaid, I believe we could have done more to make our government agencies leaner and more efficient across the board. I’m concerned that by making cuts to Medicaid, vulnerable New Mexicans will suffer and the state will be forced to turn away much needed federal matching funds.

"I do believe we should eliminate $150 million in special pork projects because it was an important step toward balancing the current budget. But the state's long-term budget problems have not been solved. Considerable work must be done in order to ensure our state's long-term fiscal health, and many of the budget cuts enacted are one time funds that will not be able to be reduced further.

"During the next legislative session we will again face difficult decisions. But before we start a debate about tax increases or cuts to education, we must get serious about financial reforms. That means overhauling the state's capital outlay process, ending the practice of "double-dipping" and better using technology to streamline government operations. Taken together, these reforms will save the state millions of dollars, generate economic activity in both the short term and long term, and provide greater accountability to the public for how their tax dollars are spent.

"Just as all businesses and families do during tough times, government simply must find ways to stretch dollars further. And together, we must do it in a way consistent with our priorities and our values."

November 13, 2009 at 06:44 PM in Economy, Populism, Gov. Bill Richardson, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, NM Legislature Special Session 2009 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Governor Bill Richardson Appoints Budget Balancing Task Force

Governor Bill Richardson today announced he has formed a task force to study a variety of proposals to help balance the State’s budget. The task force will thoroughly review and scrutinize new revenue options as well as seek public input on the options before the regular legislative session gets underway in January, according to a statement released by the Governor's office.

“Our revenue has taken a major hit from the global economic crisis, and we’ve responded by taking bold action to cut state spending to offset those losses,” Governor Richardson said. “But moving forward we must also take a serious look at options to increase our revenue in ways that allow us to maintain our competitive advantage and address New Mexico’s long-term financial health.”

Governor Richardson appointed Rick Homans, Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department, to chair the task force that consists of more than 40 New Mexicans representing a wide range of industries, education, labor and other non-profit organizations. Click for a complete list of members (pdf).

The task force will hold its first public meeting on Monday, November 16th, from 1 PM to 5 PM at the Santa Fe Community College. Additional meetings will be scheduled in Albuquerque, Farmington and Las Cruces.

The group has set up a web site (https://www.nmrevenueoptions.com), which will provide copies of meeting agendas, presentations and a way for members of the public to provide input to the group. A portion of each meeting will also be set aside for public comment.

November 13, 2009 at 01:18 PM in Economy, Populism, Gov. Bill Richardson | Permalink | Comments (1)

Eldorado Dems to Hold Ward Meeting 11.17.09

The organizers of Democratic Ward 47F invite all Eldorado Democrats for dessert and coffee at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, Novemver 17, at the home of Tom Mauter and Kris Sweden on 20 Casa del Oro Loop.

Santa Fe County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Ellenberg will speak about organizing locally, and Eldorado Democrats will have the opportunity to get to know one another and discuss how we can strengthen our community, county, state and country. Call 466-6511 or send an e-mail to eldoradodemocrats@gmail.com to RSVP and get directions.

November 13, 2009 at 12:29 PM in Democratic Party, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

(Updated) Former Governor Bruce King Passes Away at His Ranch at Age 85

Update: I've added more responses to Bruce King's death as they come in. And here's a nice remembrance piece by Kate Nash at the New Mexican.

King Rancher, business man and politico supreme Bruce King passed away overnight at his ranch in Stanley, New Mexico at age 85 after a bout with heart problems and a life of full of hard work, service and friendly good humor. Bruce's wife, Alice, passed away early last December. Bruce's son Gary King, who serves as New Mexico's Attorney General, released this statement this morning:

"Bruce King would be the first one to tell us all that death is just another phase in the cycle of life and that we must go on with our lives trying to do the best we can while helping others make their way too. None of us in the family thought this day would come so soon after we lost my mom Alice King, but we are comforted by the thought that Bruce and Alice can be together once again."

Funeral plans are pending, but the family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the New Mexico Children's Foundation.

Bruce King was a larger than life presence on the New Mexico political scene for decades, serving a in number of roles as a hand-shaking, cowboy booted, down home Democrat. He was born in Stanley, New Mexico on April 6, 1924.

King served in the US Army during World War II and attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque after the war. His political career began with his election to the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners in 1954. He was re-elected and served as the chairman of the board during his second term. In 1959, he was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives, where he served five consecutive terms in the House. During three of those terms he was Speaker of the House.

King was chairman of the state Democratic Party from 1968 to 1969. In 1969 he was also the president of the State Constitutional Convention.

In 1970, King was elected to his first term as governor, defeating future Republican Senator Pete Domenici. He served as governor from 1971 to 1975, 1979 to 1983 and 1991 to 1995. King's terms were non-consecutive because the New Mexico constitution didn't allow a governor to succeed him or herself prior to 1991. After the constitution was changed, King became the first governor who could succeed himself. He ran for re-election in 1994, but was defeated for a fourth term by Republican Gary Johnson.

Reactions from some of the political figures who knew and loved Bruce King are starting to come in:

Senator Tom Udall: "Bruce King was a gentle political giant with a heart of gold. With Alice by his side, he dedicated his entire life to serving New Mexico, and together they instilled the same values in their children. I will always remember Bruce as true cowboy from Stanley who had the most generous spirit and always saw the best in people. In every level of government that he served New Mexico over several decades, Bruce King accomplished many great things. I personally learned a lot from his work and was happy to have him by my side once again at a backyard barbeque in Moriarty just last year. Jill and I could always count on Bruce and Alice’s friendship and their entire family is in our thoughts and prayers."

Senator Jeff Bingaman: “Bruce King was as dedicated and successful a public servant as New Mexico has ever seen. I first got to know him when he was president of New Mexico’s constitutional convention, and I was assigned by the New Mexico attorney general’s office to work with him. My respect for him was firmly established at that time and only grew in subsequent years, particularly during the time of his second term as governor when I was serving as attorney general. Anne and I became close friends with Bruce and Alice and remained so for decades.

“Bruce was a public servant whose integrity was never questioned and who always did the right thing for New Mexico. As a result of his love for our state and the people who live here, he was great friends with many thousands of New Mexicans, and he will be missed by all of us.”

Governor Bill Richardson: “Governor Bruce King’s death leaves a huge void in our state. Bruce King was an innovative, far-sighted Governor who knew the state better than any living New Mexican. He was as genuine and colorful as his cowboy boots. I can just hear him say, ‘Mighty fine,’ as he shook another hand.” Flags will remain at half-staff until further notice.

Rep. Martin Heinrich: “Bruce King will always be one of our greatest New Mexicans. Governor King was so kind, and he served the state in so many ways. He will truly be missed. When you think of New Mexico, you think of Bruce King. Julie and I send our thoughts and prayers to the entire King family.”

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan: “Last night we lost a great man and a true champion for the people of New Mexico. Governor Bruce King and his wife Alice served our state honorable and proudly. Governor King was a true asset to the state and a role model for many. Governor King was a governor of the people. He was always approachable, and he always reached out to the people of New Mexico with an open hand. Throughout his entire tenure in public service he remembered his roots and the people he served. He was a dear friend of my family and someone I deeply admired. I send my deepest condolences to the family of Governor Bruce King. My thoughts and prayers, along with those of all New Mexicans, are with the family at this difficult time. We will miss you, Bruce.”

Rep. Harry Teague: "Governor King's service to our nation and our state should never be forgotten. As a County Commissioner, Speaker of the House and as Governor, he was one of those unique public officials who never forgot where he came from. He listened sincerely to the needs and concerns of his constituents and then got to work addressing those issues because he cared deeply about his home state of New Mexico.

"One thing I learned from Bruce King was how important it is to stay in touch with the people you represent. In fact, I first met the Governor in the steer barn at the Lea County Fair. And over the years, it seemed that you would run across the Governor shaking hands at nearly every Fair in New Mexico.

"Bruce King took so many of the wishes of the people from our state and made them a reality. His contributions to our state will last for decades to come. My thoughts and prayers are with the King family today.”

DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales: “The Democratic Party of New Mexico is saddened at the news of the passing of former Governor Bruce King. During his long tenure of service to New Mexico, spanning from the 1950s through the 1990s, Governor King served as a Santa Fe County Commissioner, Speaker of the House of Representatives and has the distinction of being the first person to serve the State as Governor for three separate four-year terms.

“As Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico – an office which Governor King also held – I am personally humbled to have the opportunity to continue advancing the ideals and goals that he fought for his entire life.

“Governor King’s service has been widely credited as a driving force of modernization within the State of New Mexico, and his legacy of service to the Democratic Party is only overshadowed by his love of New Mexico and his service to its citizens.

“Whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, today is a day of mourning for all New Mexicans. We remember Governor King and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

November 13, 2009 at 10:48 AM in Current Affairs, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Packed Crowd Greets Rep. Ben Ray Lujan at Fundraiser Reception at Zinc (with Video, Photos)

Slide show (click for album)

The mezzanine crowd at a reception fundraiser for Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) at Zinc in Albuquerque tonight grew so large that it spilled onto the stairway and into the downstairs restaurant area. At times, the floor boards shook and supporters raised the roof -- well, almost. It was that packed at an event hosted by local young professionals in tandem with the Young Democrats organization. And the crowd was young (and young at heart), energized and buzzing about the recent House victory on health insurance reform legislation and Ben Ray's part in it. 

If Republicans think Dems are sitting on their laurels in New Mexico, they couldn't be further from the truth. Tonight's turnout is an early sign that Dems know what's at stake as we move into the 2010 election cycle, and are ready to jump into high gear again to protect our three Congressional seats from right-wing challengers. The work in Washington has only just begun and we need to re-elect our entire crew if we want to keep the momentum going and the Republicans in the minority. 

Rep. Lujan was jazzed. You can see it in the video clips and photos. He was obviously thrilled at the outpouring of support at an event that took place out of his home district, and managed to talk to just about everyone in the crowd. He was thankful, he was moved, he was positive about what we can do if we all hang together. His main message? He needs our help and he'll be needing it all the way through election day 2010. He needs us to stay united and keep working, so he can keep fighting against the status quo in Washington.

All manner of rank and file activist Dems were in the house, along with lots of elected officials and old friends of Ben Ray. Attendees included DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales, incoming DPNM Executive Director Scott Forrester, Bernalillo County Dem Chair Ana Canales and Vice Chair Victor Raigoza and Sisto Abeyta of the Young Dems. Also on the scene were former DPNM Chair Brian Colon, Rep. Moe Maestas, Sen. Tim Keller, Sen. John Sapien, Rep. Joe Campos, PRC Commissioner Sandy Jones and Bernalillo County Sheriff candidates Felix Nunez, Marie 'Sisi' Miranda and Patrick Davis.

It was hot, it was crowded, it was high energy and it was definitely a fundraising success. We'll need more of these as we edge towards the crucial 2010 election. If you couldn't attend tonight's reception, you can still contribute to the re-election campaign of Rep. Ben Ray Lujan right here

Photos and video by M.E. Broderick.

November 12, 2009 at 10:31 PM in Democratic Party, NM-03 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan | Permalink | Comments (3)

Environment New Mexico Reports 12% Rise in Carbon Emissions in NM 1990-2007

Today, Environment New Mexico released a new analysis of government data entitled "Too Much Pollution," which documents the rise in carbon emissions in New Mexico from 1990 to 2007. Not only have carbon emissions risen 12% in this time period, but New Mexico is ranked 11th in the nation for per capita emissions. The event was held at Positive Energy in Santa Fe.

“More pollution than ever before isn’t a record we want to set,” said Environment New Mexico Environment Associate Kim McMurray in a statement released today. “It’s time to take back control of our energy future. By harnessing the power of the wind and the sun, we can cut pollution and transition to clean energy sources that don’t harm the environment, never run out, and create new, local jobs,” she continued.

For decades, America’s use of fossil fuels -- and the global warming pollution that results -- has been on the rise nationally and in states across the country. For New Mexico, global warming means a lot of things, but the impacts that are among the most concerning are more frequent and extreme droughts and future water shortages as our snowpack-fed rivers and streams dry up. The science shows that the United States must cut its global warming pollution by 35 percent by 2020 to be able to stop the worst effects of global warming.

"Too Much Pollution" uses the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Energy on fossil fuel consumption by state to look at trends in carbon dioxide emissions. The key findings include the following:

  • New Mexico’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel consumption increased by 12% percent between 1990 and 2007. New Mexico ranked 11th nationwide for the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions in 2007.

New Mexico has relatively high per capita emissions because the state generates more power than it consumes and does so from very dirty sources. More than 75 percent of the power produced in the state comes from coal. Though nearly 40 percent of power generated in New Mexico is exported, New Mexico has control over how dirty that power is.

New Mexicans also drive a lot. Per person, New Mexicans drove 13,600 miles in 2007, third highest in the nation.

  • In New Mexico, electricity generation was the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel consumption -- responsible for 31.1 percent of the state’s emissions in 2007. The state is heavily reliant on coal, the dirtiest of all fuels. In fact, carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal jumped 2 percent from 1990 to 2007, as the New Mexico met increases in electricity demand with an even greater use of dirty power. Until New Mexico diversifies its electricity sources to include cleaner sources of energy, like wind and solar power, increases in electricity demand will continue to increase pollution from dirty power plants.
  • Nationally, emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel consumption increased by 19 percent between 1990 and 2007. Power plants and vehicles, the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, were responsible for the lion’s share of the increase.

In contrast to the trend in New Mexico, more than one-third of the states succeeded in cutting pollution from 2004 to 2007 -- before the onset of the economic recession. The initial success of these states shows that moving to clean energy can have a significant and immediate impact on overall emissions -- and that emission reductions and robust economic growth can occur side by side. For instance, four Northeast states -- Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York -- cut their pollution levels by 5 percent since 1997, while increasing their gross state product by 65 percent.

“We can drive the economy without driving up pollution. By moving to clean energy, we can cut pollution, help jump-start the economy, and create millions of new clean energy jobs across the country,” said McMurray.

The report recommends that the federal government build on the initial progress made by some states by passing strong clean energy legislation and adopting common sense EPA rules to cut pollution from aging coal plants and big smokestack industries. The Senate is in the process of considering the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733), sponsored by Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. In addition, EPA has proposed a rule to require coal plants and other large smokestack industries to use available technology to cut their global warming pollution when new facilities are constructed or existing facilities are significantly modified.

Unfortunately, Dirty Coal, Big Oil, and other polluters are fighting the transition to clean energy. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coal industry lobby group, spent at least $45 million dollars last year alone -- more than $120,000 a day -- on lobbyists and advertising on energy. Earlier this year, they hired lobbyists who forged phony constituent letters to Congress opposing action on clean energy. “The coal industry has proven themselves willing to do or say virtually anything to block progress,” said McMurray.

“We urge Senators Bingaman and Udall to vote for this critical bill to cut pollution and create clean energy jobs. We urge EPA to finalize its rule to cut global warming pollution from coal plants,” said McMurray.

November 12, 2009 at 07:03 PM in Climate, Energy, Environment | Permalink | Comments (6)

Scott Forrester Named Next Executive Director of Democratic Party of New Mexico

Today, Javier Gonzales, Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman, named Scott Forrester as the party's next Executive Director.

"I look forward to working with Scott and continuing the fight for change New Mexicans voted for last year,” Gonzales said. “As the Republicans continue to be the party of the past, Democrats have offered real solutions to bring jobs to this state, bring affordable health care for all, and reform our education system. I want to thank Josh Geise for his dedication and commitment to the Democratic Party. He has been a friend and asset to the Party, and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."

Thanks for everything Josh! And a big welcome to Scott!

Forrester is an Albuquerque native who attended St. Pius X High School. He worked for John Kerry in Colorado, Hillary Clinton for President, and for four years under Mayor Martin J. Chavez as an Executive Assistant and eventually as Chief of Staff.

Forrester released the following statement after the announcement:

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the Democratic Party of New Mexico. As a native New Mexican, I believe deeply in the Democratic values of our State, and I look forward to working to continue the progress Democrats have brought to New Mexico. I will work enthusiastically to ensure Democrats are elected throughout New Mexico.

“Democrats across New Mexico are proudly united behind Diane Denish’s candidacy for Governor. She is the only candidate in the race who will bring true reform to government, strengthen our education system, and bring 21st century jobs to New Mexico.

“With the Governor’s office, three congressional seats, statewide elected offices, state legislative seats and many local races, 2010 promises to be an exciting year for Democrats!

“I am honored and look forward to working with Chairman Javier Gonzales in fighting for our Democratic ideals and principles. We look forward to visiting every county in New Mexico to listen to the concerns of voters and ensure that their voices are heard."

Forrester will take over for Geise effective December 1, 2009.

November 12, 2009 at 06:24 PM in Democratic Party, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

New Mexico Congressional Delegation to Address Labor Leaders Forum

The three U.S. House of Representatives from Mew Mexico, including Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), and Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), will be at the Hotel Albuquerque on November 14 as the keynote guests for a Labor Leaders Forum sponsored by the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local No.16.

The forum will include a moderated question and answer session for the Congressmen; and will also feature a wide guest list including U.S. Senator Tom Udall, NM Lt. Governor Diane Denish, several construction contractors, officials from the State of New Mexico administration, local area government leaders and many of the construction unions represented in the state. Expected topics of discussion will include stimulus funding, infrastructure refurbishment, health care, and the Employee Free Choice Act, according to a press release from the New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council.

November 12, 2009 at 03:15 PM in Events, Labor, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, NM Congressional Delegation, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (0)

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