Friday, September 28, 2012

Karen Montoya, the Democratic Candidate for PRC

DFNM_Ad_2 - like signsKaren Montoya, the Democratic candidate for PRC (Public Regulation Commission) in District 1 is a 14th generation New Mexican, a mother of two daughters and has two beautiful grandchildren.

Bernalillo County Assessor Montoya was elected to her second term in 2010 and is the first woman to hold this office.

Karen's top priority is to restore integrity to the PRC and to protect hard working New Mexican's against unfair and unwarranted rate hikes on energy, phone, gas and insurance-while protecting the environment.

Karen-1-192x300Karen believes the science of global warming is clear. She is concerned about those who would un-do the renewable energy standards that are in place -standards vital to protecting New Mexico as well as the Earth's climate. The opportunity to make New Mexico a leader in renewable energy such as solar, bio-mass and wind will be good for both our environment and our economy creating hundreds of good paying jobs.

The record of saving taxpayers money through her support of “Tax Lightning” as County Assessor reflects Karen’s attitude of fighting for the citizens of New Mexico. Karen’s opponent with his lack of experience and anti-renewable statements- has made the choice very clear.

In endorsing Karen Montoya for the PRC, Commissioner Jason Marks stated “Karen Montoya has got what it takes to be an effective PRC Commissioner for District 1. Karen will fight against excessive utility rate increases, and she'll promote renewable energy. I'm proud to endorse Karen Montoya to succeed me on the PRC.”

September 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 01, 2012

Release the Public's Funds Pronto! by Lora Lucero

Following post is by contributing writer Lora Lucero.

As many have heard, PRC candidate Cynthia B. Hall won a writ of mandamus Thursday evening.

The court ordered the Secretary of State to release the matching funds required by state law if a privately-financed opponent outspends a publicly-financed candidate.  In Hall's case, Al Park is privately financing his bid for the PRC to the tune of 4:1 over Hall's publicly-financed campaign.

Although the writ of mandamus technically only applies to Cynthia Hall's campaign, I called the Secretary of State this morning and urged her to release the matching funds to ALL publicly-financed candidates.  PRONTO!

The Secretary of State's toll free number is 1-800-477-3632.

I hope everyone who wants to see money out of politics will do the same.

The following is the press release issued from Cynthia Hall's campaign:

Chief Judge Barbara Vigil Orders NM Secretary of State to Follow the Law
Albuquerque, NM – May 31, 2012

This afternoon, Presiding Judge Barbara Vigil ordered NM Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran to follow the law and release matching funds to Cynthia B Hall, publicly-funded Democratic candidate for the PRC in District 1.
The Secretary of State, contrary to the mandate of New Mexico's Voter Action Act, had withheld matching funds from Hall and other publicly-funded candidates for several weeks.
Last week, in response to the Secretary’s refusal to release the funds, Hall filed a Temporary Restraining Order and Amended Petition for Writ of Mandamus.
Judge Vigil signed the Writ of Mandamus filed by Hall and ordered the Secretary of State to comply forthwith. The Judge also instructed Hall to file a new Writ of Mandamus tomorrow if the Secretary of State continues to withhold the funds. The Secretary of State’s office said they would notify Hall if they decide not to follow the Judge’s orders.
The Secretary of State still faces a federal matching funds lawsuit. In the last few days the Republican Party of New Mexico, the New Mexicans for Economic Recovery PAC, and PRC Candidate Al Park teamed up in federal court. They sought to prohibit the Secretary of State from releasing the matching funds. These Plaintiffs, along with Intervenor Al Park, cited Citizens United in their assertion that the release of matching funds would infringe upon the free speech rights of private and corporate donors.
During today’s hearing, the judge did not allow Al Park or any other candidates to intervene in the lawsuit.
This represents a victory for the Hall campaign as well as for other publicly financed candidates in the state, such as Karen Montoya and Judge Victor Lopez of Albuquerque.
For the moment, the matching funds provision of New Mexico’s Public Financing Law has been upheld. This could also mean protection for matching funds as provided for in Municipal elections in places like Albuquerque.

June 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Justice, Lora Lucero, Contributing Writer | Permalink | Comments (0)

Guest Blog: Where is Our Voice on the PRC? by Danny Maki

Where is our voice on the PRC? Earlier this week the PRC just granted Blue Cross Blue Shield an increase of 6.9%. That is their 3rd increase in 4 years. As an employee of a non-profit that took a pay cut in December due to the economic downturn, this decision to increase the insurance rates does not represent me. Does it represent your best interest?

This political season amidst the letters to the editor advancing "their" candidate by tearing down the candidate they wish to stop, we seem to have forgotten the real importance of the PRC election. The fact of the matter is PRC has ignored the best interests of us, the New Mexico public.

I am Danny Maki, a life-long resident of Santa Fe and now a candidate for the District 3 seat on the powerful but badly troubled and struggling Public Regulation Commission. In the U.S. Congress I worked on the law that created healthcare reform, and because of that experience I understand the importance of a comprehensive healthcare plan so that we are not subjected to these out of control rate increases during an economic downturn. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

The work of the PRC is complex and highly technical. I worked at the PRC and I have direct experience analyzing rate cases. I already understand the economic, legal and finances aspects that factor into a rate case and I am prepared on Day One to start the job by asking the informed, tough, but fair questions that remain unanswered.

My grandparents were born and raised in rural areas of New Mexico. My aunts, uncles and cousins live in rural New Mexico today. I understand and value the importance of accessibility. That is why I will bring the commission to the people of New Mexico by holding open office hours in all counties in District 3. This will enable New Mexicans to voice concerns directly to me about a rate case, so I can be a strong voice for consumers across the district.

Another recent action at the PRC that doesn't represent the best interests of New Mexicans is the inappropriate behavior of the current chairman of the PRC, Pat Lyons. A small example of Lyons' inappropriate behavior include his personal use of a Ford 250 pickup truck for approximately 65 days which probably violated the rules of a federal program, resulting in more than $1,100 of questionable costs to the public, that's costs to us as taxpayers. And that's according to an under-publicized audit earlier this year. I am the contender who will hold him accountable for his inappropriate leadership, if it can be called leadership.

As part of a fresh, innovated approach as a PRC commissioner, I'm inviting the non-partisan community groups like the League of Women Voters to perform an audit of the PRC starting my first day in office.

Part of the process to reform the PRC is to ensure that the Commission is serving you at its full potential. This campaign season I propose re-establish a standard of political discourse and focus on our visions for the PRC.

We need a voice on the PRC, a new, fresh perspective. I will work harder, smarter and get the kind of results we've yet to see from the current Public Regulation Commission in New Mexico. Never forgetting my roots in Northern New Mexico, or whom I'm working for, I will put people first again. And while that may seem tough to most career politicians, it's all I've ever known.

June 1, 2012 at 09:54 AM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Energy, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sierra Club Primary Endorsements: Vote June 5!

On May 31, Sierra Club released the following endorsements for primary candidates.

On June 5, we have a golden opportunity to select candidates who will protect New Mexico's air, land, and water.

In several Democratic primary races, we have excellent chances to replace anti-environment elected officials with environmental champions. Check out our endorsements below and vote early until Saturday or on Election Day, June 5.

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter endorses:
(Note: non-incumbents not listed if they are in unopposed primaries.)

U.S. Senate: Martin Heinrich

U.S. House of Representatives, District 1: Eric Griego
U.S. House of Representatives, District 3: Ben Ray Luján

Public Regulation Commission, District 3: Virginia Vigil

Santa Fe County Commission, District 2: Maria-Ester De Anda
Santa Fe County Commission, District 4: Kathleen Holian
Santa Fe County Commission, District 5: Elizabeth Stefanics

New Mexico House of Representatives:

District 14: Rep. Miguel Garcia
District 16: Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas
District 17: Rep. Ed Sandoval
District 18: Rep. Gail Chasey
District 21: Rep. Mimi Stewart
District 34: Rep. Mary Helen Garcia
District 35: Rep. Antonio Lujan
District 42: Rep. Bobby Gonzales
District 46: David Coss
District 47: Rep. Brian Egolf
District 48: Rep. Lucky Varela
District 50: Stephen P. Easley
District 65: Rep. James Madelena
District 69: Rep. Ken Martinez

New Mexico Senate:

District 3: Sen. John Pinto
District 6: Sen. Carlos Cisneros
District 8: Sen. Pete Campos
District 9: Ben Rodefer
Disrtict 11: Sen. Linda Lopez
District 12: Sen. Jerry Ortiz Y Pino
District 14: Eleanor Chavez
District 15: Sen. Tim Eichenberg
District 16: Sen. Cisco McSorley
District 17: Sen. Tim Keller
District 21: Senator Lisa Curtis
District 24: Sen. Nancy Rodriguez
District 25: Sen. Peter Wirth
District 26: Jacob Candelaria
District 28: Sen. Howie Morales
District 29: Sen. Michael Sanchez
District 30: Maxine Velasquez
District 36: Sen. MaryJane Garcia
District 38: Sen. Mary Kay Papen
District 39: Jack Sullivan

June 1, 2012 at 08:24 AM in 2012 Legislature Races, 2012 NM PRC Races, 2012 NM Senate Race, 2012 Primary Election, Environment, Eric Griego, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Al Park Receives Ten More Endorsements for Public Regulation Commissioner

Al Park’s Campaign for Public Regulation Commissioner is proud to announce that it has been endorsed by 8 more community leaders as well as two more unions. Al’s campaign for the PRC continues to receive strong support from local leaders due to his outstanding record of results as a legislator and vision for the PRC’s future. The endorsements include:

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers New Mexico Building Trades
  • Morris “Mo” Chavez, Former Superintendent of Insurance
  • Marty Esquivel, Albuquerque School Board Member
  • Don E. Leonard, Sandoval County Commissioner J
  • im Noel, Former Secretary of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources
  • Stuart Paisano, Former Governor of Sandia Pueblo
  • Ben Rodefer, Former State Representative
  • John Sapien, State Senator
  • Kiki Saavedra, State Representative, Chair of House Appropriations Committee

Albuquerque School Board Member Marty Esquivel commented, “Based on Al’s record of supporting ethics and transparency reform as a member of the State House I know that he is serious when he talks about reforming the PRC.” Park helped pass the Whistleblower Protection Act, Gift Act, and fought for an independent ethics commission while in the State House.

Former New Mexico Secretary of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources, Jim Noel cited Park’s advocacy for renewable energy programs within the state as the reason for his endorsement. “His vision regarding developing New Mexico’s renewable energy sector is something our economy desperately needs.” Secretary Noel continued, “And his experience on the House Energy Committee will be invaluable to the PRC as it makes sure our utilities are making progress toward their requirement that 20% of their energy comes from renewable sources by 2020”

“I am honored to receive these endorsements,” said Park. “It goes to show that my commitment to creating a green energy economy and bringing ethics reform to the PRC has really resonated with people,” Park continued. With today’s endorsements 25 local leaders and organizations have endorsed Al Park’s campaign for Public Regulation Commissioner. For a full list of endorsements please visit

May 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Energy, Green Economy, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, April 30, 2012

5/2: House Party for Al Park Candidate for PRC

The following is from the Al Park for PRC campaign. To download invite click here.

Al park fr 001


April 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races | |

Thursday, April 26, 2012

PRC Candidate Forums by NM Green Chamber of Commerce

PRC Candidate Forums brought to us by NM Green Chamber of Commerce.

Santa Fe (District 3)
County Clerk Valerie Espinoza, Brad Gallegos, Danny Maki, Commissioner Virginia Vigil
Monday, April 30th: 11:30am-1pm
Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association:
1409 Luisa Street, Suite A, Santa Fe 
Cost $15 (includes lunch)  

Albuquerque (District 1)
Cynthia Hall, Esq, County Treasurer Karen Montoya, State Representative Al Park, Christopher Ocksrider (invited)
Moderator: Bob White, former City Attorney for Albuquerque
Questions from: Kevin Robinson-Avila, NM Business Weekly, Viki Harrison, Common Cause
Tuesday, May 1st: 11:30am-1pm
Hotel Andaluz, 125 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque
Cost $20 (includes lunch)

Taos (District 3)
County Clerk Valerie Espinoza, Brad Gallegos, Danny Maki, Santa Fe County Commissioner Virginia Vigil
Wednesday, May 2nd: 5:30pm-7pm
Kit Carson Electric Coop Board Room
118 Cruz Alta Road, Taos
Free to the public

This is an opportunity for the public to learn about the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) candidates in their district. The PRC regulates electric utilities, gas utilities, telecommunications, and insurance.

The PRC has a vital role in encouraging renewable energy development, energy efficiency as well as ratemaking that have a direct impact on the NM economy.

An RSVP is required for the Santa Fe and Albuquerque events.
Information can be found at:

April 26, 2012 at 01:10 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sierra Club Northern New Mexico Group Endorses De Anda, Holian, Stefanics for County Commission

The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter's Northern New Mexico Group today announced its endorsement of Maria De Anda Hay, Kathy Holian and Liz Stefanics for Santa Fe County Commission districts 2, 4 and 5, respectively.

District 2: Maria De Anda Hay. De Anda is a lawyer and chair of the Santa Fe County Development Review Committee. As a member of the CDRC, she supported the county Oil and Gas Ordinance and the Santa Fe County Sustainable Growth Development Plan. De Anda served as counsel to New Mexico Secretary of State Stephanie Gonzales and is respected and admired for her intelligence and insight.

“I've known Maria-Ester in her role as member and then as chair of the Santa Fe County Development Review Committee. She is a thoughtful person of honesty and integrity, and has often asked the difficult questions of developers applying to the CDRC,” said Susan Martin, Rio Grande Chapter Political chair. “She is vitally concerned about the impact on water resources of new or expanded development, and also concentrates on whether new buildings will meet fire codes or put our emergency responders in jeopardy when they go to the rescue of residents.”

District 4: Kathy Holian. Among Commissioner Holian's many environmental accomplishments, she played an important role in passing the county’s Sustainable Growth Management Plan, a blueprint for maintaining our rich resources for future generations. Holian is dedicated to ensuring that the commission creates a code that effectively implements the concepts in the plan, including open space and trails, green building, and agriculture.

“Commissioner Holian has been a champion for the water, air, land and wildlife that make Santa Fe County special. She is also developing smart solutions to climate change to protect our children and grandchildren,” said David Van Winkle, chair of the Northern New Mexico Group, which has more than 1,800 members in Santa Fe County. “Kathy is an active member of the Northern New Mexico Group, and we are proud to endorse her.”

District 5: Liz Stefanics. Stefanics has supported acequia improvements, protected water resources essential to La Cienega and Rancho de las Golondrinas, supported a Renewable Energy Improvement financing district within the county, voted to increase funds for Santa Fe River Trail and Dale Ball Trail extensions and helped secure federal funds to provide energy-efficiency measures to improve county buildings and replace street lights with high-efficiency LED lamps.

“In four years representing Santa Fe County, Commissioner Stefanics has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting our resources and making Santa Fe County a better place to live,” Van Winkle said.

More details on all three candidates are included in the attached press releases. The Sierra Club Northern New Mexico Group develops an extensive questionnaire and interviews candidates before deciding on election endorsements. The Northern New Mexico Group, with 1,800 members in the county, will devote its energies to electing these candidates to keep our county’s unique character and resources intact.

April 24, 2012 at 03:44 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Environment | |

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Endorses Vigil for Public Regulation Commission

Virginia vigilThe Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club today announced its endorsement of Virginia Vigil for Public Regulation Commissioner in District 3, which includes Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho and Española.

After reviewing responses to the chapter’s extensive questionnaire and co-hosting a forum of all District 3 candidates, it was the consensus of the chapter’s Executive Committee that Santa Fe County Commissioner Vigil outshone the other candidates for her grasp of the material and potential to deal with technical issues coming before the PRC.

The PRC’s importance to New Mexicans cannot be overstated. Beyond its responsibility to regulate insurance, transportation and telecommunication, the commission plays a crucial role in determining whether our electricity sources sicken or enrich us.

From the New Mexicans paying millions in medical costs from coal pollution to our children threatened by increased drought and disease from climate change, we depend on a PRC that can work with regulated utilities on a smooth transition from coal to renewable energy. Vigil’s experience as an attorney and county commissioner will be assets in analyzing the wide range of issues the commission oversees and in working with stakeholders to benefit New Mexico's economy, health and future.

As a county commissioner, Vigil has been a champion for preserving natural resources and creating forward-thinking solutions. She advocated for the Sustainable Growth Management Plan, which includes energy efficiency, water conservation and managing growth in line with available resources; she served as chair and vice chair of the Buckman Direct Diversion Board and supported the solar installation that will help run the project; and she supported placement of a wind turbine and passive solar design at Santa Fe Public Works Building.

"Having been born and raised in Santa Fe, there is no mission more important to me than protecting our environment, preserving our history and nurturing our diverse cultures by providing leadership toward a 21st-century green economy,” Vigil said.

The Rio Grande Chapter includes about 7,000 Sierra Club members in New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

April 24, 2012 at 02:00 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races | |

AFSCME and Albuquerque Area Firefighters Union Endorse Al Park for Public Regulation Commissioner

Al park at panelAl Park’s campaign for Public Regulation Commissioner is proud to announce it has received the endorsement of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Albuquerque Area Firefighters Union (IAFF Local 244).  “These unions represent thousands of hardworking men and women across the state and I am honored they have endorsed my candidacy” commented Al Park.

Diego Arencón President of the IAFF 244 explained, “Representative Park always made public safety a priority as legislator.” Mr. Arencón continued, “Al really understands the significant role the firefighters and paramedics our union represents play in making New Mexico a safer place”. The PRC oversees the office of the State Fire Marshall as well as other public safety offices such as the Pipeline Safety Bureau.

On AFSCME’s endorsement AFSCME Political/Legislative Director Carter Bundy said, “As a Representative, Al Park was a tireless defender for the hard working men and women of New Mexico and their families.” Al Park helped pass numerous bills in the legislature protecting consumers, increasing funding for education, funding worker retraining programs, and cutting wasteful government spending. Mr. Bundy continued, “The PRC would be lucky to have someone with his drive to make New Mexico a better place for all of us”.

AFSCME is the largest union in the AFL-CIO, and is one of the two largest unions in New Mexico, representing over 15,000 workers in a broad range of occupations including corrections officers, janitors, police officers, nurses, water utility workers, and dozens of other jobs that are crucial to the everyday running of our state and its cities.

April 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Unions | |

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Local Leaders Announce Support for Al Park in PRC District 1 Race

Al park at panelCommunity leaders are continuing to pledge their support to Al Park’s campaign for Public Regulation Commissioner. Less than a week after announcing his endorsement by several esteemed public officials Al Park is proud to accept the following endorsements.

Alan Armijo, Former City Councilor and Former County Commissioner
Antonio “Moe” Maestas, State Representative
Gail Chasey, State Representative, Chair of Consumer & Public Affairs Committee
Danice Picraux, State Representative
Ernest Chavez, State Representative
Lisa Curtis, State Senator
Mimi Stewart, State Representative, Chair of the Health & Government Committee

Representative Antonio Maestas commented, “Al Park understands that renewable energy is critical to New Mexico’s economic and environmental future, and his knowledge on the subject will be invaluable to the PRC.” Al Park served on the Energy Committee and is a strong supporter of the current Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires 20% of energy sold by all public utilities to come from renewable resources by 2020.

State Representative, and Chair of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, Gail Chasey cited Al’s strong commitment to ethics reform while in the House,” Al always fought for tougher ethics and transparency rules while in the State House, and the PRC could really use some like Al who will fight those types of reforms.” Al Park helped pass the Gift Act which put severe restrictions on gifts to public officials and demanded strict limits on special interest and lobbyist contributions to political campaign while in the State House.

“I am honored by the support of these community leaders, “Park said. “New Mexico has a great opportunity to become a national leader in the generation of wind and solar power and would certainly benefit from the high paying jobs that come with these industries. I look forward to helping New Mexico reach these goals as a member of the PRC,” Park continued.

Al Park’s campaign has received strong support from local community leaders and organizations. To find out more about Al Park’s campaign for the Public Regulation Commission, please visit

April 16, 2012 at 08:53 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races | |

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Local Leaders Endorse Al Park for Public Regulation Commissioner

Al park from KCIEA little more than a week after submitting nominating papers, Al Park’s campaign for Public Regulation Commissioner is proud to announce its endorsement by several prominent local leaders. The diverse group of state, county, and local elected officials includes:

Eleanor Chavez, New Mexico State Representative
Isaac Benton, Albuquerque City Councilor
Maggie Hart Stebbins, Bernalillo County Commissioner
Michelle Lujan Grisham, Bernalillo County Commissioner
Rey Garduno, Albuquerque City Councilor
Tim Keller, New Mexico State Senator

Representative Eleanor Chavez cited Al Park’s commitment to consumer protection as a New Mexico Representative saying “While serving with Al in the State House he wrote the used car lemon law and was the prime co-sponsor for the payday lending reform bill, he is exactly the type of consumer watchdog we need on the Public Regulation Commission.” Bernalillo County Senator Keller commented, “I’ve known Al for years and I am confident that he will be the same tireless fighter for New Mexicans as a member of the PRC that he was as a State Representative”.

“I am grateful for the support of these community leaders,” said Park “In the coming months I look forward to talking with New Mexicans about what the PRC can do to protect their consumer rights and ensure it operates in an ethical and transparent manner.” Park added, “And as someone who championed an independent ethics commission, open conference committees, and increased criminal penalties for corrupt public officials while in the State House you can be certain my commitment to ethics reform is real and not just campaign rhetoric.”

March 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races | Permalink | Comments (1)