Wednesday, June 20, 2012

06/30: HEALTH CARE FORUM Understanding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

HEALTH CARE FORUM; Understanding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

WHEN: Saturday, June 30, 2-4 PM
WHERE: First Unitarian Church, 3701 Carlisle NE
Purpose: The Forum is intended to increase understanding of the Affordable Care Act. Our health care system continues to struggle! We have 50 million people without health insurance. As a nation, we pay more for our health care than other country, and have less to show for it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act emerged as a serious attempt to respond to our challenges. Because of its complexity, most people do not fully understand it. However, it is of critical importance that we all comprehend and be able to utilize new directions.
Format: Four speakers with expertise in various areas of the new health program will summarize their areas, followed by an hour of questions. The speakers are: Dan Derksen, M.D. (Workforce Issues), Nandini Kuehn, Ph.D. (Health Economics), Derrick Nelson, M.D. (Rural Health Care), and State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (Public/Private Interface).
Questions: will be submitted in writing, either in advance or on cards available during the Forum. References to readily available information will be provided.
Sponsorship: The Forum is sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America, Central New Mexico Chapter in collaboration with other organizations (List available at the Forum)

A health care forum will be held June 30, 2-4 PM at the First Unitarian Church on Carlisle and Commanche, focused on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(ACA). While the Supreme Court may act before that date, it is likely that much of the Act will remain intact if not the whole. It is of great importance that we all understand the Act in as much detail as we can, for the following reasons:

1] The ACA is, at present, the law of the land
2] While maintaining the health insurance industry largely unaffected, it contains a myriad of very positive components
3] It represents a meaningful step towards universal health coverage

Some of the very positive sections of the ACA deal with:
1] Preventive practices focused on legitimate and reachable goals
2] Improving access to primary health care services, in rural and urban settings
3] Improve the ratio of primary care providers to specialists
4] Using technology to improve communication between health care resources and patients
5] Enhancement of the effort to use evidence-based medical practice and procedures
6] Channeling and conserving medical technological devices
7] Leveling the playing field in terms of coverage by health insurance companies
8] Deny exclusion of patients with pre-existent illnesses
9] And many other sections

The Forum is being sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America, Central New Mexico Chapter, as a public service.

June 20, 2012 at 03:56 PM in Events, Healthcare, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Progressivism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Sierra Club Endorses Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate

Heinrich at Interior Dept. Great Outdoors event in ABQ

This morning, the Sierra Club announced its endorsement of Martin Heinrich in his race for the United States Senate in a conference call with media that featured Rep. Heinrich, Sierra Club leaders and State Senator >Jerry Ortiz y Pino -- a long-time supporter of Rep. Heinrich and his work on environmentak and conservation issues -- who has endorsed his candidacy. The organization has a strong presence in New Mexico with more than 8,000 members in the Rio Grande Chapter.

"The possibility of having Martin Heinrich in the U.S. Senate is very exciting, and it makes me want to speak as loudly and long as possible about his fine environmental record, said Sen. Ortiz y Pino. "The endorsement by the Sierra Club is very exciting. What it means for Martin to have the Sierra Club's backing in this way will be immeasurable -- the number of volunteers on the streets, knocking on doors, the word of mouth, the strong message that it sends about his positions on environmental issues. All of these are just fantastically important to his campaign."

"I've known Martin for about 14 years, ever since I started working in former Mayor Jim Baca's administration in Albuquerque," Ortiz y Pino continues. "I've been able to watch him over those years and when he became a city councilor and worked on the Planned Growth Strategy, when he was the state national resources conservator, and then in Congress. He's always been a very strong advocate for environmental protections, air and water, for making the best possible decisions to use the planet's resources in a way that is sustainable."

Congressman Heinrich chimed in and said, "I'm really excited and want to just say thank you for the endorsement. The Sierra Club has been an incredible ally in New Mexico in terms of getting kids outside, fighting for clean energy and fighting for our public lands, which is one of the great things about living and representing a place like New Mexico. Living here you see what's at stake all around you You see it in places like the Valles Caldera National Preserve, in the Petroglyphs National Monument on the West Side, the incredible Sandia Mountains just to east of Albuquerque and our public lands all over the state."

"And the Sierra Club has, time and time again, been a very powerful ally in trying to protect those places and move toward an energy future that really makes sense for our country," Heinrich said. "And at a time when we're really kind of seeing the worst environmental attacks since the Gingrich revolution of 1994, it makes me feel good that the Sierra Club's got my back when I'm fighting for stronger environmental policies, not weaker ones."

After the call, the Sierra Club and Heinrich campaign also released statements about the endorsement:

"Throughout his career, Martin Heinrich has been an indispensable ally to those who champion the preservation of our natural environments and has proven time and again that he won’t back down to the polluters who wish to tear down decades of sound environmental policy,” John Buchser, chair of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, said. Robin Mann, president of the Sierra Club added, "Martin is exactly what New Mexico needs in the Senate –- someone who has the practical experience and know-how to get things done. Martin understands that New Mexico's future depends on ensuring our communities enjoy clean air and clean water, and building the clean energy economy that will bring new, good-paying jobs.”

As head of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Heinrich brought ranchers, Native American leaders and environmentalists together to win federal protection for more than 11,000 acres in the Ojito Wilderness, the Sierra Club pointed out. He served the state as Natural Resources Trustee, working to restore contaminated public lands using funds seized from environmental polluters.

Heinrich served on the Sierra Club's Rio Grande Chapter executive committee, combining his enthusiasm for nature with his commitment to public service. He trekked thousands of miles across the Southwest as a guide and as executive director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, an environmental education and outdoors program for youth.

The Sierra Club pointed out that, during his time on the Albuquerque City Council and as a Member of Congress, Heinrich has never veered from his support for environmental protection. Martin has a track record of supporting policies that reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and pollute our air, and holding the polluters accountable under the Clean Air Act. Serving his second term on the House Committee on Natural Resources, Martin works tirelessly to protect New Mexico’s abundant natural resources and treasured public lands.

"I’m honored to have the support of an organization so important to protecting the land we live on, the air we breathe and the water we drink," said Martin Heinrich. “Together we've made progress in the audacious challenge of reversing climate change and jumpstarting our economy with clean energy jobs. In New Mexico, we understand the potential for clean energy to put people back to work. Through American ingenuity and the right policies we can unleash the full potential of this growing industry and protect our precious natural resources for generations to come.”

"As a member of Congress, Representative Heinrich has been an outstanding environmental champion during a period in which environmental issues faced steep and vicious opposition from well funded corporate opponents," said Sierra Club President Robin Mann. "The Sierra Club proudly throws its weight behind Martin Heinrich's candidacy for U.S. Senate."

The Sierra Club said Heinrich has been an important leader on social justice issues of concern to the organization and other environmental advocates. He is a tireless job creator who understands that the road to a revitalized economy starts with clean energy jobs.

"Martin Heinrich has sponsored legislation that helps create the next generation of young environmental leaders, and he has shown a strong desire to get families and young people outside -– playing, learning and working," said Kristina Ortez de Jones with the Sierra Club in New Mexico.

Nationwide, Heinrich is the Sierra Club's first endorsement of the 2012 federal election cycle. The Sierra Club indicated it will mobilize its more than 1.4 million members and supporters nationwide -– including nearly 8,000 in New Mexico –- to support endorsed candidates who have demonstrated pro-environmental records and platforms.

To see more posts on the 2012 Senate race in New Mexico, visit our archive.

Photo by M.E. Broderick.

August 5, 2011 at 11:37 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Energy, Environment, Green Economy, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (8)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2/25: Health Care Providers and Supporters to Converge on Roundhouse to Support Health Care as Human Right

Health care providers and citizens from across the state will converge on the Roundhouse this Friday, February 25th, for Human Rights Day at the Capital. A media conference and rally will take place on the steps of the Roundhouse starting at 1:30 PM, followed by lobbying activities, according to HealthRightNM.

Human Rights Day supporters back Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR 5), a constitutional amendment to recognize health care as a human right. The amendment will acknowledge that health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and the state will need to ensure that the 449,000 (2008-09 Census Bureau survey) New Mexico residents who currently do not have health coverage can receive access on an equitable basis. 

“The vast majority of New Mexicans assume healthcare is already addressed in the constitution, because it is such a basic human right,” said Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, sponsor of the resolution. “Nearly 1 in 4 New Mexicans do not have health coverage. This is unacceptable. By passing SJR 5 we are making it clear that one of the main functions of government is to ensure the health of our people.”

SJR 5 will be heard before the Senate Rules Committee (SRC) Friday morning at 8:30 AM. Supporters will deliver hundreds of signatures in support of the amendment and testimonies to the Committee at the hearing. Upon passage in the Senate Rules Committee, SJR 5 must then be passed to the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) before vote on the Floor of the Senate. If passed, the joint resolution will go to the House for a simple majority passage, ultimately placing the amendment before voters on the November ballot. For full details, please visit

Endorsers of SJR 5 include the New Mexico Public Health Association, Health Action New Mexico, League of Women Voters of New Mexico, Network of Health Professionals for a National Health Program, NM Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Native Health Initiative and The Committee of Interns and Residents.

HealthRightNM supporters will ride the New Mexico Rail Runner Express to Santa Fe for the event this Friday. Health care professionals will wear scrubs, and/or their white coats to show provider support. Participants will carry personalized signs and swap stories while riding the New Mexico Rail Runner Express to the Santa Fe Depot before walking as a group to the steps of the Roundhouse. Special guests, The Raging Grannies will sing original songs on health care reform on the train and at the rally.

The group will gather at the ABQ Downtown Rail Runner Station at 10:00 AM and depart on the 10:35 AM train arriving at the Santa Fe Depot  at 12:15 PM.

Take Action: Sign HealthRightNM's to the legislature in support of SJR 5. Call or email your legislators as well as members of the Senate Rules Committee (SRC) to urge their support for SJR 5. Attend the committee hearing Friday morning and the rally on the steps of the Roundhouse that afternoon.

See our earlier post on this effort.

February 24, 2011 at 10:28 AM in Healthcare, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, NM Legislature 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Notorious Army School of the Americas Connection: Sen. Ortiz y Pino Speaks Out Against Susana Martinez's Nomination of Dr. Jose Garcia for Higher Ed Secretary

Garcia Just prior to the holidays, Republican governor-elect Susana Martinez she was nominating Dr. Jose Z. Garcia, 65, an associate professor of government at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, for the post of Secretary of Higher Education. Garcia, a conservative who chaired the Democratic Party of Dona Ana County during the early 1980s and still claims to be a Democrat of sorts, was a member of the steering committee of "Democrats for Martinez" during the gubernatorial campaign.

The following is a statement from New Mexico State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino upon learning Dr. Jose Garcia once taught at the U.S. Army School of the Americas. The school has been roundly criticized for the human-rights violations performed by a number of its graduates throughout Latin America.

"The Army School of the Americas has a deeply troubling history of training human-rights abusers throughout Latin America. Dr. Jose Garcia and Susana Martinez must come out and explain his involvement with the school. The halls of New Mexico government are no place for anyone who condones the types of abuses that were spawned from the School of the Americas in the 1980s and early 1990s. Dr. Garcia owes anyone who values human rights a full accounting of his time working for the school."

Jose Z. Garcia, PhD, was “appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Army School of the Americas from 1989-1991, where he was named instructor of the year for 1990.” (1)

Background on the Army School of the Americas (now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation):

On June 28, 1996, a report was issued by the Intelligence Oversight Board a four-person, independent board created by President Clinton. The IOB, headed by attorney Anthony S. Harrington and including Gen. Lew Allen, Jr., USAF (Retired), found that the "School of the Americas ... used improper instruction materials in training Latin American officers from 1982 to 1991 ... certain passages appeared to condone practices such as execution of guerillas, extortion, physical abuse, coercion, and false imprisonment." (2)

According to School of the Americas Watch, these manuals taught repressive techniques and promoted the violation of human rights throughout Latin America and around the globe. The manuals contain instructions in motivation by fear, bounties for enemy dead, false imprisonment, torture, execution, and kidnapping a target's family members. The Pentagon admitted that these manuals were a "mistake."(3)

1) Jose Garcia Bio
2) US Intelligence Oversight Board Cites SOA (1996)
3) Pentagon Investigation Concludes That Techniques In SOA Manuals Were "Mistakes"

According to a Get the Facts page on SOA Watch:

Initially established in Panama in 1946, it was kicked out of that country in 1984 under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty. Former Panamanian President, Jorge Illueca, stated that the School of the Americas was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The SOA, frequently dubbed the “School of Assassins,” has left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned.

Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.

... From its beginning, the mission of the SOA has been to train soldiers to protect the interests of multinational corporations and maintain the economic status quo for the few rich and powerful in the US and their cohorts in Latin America. Labor leaders and union organizers have always been among the primary targets of SOA violence.

Many readers are probably familiar with SOA Watch because of its annual protest against the School of the Americas:

Since 1990, SOA Watch has sponsored an annual public demonstration of protest of SOA/WHISC at Ft. Benning. In 2005, the demonstration drew 19,000 people. The protests are timed to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador, on November 1989, by graduates of the School of the Americas. On November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests (Ignacio Ellacuria, Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Joaquin López y López, Juan Ramon Moreno, and Amado López); their housekeeper, Elba Ramos; and her daughter, Celia Marisela Ramos, were murdered by the Salvadoran Military on the campus of the University of Central America in San Salvador, El Salvador, because they had been labeled as subversives by the government. A United Nations panel concluded that 19 of the 27 killers were SOA graduates.

Given Dr. Garcia's connection with the notorious School of the Americas, it's disturbing that Susana Martinez believes he's a good choice to head New Mexico's Department of Higher Education.

December 29, 2010 at 05:47 PM in Education, Hispanic Issues, International Relations, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (6)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Spirits Are High on Election Day Minus One at Denish-Colón Campaign HQ

Click for photo album

New Mexico's Democratic candidates for governor, , and lieutenant governor, , were at the busy Vote New Mexico office on San Mateo in Albuquerque around Noon today (photos above) to give a shout out to volunteers for their hard work, and rally voters. Spirits are high and internal polling shows this is a neck and neck horse race that will go down to the wire. The determining factor? Say it with me: DEMOCRATIC TURNOUT! GOTV!

State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino joined Diane and Brian at the rally, urged folks to vote for Denish-Colon and Rep. Martin Heinrich and had this to say about the election and the lies spread by Republicans:

Tonight at 6:00 PM, President Barack Obama will join Diane Denish and Senator Jeff Bingaman for a tele-town hall with New Mexico voters. The tele-town hall will target more than 100,000 Democrats, who will be called and given an opportunity to join and hear from the President.

Diane talking about what's at stake

Brian talks about importance of election and thanks DFNM

The Denish campaign needs our help from now until the polls close tomorrow at 7:00 PM. Contact your nearest .

November 1, 2010 at 04:01 PM in 2010 General Election, 2010 NM Governor's Race, Brian Colon, Diane Denish, Jerry Ortiz y Pino | |

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jerry Ortiz y Pino Guest Blog: Democracy Takes a Lot of Work

Jerry_at_taos_pride This is a guest blog by Jerry Ortiz y Pino, a State Senator and candidate in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor in New Mexico. (Photo is of Jerry at last year's Taos Pride.)

Bill Moyers’ last episode of Journal ran on PBS a few weeks back. I missed it but heard so many comments about it that I found it on-line later and spent an hour and a half watching it. I urge you to do the same thing; just google and watch it -- then let’s talk.

Nothing I’ve seen captures the American dilemma in 2010 as effectively as Moyers’ conversations with Jim Hightower and Barry Lopez on that program. However, I would also encourage you to read the April, 2010 Harpers piece by Kevin Baker, “The Vanishing Liberal,” because his angle on the same topic adds extra emphasis and depth.

What both the television conversation and the magazine article make clear is that we are too late to prevent the end of democracy in the US -- it’s already happened. Now the task is to recover it, a far more formidable challenge.

How we allowed our precious democratic enterprise to get hijacked and morphed into what we have today, a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy, can only be explained by our collective laziness, carelessness, inattention.

We literally went asleep at the wheel while the enemies of democracy, the super-rich, stole our inheritance right from under us. So slick was that picking of our pockets that many (perhaps most) Americans still aren’t aware that we’ve been fleeced. But make no mistake: we have been taken to the cleaners—and the final confirming evidence of that con job is the recent mind-numbing Supreme Court decision averring that corporations are people.

As for our political leaders, their woeful weakness under enemy fire could be a training manual for “How not to protect Democracy." Those who haven’t surrendered completely and thrown-in with the plutocrats have been reduced to an ineffectual chorus of compromisers, intent on “making the best of a bad situation.” Pitifully few heroes have stood against the stealth conquest.

Baker says it well in describing our hapless fatalism: “We have learned to be helpless. And in this state of political depression, it no longer matters how many elections liberals win for the Democrats or how badly Republican, right-wing policies fail or how much damage they do to the country or the world. There is simply no way to do anything differently.”

After they lay-out the dimensions of the problem, how our plutocrats (the tiny fraction of the very wealthiest Americans) have manipulated our institutions, our governmental laws and regulations and our business and commercial principles, to insulate themselves from any attempt at limiting their total control of our economy, our politics and our society, Moyers asks Hightower, how can we ever get out of this mess.

The answer, begun by Hightower, is completed by Barry Lopez during the second half of the program. And it is an answer echoed by Baker in the conclusion to his piece: “There is no longer any meaningful reformist impulse left in our politics ... simply voting for one man or supporting one of the major parties will not restore it. The work will have to be done from the ground up and it will have to be done by us.”

There is, I’m afraid, no other way than to roll up our sleeves and start working at rooting out the rascals.

It means work, the kind of work Hightower describes the Populist movement of the late 1800’s conducting: organizing; meeting in church halls, living rooms and community centers; public education sessions; reading, analyzing and discussing -- and building organizations determined to resist, to stand firm for principle.

Over and over in the history of our country there have had to be similar citizen movements to take back Democracy from the enemy within -- the far more dangerous and insidious enemy than those from outside, the ones we easily mobilize against. Today the work means taking up the civic dialogue and it means actually learning about what is going on from sources other than network news.

If we don’t, the corporations which now control us and our votes will go unchallenged and we will have lost the most precious of all our gifts: the right to self-determination; not through a revolution or invasion, but through a million tiny steps toward being lulled to sleep.

The enemy is not government; the enemy is not business. The enemy is the powerful tiny minority who control both government and business to ensure that their power and profit will go unchallenged regardless the political or business climate.

If we don’t get to work, they will remain in control. Start by watching Moyers’ last show and reading Baker’s article. Then let’s get to work on a constitutional amendment that makes clear corporations truly are not people.

This is a guest blog by Jerry Ortiz y Pino. To submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

To read our previous posts related to the 2010 lieutenant governor race, visit our archive.

May 27, 2010 at 12:54 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Corporatism, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Progressivism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lt. Gov. Candidate Jerry Ortiz y Pino's TV Ad Starts Airing Tonight

Click for larger version

In an email to supporters today, the Jerry Ortiz y Pino campaign for lieutenant governor of New Mexico in the Democratic primary announced that it had made a buy for its first TV ad. The 30-second spot, shot and edited by volunteers, will run statewide from now until the June 1 election.

According to the email, "To get the best value out of your generous donations, we are airing our spots on programs viewed by progressive voters and likely voters. You can see our ad during the following times, beginning tonight:

On Cable:

  • Weeknights on CNBC, between 4 & 7 PM.
  • Weeknights during the Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann hours on MSNBC.
  • During Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central (some of the best news coverage around, actually!), 8 PM-9 PM and 12 AM - 1 AM.

On Network:

  • Mornings on NBC's Today show, The CBS Early Show and the CW's Daily Buzz, between 7 and 9 AM.
  • Sunday morning on ABC's This Week.
  • And Weeknights on ABC's Nightline.

"What you are not going to see is a slick self-promotion," the email continued. "What you will see is Jerry's sincerity and his conviction. We hope you like it."

The email also noted that Jerry's campaign has been by the Santa Fe Reporter. You can check out the campaign's other endorsements .

May 26, 2010 at 08:01 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Jerry Ortiz y Pino | Permalink | Comments (6)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

(Updates x 2) Robo-Call From "Democrats for Better Government" Bashes Brian Colón

Update Early Monday morning 1:20 AM: I finally spoke with Joe Campos earlier tonight, after we returned from a day in the mountains. He flatly denied that he was behind the robo-call, and said he had never done negative campaigning and never would. We spoke for about an hour about a variety of topics. There is, of course, no way to know who is telling the truth and who isn't in the current situation. In my post, I relayed what I knew and tried to reason who might gain from conducting such a robo-call, and who wouldn't. I believe that was a valid approach. I also think that every politician is capable of negative campaigning depending on the circumstance, especially in a hotly contest race. Politicos aren't saints.

I am still very angry and hurt about the use of my civil rights as a wedge issue in the LG race. As most Democrats are aware, there is a segment of our party that believes LGBT people don't deserve equal rights under civil law, so there is always an opportunity for candidates to pander to that segment to try and gain votes. This must stop. Wherever and whenever I come across evidence of the use of that tactic, I will do the same thing I did in this instance -- try to discover and logically consider who might be doing it. I stand by how I went about it this time, and I will do it again.

One more thing. Joe Campos told me that he is not for full marriage rights for same-sex couples. He said he supports civil unions for all and believes only hetero couples should be "married" because that is a church sacrament. I asked him what it says on the license or certificate when a couple gets married at a drive-thru quickie marriage place in Las Vegas, or before a justice of the peace, for example, and he said he didn't know. I know: it says marriage license or marriage certificate, and no church sacrament is required.
Update 10:24 AM Sunday: FYI, still no response to our message left on the personal cell phone of Joe Campos yesterday afternoon. No other communication has been received from his campaign about this matter.
About 2:15 PM today, Mary Ellen and I got a robo-call from an outfit identifying itself as "Democrats for Better Government." We have since heard that many other Dems are getting the same call, all over the state.

The call was clearly aimed at destroying the reputation of Brian Colón, a Democratic primary candidate for lieutenant governor in New Mexico. Saying Brian was "bad for Democrats and bad for New Mexico," the female voice went on to provide exaggerated, distorted and incorrect information about Colón. It touched on his tenure as DPNM Chair, the presidential caucus and other aspects of Colón's career. It was very nasty.

At one point it strongly suggested that Brian may have stolen money from Moving America Forward, the foundation that was set up to register minority voters for which Colón served as Treasurer. The voice rambled on using charged language, trying to paint Colón as a bumbler, a crook and a crony -- all of this most likely coming from the campaign of one of the other Democratic candidates for lt. governor.

Then, horror of horrors, it accused Colón of supporting marriage equality. In fact, Brian Colón has been on the record for some time as being supportive of marriage equality. Shocker.

Candidate Contact
I want everyone to know that I received a personal phone call this afternoon from Lawrence Rael, who had heard about the call. Mr. Rael convincingly explained that he would never conduct such a call or allow such a call to be conducted on his behalf as part of his campaign. He said he considered what was said in the call as being "clearly out of bounds." He also said he had talked to Brian Colón via phone and told him the same thing. I believe Mr. Rael. From observing Lawrence and his campaign for many months now, I don't believe it's his style, and I don't believe he needs to stoop that low to get significant support from Democrats. He took the initiative to call both Colón and I when he heard about the call. 

I have also left a message on the cell phone of Joe Campos explaining the situation and requesting a call back because I wanted to get his reaction before I posted on this. So far, no response. It's been a couple hours.

I left a message at Jerry Ortiz y Pino's campaign office too, but have gotten no reply yet. I find it hard to believe that Sen. Ortiz y Pino would use the marriage equality issue to attack Brian Colón because Jerry has long supported marriage equality. Of course you never know, and it would be helpful to hear from Jerry. I didn't call Sen. Linda Lopez because she has long been a champion for LGBT rights and I don't think her campaign has the money to do this anyway. She is so far behind in the race that it wouldn't help, regardless.

Using LGBT Rights as a Wedge
Despite the fact that marriage equality is supported by an official, approved resolution of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, some Dems still like to use the issue as a wedge -- a political football -- as bait to attract the votes of conservatives of both parties. You know, give a nudge and wink and use language that suggests that you, too, think that LGBT New Mexicans, like Mary Ellen and I, should SFU, accept second class citizenship and abide by the rules of the Catholic Bishops. You know, because civil law should match the dictums of the Church. Oh, hardee har har, those sicko gays!

That there's a strong possibility that a Dem LG candidate used a robo-call to stir up more bigotry against LGBT folks and those who support us makes my stomach turn -- especially since we know all the candidates on a personal basis, at least to some extent. At the very least, we know what they all tell us about LGBT rights when we ask about them. However, given the robo-call contents, we have some idea what at least one of them is saying behind our backs, for expedient political gains.

The Target Demographic
Clearly, the message was crafted to try and define Colón as a puppet under the control of Governor Bill Richardson and to emphasize the point on LGBT equality. Who do you think is the main target audience for these talking points in a Dem primary? I hate to say it, but it's obviously a certain segment of conservative Democrats, many of whom just happen to be Hispanic and/or rural. 

We don't know definitively who is behind today's robo-calls, but I think we need to consider which candidate is most heavily targeting the demographic within the Democratic Party that is most displeased with Governor Richardson and most against any sort of equal rights at all for LGBT New Mexicans. I think there are strong hints in the tenor and content of press releases that emerged this week, including those announcing personal endorsements.

I'll also note that we received another robo-call about 15 minutes after the call from "Democrats for Good Government." This one featured the voice of former Mayor Martin Chavez praising Jose (not Joe) Campos and urging people to vote for him. Coincidence or a pattern? You decide. Also remember that Mark Fleisher, who was Mayor Chavez's right-hand man, has been running the campaign of Joe Campos for some months. 

The Campos campaign was initially run by Carlos Trujillo, assisted by Santiago Juarez and Michelle Mares. When they left the Campos campaign, Juarez and Mares went to work for the campaign of Dennis W. Montoya, who is challenging Judge Linda Vanzi for New Mexico Court of Appeals. Dennis W. Montoya has been running scandalous public and whisper campaigns against Judge Vanzi using code language that appeals to bigots. All of this doesn't prove anything, of course, but I think it definitely raises suspicions, don't you?

Finally, some are saying the call bashing Colón may have come from Republican interests. This makes no sense to me. Wouldn't they want Colon in the general election so they could use this kind of distorted information against him when it matters most? 

Democrats for Better Government
In the meantime, Tom Solomon, an active Albuquerque Democrat, was so disgusted by the robo-call that he sought to find out who the "Democrats for Good Government" might be. He Googled and found an Indiana organization with that name and sent an email to the designated contact person, named Krista Lockyear. I also have a call into Krista Lockyear. We don't know if the outfit that conducted the robo-calls is hers, or just shares a generic name. 

I'm sure whoever purchased the services of a robo-caller to attack Colon has managed to cover their tracks by passing money off to pay for it to someone hard to connect to the campaign or the candidate. Campaigns don't have to reveal their spending in this period until after the election anyway. The payment to a robo-caller may or may not show up on one of their reports. My guess is that it won't because some innocuous entity or person made the payment.

It pains me to have to write about this call and to contemplate that a Democratic candidate I know and respect may be behind this robo-call attack. It's no fun, but I do intend to get to the bottom of it and let everyone know what I find.

May 22, 2010 at 05:31 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, GLBT Rights, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (63)

Monday, May 10, 2010

5/13 in ABQ: OLÉ to Host Dem Lt. Governor Candidate Forum on Early Childhood Education

Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ) Announces:

Lt. Governor Candidates Forum
Early Childhood Education in New Mexico
Sponsored by OLÉ Working Parents Association

Thursday May 13, 2010 – 6:30 PM
Alamosa Community Center
6900 Gonzales Rd. SW (Coors / Bridge)
Albuquerque, NM 87121

New Mexico Democratic Lt. Governor Candidates
Brian Colon
Lawrence Rael
Jose Campos
Jerry Ortiz Y Pino
Linda Lopez
New Mexico Community Members

Candidates will weigh in on New Mexico early childhood education and answer VOTERS' questions. For more information, call the OLÉ office at (505) 796-6544. Check out our new website at

May 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Children and Families, Education, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

5/7: Taos Fundraiser for Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor

From the Jerry Ortiz y Pino Campaign:
A fundraiser for Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino will take place on Friday, May 7, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Polly Raye and Bill Christmas invite you to join them at their home to meet Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino -- a progressive Democrat and candidate for Lt. Governor in 2010. The suggested contribution is $50 per person or $75 per couple.

The event is hosted by Taos for Jerry Campaign Committee, Loretta Ortiz y Pino, Suzanne Tauber, Rena Rosequist, Peggy Nelson, Sienna Sanderson and sponsored by Charles and Edy Anderson, Joe Caldwell and Andy Frost and Kristina Breidenbach.

Email RSVP to or call 575 770-1650. If you are unable to attend you can learn about Senator Ortiz y Pino at and click on ActBlue to donate online.

May 5, 2010 at 11:27 AM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4/30: Reception Supporting Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor at Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque

From Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor Campaign:

Gary Goodman
Invites you to join him for an evening with
Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Candidate for Lt. Governor in 2010
Friday, April 30, 5:30-8:00 PM
Hotel Andaluz, On the Rooftop
125 2nd St. NW, Albuquerque
Suggested Donation - $100 - $250 -$500
Click for flyer

If you are unable to attend, you can learn more about Senator Ortiz y Pino at and click on the Act Blue button to donate online. For more info, contact Sharon at or call 505-608-1212.

April 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino | Permalink | Comments (5)

Friday, April 23, 2010

4/24: Fundraiser in Support of Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor Hosted by Eric Griego & Kim Brown

From the Jerry Ortiz y Pino Campaign:

Invite you to join them at their home
in support of
Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Candidate for Lt. Governor in 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
1003 Santa Fe Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
(One block south of the zoo)
RSVP/Info at 259-7600
Suggested Donation: $25 Friend, $50 supporter, $100 sponsor

If you are unable to attend you can learn about Senator Ortiz y Pino at and click on Act Blue to donate on line. Contact – or call 505-608-1212.

April 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino | Permalink | Comments (0)