Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NM-01: Heinrich Calls on White to Return Taxpayer Funding for Bush Fundraiser

The Heinrich for Congress campaign announced that Martin Heinrich hand-delivered a letter today to Darren White demanding he reimburse Bernalillo County for the expenses incurred when Darren hosted President Bush for a private fundraiser for his campaign for Congress in May. Four months later, Darren White has yet to reimburse the taxpayers for the $5,000 in expenses for a motorcade escort, traffic control, and security. In addition, taxpayers were also stuck with the bill for President Bush's fuel and expenses for Air Force One.

Here's the full text of Martin's letter to Darren White, dated September 16, 2008:

Mr. Darren White
Darren White for Congress
7208 Jefferson Street NE, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87109

VIA: Hand Delivery

Dear Darren,

It has come to my attention that your campaign owes the hardworking taxpayers of Bernalillo County nearly $5,000 for the fundraiser you threw with President George W. Bush on May 27th, 2008. While you sold your guests photos for $5,000, you stuck taxpayers with a $5,000 bill for your exclusive invitation-only party. I demand that you return every dollar immediately and apologize to all New Mexico taxpayers for burdening them with your tab.

But that's not all. How much did the private-party cost American taxpayers? Our struggling middle-class American taxpayers paid a whopping $113,036 for President Bush to idle his airplane at the Sunport while he wined and dined your top donors. Passing this bill off to our struggling working families is simply unacceptable.

With the price of gas nearing $4.00, healthcare and education costs skyrocketing, our middle-class New Mexicans are bearing the brunt of eight years of failed Bush Administration economic policies. As if the Bush administration hasn't already done enough to middle-class New Mexicans, now you and George Bush are sticking New Mexico taxpayers with another backhanded tax bill?

I hope that you'll now do the honorable thing and return every single dollar you owe taxpayers with an immediate apology -- middle-class families in Central New Mexico deserve nothing less.


Martin Heinrich

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September 16, 2008 at 07:20 PM in Government, Local Politics, NM-01 Congressional Seat 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pics and Video: Reception for State Senator-Elect Tim Keller

Tim Keller talks about his ideas on change, the need for legislators to "get some guts" to fight for sweeping reforms and the contributions of DFNM

On Thursday, Democrats gathered at a festive and well attended reception in Albuquerque to honor State Senator-Elect Tim Keller (SD17) and help him retire his campaign debt from a hard-fought primary. On June 3rd, Keller defeated long-time incumbent legislator Shannon Robinson and earned the right to represent SD 17.

Keller (center) talks with supporters

On hand were Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, NM-01 Congressional candidate Martin Heinrich, State Auditor Hector Balderas, Public Regulation Commissioner Jason Marks, DNC Committeeman Raymond Sanchez, City Councilor Rey Garduno, State Senators Cisco McSorley and Dede Feldman, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, State Reps. Al Park and Moe Maestas, legislative candidates Victor Raigoza and Tim Eichenberg and many others.

Rey Garduno, Diane Denish, Tim Keller

Lt. Gov. Denish talks about Tim Keller

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish

Dick Minzner, Raymond Sanchez, Dede Feldman

Sen. Cisco McSorley


Photos and video by M.E. Broderick. See more from this event at YouTube and Flickr.

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September 14, 2008 at 01:03 PM in 2008 NM State Legislature Races, Local Politics, Visuals | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reminder: Reception Tonight to Support NM Senator-Elect Tim Keller

TimkellerJoin special guests DIANE D. DENISH, Lieutenant Governor; MICHAEL SANCHEZ, Senate Majority Leader; LINDA LOPEZ, State Senator; DEDE FELDMAN, State Senator; CISCO MCSORLEY, State Senator; JERRY ORTIZ Y PINO, State Senator; SHERYL WILLIAMS STAPLETON, House Majority Whip; AL PARK, State Representative; MIMI STEWART, State Representative; HECTOR BALDERAS, State Auditor; BRIAN COLON, Democratic Party Chairman; and many others at a reception tonight from 5:30 to 7:00 PM to support State Senator-Elect Tim Keller and help retire his campaign debt. The reception will be held at the home of Ellen Griffiths and Jose Simbana at 2010 Alhambra SW in Albuquerque (click for MAP). See the invitation for more info.

Tim Keller defeated incumbent Sen. Shannon Robinson in the June 3rd Democratic primary with 66% of the vote to 33% for Robinson. Because he has no GOP opponent in the November general election, Tim will be representing Senate District 17 in the New Mexico Legislature. Now that's a victory we can celebrate. If you can't make it to tonight's reception, you can donate online. It took a lot of work and a lot of money to defeat Robinson, so please give what you can to clear up Tim's campaign debt. You know how it upsets certain members of the power elite ....

September 11, 2008 at 01:24 PM in 2008 NM State Legislature Races, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Campaign Fundraiser for Rep. Mimi Stewart Set for 9/18

MstewartMimi Stewart, one of our most effective and forward-thinking Representatives in the New Mexico Legislature, is up for reelection -- and has a Republican challenger this election cycle. Needless to say, we have to do everything in our power to make sure that Mimi keeps her seat in House District 21 so she can continue to champion causes that promote the welfare of women, regular working and middle class families and children. One way to do that is to attend next week's campaign benefit reception.

Click for a FLYER (pdf) and pass it on to friends, colleagues and neighbors who might be interested in attending. If you can't attend in person, you can donate to Mimi's campaign online at ActBlue or volunteer with her campaign by emailing k_zamarin@yahoo.com.

Please Join Us
for a Reception with
Rep. Mimi Stewart
In Support of Mimi’s Re-Election Campaign
Hosted by:
Richard Romero ◆Drew Setter ◆Mike Puelle ◆Sue Griffith ◆David Barber ◆Ricardo Barros ◆Maurice Bonal ◆Rep. Gail Chasey ◆Gary Kilpatrick ◆Randy Marshall ◆Fred Ocheskey ◆Luke Otero ◆Sonia Phillips ◆Rep. Danice Picraux ◆Sam Ray ◆Joe Thompson ◆Albuquerque Teachers Federation ◆NEA-NM ◆Joe & Daisy Kupfer ◆Dan Weaks & Marla Shoats ◆Qwest NM ◆Speaker Ben Lujan ◆Virtue Najjar & Brown P.C. ◆Senator Cisco McSorley ◆Marc Saavedra
Thursday ◆ September 18 ◆ 2008
5:30–7:00 PM
At The Home of
Margie Lockwood & Richard Romero
907 Silver SW • Albuquerque
Appetizers & Drinks Provided
Suggested Contribution: $50

If you cannot attend, please send your contribution to People for Mimi Stewart / 313 Moon St NE / Albuquerque NM 87123. RSVP to Kim Zamarin at k_zamarin@yahoo.com

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September 10, 2008 at 11:08 AM in 2008 NM State Legislature Races, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Get Your Obamanos Bumperstickers


From Ellen Wedum of Cloudcroft, who's running for state rep in HD 59: This distinctive bumpersticker is the inspiration of retired engineer Joyce Westerbur, former vice-chair of the Lincoln County Dems, who requested a design from bumperactive.com. They are going like hotcakes down here south of I-40. I bought 200 and have already sold (at cost) about 100 of them at the Otero and Dona Ana Labor Breakfasts. Anyone who wants some can order them from kyle@bumperactive.com. I like having an Obama bumper sticker that is uniquely New Mexico.

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September 10, 2008 at 10:06 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (5)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

NM-02: Talking About Guns, Tinsley Says He Has a "Rude Awakening" for Obama

Ed Tinsley, the GOP's Congressional candidate in NM-02 who's running against Democrat Harry Teague, has been caught in the act again. Tinsley's latest inflammatory remarks -- and what can be perceived as a threat to Barack Obama -- came at a recent candidate forum in Roswell. Tinsley was asked about his views on gun ownership and the Second Amendment. Instead of talking about his or his opponent's positions on the issue, Tinsley launched into a disturbing attack on presidential candidate Barack Obama, as you can see in the video clip above. Ed Tinsley said:

Well, I'll say this, somebody that certainly doesn't get it is Barack Obama when he says that our district clings to our guns and our religion out of frustration. I have a rude awakening for him and we'd love to have him as a guest at our ranch.

Check out Tinsley's demeanor when he says the words "rude awakening." What do you think he has in mind when he says it? What do you think his words are meant to convey?

Making such statements is getting to be a disturbing habit with Ed Tinsley. This isn't the first time he's demonstrated a penchant for brutal and violence-tinged rhetoric. For instance, in 2002 when running in the GOP Congressional primary in NM-02, Tinsley was asked about his views on the death penalty. He answered,

"I would certainly like to take the people out and drag them behind my horse until their head popped off."

The Albuquerque Journal printed the quote and Steve Pearce, Tinsley's primary rival back then, used it against him. Pearce -- no shrinking violet in the inflammatory rhetoric department himself -- ended up winning the primary and the Congressional seat. (Pearce is now running for U.S. Senate in New Mexico.) The voters of New Mexico's Second District evidently didn't cotton to cruel talk like that back then, and I doubt they'll do so now.

Last month, Tinsley earned Worst Person in the World status on Keith Olbermann's Countdown and gained notoriety across the web for his nasty and personal statement at a candidate forum in Las Cruces -- where he said of his Dem competitor, Harry Teague,

"How am I supposed to call my two nephews over there [in Iraq] right now ... and tell them I'm running against a guy who will cut your throat!"

You can read about that incident in my previous posts here and here.

In an election cycle when genuine threats to Obama are not uncommon, it's downright scary to have a candidate for the U.S Congress make a statement that, at the very least, takes a threatening tone towards the Democratic presidential nominee. What is in Ed Tinsley's head -- and in his heart -- if he can make the kind of statements I've cited without blinking an eye? Tinsley likes to talk about All-American values, but his remarks seem to reveal a much darker view of the world -- a place where vigilante might makes right and fear tactics are employed without shame. Maybe that's why Dick Cheney will be down in Harry Teague's hometown of Hobbs later this month to raise money for Tinsley. Two Darth Vader peas in a pod.

Don't want a Congressman from New Mexico who talks like a reckless bully? Help get Harry Teague elected to represent NM-02. Click here to donate or volunteer.

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September 9, 2008 at 12:48 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Iraq War, Local Politics, Media, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Learn How to Be an Effective Citizen Lobbyist

Sponsored by Working Families Win NM
Co-hosted by Carter Bundy, AFSCME; Richard Romero, UNM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
UNM School of Law, Room 3406
(From Lomas & Girard, head North to Mountain. Proceed West on Mountain to Stanford. The Law school will be straight ahead to the right. ROOM 3406 upstairs, in the new Hart Wing on the West Side of the building.)

Come join two of the State’s most effective lobbyists & learn the basics to becoming a successful Citizen Lobbyist! Come raise your voice! Refreshments will be served.

September 7, 2008 at 02:04 PM in Education, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sierra Club Weighs in on McCain Remarks on Energy at Albuquerque Rally

Note: Read the live blog at for more on the McCain-Palin appearance at the Albuquerque Convention Center last night (with photos). Also listen to Peter St. Cyr's audio of the short speeches by McCain and Palin.

Must Read: I just got this release from the Sierra Club NM Club NM and it tells the story so well, I'm going to publish it verbatim:

At a ‘Road to Victory’ rally in Albuquerque this evening, Senator John McCain advocated for the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel as a way to deal with the tons of high-level nuclear waste accumulating at reactors around the country. However, he failed to mention America’s troubled past with reprocessing – namely, tanks of liquid waste that are corroding and threatening nearby bodies of water (Columbia and Savannah Rivers as well as Snake River Aquifer). McCain also neglected to mention that France and the UK simply pipe their liquid wastes from reprocessing directly into the North and Irish seas to the ire of neighboring countries, and that reprocessing has not significantly reduced the need for a deep geological repository (Institute for Energy & Environmental Research, www.ieer.org/fctsheet/repro-intl.html).

McCain also advocated for greater solar power production, but failed to mention that he did not show up to any of the eight votes held this year on extending clean energy tax credits. About 2,000 construction jobs with the Solana concentrating solar project in McCain’s home state of Arizona are on hold as a result. Similarly, McCain’s opposition to a national Renewable Electricity Standard has cost New Mexicans at least 2,800 new jobs in the solar and wind industries, $200 million in lower electricity and natural gas bills by 2020 (growing to nearly $400 million by 2030), and another $100 million in income to farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners (Union of Concerned Scientists, Cashing in on Clean Energy in New Mexico).

Statement of Shrayas Jatkar, Sierra Club NM

“Despite efforts to claim that they are mavericks and agents of change, the McCain/Palin campaign continues to simply reach for the costly and dirty energy policies of the past.”

“It is highly irresponsible for the McCain/Palin campaign to advocate for the reprocessing of spent fuel when we have not yet dealt with the wastes generated by reprocessing in the past. New Mexicans defeated in 2007 a Bush Administration scheme to resume reprocessing - which listed two sites in southeastern New Mexico as potential hosts for a reprocessing plant – because no community can afford to sacrifice its public health and water sources for a dangerous, dirty, and costly technology.”

“The McCain/Palin campaign must stop misleading voters about their supposed support for clean energy development. Their voting record clearly shows a failure to stand up for the solar and wind industries – and the hundreds of thousands of workers in those industries – when it truly counts.”

Want to learn more facts about John McCain and his real views? Visit JustMoreoftheSame.com.

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September 6, 2008 at 11:29 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Energy, Environment, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Reminder: BBQ Fundraiser for Victor Raigoza Sunday

VictorsmallIt's so important to support our candidates who are challenging Republicans for legislative seats, including Victor Raigoza, who's running for State Senate in District 10 on Albuquerque's West Side. There's a BBQ fundraiser at the home of Brian and Aleli Colon this Sunday from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Click for more information (pdf). If you can't make it, you can also donate to Victor's campaign online at his website.

September 5, 2008 at 02:58 PM in 2008 NM State Legislature Races, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

NM Nonprofits File Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit by Shannon Robinson et al.

Today, several local nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Civic Policy, filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Senators Shannon Robinson and James Taylor and Representative Dan Silva. Attorneys representing the Center for Civic Policy, New Mexico Youth Organized, Southwest Organizing Project and New Energy Economy filed the dismissal request in Second Judicial District Court.

Matt Brix, Policy Director for the Center for Civic Policy, stated," We've maintained all along that the claims made by Senators Robinson and Taylor and Representative Silva are patently false. Their lawsuit is an attempt to muzzle nonprofits from publicizing the voting records of elected officials. In these times of overwhelming special interest money and influence, New Mexicans need this information more than ever."

Click to see a copy of the Motion to Dismiss.

The lawsuit has been viewed by most fair-minded parties as frivolous, poorly written and documented and motivated by sour grapes on the part of the three incumbent legislators who were soundly beaten in the June 3rd Democratic Primary. The powerfully entrenched don't like it when reformers beat them fair and square so they often cast about for ways to try to discredit those who defeated them -- no matter how misguided and dishonest. I can't see how any judge worth his or her salt could take the suit seriously and grant what the plaintiffs are asking for in terms of overturning the results of the primary.

Background: Click here and here. The second link contains a list of links to previous posts on the lawsuit and the related matter of Attorney General Gary King's opinion on the legality of voter education efforts by the nonprofits.

I'll have more soon on AG King's opinion -- kept out of the public eye so far -- that prompted the letter to New Mexico Youth Organized and Southwest Organizing Project by Secretary of State Mary Herrera informing them they need to file as PACs. Keep an eye out.

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September 4, 2008 at 02:18 PM in 2008 NM State Legislature Races, Civil Liberties, Corporatism, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (2)