Monday, August 15, 2011

A Free-Wheeling Conversation With Diane Denish: Part 2

Di-Pic- Here is Part 2 of our recent interview with former Lt. Governor and Democratic candidate for governor, Diane Denish. In this installment, Diane discusses the Susana Martinez administration, the congressional races in CD1 and CD2, Democratic messaging and the media. 

Late last month we published Part 1 of our interview, which covered Diane's views on the U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, the Darren White controversy, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, the federal debt ceiling, jobs, fracking and mining. Thanks again to Diane Denish for taking the time to discuss the issues with us in an informal setting.


DFNM: How is the Susana Martinez administration doing in your view?

DD: Well I think she's just a new version of Bill Richardson. She's putting her friends who helped her with money in high places within her administration.

I'm also disappointed because she really has not put out one agenda about jobs. We should all hope that she does really well because we need jobs, we need work. Her focus has been on law enforcement, and the Darren White thing gives her a chance to put more focus on that.

I read the recent Albuquerque Journal article about her first six months, even though we no longer subscribe to that paper. In their headlines, they mentioned jobs, but there was nothing in the article about any efforts on her part to create jobs. They focused on her push about the drivers' licenses; critics mentioned that she was not engaged and that she doesn't like to meet with people -- which I had heard from others.

Martinez is still in the phase of blaming Bill Richardson for everything and continuing to talk about possible pay to play from the past. I'm disgusted by it. Most of the stuff that came out in the gubernatorial campaign was a surprise to us. We used to say, what could possible be next? 

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DFNM: What about Martinez's approval numbers in the recent Public Policy Polling survey, including some support from Democrats?

DD: Well, I think Dem support in the PPP polling was at about 32% -- not bad but really not strong either. I understand that in Senate campaign polling in February Martinez was at about 62% approving -- and that she's now at 52%. In the PPP poll, she was at 49% favorable to 45% unfavorable. Martinez isn't faring that well in the first congressional district. She should be above 52% in the first six months. She's doing good compared to other new GOP governors like Scott Walker in Wisconsin or Rick Scott in Florida, but not good for a first-time, brand-new governor early on.

DFNM: Did you see the report showing that New Mexico is dead last in job creation? Do you see anything that's being done at the state level to create jobs?

DD: No, I don't see anything concrete being done. In fact, the Martinez-backed filibuster of the capital outlay bill in the legislature by Sen. John Ryan was a job killer. The way Gov. Martinez and Republican legislators have approached the film industry is a job killer. They've been killing jobs -- and they don't have a focus on how to create jobs. I don't see any plan.

Martinez and the Republicans are working to kill the SBIC, which has been the source of capital for micro loans that create jobs. I believe Martinez has mostly been on a mission to get rid of whatever the previous administration did to create a vision for the future. I really believe this should be a fight about a real vision and about jobs and how we're going to get there -- not a battle on purely partisan grounds.

Same thing at the city of Albuquerque. This Darren White thing -- that's just a big mask -- this city and state are losing jobs by the boatload. We need to focus on a combo of old and new industries, and we're not doing anything about the new industries under Republican governance, like green energy.

As far as environmental issues in the governor's race, I tried to stick as close as I could to Democratic values. I did disagree with Governor Richardson on the pit rule -- and it's not what controls drilling. If they think there's oil down there they will go get it.

Now it's all about natural gas -- they're all selling us a bill of goods. I just read about Chesapeake Energy having what's being called their "Enron moment" in a New York Times story. The claim is that national gas reserves are performing at 7-10%. Well, that remains to be seen.

What controls drilling is the market. Do a smart regulation policy. Oil and gas drilling and markets are very different -- it's not one size fits all. Environmentalists killed me on my pit rule position, but I was pro-choice, pro-labor, pro-teacher, pro-small business. I was everything else that I could be in terms of taking strong Democratic positions in my race. Remember -- I was raised in redneck country. I have come a very long way!

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DFNM: What's your take on the Democratic primary race in CD1 to replace Rep. Martin Heinrich?

DD: I think the field has yet to play out. I think there will be more entries into that field. No predictions until I see all the candidates who will be in there. I think the district will change a bit during redistricting, but not enough to make it substantially different than it is now. I think Michelle Lujan Grisham is taking a strong look at it. I think Stuart Paisano is still on the list. Those are two names that I've heard.

I think Eric Griego is going to be in the primary race until the end. That   really was a boost for him. We'll see.

DFNM: Can Democrats hold onto the CD1 seat in 2012?

DD: It's going to be a real battle and we're gonna have to work our tails off to do it. Everybody's going to have to work hard because the electorate is very volatile and we can't predict where we're gonna be in the economy. I think if Obama stands his ground on this budget battle and doesn't give up too much territory, that will work in our favor. There are a number of things that have to happen for us to maintain that seat, and I think it will be hard.

Even if we win, the seat will be hard to maintain going forward. I hope somebody says to the next person coming in, "if you win, we want you to be there for five terms so we can solidify this is a Democratic seat." It takes 3-4 terms to really do it, and we never ever had the seat before Martin so it's tough.

I understand Martin has the right to make the decision he made to leave the CD1 seat -- that the life of a congressman is a grind and that he has children -- but I wish we'd had those conversations with him before Jeff Bingaman retired, or last year, and let him know he had to make a commitment to hang in there for 10 years in the House. I can certainly understand why he wants to run for Senate.

However, when you talk to my friend Harry Teague, he says he always envied Martin, with a house right in ABQ in the middle of his district and near the airport. Harry had to fly into El Paso, Midland or Albuquerque, then drive around his huge CD2 district three or four days and then drive back many miles to get on a plane. So CD1 is our prime district in terms of structuring your life in a way that you don't have to be so beat up and tired out.

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DFNM: Your name was mentioned a lot for both this House seat and the U.S. Senate seat. What made you decide not to enter either race?

DD: I took a look but, as I have always said, it's not really the life I want. The Senate is very prestigious but New Mexico is where I really belong, where I want to be. As for the House seat, there's the two-year election grind, and it's also bothersome to see those congressional candidates sitting in those cubicles making those phone calls day in and day out all the time to raise money.

However, a whole lot of people encouraged me to run for the House seat. I got lots of encouragement from Emily's List and others, but my own family wasn't very supportive. I didn't think it was the right race for me. If the right opportunity came around, I think I would run again. I'd like to maybe run for office one more time -- not just to run for the sake of running, but because it would be something meaningful to me. Timing is everything.

Being in the House or Senate is a different thing than wanting to be governor. I'd look for opportunities for executive leadership in Albuquerque or the state. I think I'm more suited to that than Congress.


DFNM: So how is former CD2 congressman Harry Teague, having lost to Steve Pearce?

DD: He's doing good. He thought it was the adventure of a lifetime to serve his home district in Congress and he enjoyed it.

DFNM: Who can take on Pearce and win?

DD: If one of the great, strong women representatives in that district or somebody in the Las Cruces area would decide to run, that would help. But I don't know that any of them wants to do it. This year, working with my friends on the national level on different things, I've learned that this has been one of the toughest years to recruit candidates that they've ever had. That difficulty doubles when it comes to women, because they say, who needs it? The money, the intellectually dishonest way that the media plays out,the savage 30-second ads (on both sides) all make it a hard sell. They think, why would I put myself through that?

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DFNM: How can Democrats get their message out if many media outlets -- including the ones like TV news and local newspapers that ordinary people access -- refuse to cover the issues from any perspective other than a right-wing slant?

DD: We're terrible at that and the media doesn't help. For instance, during my campaign for governor, media wouldn't look into things we thought represented important failings on the part of Susana Martinez. The information we provided was based on significant research showing that many things she did as DA were designed to protect the sheriff's department. Nothing was ever printed about that.

The consolidation of the media across the country is a real threat to democracy because are about eight companies that own everything -- print media, radio, tv -- and that affects everything we do. Here's an anecdotal story: I went to UNM and taught a class on ethics in business, media and politics. I spoke to a student who interviewed Clear Channel execs and were told straight out that they promote the conservative agenda.

If that's fair, then who in big news media promotes the progressive agenda? The students couldn't name any major progressive news outfits except maybe NPR, which is seen as "neutral." This brings us to Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post -- and Rupert Murdock. He has had a terrible impact on news and politics, but he may finally be getting his due.

As for newspapers, the New York Times is what I read now. I need a hard-copy newspaper in the morning and that used to be the Albuquerque Journal but it's now very clear that most of what they provide is biased and slanted. They ignore or play down stories that don't fit their ideology. We now subscribe to the daily Times, not just the weekend editions, and we never manage to get through the entire paper. There are so many great stories, but there are very few of those kinds of news sources left, and many people don't have easy access. Where I come from they don't even sell the New York Times. so people don't really have access to the facts that are out there in the so-called "liberal media."

DFNM: We often have all the arguments and facts on our side, but we don't have the messaging to make the argument persuasively and widely enough to make a difference. 

DD: We don't, and I don't think either the local or the national folks are doing it that well. For example, in the 2000 in the Gore v. Bush presidential race, the Supreme Court pick won and I don't think the American people really understand that. On the local level we have all these communications trainings for candidates and all, but the party doesn't say, "we're going to hire a really professional and experienced communications officer and we're going to fund that generously." Instead, they bring in inexperienced people or people who work on it only part time.

DFNM: On the other hand, Republicans spend a lot of money on communications, supporting blogs and news outlets, developing effective short-term and long-term messaging strategies and hiring seasoned people to get the message out. Look at the local Rio Grande Foundation. They operate with relatively astounding amounts of money and other resources.

There don't seem to be any sophisticated communication strategies being implemented by Democrats that compete effectively with GOP operations. Even at the national level, Obama does his thing to work towards his reelection, but what's our bigger message as a party?

DD: I know. Consider The Independent. They take nonprofit foundation money so they can't really be seen as "partisan" in any way, even if the Rio Grande Foundation certainly is. They're not a useful business model in helping our cause. Their funding almost guarantees that they can't really be going after the stories they need to go after to show our side of things.

Click on photos for larger images. All photos by M.E. Broderick.

August 15, 2011 at 03:30 PM in Democratic Party, Diane Denish, Eric Griego, Media, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, NM-02 Congressional Race 2012, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Right Wing, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stephen Jones: Harry Truman Had It Right, Harry Teague Didn't

This is a post by contributing writer, Stephen Jones, of Las Cruces.

"Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time," President Harry Truman often said.

Faced with the so-called wisdom of the chattering class and the august advice of Washington's political insiders, Truman chose instead to take his own counsel and run his own re-election effort, his way. In the process, as we all should know, Truman transformed his often forecast loss into a solid victory, going away. In doing so, he overcame two fractious third-party efforts by former Democrats and recaptured both houses of Congress to boot.

A day after his historic election, from the rear of a train platform at St. Louis Union Station, Truman held aloft the famously overconfident journalistic faux pas of the Chicago Tribune, whose headline read, "Dewey Defeats Truman."


Harry Truman, as was most often the case, got it right. If Democrats expect to win they need to run on honest principles, get a backbone and stand for something. We need not look too far afield to see that Harry Truman's plainspoken wisdom still holds as true today as it did in 1948. Faced with difficult re-election efforts, two of New Mexico's freshmen Congressmen banked on totally opposite strategies, both in their voting records in Congress, and in their re-election efforts in 2010.

In New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, Martin Heinrich established a progressive voting record in Congress and ran forthrightly on that record in his re-election campaign. In New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District Harry Teague frequently ran away from the tough votes, or failed to support or deliver on many of the key national and local issues that he was first elected on, and which his constituency expected of him. Instead, he expended much of his energy and political capital trying to placate conservative voters in his southern New Mexico district that never had any intention of backing him for re-election and who were always destined to be far beyond his reach.

In his 2010 re-election efforts, Heinrich fielded an enthusiastic and energized base of supporters and won with over 52% of the vote in a district whose boundaries were drawn for his Republican predecessor. Teague, in contrast, ran campaign commercials running away from the Democratic Party and took an arms-length approach to the progressive base of voters in his district. Teague lost, and most importantly he lost badly, not at the hands of progressive critics, but by the votes of the very constituencies on which he had expended all his energy.

In his 2008 election, Harry Teague captured 50% of the vote in his home base, Lea County in far southeast New Mexico (see  ). In 2010, Harry Teague only garnered a devastating 21% of the vote in his home base (see  ). The same happened in Chaves and Eddy Counties.

In Doña Ana County, the largest county in the district, Teague captured 60% of the electorate in 2008 and held onto a solid 57% of the vote in his 2010 re-election effort. Harry Teague rolled up an even more impressive victory in Grant County, where he took 61% of the votes cast. In 2010, Teague won Luna and Hidalgo Counties as well.

Given the high registration numbers in Doña Ana County and the low voter turnout in Lea, Chaves and Eddy counties, Harry Teague might have won if he had been a little more progressive in the votes he cast in Congress, and if he had run another kind of campaign. Instead, he tried to play it safe. In the end, the majority of voters in the 2nd District just weren't all that happy with Harry Teague, and what had been a promising start to a Congressional career ended after only one term.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but last year's election should be instructive to Democrats everywhere, from the President on down the line, both inside and outside the power centers of the Washington, D.C. "beltway" and in Santa Fe. As Harry Truman told us back in 1948, when Democrats keep to their principles and stand for something, we win. When we don't, we lose.

To see more posts by Stephen, visit our archive.

April 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM in By Stephen Jones, Contributing Writer, Democratic Party, History, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Progressivism, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | |

Thursday, December 16, 2010

(Updated: Heinrich, Lujan Vote NO) House Passes Tax Cut Deal 277-148; Estate Tax Amendment Fails

Update: Rep. Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan voted NO. Rep. Harry Teague voted YES. Here's the roll call tally. I consider the NO votes of Martin and Ben Ray to be demonstrative of their having the courage of their convictions -- and the courage to represent ours. A deeply felt thank you goes out to both of them.
The House of Representatives has passed the Obama-GOP tax cut deal on a 277-148 vote, sending the bill to the president. Earlier, an amendment to make the estate tax cut smaller was defeated in response to threats that it would scuttle the entire tax deal because it would have to go back to the Senate. 139 Democrats voted for the deal and 112 opposed it. On the GOP side, 138 voted for it and 36 voted against it.

December 16, 2010 at 10:20 PM in Economy, Populism, Obama Administration, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Social Security, Taxes | |

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

U.S. House Passes DADT Repeal; Heinrich, Teague, Lujan Vote Yes

The U.S. House today passed a stand-alone bill to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) by a margin of 250-175. I can proudly report that all three of New Mexico's congressmen -- Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) -- voted yes. Unfortunately, a total of 15 misguided Democrats voted no on a measure that has long been strongly support by the American public as well as top military officials, and 5 Dems didn't vote.

As for the Republicans, 15 voted to repeal DADT, while 160 voted no and 4 didn't vote. Apparently 160 Republicans believe that politics and obstructionism should come before the doing the right thing by gay and lesbian members of the military like former Lt. Dan Choi. By the way, it was revealed today that Choi -- who was discharged from the service after coming out publicly on the Rachel Maddow show and who has been one of the most out-front and courageous fighters for equality in the armed services -- has been hospitalized at a VA facility due to suffering a "nervous breakdown." Pam's House Blend has a email from Choi discussing what happened and why. And in an email sent to from his iPhone, Choi said:

Anxiety attack and nervous breakdown after senate dadt ndaa vote. Overall stressors were many: family, homelessness, discharge and activist rollercoaster.

The Senate vote mentioned by Choi blocked movement of the defense spending bill that contained a provision to repeal DADT. Republicans voted en masse against cloture on the bill, stopping it in its tracks. While Republicans play political games, members of the military being punished and repressed by DADT continue to suffer.

The Dems are using a procedural tool to speed up action on the bill on the Senate side in the face of continuing obstructionism on the part of Republicans. The measure was passed in the House as an amendment to a bill called the Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act of 2009. As explained in the New York Times Caucus blog:

For procedural reasons aimed at circumnavigating some of the blocking efforts by Republicans in the Senate, the Democrats needed a legislative vehicle that the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, could call up without a round of votes that could take up the better part of a week.

And using the small business measure as a legislative “shell” does the trick. The language authorizing repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is substituted for the language in the small business bill. And presuming it is approved by the House [it passed today], it can be returned to the Senate as a privileged message making it easier for Mr. Reid to call it up.

Here's the DADT repeal text that was inserted into the small business bill.

Rep. Heinrich issued this statement after the vote:

If someone is willing to take up arms and defend this nation in our military, they shouldn’t face a policy of discrimination, period. Repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” continues a tradition that service to our country should be judged based on conduct and capability, not race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Rep. Heinrich is a cosponsor of H.R. 1283, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009, which would repeal the DADT policy. An amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that calls for a repeal of DADT passed the House on May 27, 2010 with the support of Rep. Heinrich.

Poll after poll show that the American people strongly support repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, released today, finds that nearly eight in 10 Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

The Department of Defense survey of service members on repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” released last month, also had striking results.  Seventy percent of service members believe that serving beside an openly gay colleague would have positive, mixed or no effect on unit cohesion.  And of the troops who believe that they have already worked with a gay service member, an overwhelming 92 percent believe that doing so was a very good, good, or neutral experience.

On November 30, 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, “I am determined to see that if the law is repealed,” he said, “the changes are implemented in such a way as to minimize any negative impact on the morale, cohesion and effectiveness of combat units that are deployed, or about to deploy to the front lines,” Gates said at a Pentagon news conference.

December 15, 2010 at 08:31 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, Military Affairs, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | |

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Teague: Representing New Mexico’s Second Congressional District has been the Greatest Honor of my Life

Hobbs, NM – Tuesday night, Harry Teague called Steve Pearce to congratulate him on winning the race to represent New Mexico’s second congressional district.

Teague gave prepared remarks to a crowd of family and long-time supporters:

“Thank you all for being here and for all the support you’ve given me over the years. From the County Commission to Congress, I owe it all to you – the people who believed in me enough to give me a chance to be your representative.

“Thousands of New Mexicans turned out to cast their vote today because they care about the future of New Mexico and the future of our country.

“I want to thank every New Mexican who voted in this election – no matter what political party you belong to or who you voted for. The most important thing is that you participated in our great democracy.

“You know, I like to say that when I started this, I had a lot of friends. And now, after driving tens of thousands of miles around the district to visit with my constituents ... well I have even more friends and my old friends ... well they’re even better friends now.

“By working with them, and all of you, we were able to start repairing our economy, we created jobs in New Mexico, we protected our veterans, and we finally started changing the way Washington works.

“You know as I was driving from Las Cruces to Alamogordo to Artesia and home to Hobbs today, I thought back to why I wanted to run for Congress ....

“Well, the answer to that is simple – I wanted to work side by side with you to make a better future for southern New Mexico.

“And I wanted to give back to a state and a country that have given me and my family so many wonderful opportunities.

“I can honestly say that next to being a husband, father and grandfather, the greatest honor of my life has been serving you as the Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district.

“Tonight, the vote didn’t go our way. And like you, I am disappointed.

"But when I think about going from being a kid who had to drop out of high school to go to work to help support my family after my parents got sick, to being your Congressman – well I guess the only thing I can say is WOW ... and thank you for giving me that honor.

“I want to wish Congressman Pearce luck as he returns to this very important job during a very difficult time. And I assure him that I and my office stand ready to assist with the transition during the next few weeks.”

November 2, 2010 at 11:17 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Congressman Harry Teague Rallies Student Support at NMSU

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NMSU students, Teague and student reporter

Contributing writer Stephen Jones checks in with more on-the-ground coverage from Southern New Mexico.

Congressman Harry Teague rallied student support outside the Corbett Student Center at New Mexico State University on Wednesday prior to the KRWG-TV debate between Teague and his Republican challenger Steve Pearce.

“It’s important that we put Democrats back into public office,” Teague told the students who came out to meet the candidate prior to the debate. Teague outlined his Congressional record on obtaining funding to support college and university students, and his backing for education funding targeted at returning veterans. “We’ve gotten more money for higher education in this Congress than at any time since the Montgomery GI Bill in the 1950’s,” Teague said.

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Teague speaks to students

“You’re going to hear from our opponent tonight that he thinks we’re putting too much money into education," Teague continued. "We think it’s important for our future that everyone who wants an education has an opportunity to go to college.” Teague did not limit his remarks to college students. “You’re also going to hear us debate tonight, not only about college education, but the importance of public education,” Teague said. “I want everyone to have a chance to get here, no matter where you’re from.”

Teague touched on a range of issues for the students, including immigration issues and the economy. “It’s very important that we don’t step back to the sort of de-regulation that got us into the mess we’re in today,” Teague said. “It’s very important that we don’t go back to the way things were, the ways which are making it so tough for so many of you to get to school, and for you and your parents to keep you here in school.”

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Teague, Brian Colón, Andy Segovia; Joel Cano and Teague

“We need to keep enough Democrats in Congress to keep even tougher times from happening,” Teague said. “It looks to me like Wall Street is gearing up to run all over Main Street, and pick our pockets again. Please go vote,” Teague told the students. “It’s not just important to keep Congress. It’s going to take all of us, from the Magistrate Judge to the Governor here in New Mexico.”

Teague was joined at the NMSU event by , Democratic Candidate for Lt. Governor, Andy Segovia, Democratic candidate for Doña Ana County Assessor, and Jose “Joel” Cano, candidate for Magistrate Judge.

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Aggie Brian Colón, NMSU students

“I have been all over southern New Mexico today,” said Colón, “I’ve knocked on doors all over this county, talking about how important it is to re-elect Congressman Teague and to elect Diane Denish our next Governor,” he said. “Let me tell you that there are some stark differences between us and our opponents."

"We believe that we need to continue to invest in education, because an investment in education is an investment in economic development in our state of New Mexico, Colón continued. "We have to maintain our investment, whether it is early childhood development, or post-secondary education, and to put money into first-class research and development institutions like New Mexico State University,” Colón said, adding, “and I’m proud to say there is only one ‘Aggie’ in this race for Lt. Governor, and that’s Brian Colón.”

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Segovia and Cano outlined the functions of their offices and pointed out the importance of NMSU students turning out to elect Democratic candidates in less visible “down-ballot” elections, such as themselves. Segovia told the students that he would continue to count on interns from the University if elected in November. Cano told the students, “One thing you need to consider is that if any of you, or those you know should ever be involved in some sort of infractions, you will be sent to the Magistrate Court. You want somebody who is fair and knowledgeable in the office. I urge you all to get out and vote.”

Photos by Stephen Jones. Click on photos for larger versions. To see more posts by Stephen, visit our archive.

October 28, 2010 at 12:29 AM in 2010 General Election, 2010 NM Governor's Race, 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, By Stephen Jones, Contributing Writer, Las Cruces, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Environment New Mexico Endorses Heinrich, Teague, Luján

Today Environment New Mexico, with over 13,000 members and activists, announced its endorsement of Representatives Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Harry Teague (NM-02) and Ben Ray Luján (NM-03) for this November’s election. The organization cited their records on dealing with our energy crisis, ending America’s dependence on oil and curbing global warming pollution. According to the organization, Heinrich, Teague and Luján voted for policies to create more than 11,000 clean energy jobs and cut energy costs by more than $450 per year per household in New Mexico.

“These candidates have been consistent and effective leaders, producing real results that are moving New Mexico toward energy independence, creating clean energy jobs and cracking down on dangerous carbon pollution,” said Sanders Moore, Advocate for Environment New Mexico, in a statement. “New Mexicans are at work today in jobs manufacturing solar energy systems and building wind farms, consumers are saving money and pollution is being reduced because of policies they have helped put in place"

Environment New Mexico pointed to the most recent Council of Economic Advisors’ report that shows the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is responsible for 19,000 jobs in New Mexico to date, including a large number of clean energy jobs.

“While campaign cash from Big Oil and the polluter lobby is drowning our political system, Representatives Heinrich, Teague and Lujan have consistently stood up to powerful interests and fought for our parks, the quality of our air and water and the promise of a clean energy economy,” said Moore.

Environment New Mexico will be mobilizing its members to support these candidates in the November election and to make sure their voice is heard on critical environmental issues facing New Mexico.

October 22, 2010 at 12:46 PM in Climate, Energy, Environment, NM-01 Congressional Race 2010, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, NM-03 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Join Harry Teague for 'Go Forward 2010' Early Vote Rallies in Lea and Chavez Counties

On Wednesday, October 20, Harry Teague will host rallies in Hobbs and Roswell to encourage voters to vote early.

Teague will be in his hometown, Hobbs, for a morning rally where he will also cast his vote. The rally takes place from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM at 124 E. Broadway in Hobbs. At 10:30 AM, you can walk along with Harry and vote at the Lea County Complex at 1923 N. Dal Paso.

Later that evening, Teague will join local candidates, Michael Trujillo, Eloy Ortega, Oscar Gonzalez and Fred Moran in Roswell to encourage early voting. The rally is set for 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM at 903 E. Vista Parkway in Roswell.

October 19, 2010 at 02:54 PM in 2010 General Election, Events, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Harry Teague Rallies Early Voters in Doña Ana County

Click for photo album

Note: Early voting began on October 16, 2010 and will continue through October 30, 2010. Click on your county for early voting locations in your area. Sample ballots are available here.

Contributing writer Stephen Jones checks in with more on-the-ground coverage from Southern New Mexico.

Congressman Harry Teague joined other Democratic candidates in rallying Democratic voters at a series of early vote events in Doña Ana County on Saturday. Events were held at Chaparral, Sunland Park, Anthony, Mesilla and Las Cruces.

“I want to continue to be your strong independent voice in Washington,” Congressman Teague told voters. He outlined his accomplishments of his first term and reminded voters that he, unlike his predecessor, has had an open door and engaged in frequent outreach the 2nd Congressional District. He pointed to his many Harry in Your Hometown events, his sponsorship of the national “Katie’s Law” and his initiative to slash Congressional pay for the first time in 77 years. “When I went to Washington, the nation was bleeding millions of jobs. From that difficult start, we have turned the corner,” Teague said.

He contrasted his own strong record with that of his opponent, Steve Pearce, the Republican who preceded him, and now seeks to recapture the office. “They drove us into the ditch,” Teague charged. “Now Pearce says he has ideas to turn us around. If he had so many good ideas, he probably should have raised them when he held the office.” Teague summed up the accomplishments of his predecessor with a single sentence, “He’s pretty much all hat and no cattle,” he said.

Other Democrats outlined the accomplishments of Doña Ana’s Democratic office holders including Teague. Councillor of Las Cruces reminded voters that many of the Republican candidates for state office are running on a platform of rolling back regulation of the mining industry. “Do you know when the last time we had new regulations on that industry in New Mexico? 1872!” Small said. “Just how many generations into the past do they want to go?”

State Representative Jeff Steinborn noted the progress that has been made in education, health, and economic development in recent years. He urged voters to get out and vote to keep the state moving forward. He reminded Democrats that this is a turnout election. His colleague, State Representative Nate Cote emphasized that Democrats from Doña Ana County have been leaders in bringing transparency and ethics to the legislature, while State Representative Joseph Cervantes reminded voters what New Mexico was like under gridlocked government. “My colleagues never experienced the government by veto and complete lack of direction that passed for a governing philosophy under Republican leadership in New Mexico,” he said.

Other candidates appearing at the Doña Ana Events were State Representative Mary Helen Garcia, State Representative Joni Gutierrez, Appellate Judge Mannie Arrieta, Magistrate Judge Olivia Garcia, Bill McCamley, candidate for Public Regulation Commission, Andy Segovia, candidate for Doña Ana County Assessor, Juan “JR” Stewart, candidate for Sheriff, Jose “Joel” Cano, candidate for Magistrate Judge, and Billy Garrett, candidate for Doña Ana County Board.

Photos by Stephen Jones. To see more posts by Stephen, visit our archive.

October 17, 2010 at 11:20 AM in 2010 General Election, 2010 NM Legislature Races, By Stephen Jones, Contributing Writer, Democratic Party, Las Cruces, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Today 10/16: Las Cruces Early Vote Rally with Harry Teague and Dems

Please join Harry Teague, Nate Cote, Jeff Steinborn,
Billy Garrett and other local candidates
for an Early Vote Rally
Meet the candidates and vote early!
The event will be held at:
Johnson Park
Corner of Picacho and Main St., Las Cruces
Saturday, October 16th, from 5:00 – 6:00 PM

For more information, contact Luke at or (575) 556-4965.

October 16, 2010 at 09:53 AM in 2010 General Election, 2010 NM Legislature Races, Las Cruces, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Records Show Congressman Pearce Diverted Thousands in Taxpayer Funds to Pay for Travel on Private Planes Owned by His Companies

Steve Uh oh. Financial records never released to the public by Steve Pearce (I wonder why) show that during his six years as the Congressman for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, Congressman Pearce diverted more than $17,000 in taxpayer funds to his own companies to cover the cost of flying in his personal private planes. This is the guy, remember, who insists he's dedicated to saving the taxpayers money. That's what he says, but his behavior while in office says otherwise.

Financial records show that between 2003 and 2006, Pearce charged taxpayers 14 times for flights on his personal private planes (registered to Gree, LLC/LTD and Trinity Industries Inc.) that were then charged to taxpayers for a total of $17,483 in “private plane travel disbursements,” according to a statement and documentation released late this afternoon by the Teague campaign. The record of taxpayer payments to Pearce-owned companies was found in the Statement of Disbursements of the House as Compiled by the Chief Administrative Officer for the years 2003-2006.

“Congressman Pearce's history of corruption and hypocrisy is catching up with him. First we discovered that Pearce pocketed $46,000 in taxpayer-funded pay raises and now he’s been caught paying himself over $17,000 in taxpayer funds just so he could fly around in luxury on his own private planes,” Teague Campaign Manager, Dominic Gabello said. “This is just another example of the greed-driven behavior that has resulted in Congressman Pearce being named ‘One of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress’ -- TWICE.”

Get the Facts:

Pearce Affiliation with Gree LLC
Gree LLC/LTD is listed on Congressman Pearce’s Personal Financial Disclosure Forms filed between 2003 and 2010. The Corporations Bureau of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission lists Congressman Steve Pearce and his wife Cynthia Pearce as Officers of Gree, LTD. There are no other officers listed.

Pearce Affiliation with Trinity Industries Inc.
Trinity Industries Inc. is listed on Congressman Pearce’s Personal Financial Disclosure Forms filed between 2004 and 2010. The Corporations Bureau of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission lists Congressman Steve Pearce as the President and his wife, Cynthia Pearce as the Secretary of Trinity Industries Inc.


Congressional Private Plane Travel

Quarter 3 2003
Gree, LLC: $3,207.63

Quarter 4 2003
Gree, LLC: $1,738.09

Quarter 2 2004
Gree, LLC: $581.07

Quarter 3 2004
Gree, LLC: $1,585.04
Gree, LLC: $819.88
Gree, LLC: $810.93

Quarter 4 2004
Gree, LLC: $461.68
Gree, LLC: $572.13

Quarter 3 2005
Gree, LLC: $673.42

Quarter 1 2006
Trinity Industries, INC: $1,523.36
Gree, LLC: $1,363.30
Trinity Industries, INC: $1,135.75

Quarter 2 2006
Trinity Industries, INC: $457.50
Gree, LLC: $2,553.29

Total: 17,483.07

(Information provided by the Teague campaign.)

Fight Back: Arrogant and elitist, isn't it? That's why the DFNM blog has started an ActBlue page called StandWithTeague to support Harry Teague's battle against Pearce in this rough election cycle. With lots of outside money pouring into right-wing coffers here in New Mexico, we have to fight back.

If you can afford to donate $5, $10 or more to Harry's campaign, we'd be much obliged. Every dollar counts as we head into the final weeks before the election.

October 14, 2010 at 06:07 PM in NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Steve Pearce, Taxes | |

Harry Teague’s “Energy Jobs for Vets” Becomes Law

HarryTeague On Wednesday, Harry Teague’s Energy Jobs for Veterans Act (H.R. 4592) was signed into law. The legislation, endorsed by many New Mexico veterans groups and energy companies, provides on-the-job training, apprenticeship, real experience, and long-term employment in all energy fields to veterans. It was signed into law along with other provisions of the Veterans Benefits Act of 2010.

“This is a common sense law that will address three of our top priorities -- putting New Mexicans back to work, working to increase our energy independence through a “Do It All, Do It in New Mexico” approach, and supporting our veterans who risked their lives for this country. This law will ensure that those who fought for their country abroad will be able to continue their work for the security of our country when they return home – by getting a job, and a career, producing our energy right here in America,” said Harry Teague, a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

“Our service men and women who fought enemies funded by foreign oil purchased with American dollars can now come home to a job and continue their work for our national security – this time with a career in the energy industry that cannot be shipped overseas,” Teague continued.

The program will fund state-based programs that will reimburse energy employers for apprenticeship and on-the-job training provided to veterans, according to a statement released by Rep. Teague's office. The program would be available to employers across multiple energy fields, including oil and gas, energy efficient building, construction and retrofits, renewable electric power, biofuel production, energy efficiency assessment, and nuclear power. Unlike other employment training programs for veterans, the Energy Jobs for Veterans Act ensures that a veteran has the security of employment while he or she receives training and apprenticeship. Eligible employers are offered a strong incentive to hire a veteran because companies will be reimbursed for his or her training.

The bill was introduced following a roundtable discussion with New Mexico veterans that Harry Teague held in Valencia County focused on expanding job opportunities for Veterans. The legislation quickly garnered praise from across industry and veterans organizations, receiving the endorsement of PNM Resources, Sapphire Energy, Louisiana Energy Services (LES), Armstrong Energy Corporation, Center for Excellence in Hazardous Materials Management (CEHMM), Las Cruces Green Chamber, New Mexico Department of Disabled American Veterans (NMDAV), New Mexico Department of Veterans Services (NMDVS), New Mexico Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Marine Corps League of New Mexico.

“The men and women who proudly and bravely served our country deserve all of the opportunities possible when it comes to job creation. This program will give New Mexico’s veterans the critical training and resources necessary to help them join our growing energy industry and combat the high unemployment rate in our veteran community,” said NMDVS Secretary John Garcia.

A Department of Labor report from June shows the unemployment rate for young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at 11.5 percent. New male veterans face an unemployment of 10.8 percent, compared with 15.5 percent for new female veterans.

Check out Teague's other achievements working for veterans.

October 14, 2010 at 05:21 PM in Energy, Jobs, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Veterans | |