Monday, March 31, 2008

Interview with Eric Griego, State Senate District 14

I met Eric in the South Valley during the 2006 campaigns. He was working part time at the community college where I work. I like Eric because he has shown over time that he cares about the local south valley community that he grew up in and he also cares about seeing that our children get a quality education. The South Valley needs someone like Eric in state government so that their issues will be fairly heard in Santa Fe. We are very lucky to have individuals like Eric who come back to the community after college and want to stand up for their old neighborhood. I would encourage people to vote for him for State Senate District 14.

The Interview:

Do you have a campaign web site? Yes,

How old are you? 42

What is your favorite subject area and what was the last book you read?

I like biographies. The latest book I read was Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope.

Tell us about your family?

I have a large extended family most of whom still lives in the Albuquerque area. My mother’s family comes from the Socorro area and my father’s family comes from near Santa Rosa. My mother raised five children, I am the youngest. I have a daughter, Melissa, who is 20.

What are your connections to the community in district 14?

I was born and raised in Barelas, which is in the northern part of the Senate district I hope to represent. I continue to be active in the neighborhood association and participate actively in my local church, Sacred Heart. As an Albuquerque City Councilor, I represented about one third of the Senate District.

Where did you get your education and why did you decide to work here in Albuquerque, New Mexico?

I graduated from Albuquerque High School is 1984. I went to New Mexico State University and received a degree in Journalism and Government in 1989. In 1991, I received my Master degree in public management from the University of Maryland. New Mexico is home and I’m driven to make my community and state a better place to raise our families.

What is your work history?

I have over two decades of practicing, teaching and studying public policy, including work at the local, state, national and international level. In addition to my prior elected office as an Albuquerque City Councilor, I served as the Assistant Secretary of Economic Development for New Mexico. Today, I am the Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children, a non-profit policy, research and advocacy organization.

Tell us the experience and qualities you think would make you a good State Senator?

As a Headstart graduate and a product of the public school system, I believe that we must invest in our children and families. I believe that we are all in this together, and that our elected officials must fight for working families, like mine. I have a record of standing up to special interests, to fighting for issues such as healthcare and ethics reform, and improving our public education.

What distinguishes you from your opponent?

The most telling distinction is the interests we represent.

What is the biggest problem(s) facing New Mexico State Senate district 14 when it comes to woman’s issues and what would you do to help solve them?

Women still face challenges in the workforce including disparate wages, lack of family supports such as affordable healthcare, childcare and issues. I believe that we must look comprehensively at issues facing women and families in our state—from pre-kindergarten education, to access to healthcare, creating better paying jobs. I believe with the right leadership in Santa Fe we can begin to push for the reforms we need.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What can a Political Activist do for Your Community

I just got through reading Senator Barack Obama’s book Dreams from my Father, A Story of Race and Inheritance. Senator Obama was a community organizer after he got out of college in the early eighties. He went to Chicago’s lower south side to help community leaders improve conditions for the people who lived in those neighborhoods.

I can relate to his work in that area because I call myself a political activist. I work with politicians in order to help improve the standard of living in my own local community. I have no desire to become a politician so most politicians welcome the opportunity to work with me because they know in the long run that it will be a beneficial relationship for both of us. I first started out trying to work with my neighborhood association only to find that they did not want to get involved with policies. Like most people at the time they felt it was a dirty word. I find that the only way to bring about real change is to get the attention of the local politicians who represent your area of the city. Those politicians are responsible for how government funds are spent to improve local communities. Without the help of local city and state representative’s neighborhood only tend to decline over time. It truly is a matter of the noisy people getting the most attention from local government.

I moved to my part of the city about seven year ago. My neighborhood had just started on a long decline that has only gotten worse over the last few years. Since I am a handicapped single mother I live in an apartment complex because it is easier to have other people do the yard work and keep up a pool for me. I could not afford high priced apartment complexes because I live on a substitute teaching salary. I wanted some place quiet and safe because I had a small child. I wanted some place where my neighbors were liberal because I am a liberal. I like the apartment complex that I live in because it is brick and reminds me of a place I lived in back east when I first got out of college in the early eighties. I like the tree lined streets because it gives the area a feel of community.

Over the last seven years a number of issues have come to the forefront that needs attention so that we can improve our local community in this part of the city. We need a larger library with more books and longer service hours so that our children will have access to those learning supplies. We need a larger community center that provides more than just a small room that no one in the neighborhood even known about. We need to do something about the local convince store that sells alcoholic drinks to people who are homeless and drug addicted. Those poor people are driving off businesses that could help improve our community. Those individuals also break into our businesses and homes in order to get money to buy drugs and alcohol to feed their habits. We need to increase community policing in our community so that local authorizes are aware of their activities. If the decline in our area of the city is to be turned around than someone needs to speak out on these issues.

As a political activist I can only try to get the people who live in my community to register and vote so that the local politicians see that we care about the issues. I want them to see that the residents of our community care about getting our issues addressed in the near future. One of my biggest problems is that because I am white and well spoken politicians often mistake me for someone who lives in a nicer part of the city. They are surprised when I tell them that I live on the edge of a community that is in desperate need of help. They think that I should be married to someone who can give me and my child a stable home and lots of money. My family feels the same way.

Well I am not married to anyone at all and it is up to me to provide support for my community and my small family so I got over it a long time ago and I freely tell them to do the same. I learned how to speak up for myself and those around me. I know that not everyone understand or is appreciative of what I am trying to do for our community and myself. Some people fear bringing attention to themselves out of a since of pride or fear of what the results will be in the long run. They know that if a community gets better that often lower income people are simply driven out of the community to some other place within the city. Some people truly think that they don’t deserve to be treated as other people are treated. I refuse to accept that anyone should be treaded different just because of the level of their income or the color of their skin. Everyone should have the right to speak up for improvement in their community’s basic needs not matter what their skin color or income level. We do have a long way to go before the people in charge of government in this city treat people of color on the same level as those of us who have white skin color. In my area of the city there is a large population of Native Americans and Spanish speaking individuals this does not help when they asks for money to support community improvement or development.

Up until our last city election our local representative on our city council was as white as I am but now we have someone who is Hispanic. I had to stop and explain where I live because every time he see me he thinks that I am nothing more than that rich white girl who gives him a hard time about improving our local community. One of these days he will remember where I live and I am sure that I will be able to convenience him that our community is in need of improvements. Last time we talked I ask him for a new and bigger community center for our part of the city. Once he knew where I lived then he had to agreed that we did need to do something about that community center. Some times I think that he needs to dream a lot bigger then he does for our community. The city did get around to recognizing that across the major street from where I live needs improvement. This will give us funds to improve that area of the city. With the local hospital leaving our part of the city, we need more businesses and redevelopment. We need someone to look at our area of the city and we need to look at having a redevelopment plan that takes into consideration the people who already live in this area of the city. We have a middle school which is surrounded by sex offenders. The children are not safe to walk home from that middle school but nothing is ever said or done about the problem. As a parent I personally have no problem driving sex offered out of my community. I would also like to see more programs to deal directly with drug and alcohol addiction in our community. We need someone out on that main street at 9:00 am every morning who has training on how to help the people who cross the street and come into my neighborhood. Last but by no means least our local church leaders should step up and start helping the homeless around our community. We have a church on the corner of where our community is having problems with homeless people coming into our community but I don’t hear them doing anything to help these poor people. I don’t see any activities going on at that church but weekend services. Maybe they could reach out to help these homeless people.

In the end what we need are more people like me who are willing to stand up and talk to local politicians who control the funding and get them to support improvements in our local community.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Big Bill Supports Tom Udall for New Mexico Senate Seat

Tom Udall is one of our best, brightest and most talented democratic candidates in this state. His views on issues are clear, concise, and right on target every single time. He will become a historic senator for the State of New Mexico in the very near future. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall will make an unbeatable team that will lead our country back in the right direction when it comes to the economy, the war in Iraq, and education. We could not have a better dream team as our U.S. Senators.

Today I got an email from our Governor, Bill Richardson, and this is some of what it said:

“My Friend Tom Udall‏

Dear Mary,

I've known Tom Udall for more than 25 years. But more than just being my good friend, he has shown himself time and again to be a voice for reason and solid Democratic values.

In fact, he was one of the very few Members of Congress to have the courage to vote against the War in Iraq, even when George W. Bush was stampeding the entire country into an invasion that we now know was completely unjustified and ultimately deeply damaging to America. You can hear Tom talk very eloquently about his plan to end the war by clicking

You, I and all of America need his wisdom now in the U.S. Senate--particularly when we've seen how 49 Republicans can block the entire progress of the country through political maneuvering and threats of filibuster.”

I stand firmly on my support of Tom Udall for our next U.S. Senator.

Like always our Governor is engaged in the process of encouraging activists to stand strong for our party and to be positive roll models for the voting public. I find that with representatives like him that our job of getting good, caring, honest and strong democratic candidates elected is made a great deal easier. Governor Richardson is always the first to add a kind word (not that he would admit it) when he sees that someone is working hard to make our party stronger.

“My fondest hope for you, Mary, and every other activist is that you remain engaged in this election as well. And that you support my friend Tom Udall's campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Thank you for being the kind of American who is willing to stand up for what you believe.”

I would like to encourage more people to get involved at the local level by contacting your local ward or precincts chair. Your can find their information at: Democratic Party of Bernalillo County. We need more people to step up and take an active roll in our party. We need people who are willing to be good leaders and roll models for this county and our state. I know they can count on the support and assistance of our Governor Bill Richardson and Our State Party Chairman Brian Colon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

How New Mexicans can help the Governor of West Virginia with the Healthcare Issue

I got this email from the Governor of my old home state, West Virginia, today. Governor Joe Manchin wants true life stories about how bad the healthcare problem is all across the country. He wants to make it real for the people in Washington. I wanted to pass this along to my readers so he would have lots of stories from New Mexico, my new home state for the past 20 years, to take with him to Washington. Healthcare is not going to get any better unless the people stand up and make the people in Washington understand that we need affordable healthcare. Our Governor, Bill Richardson, tried to pass healthcare reform but the details stopped the bill in our state. We need a national answer to the national problem of healthcare in this country. Why should any one state have to go it alone?

Dear Mary,

It's no secret that not enough Americans can afford access to quality health care. While the economy suffers, health care costs just keep going up. If you want to know how bad the problem really is, just walk into any American middle-class community, and start asking about health care - folks are struggling, and they're worried it's just going to get worse.

I'm asking you: What's your health care story?

Democratic Governors not only understand how bad the health care problem is, but we're a step ahead when it comes to taking action. Across the country, we are expanding access to affordable health care. Here in West Virginia, for example, we've expanded access for families by creating low-income clinics around the state, improving access to affordable medications, and providing options for folks who change their jobs.

As Chair of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), I want to do more for families across the country. While the DGA has fought hard in Washington, D.C. to increase access to health care, especially for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, out here in the states, we haven't gotten the help we need - particularly for working Americans.

We're urging you to send your story now because we want your voice calling with ours for more help from Washington for American families. When Democratic Governors go to Washington to work for a stronger health care partnership with the federal government, we want to take your stories with us.

We're issuing an urgent call for your story because we need your help. Tell us how the cost of health care affects your life.

Some folks in Washington just don't understand how tough it is out here in every corner of the country. Your story will help convince them that health care isn't just a topic, a debate, or even a bill in Congress. It's real people who get sick and need help to get better, so they can go back to work or to school.

I believe in the power of stories, and I believe yours can help change the way Washington sees health care.

Please give me your story today.

Yours truly,
Joe Manchin
Governor of West Virginia
Democratic Governors Association Chair

Treat Educators and Instructional Support Staff as Value Adding Positions

This chart shows what the inflation percentage was as of March 25, 2008. I don’t know about anyone else out there but it is not looking like this is going to get any better in the near future. When is it going to become crystal clear to Administration that when you live paycheck to paycheck that a 1% or 1.5% decrease in your ability to pay your bills will aversely affect how you live and how you feel toward the college you work for when it comes to employee happiness ratings? They have to see that at some point this will also affect the quality of the people working at their college. Part of valuing students is to value the people who work with them on an everyday of the week bases. Put your money where you mouth is if you value students than value the people who work with them. Valuing employees is not going to start at some other college. It has to start at your college or it will not start anywhere. Saying that no one values educational employees is not an excuse for your college to devalue them in anyway. Saying that you are the top of the garbage heap is nothing to brag about either. Until our local college starts to value employees they have no hope of ever bringing up the success numbers for students. When your product is education then educators and instructional support staff become value added positions for your product.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pay decrease of 1.5% for educational employees at local college

Inflation is projected to be 4.5% this year and we are going to get a 3% raise. Enrollment is projected to rise because of the down turn (aka recession) in the economy. The college will make more money from increased enrollment which is good for the college but how does that affect people who are effectively getting a 1.5% pay decrease in their paychecks? The college president says that the cost of food, travel, and housing are going up for students therefore we should not raise the cost of tuition. I can understand that this is difficult for students because they go to college to get good paying jobs so they don’t have to worry about inflation. They assume like I did that once you get a college education that your employer would raise your pay so as no to harm you when it comes to the cost of food, travel, and housing. Why is it that educational employees always get the short end of the stick? Is it wrong to want to educate future business leaders who will make far more then you could every hope to be paid? What are we teaching them about the value of education when we don’t even give educational employees a raise that matches the current projected inflation level for the year?

How do you define “Investigation?”

Someone recently asked me how I define “Investigation.”

“Investigation.--The process of inquiring into or tracking down through inquiry. Mason v. Peaslee, 173 C.A.2d 587, 343 P.2d 805, 808.”

“Investigate.—To follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry.”

While we are at it let get it out of the way what “Deposition” means.

“Deposition.—The testimony of a witness taken upon oral question or written interrogatories, not in open court, but in pursuance of a commission to take testimony issued by a court, or under a general law or court rule on the subject, and reduced to writing and duly authenticated, and intended to be used in preparation and upon the trial of a civil action or criminal prosecution.”

I just wanted everyone to be real clear on what the terms mean so there is no confusion as to what I am asking for in the future. I especially like the highlighted part of the second definition since any questions I might have would be on where or not people were being investigated in order to decide if charges should be filed for the violation of any state or local laws. So I hope this makes my point on what I mean when I ask if there is an ongoing investigation into the possibility of wrong doing on anyone’s part.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Republican Scandal and Big Bill's Beard

Republican scandal still alive

I sent an email last week to the Director of Communications Phil Sisneros at the Attorney General’s Office because I wanted an update on where the AG’s office is standing on the Republican Vote buying Scandal. Attorney General Gary King is a well respected man and has always supported the protection of voters in Bernalillo County. I know that he always tries his best to keep the voters informed as to his office’s stand on issues that may affect the public. This was the reply that I received from the AG’s Office.

"We are evaluating the information given to us by the SOS at this time in order to determine our next course of action, which may or may not include an investigation. And yes, we also received from the SOS a letter written to their office from Dave Cargo."

Some of the Republican bloggers would love for this issue to just go away but after talking to Secretary of State Mary Herrera at the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County’s monthly meeting I am not so sure that they are going to get their way on this one. I know the issue has been raised that one of our candidates for the third congressional district paid for hotel rooms for 20 delegates. I would not want anyone in our party to start thinking that it is just fine with us that anyone in this state get away with buying votes at any delegate convention. This may just turnout to be an issue that will have to be handled on the state government level. Reform is clearly needed in this area if we are to have a process that does not violate the spirit of our state laws. In my view delegates should be required by law to report any gifts of money or benefits given to them by candidates that are above a certain monetary level. I think that caps should be placed on what a candidate can give a delegate. Clearly freebies like t-shirts and cheap bags are not likely to influence anyone’s vote where as paying a thirty dollar fee and paying an hourly wage is going to influence who a delegate votes for in an election.

First Lady Barbara Richardson is right

Barbara Richardson is completely right. Big Bill should shave the beard. On this issue I am just going to have to totally side with the State’s First Lady. Wives’ should always have the last say when it comes to facial hair on their husband.

As for the name calling in the national race, shame on anyone who would be willing to go on national television and call another candidate’s supporter a bad name, I feel that we should be trying to unite our party not divide it and name calling is a juvenile behavior. This is not a playground fight but a contest between two very gifted talented leaders. One of them is going to have to beat John McCain in the fall. I think both candidates should tell their supporters that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable. My only question for that gentleman is what type of example are you setting for our children? Didn’t your mother teach you better than that type of behavior in public?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Civilized Peaceful Culture or War and Death

I survived a weekend without politics

I spent a lovely weekend playing with my daughter. We watched the movie Enchanted with the lead star Doctor McDreamy—Patrick Dempsey. He played a single father with a young daughter who met and fell in love with a bride to a prince from the animated world. She was sent to the real world by the prince’s evil stepmother to keep her from marrying the prince. My daughter loved the movie. I think at times she would love to have a father of her very own. We went to the Rio Grande Nature Center on Saturday and checked out the new bridges. I think they should develop a walking path along the new ditch. We then went to the Bio Park on Sunday and took a walk in the Asian Gardens. I always find it peaceful and my daughter loves it because she gets a chance to tell her mother all about what is going on in her world. By the way while reading, yes I even got the chance to read, a book this weekend I came across this description of the perfect mate.

He is single or divorced. His occupation is lawyer or politician or both. Intellectual—He can participate in more esoteric discussions with me and our friends. This is important because I like to learn new things from my partner. Leader—He knows how to take charge both at home and at work, so I feel safe knowing that if things get out of control, he can step in and make them right. Does not feel the need to control every little detail but knows when to step in while still respecting my feelings. Wise—He thinks before he acts because he has learned from his experience. This is important to me because I sometimes want guidance from someone close that I can trust and would love to have a partner who can give me some real advice. Political crusader— He must be a democrat. I’m not sure if he’d rather talk politics or have sex. Or have sex while talking politics. Any of the three choices would be good with me. He is affectionate—Shows his emotion though touches, hugs and kisses. He has an actively involved parenting style. He is compassionate but remains level-headed. He is open to compromise—is willing to care about my feelings when the issue is very important to me. He is somewhat observant of the same religion as me. He sees religion as a comfort. Hair color, hair style—Light brown or gray not too long but no crew cuts, eye color—any color ok, age—between 45 and 60 years of age, height—taller than 5 feet but shorter than 6’2 feet, body type—average and a nice voice—someone who like to talk when the time is right and can control the tone of his voice.

If anyone knows someone like this you can feel free to point him in my direction.

Now to a heartbreaking note:

Four Thousand Dead!

Will this war never end? How many of our young men and women have to die before someone will put an end to this endless war in Iraq? In war people die but in peace people develop civilized culture. The ultimate question is which do we the American people want to be known for around the world?

One has to wonder how we here in America can turn a blind eye to what our country is doing in far away places while we enjoy a life style of peace and culture. The news said this morning that on average one American is dying a day in this War but unless we are related to the men and women that are dying we take no notice of the pain and suffering. We are living in our own little fantasy world while good people are dying.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Sunday is Tomorrow

Time to take the day off from all of the things going on around the state when it comes to local politics and enjoy the benefits that federal, state, and local government have managed to give us here in Albuquerque and also around our great state of New Mexico.

Sandia Mountians

To the east is the Sandia Mountains with picnic areas and walking trails, to the west is the Rio Grande River with picnic area and walking trails, to the North is Santa Fe with shopping and old town and to the South is T or C with hot springs and the butte or Silver City with Mountains and Cave Dwellings. We are truly blessed to live in the “Land of Enchantment.” Want to see more pictures of our enchanted land check it out at my webshots. This political junkie is going to take the weekend off and enjoy it with her daughter. I will be back on Monday with lots of political news from around the state. Yes, it is killing me too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Big Bill picked Senator Obama

Why is it even when the Governor sends out an email in the middle of the night that it ends up on the news before I get to read my email in the morning? We in New Mexico know that our Governor has the bad habit of never sleeping. I am sure that important decisions about our state government are often made in the wee hours of the night by our governor. Talk about a 24/7 an hour job. I still value his attempt to let his supporters know what and why he had decided to support Senator Obama before he contacted the press. It shows that he values the citizens of his home state above all others.

So here is the email everyone should read it for themselves:

Dear Mary,

During the last year, I have shared with you my vision and hopes for this nation as we look to repair the damage of the last seven years. And you have shared your support, your ideas and your encouragement to my campaign. We have been through a lot together and that is why I wanted to tell you that, after careful and thoughtful deliberation, I have made a decision to endorse Barack Obama for President.

We are blessed to have two great American leaders and great Democrats running for President. My affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver. It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall. The 1990's were a decade of peace and prosperity because of the competent and enlightened leadership of the Clinton administration, but it is now time for a new generation of leadership to lead America forward. Barack Obama will be a historic and a great President, who can bring us the change we so desperately need by bringing us together as a nation here at home and with our allies abroad.

Earlier this week, Senator Barack Obama gave an historic speech that addressed the issue of race with the eloquence, sincerity, and optimism we have come to expect of him. He inspired us by reminding us of the awesome potential residing in our own responsibility. He asked us to rise above our racially divided past, and to seize the opportunity to carry forward the work of many patriots of all races, who struggled and died to bring us together.

As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words. I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants--specifically Hispanics-- by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result and now, in tough economic times, people look for scapegoats and I fear that people will continue to exploit our racial differences--and place blame on others not like them. We all know the real culprit -- the disastrous economic policies of the Bush Administration!

Senator Obama has started a discussion in this country long overdue and rejects the politics of pitting race against race. He understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our differences can we all succeed together as Americans.
His words are those of a courageous, thoughtful and inspiring leader, who understands that a house divided against itself cannot stand. And, after nearly eight years of George W. Bush, we desperately need such a leader.

To reverse the disastrous policies of the last seven years, rebuild our economy, address the housing and mortgage crisis, bring our troops home from Iraq and restore America's international standing, we need a President who can bring us together as a nation so we can confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad.

During the past year, I got to know Senator Obama as we campaigned against each other for the Presidency, and I felt a kinship with him because we both grew up between words, in a sense, living both abroad and here in America. In part because of these experiences, Barack and I share a deep sense of our nation's special responsibilities in the world.

So, once again, thank you for all you have done for me and my campaign. I wanted to make sure you understood my reasons for my endorsement of Senator Obama. I know that you, no matter what your choice, will do so with the best interests of this nation, in your heart.

Bill Richardson

I have to agree with the governor that this is the time for the Democratic Party to come together and make a stand for the ideas and values that will make the differences in the future of our country. Now is not the time for Democrats to walk away from voting just because their candidate did not get picked. We have two great candidates and either one will be far, far better than Senator John McCain. So every democrat should keep in mind that United we stand and divided we fall.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Monthly Meeting

"The "Third-Thursday" meeting for March is scheduled for March 20th, with Mary Herrera, Secretary of State and Maggie Oliver-Toulouse, Bernalillo County Clerk as the speakers for this evening’s event. The meeting is held at the UNM Law Library on the UNM main campus in room 2401. The address of the Law Library is: 1117 Stanford NE, Albuquerque NM. The meeting starts at 6:00 pm and all democrats are welcome to attend.

Republican Party Blood Letting

The Republican Party is like a waterhole full of hungry alligators given the chance they will eat their own young and feel no remorse whatsoever for doing it. The U.S. Senate race in New Mexico maybe the thing that most divides their party this election year. It already looks like the southern part of the state is starting their first course of baby alligator. Congresswoman Heather Wilson while disliked by democrats because of the way she swings back and forth between just right-of-center and the far right wing is beginning to drag down southern republican candidates that have supported her in the past. Maybe she should try spending a little of her vote buying cash for her baby republican candidates in the south although I am sure she is not bothered in the least by the blood letting.

When it comes to the democratic candidate for the senate seat-Tom Udall, no one in this state enjoys more support from our party which is united to stop the war in Iraq and put the economy back on track in the direction that best serves the American people.

We, the Democratic Party, have a lot of very good local candidates in the U.S. House races and the State Senate races that I think should be spotlighted before Election Day. I am working on interviews with a number of these candidates but they are careful and it takes time for them to get their interviews back to me. I also understand that a few of them are gun shy because of the way republican leaning bloggers have portrayed their image in the past. The candidates can rest assured that I will not speak out against any of them unless they try to drag our party through the mud in order to get media coverage from the republican controlled news outlets in this state or if they show themselves to be so corrupt that no one in this state could support them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Warped version of Robinhood played by Bush Administration

The Bush Administration is playing a warped version of Robinhood. Home owners are losing their equity everyday but the Bush Administration keeps telling people that they can not bail them out. This has not stopped them from bailing out the richest investing banks in the country. It is called robbing from the poor to give to the rich. It would appear that the Bush Administration does not know what the meaning of the term “fair play” is for their administration. “Brutal New American Business Ethic” is the way some people are beginning to describe the fact that this Administration will bail out large financial institution’s interests but turns a blind eye as the middle class working families in this country become homeless.

The investment banks that are getting bailout are taking these steps to assure larger profits in the future: one they have not been passing all of their interest rate savings to customers, two they have started restricting lending only to the most documented, creditworthy applicants, and third they are limiting the total amount in dollars that they are willing to lend. These behaviors have stopped the flow of any help that goes to them from reaching the consumers. The profits from the low cost money the investment banks are allowed to borrow is not being pasted on to the consumers but is being reinvested in high interest Treasury bonds which in turn help the government pay for their high cost war. The net result of all of this is that inflation is going up at an alarming rate, the cost of goods and services are going up and our country is seeing the worst effects of recession that it has seen since the 1920s and 1930s. At this rate no republican will stand a chance of getting elected in November no matter how liberal they claim to have been in the past. As Bill Clinton once told the republicans, “it’s the economy stupid.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Proud to be Irish American but Outraged by Cultural Insensitivity in the High Desert

Yesterday was Saint Patrick’s Day. It is the day when the whole world celebrates that it is a little Irish and a lot green even in the hight desert of New Mexico. This was what I was taught for birth. It is my culture and that of my child. I sent her to school dressed in green with a headband that had shamrocks on springs. The shamrock is a symbol of the Celtic culture. I know that New Mexico does not have a large Irish American population but all cultural holidays should be shown the same amount of respect. I was very saddened and disappointed and a little outraged (OK a lot outraged) when my child came home and told me that a teacher at her school ordered her to take her headband off. Clearly this would not have happened if it had been a Native American student, a Hispanic student or an African American student. The teacher would have been fired for this type of behavior toward those cultures. Unfortunately we lack the population of Irish Americans in this city to make a big deal out of this type of cultural insensitivity. My Celtic tribe may be a small one in New Mexico but the culture is a very old and a very proud one. I think that the teacher should apologize to my daughter for her unfortunate behavior. Having and being proud of your own culture does not make you any the less an American.

Trust Lands Held for Public Education in New Mexico

More than 150 years ago the U.S. Congress gave land "in trust" to support public education in New Mexico. The revenues from these lands go into a permanent fund which than pays for teachers, builds buildings, and buys books for the children of New Mexico. If not for this trust land our taxes for educational expenses in this state would be a great deal higher. It is important that these lands be managed in a way that best benefits the interest of our current and future children’s education while keeping other forms of tax support low. Sweetheart deals with land developers are not in the best interest of our children either present or future. Those type of deals could at some point in the future end up costing taxpayers in this state as well as harming the states ability to provide a quality education to our children. At issue presently is a deal made between State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons and land developer Solo Investment, LLC. State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia and state Rep. Nathan Cote, both Las Cruces Democrats, each sent letters to Attorney General Gary King asking about the legality of the lease with Solo Investments.

Attorney General Gary King’s Opinion

"While we conclude that Business Planning Lease No BL-1775 by and between the Commissioner of Public Lands and Solo Investments, LLC contains provisions that are not authorized by New Mexico law, we express no opinion about the lease’s enforceability. It is within the province of the courts to decide issues of public policy that bear on the validity of contractual obligations. Consequently, we believe that whether the Solo lease is enforceable or no enforceable is a question of law for the courts to determine."

State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons’ Opinion

"Commissioner of Public Lands Patrick Lyons says the legally nonbinding opinion issued this week by Attorney General Gary King regarding a planning and development lease on state trust lands in Las Cruces specifically misinterprets the commissioner’s constitutional authority.

Lyons noted that his legal staff conducted an extensive legal review which concluded that, absent an express legislative or constitutional prohibition, the commissioner of public lands is vested with discretion in the exercise of his duties to generate revenue for public education. Further, the commissioner’s discretion includes the legal authority to determine how best to market, lease, or sell trust lands, including the relevant lease provisions addressed in the attorney general’s opinion."

Why is this land being sold to a developer in the first place?

My question is why are "in trust" lands being developed and sold in the first place and how does that benefit funding our children’s education either in the present or in the future. What possible benefits can our state gain from reducing the 13 million acres statewide that are currently held in trust to generate revenues for the permanent fund? I understand that once land is developed and sold that the permanent fund no longer receives any future benefit from that land. Great care should be taken when it comes to the management of public trust lands that fund our children’s present and future education.

Very interesting note:

Interesting little detail basically, Philippou gave money to a PAC (the Blue & Red PAC) (to the tune of $20,500 or 87 percent came from another Philippou company, Terra Firma. The rest of the money came from David Kimble and Dominic Silva, the two lobbyists who run the PAC.) that was in turn giving money to Land Commissioner Lyons for his re-election campaign in 2006. Philippou, who owns Solo Investment LLC., has said that he did not know where that money his company gave to the PAC went. The contract that Solo Investment LLC got was a no bid contract. I believe that this is called a problem with the appearances of improper behavior from an elected official. You would think that land commissioner Lyons would do everything in his power to distance himself for any company owned by Philippou.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More on Republican Vote Buying Scandal Investigation

Is there an investigation or not and who's opinion is correct about this issue?

I posted earlier that I had emailed the AG’s office about any type of investigation that would be done into how legal was what Former Republican Governor David Cargo saw during the republican ward level pre-primary convention for his party on February 17. A.K.A the republican vote buying scandal The AG’s office’s Director of Communications got back to me the very next day with this response:

“The AG’s Office is not conducting an investigation at this time. Since party conventions are not subject to the State Election Code, it is likely this matter will be addressed by party officials.”

Now Dennis Domrzalski for Eye on New Mexico says that he does not agree with the AG’s position because of these sections of the New Mexico election code:

1-7-1. Political parties; conditions for use of ballot. (1969) All nominations of candidates for public office in New Mexico made by political parties shall be made pursuant to the Election Code [1-1-1 NMSA 1978]. No political party shall be permitted to have the names of its candidates printed on any election ballot unless and until it has qualified as provided in the Election Code.

B. Each county political party organization may adopt such supplementary rules and regulations insofar as they do not conflict with the uniform state rules and regulations or do not abridge the lawful political rights of any person. Such supplementary rules shall be filed with the county clerk and the secretary of state in the same manner as other rules are filed.

I asked Secretary of State Mary Herrera to give a statement about whether her office would investigate the allegations but her office never returned my email. I guess she likes talking to republican bloggers better. She told Dennis Domrzalski late Friday:

“She hadn't seen a memo from the state Attorney General's Office saying it would not investigate allegations of vote buying at the recent Bernalillo County Republican Party pre-primary conventions and that her office was still pursuing the vote-buying allegations.”

Secretary of State Mary Herrera will be at the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County’s monthly meeting this Thursday evening at 6:00 pm in the UNM Law Library so maybe I will get a opportunity to ask her questions about this issue. Maybe Secretary of State Mary Herrera should look into where her emails and memos are going. I also understand that Secretary of State Mary Herrera’s office should provide a report to the AG’s office with the results from her investigation. I wonder if she is planning on doing so after her investigation is over or maybe she will just report the results to Dennis Domrzalski.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Today is Saint Patty’s Day. I live in a state where most of the population is Hispanic so you do not see any rivers being dyed green. I grew up back east where the day was a major holiday. My great grandparents on both my mother’s and father’s side were from Ireland. I have a very Irish last name. In school if you forgot to wear green you ended up black and blue by the end of the day. I am very fond of this holiday and will practice the old custom of “The wearing of the Green” today. The thing to remember is that today everyone is a little Irish. May the luck of the Irish be with all democratic candidates today and may republicans live in interesting times.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

So, Who was Unopposed Yesterday?

U.S. Senate, Democrat Unopposed

This is the way the Albuquerque Journal reported the results from yesterday’s state wide pre-primary convention elections on page A2. Was that a Freudian slip by the republican ran newspaper? It would appear that they also have a problem finding a picture of Congressman Udall since they have run pictures of the other two candidates in their newspaper for the last two days but there has been no picture of our democratic candidate. Maybe voters should email them some pictures of Congressman Udall.

I can agree with the Albuquerque Journal that neither Congressman Steve Pearce (54.5%) nor Congresswoman Heather Wilson (45.5%) will be much opposition for our candidate. Some republicans would describe Congressman Steve Pearce as a throw back to the Neanderthal period where war and torture was common place and there was no such thing as the “Rule of Law” or diplomacy. On the other hand republicans say that Congresswoman Heather Wilson changes her views on important issues as often as New Mexico’s early spring winds change direction.

The democrats of New Mexico have a great candidate in Tom Udall (100%) that has always stood strong on the issue of the Rule of Law. He is a big supporter of education, he believes in caring for the environment, he has opposed the war in Iraq from the start, he would love to bring new jobs to New Mexico by developing alternative energy sources which would lower the cost of energy, protect the environment and free us for being dependent on foreign sources of energy all at the same time and he strongly supports civil rights for all Americans. As long as we turn out the voters this November then we should gain a true natural leader for the New Mexico Senate seat.

New Mexico State Supreme Court, Democrat Unopposed

Justice Charlie Daniels is running unopposed for this seat in November. Leave it to the republicans and their newspaper to forget to even report the results from this election. Justice Daniels received 100% of the vote, so much for our local newspaper showing their respect for the “Rule of Law” or the people who work hard every day to represent it in a just and equal way.

U.S. House District 1, Democrat

Martin Heinrich had a huge victory with 56.4 percent of the vote and then Michelle Lujan Grisham took second place with 28.3 percent of the vote. They are the only two candidates to reach the 20% mark that put them on the June Primary ballot. The other candidates can go out and get more signatures to get their names on the ballot but no candidate has ever won who had not got 20% of the delegate vote in the past. When November comes we will need a strong candidate to run against Sheriff Darren White. I personally support Martin Heinrich and think that he will be the candidate best equipped to win that seat for the Democratic Party.

U.S. House District 2, Democrat

Bill McCamley with 48.7 percent of the vote and Harry Teague with 36.5 percent of the vote are the strongest two candidates. I got to hear both candidates speak yesterday. McCamley clearly has the grassroots support. I think that Bill McCamley could do a great job if financial supporters would get behind him and help funded his campaign. No where in this state should a candidate be permitted to buy their way into a Congressional seat. I hear that the republicans down south are planning to do just that for the CD2 seat.

U.S. House District 3, Democrat

Ben Ray Lujan with 40.2 percent of the vote and Don Wiviott with 29.7 percent of the vote are two very good strong candidates. The northern district has always been known to product some of the best candidates in the state. Just ask Governor Bill Richardson or State Auditor Hector Balderas. Either Lujan or Wiviott would do an excellent job if elected. I plan on talking with both of these candidates because this is a very difficult call to make even after the convention.


The delegate count for the Republican convention was 450 compare that to 2,000 Democratic delegates. What happen guys did someone forget to pay their delegates by the hour to show up for the Republican Party State Pre-Primary Convention? Maybe Congresswoman Wilson and Sheriff White would have gotten more votes and therefore a higher percent in the election.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Results from the Democratic State Convention

How the Day Started

The morning started early. I took Rt. 528 out to the Santa Ana Star Center so I missed the bad car accident on I-25. I arrived by 7:10 am and found a parking space close to the door. I was an alternate but had been asked to take the place of a delegate that could not make it to the convention. By 9:00 am the place was packed. I went up to the second floor for snacks that were kindly provided by Congressman Tom Udall’s campaign. I ran into Jason Call who is running for State Senate. We had a nice talk. I am glad that he decided to run for the state senate seat in his area of the city. He will do a good job for that area of the city. I also ran into Justice Charlie Daniels. He was very happy to be running unopposed but still valued the input from the public. I also ran into Judge Carl Butkus who is running for reelection to the Bernalillo County District Court. Judge Butkus is a good friend but I am always awed by how talented he is when it comes to being a judge for the district court. More later on all of the people I talked to during the morning.

The Results:

For U.S. Senate:

Tom Udall took 100% of the vote. It is clear that the whole state is overjoyed and totally in love with our candidate for the U.S. Senate. We are very lucky to have been able to talk him into running for the U.S. Senate seat. No one in this state is more suited for the job then Congressman Tom Udall.

For State Supreme Court:

Charlie Daniels took 100% of the vote. Justice Daniels is running unopposed in November and will make a valuable addition to the State Supreme Court System.

For U.S. House:

Congressional District 1

Martin Heinrich took 56% of the vote. Martin Heinrich has every reason to be thrilled with the results of this vote. He took the stage with the energy and support that he will need to win in a district that has never before had a democratic candidate win. It is clear that he leads all of the other candidates in this race. His group worked very hard to get his message out to the democratic voters and they deserve credit for what can only be called the best organized group in the race. Martin Heinrich is the only candidate that can beat Darren White in November.

The only other candidate to get more than 20% of the vote was Michelle Lujan-Grisham but she did not get more than 30% which puts her well behind the leader in this race.

Congressional District 2

I am now going to eat my words on this subject. I like most of the democratic voters in this state had given up on the southern part of New Mexico. But credit must be given to Chairman Brian Colon for reaching out to the southern part of New Mexico when everyone else had long since lost hope. I was sitting in my chair listen to the CD2 candidates speak not really hearing anything that impressed me. Thinking ok another year of no hope from the South but knock me over with a feather. The South has risen in a big way. He took the stage as a young energetic candidate but he was by no means alone. He had lots of supporters with him. When he opened his mouth, I felt like Simon Cowell on American Idol. This young man will be a star of our party in the very near future. I don’t even think he begins to know just how talented he is when it comes to politics. Bill McCamley is a natural and a find that we can not let get away. He took the highest vote count from CD2 with over 40% of the vote. Even if he is young this man gets it in a way that no other candidate from CD2 has gotten it in years. The democratic voters in CD2 need to listen to this man speak.

Congressional District 3

No surprise in this district. Ben R. Lujan has the support, the organization and the talent that only growing up in a family that is in politics can give a young man. He took the most votes in this district.

Second is also a good solid candidate with a solid support group. That would be Donald Wiviott.

Either of these candidates would be a good fit for a district that is known to product good solid democratic candidates for our state.


I spoke to each of the winning candidates during the day and I am in the process of setting up interviews with each candidate for this blog. I hope to be able to provide more information for the voters in this state from the candidates that gained the most votes from our party’s state convention delegates.

Credit should be given to Chairman Brian Colon and his staff for a well ran election which ran smoothly and where the results came back in on a very timely base. It is clear that our party elections will never look like February 5, 2008 ever again even if they do take place in Rio Rancho. Yes, I got that line from Chairman Colon. Chairman Colon is doing a great job and we are all happy that we have him leading our state party.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Democratic State Convention

Tomorrow morning at 8:00 am is the start of the Democratic State Convention at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. I am looking forward to being a delegate for the convention. This year we have an over abundances of great candidates. I wish that I could put each and everyone into a position in our government. I have carefully looked over each of the candidates and made the choices that I think will give us the strongest candidates for the June Primary election. With that in mind, I am strongly supporting Tom Udall for the U.S. Senate, Martin Heinrich for the U.S. House seat in CD1 and Justice Charles Daniels for the New Mexico State Supreme Court.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

State Supreme Court removed Judge Griego for the Bench

The New Mexico State Supreme Court ordered Judge Wayne Griego removed from the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Bench yesterday. The Judicial Standard Commission recommended that Judge Griego be suspended without pay for 90 days and reprimanded for ticket-fixing. Justice Chavez in a statement said that because of Judge Griego’s unwillingness to be forthcoming with the whole truth that the New Mexico State Supreme Count felt the need to remove Judge Griego for the bench immediately and permanently. There is no appeal process for this type of removal. It is clear that the State Supreme Court did what was in the best interest for the court system and the general public here in Bernalillo County. Our State Supreme Court maintains high ethical standards for the judges that control our local court systems both here in Albuquerque and around the state.

High Ethical Standards

The five members of our State Supreme Court are fine examples to ever other politician in New Mexico as to how to conduct themselves in public life. It is a dreadful shame that both Congresswoman Heather Wilson and Sheriff Darren White are unwilling to follow their exceptional examples when conducting an election campaign here in New Mexico. Congresswoman Heather Wilson’s and Sheriff Darren White’s conduct during the last month has been an embarrassment to Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, The State of New Mexico and the U.S. House of Representatives. I think that it is a good thing that our State Supreme Court Justices have to run partisans elections in this state because it gives them an opportunity to set the standard for every other politician in this state as to the public behavior that should be expected of a candidate during a campaign.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sex, lies, but no video

I wonder how many votes will be paid for by the hour during the State GOP primary election convention this weekend. If the people had to be paid by the hour in February to show up and vote, will the delegates that got elected also have to be paid by the hour to vote on Saturday? Even if they are no one in our local media will report it, I have to feel a little sorry for the Republican voting public since they have no say in who their party nominates for office. The decision for who their nominee will be has been made by who could raise the most money and who could hire people to cast the most votes. In retrospect I guest that does in someway represent how the Republican Party feels that our country should be run.

One award winning reporter has already quit her job because of the cover up. The local media has not said a word about it in the last few days. They had a short story buried in the local newspaper on Sunday that did not give valuable details. The amount of one sided reporting going on in this city is not to be believed. The media would rather attack and report on a metropolitan court judge and a former district court judge then air a report on a story that would make the lead headline of the news in a hart beat if it was a democrat. Want to talk about sex, lies and video. Our local media is reporting sex scandals from New York City but won’t say a word about local news scandals because it is all about protecting the good name of the Republican Party in this city.

Yesterday, the media showed pictures of people protesting what they called a corrupt judiciary but I know that we have a good number of honest hard working talented people working in our judiciary system at present. The issue with the metropolitan court judge will be dealt with today by our State Supreme Court. Our system of justice in the court system is working a lot better at present then our public media system.

Note: The Attorney General’s Office sent this reply to a request I made for information into if there would be an investigation into what happened. I did see in one blog report that they might look into it but that turned out to be not true.

“The AG’s Office is not conducting an investigation at this time. Since party conventions are not subject to the State Election Code, it is likely this matter will be addressed by party officials.”

The AG’s Office has a more optimistic view than this blogger.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Republicans cover up vote buying at Pre-Primary Convention

I am floored by the local media when it comes to reporting the Republican Party scandal on vote buying during the Pre-Primary Convention. It just goes to show how one sided the reporting is in this city. I don’t begin to think of myself as a reporter. I am a blogger on political issues that affect women in this city but I could not begin to hide a scandal if it happened in my own party. Former Republican Governor David Cargo should be given credit for standing up to the Republican Party and telling the truth about what occurred at his party’s convention. I truly have a new respect for my own party in this city. When we have a problem it is taken care of and not hidden. The news as of late has been reporting problems with a former district court judge and a current metropolitan court judge. I know members of my party take these problems seriously and have dealt with them. One judge is no longer a judge and can not practice law any longer. The other is facing the New Mexico State Supreme Court for reprimand if not removal in the near future. My question is what if anything is the Republican Party doing in response to the charges leveled against two if not three of their own high ranking candidates? Why are they not asking the hard questions and finding answers that they can then report to the voting public?

Monday, March 10, 2008

An introduction for Judge William E. Parnall, Second District Court for the Children’s Division

My Comments:

Judge Parnall is running unopposed for his seat in District Court; Children’s Court Division here in Albuquerque but he sincerely would like to give voters an opportunity to get to know him better so they can see how much he wants to serve our children here in Albuquerque and the Bernalillo County Second District Court System with fair and equal justice. Judge Parnall has found it very rewarding to see children from difficult situations finding a happy and joyful home with new adoptive parents. Bernalillo County Residents should do all they can to support our local court system. Unlike the Metropolitan Court our District Court is funded by our counties. We need more quality judges like Judge Parnall so that our children can be protected and directed in a firm but gentle way to make the right choices in life. I find Judge Parnall to be a sincere and polite individual who is very easy to get to know, to like and to respect.

William E. Parnall, District Court Judge

• Appointed by Governor Bill Richardson
• Chosen by a bipartisan committee
• Graduated from UNM and UNM Law School
• Current Children's Court Judge
• New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association
• Dedicated to helping Children and Families
• Counsel in more than 2000 Children's Court cases
• Commission for Professionalism, New Mexico State Bar
• South Valley native, fluent in Spanish
• Attuned to our cultural diversity

About the Judge:

Judge Parnall is presently serving our community as Second Judicial District Court Judge in the Children's Court Division. After being chosen by a bipartisan committee, he was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson in September of 2007. He is a lifelong resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Judge Parnall was born and raised in Albuquerque's south valley and attended Atrisco Elementary School and John Adams Junior High. Judge Parnall graduated from UNM and UNM Law School. He speaks Spanish fluently, and is attuned to the cultural diversity of our state. He has a varied background having taught guitar with Hector Garcia and performed songs in both English and Spanish professionally. His love for music and songwriting has continued throughout his life and has provided him with a unique perspective as a lawyer.

Following graduation from UNM School of Law in 1979, Judge Parnall worked in the civil firm of Kool, Kool, Bloomfield and Eaves, then began a 27 year career in criminal law at the City Defender's Office, and later at the New Mexico Public Defender's office in 1980. He worked for a year in the Felony Division then for four more years in the Juvenile Division where he represented children in more than 2000 cases. He opened his private practice in March of 1987 and handled the high profile Children's Court homicide cases of Jason Kirkman and Michael Yoshimoto. That year he became a member of the Federal Court Bar for the District of New Mexico and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, eventually handling multi-defendant cases, and was appointed liaison counsel in the Sureno and Hayworth Death Penalty cases. He was appointed by the District Court as Guardian ad Litem in many Domestic Relations cases representing the interests of children. His legal career has been varied but he has remained dedicated to the well being of children.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Republicans accused of buying votes for their ward convention

Republicans accused of buying votes for their ward convention:

We in the Democratic Party may take our time to count votes carefully during our caucus so that the count is correct and every vote counts but at least we don’t feel the need to pay people by the hour to show up and vote for our candidates. Former republican Governor David (Dave) Cargo is calling it a “poll tax.” The questions is did Congressmen Steve Pearce or Congresswoman Heather Wilson pay people to show up and cast votes for them during the ward convention on February 17. Did candidates and members of the Republican Party final go too far with their fee system? It should be noted that buying votes is illegal in this state. Former republican Governor David Cargo said that he had counted between 50 to 59 people that may have been paid by the hour to cast their votes during the republican ward convention. During Eye on New Mexico former republican Governor Dave Cargo was accused of being too friendly with Senator Hillary Clinton. I have to give it to the Republican Party; they just can’t take credit for their own screw ups no matter who it includes. Before long they will be accusing Congressmen Steve Pearce and Congresswoman Heather Wilson of being seen talking with democrats in public during the process of doing their jobs as US House Representatives like somehow that is a crime in the Republican Party. Just how that affects any republican’s views on their own party’s corruption is still not clear. Maybe the Republican Party here in New Mexico fears that spending time with democrats somehow influences republican candidates and party members a little too much toward open honest government.

Republicans becoming democrats:

I can see why in the near future people would want to leave the Republican Party in droves and to change their registration from republican to democrat with all that has been going on in the last few years in the Republican Party. Our party will be more than happy to welcome with open arms any voter that wants to move to our party if they feel more comfortable as a democrat. We don’t charge people to vote in our ward conventions because we want everyone represented no matter what their income level. I would ask new democrats to examine carefully the values that the Democratic Party holds as core morals. We believe in caring for the poor (which does not include buying their votes) , protecting our children and their rights to a public education, supporting strong successful families (no matter what the make up is for them), being good stewards to the environment, honesty in local, state and federal government, public funding for candidates, affordable healthcare for all Americans, encouraging affordable home ownership for all Americans, civil libraries for all Americans, respect for the rule of law, civil right for all Americans and peaceful diplomatic resolution to conflicts both nationally and internationally,

When it comes to candidates that change over we are not inclined to trust them blindly as any party would agree is prudent but we are in favor of considering them on a case by case bases when they want to run for democratic seats. I know one new democratic candidate that clearly holds our core morals dear to his hart and I feel comfortable supporting him for a democratic seat. At the same time I also know one candidate that changed over two years ago and I am not comfortable with him because of the reasons he gives for making the change in his registration. I get the feeling that he dislikes the Republican Party more then he dislikes the Democratic Party. I am not sure at all after a speech he gave yesterday at the Democratic Women of Bernalillo County Forum if he likes us even a little bit. He appears to be proud that he does not conform to the views that we hold most dear in our party. While it may not be wise for a long time democratic candidate to point out that a candidate he is running against is newly changed over from the Republican Party, I feel that the candidates themselves should feel the need to express just why they wanted to be democrats in the first place and why they want to hold democratic seats that are also being sought by long-time democratic candidates. We in the party should choose our candidate because of the views they hold on our values and issues that matter to us and not which party they supported in the past. The nice thing about being a democrat is that our candidates can make mistakes in life and learn for them as long as they are willing to stand up and admit that they made a mistake in the first place. Democrats appear to have a greater capacity for being able to forgive candidates for being human beings. Democrats are more than capable of understand that every once in a while a candidate can chose the wrong words or support the wrong side of an issue.

The Democratic Women of Bernalillo Country First Congressional District Forum:

Starting yesterday at three o’clock in the UNM Law Library the Democratic Women of Bernalillo County had their congressional forum in room 2406. Once more the room was packed to overflow with every seat taken. Four of the five candidates showed up for the forum. Each candidate was given two minutes to answer questions that were submitted by the voting public. Attorney General Gary King was the moderator for the event. The issues covered were: healthcare, the war, water issues, No Child Left Behind Act, and a flash round on issues like women’s right to choose and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill. In my opinion Martin Heinrich was the clear winner in this forum. He had the most complete and compelling answers. He also was able to clearly state his position on all of the issues. Michelle Grisham came in second with a good showing. Rebecca Vigil-Giron and Robert L. Pidcock both showed that they still needed more work on issues that matter to the voting public.

After the forum:

Other candidates running for either reelection or election was given one minute to speak to those that stayed. The first two to speak were Judge Carl J. Butkus and Judge Clay P. Campbell on the retention elections for standing judges. Judge Butkus a judge in the criminal division of the district court was very well spoken when it came to describing the retention process and who was running for reelection. I am looking forward to receiving a statement for these judges in the near future. There are 20 of them and they are preparing a statement for this blog. Jason Mark was the last candidate to speak. He is running for reelection for the public regulation commission. I know these forums can run a little long but voters should try to stay so they can hear a little from our judges and our local candidates. They are a very well spoken and an interesting group of candidates and it is time well spent to stay and listen to them speak.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Democratic Party Should Save Their Passion for the Final Battle for the White House

Senator Obama vs. Senator Clinton

The news would love to paint this as the battle that divided or even destroyed the Democratic Party and gave the White House to republican candidate John McCain. If that is the result then we are looking at another four more years of the same. We are looking at the end of hope and the end of change for the better. We as democrats must not allow our party to split at this point in history. To do so would be a disservice to our country, our families, our party and our selves. Our candidates should be working to bring our party together and not calling each other names in the news. Our Superdelegates should be looking to uphold the popular vote unless they want to make the democratic voting public feel like they have no say in who is elected president. They already know how that felt in 2000. The results of a war between our candidates and having the Superdelegates make the decision of who wins it is going to destroy our party. They should all put aside their own egos and support our party. I foresee our party doing away with Superdelegates all together if they put their egos before the welfare of the democratic voting public in this matter. We as a party should be working hard to turn the talk around to a more positive viewpoint before it is too late. We should not be treating other democrats badly if they are supporting the other candidate in this race. It is time that the Democratic Party learned to agree to disagree without taking it personally. Either save your passion for the final battle where we put a democrat in the White House or hand over the White House to the republicans for another four god forsaken years.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dear Republican Party go away, we are having fun

“I don’t belong to an organized party—I’m a democrat.” Will Rogers

Howard Dean was smiling from ear to ear today on the morning show because the Republican Party is just dying that they do not have just one democratic candidate to attack today. What the Republican Party fails to understand is democrats love talking with their candidates face to face. We like our candidates. I understand that half of the Republican Party does not like John McCain and would rather have another candidate. I don’t blame them because we don’t much like him either. We in the Democratic Party are very happy with either democratic candidate and would be very happy to have both candidates. This is a result of our voters being able to talk with the candidates in person and having every single vote in our party count. We don’t tell half our voters that just because they voted that their vote does not count. The news caster said that “no one losses so no one wins in our party.” Not true, no one losses so everyone wins in our party. We have 12 more states that need to vote so the republican attack machine will just have to wait to start attacking our nominee until, I don’t know maybe August. In the mean time the Democrats are going to enjoy every last minute.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

1st Congressional District Forum

The Democratic Women of Bernalillo County are hosting a
1st Congressional District Forum

Date: Saturday, March 8, 2008
Location: UNM Law School Lecture Hall
1117 Stanford NE
Time: 3:00 pm
Event is Free to the Public
Membership to the group is $20 per year

Obama vs. Clinton and Mayor Bands Sex Offenders from City Libraries

Senator Obama or Senator Clinton

The news from Ohio and Texas is that Hillary R. Clinton is still in this race. The numbers are still in favor of Senator Obama. Our party has the difficult task of picking between two of the best candidates. I completely understand why our Governor Bill Richardson is having such a hard time choosing between the two candidates. This is turning into too much of a good thing for our party. The one fact that our party should remember is that if we want the White House in the end than we are going to have to run clean campaigns and stay friends no matter which candidate wins our nomination for president. As democrats we love to look at the issues and talk long hours to our candidates. With Senator Clinton winning in both Texas and Ohio we are now given that chance to still review each of the candidates. What both candidates should be keeping in mind is to unite the party in the end.

Mayor Martin Chavez

As a mother of a pre-teen child I am relieved and thankful that Mayor Martin Chavez has band sex offenders from the public libraries here in Albuquerque. I try to teach my child that when she is out in public not to talk with strange men but having a sex offender sitting next to her at a computer in the library even if I am only a few feet away from her is not what I would want for my child. We know that public libraries are open to the public and should be treated like public sidewalks but making a public area safer for our children in not something I can consider a bad deal. Our children should be taught to use the library and to love reading. The internet service at the library is a good resource for limiting the amount of time that our children can stay on the computer. I have always encouraged my child to read books. The library is a great place because it gives my child a choose of many difference types of subject material. Sex offenders should be forced to buy their own computers so that their behavior can be tracked by local law enforcement. Working at a local college I have seen that sex offenders do try to take advantage of internet connections to break the law if they are not monitored closely. If sex offenders want internet service they should have to pay for it and know that it can be monitored and traced back to them in case they want to break the laws of our state. The final word is as a parent I have to support what the Mayor is doing after all what parent would not if given the choose?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

An interview with Metropolitan Court Judge Clyde DeMersseman

I met Clyde DeMersseman in 2006 when I was helping a close friend run for a district court seat. He is a talented judge and has strong family ties to our community here in Albuquerque. After reading his responses to my interview questions, I am sure that not only the women democratic voters but all democratic voters will understand just why we should be casting a vote for him in the upcoming election. I personally think that we are lucky here in Albuquerque to have a gifted group of people on our courts. We have a very good system in place to pick our Judges both for Metropolitan Court and District Court.

The Interview:

1. Do you have a campaign web site? Not active at this time.

2. Tell us your age or the month and day you were born? 41 years old.

3. What is your favorite subject area and what was the last book you read? History. Thunderstruck, by Eric Larson, a true story that combines the development of the wireless telegraph with a murder mystery.

4. Tell us something about your family. What does you wife and children think of you being a Judge? Will they be helping you with your campaign? My wife and I have been married for 10 years. We are the very proud parents of twin 4 year olds. My wife and children are excited about this upcoming election and often attend campaign events with me. Every morning when I take the kids to child care they wave to the courthouse and say “Hi, Daddy’s office.”

5. Who is the better cook in your family and do you help out in the kitchen? My wife and I take turns cooking. She is by far the better baker, but my green chile, spinach, sausage lasagna is quite tasty.

6. If we asked your wife what are your strong points and what are your weak point, what do you think she would say? She would say that one of my greatest weaknesses is my inability to do the dishes without being asked and my strength is being a good ‘Daddy’ for our kids.

7. Your parents work in the field of Education? Why did you choose the field of law? My parents both retired after long careers as public school teachers. They instilled in me and my two sisters a love of reading and learning that continues to this day. Like many people I was unsure what I wanted to do when I graduated from college, but I knew I wanted a job that allowed me to give back to my community. I saw law school as a way to combine both these things.

8. Where did you get your education and why did you decide to work here in Albuquerque, New Mexico? I was raised in Northern Colorado and graduated from College from the University of Colorado in 1989. After a year working in Washington, D.C., I returned to Colorado to attend Law School at the University of Denver. I graduated from Law School in 1994 in the top 10 % of my class and with several honors. However the best part about law school was meeting my future wife, an Albuquerque native. When we graduated, I followed her home to Albuquerque and have called it home ever since.

9. What made you decide to become a democrat? I love the openness and inclusiveness of the Democratic Party. Additionally, the Democratic Party shares my personal beliefs on the rights of individuals.

10. Tell us the experience and qualities you think would make you a good judge. I have the best experience for being a Judge, having served as a Judge for over two and a half years. During that time I presided over 20,000 cases. While presiding over these cases I learned that I can think of no better job than being a Metropolitan Court Judge. It gives me a great deal of pride and satisfaction to deal with people and resolve their issues on a daily basis. Prior to becoming a Judge, I was an assistant District Attorney in Albuquerque for four years and in private practice as a trial attorney representing injured clients for seven years.

11. Whose seat were you appoint to on the court? Which court seat are you running for this next year? I was appointed to the seat that became vacant when Judge Frank Gentry retired. I am running to keep that seat on the Metropolitan Court bench.

12. What distinguishes you from your opponent? Proven Experience. Unlike my opponents, I was recommended by a non-partisan Judicial Selection Commission to the Governor as a qualified candidate for the position of Judge. When Governor Bill Richardson reviewed this list he found me the most qualified to be a judge and appointed me to the bench. Since taking the bench I have presided over 20,000 cases that have given me valuable experience in what it takes to be a good Judge. Additionally, by looking at my record as a Judge you can see what kind of Judge I am rather than trying to guess about the unknown. My record will show that: 1) I am respected by my fellow Judges (I am appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court to the Rule’s Committee); 2) I am respected by the lawyers that appear in Court (I was rated one of the best Judges in Metropolitan Court by the Albuquerque Bar Association); and 3) I am respected by the people who appear in court daily (I am endorsed by the Albuquerque Area Firefighters, Local Union 244).

13. Please tell us why do you feel that you could do a better job? As stated in the previous answer, I am already on the job and doing it very well according to the people that appear in Court.

14. What is the biggest problem facing the judicial system when it comes to woman’s issues and what would you do to help solve them? The biggest problem is a lack of resources. Over 5,000 domestic violence cases a year are filed in Metropolitan Court and even though domestic violence is not limited to being a “woman’s issue,” the majority of these cases involve a woman being the victim of violence. The Court’s goal is to hear each of these cases on the merits or help the parties reach an alternative resolution. I minimize the intrusion of the Court on victims by not requiring the victim’s presence in Court until such time as the parties notify the Court that that case is ready for trial. However, the State often can not locate the victim for trial which unfortunately results in the case being dismissed. In my opinion, the number of domestic violence cases would drop substantially if the State were given more resources to locate and speak with victims shortly after the incident.

15. Do you feel that the general public understands how the court system here in New Mexico and Albuquerque works? I believe that most people understand the Court process, the presumption of innocence, and the Court’s role in balancing a person’s rights against the actions of those people enforcing the rules of society. However, most people that come to the Metropolitan Court are appearing in Court for the first time and therefore they do not have an in-depth knowledge of what is happening. I do my best to minimize people’s fears by treating everyone with dignity and respect. Additionally, I try to eliminate surprises by explaining to people what is happening and why it is happening. Finally, I explain my rulings in a manner that allows all the parties to learn from what has occurred.

16. If not what do you think we could do to increase the understanding of the general public when it comes to how the court system works? Even if most people have a basic understanding of the Courts, it is always a good thing to add to that understanding. I personally volunteer my time to go out into the various neighborhoods to discuss Metropolitan Court. I also volunteer my time to show how the Court works to different tour groups that come through the Courthouse, from grade school children to foreign dignitaries.

Monday, March 3, 2008

HR 5351 Energy Tax Changes

Gasoline is now over $3 a gallon this early in the year. We are looking at $4 a gallon gasoline prices by the end of the summer. Inflation is on the rise because the costs of transporting goods to market are increasing. There is every increasing talk about recession. Everyday voters are making hard decisions when it comes to how they spend their hard earned paychecks. Yet, the big five oil companies are making record profits. The top five largest oil companies in the US today are ExxonMobil with fourth quarters profits of $11.66 billion, Royal Dutch Shell with fourth quarters profits of $6.7 billion, BP having a harder year only made fourth quarters profits of $4.50 billion dollars, Chevron with fourth quarter profits of $4.9 billion and ConocoPhilips with fourth quarter profits of $4.37 billion. These companies have no reason to spend money in developing renewable energy because it would cut into their record high profits. They use high priced lobbyists to convince Congressional Representatives like Congresswoman Heather Wilson and Congressman Steve Pearce to vote against any bill that would give voters a choose when it comes to the type of energy they can use to run their vehicles or heat their homes. Yet, there is one Congressman here in New Mexico that is fighting to give the voters of New Mexico a voice in Washington. A Congressman that does not let the high priced lobbyist buy his hart and soul when it comes to protecting the voting public in New Mexico, Congressman Tom Udall is that man. Last week he was the only New Mexico Congressional Representative to vote for house bill 5351.

House bill 5351 would raise $13.6 billion over ten years that could be used to fund tax breaks that would spur development of renewable fuels and promote energy efficiencies. The bill would raise this money by rescinding tax breaks given to these big five oil companies in 2004. The bill could also raise another $4.1 billion for renewable programs by limiting foreign tax credits claimed by U.S. energy firms. This bill could encourage the development of energy resources from sun, wind, tides, landfills, hydroelectric and geothermal. These are all clean sources of renewable energy that could help lower the cost of fuels, promote the development of US jobs, and also help our environment at the same time. The bill would also be used to create incentives to promote farm-generated fuels such as biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oils, and biomass which is derived from biological material such as switchgrass and hemp.

The questions New Mexicans need to be asking their congressional representatives are why they voted against this bill and what are they getting out of it to hand their votes over to big oil companies. Why are they voting against voter interest in New Mexico? The voting public also needs to be asking their senate representatives to support this bill now that it has passed the house and has been sent to the senate. I am sure that Senator Jeff Bingaman will be supporting this bill but I am also sure that Senator Pete Domenici will be trying to kill this bill because of those same high priced lobbyists. Voters need to stand up and voice their desirers to promote clean inexpensive energy. We need to support the representatives that protect our interest in Washington. When they support our interest we need to give them our approval and when they vote with those oil companies that are making record profits at our expense we need to let them know exactly how unhappy we are with their vote. We are sick to death of the high cost of fuel for our vehicles and the high cost of fuel to heat and cool our homes. Three of our representatives are so busy siding with the oil companies that they refuse to see the harm it is causing the voting public from both parties. How often do we have to take a back seat to high priced oil company lobbyists when it comes to these basic issues? It does not matter which party you are with if a representative is representing you then contact them and express you views on this vote. This is an issue that crosses party lines for all New Mexicans.

Contact information:


Senator Jeff Bingaman

Senator Pete Domenici

US House:

Congressman Tom Udall

Congressman Steve Pearce

Congresswoman Heather Wilson

Unconventional Wisdom—Another Democratic US Senator for New Mexico

Senator Jeff Bingaman is one of our party’s most beloved leaders. It is true that a good number of democratic voters vote for him because he is very good at representing our core morals.

After all who would not want a US Senator that stands strong for “The Rule of Law?” Laws that gives us all the rights to a fair and free open trial so that government official can not come to our homes in the middle of the night and take us away never to be seen again by our loving families. The law which protects our rights to freedom of speech and gives rise to sharing of ideas in a free environment is protected by the rule of law.

A Senator, who is a good steward of our environment, even fundamentalist Christians understand that the bible talks about our responsible for caring for our environment so that future generations will be able to enjoy god’s gifts to human kind. This is one issue that both Non-Christians and Christians a like should be able to agree upon completely.

Maybe it is that Senator Bingaman stands for a quality education for all our children in the United States and not just the privileged few whose families were born into the money to afford that type of education. After all why on earth would we here in America want a large well educated work force that could keep our country competitive in a global economy?

Maybe it is because Senator Bingaman voted against a senseless war in Iraq for the very beginning but still refused to leave our troops out in the hot desert without funding because the current administration refuses to bring them home at the request of the American people. Senator Bingaman has never supported the war in Iraq but he will never abandon our young men and women in the field of battle. With Senator Bingaman as our US Senator we will always show our support for the brave men and woman who are sent into battle under the America Flag even if it is a senseless illegal war.

Yes Senator Bingaman has a twenty five year record in our federal government. One Republicans would portray as liberal but we the Democratic Party of New Mexico are very proud of his voting record and that is why he has always received record support from the democratic voting public.

If that is the ground on which The Republican Party wishes to stand during the 2008 elections cycle than we are ready and we welcome the fight for another US Senate Seat. We will all, in the Democratic Party, welcome with great joy Congressman Tom Udall as our next US Senator and our newest agent of change. Make no mistake about it we will not loss this fight.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bernalillo County Pre-Primary Convention

The hall was full with every seat taken. The back of the hall was full of people standing around talking. The hallways outside were full of people. The turnout was more than great. With these types of turnouts there is nothing that we, the Democratic Party of New Mexico, can not change or achieve. We are done watching the Republican Party destroy the American Dream. It is time for a change and we know how to get it. Democrats as a group are more or less a laid back people but one should never underestimate their power when they do become angry.

Secretary of State Mary Herrera

The morning started with Mary Herrera, Secretary of State, speaking to the delegates, the candidates and the democratic voters about what she was doing and how the county clerks were working hard to make sure all issues that came up during February 5 are looked into so as to make sure that the voter rolls are ready for the June Primary.

Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman Brian Colon

Next up was State Party Chairman Brian Colon. As I said yesterday Chairman Colon said that he had taken the responsible for the caucus problems. He is working diligently with the Secretary of State to assure voters that they will have a smooth election come June. We are now one united Democratic Party being lead by Chairman Colon toward a Blue New Mexico.

State Treasurer James B. Lewis

James B. Lewis is our current state treasurer but we don’t hear much about him in the news because he is very good at his job. James Lewis is also very good at getting people motivated during elections. The Governor calls him our party cheerleader. People love to hear him speak. He is an inspiring speaker for the Democratic Party. At the convention he spoke briefly and then introduced Congressman Tom Udall.

Congressman and Senate Candidate Tom Udall

The party welcomed Congressman Tom Udall with a standing ovation. Democrats are all telling Congressman Udall to relax because we will make sure that he is our next US Senator. He wanted the party to understand that the republicans have the money and will stop at nothing to keep that senate seat. He wants us to take nothing as a done deal after all it is up to us to turnout and make sure that he gets elected. No other candidate in this state is more ready or more able to perform the duties of US Senator then Tom Udall. If we let anyone else get that seat then we have truly let our country, our party, our families, and ourselves down. It is now up to the democratic voters to show up and put the right man in that senate seat. We can not allow anyone else to be our US Senator.

Party Platform Issues

The delegates, all 646 of them, than went through the platform issues to be taken to the Democratic State Convention on March 15. The issues that most divided us were that of the roll of Super delegates and that of sending people to prison for life without possible of parole. I get the feel that these issues are difficult for most individuals in our party. We want the public to be able to pick our presidential candidate but we also wish to show respect for the people who have worked in the party for a long time and earned their positions. As for the second issue no one wants an innocent man or woman to go to jail for life with no hope of every getting out but at the same time we do not want monsters to be released back into the public only to take the life of another law-abiding individual. These are always difficult issues to deal with in our party. We all support the use of renewable energy. We all support the protection of our children and their education. We all support universal Healthcare. We all want the good jobs to stay in our country. We don’t like when big business is rewarded for moving good jobs to other countries just to save money. We all agree that we want the war in Iraq to stop. We want our young men and women to come home safe to the families that love them. We don’t want to see anymore body bags with our young people in them. We want our troops to understand that they are heroes that we honor and support. In the end there are always more issues that bring us together as democrats than those few issues that pull us a part.

Congressional District 1 Candidates

After the issues were covered all four Congressional District 1 Candidates showed up to give their views on why they should be voted for in June. I must admit that I have a favorite candidate for Congressional District 1. Martin Heinrich was there with his wife and small son. Anyone near him could see the love shared between father and son. It is just one of those moments in time when you wish you had a camera but then again some moments are just too sweet to interrupt by taking a picture of it. Martin Heinrich is a man that truly understands the issues facing parents today. He unlike Heather Wilson will not fail to protect our children. I can not understand how that woman can say she supports our children and gets a grade of 60% from the Children defense fund. We need someone in Congress that will understand and support the issues that matter to New Mexican families and not just big business and the top richest 1% of our population. We need someone that will not turn a blind eye while our children suffer and vote with the likes of President George W. Bush some 98% of the time.

Metro and District Court Judges

After the Congressional Candidate came the Judges from the Metropolitan Court and the Second District Court. I will go more into detail about them in a day or two. I have asked them to give a statement of how they get elected and who they are so we will know who and how to vote for them in the future. I am lucky enough to have a few friends on the district court and know just how hard they work everyday to insure that people get justice and fair treatment from the New Mexico Court System. Bernalillo County Chairwomen, Ana Canales, said that they have set up visits for the judges with our local high schools so that our children will get the civic education that few other children every have the opportunity to receive. We are lucky to have such a caring and talented group of people volunteering their valuable time to help educated our high school age children.