Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"I want to be very clear that, moving forward, Rev. Wright does not speak for me, he does not speak for our campaign,"
"I cannot prevent him from continuing to make these outrageous remarks, but what I do want him to be very clear about...is that when I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it. It contradicts everything that I'm about and who I am."
When you trust a friend and have a long term relationship with that person it is very hard to reject them in such a public way. Friendship is one of those types of blind faith where you trust that the other person will care about your welfare and your feelings.
I will admit it is not that you have to always agree on every subject but major issues should be close. Friends of Public figures like Senator Obama have the added burden of being looked at closely by the public. The man is judged by the company he keeps; nevertheless, one has to wonder would you want to be judged by the opinions of each and every one of your friends. There are times in my life when I have enjoyed having friends whose views on politics I strongly disagree with because they force me to see different view points on issues. I can’t say that the behavior has been bad for me.
Why should our presidential candidate have to strongly agree with the views of all of his friends? We have seen over the last eight years what having someone who refused to see the other side of an issue has cost this country. Is that the behavior we want to encourage in our own candidate? What is freedom of speech if not the right to publicly disagree with the views of your friends and others in our society? We don’t have to agree with Rev. Wright's comments but we should also not turn a deaf ear to them either because they reflect the views of more than one man in this country.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Word of Senator Jeff Bingaman
Senator Bingaman said, "Today, I am announcing my support for Barack Obama for president and declaring my intention to vote for him at the Democratic convention.
"Our nation faces a daunting number of critical challenges: reasserting America's leadership in the world, meeting our needs for energy independence, addressing global warming, making healthcare accessible and affordable, positioning our economy to effectively compete globally, and extricating ourselves from the war in Iraq, to name a few.
"To make progress, we must rise above the partisanship and the issues that divide us to find common ground. We must move the country in a dramatically new direction.
"I strongly believe Barack Obama is best positioned to lead the nation in that new direction."
Do you have a campaign website or some way for people to contact you if they are interested in volunteering for your campaign? I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us your age? 45
What is your favorite subject area and what was the last book you read? I like so many different things. The last book I read was “Crazy Bosses” by Stanley Bing. It was hysterical!
Tell us about your family. I am the son of working class parents who met at Lovelace Hospital when it was just about the only building on the East Mesa (Gibson & San Mateo). My father is retired military and my mother retired from Lovelace. My father’s family is from PA & my mother’s family (Garcia) goes back several generations here in NM. I have a wonderful wife that everyone likes –Veronica- whose family has deep roots in NM. Her father is Moya and her mother is Montano. I have three sons – two from my first marriage and Veronica and I have one. Each son is ¾ Hispanic and ¼ Caucasian w/ a Bolivarian name – Breeswine!!
Who is the better cook in your family and do you help out in the kitchen? Veronica and I take turns cooking. We won’t be opening a restaurant any time soon, but we hold our own. My best dish is chicken & green chile enchiladas. We also live by the unwritten law that he or she who does not cook- cleans the kitchen!
If we asked your wife what are your strong points and what are your weak points, what do you think her response would be? I think Veronica would say that my strong points or attributes include intelligent, caring, concerned, truth seeker, fairness seeker, judging people on the content of their character rather than outward appearances, down to earth – comfortable with people of distinction as well as homeless people on the streets, strong family person, taking of responsibility and requiring accountability by others, among other things. I think Veronica would say that sometimes I hold out too much hope that all people will be fair & just, that people will accept responsibility for their actions and that people will treat others as they wished to be treated.
When and why did you decide to become a lawyer? My grand plan was to join the Albuquerque Police Department at 18 as a police safety aide and retire at 38. Then, I was to start law school to become a prosecutor. However, my eye sight was too poor to make the force and laser surgery did not exist in 1981 when I graduated high school. So, I went to law school after college to become a prosecutor. I was hired in 1989 by the DA’s office here in Albuquerque & I have been there since.
Where did you get your education and why did you decide to work here in Albuquerque, New Mexico? I graduated in 1986 from the University of Albuquerque with an Associate Degree in Police Science, a Bachelors Degree in Criminology and a license to teach secondary education. Then, I received a UNM Law Degree in 1989. I decided to obtain another degree from UNM - a Master of Public Administration - in 2003 too! I have always lived in the Albuquerque/Metro area and I love it.
What area of law did you specialize in? Criminal law – from the most minor offenses to the most serious offenses like 1st degree murder, rape, robbery, etc. I have practiced and have been part of management in our metro court and children’s court divisions. I have also prosecuted cases in our gang unit.
What is your career history? 19 years with the State - 18 with the DA’s office.
What made you decide to become a democrat? I am a member of a minority race from a hard working class family. I align myself and support the Democrat party on economic issues, social & foreign policy and legal issues.
Tell us the experience and qualities you think would make you a good judge. I have a strong sense of what is just and fair as I have dealt with thousands of cases involving thousands of people including many different types of victims, offenders, families and institutions. I have sought solutions to restore our victims, our community and offenders to become a more productive society. I am a firm believer in identifying problems, seeking interventions/preventions and educating people to steer away from the criminal justice system. Additionally, my background and experience in police science, criminology and law mixed with my background and experience in public administration, provide me with the tools necessary for a metro court judge to have when hearing cases and administering a court docket and staff.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why do you think you could do a better job? I have more experience, training and education then my opponents. I have handled thousands of felonies, misdemeanor and juvenile cases (from screening cases to going to trial). I have experiences in community endeavors such as The Albuquerque Community Partnership to Reduce Truancy, the Department of Justice Project Sentry’s firearm awareness program – Options, Choices & Consequences – taught in middle school classes, and the Bernalillo County Sex Offender Management Team among others that have allowed me to meet thousands of community members to help address community concerns.
What is the biggest problem facing the judicial system when it comes to woman’s issues and how would you resolve it if given the opportunity? In terms of metro court, understanding domestic violence and how to properly deal with it are major issues. Many of these cases are not heard on their merits. This issue needs to be addressed especially when the same people are alleged victims by the same alleged offender. This cycle of violence must be treated particularly when children witness the violence as they may become our future victims and offenders. I would recommend a family assessment and counseling program upon a conviction where appropriate. Sometimes, offenders and victims would be better off to terminate their relationship, but this could bring about other hardships. Clearly, the dynamics of these sorts of relationships are very fluid and are subject to different stressors requiring professional help. Money spent on education and prevention on the front end of the problem rather than on the back end could reduce or prevent the problem.
Do you feel that the general public understands how the court system here in Bernalillo County works or should more be done to educate them? I would like Metro Court to have a web broadcast program or a cable TV access program become part of a high school or college class. The public could also tune in to these programs as well. It is this sort of education or vicarious learning about the court system that could reduce criminal behavior or could make available community resources the general public does not know about.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Men like Senator John McCain are out of touch when it comes to middle class American families' needs for affordable health care. At present 47 million Americans can not afford health care and more can not afford to use the health care they have at present. If we want to live long lives in this country then we need universal health care for all Americans. Other countries already have universal health care and it has not destroyed their countries. Senator John McCain is not offering universal health care. All he has to offer is a Band-Aid that will end up killing more Americans. I simple can not understand why our government refuses to see when a course of action does not work and actually harms Americans in the process. What will it take to open the eyes of men like Senator John McCain? Middle Class American Women in this country need to know that when their children get sick that they can afford to take them to a doctor for treatment without fear of the cost breaking the family bank account.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Brian Colon nominated two Native American women to fill the spot in the hopes of increasing the diversity of our states Superdelegates. We now have Hispanic, Native American, White, male, and female Superdelegates for our state. The one group missing is Africa American. I am sure that Brian would have loved to have all of the groups represented but our state still has a lot of work to do in increasing the diversity of elected officials. The Republican Party with its white male dominated group of candidates has done little to help increase our state’s diversity when it comes to elected officials but nothing new in that knowledge.
The Journal reported that there was a little heated discussion on who could run for the position of Superdelegate. Nothing new in that knowledge either. When does our party not have heated discussion on any topic that comes before the state central committee? When a large group of diverse people come together to talk about issues that they care a great deal about there will always be heated discussion. Our party should only start to be concerned if that body of people stops having heated discussions on issues.
One does have to feel for the Chair of the Democratic Party because he will always be the lightning rod for that group of people. Being state party chair is not a well rewarded or easy job when our party enjoys the ability to refuse to every be truly organized about anything. When anyone tries to simplify the rule of our party they only end up being more confusing and more difficult to follow. Diversity does have its drawbacks but our country and our party are known for it. The Journal should know that by now but they do spend an unusually great deal of time covering the Republican Party which is a lot less diverse in our state.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
State District Court Judges Elizabeth Whitefield and Judge Carl Butkus showed up. Judge Whitefield arrived in the parade. Judge Butkus show up around 12:30 to meet and shake hands with voters in the south valley. Judge Ben Chavez from the Metro Court who is running for a district court seat walked the parade route shaking hands with the voters. Judge candidates for the metro court that showed up and walked the parade and visited with voters were Reed S. Sheppard, Garry Breeswine, and Maria Dominguez. Missing from the judicial line up was our favor outsider “Judge” Bob Schwartz. I guess being a republican for so long made him forget just how important support from the south valley is to candidates in our party. Bobby please don’t forget you are one of us democrats this year. You should be out talking to the democratic voters.
Congressional District One Candidates that show up to take part in the parade, and talked with voters afterward was Martin Heinrich and Michelle Lujan Grisham. Michelle now has Lujan on the ballot because the court ruled in her favor. But she also has Rebecca on the ballot because the court ruled against her in that case. Michelle said that Martin Heinrich should get lighter colored t-shirts for his supporters now that it is spring. If Martin Heinrich gets his wish then he will also need caps to keep the sun off their heads later this summer. One does have to wonder where Robert Pidcock and Rebecca Vigil Giron were today. Both should realize just how important support for the south valley voters could be to a candidate.
Last but by no means least was Jill Copper who was out for her husband Congressman Tom Udall. Married to Congressman Udall for thirty years with their now grown daughter Amanda, Jill has always been one of Tom’s strongest supporters. It is nice to see a couple so much in love after 30 years of marriage. It is also nice to see a wife that can get out and speak well of her husband to the voters.
There are lots of pictures of the parade on my Webshots. The link is at the bottom of the page with the other links. The Westside Community Center was celebrating its 50th year servicing the south valley community. Awards were given out to local community leaders. By 3:00 p.m. all of the speech giving was over and I was ready to head home to type out this blog.
The day was a windy one and the sun was getting just a little too hot. The south valley has a lot to be proud about and the parade and party afterward was very well attended. Everyone knows that the south valley is a good place to start a campaign and to go to get support for a democratic candidate. The north valley parade was not half as well attended as the south valley parade this year. South Valley residents really know how to throw a party.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Saint Pete gets slap on hand
Senator Pete Domenici received “admonition” letter as a result of senate ethics probe into his calling the U.S. attorney. The man is retiring. He has an incurable brain disease. He is seventy-six years old. After he has represented the voters of New Mexico for many years in public service, what person in their right mind would bring charges against him? He has earned the right to retire in peace and quiet without his name being drudge through the mud. For those individuals who don’t respect the man then my advice is to try and respect the office. As democrats this is one time in our state’s history where it is not that difficult to take the high road on an issue because to do otherwise would only bring shame on our own party.
Listen of Congressional District One Forums in Early May
Subject: Health Care for Seniors
Sponsor: The Alliance for Retired Americans
Date: May 3, 2008
Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Address: 4634 Pitt NE, Bear Canyon Senior Center
Subject: Civil Rights
Sponsor: Vecines United and Ward 14A of the Democratic Party
Date: May 4, 2008
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Address: 1820 Valdora Ave S.E. Ernie Pyle Middle School
Subject: Health Care
Sponsor: The League of Women Voters and Health Action New Mexico
Date: May 8, 2008
Time: 7:00 through 8:30 p.m.
Address: 3701 Carlisle Boulevard N.E., First Unitarian Church
Phone: 884-8441 or 867-1095
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Senator Jeff Bingaman, democrat----Voted Yes
Senator Pete Domenici, republican---Voted No
Senator John McCain, republican----Voted Skipped Vote
McCain, remarks: "They (women) need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else," McCain said. "And it's hard for them to leave their families when they don't have somebody to take care of them.
Just so we are clear on these remarks Senator McCain does not support this bill. He just does not understand that women have better educations then the men that are getting paid more. I had to add this note because some people don't realize when a person is being patronizing with his remarks…
Senator John McCain could not be bothered to take time from his demanding campaign schedule to vote for a bill that would help women receive fair treatment for wage discrimination. Both democratic candidates took valuable time off from their campaigns to support the bill which failed because of republican senators. Women need to understand that the Republican Party does not value them and will not support their issues in this country. We need to support candidates of both genders that support our issues of equal pay for equal work no matter what the job title says.
Today is Take Your Daughter to Work day. I sent my twelve year old daughter to work with a family friend who is a judge in the state district court. Judge Carl J. Butkus is very good with children and has always been a good friend to my daughter. My daughter’s father died before she was born and I wanted someone in her life that she could look up to as smart, kind, honest, and good at what he did for a living. I want my daughter to see that women can earn as much as men and that no field should be kept from women. I want her to understand that she can do anything she wants with her life and the only person that can stop her is herself. I don’t want my daughter to grow up to be a teacher like me because I want her to earn enough to have a comfortable life. Education is a field that will never provide that in this state because New Mexico does not value it teachers and like a few other states most likely never will in the future. I opted to be an educator with the full understanding that I would never earn as much as people who work in the industry that I train my students to enter. I could be out in the industry making more money but I care about the education of our children. It is too bad that our country does not care about the education of our children. This year we can change that fact by electing a democratic lead senate and a democratic president. If we want our daughters to grow up and earn more money then us we need to stand with the party that supports our issues.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I saw on the morning program today that Senator Clinton was put on the spot about the Superdelegates. She was asked what type of message it would send to voters if the Superdelegates overturned the popular vote. Senator Clinton’s response was that the Superdelegates are leaders of our party who have many years of experience in the field and she thinks that their judgment in this matter should override the popular vote. In this case I am hoping that Senator Clinton is correct in her opinion that our party leaders are too wise to make a mistake when it comes down to the wire.
I for one am not thrilled with that idea. I like Senator Clinton and think that she would do a better job than Senator Obama on the issues that I care a great deal about in this year’s election but I don’t think it sends a positive message when the voters have to take a back seat to the Superdelegates. The Superdelegates are leaders of our party and elected officials therefore they should realize just how important the support of voters is to any candidate. If they go against the popular vote, I can see a great number of voters not showing up at the polls in November. People are going to say let the Superdelegates win the election for their candidate in November. This type of behavior could greatly harm our party. I just can’t image that they would be so arrogant as to think that the general voting population would stand still for this type of overt political maneuver.
The press is spending a lot of air time talking up the Superdelegates going against the popular vote right now because the regular delegate numbers are very close and now the Superdelegates votes may count. If they do override the popular vote it would be the height of being out of touch with the people who cast their votes on Election Day. I am hoping that party leadership like Howard Dean and Al Gore will step in and say something or anything to the candidates before this issue comes to all out civil war between the voters and the Superdelegates in our party.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
April 22nd is Earth Day, a good time to think about actions we can take to protect our planet -- steps such as reducing carbon emissions, using fuel more efficiently and advancing “green” technologies. I’d like to share a few things Congress has done in recent months in these areas:
· We passed legislation to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by cars and trucks by increasing average fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, and to rely more heavily on non-fossil based fuels such as homegrown biodiesel.
· We reduced the consumption of energy by increasing the efficiency of home appliances, such as lighting and clothes washers and dryers.
I will continue to work for a comprehensive tax incentives package that makes it less costly to produce renewable energy from the wind and sun, and pass a law that requires utility companies to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources and efficiency gains.
If you are looking for ways you can reduce your impact on the environment, please visit the EPA’s Earth Day website. It provides steps you can follow at home and provides information about Earth Day events.”
We should all be supporting our current Senator’s attempts at helping to preserve our environment and also be working toward adding Congressmen Tom Udall to the Senate this year. A better team we could not ask for in the U.S. Senate.
Congratulations to DNC Delegates!
The results of the election this last weekend.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
How do I know that the people are real in his commercials? My twelve year old daughter really likes Martin and has said that he is a very nice person. She met Martin during the 2006 campaigns. When I told her that he was getting ready to make his commercials she asked if she could be in one. She is studying film making in her middle school. I said yes to her request to be in one of his commercials and this morning we showed up for the filming. Martin had sent out a request for supporter who wished to appear in his commercials earlier in the month.
I think it is good that our children have a good family man to look up to when it comes to our federal government and that same person supports high quality education for our children. I as a mother am very pleased that Martin Heinrich is opposed to "No Child Left Behind" because it has damaged our children's schools. When schools can no longer take children on field trips because of testing requirements, the harm to their education becomes crystal clear. Their education is being limited to national questions that have nothing to do with local culture. If we want our children to be creative thinkers then we need to encourage them to explore their own world, they need to be able to answer questions for themselves rather then being told this is the only correct answer to a test question. Life does not provide a instruction manual with all of the correct answers therefore our children need to be able to reason things out for themselves.
Martin Heinrich also is a strong supporter of environmental causes. He is known for his work on the Albuquerque Bernalillo Water Utility Authority board. We here in Albuquerque and New Mexico live in the high desert and must carefully plan our usage of water. We can not just stop growth in our city but we should look at ways to manage it in a sound way. Too many people would just stop growth or let it go on uncontrolled neither is the right answer. Without growth our city's economy would be harmed but uncontrolled growth will also harm our standard of living in this city in the future. With the right people in the Senate and the Congress we can provide the laws that will enable us to plan carefully for future growth of our cities in the Southwest without destroying our economy in the process. Clean drinkable water will become a major issue in the future and we need someone in office who has a good understanding of our future needs.
Darren White is going to find that he will have a hard time attacking Martin Heinrich as being a classical democrat. Martin Heinrich clearly has solid family values and has shown that he is willing to be a good steward of our land and water here in the southwest. White has questionable values when it comes to his family and his community. He has been a very vocal supporter of the Bush Administration even if it has caused great harm to the middle class in this country. I support Martin Heinrich because I want sensible change in Washington. I want someone in our Congressional District that will have a strong family support base and someone who starts out with the right values. I just can't see someone like Darren White who loves the attention and not his community as being good for New Mexico's or our nation's welfare.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
At 8:00 am the delegates for the convention started arriving at the Hispanic Cultural Center. We had to register 600 hundred people before 10:00 am. I had agreed to volunteer for the registration table because Terri Holland had asked me to support the convention. Most of the delegates were claim and waited in line to register. A very small few needed to be sent back to kindergarten to be retrained on how to behave in a line. Strange to be saying this but I did not get any rude people on February 5 at the caucus which was normal everyday democratic voters. But I did get one rude delegate that wanted to break the rules and became rude and upset when I would not agree to her demands. You would think that a delegate would be better behaved but sad to say this woman needs to learn how to act in public.
Could the registration have run more smoothly? Oh yes, we at the table had to place four stickers on pieces of paper for each delegate. We needed to control who was coming up behind us because it was not good to have people walking up and demanding their name tag before they signed in at the first table. The door behind us was closed and locked but someone got the smart idea to open it so people could get into the building. The one rude woman lost the ticket that she was given to her at the sign-in table and then had to go get another one before we could give her a name tag but she did not want to follow the rules. Always someone in a crowd that feels they are above the rules, although I get the feeling that happens more often in the Republican Party. The letters were not placed so that people could understand which line to stand in and by the end of it people were pulling packets all over the place to get delegates a name tag. I can honestly say that I get the feeling Brian Colon will be happy that he could not take part in this convention. He is a superdelegate and has not chosen a candidate to support yet.
Once everyone was registered they went in and the fun started about voting rules. In the end the rules were kept the same because Roberts Rules of Order do not allow for a change at the convention. The rules must be changed in the state constitution. We should look at ways to change the voting rules so that each candidate is voted for on a ballot and that each delegate is given one paper ballot instead of three or four. The rules are not easy to understand and this upsets people a great deal. The best rules are those that keep it simple and straight forward. I did see a few local candidates and office holders in the general meeting. Lt. Governor Diane Denish was there to support Senator Clinton. State Treasurer James Lewis and State Representative Sheryl Williams-Stapleton were there to support Senator Obama. Judge Elizabeth Whitefield running for state district court was there to say hello to the delegates from both candidates. Also there was Garry Breeswine who is running for Metropolitan Court Division 6.
I went into the group that was electing delegates for Senator Clinton. My personal feeling is that either candidate would be better then Senator John McCain. Both democratic candidates are well suited for the job of president and would do a great service for our country. I have to admit that I voted for Hillary in the caucus because she is a woman and appears to better understand issues that face women in our country today. She is a mother and knows how hard it is to be a working mom. In some cases you could even say that she raised her daughter on her own because her husband (our beloved former President Bill Clinton) was always running for public office. Not his fault but public office takes up a great deal of time for anyone. But back to the convention, the results were Terri Holland is the female delegate and Richard Cooley is one of the male delegates. I went as a district convention delegate so that I could vote for both of them. I was very happy that both got elected. After the voting was over I went over to the Obama room to see how thing were going. Eric Griego was the chair for the Obama group and he was doing a great job. John Wertheim was chair for the Clinton group. John always does a great job with these types of activities. I was sorry to hear that James Lewis did not get one of the delegate spots but I did not hear his name called. Our state treasurer is a good man and a strong supporter of Senator Obama. Our newly elected delegates will now go to the National Convention in Denver in August and vote for the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. With only a few days left until the Pennsylvania Primary it will be interesting to see the results of that election. In the end one must remember that it always comes back to the Will Rogers quote "I don't belong to an organized party--I'm a democrat."
Friday, April 18, 2008
Then came the surprise of the evening a forum with the congressional one candidates. Michelle L. Grisham, Martin Heinrich, and Robert Pidcock all showed up for the debate on issues that affect the area of Bernalillo County. Rebecca Vigil-Giron was missing from the event. Many of the members were not in the room because they were getting training in how to register voters.
The forum started out with each of the candidates giving an introduction of who they were and why they were in the race. But that was when things took a turn for the worst. Robert L. Pidcock a local lawyer who has never ran for office and has a habit of looking more at his feet then at the voters right in front of him came out with a surprise attack on the two lead candidates in the race. He accused both Michelle L. Grisham and Martin Heinrich of taking PAC money and selling out to special interest groups. The whole room was stunned by the angry attack on our lead candidates. Michelle looked in shock by the attack on her taking of $10,000 in PAC money. Martin Heinrich appeared to stay calm and well composed during the attack. Pidcock pointed out that Heinrich had taken $76,000 for PAC money.
Because the format of the forum was a question with one minute answers none of the candidates were allowed a rebuttal answer until another question came up with that topic.
The question that finally resulted in a rebuttal was the one on shielding candidates from special interest by campaign finance reform. Martin Heinrich stated that his father was a union member during his childhood and that most of the PAC money he had received was from unions that represented blue collar workers and their families. It was clear that Heinrich felt a kinship with these workers and has tried in his adult life to support issues that he felt would help middle class and blue collar workers and their families to get ahead. Michelle stayed quiet on the matter and appeared not to have a reply to the attack. It may have just been such a total surprise that she needed time to think of a good response to that kind of mean spirited attack. This will be a learning experience for her because the republicans will not hesitate to launch those types of attacks during the general election.
All of the candidates went on to answer the first question that was on water rights in the Southwest.
Robert Pidcock favored enforcement of current water laws and could not come up with any new ideas on the subject.
Martin Heinrich who has worked on the city water board appeared more knowledgeable about the subject and was in favor of controlled growth with a solid planning program for future water usage.
Michelle L. Grisham was in favor of planed water usage and did not have anything new to add to the topic.
Dealt with how best to deal with health care and the drug companies?
Robert Pidcock suggested negotiating with the drug companies to get a better deal which would result in lower cost to the consumer.
Martin Heinrich wanted to first deal with making sure our children were taken care of by passing a solid program to cover them first. Then fix Medicare by forcing drug companies to negotiate better prices for their products. Heinrich also wanted to allow people who were close to the age limit to buy into the Medicare program to further reduce the cost of drugs.
Michelle L. Grisham wanted to come up with a program that closely resembled the V.A. system.
The question was on funding of charter schools with public funds that would take away from public schools?
Robert Pidcock felt that it was robbing funding from the public school system and he did not support that type of funding but saw no way for the federal government to have any control over local issues.
Martin Heinrich dose not support the practice of using public funding to support charter schools. He felt that the best way to improve the public school systems was by doing away completely with the "No Child Left Behind" Act and then working to find ways to encourage true reform of our public school system. He pointed out that he has two your sons of his own and cares greatly about the future of the public education system.
Michelle L. Grisham simply favored full funding of public education.
How should we best carry out Immigration reform in the U.S.?
Martin Heinrich was proud of New Mexico's handling of immigration as a border state. He was in favor of enforcement of current laws for employers of immigrates. He did feel that they should be more strictly enforced.
Michelle L. Grisham felt that we needed a clear policy for immigration. One that was "fair" and "firm." She appeared to not understand that a good many of the illegal immigrates in this country do pay their taxes.
Robert Pidcock is in favor of rising the limits on how many Mexican can immigrate to this country legally. He also favors enforcement of current laws about employing illegal immigrates.
How can we shield candidate from special interest and large donors?
Michelle L. Grisham felt that the behavior was unfair and not productive.
Martin Heinrich has leaded the city council in campaign finance reform and supports it completely. He would love to see national reforms on campaign financing.
Robert Pidcock once again repeated his attack on the lead candidates and said that he is in favor of campaign reform and would not take a dime of PAC money.
The question was do you support organized labor?
Martin Heinrich said that his father was a union member and that he clearly saw the benefit of organized labor. He said that his mother worked in non union jobs and that because of it she was not treated as well as his father. Martin has been endorsed by 13 unions in the state.
Michelle L Grisham said that she has always support unions.
Robert Pidcock was upset that only one union had contacted him before they endorsed Heinrich. He point out that he had sued one union on behave of a member who thought he was being mistreated by his local. What Mr. Pidcock does not understand as a first time candidate is that it is up to the candidates to contract local unions for their endorsement.
Portability of employee benefits such as health care?
Michelle L. Grisham wanted to increase it.
Robert Pidcock favors universal health care as the answer.
Martin Heinrich favors universal health care that could then go with the employee.
What are your opponent weaknesses?
Robert Pidcock said that he would not personally attack any of the other candidates but did stop to point out that both of his opponents had taking PAC money. He said he wished to only point out differences on issues.
Martin Heinrich took the high road by saying that his opponent was Darren White and that he would not attack another democrat.
Michelle L. Grisham agreed with her opponents views and would no rise to the bait.
Where do you stand on the party platform?
Martin Heinrich saw the platform as a way to inform candidates about which issues were important to party members.
Michelle L. Grisham point out that she strongly supported the platform statements on the death penalty.
Robert Pidcock said that the party requires candidates to support the platform. He also wanted to point out that the only time he supports the death penalty is in cases where the defendant has been convicted of serial murder.
Michelle L. Grisham point out that she saw her relationship with the voters as a partnership.
Robert L. Pidcock pointed out that he has been a lawyer for the last 18 years and has a history of military service.
Martin Heinrich is a big supporter of change in government. He pointed out that he has a strong record of supporting middle and lower income families. He wants to help lead a reform in our government that will move us in a new direction in Washington.
Martin Heinrich was the clear winner of last evening's debate. He was well informed on the issues raised and had well thought out answers. Robert Pidcock came off as angry and unknowledgeable about how to go about getting elected. One suggestion would be for him to start out at a local election and then work his way up to a state district election. It is very difficult for some individuals to learn on the state district stage. He clearly needs help with public image development. Michelle L. Grisham needed to do her homework on basic issues. While she does have some good answers she clearly needed to prepare more for such a debate. Some of her answers were too soft and undefined. The individual that goes up against Darren White can not afford to be unprepared because Mr. White will be well trained and completely prepared to go on the attack from word one.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
We have a president who trips over his own tongue all of the time. I wonder why no one respects his views on issues around the world. President Bush is unwilling to admit to making mistakes ever. He is not tolerant of any view that disagrees with his own view of how things should be dealt with now or ever. Senator John McCain has misspoken on more than one occasion. Senator McCain has a history of using inappropriate language in public when he gets angry. He has a history of becoming aggressive with other people. He has a history of not caring about what the voters think when it comes to issues, both foreign affairs and domestic affairs, which face our nation.
I know that people who spend a lot of time around politics want to hear the candidate’s views on major issues. They want to know how these people plan to fix the problems facing our country down to the smallest detail. Those people can get the details on the candidate’s websites. Senator Clinton repeatedly said so during the debate. We can not begin to criticize the general public for wanting to hear the answers to questions ask in last nights debate because if we don’t get a president who cares about those issues then the major issues won’t matter. A candidate can stand for all the right issues but if they can not work with others then it does not matter because nothing will get done. The public also wants to know that a president will not be spending all of his or her time dealing with one scandal after another if elected. They need to know that a candidate can speak and work with other governments around the world without having their views misconstrued. They want to know that the candidate cares about what the general public thinks about them so that they will be willing to respond to the voter’s views on major issues. The public knows that our candidates support the issues that our party cares about. It has been report over and over that their views are very close. Now is the time to see which one can put his or her best foot forward and win the general election in November. The media is concentrating on unimportant superficial things because these are the small details that could cost a candidate the election at this point in time. All of the major issues have been covered and will be revisited again in detail before November.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I remember when I turned eighteen that I could not wait to walk down to the local courthouse to register to vote for the first time. Jimmy Carter was elected president the year before I turned eighteen and I was completely heartbroken that I was too young to vote for him. I had helped my parent’s campaign for John (Jay) D Rockefeller., IV for Governor of the State of West Virginia the year before I turned eighteen. He along with President Jimmy Carter was the reason that I became a democrat. Both men cared greatly about education and honesty. In a red area like southern West Virginia I knew very few democrats. I saw the dishonesty of the Republican Party first hand during the sixties. My mother a long time republican and activist for that party was not thrilled about my announcement that I had registered as a democrat but over time she learned to live with the fact that her only daughter was an outspoken democrat. My older brother blames it on the fact that my parents took me to meet President John F. Kennedy when I was a baby. My brothers were left at home with the nanny.
This is the first year in many years that I see younger voters excited about voting for a candidate. The Republican Party has decided to target young people in order to get them to vote and stay with their party. We in the Democratic Party should be doing everything we can to get young people excited about our party. I have heard the old cynicism about young people not voting. We as a party can not afford to write off an entire generation of voters because they are reluctance or shy about stepping up for their rights to vote.
Students need to stand up for their rights to an affordable education, low interest loans, and the funding for local colleges. It is in their best interest to show government leaders both local and federal that they care about policies that affect their ability to advance in the job market. With John McCain wanting a 100 year war they need to stand up for peace or they may ended up being drafted to fight in the Bush-McCain 100 year war. It is up to the State and County Democratic Party to educate High school and College student about what our party can offer them that the Republican Party is either unwilling or unable to offer.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Press Release from Tom Udall’s Campaign
TOM UDALL WELL POSITIONED WITH ALMOST $2.6 MILLION CASH-ON-HAND IN FIRST QUARTER
N.M. Democrat Raised Over $1.3 Million in Just 3 Months
Albuquerque, NM - Congressman Tom Udall's campaign for U.S. Senate raised an impressive $1.3 million in the first three months of 2008, and is preparing for the post-primary contest with almost $2.6 million cash-on-hand.
"Thanks to our generous supporters, Tom Udall once again exceeded expectations to raise a tremendous $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2008," Campaign Manager Amanda Cooper, said today. "We are very grateful for the steady outpouring of support that shows Tom's proven record of leadership and courage resonate and are what New Mexicans want in their next United States Senator."
Udall is building his bank account for a competitive general election posting $2,582,940 cash-on-hand. His contributions raised during the first quarter of 2008, which ended March 31, total a strong $1,307,170.
That new total shows he definitively capitalized on the momentum of raising more than the $1 million during the fourth quarter of 2007 -- an amount that beat the fourth quarter fundraising totals of both his potential GOP opponents combined.
"New Mexicans know that Tom Udall is a leader we can count on in the U.S Senate to get things done for our interests, not special interests," said Cooper. "As a standout Attorney General Tom Udall always put New Mexico first by fighting domestic violence, reducing drunk driving and protecting consumers. During his five terms in Congress he has been a strong and consistent voice to protect our troops and brave veterans and expand economic opportunity for New Mexico's small businesses. Tom Udall will work for national change to expand health care, improve education, and achieve energy independence for a new direction in America."
Post Note: Sorry to hear that Barbara from Democracy for New Mexico is having a hard day when it comes to reporting financial news. The world will only get better with people like Tom Udall in office. We still need to report the good news along with the bad news that is a direct result of having a republican controlled senate and a republican president for the last eight years. I hope Barbara has a better day tomorrow!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Do you have a campaign web site? http://www.benrodefer.com/
How old are you? 45
What is your favorite subject area and what was the last book you read?
Water for Elephants
Tell us about your family? Mavis and I have been together for 16 years and have two wonderful daughters Melina and Natalie, who are 9 and almost 4.
What are your connections to the community in district 23? I grew up here, I went to the public schools here, I am proud to be raising my family here. My mother lives in the same 100 year old adobe that I grew up in (in the district).
Where did you get your education and why did you decide to work here in Albuquerque, New Mexico? After Taylor and Cibola, I went to Cornell University. We decided to move back because we love New Mexico. I am currently an art dealer and this is a wonderful place to be based.
What is your work history? In my twenties I was a professional musician. Now I am a small business owner and have several patents pending.
Tell us the experience and qualities you think would make you a good State Representative? I have strong core values and am persistent in fighting for what I believe is right. I was Senator Bingaman's first intern and much earlier worked on Jimmy Carter's campaign when I was 13.
What distinguishes you from your opponent? My opponent does not live in the district. He went to an elite private school and is a wealthy developer. I live and work in the community and care deeply what happens here.
What is the biggest problem(s) facing New Mexico State Representative district 23 when it comes to woman's issues and what would you do to help solve them? There are several important issues facing women in the district, but I would say the most pressing is health care. We have to come together and manifest fundamental changes in the way we provide health care in this country. We can and we must provide high quality and affordable health care to every single person, no exceptions.
Ben Rodefer to Help New Mexico
Ben Rodefer unopposed in Democratic Primary for
NM – Ben Rodefer has filed for New Mexico State House of Representatives, District 23. Rodefer is unopposed in the primary and will face the incumbent, Republican Eric Youngberg, in the November General Election.
"I think this community deserves a more effective voice in Santa Fe. I will work vigorously to build consensus and take real action on the issues important to us all." Rodefer said. "There are so many areas where we can be doing better for our community: providing for our children and their education, providing affordable health care for everyone, improving our roads and bridges, protecting our natural resources, our water. This is our State, our community, and our home, and this is our time!"
Ben Rodefer grew up in the District and attended Sandoval Elementary, Taylor and Cibola before studying at Cornell University. He was Senator Bingaman's first intern in 1983. Rodefer is a small business owner and lives with his wife and two young daughters in Corrales, where they are active in the community.
We need new leadership and we need it now. We need a representative who will work for us, not against us. Ben Rodefer will bring positive change home to the Westside and Corrales. Change for us all.
Those interested in learning more, volunteering, or contributing may visit http://www.benrodefer.com/, e-mail BenRodefer@gmail.com, or call 505-688-9803.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
We are lucky to be able to say that two other groups will have tables beside ours. There will be an earth day banner that can be signed by the students. We will also have Tom Udall’s group handing out information on my favorite candidates for the U.S. Senate. It also looks like some of the second district court judges may decide to get a table as well. To find the registration table just look for the red, white and blue card table.
May 6 is the deadline for people to register to vote so that they can vote in the primary on June 3. ”Change” is the call coming from students all across the country and now is our opportunity to show the country that the college students in our state care about the future of their country. We have a number of great candidates that need our support this year. There are people who would love to make college students feel like voting is something that should not be talked about in public but this is still a free country and we still have the right to freedom of speech. Our college students need to know that the future is in their hands and they need to educate themselves when it comes to who is running their country.
Some of the major issues facing college students today are the high cost of college tuition and interest rates on student loans. The small increases in financial aide have not keep up with the rising cost of education. We need state senators to support funding for buildings, salaries, and equipment for our colleges. We need support for low cost public transportation for college students because parking has become a major issue at our local city colleges. College students need to show that they support candidates like Tom Udall who received 100% (A+) on educational issues from the children’s defense program. If government wants to hold students responsible for their grades then we will hold public representatives responsible for their grades on supporting affordable access to public education for all individuals. We will institute our own no candidate left behind program and I am sure that college students will do a much better job of funding it then the government had done with it failed policy of no child left behind.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Day 2- 04.13.08, Sunday—Depart:7:00 am Cuba-Cuban Café—Torreon 8:00 am—Star Lake 8:30 am—Pueblo Pintato 9:00 am—White Horse Chapter House 10:00 am—Crownpoint 11:30 am Rally—Smith Late 1:00 pm—Thoreau Chapter House 1:45 pm—Mariano Lake 3:00 pm—Pine Dale Chapter House 4:00 pm—church Rock 5:15 pm—Gallup Ellis Tanner Trading Rally 6:30 pm.
So put on your running shoes and go meet the candidate.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
*Chair of the State Rules Committee, appointed by State Chair Brian Colon.
*Member of the Rules Committee since 2005
*Precinct Chair and Ward Chair in Bernalillo County
*Volunteer at the State Headquarters
*Attended his first Democratic State Convention in 1968
Today Bruce Barnaby made it formal that he is running for National Committeeman for New Mexico's Democratic Party. On April 26, 2008 the State Central Committee will elect a National Committeeman and Committeewoman to represent the Democratic Party of New Mexico on the Democratic National Committee. Bruce has sent a letter to all Members of the State Central Committee announcing his candidacy.
Bruce Barnably sees the two main issues facing our party in future elections to be “A 50 State Strategy” and The National Presidential Primary. Bruce supports DNC Chair Howard Dean's grassroots efforts to increase party membership with his “50 State Strategy.” Bruce wants to join Chairman Dean in renewing and strengthening the “50 State Strategy.” Mr. Barnably also anticipates a discussion on a National Presidential Primary which may result in revising the way the United States conducts primary elections to select candidates for president.
Mr. Barnably if elected has said that he will keep Democrats in New Mexico informed as these issues move forward and he will seek advice and suggestions in open forums and meetings.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The sad point is that most news media outlets are, because of rating wars and demand for commercial income, going more in the direction of designer editorials and less in the direction of true neutral reporting. It is really easy to pick a cable news network which fits you political view of the world today no matter which side you lean toward. The only problem with this is that if everything they report or say only reinforces what you already support then people are not forced to think about the other side of the coin.
The true benefit of freedom of speech is that it forces people to view ideas and concepts that they might not original agree with and it requires that people try to understand both sides of any issue. We are a completely divided country today because people don’t like to hear viewpoints that don’t dovetail with their own views on issues. Politicians are criticized or worse for talking with members of the other party at present. The art of compromise has become a fault in modern day society. If we want any hope of a future for our country than we need to begin to listen to and talk with the other side of that divide no matter how hard it will be from the start. We don’t have to agree with them at first but we should listen to their point of view.
We need to start by demanding that public news Medias move back to true neutral reporting of news events. We don’t want to hear just one side of the issues any longer and see just one party’s candidates. They should no longer attack any candidate unless that person has done something illegal or unethical. We want the facts and then let the public viewers decided how to interpret that information. If a news program is giving a point of view that is not neutral then they should not be allowed to call themselves a news program but only an editorial program. This rule should be absolute for evening news programs.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Ward 19 A & B and Ward 18A
Voter Registration Drive
Location: Plaza next to the Student Service Center
Main Campus: Plaza at 900 University Blvd and
Baseheart Rd. SE
Time: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
The Democratic Party is encouraging college students to register to vote for the June 3 primary election. We will have a table on the plaza just outside the Student Service Center at Central New Mexico Community College on April 14 and 15. All unregistered individuals are encouraged to drop by the table. This event will be bipartisan and all registration forms will be turned into the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office within 48 hours of completion.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Also in attendants was the Honorable Elizabeth Whitefield who is running for reelection for the Second District Court and Victor Raigoza who is running for State Senate district 10.
During the morning people were talking about the law suit brought by three local women to keep Rebecca Vigil-Giron from being on the ballot in June. The thing to remember about this issue is that it is not new or unusual for people to question the signatures of a candidate. The court will need to decide if there is any real problem with her signatures.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Some people are so filled with hate and angry about the past that if you do not acknowledge those feeling then the person you are talking with will not even begin to hear what you have to say to them. Rev Wright is said to be a thoughtful man who is trying to reach out to people from a community which has dealt with race issues all of their lives. Chicago’s south side communities have been divided for a very long time. The young people in that area of Chicago are not from middle class neighborhoods where the race divide has become a hidden factor of life. The young people of that community are filled with hate and anger from their environment. Until you can relate to someone on a day to day bases then what hope do you have of them trusting you enough to care about your views on issues that matter to them. Rev. Wright would have not hope of passing along his views to people if he all he every preached was sunshine and flowers to those young people. Hope is difficult for people to understand when they have never had it in their life. Culture can be both a strength and yet a weakness when trying to move up the economic ladder in this country. I get the feeling that Rev Wright was trying to walk on the edge of a blade as is Senator Obama and as I am by even trying to write about this issue.
I came from a small southern New England town that was mostly Republican. In my mother’s time African Americans were not treated as equals. The language my parents used to describe them was not kind nor gentle if viewed from today’s standard. My mother thought herself progressive because she could allow herself to be friends with people of color. But she like some African Americans of today did not want families of mixed race. She tried and failed to instill that belief in her children. I may not be able to begin to understand what it is like to be an African American in today’s world but I do count some African Americans among my friends. In my youth I dated African American men. One of those young men would hide his white girlfriends from his mother because he understood her strong hate of the idea of interracial relationships. I myself never told my mother that I dated interracially for fear of her reaction. I understood the hate and fear that came from both races by what I did in dating those young men. Hate and anger are not something held by only one race toward another in this country. Misunderstanding about race can happen between any two cultures that are forced to live together. Just look at world history to find example for the past.
People should be more careful before they condemn someone of another culture for speech meant to be heard by only one cultural group. I don’t support the language Rev. Wright used but I can understand why he used it as I did not support the language my parents used to describe African Americans but I understand why they spoke that way. I am sure that Rev. Wright would have not chosen those speeches to be made public to the whole world. I am also sure that he would have chosen different words had he known he would be speaking to the whole world. Sometimes hard words are required to get young people’s attention so that they are willing to hear a message of hope for the future. In the end we mush all teach understanding and acceptance of other cultures if not for us then for our children.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Speaking about tone as you can see the republican representatives got an ear full over the Easter Day weekend about the bailout of the Bear Stearns Investment Bank while they disregarded and downright ignored homeowners who were losing their homes. Senate leader Harry Reid had to convince people that the bipartisan bill was not an April Fools day joke. It may still turnout to be just that if the Bush Administration does not take the issues seriously enough when the bill gets to the current president’s desk. The voting public is going to have to keep the pressure on their republican representatives when it comes to this issue. President Bush may try to force a veto override on this bill. Leave it to the Bush Administration to side with big business while stealing from the middle class and our future generations to pay for it. The cost of the bailout for Bear Stearns Investment Bank is being financed by taxpayer’s dollars and Treasury bills which will be payback by our future generation’s tax dollars.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The problem with this stand is that most moderate democrats and independents are fiscal conservatives. In times of economic difficulty these people put financial matter above those of moral issues. The war with its huge cost is now affecting our economy which will only tend to push these democrats and independents toward someone like Senator Barack Obama because of his ability to work in a bipartisan capacity when it comes to issues of finance.
When woman who control the buying power for families find that the cost of basic food items are increasing than they feel a real threat to their own personal welfare and the welfare of their children. When these same women feel that their safe home is being put at risk then they turn to the party best able to represents the idea that they have the ability to control spending and bring down inflation. President Bill Clinton may have left an impression of moral problems in his marital relationship but nevertheless his administration left a lasting impression of economic stability that conservative democrats and independents alike find hard to ignore.
The Bush Administration has lost sight of the fact that it is middle class families which drives the Republican Party’s ability to place a republican candidate into office. When the economy is doing well then people can consider basic moral issues but that does not hold true when the economy is clearly facing a recession.
Women make up a sizable portion of the active conservative voting group in the Democratic Party. These women want to know that the candidate they put into office can control spending and base his decisions on getting results that improve the lives of their families. Senator John McCain has clearly missed the point with his first national advertisement in this state.