Friday, May 30, 2008
Robert Pidcock launched an attack ad on Martin Heinrich criticizing him for not knowing that he needed a business license for his consulting company. Martin Heinrich had never run a small business before that consulting company and was learning his way through all of the complex rules that it took to run such a business. He paid his sales taxes and worked hard to make a success of himself.
Robert Pidcock has been a lawyer for the last nineteen years and understands that there are a complete set of laws for reporting finances in this state. Yet he made the mistake of not reporting a personal loan within 48 hours as he was required to when running for public office.
My mother always told me that people who live in glass houses should never throw stones at others. I feel that Mr. Pidcock now owes Martin Heinrich an apology for his remarks. After all we are all mere mortals and we sometimes make mistakes. Martin Heinrich fixed the mistake as soon as he knew that he needed a business license. The problem with attack ads are that they are hurtful and they set you up for someone to come after you. I see no reason that Martin Heinrich could not forgive Mr. Pidcock for his mistake once he had apologized for his remarks. I would never consider myself mistake free. I don’t know anyone over the age of 15 years old that can stand up and say that they have lived a life free of mistakes. Attack ads are never a good idea and candidates should stick to providing the voting public with their vision of how they plan on fixing our current problems that face our nation. I must admit to being sadly disappointed by Mr. Pidcock's behavior because I had respected his stand on ethic's issues up til now.
Congressman Tom Udall is right when he says that we need to not take unappreciated even one single vote from our base. We need to work to get every single voter to the polls this fall if we plan on winning the U.S. Senate seat. Now will be the time for all democrats to unite and work as hard as they can to make sure that Congressman Tom Udall ends up U.S, Senator for New Mexico.
Update:Looks like Congresswoman Heather Wilson is quilty of wishful thinking. The local Fox News station reported that the people for Senator Pete Domenici are saying that he did not endorse Congresswoman Wilson but he would like to see her win both the debate and the primary race. Maybe next time she should talk to the man himself...
Update: Saturday on again, off again, back on again. Not exactly the most ringing endorsement but something is better then nothing or so Congresswoman Wilson should think.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Jill Cooper can borrow my daughter for a granddaughter any time she wants to in the future. My daughter is already asking for a children’s victory party in November to celebrate Tom Udall’s victory over the republican candidate. I know that drives Congressman Udall up the wall but I will also encourage everyone to turn out so that we can give him his first landslide victory into the U.S. Senate Seat. No one had better stay home for the fall vote. We will need every body we can get to ensure that blue is the color of victory for 08.
Every candidate in Albuquerque and a few from other parts of the state would kill to be seen in the company of Congressman Udall. I am sure that the other party would have a problem claiming the same feelings from their local candidates. If you don’t believe me just check the picture on my Webshots. The link is on the lower left hand side of this page.
How old are you? I am 36 years old.
What is your favorite subject area and what was the last book you read?Environmental issues have been a life-long interest of mine. Right now I’m reading Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy, by Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendricks.
Tell us about your family and what affect they had on your decision to run for the U.S. Congressional seat? My wife, Julie, and I have been married since 1998 and we have two sons, Carter and Micah. My wife and children are the most important things in my life. Running for public office is a challenge, and balancing a family life and a campaign schedule is a daily struggle. My parents were blue collar workers who worked every day to ensure that I would be successful in life. I gained so much from my parents’ support and sacrifice, and I want to provide my own children with the same opportunities that I had growing up. I want them to have the same hope for the future I had.
Who is the better cook in your family and do you help out in the kitchen? Well, of course with two small boys running around the house it’s hard to say who is in the kitchen at any time! It’s definitely a team effort. We do have our specialties: Julie loves working with vegetables and I enjoy barbequing. We try to buy only locally grown produce and locally raised meats, to show support for local farmers and their businesses.
Where did you get your education and why did you decide to work here in Albuquerque, New Mexico?I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Missouri. I also did some graduate work at UNM’s Community and Regional Planning program.
I decided to work here in Albuquerque while I was visiting Spain with Julie. I had considered jobs in other states, but Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima changed our minds. Sitting one night in Spain, we talked about all the places we could move to in order to find jobs and begin our lives together. Julie thought back to Rudolfo Anaya’s book and suggested Albuquerque. Both Julie and I had visited New Mexico many times and we knew we loved it there. It wasn’t a decision to follow a job. It was a decision to go back to a place we knew we loved and could raise a family in.
What is your work history?Over the past fifteen years I've had the opportunity to work in the non-profit, private, and public sectors, and in each position of responsibility I've worked hard on behalf of New Mexico's families. As Executive Director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation I nearly tripled our budget and enrollment. This meant we were able to provide even more young people with a unique wilderness experience in backcountry New Mexico. I founded a small business consulting firm to represent non-profit organizations. We brought together a coalition of tribal and environmental leaders to establish the Ojito Wilderness, which includes 11,000 acres of tribal and wild land. I've had the great opportunity to work for my community. On behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I worked on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Project. Governor Bill Richardson appointed me as the Natural Resources Trustee for the State of New Mexico, where I directed funds to clean up nitrate-polluted waters in the South Valley. Finally, I served four years on the Albuquerque City Council, including a term as President of the Council, during what is described as one of the most productive sessions in Albuquerque history. We brought together business and community leaders to cooperate in successfully raising the minimum wage in our city.
Tell us the experience and qualities that you have which will make you a good U.S. Congressman?The main quality I have is my ability to get people to work together towards a common goal. There are so many problems that affect New Mexicans and could have been addressed already, except for the gridlock in Congress. My experiences on the Albuquerque City Council taught me the importance of service to my community. As President of the City Council, I gained experience in juggling all the different views of my fellow Councilmen while still maintaining a productive atmosphere. It’s about the results, not about who gets the credit.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s)?I am the only candidate to have any kind of experience creating and passing legislation. As a Councilman, I established a reputation for bringing together people who disagreed on issues. Together we were able to cooperate in solving the problems that are so often gridlocked by leaders who do not agree.
What is the biggest problem(s) facing New Mexico Congressional District 1 when it comes to woman’s issues and what would you do to help solve them?Pay equity is the women’s issue of most concern to me. In the United States, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn, an inequality that exists even in New Mexico. Congress and all its members must act, by reforming equal pay laws to ensure that women are paid fairly for the work they do. This includes increasing access to quality, affordable childcare, so working families and single mothers have the ability to choose the employment option that is right for them. It also means we need to improve equal access for women to basic education, financial education, and housing.
A quote from Senator Jeff Bingaman on this bill, “Despite the farm bill's contribution to New Mexico's and the nation's farmers, families, children, environment, and the growing and critical biofuels industry, President Bush vetoed the bill when it reached his desk last week. I am happy to report that on May 22nd, with extensive bipartisan support the Senate passed the bill with 82 votes in favor, joining the House in overriding the President's veto and enacting the bill into law.”
This is a clear example of what having a democrat in the U.S. Senate can do for New Mexico. Just think what we could achieve with two democratic U.S. Senators.
As for the congress do we really want a congressman like Sheriff Darren White who would turn to President Bush to raise blood money for his campaign? In a few short days we will know who our candidate will be for Congressional district one and it will be up to the democratic voting public to back that person to the fullest. Now is the time to get out and help support your candidate for Congressional District One and the same can be said for Congressional Districts two and three. It is up to the voting public to turn New Mexico into a blue state in 08.
Campaign Headquarters Launch Party
By Bryan Barash
Thursday, May 29th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, we cordially invite you to join Tom Udall for Senate (and Tom Udall himself!) at our official campaign headquarters and learn about how you can get involved in his campaign for US Senate. Our headquarters is located at 3311 Candelaria Road NE, Suite B (just west of Carlisle -- Look for the signs).
RSVP by contacting Andrew Marshall at 505 884 3055 or by email at email@example.com .
We encourage everyone with an interest in the Congressman and his campaign to come on down, meet Tom, meet the staff, and get involved!
That is right today Congressman Tom Udall will be in Albuquerque to meet and speak with voters. This is the time to show our support for our future U.S. Senator. It only takes one time of talking with Congressman Udall to know that the man was predestined to become a U.S. Senator. New Mexicans will not find a person who is more ready and able to do a great job representing them. I look forward to seeing the New Mexican voting public at this event.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I spent a little time last weekend talking to Judge Bob Schwartz during the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County’s annual spring picnic. Here are the results of that conversation.
Question 1: Judge Schwartz why did you change from the Republican Party to The Democratic Party?
Answer: It was time. I have always been a democrat. I just realized two years ago that it was better not to fight it any longer.
Question 2: Judge Schwartz why run for a position as a judge at this point in your life?
Answer: I have done many things in my life. I have been a lawyer, a District Attorney, a writer, and crime advisor to the governor. I felt the time was right to try being a judge for the district court.
Question 3: Say you are elected you are not as young as your opponent. How long do you see yourself being a judge?
Answer: I am not one of those people who can ever see himself as retired. I see myself as one of those people who will die working.
Question 4: Do you have any thoughts toward moving up once elected to this position?
Answer: No, I would stay a district court judge.
Question 5: One of my friends thinks that a judge should know his own mind and not change his decisions once he makes one. You increased the bail in a case recently after you had lowered it why?
Answer: I ordered the District Attorney’s office to provide me with more information after reading the case file because I felt that they had not fully represented their case in court. I wanted to have all of the information in which to base a final decision so that it was fair to all of the parties involved. I feel if necessary a judge should compel the District Attorney’s office to provide all of the information necessary to make a well informed decision in a case.
Question 6: Did you feel pressured by the press surrounding the case to change your decision?
Answer: I don’t feel pressure from negative press about anyone single case. I feel that it is my decision to make and I really just don’t care what they write or say on the matter. I do care about how the public views overall issues and as a whole how they view the court system. I would like to make the court system more accessible to the public when it comes to providing documents and understanding procedures.
Question 7: What would you say is some of the issues facing women in New Mexico and what have you done in your long career to help resolve these issues?
Answer: As Distract Attorney I had a task force to respond to domestic violence calls. I also helped with the creation of a law that would prevent abuse of the elderly and the handicapped.
Question 8: There has been talk about adding more laws to protect judges when it comes to people coming after judges. How do you feel about this issue?
Answer: I was a district attorney for many years and had to deal with that then. I had people who wanted to kill me and were ready to carry out those threats. I feel that I can take care of myself.
Question 9: Being a judge takes time would you take home work with you?
Answer: I take work home with me in a different way. I want to make the fairest decisions I can but I don’t want anyone to suffer because of the decisions I make so I am as careful as I can be when it comes to the decisions I make in cases. My decisions matter to me and I have to live with the consequences.
Question 10: Do you have any family?
Answer: I am divorced but I am a single parent. I have a son who is in college.
Question 11: Any hobbies?
Answer: Yes, I collect antique furniture. The time period is late nineteen century but I have run out of room and am upgrading my collection at this point.
Question 12: Do you think you should buy a bigger house?
Answer: No, I already did that so I will just stick with upgrades for now.
Kennedy and Rockefeller, These are family names that are respected in our party because their families have taught them the true meaning of the word “public service.” It is not about holding office but reaching out to help people that matters when it comes to holding an office. Self sacrifice for the greater good. The personal reward for public service is all about knowing that you have helped people who don’t have the skills to help themselves. Attention and respect come not from holding office but what you achieve while holding office. The greater good comes for having the power and the wisdom gained over time to understand what will create real and lasting change without causing unforeseen harm such as with corn and world hunger. Another good example was the war in Iraq where people were calling for war but senior senators would not vote for it because their reasoning told them it was a mistake from the start. There is nothing wrong from learning from past mistakes as long as you are willing to admit to them. People can be trained to be good public servants but it is not an easy task.
Some people go into politics for the attention or the personal profit. They think they are doing the right things but for all of the wrong reasons. They see power as their end goal and will do anything to acquire it. They are willing to compromise their ethics to gain power. They treat people with total disrespect and don’t understand why when they win they don’t win by large margins. For these types of people power gives them self esteem. They have a need to appear better than others and often look down on the very people they claim to represent.
The voting public can be a very demanding group of people to live with in politics. They want to look under your hood and kick your tires before voting for you. They ask you endless questions often repeatedly and never appear completely satisfied or happy with your answers. They want to know every little detail about you and everyone who is a part of your life. What the voting public is looking for is that signal which is intangible that you can be trusted and have their best interest at heart. They want to know that you can not be diverted by little things like attacking people who give offence to your beliefs or standards. Public Service is a great calling but it is hard often difficult work that will eat away at your personal life. Yet the rewards of seeing the faces of the people you have helped are something that can never be shaken or taking away.
I would advise the current group of candidates to be kind and understanding to the voting public at this point in your campaigns and as for the voting public remember that while all candidates are not perfect they do deserve to be treated with kindness and courtesy.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The Democratic Party of New Mexico organized an anti war protest today on the Rio Grande Boulevard at the Hartnett Park. The idea was to show President Bush that his present here in New Mexico was not welcomed by either the voting public or the Democratic Party. All of the Congressional One candidates were invited to attend the event. Because there was four such anti war protest along the route the president would take to the home where the fund raiser was taking place only one candidate show up for the party protest. More then 50 people show up with signs to make their feeling crystal clear that President Bush was not welcome in our state and his candidate would not stand a chance of winning in the fall election no matter how much money his party throws at him. It is clearly a bad move on the part of Sheriff Darren White. I am sure that this little fund raiser will be the topic of many ghost stories come the fall election.
Our commanding state party leader Brian Colon showed up to lend his support to the protest. He had strong words for President Bush and Sheriff Darren White. We will turn Congressional District One blue this year. We don’t want him in our state to help candidates that support an endless war. Chairman Colon was wearing clear glasses today even though the sun in New Mexico is bad for your eyes because he wanted to look people in the eyes as he spoke to the voting public. He noted that Senator McCain was hiding behind sunglasses because he feared looking New Mexican Veterans in the eye when he told them that he would not vote for a bill that would help send them to college and reward their service to America with a better education. Congressman Tom Udall who is running unopposed in the democratic primary for senate is leading the charge on this issue right now in Washington so he could not be at the event. Democratic New Mexicans look forward to seeing our beloved Congressman at his grand opening of his Campaign office for senate here in Albuquerque on Thursday evening.
Martin Heinrich who is leading in the latest polls in the Congressional District one race also turned out to show that he also does not support an endless war in Iraq and feels the money could be better spent to assist middle class families with economic problems at home. I noted that he was speaking to the union leaders for the AFL-CIO during the event. He has received many local union endorsements over the last few months.
There are more pictures of the event on my webshots link at the lower left side of this page.
"Do you know of anyone else who can speak from the same place that I can? I have cleaned the toilets of other people while they looked down on me, and I have been in the fanciest offices in the biggest buildings in the biggest cities. I am doing this, because I understand, not because I expect to get anything from it personally other than the reward of knowing that one seat is occupied by someone who thinks of nothing but helping others. The attention of others means nothing. Helping others means everything."
Monday, May 26, 2008
This does not mean that West Virginians or New Mexicans should blindly follow people like President George W. Bush or Senator John McCain. I was taught for an early age not to follow just anyone but to questions our elected officials because they are not a part of our military. Some Politicians can be wrong or diluted by power and don’t always see what is good for either our military or our country.
I support men like Congressman Tom Udall, Senator Jeff Bingaman and Governor Bill Richardson who support our troops while taking care not to give their lives without just cause. We need leadership in our national government of people who put the American people’s needs before the needs of large corporations and their own.
I will never support men like Senator John McCain or Congressman Steve Pearce because I questions their attitude toward our military. With comments like supporting a hundred years war they appear far too willing to sacrifice the lives of our young men and women without any plan to end the war or reduce the number of deaths. For them it is a matter of money over the value of life and we should never support men who can value profit before human life.
Death Toll Since Iraq War began (3/19/03): 4083
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Do you have a campaign website or some way for people to contact you if they are interested in volunteering for your campaign? firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
What is your favorite subject area and what was the last book you read? New Mexico History and the last book I read was Your Child’s Self-Esteem
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Bruce Fox and have a two year old son, Spencer Luke Fox. I also have a very close relationship with my parents and my elderly mom has been living with me off and on for the last two years so that she can be closer to medical specialists and facilities. I am the youngest of three children and have a large extended family.
Who is the better cook in your family and does your husband help out in the kitchen? My husband, my husband loves to cook and does most of the cooking and dish washing.
If we asked your husband what are your strong points and what are your weak points, what do you think his response would be? My husband tells me that I have an excellent understanding of people. Weak point…”you work too much.”
When and why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I have wanted to be an attorney every since I can remember and I became an attorney to help people.
Where did you get your education and why did you decide to work here in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
Penasco High School 1984-1986
New Mexico Military Institute 1986-1988 (High School Diploma)
New Mexico Military Institute 1988
New Mexico Highlands University 1989-1992 (B.A. Political Science)
University of New Mexico School of Law 1992-1995
What area of law did you specialize in? I run my own very busy law practice focusing on providing hearing officer services to the City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico Department of Environment. I also serve as counsel to the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Control Board. I also represent clients in family law and criminal matters.
What is your career history?
Before going into private practice, I worked as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Albuquerque with the Safe City Strike Force in identifying, prosecuting, and mediating with nuisance property owners; settling cases in Metropolitan Court Traffic Arraignment Program; seeking vehicle forfeiture in DWI cases and I also worked in the litigation Division defending the City in Civil Rights Litigation including Sec. 1983 actions and Employment Cases.
I also have worked with the New Mexico Public Defender Department in the Metropolitan Division as a trial attorney. After less than one year I moved to the Felony Division in Bernalillo County, where I had great success both at trial and, in particular in my, motion practice. My abilities, successes and my work ethic led to me being promoted, this time to a supervisory position in the then recently-created New Mexico Public Defender Department office in Farmington, New Mexico.
As a supervisor I was solely in charge of training and supervising four attorneys, all of whom had recently graduated from law school and had been assigned a misdemeanor caseload in the Farmington and the Aztec Magistrate Courts. In addition to my supervisory duties, I carried a full felony caseload ranging from first to fourth degree felonies. During my time in Farmington office, the New Mexico Public Defender Department honored me by naming me Attorney of The Year.
After two years in the Farmington office, I returned to the Albuquerque Public Defender Felony Division as a “floating trial attorney” meaning that I was not assigned to a specific judge, but instead was assigned to difficult cases and clients. After working for some time in the felony division I moved to the Public Defender Appellate Division, which required handling appeals from the Metropolitan Court along with overflow cases from the Public Defender Appellate Division in Santa Fe.
What made you decide to become a democrat?
I have always been a democrat and never anything else. My father has always been involved in and with the Democratic Party of New Mexico. I grew up working on campaigns and going to conventions. I consider my friends from the party my second family and am absolutely committed to equality in society.
Tell us the experience and qualities you think would make you a good judge.
The main qualities which make me well-suited for the position as a Metropolitan Court Judge are that I have extensive experience practicing law in Metropolitan Court and I recognize its importance to the community. I have a very even temper and treat all people with respect. My experience as an appellate public defender required me to handle a number of appeals from Metropolitan Court. The experience made me very familiar with the court rules, the appellate rules, the uniform jury instructions, case law, and the rules of evidence, which I think are important assets in being able to make fair and decisive rulings. My appellate practice also helped me fully understand the applicable laws and rules and procedures of Metropolitan Court. This experience further gave me knowledge as to which appellate issues would likely arise during court proceedings, which case law should apply to issues coming up in court, and which decisions from the bench would likely be upheld on appeal. This personal insight into the workings of the Court also gave me a valuable perspective which I look forward to using if I am given the opportunity to serve as a Metropolitan Court Judge.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why do you think you could do a better job? The obvious answer is that I am the only woman in this race. I am bi-ethnic and bi-cultural and fluent in both English and Spanish. My experience in Metro is extensive and relevant to this position which is criminal slot and not a civil slot. I am seasoned trial attorney and hearing officer. I have seen all sides of the courtroom and have first hand knowledge of the challenges facing all sides. In addition, what I have observed, I have the most energy and desire to work hard and get the job done.
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? I don’t think that there is just one major problem when it comes to dealing with woman’s issues. Obviously, I am a woman and, therefore, I have a better understanding of the issues facing women. Domestic Violence is definitely a problem and I believe that women need more support and understanding when it comes to being a witness in metro court. Often, the victim in a domestic violence case has changed her story by the time the trial comes around. I think it would be helpful if DV cases in metro court should be short-tracked and prosecuted within 60 days of the incident. I also feel that the current early intervention program dealing with domestic violence should be expanded to include repeat offenders.
In addition, the number of women being charged with prostitution is enormous. I have represented many woman charged with prostitution and most if not all have a substance abuse problem. Currently, there is no program in Metro Court specifically geared toward helping women charged with prostitution. I would like to look at other State’s models and figure out a way to help these women who are in a horrible situation and need treatment, health care, and education.
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 do think that most of the general public has a basic understanding of the court system but, there is always room for improvement. I think there should be more pro se support and more access to helpful forms.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Barack Obama for President Group
He will be in New Mexico on Monday and his wife will be here on Tuesday. I invite Senator Obama to send a statement for our readers here in New Mexico. We would like to hear from him in the near future.
Tom Udall for Senate group
Martin Heinrich for Congress group
These two candidates could not be present. Congressman Udall is in Washington on the people's business. We understand and completely support soon to be "Senator" Udall. Martin Heinrich while he would have love to been at the picnic was on the phone with voters trying to get out the vote. I did personally express to him how disappointed the party faithful was that he could not make the picnic. He told me that he was working seventeen hour days so that we would have a democratic representative that cared about the middle class and working families in district one.
Candidates that were there in person:
We in the party can not express how pleased we were that so many candidates show their strong support and made the time to show up at the Democratic Party event this year. It shows that they care about the voting public here in Bernalillo County and are willing to place members of the party in front of their needs. I strongly advise that our party members get out and vote for the candidate of your choice.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. Congressional Candidate District one
Robert Pidcock, U.S. Congressional Candidate District one
We are lucky to have many gifted candidates in this race. I was very pleased to see that Robert Pidcock felt that he could share his positive vision of the future with the voters today.
Kari Brandenburg, Candidate for District Attorney
We support Kari brandenbrug she is a solid district attorney.
Maggie Toulouse-Oliver, Candidate for County Clerk
Maggie could make the most difficult job in the world look simple and she has over the last few months. We could not ask for a better county clerk.
Tim Keller, Candidate for State Senate District 17
Shannon Robinson, Candidate for State Senate District 17
This one was interesting because both candidates need to stop attacking each other and concentrate on the voting public. I will ask both of them to give interviews in the near future. I know that Governor Richardson is a long time friend of Senator Robinson.
Victor Raigoza, Candidate for State Senate District 10
Joel Davis, Candidate for State Senate District 10
Sorry Joel but I like Victor for this race because he has been very active in the local community and he is a good fit for that area of the city.
Michael Padilla, Candidate for State Senate District 11
More on this race later because I plan on talking to Michael Padilla about his views on after school programs.
Justice Charles Daniels from the state supreme court and Judge William Parnell from the district court provided the music. We are lucky that they decided to go into law because they are very gifted in music as well. Both are so good at their jobs that no one wanted to run against them from either party.
I personal showed up with a banner for Judge Carl J. Butkus (Retention only Vote Yes!) who could not be there because a family member was in ill health. Judge Butkus wanted the voters in Bernalillo County to know that he wanted to show his support for the party faithful. Judge Butkus sets the standard for criminal court judges.
Bob Schwartz, Candidate for District Court Division 9
Ben Chavez, Candidate for District Court Division 9
I spent a lot of time with Bob Schwartz today and will blog more on this one late.
I also plan on doing an interview with Ben Chavez as well.
Elizabeth Whitefield, Candidate for District Court Division 25
Frank Sedillo, Dropped out of the race so Judge Whitefield is the only candidate in this race even though his name is still on the ballot so vote for Judge Whitefield.
Charles W. Brown, Candidate for District Court Division 26
Gail K. Prosser, Candidate for District Court Division 26
I like Charles Brown for this race because of all of his experience and I feel that he has grown a great deal in the few short months since I first met him. He is a good man for the bench. I hope that Gail Prosser dose not give up because there will be more seats opening in the near future on the district court.
Maria Dominguez, Candidate for Metro Court
Reed Sheppard group, Candidate for Metro Court
Garry Breeswine, Candidate for Metro Court
Read the interviews because they are all well qualifed for the position. I hope to see all three on the court as metro judges in the future.
Clay P. Campbell, Retention Race District Court (Vote Yes) See I can be nice but no more skipping my parties Judge Campbell. I will not let him forget or live that one down until he asks me to forgive him.
Jason Marks, Candidate for Public Regulation Commission District 1
Anna Canales and the party did a great job putting this event together. I hope that I got everyone. Please feel free to email me if I missed anyone.
Science and the study of other planets in our solar system are an important endeavor for our country. We gain scientific knowledge from these flights to other planets that we then use on our own planet. The advancement of useable solar panels is just one example of technology that can be used to produce renewable energy here on earth. We should all support the important research done by NASA and the JPL Labs. We have people right here in New Mexico who work for them every year.
Friday, May 23, 2008
When I first saw it I though it was too cute. Any female voter I have talked with liked it. He will have to live with the fact of a little Calvin Kline reaction for the female voters at least the ones I talked to but Martin Heinrich gets the same reaction. Then some of the male bloggers chimed in that they liked it because it appeared down to earth. Pidcock is from a small Ohio farm and has those values. He is open and honest to a fault and believes in hard work. He will not take PAC money and views it in a completely negative way. He has been a lawyer by trade. He put himself through college with odd jobs and has practiced law for 18 years. He is a veteran. He has lived in Albuquerque for 22 years. He has never run for any other public office and appears not to like politicians yet he wants to go to Washington as a congressman. He does like to argue a point and does not give up easily if at all. Someone I know compared him to Mr. Smith goes to Washington with Jimmy Stewart. He has a view on every topic and is more than willing to tell you in that I know best open and honest tone of his how he feels on the issues even if you don’t agree with him. I don’t see him as either a liberal democrat or a conservative democrat but more in the middle. I have not asked and don’t know anything about his personal life. After this last week with Ben Ray Lujan I totally feel that we should give it a rest on the personal life of a candidate for a while unless they want to speak about it. Pidcock has nothing on his website about any wife or children. Sorry ladies if you want to know you will just have to ask him yourself.
I have been unable to agree to support Pidcock because I am supporting Martin Heinrich who is leading the pack in the polls at this point in time on the democratic side. I don’t care for the Bush loving republican side and would never vote for anyone that supported Bush or McCain much less invited those men into our city to raise blood money for them. Martin Heinrich was my city councilman and I have known his a lot longer. I know what his true self is like and I understand that his values are truly democratic. So in fairness I leave it up to the readers to check out Pidcock for them selves.
Updated Post Note as of Saturday May 24, 2008:
OK, Ladies I asked just so you would know for sure. Our congressional candidate is divorced but still good friends with his ex-wife. No children. NO! Scandals please but he is free.
It is good to see that Martin Heinrich will fight to help middle class families and stop the war in Iraq. Sheriff Darren White should be held accountable for his close ties to President George W. Bush.
Don’t forget also that on Saturday that Tom Udall for Senate is walking neighborhoods in the morning and will need supporters. We can find out who is home for the weekend.
I am also sure that Martin Heinrich, Bill McCamley, and Ben Ray Lujan will need supporters to help out at their campaign offices.
Senator Obama will be in Los Cruces for Monday for anyone who has not got the chance to see him.
There will be lots to do this weekend so I hope that everyone gets out there and has fun this weekend.
Senator Clinton is a very intelligent and gifted woman. She would make a great Vice President. I am very disappointed that anyone would suggest that she would be difficult to work with as a Vice President. The old ball and chain jokes are completely disrespectful not only to her but to all of the women democrats in this country. More so those type of remarks are shameful to our party and should not be accepted.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
More Talk About Issue in CD 3 Please
The democrats of Northern New Mexico should be addressing the issues that voters care about and not who or what sex any of them are having if any at all. I told a candidate today that voters base their decision on who to vote for on a candidate's vision of the future. I said that money or just talking about issues would not get anyone elected. For that matter they don't want to hear you grip about the other candidates because it is a waste of their time and energy. Why is it so hard for anyone to figure out that the voting public wants someone that can have passion for the act of public service? Look at any candidate that has risen to fame and you will see someone who truly and honestly cares for voters and what voters need to make life simple.
You don't have to go into minute detail on every issue but you do have to sound like you understand the issues. You also have to provide a vision for how you will achieve your plans to change or fix the current problems. You should have a passion to make the changes that you think will make life better for the voting public. Life is too short to listen to people who have not direction or worst the wrong direction to cure the problems facing everyday Americans.
Let's make this simple. Here is what we want from you.
We want these things and we want to be able to afford these things as well:
Peace on earth or at least not a war that our children have to fight and die in
Food on our table
A safe home that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter
Nice things to wear in public
Gas or some kind of energy that works in our cars or trucks
A good education for our children so they can have a good life
A secure retirement plan so we can enjoy our old age
Health care so that if we ever do get sick that we know we will be taken care of by a doctor
Safe and serene neighborhoods to walk through if we feel like taking a walk
A safe environment to enjoy every once in a while for a vacation when we have the time and so the planet is taken care of for our children
A good job that gives us a feel of achieving something useful
Now if you want to get elected to an office try coming up with ways to give the most people in this country these items and you will be admired and respect as a public servant.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Senator Kennedy has expressed a desire to be in a weekend boat race. I went hiking and camping the weekend after I was diagnosed with cancer so I see no reason why he should not be allowed to enjoy himself this weekend. I know that people wish to express their concern but people with cancer also need to be allowed to live their life. Trust me when I say treatment will not encourage him to have too much fun so he should enjoy himself now before the treatments start.
People should also not be too quick to start writing his post mortem since doctors can not say for sure how cancer will progress in someone. I was only given a 40% survival change when I was diagnosed and 17 years later I am still alive and kicking to the disappointment of many republicans. My mother was Irish and she always had a saying “God don’t want you and the devil is afraid that you would take over.” I get the feeling that Senator Kennedy fits that profile so he should be able to survive with a little help from the medical community.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
“Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It's a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.”
As a cancer survier I know that with any cancer diagnose a major factor for survival is the patient’s outlook on life. Senator Kennedy is not the type to just give up and die from lack of trying to survive. He also has a strong family support system which will assist him in the coming months and or years of life.
Today voters in both Oregon and Kentucky will go to the polls to cast their vote for our candidate for president. Will yesterday’s endorsement by Senator Byrd of West Virginia help Senator Obama in Kentucky?
The question of discrimination against women was raised in the news this morning. Has the Democratic Party stood up for women in this country during this election? I must admit that I could see more anger at remarks made toward Senator Obama where remarks made toward Senator Clinton were brushed off as funny. Women in the business world have always had to work harder and still get less pay in this country then their male counterparts. Senator Obama will need to admit that being a man has helped him in this race and that he will need to add women to his administration in real positions of power.
Women make up a large group of the voting population in the Democratic Party because we value the platform that this party stands on. The men of our party should never make the mistake of thinking that we will stand by silently and let our needs go unattended to in the near future. If the Bush administration with all of its failings can place women in positions of power then it should not be difficult for Senator Obama to give women a hand up in his administration. To do otherwise would be a huge mistake on his part and somehow I don't think that his wife would stay silent on that issue.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I met Senator Byrd in the seventies in my home town of Logan, West Virginia. My father had taken me to the island for a Labor Day rally and all of the local politicians were there to work the large crowd of miners. Senator Byrd walked up to me and asked if I planed to vote for him. He still had dark brown hair at the time. I being a 30 year old in a 12 year old body when it came to politics looked at him and ask why should I want to vote for you? He took the time to tell me who he was and what he stood for and that he would like my vote. I told him that if he wanted to be elected in my state that he would need to talk to my daddy. At this point in time I seriously don’t think he would even remember me but it would help greatly if a number of politicians follow his example when dealing with the voting public. He never failed to appreciate people and would have never devalued anyone when he was running for reelection.
Even though I have not lived in West Virginia for twenty two years I still like Senator Byrd and am glad that he is supporting Senator Obama for president. Senator Byrd has done a wonderful job for our country and the state of West Virginia. I like most West Virginians are very proud of all he has done in his life.
I hope that since Senator Byrd was a member of the KKK in his youth that he will have an effect on people who say that they will not vote for Senator Obama because he is Africa American. If someone Senator Byrd’s age can see the error of his ways then maybe people who are far less worldly can follow his example. The hatred of the past should be left in the past and people should learn to move forward. The world can now see that Senator Byrd has moved forward and has done great things in his life time. One of his greatest gifts will be to have helped elect our first African American President.
Re: Judge Ben Chavez
Before anyone gets upset at me I asked Judge Ben Chavez to give me an interview but he gave it to Joe Monahan who is a real journalist while I am just a new blogger and a democrat activist. I did try to get the interview. I ask him more than once to find the time to talk with me and even sent him interview questions but I have not heard back from him. Every time I see him he says that maybe he should get to it sometime in the future. I wonder if he will say it again this next weekend at the picnic.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
The news reported that Senator Obama was not voted for in West Virginia because of racism which should be described as an ultra form of hate but I would hope that most West Virginians did not vote for him because of his position on the related issues of coal, the local environment, and safety in the mines. To me it would make more sense that they liked Senator Hillary Clinton’s views on those issues. I would think that their vote for Senator Clinton was an attempt to make their feelings clear on those issues to our future president.
We are all democrats and we must put aside any negative feeling for our presidential candidate in the near future if we are to bring the party back together. Our party needs to let go of the angry feelings. Hate can only destroy our chance at change and we can not afford to allow hate to destroy this country. It is time for peace and reaching out with love and kindness to those who have felt the sting of hate from others. I am not saying that anyone should stop making their feeling known on the issues.
Speaking about making my feelings known on issues:
Shame on Don Wiviott for the attack ad he launched against Ben Ray Lujan Jr. I would remind him that we are not republicans. Please stick to the issues in the future Mr. Wiviott.
Early in person voting started yesterday and absentee voting is available by request. I want to encourage people to get out and walk for their favorite candidates because it gives you a real view of just how much support they have in the city. It is clear that Congressman Udall has great support in Albuquerque. I will be walking for Congressman Udall next weekend just in the morning because the Democratic Party of Bernalillo is having their spring picnic at the fair grounds from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm on that day.
I would also encourage people to get out and come walk with us for Tom Udall for Senate. You should also check out his new Website.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Bill McCamley is running for U.S. House of Representativies in Congressional District 2. He is a strong speaker with solid Democratic Party Values. Bill McCamley comes for a middle class family therefore he is not running for congress with the oil field millions that his opponents can give themselves. His has been a grassroots campaign for the very start with the people in the southern part of New Mexico supporting him.
Congressional District NM-03
Ben Ray Lujan Jr. is a man on a mission. He grew up with Ben Ray Lujan Sr. teaching him the real values of public service. Yesterday Stewart Udall, Congressman Tom Udall’s father, endorsed him for the congressional seat that his son is giving up to become our next U.S. Senator. The young Lujan is a true supporter of the environment and is strongly opposed to the war in Iraq. All I can say about this race is that today I am wearing his t-shirt in support of him for our next congressman from the northern part of New Mexico.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Both Second District Court Judge Bob Schwartz and Metro Court Judge Ben Chavez are running for the 9th division seat in the June 3 election. The Governor appointed Bob Schwartz to that seat earlier this year. Judge Ben Chavez opted not to give up his current seat on the metro court to apply for the judicial selection committee to be appointed at the district court.
Also running in the June 3 election is Charles W. Brown who was appointed by the Governor for the seat he now holds. He has opposition in his race as well. Gail K. Prosser is also running for the Division 26 seat.
Frank A. Sedillo dropped out of the race earlier this month and endorsed Judge Elizabeth Whitefield for the 25th division seat. Judge Whitefield is now running unopposed for the 25th division seat even though Frank A. Sedillo name will appear on the ballot. Judge Whitefield is attempting to have the county clerk’s office inform voters that Frank A. Sedillo did indeed withdraw from the current race.
With all of these candidates wishing a seat on the second district court it should not be too difficult to find a candidate for the new opening create by Judge Kavanaugh’s retirement.
Martin Heinrich in keeping with the same philosophy as Congressman Tom Udall and Governor Bill Richardson has not resorted to republican style attack ads against his rival Sheriff Darren White. This appears to come as a disappointment to some republicans but the democrats in Albuquerque are very proud of our young candidate. The Democratic Party is not interested in attacking republicans but they are interested in real and lasting change for the future. Martin Heinrich is interest in caring for the environment, ending the war in Iraq, health care for our children, supporting education, and new jobs through renewable energy resources that will help our country become energy independent. Other candidates would do well to follow the examples set by our senior party leaders. It has become only too clear as of late that the Republican Party here in New Mexico is completely out of touch with what the voting public is looking for in a candidate.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Are they trying to say that they want us to attack them on their moral values at this point in time? The nerve! after all their party does not exactly have a shining record as of late.
· Sex scandal after sex scandal
· Never ending war
· Outrages gas prices while oil companies make record profits
· Middle class families losing their homes and their dreams of a better life while large investment banks are being bailed out.
· Inferior or deficient record on the environment
· Double digit inflation in health care cost
· 47 million people without health care of any kind
· Can’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it (unfortunately it our children’s lives that depended on it.)
· Veterans living homeless on the streets with poor health care
· The rich getting richer off loans made to low income and middle class families
· Retirement for older individuals in danger of going bankrupt
· Record increases in the price of basic food supplies in our country (not exactly welcome news for people on fixed incomes.)
· People in other countries going hungry because speculators want to increase their profits
· No spending bill that they don’t like
Dear God Almighty! The word conservative has taken on a whole new meaning under the Bush Administration and I can’t say that anyone wants or can even survive another four more years of that in the White House (John McCain) or for that matter in the U.S. Senate (Steve Pearce). The Republican Party should be ashamed of what their party has done to this country. We deserve better! And God knows it.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Clinton 66%; Obama 27%; Edwards 7%
Update: Election results from West Virginia at 7:00 am with 100% of the precincts reporting:
Clinton 67%; Obama 26%; Edwards 7%
Not since 1916 has a democrat won the White House without the help of West Virginians. Senator Hillary Clinton won West Virginia by a commanding lead today showing that she connects with blue collar workers and people in the Appalachian region of our country. Senator Barack Obama will need Senator Clinton by his side as his running mate this fall in order to win those states. Although he may have won most of the other states he can not take the White House without the help of this region of our country. The reporters can blame it on racism or lack of education but the people from that region of our country are far harder to describe and box up as just that simple or straight forward on issues.
In high school friends of mine drove off the KKK from our high school campus because they were outsiders and West Virginians don’t take kindly to being told what to think or how to react to their own people no matter what their skin color. Eastern Kentucky will have the same reaction as West Virginia when it comes to supporting a presidential candidate. You need to be able to connect to the local residents in order to get their support. Senator Obama is not connecting to the people in the Appalachian region. He may think it is their problem but in the end it could be his problem.
Devotion to family, country and basic moral values are common links in the Appalachian region. Children are protected and loved by their extended family. One thing you can say about growing up in that region of the country is that nothing gets past your family. You are watched from birth to death by family that live miles in every direction. Senator Obama will do well to consider his next move carefully if he wants to beat Senator McCain in the November election.
So who says that Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee can not step up to the plate and lead the way when we need him most. Looks like we have a home run.
“At over $126 a barrel, it simply makes no sense to be sticking oil underground. Industry analysts, the Government Accountability Office and quite likely a majority of Senators believe this is the wrong energy policy and the wrong fiscal policy,”
Now let’s see how long it takes George W. Bush to sign this one into law.
Monday, May 12, 2008
“Secretary of State Betty Ireland reported 49,982 ballots cast in 52 of West Virginia’s 55 counties between April 23 and Friday. Ireland's office said another 4,916 absentee ballots have been returned.” West Virginia has a two to one radio for democrats. Unaffiliated voters turned out at a rate of 6.2 percent for a first time vote according to the Secretary of State.
West Virginia and Logan County have not gotten this much attention since John F. Kennedy ran for president. Logan County got a new courthouse out of that election. The last time I was home the Kennedy family was still well respected in that part of the country. I am surprised that the Obama group has not sent Senator Edward Kennedy into West Virginia to speak for their candidate. I have not been home in twenty years because of what the local’s use to call the brain drain syndrome during the 1970’s and 1980’s where college students left the state and only come back after retirement. Parents would teach their children that education was the most important factor and that the minute they got their education that they were expected to leave the state in favor of better paying jobs and not come back until they were ready for retirement. I have a strong feeling that West Virginia will go to Senator Clinton tomorrow but I am still surprised that Senator Obama has seen fit to write the state off in favor of Oregon then again a lot of West Virginians now live in Oregon and New Mexico.
Vote for Democrats West Virginia!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I had been invited to attend Martin Heinrich grand opening of his new office but since Martin Heinrich worked in a camp I am sure that he knows the value of these types of programs and will understand my absents from his party today. We as a community should be asking our state senators, state representatives, US senators and US representatives to support the funding of these types of programs because they build communities that don’t need more jails. Better that our children should learn early the skills that will make good citizens of them rather then have them at home watching mindless TV. The program also helps because with all of the physical activities the children have less weight problems and stay in better health. A final note the councilors who work hard to provide these services to our children everyday in this country are true heroes and no one should ever do anything but hold them in high esteem because our children are one of our most valuable assets.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Conservatism: a general state of mind that is averse to rapid change and innovation and strives for balance and order, while avoiding extremes. Originally conservatism arose as a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment (see Enlightenment, Age of). Conservatives advocated belief in faith over reason, tradition over free inquiry, hierarchy over equality, collective values over individualism, and divine or natural law over secular law. At a given time in a given society, conservatism emphasizes the merits of the status quo and endorses the prevailing distribution of power, wealth, and social standing.
The Republican Party had tried and managed to make the word liberal sound like a dirty word so why should we not take a closer look at their word “Conservatism.” And return the favor.
- A general state of mind that is averse to rapid change. In other words they want to keep thing as they are at present. Somehow I get the feeling that there are a huge number of middle class and working class families that would not be overly thrilled with that idea.
- Advocated belief in faith over reason. I think that science is the only thing that should be taught in science class. The church has over history always fought to prevent new science theory from being proven even when they were wrong on the subject. Religion should be keep at home and in church and not preached to our children in science class. Freedom of religion is one of our basic rights in this country and any one belief should not be forced on our children.
- Hierarchy over equality. In other words the rich get richer and the middle class and working class only get poorer. I get the feeling that they have had a lot of success on that front in the past eight years.
- Collective values over individualism. The Republican Party would like us to think that they have the corner on values but just look at the last eight years with one scandal after another from republicans. Just today a New York republican was arrested on DUI and admitted to a love child. Not the type of moral values I want my child growing up to emulate. I always try to support candidates that value family.
- Divine or natural law over secular law. Natural law and for that matter divine law says that we take care of our environment. They call that being good stewards of our world but I don’t see the Republican Party and its candidates doing a good job at being good stewards when they are totally in denial of what is going on all around them.
Somehow I get the feeling that our country is more then ready for the “Age of Enlightenment.” We need to stand up for our candidates on June 3 and say "yes we can" to the whole world once more so that we can bring about real change for Americans.
The issue was healthcare. Martin Heinrich and Robert Pidcock clearly had command on the issue with Michelle Lujan Grisham scoring more than a few points. Pidcock made points on wanting to combine all of the programs such as VA, Medicare, Medicaid, Native America health care, children’s health care and general preventive health care into one whole complete universal system . He understood that the old system is outdated and needs upgrades because of progress in health care delivery systems. Heinrich and Pidcock both talked about working with the people in congress to move the country forward. Heinrich was the one with a clear voting history on being able to cross boundaries between different groups. Both candidates had a true command of the subject.
Sheriff White who has not attended many of the forums clearly did not have the practice when it came to the issue but for a republican he did show some skill on parts of the subject. Joe Carraro also worked hard to point out his experience and his ability to work with both parties in the state senate. He also pointed out that he was one of the state senators who worked hard on creating a cancer center here in Albuquerque. Thank you! Joe since it was that cancer center that saves my life when I was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1990. The candidates did a great job with putting in a few jokes to lighten the subject. Someone should buy that sheriff some transfats; the round kind with glaze on it and jelly filled he earned it. Darren White clearly needs to work on his message before the general election or Martin Heinrich will simply run away with the race.
The whole evening was one where the candidates were friendly toward each other. The republican candidates were surprisingly kind to their democratic counter parts. It looked like the event would be one where candidates talk only about the issue and how they could put their plan forward. The one time when Carraro and White slipped into complaining about the weakness of our present congress to fix this problem and Grisham jointed in but Heinrich was not given a chance since he was on the other side of Pidcock nevertheless it was Pidcock who quickly brought the talk back to a positive note that he wanted to work with the members of congress to help solve this issue for the American people. The only sour note came at the end when Pidcock himself attacked both Martin Heinrich and Michelle Lujan Grisham.
I was truly saddened and totally disappointed because up to that last moment Pidcock showed that he could be the smart mainstream candidate if he truly wished to be one. We don’t need a candidate that can not put the people’s issues before his own. As he himself said you can either complain or not care and work toward fixing the problems with the people that you are faced with everyday. No candidate is perfect but it is up to the candidates to put the voting public’s issue first and foremost. He should have spent those last few minutes telling people what he was capable of doing for the people of New Mexico. He even gave Darren White an opening to show that he could stand about attacks and work with both Martin Heinrich and Michelle Lujan Grisham. I want to see a democrat in that congressional seat because I don’t agree with the republicans stand when it comes to the war in Iraq and I know that Martin Heinrich will work hard to bring our troops home safely.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Do you have a campaign website or some way for people to contact you if they are interested in volunteering for your campaign? http://www.reedsheppard.org/
What is your favorite subject area and what was the last book you read? U.S. History. The Innocent Man-Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, by John Grisham.
Tell us about your family. I am married to Diann Sheppard and we will celebrate 20 years of marriage this October. Diann has been a Court Clinician in the Second Judicial District Court for 17 years. We have two sons, Brian and Jason. Jason is married and has given us two wonderful grandchildren. Jason is an analyst for a defense contractor and his wife Amanda will graduate from UNM School of Law later this month. Brian uses his creativity and artistic ability in remodeling homes in the Albuquerque area. I gained two sons when I married Diann who had Jason and Brian from a prior marriage.
Who is the better cook in your family and do you help out in the kitchen? I love to barbeque and I make some very tasty Cajun dishes which I learned to cook from my years in Louisiana before I discovered New Mexico and made it my home in 1987. Aside from my specialty cooking, Diann is the better cook and really enjoys cooking when she has time. I do like to help out in 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? Diann says my strong points are my love of and faith in God, family and friends; being dependable and trustworthy; treating all people with respect and dignity; and being a good role model for our sons and grandchildren. She wishes I were better organized at home and did not allow stacks of mail, magazines, etc. to accumulate around the house and feels like I over-commit my time to volunteer organizations.
When and why did you decide to become a lawyer? I have always been fascinated with the law, having grown up with Perry Mason on TV. After I received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy and moved to Albuquerque, I went to paralegal school and was working for Ira Robinson, now Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson, when I decided to become a lawyer. I love the challenge, the intellectual stimulation and the ability to truly help people in a system that can totally overwhelm someone who does not have a competent, committed lawyer to represent them.
Where did you get your education and why did you decide to work here in Albuquerque, New Mexico? I earned a B.S. in Marketing from L.S.U. in 1972 and my J.D. degree from UNM School of Law in 1992, graduating cum laude and Order of the Coif. By that time I had lived in Albuquerque for five years and loved New Mexico, the people, the food and the land. My wife had begun her career as a child custody mediator and our sons were well established in Albuquerque.
What area of law did you specialize in? I have practiced in a wide variety of legal areas in my career as a lawyer, including criminal defense, plaintiff’s personal injury, insurance defense, family law, probate and wills & trusts. This variety has provided me with a wealth of experience in dealing with people from very diverse backgrounds and helping people resolve problems in a multitude of areas.
What is your career history? In the twenty years after graduating college before becoming a lawyer in 1992, I was in banking, an account executive with Merrill Lynch, a sales rep with Xerox, drove an eighteen-wheeler for a short time over the road and served in the U.S. Navy. As a lawyer I have been in private practice (see my response to the previous question), was a Metropolitan Court Judge from January 2000 to December 2000, losing the general election by 873 votes out of 189,000 votes cast, and for the last 5 ½ years I have been a Special Commissioner for Domestic Violence in the Second Judicial District Court.
What made you decide to become a democrat? Democrats put people before profits and all that means to our society. There are other reasons too numerous to mention here.Tell us the experience and qualities you think would make you a good judge. All of my life experiences have prepared me to be a judge. When I was a judge previously, the Tribune when recommending me to the voters wrote, “Sheppard is acclaimed by court-watchers for his respectful and dignified demeanor as a Metro Court judge for the last eight months, for his competence and for the ample experience he is able to bring to bear.” As a domestic violence commissioner I have worked in a high stress, fast paced environment presiding over more than 5000 hearings. I have assisted victims of domestic abuse obtain a better and safer quality of life by issuing orders of protection and ordering child support be paid when appropriate. Numerous individuals have been sentenced to the Metropolitan Detention Center as a result of violating orders of protection issued in my Court.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why do you think you could do a better job? I am a proven judge/judicial officer who has earned the respect of the community by having a thorough knowledge of the laws and rules of procedure, treating everyone with respect and dignity, being fair and impartial and being prompt and timely in handling my docket. I can start hearing cases as a Metro Court judge on day one after I am sworn into office. Additionally, I have a vast amount of knowledge, experience and training concerning domestic violence which is one of the most difficult and pervasive problems facing our community. I can readily transfer this knowledge to the Metropolitan Court bench where I can have a significant impact by addressing this issue with the best practices I have learned over the last 5 ½ years.
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? Domestic violence is one of the most critical issues facing women in this community. If elected I will work to implement a second specialized DV court which has proven to be a very effective way to address the complex issue of DV. We need better training of police, judges, victim advocates and the general public in domestic violence and I will offer my time to assist in this training. I have developed key contacts in all of the above areas through my service as a judge and commissioner. Having taught a DV course at the UNM School of Law, a similar class open to the public would be a great service to the community and could quite possibly be funded through a federal grant.
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? In general I believe the public understands the court system but there is always more that can be done to educate the public. PSAs would be helpful as would be classes through the State Bar which I would be glad to present to the public on how the court system operates.