Thursday, July 31, 2008
I can see why Senator McCain would be a little angry.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Update: From Governor Richardson’s Task Force On Prison Reform
"Drug treatment is much cheaper than imprisonment and can be a conduit for other types of services. Even the most expensive drug treatment costs less than incarceration. People in drug treatment are more likely to receive other beneficial physical and mental health education information, disease prevention education, parenting skills enhancement, and even treatment for such conditions as hepatitis C. The United States Department of Health and Human Services reports that various substance abuse treatment costs range from $1,800 to $6,800 annually depending on frequency and type of treatment (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997), compared to $31,239 a year for imprisonment (New Mexico Corrections Department, 2008)."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
For weeks now the republican candidates have been pushing new drilling in fragile Alaskan environments and now it comes out that one of their longest seated Senators who is from Alaska is taking gifts from an oil company. Is it just me or does this sound more then a little out of line? Prosecutors said Stevens “took multiple steps to continue receiving things from oil services company VECO Corp and its founder, Bill Allen.”
The Justice Department is allowing Senator Stevens to turn himself in. Senator Harry Raid said that he believes in the American system of justice and everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I personally think that an ethics training course should be administered before the swearing in of any Senator or Congressmen. Any Senator should at the very least understand that even the appearance of unethical behavior is harmful to the reputation of the U.S. Senate.
Monday, July 28, 2008
The principles that guide Senator Obama’s campaign are simply but true; “Respect, Empower, and Include” that means that we listen to and hear all views not just our own and that we respect that some people have a right to disagree with what we are saying to them. Empower people to speak their mind and not be controlled by anyone in the government past, present or future. Senator Obama’s campaign is about giving back the control of the government to the people who elect officials. The last of those is to include not exclude voters. Too often if we disagree with someone we try our best to exclude them but in order to fix this country all of the democrats including those that supported Hillary Clinton will have to be included and vote for one man. Both Senator Obama’s supporters and Senator Clinton’s supporters must put aside their dislike of each other in order for our party to win in November. I sincerely hope that everyone involved in this campaign keeps Senator Obama’s values on their mind and in the hearts for the next few months.
We were broke out into groups but then each group was told that you would have to come up with a two minute life story that could move other voters to come to the polls. Individuals were encouraged to express emotionally painful feeling in front of the other group members nevertheless they were told to be honest about their life stories. I have to admit that this did not make me personally feel very comfortable. I had a friend who joined a church in the early eighties and they used the same type of story telling to emotional move people in their introductory meetings so maybe I am more then a little jaded by this type of introduction to a group setup but still I have to say that I was not overcome or thrilled by the training.
Maybe I have just been catholic far too long to be comfortable with those types of behaviors in public. I understand that emotion is a strong motivation tool but I have to wonder about using this type of style to get out the vote in an election. Maybe long standing democrats like me have become far to detached to evoke strong emotional feelings from new voters. After all the same style of introduction has worked well for new churches in this country in the past twenty years and politics is not that different from a religion as we have leaned for the republicans in the last eight years. Maybe the Obama group has finally found the one element that we have been missing in past elections.
I have worked on many campaigns in the past and must admit that I was hoping for more skills training from Senator Obama’s group. I wanted to know what was different for his group and how we could best use the resources that his group could supply our city to help get out the vote this fall. I hope his group decides to filter out the experiences catholic individuals who are not at ease with displaying their raw emotions in future groups and provide them with a different type of training that includes more hands on skills training. I know that I would be personally far more comfortable with that type of training.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I see that Burque Babble’s Scott thinks that APS teachers make enough money to withstand the two percent raise this year. I wish I could say the same about Instructional Support Staff at the college level. Even Key said that if this type of pay raise were to continue into the future that he might be looking into the purchase of a crowbar. I was taught that the pen was always mightier then the sword (crowbar). I think that if we hold elected official accountable for their behavior and make that behavior public for all to see that it will have a more lasting effect on their future behavior when it come to supporting the people who work with students everyday in the field of education.
I started this blog to get the word out about the failure of our current administration both locally and nationally in a number of areas. As long as we stay silence and allow the Republican Party to control the local press nothing in this state will ever change for the better and then these issues will not be addressed. Senator Obama is offering us the opportunity to stand up for what we believe in and hold everyone accountable including ourselves for makes the changes that we need in this country. No government can harm the voting public unless we the people allow it to with our silences. A vote in November can speak volumes about how we feel on a number of issues facing our country.
One last note: A big thank you to the Plumber and Pipefitters Union for allowing us to use their union hall for meetings. They have provided a great service to the community in Bernalillo County.
Friday, July 25, 2008
His reply is:
“I would like to say that I am honored and thrilled to have earned the trust of Governor Bill Richardson evidenced by this appointment. I look forward to continuing to serve this community, now as a criminal court judge, and I will continue to work hard addressing domestic violence issues.”
In a state where the domestic violence issue is top on the list for most women, we should all support having judges that understand how to make honest and just decisions in relationship to these cases. Judge Sheppard has substantial experience in this area. It is clear that the Governor and his wife cares very much about this issue and that the governor wants people on the court that have an in-depth knowledge of how to deal in a fair and impartial manner when it comes to this serious issue.
The next step is for Judge Sheppard to get the support for the nomination from the State Central Committee. We know that the State Central Committee has the best interest of the voting public as one of its core values and we hope that they see that Judge Sheppard would be a valued addition to the Second District Court.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yesterday Governor Richardson announced a partnership with the military to develop green energy here in the state to run our bases. These types of industries will bring lots of new jobs to our state and protect the environment at the same time. We have a resource here that no other state has that being the brain power from the people who work at the National Labs. We can use that resource to create green jobs here in our state that will benefit everyone. Our state can decide to move forward with new jobs or stay in the past with oil production that will only harm the environment. It is up to the voting public in November.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Oh, one other comment large oil companies would not invest millions of dollars in leasing land if they thought for one moment that it would not produce some oil so give the voting public a break because we are not that stupid as to buy into the lies of big oil.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The time we spent taking pictures was not long so we were out relativity quickly for the shoot. I personally was hoping to be last on the list for my daughter’s picture to get taken but Mr. Heinrich known me on sight and I get the feeling that he did not want the details of his new commercials to get out before they were aired after all who could blame him when he is having to deal with cutthroat republicans. I wore black so that I could avoid being in the pictures but it did not get me out of some still shots. Even if I am getting a little older I can happily lend my image to support a quality candidate when he runs for our congressman. Just please no one show me the pictures. At least I can say I was standing next to one of our more photogenic candidates in the crowd.
While we were waiting for the shoot to start the local democrats got to talking about the issues like the attack ads from Steve Pearce’s Campaign aimed at Tom Udall on drilling. I hear that the republican attack machine is gearing up for a bloody fall with our candidates. They are hoping to attack our candidates by pointing out that drilling in fragile environments is not their first line of attack on high gas prices. Never mind that it would take ten years for that oil to get to market or that million of acres of lease land is not being used while the Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would put those leases back on the market for use by other oil companies that might use them. Never mind that Shell oil had to pull people off of oil rigs in the gulf coast today and interrupt oil production in the gulf because of a hurricane and it will not be the last time they have to do so. If we did throw all of those lands open to oil drilling it could lead to environmental harm that could make costal flooding of the past look mild in comparison with possible future floods. The voting public can just not get through to the republicans on this issue and they will not admit how wrong they are because to do so would only admit that they don’t have a prayer in the November elections. One should know that Sheriff Darren White was more then willing to agree with the Bush Administration on this issue. Now tell me again how he does not run to the republican far right side when it comes to issues that will adversely affect the voting public both here in New Mexico and around the country. Sheriff White should not be looking to ride George Bush’s and Steve Pearce’s coat tails on this issue but I guess he wants to loss the race in November.
Sorry to say I did not get any details about what the new commercials will be covering so stay tuned because I am sure everyone will want to see my daughter in the new commercials. Oh, I am also sure that everyone will also want to see our next Congressman Martin Heinrich.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I can see Steve Pearce looking for a pity vote since he has no issues that would get anyone in this state to want to vote for him. His own party will not even support his run for the senate because they understand how good Tom Udall is and they know Pearce does not possibly have a snow balls prayer in the desert sun of winning in November.
Jim Baca on his blog today suggested that the reason for a lack of planning for development in this state is due to pork spending at the state level. If we had a statewide committee that would justify spending would it put a stop to wasteful spending of taxpayer’s dollars? Could our states needs come before wants? What is good ethical government and is New Mexico standing in its own way of having that type of government? Could the state budget be better handled by bean counters then elected state leaders? Would a planning board have more foresight when it comes to development than state leaders or could they be any worse? If state leaders were only responsible for setting goals for the state and a planning committee decided how best to spend the money to achieve those goals would the system work better? More then likely this type of wondering is all in vain because it would take an act of god to change the current system even if it was for the betterment of the state and its voting public.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Democrat's Dream
The democrats want government to provide for the poor, while not infringing on freedoms or rights. We want public education to be supported and the people who work in the field to be well paid for their services while providing a world class education for our youth. We want an end to war but not at the expense of jobs in our state. We want to protect the local environment and provide energy that is low cost. We want a high standard of living for all not just a small percentage of elite individuals. We want a culture that can care for the weak, the disabled, and the elderly. We want a diverse culture where people of all backgrounds are treated equally. We want the American dream in our time.
The Republican's Dream
The republicans want government to rewards people for their individual achievements in business. To have government lower taxes for businesses and richer individuals. They want everyone to take responsibility for their own life and stand on their own without assistance from the government. They want the government to enforce laws that reflex their moral values and their views of what family is to everyone. They want private education that is given to only those that can afford to pay for it therefore freeing productive individuals from having to carry the load for less productive individuals in society. They want peace through force and for the world to fear our country’s name. They want a society where Anglo white individuals are rewarded for being the highest level of the food chain through luck and hard work. They want to hold the poor accountable for any action that is not considered legal. They believe in survival of the fittest.
With these two very different views of what government’s roll should be we are faced with trying to strike an equal balance between the two opposing groups. Government is after all by the people and for the people not just some of the people. Our problem of late is that the republican’s dream has been overtaking the democrat’s view. The next four years will be taking up with trying to rebalance the scale if a democrat is elected president. If a republican is elected president then it will be an end of the democrat’s dream for the future of our country.
In the end it is up to the voting public which group will prevail in the November election.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The problem with this is that we are running out of time with this method of transportation and now we are being forced by high cost to look at other methods of transportation. Our city would do well to consider the future when planning how to best use taxpayers money to move large numbers of people from point A to point B. Buses may appear cheap now but when the price of oil based fuels continues to raise it will cost the city far more in the future. Light rail could be powered by wind or solar power in the future therefore saving the city and taxpayers large sums of money. Now would be a good time to look at how to run the lines so that the most number of people would have easy access to a mass transit system. The city already knows where most of the traffic flow is and where people are moving to and from with that information a planning group could project where best to place lines of transit so that more individuals could move more freely.
Another step in the planning process is to determine what to build around the railrunner line in the future so that space can best be utilized. Anyone who has every lived in a large city knows that space around a hub of mass transit is often used for businesses and further out is housing and large apartment communities. No one in their right mind wants to live too close to a rail system because of the noise and vibration made by the train. A planning group could look at zoning to make plans now to determine how best to rezone areas around the stations for the railrunner. This type of city zoning will upset a good number of individuals who own property in those areas but in the past it was the price that large cities paid for growth. Giving people information now so that they can plan for the future is the kindest thing city planning groups could do for those residents. We have already seen what type of reaction to expect from communities on the edge of the current city and it will only get worst in the future. Our center city will only grow in the future and we need to have residents understand what the results of that growth will lead to in the future. Giving them false hope is simply not a good approach. The future will play out very unpleasantly in front of news cameras if people are not made aware of what growth will bring in their neighborhoods.
The question remains will our city leaders have the backbone to enact any of these plans or will they simply defer it to future leaders. Will they plan now to save money in the future or will they allow taxpayers to foot the bill for their lack of foresight. Will they give fair warning to resident in the path of future development or will they bend to their will only to have future leaders remove them from the path of development in front of news cameras. Growth is most often a painfully event for large cities but with proper planning it can be handled in a humane manner. Without planning we face a very troubled future for our city. Either way the residents of Albuquerque will live in a megapolitan area in the future.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Last evening was the monthly meeting of the local Democratic Party. Noted attendees were Patricia Madrid and District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.
Patricia Madrid looked well rested from her 2006 election campaign where she was only 800 votes away from being a congresswoman. Life is being good to the ex-candidate and Senator Obama has tapped her to bring in the Hispanic vote for New Mexico. At least Senator Obama’s team made one good choice when it comes to New Mexico. It would have been better had they picked a local leader to lead his New Mexico campaign maybe even someone who was Hispanic.
Kari Brandenburg was looking for support for her campaign for District Attorney and wanted to provide her support for the party.
Also in attendances was member of the unity group for Senator Obama, Congressmen Udall and Martin Heinrich. The crowd was very clear that if they were looking for local support then they needed to convince party members that it would be a grassroots effort from them. The head of the Obama team was brought in from Texas and I don’t quite think he gets the point that New Mexicans don’t trust people for Texas and don’t like them trying to tell them how to run New Mexico politics. Since both Congressman Udall and Martin Heinrich are so popular they received a much warmer reception.
Governor Richardson’s Care Package
The new package from the governor will be welcome income for low income families that are finding it very difficult to face $4 a gallon gas prices when they are earning well below $15 per hour. It is clear that nothing permanent will be coming out of Santa Fe that could increase the standard of living for low income employees of the educational system any time soon. The state legislature has made it clear that they are only looking for gimmicks and political payoffs for low income voters. Once the vote is over in November they will simple go back to handing the money over to the $100,000 club members. No one can be blamed for wanting even a short term fix to their problems since the need is so great at present in this state. Education continues to be a issue that only gets lip service in this state and that is why New Mexico ranks in the high forties as one of the worst states for education. The Governor is completely right that reform is needed before we have any hope of making the system better.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
One more very good reason to vote for Tom Udall for Senate because we all know that Steve Pearce is an oil man from the southern part of the state and will support the oil companies on this issue no matter how much it hurts the voting public.
Al Gore to make speech about environmental challenge in Washington DC today
Rumor also has it that former Vice-President Al Gore will be issuing a new major challenge with a speech in Washington DC later today.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
President Bush has made the biggest mistake by not having an overall winning strategy for the threat we face in the world. Are we going to elect a clone that fails to see that we need a strategy that will bring not more war but peace to our world?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I can think of no better candidate for the position.
He will fill the seat on the bench vacated by former Judge J. Michael Kavanuagh.
Senator Obama's New Mexico Group
Thank you for your support! We're strongly encouraging all our supporters to sign up for Vote-by-Mail! To do so, you must be a registered voter and mail an application to your County Clerk's office. It's safe and reliable -- but most importantly, it allows you to vote from the comfort of your own home and volunteer for the campaign on Election Day! Absentee Voting begins on October 7th, 2008. Your ballots will be mailed to you then. Absentee ballots must be turned in by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 4th, 2008. Sign up to receive an absentee ballot application:
Monday, July 14, 2008
I guess satirical is all in your view point. I wonder what McCain thinks of this cover?
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Today, your senator is speaking by satellite to the American Federation of Teachers. The No Child Left Behind Act, which has been controversial for a variety of reasons, now there's a bipartisan effort within the House to remove the accountability section in which you have a national standard by which all schools can be measured. Just yesterday I heard Bill Gates, who's deeply involved in education reform in this country, say, "No Child Left Behind has not been perfect, but it has been phenomenal for two reasons. It's pointed out that education in America desperately needs reform, and that accountability is an important part of that." Does Senator Obama support the idea of keeping accountability as part of No Child Left Behind?”
My answer to this question: The No Child Left Behind Act has taking education to new lows in this country. If we are going to talk accountability then let’s start with school administration. Administrative pay is now reaching the same levels as Corporation pay but teachers and students are the ones paying the cost. If you want to improve education I say you clear house of all of the top paid administrative staff and put the money back in the classrooms along with the creativity of how we educate our children. Teachers go into the field of education to teach but until you take educators and educational staff off welfare wages the level of education will continue to decrease in this country. Administrative employees don’t even know in most cases what their employees do in the classroom and if they do care to visit then they clearly don’t understand how to educate anyone because they have not been trained in the field. Giving Administrative staffers two or three hundred thousand dollar salaries will not improve the level of education in this country. The money can be better spent on students and people who work with students on a daily bases.
“MR. BROKAW: Senator McCaskill, I've talked to a number of educational reformers across the country, some of them card-carrying Democrats, self-described. They all say, quietly because they're afraid to do it publicly, the Democratic Party has to break its bonds with the teachers' union in this country. It can't move forward as long as the teachers continue to have, effectively, veto power over educational policy.”
My answer to this question: Good idea Mr. Brokaw let’s get our information from people who don’t know the first thing about education to dismantle the process so our children don’t have a chance to achieve. Better yet let’s build more prisons because without a public education system that is where most of our children will end up.
“MR. BROKAW: Do you think they have too much power?”
My answer to this question: The American Federation of Teachers does not begin to have the power that the Republican Party has over how we educate our children in this country. When school board members feel that they can cross an AFT picket line and no one will report on it clearly the republican controlled media also has more power. It is about time that elected officials started to listen to those that are in the classrooms everyday of their life. If teachers and educational staff had more say then the system would become one of the best in the world but at this point in time all of the control is held by administrative staffers who care more about endless meeting then the people they serve. Administrative staffers also have control of lobbyist who buys the votes of local politicians so that educators and educational staff receive two or three percent wage increase while administration receives 11% salaries increases. The republican controlled new media always give credit for any achievements to administration even though it is the direct result of all the hard work by the teachers and educational staff which effects how student succeed. New idea let’s down size the administration and use all the money we save to buy new laptops and advanced technology for students and to improve wages for people who work directly with students. We could also save money in the future by not having to build new prisons for all the students that we educate. Quality educators might come back to the field of education if they did not have to live on welfare wages.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Something to think about:
I don’t know maybe the voting public really does not care about issues like education, constitutional rights, the environment, energy or the future of our country. I am told by republican family members that the only thing that truly matters to the voting public is self interest and that the poor don’t matter at all because they can not make a real difference in who gets elected and that I should marry a rich republican and raise money for their party. One does have to wonder if anyone really cares about education in this city when administration gets 11% pay increase while I get a 3% increase also when elected official cross picket lines and no one even cares to report on the event. Clearly state senators only care about those who can afford to give large sums of money. It was encouraging that the governor stood up for helping low income families even if he is not getting a lot of support from our local elected officials. I may be unhappy now but I have never been one to just walk away from a fight and not vote but I can understand how some people have giving up on either party in this country. If an elected official makes a stand on an issue they should not turn around and vote or act in a manner that says that it was all a lie to get elected. To say one thing and do another only feeds the feeling that our votes simple do not matter and that is the beginning of the end for democracy in this country. Every vote should matter in this country and elected official should be held legally liable for lying to the voting public. Maybe if we put President Bush behind bars other politicians would think twice before they told the voting public what they wanted to hear and then turned around and did what every the people with the money told them to do when it comes to issues. As bad as some of our local democratic elected officials are the Republican Party is far worst.
Friday, July 11, 2008
“You will be pleased to know that I am a cosponsor of S. 2575, the Montgomery GI Assistance Transferability Act of 2008. This legislation removes certain limitations on basic educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill. I strongly believe that our government has the obligation to care for those who dedicate their lives to protecting our Nation, and I will continue to do everything I can to support this effort.
I am also a proud cosponsor of S. 22, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007. This legislation was introduced by Senator Webb and has been referred to the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. This legislation provides the largest student aid increase since the 1944 Montgomery G.I. bill. This bill essentially provides a full scholarship at any in-state public university along with books, fees, and a housing stipend for post 9/11 veterans, who have served in the military since September, 2001. This increase would cost $52 billion over ten years. It is estimated that this would save participants in the new GI bill $18,815 per year, double what they receive under the current GI bill. In addition, this legislation will allow the pursuit of programs on less than a half-time basis, apprenticeship or other on-job training, correspondence courses, flight training, tutorial assistance, licensure and certification tests, and will allow individuals currently under the GI Bill educational assistance program to elect to participate in the post-9/11 educational assistance program with respect to any unused entitlement. This is an important bill and I will do all that I can to see that it is signed into law.
Lastly, the Senate passed H.R. 2642, the Emergency Supplemental Funding Appropriations Act of 2008, on May 22, 2008. I voted in favor of this legislation which included $100 million for post 9/11 education benefits for veterans.”
Thursday, July 10, 2008
"With regard to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), as you know, the Senate is discussing changes to this legislation. When the Senate passed the PAA, I voted against it because I did not believe that it adequately protects the rights of Americans whose communications may be inappropriately included in the broad scope of this legislation. I am encouraged that this legislation is currently being revised to give greater priority to civil liberties. However, I am also concerned that these revisions do not go far enough in protecting the rights of Americans. I am also opposed to the provision in the legislation that would grant retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies that participated in the President's warrantless wiretapping program. To this end, I voted for the version of the bill reported out of the Judiciary Committee, which has greater protections and does not include the immunity provision, and against the version of the bill that the Senate ultimately passed. Unfortunately, the telecom immunity provision was included in the final version that passed the Senate. Before being sent to the President the legislation still needs to be agreed to by the House of Representatives.
At a time when the President has asserted vast powers with regard to indefinitely detaining U.S. citizens without charges, conducting warrantless domestic surveillance, and using interrogation techniques that amount to torture, it is essential that we also recognize the dangers of unrestrained Executive authority. We must not surrender the rights we cherish in the name of national security."
I could not agree more with the Senator's views on this issue and I think that New Mexicans now know why they voted for the Senator who was one of the few that voted against the war from the very start.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
At the meeting President Winograd was given in her new contract another 3% pay increase for a year on top of the $15,000 increase announced in the Albuquerque Journal last Saturday the results being an 11.35% increase from her base pay in one year. Here is a national faculty and presidential Salaries Comparison. Employees earning under $30,000 per year are clearly disappointment with the college for holding to a flat 3% increase and the college has also agreed to keep up paying up to 80% of the cost of health insurance for the employees.
UNM announced a 5% increase on Saturday for employees earning under $30,000 per year and raised starting salaries by a dollar per hour in order to reduce the impact of inflation on working families. The state gave Educational Assistances for APS a 5% increase in their pay this year but left out higher education employees earning under $30,000 per year. Employees at the higher education level want to know why once more they ended up on the short end of the stick for pay raises when this should be the year of change for education wages.
I spoke with all but two of the board members this evening to get their reaction on why the hard stand against giving low income staff higher raises.
Carmie Toulouse (266-0881) said that you could not compare UNM and CNM because the colleges were just too different. She was clearly upset about having to cross a picket line because she was a union member herself at one time. She said that they had gone 1% over what the state had given employees and that they were forced to cut the general budget by 1% across the board for the college in order to hold the line on tuition rates. Carmie Toulouse also reminded me that she had in the past been one of the board members who had supported giving my unit what they call 2080 which would result in paid holidays and paid annual leave like the other staff members. At present my unit does not get those benefits.
Blair Kaufman (firstname.lastname@example.org) said that as an employee of the APS system that he was also disappointed that he had only received a 2% pay increase this year. Blair Kaufman also pointed out that they had managed a 1% increase over what the state had supplied to the school for employees.
Jeff Armijo (email@example.com) said that he would get back to me with a reaction because he did not have a prepared statement but he did say that he was just supporting corporate models of raises.
Penelope S. Holbrook (firstname.lastname@example.org) said that she supported the raise for the president of the college and gives credit for leadership to the new president. She was also unaware of the other raises around the city.
Dr. John Mondragon (email@example.com) said that there were processes for giving raises and that those processes were not complete and he would prefer to wait until the processes were closed to see the results. I tried to press him on the fact that the school was holding to three percentage raises for low income staff but he would not move on any other comment. He did admit to not being aware of the other schools giving higher raises to low income staff.
Robert P. Matteucci (268-8678) made sure to say hello and then ran away before I could ask for a comment.
Board President Richard Barr (294-6635) the one republican on the board did not stay to speak with me on any issues. Just like a republican who has far too much inside friendship with the local news media to run away from a democratic blogger.
I reminded each of the other board members that they were democrats and they were setting a bad example in my view of how democrats should be treating educational employees. I still feel the need to lay most of the blame at the feet of the new president because it is up to her to set an example as the retired president did during his time in office.
As an employee of that college who will be getting that 3% raise I feel that the college should support their low income employees and that as democrats there can be no real excuse for such ground holding. I hope that the board will look at raises around the city and reconsider their hard line stand on raises for low income employees. I reminded them that projected inflations rates were 4.5% this year.
I am in the process of getting reactions to the news of the presidents rise and the hard line on employees raise from a number of state representatives and I will be naming any that refuse to comment on this because it is up to them in the future to decide pay increase for higher educational employees. I am warning them now that I will hold their feet to the fire on this issue. I totally admit to having a personal stake in this issue. I have been friends with a number of the board members for years and still I am holding them accountable for their behavior toward low income staff members and their pay. This is the year of change and it can not just be another campaign slogan.
Maybe some democrats should hold up signs that read "Its the economy stupid" just a thought.
Monday, July 7, 2008
My party will be poolside from 3 to 5 this coming Saturday. Sara Cobb will be speaking for Congressman Udall because he and his family will not be in the city on Saturday. I have invited local candidates to come say hello to the party goers. We will have light food and drinks and people are welcome to come cool off in the pool. I can think of no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Party: Invite.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
This year the new CNM president, Kathy Winograd has been bought and paid for with an 8% pay increase during her first six months and is looking forward to even more in the near future. She lobbied for a 2% increase for faculty and staff members and was forced to settle for a 3% increase for low income staff members. It is clear that the working class may still have one or two friends on that board. It is also clear that Ms. Winograd has adopted republican views from Board President Richard Barr. Strange that a democrat would adopt republican views during a year of change but she is clearly no friend to the working class in the college. One has to wonder who she is buying off with her new found wealth and how much damage she plans on doing in the future to a college that has alway been known for its assistances to low income workers.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Board members repeatedly explain to staff members that they don’t have the money to give low income staff members paid holidays and paid annual leave but are managing to add to the president’s large salary and add middle management positions that pay anywhere for $35,000 to $100,000 a year. Staff members are required to take 21 days off each year without pay. Just another example of how dedicated this two year college is to showing any real respect to the people who work with student’s everyday of the week.
The president of the college is working hard to get money from the state government to add new buildings and lower the cost to students but has failed to work for the very life blood of the college. It would appear that Ms. Winograd has forgotten that small apartment that she grew up in back east. The Journal would have people think that she is doing a great job for the first six months but tell that to the people who will see at best a $500 raise in pay this year when food cost is up 8.5%, heating this winter is up 30% and gas is up to over $4 per gallon. Ms. Winograd may wish for an increase in enrollment and retention but she clearly does not care about the people who are working hard everyday with the students to deliver those goals for the college.
How can anyone who leads a public college that has been dedicated in the past to helping people increase their hourly wages brag about such a large rise in salary in such a public manner while hard working families are faced with real and difficult decisions about basic needs right now in the here and present? How can board members face these same staff members and their families in the future and honestly ask for their vote in February of 2009?
Thursday, July 3, 2008
The first was a drug addict who had a fourteen year history of crime and addiction. The defendant had been clean for six months really too short a period of time to be able to tell if the rehab program mandated by the state laws would have a lasting effect on the defendant. Theses defendants are not good at communication. They don’t express themselves very well in a court of law. Their attorneys try as best as they can to prepare them for the hearing. The defendants were before the judge to be sentenced for their crimes. Listed below is the charges the first defendant was facing:
COUNT 1: TRAFFICKING IN A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRUBITED)
COUNT 2: TRAFFICKING IN A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRUBITED)
COUNT 3: POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPH
COUNT 4: POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA (1 OZ OR LESS)
Judge Robert (Bob) Schwartz listened carefully and asked a few questions. He allowed the prosecutor and the attorney for the defense to both speak. Both spoke well and showed knowledge of the case. Although the attorney for the defense appeared to have a little more knowledge then the prosecutor nevertheless the prosecutor held her own before the judge. The judge decided to defer the sentencing for six more months because he wanted to give the defendant a real chance at proving he could stay away from drugs. The defendant would remain in a rehab program until it was finished and them come back to face sentencing for his crimes. If the judge had disregarded the progress of the defendant then it would have destroyed any progress made over the first six months of time in rehab however he was not released because the time period was too short to be clear that the defendant could stay away from drugs. Judge Schwartz lived up to his idea of trying to be fair and impartial to people who end up facing him in his courtroom while still protecting the best interest of the general public.
The second case was a much younger defendant who was charged with the fourth DWI which carries a harsher sentence in our state thanks to the hard work of people like Tom Udall. Now Congressman Udall worked to increase pentalities for DWI while he was attorney general. The defendant had done very well in rehab and finished a one year program in good standing but had not followed up with a regular AA program or any counseling after release from the rehab program. The individual clearly was not following a course that would lead to staying out of the system in the future. This defendant is just like many that have ended up killing families on our highways. The defendant came from a good family and the parents were trying their best to keep the individual from trashing a young life but to no anvil at this point in time. The young defendant had a very good and experienced lawyer otherwise the defendant would most likely have been found guilty of more serious crimes. The prosecutor brought with her people who had worked with the defendant in rehab. It is clear from what they had to say that our rehab system in this state is seriously under funded to the point that it is preventing the system from doing a quality job that might save lives in the future. Rehab programs could use more funding in the future which just might lower the number of repeat crimes from drunk drivers in our state. It was clear from listening to the defendant speak that like so many drunk drivers that the seriousness of the crime did not sink in. Judge Schwartz felt the need to require the steps that the young defendant had not followed through with on his own and to drive home the impact of what he had been found guilty of in the first place. The young man was required to be active in a local AA program and to restart counseling. The judge also required him to do a victim impact panel where he would face the results of his crime and what he could have done if there had been a victim in his case.
Both defendants were place on supervised probation which would help to protect the community from them committing further crimes. It also did not fill the local jails with people who could be better helped by further treatment for their addictions. Judge Schwartz showed careful consideration of each case and balanced the best interest of both the defendant and the community in his decisions.
I did have to give Judge Schwartz just a small bit of a hard time for one rookie mistake when he did not tell the people in the courtroom to sit down after he entered the room. Not what I would call a major mistake by any means but it did prove that he is human and new to the bench. I was once told by an attorney that a new judge objected for the defense on his first case. So in the scheme of things Judge Schwartz is clearly doing well in his first year as a judge maybe all of that time as a district attorney is paying off for him. It just goes to show that our bipartisan judicial selection committee, Governor Richardson and the voting public are an unbeatable team when it comes to picking quality candidates for the bench.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
"Article the third [Amendment I]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The states in this country should not be in the business of legally recognizing any church activity for the benefit of some over others or for exercising their right to take part in any church activity. The last time I checked marriage was an activity of the church and not of the state. The states in this country should not be allowed to issue marriage licenses. If the states wish to recognize a persons legal standing then it should not be called marriage but a legal union and nothing more for any individual. This would do away with the issue over gay marriage because the states would not be put in the middle of a fight between different churches and the people in those churches and their beliefs of what marriage is or is not in a religious manner.
If a law was passed to prevent the recognition of some but not all marriages by different churches then it would be a violation of the first Amendment to the constitution because it would prevent those individuals from freely practicing their form of religion because marriage is an instruction of the church and therefore should not be an activity regulated by the states in this country.
Why no one has thought to file a lawsuit up to now to strike down or prevent the states right to issue marriage licenses is a wonder to me.
"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s"
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Peter V. Domenici (R)
Local contact information:
201 3rd St., NW Suite 710Albuquerque NM,87102
South Main, Suite 118,
Loretto Town Center Las Cruces NM,
South Federal Place,
Suite 302 Santa Fe NM,87501
Roswell NM, 88201
Web Form: domenici.senate.gov/contact/contactform.cfm
Washington D.C. contact information:Phone: (202) 224-6621
Jesse F. "Jeff" Bingaman Jr. (D)
Local contact information:
625 Silver Ave. SW Albuquerque NM, 87102
Loretto Towne Centre,
505 S. MainLas Cruces NM, 88001
200 E. 4th St.Roswell NM, 88201
119 E. MarcySanta Fe NM, 87501
Washington D.C. contact information:Phone: (202) 224-5521
First and foremost is the economy because without a stable financial environment nothing can be done at any other level. We need to find a successful way to reduce the cost of energy because it is driving up the price of items that are considered basic to human life. Until some way is found to reduce the price of moving goods to market people with low or middle incomes will find it difficult to deal with any other issues.
The War in Iraq:
At this point in time the war in Iraq is costing our country too much in resource. We can not afford to have our younger generation being killed off and wounded in a war because we have a limited number of people in this generation to begin with and most countries only go to war when they have a surplus of citizens so that it does not harm the ability of the society to continue. The financial expense of the war is beginning to harm our national budget. Money is a resource that enables us to support the needs of our general population. We are now being forced to cut funding in domestic programs in order to pay for the war in Iraq.
We need to find a way to educate our children not just in read, writing, and math but also in the liberal arts because without that influence they will grow up to be poor citizens of the United States. The difference between someone who can achieve and someone who fails in adult life is how well they can fit into their cultural background. People who have been trained in the finer arts are better able to respect others and therefore have a better chance of success in their adult world. Culture can be regional or national but it is an important part of our society. Understanding how to deal with people and how to interact with others is something taught in the liberal arts area of education. Writing is just one form of communication. All students need a well rounded education that includes difference areas of interest.
The Republican Party now wants to solve our problem by drilling in areas that up to now have been off limits. If allowed this would permanently damage those areas of our natural environment that would only offer at most a short term relief of a long term problem. Even if allowed those resources would be unavailable to the market for ten to twenty years. The cost to consumers at the pump would not decrease overnight. The cost to future generation would be huge.
On all of these issues the Republican Party is looking for quick fixes that will only harm the voting public in the long run. They will pander to the votes of special interest groups while telling the voting public that it is in their best interest. We have all seen what the results of those types of policies have brought our country over the past seven and a half years. In order to change the direction our country is head in we must elect candidates that are willing to reverse the most harmful of the Bush Administration polities. If the voting public stays with the current direction it may well be too late to reverse the damage to them in another four more years. As it is we will see more harm before a new administration takes office in January of 2009 and even then it will take a new administration time to start to reverse the direction of a country as large as the United State of America.