Monday, March 30, 2009

The Price of Love

Today in the Albuquerque Journal on the front page is an articule about a case before District Court Judge Clay Campbell where he had to place a value on a case of malpractice. Judge Campbell quoted Mark Twain’s words, “To get the full value of joy, you must have someone with whom to divide it.” In the court system judges must often set monetary amounts on cases so as to make the victims whole. Still I don’t think for one minute Judge Campbell would ever attempt to place a value on love or marriage. A happily married man himself, I think he wanted to take the time to explain to both sides that he had a keen understand of how important long term relationships are and that even though he had to assign an amount to this case that it did not reflex his value on a life well lived or a long happy marriage.

Long marriages and friendships are something that should be truly value among all else. I come from a family where long term relationships are very common. My grandparents, my parents and my bother all have or had long term marriages. I would like to say that I had a long term relationship but I appear to have out live my husband and friends still I understand the value of a long term relationship. I once told a friend that relationships change over time but for a relationship to last one must be committed to working through the bad times as well as the good times. You don’t always get along with the people in your life and sometimes you have to remind them that they need to make time to spend with you even when their schedules are busy. Communication is the key to a long term relationships of any kind. Sometimes just talking about nothing is more important then not talking at all and sometime you need to remind people of that fact. At any rate long term relationships often take work and commitment from both individuals.

In the field of politics long term relationships are often very rare and you never know when one will develop or even if it will last past the next election. My parents always warned me from ever getting to close to a politician for fear that I would get my heart broken and I do respect their view on that issue. Too often the field encourages candidates to act nicely toward supporter until they reach the goal that they have set for themselves and after that your usefulness is at an end and you move on to the next candidate. I think most people understand that working relationship when it comes to candidates. Both the candidate and the activist often even forget the other person’s name over time. The nature of the beast as it were.

Still it was very considerate of Judge Campbell to take the time to express his view on marriage and long term relationships so that the family would feel that he had taken that relationship into consideration before making his judgment. Judge Campbell is clearly a very thoughtful judge.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Education a High Paid Jobs Program in New Mexico

Is Educational Administration a high priced jobs program for New Mexico? Here in New Mexico we spend a large amount of our taxpayer’s dollars not in the classroom but on Educational Administrator which has brought our state to the ranking of 48th in the country when it comes to quality. Teacher and students get less then forty percent of the funding and educators must spend their own personal income to provide supplies for their students while administration gives large donations to political leaders to insure their next pay increase which will not include the students or the people who work directly with those students. Smart reform would take control of this hugely top heavy system and redirect the money toward the classroom. Washington is the only state where the rate of money going to the students and teachers is less. How can a poor state like New Mexico afford such a high priced jobs program for educational administration at a time when the economy is in such poor condition? When will the quality of education for our children come before these high paid Wall Street CEO Type educational administrators?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elections of County Democratic Party Officials

Today at Cibola High School on the Westside of the city the democratic central committee met to elect county officials.

Lt. Governor Diane Denish was there to make it known that she was looking forward to being this states next governor. State Treasurer James B. Lewis was every present as the party cheerleaders. State Party Chairman Brian Colón made it clear that he feels his work as state party chairman is not yet complete and he wants to be reelected in April of this year. If his past achievements are any indicator he should have no problem getting reelected this year. Congressman Martin Heinrich sent his greetings but had to be in Washington D.C. do the job we sent him there to do today. He has been doing a great service for our state and we support him completely.

A few judges and a few state representatives were also present at the start of the meeting. I spoke a few minutes with State Senator Tim Eichenberg before the meeting stated. Senator Eichenberg is one of our new state senators and he did a great job at the round house this year. We need more elected officials like him in the roundhouse so that we can make progress in the future. District Court Judge Alan Malott and District Court Judge Beatrice Brickhouse were present at the first of the meeting. Both will be running in contested races for their seats in the future and should enjoy the support of the party come the next election. Mayoral Candidate Richard Romero was also there to let the party know that he cares about the voters and their issues and does not place himself above them. Richard Romero has always been an active democrat and does very well at working with his party.

The results of the election for county chairperson was clear cut and direct, Ana Canales was elected with 100% of the vote and had no one who would run against her. First Chair went to Victor Raigoza with his financial training the party should do well this year with fundraising.

The platform was voted for as a package. There were three floor amendments added at the last minute. The first one to fail was a vote to do away completely with the platform. Clearly the Gay and Lesbian members of our party are very angry that the partnership bill did not pass this year and they felt that if our elected official could not support the party platform then why have one in the first place? The second one would have done away with divorce since the church does not approve of it. It also failed to pass. The third and only one to pass was in support of Gay and Lesbian marriage. The Gay and Lesbian members of our party will not forget this years vote on partnerships very quickly and a few conservative democrats may find their offices at risk because of their vote on this issue in four years from now. State Senator Cisco McSorley will not have a problem because he introduced the bill for partnership in the first place. Maybe Cisco will have a few new progressive state senators who will replace conservatives in four years from now.

My personal view on the matter is that the state should not be in the business of handing out licenses to marry in the first place. Marriage is a church activity and the state has no business in the regulation of any religious activity in the first place. I support my gay and lesbian friends who wish to have committed relationships because I think they deserve to be as happy as I was with my husband. I still think it is my church’s right to say no to any couple that they wish to now and in the future. Each church should be allowed to provide the services for their members based on their faith and not to be order by the government to practice or not practice any rite that would violent their beliefs. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right and should be respected by all in this country.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Process to Deal with Missing Women

The Lt. Governor Diane Denish is working with local law enforcement agencies to create a new process to deal with the fact that twelve women and a baby ended up on the West Mesa in shallow graves because no one in the public knew they were missing.

Asking families to provide dental records of missing family members is a good idea along with some type of DNA. A hair bush or tooth bush can always contain DNA. The police have a kit that they give parents at the state fair every year so that you can have those pieces of information for emergencies. Families with family members at risk should be given information along with a kit so as to have those pieces of information prepared incase of the worst outcome.

The police should also keep in close contact with women’s shelters before making any public announcements so that women who are trying to get out of a harmful relationship are not put in unnecessary danger.

A website with the pictures of missing adults would also be helpful. A hotline for tips on missing individuals would be helpful in finding missing individuals.

More funding to deal with substances abuse and mental illness for homeless individuals and those who are on the edge would also help reduce the number of people who go missing in our state. Community treatment centers for these individuals would give them a home so that they can receive their medications while allowing them a close to normal life. The Reagan Administration made promises of community healthcare for the mentally ill far too many years ago and never delivered on it when they released them from hospitals and onto the cold harsh streets in this country. Perhaps it would also be good to have healthcare teams who could go out and check on the welfare of the homeless so as to know when they are in need of treatment.

One does have to wonder why more of these types of actions have not been taken by the police in this state up to this point but better late then never when it comes to women’s issues in this state.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Healthcare-Sick Day-At Home

Today I spent the day in the Presbyterian healthcare system trying to figure out why I had a sharp pain in my lower right side that does not want to go away. The doctor sent me to the hospital to make sure it was not my appendix which fortunately it was not. Few people my age have problems with their appendix but considering where the pain was it was better to make sure. The person that took the CT scan was very polite and at a time when I did not feel all that well it was nice to have someone who cared about taking good care of a patent. The treatment was no fun and that included me getting poked with two needles before all was said and done.

I am one of the lucky ones that still have healthcare insurance but since I have cancer and a major hip replacement I can not afford not to have the insurance no matter how costly it gets. Due to my medical condition it would cost far more if I did not have health insurance.

Strange that most people hate to have their friends around while they are ill especially if it is not catching but I am one of those people who want my friends to baby me while I am sick. My grandfather would spoil me rotten as a child if I got sick while visiting him and I have always had good memories of that ever since. The problem is that all of my friends treat me the way they would want to be treated at times like this and so here I am all alone feeling sick and neglected while I type away on my computer at home.

I should say that our congressmen are not making me feel neglected and neither is our president. First our president would like me to tell all of them and our senators that I support his budget which I do and I very much want more investment in our educational system. Please make sure it goes to educators and classrooms and not into over paid educational administration salaries.

As for all our congressmen are doing for this state, all I can keep saying is good job gentlemen. We are seeing funding for veterans healthcare, land protection, water protection and housing. You got to admire Harry Teague for keeping up with Ben Luján and Martin Heinrich in Washington because I don’t see where they are finding time to get much rest with all they are doing for our state. Makes our past representatives from the southern and the middle part of the state look like they were asleep at the job but Congressman Luján has some big shoes to fill in his part of the state nevertheless so far he is doing a great job at it. House speaker Ben Luján Sr. must be very proud of his son.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clean Coal for the Southwest

Residents of the Southwest should see this ad for clean coal before they welcome it into our state.

The buck stops here or turn-style justice

Sheriff Darren White is blaming the justice system and the state legislature for not reducing crime in New Mexico.

"We have failed miserably as a state as it relates to locking up violent thugs, turn-style justice has failed New Mexico miserably and our legislature has had numerous tries to get it right and they just don't," White said.

What he forgot to say was it is my fault since I am the sheriff that criminals keep ending up back on the street and that it is a Republican led state senate backed up by so called democrats like State Senator Tim Jennings who have repeatedly blocked bills put forward by State Senator Cisco McSorley that would have funded drug and mentally health programs and reduced the crime rate in this state.

If we want the crime rate to fall in this state we need to elect a democratic sheriff who will provide community policing and improve our sheriff’s department so that criminals are caught and the cases brought before our judges are not questionable. We also need to elect more progressives to the state senate so that the conservative democrats cannot side with their good friends the republicans to block important funding and laws that would reduce crime and increase the number of district court judges so that they are not over worked therefore giving them more time to spend on each cases that comes before them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Better System of State Government for the Legislature

The issue:

You have to figure that working sixty days straight with a time limit and knowing that you have no hope of getting through all of the legislation has to be one very stress filled period. I have to wonder how that leads to the making of better laws for this state. If our crime rate and the quality of our educational system are any type of indicators then I would say the system is a complete and total failure.

How about a common sense approach?

Maybe we should have a system where legislators enter into a shared data base issues that constituents have raised then the representatives could form a committee of all interest parties to research how best to resolve the issues using experts and examples from other states. Town hall meetings could be convened for the purpose of hearing from the voting public. If other states are doing a much better job at something we could follow their lead and develop a system like theirs that would increase success for our state.

The results from the use of a common sense approach:

This type of approach could make constituents feel like their voices are heard and increase the support for laws that are presented before the legislature. This type of approach might reduce the number of bills and the duplicating of issues before the legislature and increase the time legislators have to debate those bills in case of strong disagreement between any of the interested parties. Is anyone out there in this state for an organized state government with an orderly process for the creation of state laws?

Time for a New Sheriff in Town

The results of CQ Press's annual Crime State Rankings are in so which 20 states were ranked as the most dangerous for 2009? You guessed it; New Mexico is ranked number 4. We did not even get out of the top five. This is one list that I and most women in this state would like to see New Mexico ranked in the bottom of when it comes to state’s rankings. Maybe then 12 women and a baby would not have ended up buried in the desert at the edge of the city.

One has to wonder why our state cannot and will not protect women from violent crimes. Three years ago when I was being stalked by a mentally ill student the judge in my care strongly advised me that he could not and would not protect me from harm. The police said the same that until I was dead there was nothing they would or could do to help me. Both groups strongly suggested that I had to find a way to protect myself from harm so where is the civilization that protects women from predators in this state?

Where is the community policing that would help protect women while they are out on the street getting into their cars, their homes and just exercising in and around their community. Where is the crackdown on drug users that break into our homes, laundry rooms and cars to steal in order to supply their drug habits? Where is the support for mental health and drug treatment programs that would keep violent offenders off the streets? Why does our state have to be in the top 5 most dangerous state in the nation? Where is our legal system while women are being killed in this state?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sandia Mountains

Nature is the first place I head when I want to clear my mind and just relax. My new used car has given me the freedom to visit some places that I could not get to in my old car as of the last year or two.

The legislature’s sixty day session is over and hopefully our state senators and house representatives are getting a little rest this weekend. I have to wonder where the common sense or the rational is for having lawmakers stay up to all hours of the night when they are trying to decide the fate of laws that will affect this state for years to come. I would hope that lawmakers would be calm, well rested and collected when making vital decisions that could affect the voting public’s quality of life and economic future. It might also give them the ability to be a little more political correct toward each other.

State Senator Mary Jane Garcia and most but not all of the educational committee’s reason for not paying educational employees what they are worth this year is the cost to the state in a year when the budget is tight. The same argument is made about having a full time legislature but I bet if you asked them about paying the legislature a full time salary and benefits they would be all for it even though it would cost more then paying educational employees what they are worth. Some jobs should not be on the short list when it comes to how we value people who make our state a better place to live and grow up yet because it is done that way in this state we are often on the bottom of the rating lists compared to other states. Saying you value someone and actually showing it with a paycheck are two hugely different actions. If you don’t believe me just ask any state senator or state representative. Oh, and do tell them how much you value them even if you don’t support them getting a full-time paycheck and benefits for it like other government employees.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Precinct Chairperson

Today I became the official precinct chairperson for precinct 273 in ward 19A. I went to the ward meeting to watch our ward chair people in action today. I learned that we need to do a lot in order to welcome new younger people into our organization. Training should occur on a regular schedule and young people should be encouraged to attend so that they will know the rules and how to get elected to precinct chair and ward chair positions in our party.

It does not look good when older members of the party use the rules to lock younger people out of the organization. After all one of the ward chairs put it into words when he said that we are suppose to be the party of inclusions not exclusions. The rules are not user friendly and the posting of such rules are not done in a way where people could simple look them up in order to educate themselves about the process and the requirements. This is about as clear as Mississippi mud if you ask me or anyone who has tried to become an active member of the party.

I don’t want to blame anyone for this problem so lets just suggest strongly that rules books and process requirements should be posted on the county website in order to help clear this issue up for the individuals who want to become active members in their communities. Training for these positions should occur on a monthly base and all active members of the party no matter what their age should be encouraged to get the training.

With a new democratic president in office and new federal and state officials in office we should be able to build a strong party if we are willing to train the next generation to step up and actively support their party. I encourage members of my precinct to contact me and become my block captains. I will make sure that they receive the training so that in the future they can become active members of the Democratic Party. Now is the time to grow our party for the future of our state and our country.

Friday, March 20, 2009

U.S. History and Civics in Our Classrooms

When I went to middle school and high school all those long years ago my U.S. History teacher was one of my best teachers. His niece was my best friend in high school. U.S. History was my second best subject behind math and I enjoyed learning about our country. Today I take my daughter to places like the Roundhouse in Santa Fe to teach her the important of our government and our constitution. I want her to know her rights and her country’s history. I understand that not every parent can spend that kind of time and energy on education for their children but I do think that children should receive the best education that our state can provide in all subjects. Good education products good citizens and good workers in the future for our country.

U.S. Senators, Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) have induced the following bill into the senate to help fund history and civics in this country’s classrooms. While a very sensitive issue because of the type of history we teach in this country and the problem with setting any basic requirements for a class I hope that funding for future programs do develop from this bill and that the senate respects an instructor’s needs and rights for academic freedom because history is the one subject that can never come from a pre-caned set of box requirements. Each state should be treated as an individual when teaching U.S. History so that culture and regional history can be incorporated into the teaching of this subject and so that respect for different points of view can be maintained in the classroom.

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) today introduced legislation to consolidate and expand federal programs to improve the teaching and learning of United States History.

The legislation would:

  • Authorize 100 summer academies for outstanding students and teachers of U.S. History and align those academies with locations in the national park system, such as the John Adams House or Independence Hall.
  • Double authorization for funding “Teaching American History” programs in local school districts, which today involve 20,000 students as a part of No Child Left Behind.
  • Require states to develop and implement standards for student assessments in U.S. History, although there would be no federal accountability requirement as there is for reading and mathematics.
  • Allow states to compare history and civics test scores of 8th- and 12th-grade students by establishing a 10-state pilot program that would expand the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)

    “When you look at our nation's report card, American history is our worst subject,” said Alexander, former Secretary of Education. “It’s time to put the teaching of American history and civics back in its rightful place in our schools so our children grow up learning what it means to be American. That means emphasizing history in our education standards and providing more opportunities for professional development to history and social studies teachers.”

    “History is not only the common memory that we all share, but it is also an excellent teacher,” added Senator Robert C. Byrd. “Studying history provides our young people with a grounding in the basic philosophies and values that served to form the foundation of America. By providing funding and emphasizing a focus on history, this legislation will help better prepare America’s students to lead in the future, by giving them a deeper understanding of this country’s past.”

    Senator Kennedy added, “The future success of the American experiment depends on today’s youth having the knowledge to understand our past and learn from it. This bill strengthens the commitment of our schools to educating their students in history and civics, and giving them the essential grounding they need to participate in our democracy. By raising standards for history education, providing greater opportunities for students and teachers alike to learn from leading scholars, and emphasizing important lessons from our past, this legislation will help prepare both our students and our nation for the best possible future.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Organizing For America

President Obama is requesting that his supporters get out and talk with voters this weekend in support of his budget plan for America. He is clear that getting him elected was only the first step in moving our country forward in the right direction. It is up to the voters to let everyone know that without our support and encouragement of his plan that nothing will change in Washington. The voters must put the pressure on the representatives in order to change the way things are done in Washington. Our representatives must understand that we are demanding change when it comes to health care, energy, education, and taxes. We must let our senators and congressmen know what type of changes we want in Washington.
The time for change has come will you support it
or will the R+No Party instill fear in the Hearts of Americans?

Bonuses –Reward for a Job Well Done

Bonuses are a reward for a job well done not taxpayers hard earned dollars. What is it about Wall Street CEO’s today that they don’t get that a bonus is a reward for a job well done? AIG acts like bonuses should be given in the face of very poor performance as if it was a god given right for these individuals. We are not facing a shortage of qualified individuals in the banking industry so if someone wants to walk let them after all where are they going to go and who in their right mind would want to hire them at this point in history.

We should be looking at ways to break up these huge corporations so that we as a people don’t have to bailout failures. What happen to anti-monopoly laws that prevent companies from getting too large in this country? I was always taught that competition was a good thing for consumers. I think that AIG should be broken up into a least three companies if not more and then let each one work harder to achieve its goals which is service to the public not Wall Street CEO’s.

So now the government is also looking at bonuses for Merrill and exactly when the decision was made to give these individuals bonuses in the first place. I think what we are faced with is a failure to communicate. Wall Street CEO’s need to understand that until things change there will be no bonuses for anyone in the financial industry. Hard working taxpayers don’t give bonuses of any kind to the very rich in bad economic times.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick’s Day Should be a Happier Day

On this date in history Saint Patrick died which was a sad day for the Irish people but they have a habit of celebrating the death of people they respect. We wear green and eat corned beef with potatoes. We have parades and drink beer which is colored green. We consider everyone Irish on Saint Patty’s day because the Irish feel that family is one of the most important things in life. We adopt friends into our family and they have to put up with us like we are family.

I give my friends little gifts leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day and fix a nice dinner for my daughter. This year I was a bit of a nag to one of my friends but I was very happy to get a phone call. I appreciate my friends who take time from their busy schedules to just spend time with me and put up with me when I am being a nag especially on holidays. I should try to stress less and just enjoy the time I get to spend with them after all they are like family. Then again maybe that is why I react the way I do to them.

This has been a day when the leaders of our country are being just as bad as I am because they received bad news about how AIG spent taxpayer’s dollar and they are too upset to just enjoy the day. All of the federally elected official are expressing their anger at the large insurance company and are looking to find a way to get the money back for AIG and their top executives. The American people are one hundred percent behind them on this endeavor because they are just as outraged as the Obama Administration over how these relief funds were spent. I should think that maybe it is time for the government to take over the company then split it into smaller companies so that anyone could afford to fail without harming the economy maybe then the companies would be more responsive to the taxpayers when it comes to bailout funds they receive. If AIG think they’re too big to fail maybe it is time they were cut down to size.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Webcasting at the Legislature

The modern age of media has come to the roundhouse and it cannot be used for political purposes. Political bloggers will just have to do what I did and go sit and watch the state senate for themselves if they want to commit on the proceedings.

I stopped by the roundhouse Sunday and watched the senators in action for awhile with my daughter in tow. She committed that it was like a board meeting only the senators talked a lot more then the CNM Governing board. The governing board has a tenancy to do a lot of backroom deals in subcommittees that are not open to the public so that they only come out into public to all vote yes in unison. Let’s hope that the state senate does not resort to that type of behavior now that they know they can be watched by the voting public. If a body refuses to be a part of open government they will find a way to get around the rules even if those rules are meant to cast light on how decisions are made for the people impacted by the results of the proceedings.

I was watching a debate about a bill that State Senator Tim Keller was sponsoring which would help provide more open government. They were speaking about an amendment to the bill and by the end of the debate even the senator who put forth the amendment voted against the amendment. The senate found that to be very funny on a late Sunday afternoon when most people are usually at home relaxing for the next day.

On my way out of the roundhouse I ran into Attorney General Gary King who was headed into support a few bills he has before the legislative body. I wished him luck since not much is getting through the long process this year.

It does look like the bill to do away with the death penalty will pass but now the question is will the governor sign it into law. I am always reminded of something a friend said to me on this issue. “Why should catholic oppose abortion and support the death penalty when it is only a form of retroactive abortion.” I am not sure I will every have the answer to that question. The taking of a human life is always a serious matter and should never be done lightly under any circumstances.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to Pass a Bill in New Mexico

This information comes from the 2009 Legislative Almanac and is something that every New Mexican should know about their state legislative process.

“Each legislature lasts two years—the term of a member of the House of Representatives—and has two constitutionally—mandated sessions. The first session lasts for 60 calendar days and occurs in odd-numbered years, convening in the January after the prior general election. The second session is 30 calendar days long and occurs in even-numbered years. Bills in the second session are limited to fiscal matters, items specified by the governor and bills passed in the previous session that were vetoed by the governor. The governor can call a special session, as can the legislature with a three-fifths vote of both houses.

Regardless of how the legislature is convened, all bills follow the same path through the legislature. Any bill can be introduced in the house or the senate-unlike the U.S. Congress, where only the House can introduce tax bills. The bill is assigned a number, read twice, printed and referred to the proper committee.

Each bill is reviewed by one or more committees in each house. The committees can approve the bill, amend it, forward it to the next committee with no recommendation, or kill the bill by tabling it. Committee hearings are open to the public. (Be fair warned Lobbyist show up to make sure they are being heard by the senators or representatives that they give money to during elections.)

If a bill passes it committee hearings, it will be considered by the full house where it was introduced. The bill is placed on that house’s calendar, which means it is formally scheduled for its third reading and a final vote.

If it passes, the bill moves to the other house and repeats the entire process. If approved in the same form, it goes to the governor to be signed or vetoed. If each house passes a different bill, they form a conference committee to work on a compromise. If the committee agrees on a compromise, the bill goes back to the house and senate for a final vote.

Bills that pass both the house go to the governor to be signed or vetoed. They are formally prepared by the house where they originated, signed by the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore of the senate and forwarded to the governor. The governor can sign the bill, making it law, veto it or veto portions of it, if it contains an appropriation.

If the governor doesn’t sign or veto a bill within three days—and if the legislature is still in session—it becomes law. If the legislature has adjourned, the governor has 20 days to sign bills. Unsigned bills are vetoed.

The legislature can pass a bill over the governor’s veto with a two-thirds veto in each house.

Signed bills typically become law 90 days after the legislature adjourns. However, the legislature can specify an emergency, which makes the bill effective when the governor signs its, or a later date for the law to go into effect.”

Now if that does not make your eyes cross nothing will. Any bill that passes both houses and is signed by the governor has most likely been kill in one version or another over the past few years and lobbyist have far more time then voters to spend with our legislators so that is why New Mexico is ranked in the bottom when it comes to education. The Governor has already told this years legislature that he is not happy with the current budget bill for education so lets see where it leads when they are forced to face the fact that education should not see cuts just to give them a raise in retirement benefits while they plan on increasing payments by educators to their retirement fund.

I do know a few state representatives who go out of their way to speak with the people they represent and I am very proud of them for all their hard work.

People like:

Senator Tim Keller
Senator Eric Griego
Senator Tim Eichenberg
Senator Cisco McSorley

(These hard working individuals were at work today passing legislative bills that would help to increase the transparency of our state government for our state school system. Senator Eichenberg even had his little daugther on the senate floor with him.)

Along with:

State Representative Al Parks
State Representative Benjamin H. Rodefer

All go out of their way to listen to the voting public and they try their hardest to represent the people who ask them for help on local and state issues. They also work hard to let the public in on the process that produces our state laws and our state budget.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Congressman Heinrich at the Co-op

The co-op may sound like a strange place for a U.S. Congressman to hold his office hours but our representative is more than a little willing to speak to constituents one on one to find out their needs and to hear their request for help in what can only be described as hard economic times. Having congressmen who are willing to go to the public instead of hiding from them in a ivory tower may be a new thing for most New Mexicans but the results should pay of big for our state in the long run.

I personally spoke to the congressman about the purposed raise in payments required by instructional staff to the retirement fund that a bill before the state legislature would enact and how it would remove any benefit from the money we are now receiving from the federal government. I also asked the congressman to look at a national minimum wage for teachers and instructional support staff. I must thank Governor Bill Richardson for coming up with that idea.

Congressman Heinrich had his little boy with him and he was dressed to save the world just like his father. We need more Congressmen like Martin Heinrich in the rest of the country so that President Obama will have a strong support team to help him bring about the change we need in this country in order to turn around the economy.

I ran into a member of my ward today and she told me that she wanted to see more of the Obama activists join the party and become active members. In just a little short of two years Congressman Heinrich will need our strong support to run for reelection and we need to build a strong party system for him so that we can maintain our current congressmen in this state. The battle with the R+No party is just beginning and we will all need to work together to protect the gains we have made for this state in our federal representation.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Old Guard vs. New Activists

The Old Bernalillo County Democratic Party is a complete and total failure for new political activists. None of the new Obama activists are coming to local party meetings because the rules and methods to become active in the local party prevent them from getting into positions that could be used to bring about real and sincere change. People who only want positions for the power they represent don’t even bother to show up for meetings much less care about issues that matter to the voting public after all they just want to be invited to the parties where they can hob knob with elected officials. The rules of the game are changed every single year to benefit the old guard. Elected officials are taking positions away for activists to enhance their own control over the party and by doing so are driving away good people. Change must start at the grassroots and must be real for it to change the way politics in this city or county are run.

A new shadow party is looking more like the answer to people who have tried to bring about change but have been met with stone cold walls of resistance from the old guard. It will take a lot of hard work to produce a shadow party that can bring about real change but younger individuals have the numbers and are sick of politics as usual in this state.

As the voting public has seen reform has all but failed in this year’s session of the state legislature and the old guard joined with the republicans to prevent any meaningful change in how we treat the voting public or how we provide education for New Mexicans. The Republican Party is proud of their hard work this year to keep control of our state and they are looking forward to using conservative democratic to being about their type of change for New Mexico the same type of failed change that we have seen over the past eight year for our country. If President Obama can bring change to our country then progressives should be able to bring change to our state government in the future when more have been elected to state government. These people hopefully will also bring about change to the old party because they respect the new activists.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CNM Board President Swearing Ceremony

Tuesday evening Robert Matteucci who has been a member of the CNM board since 1986 was sworn in by District Court Judge William Lang, Chief Judge of the Civil Division, as Central New Mexico Community College’s new board president. Let’s hope that the new board president will take to heart the true mission of this college and put the student’s needs and the educational employee’s needs before the administration’s lavish wants. The employees of this college have already told the administration that we are top heavy and if layoffs have to occur in the future that administration should be the first to be reduced in order to protect the quality of education at this college. With Governor Bill Richardson finally stepping in to protect the level of education at the university down the street it is high time that Wall Street CEO Style administration practices were done away with at this college before they harm the students. Administration needs to learn that top down management was never a good fit for an educational environment.

My dean told an instructor that I should know my place and not talk to top level administration because it makes him look like he has no control over me. I got news for him, I will talk to whomever I chose to in the future and I have a first amendment right to do just that anytime I feel like it. I am not in the military and as long as I do a good job helping the students of this college to achieve academic success then he should be thrilled that I am doing my job. As a matter of fact maybe he should be helping me to do that job rather than putting me down to my coworkers in the first place.

Let’s all hope that for the good of the college that the new board president can make the college administration understand that academic freedom is what makes a college great and that administrators should do everything in their power to foster that freedom both in the full-time instructors, part-time instructors and in the educational support staff.

I honestly wish all the best for Robert Matteucci and hope that his term in office will be a great success both for himself and the college.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marching to a Different Drummer

Congressman Ben Ray Luján is highlighting funding made available for the Nacimiento Copper Mine Cleanup Project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Nacimiento Mine Cleanup Project will receive approximately $1.1 million in funding. The project is what they call shovel ready.

His remarks on this project are as follows:

“We are already seeing benefits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” said Rep. Luján. “The Nacimiento Mine Cleanup Project will be able to begin quickly and provide real economic benefits to Sandoval County, as well as protect land from contamination.”

The Nacimiento Mine a former copper mine in Sandoval County which is located in the Santa Fe National Forest will benefit from the funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery funding will help with reclamation and recovery of the surrounding land.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the work will clean up and restore 25 million gallons of groundwater at Nacimiento Mine near Cuba, New Mexico. As we all know water in the southwest is a valuable asset that should be taken care of and this clean up can only help with improving the quality of life for the voting public in that area of the state. The cleanup will also provide increased economic opportunities and improved quality of life in rural New Mexico by treating the surface and ground water for human consumption as well as for use by small farmers and ranchers.

The Republican Party and their local mouth pieces would have the nerve to criticize our new congressman for the act of protecting the environment while providing new green jobs for our state that are the jobs of the future. They want to see more jobs in the northern part of our state that would require future clean up dollars, would be dead end jobs that would only go away in the future and that would damage the standard of living for the voting public in that area but look who the north voted into office. The Democratic Party can be and is very proud of our new congressman and the hard work he is doing to move New Mexico forward into a future that will protect our environment and provide good paying jobs for New Mexicans. Someone should tell the Republican Party to stop living in the past because our representatives are marching into a brighter future with our drumbeat.

CNM Governing Board Swearing In Ceremony

Yesterday evening was the swearing in of new board members. Deborah Moore has noted guest Mayor Thomas E. Swisstack from Rio Rancho to watch her being sworn in. The mayor said that Deborah would be very good at representing the interest of the instructional staff at CNM and the voting public. He also said that he was very happy to see Central New Mexico Community College coming to Rio Rancho and looked forward to the new campus. The other two being sworn in were Michael D. Dewitte and long time board member and active democrat Blair L. Kaufman.

Monday, March 9, 2009

3.9 million For Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program

Congressman Martin Heinrich announced $3,947,769 in funding for law enforcement in the First Congressional District by the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance through the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The funding is a result of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Here is what Congressman Heinrich had to say about the funding for JAG.

“We must continue to do all we can to reduce and prevent crime, and keep our streets free from violence and danger,” said Rep. Heinrich. “This funding can be used by local law enforcement for personnel, training, technical assistance, and a number of other initiatives to fight crime in our communities.”

The JAG funding announced by Representative Heinrich includes:

· $2,841,407 for the City of Albuquerque;
· $48,284 for the City of Belen
· $68,949 for the Town of Bernalillo;
· $514,036 for Bernalillo County;
· $63,187 for the Village of Los Lunas;
· $143,461 for the City of Rio Rancho;
· $31,395 for Sandoval County;
· $115,445 for Santa Fe County;
· $22,056 for Torrance County; and,
· $99,549 for Valencia County.

Last week my brother’s home was broken into in broad daylight. The criminals kicked in the front gate and the front door to rob him of his TV and CD player. I was glad that my sister-in-law was not home at the time of the break in. This is not the first time someone has broken into their home. Any funding that could help to prevent future break-ins can only help to protect the voting public of Bernalillo County. It is good that Congressman Heinrich is working hard to bring home funding that will help to protect the voting public in congressional district one.I know that the judges in our district court system are also working hard and are more then a little over worked at present so maybe some of the funding will help them to protect the voting public as well.

I also hope some of the funding is used to help treat people with mental illness and drug abuse problems because those are the people in our city that are most likely to commit crimes like breaking and entering.

Online vs. In Class

More and more students are working with computers at a younger and younger age and learning with online course work. Some students will always require face to face instructions because that is how they learn best.

Online courses:


Online classes have the benefit of being worked around schedules. They provide students with the opportunity to take classes that they otherwise could not fit into a busy life style. Some students learn best on the computer and don’t need in person instruction. Online course work allows some people to move at their own speed and acquire the needed skills.


Not all students are self motivated and fail to keep up with the rest of the class. Students feel free to express negative attitudes which are not helpful to the class. Because the instructor feels the need to make up for a lack of personal presents they assign more work which takes more time than a in class course. Some students lack the computer skills to work with an online course. Internet systems are not always available in smaller communities and are not always reliable in larger communities.

In person courses:


They have an instructor who can guide the students and give feedback both verbal and nonverbal. The student can receive more one on one interaction between student and instructor. The student is provided with a structured learning environment in which to learn needed skills. Human contact and interpersonal skills can be taught to students more easily. Although students are sometimes required to live on their own in a new place this can foster independents and self reliance which would not otherwise be acquired by taking course at home.


Courses are not always available at convenient times and often students must travel long distances to take advantage of courses. Students who work for a living must either take classes in the evening or take time off during the day from work in order to attend classes. More expense is required to maintain a college environment which increases the cost of course work.

Either Way

Over time some of the problems with the technology will be overcome and online courses will become available to students in more remote areas of this and other states within our country. The speed and quality of those links will also improve with the advancement of technology but the question remains will online courses ever completely replace the old classrooms that have been around since the beginnings of education in the United States.

Either way in which your students decide is best for them to learn our colleges and universities has both for them and the support staff they need to success. We can complain all we want to about CEO style administration and how they have failed to support those who work every day to education New Mexicans but in the end it is the people who work hard to provide a quality education for the students that make our colleges and universities a jewel for this state and they need and deserve the real honest and sincere support of both the voting public and state lawmakers. Without that support New Mexico will not be able to provide their voting public with the education that will get them the jobs of the future. Ask yourself what are the colleges and universities in New Mexico in the business to do for our state and how should funding be directed in the future to best ensure that it provides the best education that it can for the voting public now and in the future?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Smart Educational Reform

Smart Educational reform has to start with the ending of CEO style Educational Administration. Colleges and Universities Presidents and vice presidents can not continue to receive between $200,000 and $700,000 salaries while educational instructional staff receives between $15,000 and $60,000 to instruct the students. Ask yourself what is a college or university in the business to do?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

ARRA Money Headed to New Mexico

$27, 749,995 for transportation in New Mexico announced by Congressman Luján and Congressman Heinrich from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This federal money will put New Mexicans back to work and provide New Mexico with safer and newer streets and mass transportation. The money will be used by state and local transportation authorities to repair and build public transportation infrastructure here in New Mexico.

“Funding from the Federal Transit Administration will help New Mexico grow its transportation infrastructure and advance public transportation,” said Rep. Luján. “Investments in public transportation put New Mexico and our nation on a path towards a more sustainable future. It’s encouraging that funding for these important programs is quickly flowing to key programs in the states through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

“This distribution for public transit is incredibly important because it’s an investment in both our present and our future,” said Rep. Heinrich. “Investing in our public transportation puts New Mexicans to work now and it also moves us toward energy independence, decreased traffic congestion, and a healthier community for all of us. Public transit is also a tremendous incentive to lure new companies to locate in Albuquerque creating even more good jobs.”

We do not want this President Winograd

Will the college never stop trying to give us things that we don’t want? Without asking the community college has now put every employee at the college at risk of identification theft and now they are promoting it on the web like it is a good thing. We are not even given the chance to refuse the service. Our personal and private sensitive information is now there for hackers to get at. I don’t care if the college has security because I don’t want the service in the first place. There should be a law that protects the private information of employees from being placed on a website without written permission of each employee in this state. Anyone who has every used the web knows the risk of putting private information where hackers could get to it but our community college leadership is too computer illiterate to understand the risk they are putting us in by using this program. Top down CEO style management is a failure in this country and should be done away with before it harms educational employees in this state.

"Your Employee Info Securely, Conveniently Accessible in my CNM

Employees can securely and conveniently access their payroll, tax and benefits information online within “my CNM.” Employees access their sensitive information through a Banner application that is proven to be secure. It’s the same Banner application used by colleges and universities across the country and CNM’s Office of Information Technology Services used the latest, state-of-the-industry best practices for information security to install and implement this well-tested product. Other recent efforts to fortify the security of CNM’s online environment also include the 15-30 character password and a “timeout” mechanism that logs out unattended computers.

Your employee information, including your latest W2 statement, is available in my CNM under the “Employee” tab. If you haven’t done so already, take some time to familiarize yourself with my CNM. Enter my CNM by clicking on the my CNM link in the left-hand column on the front page of the main website or
click here. Log on by using the same username and password you use to access the regular CNM network. The employee tab is located in the row of tabs across the top section of the page. If you experience problems logging on to my CNM, or if you simply have questions, please contact the ITS Service Desk by calling Ext. 4357 or send an e-mail to"

If you have to hack someones information just remember that the president of the college makes $206,000 a year and has benefits as well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Apple for Instructor Ben R. Luján

Congressman Ben Luján a member of the Committee on Science and Technology and Vice Chair of the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee in the US House of Representatives will give a lecture on renewable energy, sustainability, and energy efficiency in Washington DC tomorrow.

“It’s important that students have knowledge of important and emerging clean technology,” said Rep. Luján. “As our economy struggles, we’re going to need to continue preparing our young people for jobs of the future and equip them with an understanding of energy efficient practices. Moreover, the future of our planet will ultimately be in their hands—and we want their generation to be engaged in these issues and empowered with information to make a difference.”

So does this mean that for the class he gets paid at the same rate as a part-time instructor? Not likely. Congressman Luján like Congressman Heinrich are both very outspoken in their support of educational employees in the federal government. We wish that more congressmen and congresswomen would stand up for the people who help train our future workforce in this country and that they encouraged students to consider the important of renewable energy in the future of this state and around the country. We should all send the teacher an apple for his hard work in Washington DC on behave of New Mexicans.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Fear (Republican) Party of No

The Republican Party is a party of no plan, no hope, no vision, no leadership and no future. Oh, and one more thing a party thanks to the voting public of no control in our federal government now if that was only true at the state level. Think progressive in 2012 for our state’s future and a hope for real change in this state.

The president is now reaching out to make his case to enact his budget plan for health care reform, energy reform and educational reform which will need the support of the voting public because the R+No party is saying just that in our federal government. The R+No party will be working hard to put out their fears about President Obama’s plan but the voting public will just have to be smart and listen to the truth or better yet voice their ideas at because we have a federal government who listens to the America people.

The plate form of fear did not work during the election so it will not work now that change is at our doorstep. Tax increases on the top 1% of the richest Americas is not a bad thing since they should be paying the same percentage of taxes on their total gross income as the rest of the country. Healthcare which cost working families far too much should be reformed so that all Americas can afford the same level of care as the richest 1% of this country. Education is this country’s future for a strong workforce and as the president’s mother-in-law told her daughter there is nothing you can’t achieve if you have a good education in this country. We do need to reform the current system by moving money to the classrooms and by paying people like Presidents Obama’s bother-in-law a livable wage since many people have to take huge pay cuts just to follow their passion of teaching our children at all levels of education in this country. This should also include the educational support staff which work with struggling student everyday and these staff don’t begin to receive a livable wage for their hard work. Think minimum wage for frontline educational employees or required benefits for those individuals who don’t make over $25,000 per year.