Monday, June 28, 2010

West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd Died Early This Morning at Age 92

I grew up in West Virginia and spent the first 25 years of my life there learning about politics. I remember the first time Senator Byrd ever spoke to me. It was a hot late summer day on the island in Southern West Virginia and Senator Byrd was there working to get reelected to the Senate. He walked up to a small child and asked me if I would vote for him. I promptly informed him that if he wanted to be reelected to the senate that he should speak to my daddy.

Senator Byrd though that was very funny and most likely had a good laugh with my father over the conversation. Senator Byrd was a good man who worked hard for his home state acquiring many benefits. Although not always proud of every choice he made he still had a great impact on West Virginia.

He was a plain spoken individual and always encourage children to express their views no matter who they were speaking to. There are time when I wonder if maybe that was more of a bad influence on me then a good one.

Senator Byrd was the longest serving senator in our country’s history and knew more about senator rules on a bad day then most new senators will lean in a life time. Education was an important issue for Senator Byrd and he will be missed in a time when the value of public education is not always well understood.

I can only hope the governor of West Virginia appoints some one like Congressman Rahall to the Senate to fill the empty seat.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Justice Ginsburg’s Husband Passed Away Today.

How sad for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because today her husband who was 78 years old died from complications of metastatic cancer. They were married for 56 years. It is said that they met in college on a blind date. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the good ones and we should show our support of Justices that care about the voting public.

Martin Ginsburg was a teacher in what can be and is most often one of the most difficult fields in the law which is taxes. With the difficult language and often boring text one has to be very intelligent to make the field interesting to students just to get them through the subject. It is said that Marty Ginsburg was a gifted teacher which is high praise for a tax law instructor.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mayor Berry’s Lack of Experience Costing Voting Public

Mayor R.J. Berry is paying a professional negotiator $55,000 to develop contracts with city workers such as police and firefighters. It would appear that the new mayor lacks the ability to do the hard work and has to hire someone else to get it done.

While city employees are facing pay cuts and layoffs just to balance the budget our new mayor is spending huge sums of money to hire professionals to cover his lack of experience which only results in higher cost and reductions in services to the voting public.

This mayor campaigned on smaller government yet so far all he has managed to do is to enlarge his support staff to get things done that former Mayor Marty was able to do all by himself.

In the past few months since he took office the new mayor has managed to not bring in any new businesses to the city and he is driving out experienced firefighters and police officers which will not encourage future growth.

Where is his great ability to create new jobs and provide for a safer community? Where is that great ability he promised to reduce a top heavy city government?

The city council now controlled by a republican majority is doing no better since they have dug up a failed attempt to spend good money after bad to develop the downtown area with a event center that promises to only cost the whole city more money instead of using that money to develop areas of small business around the city. A events center would only draw business away from other activities in this city and not bring in any huge amount of new business.

Small business owners are facing tougher restrictions on doing business and tight controls on city bars are driving owners out of business all together without even the benefit of due process and fairness in administrative hearings.

With this crack down comes a new growth of community parties where people are resorting to drinking at private homes which could result in more unwanted noise in residential areas. Neighbors will now and in the future have to face more traffic in those communities and drunk noisy neighbors more often thanks to the new mayor’s tough stand on local bar owners.

Single individuals will find this city an even tougher place to meet people and because of cut backs in events such as summer fest there will only be smaller events and fewer people. The house parties will cause an increase in the need for police officers to be all over the city dealing with dunking house parties where their will be even less ability to supervise underage drinking. Local community streets will become the next great danger when it comes to drunk drivers in our city.

This mayor is a total failure in his job up until now and the taxpayers in Albuquerque are the ones that will pay the price for his failure over the next four years. How soon will that price be a child playing on a bike that gets hit by a drunk driver coming from a private house party where the driver supplied themselves with the liquor that caused the incident in the first place.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Community Custody Program (CCP) a Troubling Issue for the local Communities

First off let’s make it clear that if this program is run effectively and honestly that it does provide major benefits to the communities in Bernalillo County. Keeping individuals that have been charged with non-violent crimes on house arrest frees up cells for violent offenders and reduces the cost of running the corrections system in this county. It reduces the cost that would be incurred from over-crowding of correction facilities in this county. It makes non-violent offenders responsible for the cost of their own up keep. It frees up space for violent offenders who should be behind bars. Unlike a bond it provides close oversight of any individual who is released back into the community until they can be tried in a court of law and it provides close oversight while an individual is serving a limited sentence once convict of a non-violent crime.

The major requirements should be that both the voting public and judges should be completely convinced that this program is not subject to corruption and that no violent offender will be allowed into the program. It is now clear that no one that is involved in the release of someone in custody should be allow to lobby judges on the behave of that individual. The only one that should be allow to lobby a judge on behalf of someone accused of a crime should be the lawyer who is defending the individual. The final decision to release someone accused of a crime onto this program should be the sole right of the judge who is hearing the case and not someone from the correction facility .Without those assurances this program has the potential to cause more harm then good to the communities that it servers.

Right now the Community Custody Program (CCP) is under investigation for misconduct when handling cases because one of its leaders a Mr. Vince Peele has be accused of taking bribes from inmates and for stilling inmates personal information to sell for profit. As yet Mr. Peele has not been convicted of any crime and it is assumed that he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. A basic constitutional right given to all citizens of this country and a fact that the conservative media fails to bring up when reporting this issue.

One of the major issue in this whole affair is that Second District Court’s Chief Criminal Court Judge Albert (Pat) Murdoch has stated that he believes that the program is effective before the current investigation was closed. No judge should make such remarks to the media about an ongoing investigation. According to District Attorney Kari Brandenburg the case is an open one and she gave the Chief Criminal judge no assurances that it was closed or that it was limited to only one individual.

This highlights an ongoing problem where the leadership of the Second District Court is concerned. They are far too friendly with conservative media. That same conservative media feels free to take advantage of the relationship and paint the court system as a whole in a bad light whenever there is a problem with its leadership. That same leadership will not open up to more liberal media which drives the question what do they have to conceal?

Most of the judges in the Second District Court system are caring hard working highly ethical individuals that are very professional when it comes to the cases that are brought before them. They base their decisions on hard provable facts in the cases and the evidences provided to them by both the defendant and the prosecutor. Lucky for us they do not come to any case with a set mind as to what the final outcome should be. Their decision are based on laws created by our state legislators and past decisions of the court system.

I know that Chief Criminal Judge Albert (Pat) Murdoch’s latest comments have cause some in the community to wonder just why a judge would comment on an ongoing case. I get the feeling that this judge was just trying in a very misguided way to defend both the program and people who run the program that over time have becomes close to him due to their lobbying activities. This is an example of the strongest argument that no one from the correction facilities in this county should have a personal relationship with any of our judges now or in the future and that they should be excluded from having any part in the release of someone in their custody.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sex Offenders Welcome Near Children’s Future School

Want to talk about the height of not caring about what parents would think. The APS School Board wants to buy a church downtown that is only 300 yards away from sex offender heaven. APS board members should be removed in their next election because of their indifferences to the safety of our children.

APS Board members have become disconnected and indifferent to the concerns of parents and the voting public thanks to board President Marty Esquivel. The man is on a all out power trip that can only lead to permanent damage to our public school system in this city.

One has to wonder if maybe Board President Marty Esquivel is just looking for a new plush downtown office for himself because he is a lawyer. He has to know full well that no parent in their right mind would want their child going to a school that close to a office where 700+ sex offenders report in every month.

Parents should show their outrages at the APS school board on their next school election ballot.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Unemployment to Stay High in The City of Albuquerque for the Next Year

The local news for unemployment in the city is not good. The University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research is projecting a .8 percentage point job loss in 2010 for the state and that the City of Albuquerque will mirror those same results. At present unemployment rates for the state is 8.7 percent. Admittedly places outside of the larger cities in this state are being harder hit.

City Councilman Dan Lewis who is well known for his racist approach to illegal immigration is now spending taxpayers dollars by sending faxes promoting fast food restaurant openings. Chick-fil-A which is owned by a friend of his was promoted this week for it’s 60 minimum wage jobs that were brought to his city council district.

The interesting fact of this is that if it had been a democratic city councilman that engaged in this activity then the mayor, republican councilmen and the Republican Party would have been screaming for him to step down for using city funded equipment to promote a friend’s business. Perhaps someone should look into this issue to see just how often Lewis has been using public equipment for personal use.

As for the issue of promoting small businesses in our local city small businesses do need the support of their local city councilman I for one would prefer that support to go to local business leaders instead of national fast food chains. We should be looking at ways to promote all small businesses in this city and not just ones that are personal friends of republican city councilmen.

Mayor Berry is failing miserable to bring in any new businesses for this city and pretty much stays in his office coming up with new ways to drive away businesses by attacking unions and immigrates. His inability to promote job growth in this city will most likely end up causing a higher unemployment rate in the long run even if the nation starts to recover faster.

We need someone in this city that understands how to promote small business and also how to promote green energy jobs.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Southwestern Witch-hunts of 2010

“It seems as long as great masses of people allow themselves to be whipped into hysteria by those with their own political agenda, the witch-hunts will continue. The only defenses against modern witch-hunts are education and tolerance for those of differing beliefs” and nationalities. Written by Stuart A. Kallen and found in a book about the Salem Witch Trials.

When a teenage child is shot to death at our borders then we can start to call the immigration issue of the southwestern states a modern day witch-hunt. When the state of Arizona can hunt down and deport innocent women and children whose only crime is their legal statue then we have a modern day witch-hunt. When law abiding individuals can be asked to produce their papers during traffic stops and can be held for long periods of time until their citizenship can be proven then we have a modern day witch-hunt.

Our own Mayor Berry is as guilty as the political leaders of Salem Village from the sixteen hundreds when it comes to enacting policies that will encourage our own police force to conduct modern day witch-hunts of immigrates right here in the City of Albuquerque. Dan Lewis from our city council would enact statues that would encourage our federal government to hunt down women and children for the express purpose of deporting them to a country where many are ending up dead from drug violence.

When are the good people of Albuquerque going to stand-up and demand that this witch-hunt end before more women and children have to dies at the hands of our government? For a nation of immigrates we are setting a poor standard of behavior for other countries to follow.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Demystifying the Court System

The United State Court System is often referred to as the people’s court because it function is to try in a fair and balanced manner anyone accused of a crime or sued for good cause. In the past in England people were required to attend court cases and then they relaxed it to be only if you could attend but in present day for the most part courtrooms are very empty places with little room for viewers of the cases.

In a criminal court defendants are supposedly considered innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be guilty of a crime. Still in today’s society it is often the reverse in the mind of most individuals. In a civil court system the rules are even less exacting because they require that someone only has to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.

To see how uneducated most individuals are when it comes to our own justice system is scary beyond belief. To think for one moment that televised court cases would in any way educated the general public on the real roll of the court system in this country would only help to protect our liberties and our basic rights.

To see how often people are forced to represent themselves in a court of law where they do not even begin to understand the process would also be very enlightening. By televised I mean something like court c-span where cameras are placed in different areas and a fair and balanced projection is given without the commercial drama that most major networks would want.

One does have to wonder if maybe some of these factors are the reason why some court systems are dead set against televised court cases or for that matter even still photos. There is also the O.J Simpson factor which makes judges fear looking like fools on camera which prevents them from agreeing to televise court cases. There might just be a few judges out there that should be removed from the bench and that would show only too clearly up on a camera. Cameras just might even educate the State Supreme Court on the matter long before enough lawyers felt the need to report it.

I have read that the U.S. Supreme Court fears a loss of respect if we demystified their daily activities. Sorry to explain to Chief Justice Roberts but most liberals have little to no respect for him already as demonstrated by the behavior of the U.S. President and if they saw him in action on the court it just might help his respect level since people just might begin to understand his far right reasoning if only a little.

Strange how most people agree that at some point in the future that cameras in the courtroom will be common but at this point we must simply wait until the older generation dies off for it to happen.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BP Ads in New Mexico

So by now most voters in New Mexico have seen the advertising running by BP oil company that apologizes for the oil spilling into the Gulf Coast region. Still no apologize for the contamination of ground water in the southern part of our own state by the same company.

So why apologize in New Mexico? The answer is clear we have a governor’s race which could put Susana Martinez in the governor’s office where she could allow oil companies such as BP to operate all through our state without any form of regulation to prevent further contamination of our valuable ground water.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court system corporations like BP and other oil companies can now buy the governor’s seat in this state so that they can override the voters and operate without regulations that would protect tourism, small businesses, green energy companies and the environment in our state.

Some of Susana Martinez’s largest donors are oil companies. Wow! What a big surprise. Susana Martinez has been very vocal about making New Mexico a business friendly zone for these large corporations. What should voters expect from someone born in Texas?

Democrats need to fight hard for Diane Denish to protect our state from a corporate takeover in November.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Republican Racism Driving City Policy

Dan Lewis is a new white republican younger man who appears to also be racist. He would pass city council statutes that would target Hispanics in our city. He like other republicans would use fear and hate of immigrates to drive city policy. Mr. Lewis forgets where he lives which is not part of Arizona.

It was reported that federal data is proving that Arizona is using lies to drive state immigration policy. Attacks and violent crime is less in the border region then it is in most large cities in our country. Illegal immigrates fear nothing more than drawing the attention of local law enforcement so they commit less crime then people born in the United States. Big Surprise!

Albuquerque is a diverse city with a large population of native born Hispanics. Some of our residents are from Mexico, other have parents who have come from Mexico while still others have families who have live in Albuquerque before it was even apart of the United States. Respect for cultural differences has always been a hallmark of our city. In the early days of Albuquerque the illegal immigrates where white not Hispanic. We have had many Hispanic city leaders and we value the Hispanic culture of this city. The south valley home to many Hispanics is one of the most active regions of our city when it comes to voting.

Listening to hate radio just the other day I heard a polling judge who was suppose to be protecting voter rights bragging on air about driving voters away from the polls and even denying some people the right to vote. This is the result of hate politics that are promoted by people like Dan Lewis and Susana Martinez.

Our own Mayor is leading the charge when it comes to passing racist policies toward the Hispanic population in this city. Since when are we following the same path as Nazi Germany and enacting laws that would target one cultural group and blaming them for all of our social problems.

Our own party leaders are beginning to move more toward treating Hispanics like the enemy by revoking the ability for immigrates to receive driver licenses. Human rights should come before fear or hate of people who are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their children.

If the republicans truly want to enact laws that target groups of people that were not born in our state let’s see them start with one that are water thieving Texans so they can’t run for governor of our state. I don’t suppose they would like being the target of racist laws either.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Issue of Clean Ground Water for New Mexico’s Future

“Higher taxes and excessive regulations (Pit Rules) force jobs out of New Mexico.” From Susana Martinez’s website.

San Juan County, by far, had the most incidents of groundwater contamination related to oil and gas pits. Yet Susana Martinez would be the governor that would either do away with regulations or reduce them to the point where they had no effect on the gas and oil industry. How is this protecting our families?

Just so we are clear take a closer look at the evening news so you can see the devastating results of fewer regulations on the gas and oil industry when it comes to the Gulf Coast. Martinez even invited Sara Palin of “Drill baby, Drill” fame to support her during her campaign for the republican nomination for governor.

Environmentalists have a new saying for Sara Palin and her friends like Martinez.

“Drill Baby Drill, Spill Baby Spill, and Kill Baby Kill.”

Surely we do not want a governor that would kill off tourism, small famers, and future growth in this state with her support of companies that would contaminate our valuable groundwater. Nothing in this state is more valuable to us then our clean groundwater. We should all demand that any future governor protect it from uncontrolled and unregulated industries that would destroy our state’s potential for future economic development.

Clear water in New Mexico is now and will be in the future one of our most valuable assets. I am sure that Martinez coming from San Juan County may not know what clean groundwater even looks like but we in the center and northern parts of this state do not want our drinking water contaminated for more profit that would only go to the large gas and oil companies such as BP. Then again we all know what they are famous for don’t we.

"The top five offenders include: Enterprise, BP America, XTO, Williams and PNM. These companies are responsible for more than 60% of the groundwater contamination incidents related to oil and gas pits in New Mexico."

And the Winners Are

Denish/Colon are no big surprise for the fall ticket. As I have said all along this will make the strongest ticket. With these two we will have a winner in the fall election

Denish 98% statewide
Colon 29% statewide

Lawrence Rael was a bit of a surprise taking Bernalillo County by the thinnest margin but we hope that Diane Denish will find a place for him in her administration after the fall election.

Appeals Court Judge Linda Vanzi won in a too close race with Dennis Montoya so we are all more then a little relieved by the results. Just goes to show that in the end the voters always know to pick the best candidate for the higher courts.

Linda Vanzi 54%

We are also so very proud of Judge Tim Garcia and Judge Robert Robles. Judge Robles will need our united support this fall to ensure that the appeals court stays sound.

Commissioner of Lands will be Ray Powell this fall which could not come at a better time since we need a democrat in that office to protect the environment and to provide for our children’s education in the future.

Nice to see that none of the candidates for state representative who took republican money came even close to wining any of their races. Democrats know when someone is not being honest with them.

Close race for Ben Lujan Sr. but he still won by 2%.

District Court Judges

Gerard Lavelle 52.8% Nice!
Shannon Bacon 63.9% No big surprise.

County Commissioner District 1

Michelle Lujan Grisham 47.54 Good job!

Results from Bernallio County Sheriff's Race

Patrick Davis 21.14%
Manual Gonzales III 26.68%
Marie Sisi Miranda 23.84%

A disappointing result but you cannot win them all. Sheriff Gonzales will have to work very hard to win people over to his camp before the general election this year other wise this seat will once again go to the republicans in our county.

Last piece of advice for the day is that all the candidates should take a break and give the voters a break before they launch into the campaign for the fall election. I am sure the husband and wives need a break to reconnect with their other half.