Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Is the Democratic Party for Sale at the County Level?

Well, it would appear that there is no state rule preventing county chair people from taking large sums of money from any and all candidates during the primaries. 

The problem with that is large oil, drug, and other companies can launder money through candidates to get county parties to support candidates that share their views.

While a county chairperson is not allowed to publicly endorse any candidate during the primary season that does not stop lower level party members from taking their directions from where the money comes from for their office and supplies. It can help those smaller counties to pay for nice things but at what cost to the voters?

Big Drug companies are looking for friendly state laws that would allow them to drop large amounts of addicting drugs into countries with problems. They are also looking to block the legalization of Marijuana which would decrease their sales of Opioids.

Now big oil companies have a vested interest in reducing laws that protect the environment. They want to block green energy productions. They want support in fracking for oil and gas. All of these items can be blocked by the governor and state representatives. A well placed candidate can help them to hold back advancement in these areas. Candidates are not above lying to the public in slick advertisements to get elected only to turn around on these issue once in office.

Private prisons have a strong interest in law enforcement that receives funding for putting people in jail. Treatment programs only reduces the jail population and cost them money. So they like tough on crime candidates that have no interest in expanding treatment programs.

County Parties can have a sizeable impact on the results of any election. The ward and precinct chairs have far fewer restrictions and even work for local campaigns. They can wear campaign gear and even canvas as party officials. They can make sure that the campaign lecture of their candidate is place in key areas of the office while others are not.

The problem with all of this is that voters are disgusted with open tactics to get them to vote for a few chosen candidates. This has been resulting in more wins for the Republican Party because fewer and fewer people are voting. Many voters are opting out rather than holding their noses while they vote for a candidate that they view as little better than the republican candidate. 

The state party better get their act together or the republicans will be holding the offices and may even gain in a time when democrats should be electing more candidates because of President Trumps effect on voters.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Women Candidates in Politics

This year we have a number of women candidates in the election cycle. Two in the congressional race, one in the governor race, one in the land commissioner’s race, and many others in the lower races like representatives and judges. 

Races for women in this state are difficult because of the male biases. I have been told by male candidates that they support women’s issues. And that should somehow be enough for me to vote for them instead of a woman? Seriously! Guys…. 

I have had staffers come to me to try and mansplain to me that one of the women in the race is dishonest because she does not know who is appearing in front of her husband in his courtroom. How many wives can tell me everyone your husband is working with right now. Yes, she needs to set up a system to check names against her husband’s docket. It should not be her responsibility to keep people with cases in front of her husband from contributing to her campaign. But being a judge’s wife is not always the easiest thing when you want a career of your own that is not that of a teacher in this state. She did the honest thing and returned the money end of story.

While I want women in positions of power, it cannot be the only reason that I support a women candidate.

I will not support a woman who is sold out to big donors. Michelle Lujan Grisham and I have always been at odds when it comes to the money she takes in an election. The fact that she spends little time meeting normal voters is a big issue for me. I ask her to have a public forum for regular voters before the voting started. She told me that she would have her people contact me and set one up. It never happened and I am sure that she was only telling me what I wanted to hear at the time. I was really not happy with her at the time for taking money from John A. Smith in 2010. The man hates education and is head of the Senate Finance Committee that makes the state budget.  I don’t feel that Lujan Grisham even begins to understand how to build a plan that will provide jobs for the people in this state. So no I am not voting for her.

I also will not support a woman that has no respect for the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the first amendment. A free press is a very important part of this country’s ability to keep honest government. Deb Haaland somehow came to believe that it was perfectly acceptable to ask a citizen reporter (Myself) to bury a story on sexual harassment. We don’t need more people in Washington that feel it is ok to behave that way and then to attack the citizen reporter when they don’t go along to get along.

Now before you say that there are no women candidates that I like you would be wrong.

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez is a wonderful candidate for congress. She is well educated and highly respected in the law field. She is active in her local community. She has worked hard during this election cycle to carry out an honest campaign that would represent the interest of women voters. Men have actually attacked her for being too pro-women on issues. When would a man every attack a male candidate for being too pro-male on any issue?

The next candidate is Stephanie Garcia Richard who is running for land commissioner. Stephanie is up against big money and is also having to deal with the good old boy network. She is well educated on all the issues. She understands the land issues and value of the land office contribution to education in a way that her male opponent never will. She is local teacher/legislator and has worked hard on issue in the statehouse. For a republican to change over to being a democrat and then getting his fishing buddy to support him with big out of state money and his own name is just beyond ethical standards. Yet Stephanie has keep her campaign about the issues and stayed positive.  

I hope the voting public will look closely at all women candidates this year and help to increase the number of women in government this year.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to fix a broken Political System?

I have been thinking about this issue because of how dirty this last primary season has gotten. The mud has not stopped flying. 

I think the answer could come in two different measures:

The first would be an independent ethic’s commission where people could file ethic complaints against any candidate running for office. Any complaint found to be true would be published to the public. This would keep people from attacking each other and even keep candidates from attacking each other since any complaint would be filed with the ethics commissions and investigated to find the truth.
An example would be if you found that a candidate was acting unethical say like attacking another candidate for a past sexual harassment complaint. Then that same candidate allowed someone who had the same type of history to host a private fundraising party for their benefit. Someone could then file an ethics complaint and have it investigated.

The second method would be to create a public servant’s degree at the local colleges and universities. 

This would not be like the political science degree since we currently have that in place.

This degree would start with a two-year degree that would teach the basics of local offices and ethics. It would teach students how local government works and what the work requirements would be to hold city offices. It would teach effective skills such as government management, writing, reading and organizational abilities.  You could have the students do internships with local office holders. 

The four-year degree would be for people interested in state government offices. Those students would learn how to write state laws, what the state constitution covered, and what the duties and responsibilities of state office holders were. You could have specialty courses for each office. Again ethics would be taught and other skills required to be a successful office holder. 

The Mastered degree would be for federal level office holders and the Doctoral would be for offices like the federal supreme court and the presidential position. 

All students would be taught basic skills like helping the public, public speaking, debating, ethical fundraising, usage of the internet, handling lobbyists, and social media usage.

The schools would not accept candidates that could not pass a basis background check.  All candidates would still be required to run in a race to get elected but since they were already educated about the duties, responsibilities, and skills of the office they were running for  then they would be more acceptable over untrained and possibility unethical candidates.