Luna County Democratic Party
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 10 May 2011 - 2:24pm
"This is yet another example of President Obama demonstrating strong leadership by taking on an important issue that other leaders have frankly been too timid to take on. The President understands that solving the immigration crisis requires not only a comprehensive approach that includes increased border security but also a recognition that there are millions of immigrants in the United States contributing to our economy."
Check out some of the highlights from the speech:
Fixing America’s Broken Immigration System and Protecting Americans at the Gas Station
· As President Obama said, immigration reform is an economic necessity – that’s why so many businesses and leaders from both ends of the ideological spectrum are calling for reform.
· President Obama believes we have to reform our immigration system so that we as a country live up to our values and our heritage as a country of immigrants and a country of laws.
· We have to fix our current system. Millions of people are living in the shadows and are vulnerable to businesses that avoid taxes, pay less than the minimum wage, or take risks with their employees’ health and safety. In addition, businesses that follow the rules and Americans that correctly ask for the minimum wage or overtime or a safe place to work are at an unfair disadvantage under the current system.
· Reforming our current system will do away with a huge underground economy that takes advantage of a cheap source of labor while pushing down wages for everyone else – in the end, reform will strengthen the middle class.
· In the recent past, the biggest obstacles to reform were questions about border security. During the last two years, President Obama has answered those concerns by increasing border security more than many believed was possible. He has dedicated unprecedented resources to America’s borders, put in place smarter and more strategic interior and worksite enforcement standards, and improved America’s legal immigration system.
· Those efforts have yielded real results. There are twice as many border patrol agents today as in 2004. And this Administration has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol the border from Texas to California.
· For the first time, America is screening 100 percent of southbound rail shipments – seizing guns and money that are headed south even while going after drugs headed north.
· Although there is no single, easy answer for addressing increased gas prices in the short term, there are things we can do to guarantee that Americans aren’t victims of escalating gas prices in the long term.
· One of those things is ending $4 billion in unnecessary tax breaks for oil and gas companies and instead investing that revenue in shrinking the deficit as well as in clean energy research and development that will create jobs and end America’s reliance on foreign oil.
· America has to make smart investments in a more energy independent economy. Those investments will make our economy stronger, create 21st century industries and jobs, and reduce America’s reliance on an always changing oil market.
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 10 May 2011 - 9:49am
A guest post by Santa Fe County Chairman Richard Ellenberg
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 5 May 2011 - 3:30pm
Report Debunks New Mexico Congressman Pearce's Claims About Protection for Rare Lizard
Analysis Finds Less Than 1 Percent of Oil, Gas Lands Proposed for Leasing in Southeastern New Mexico Were Affected in 2010, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— A Center for Biological Diversity report on oil and gas leasing released today debunks claims by Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) that protection for the dunes sagebrush lizard will jeopardize “most of the oil and gas jobs in southeast New Mexico.” The Center’s analysis of U.S. Bureau of Land Management data finds that protecting the lizard would affect less than 1 percent of public lands where drilling was proposed in 2010 and 2011.
“Representative Pearce’s outlandish claim that the dunes sagebrush lizard will be a huge job-killer for the oil and gas industry simply isn’t backed up by the facts,” said Jay Lininger, an ecologist with the Center and author of the report. “This endangered animal occupies a fraction of the public lands proposed for oil and gas drilling. Even where the lizard lives, drilling can go forward in almost every instance.”
Today’s report analyzes oil and gas areas proposed for leasing in 2010 and 2011 by BLM field offices in Carlsbad and Roswell.
In 2010 and the first half of 2011, the BLM offered 52,874 acres for lease in southeast New Mexico. Only 2,920 of those acres (5.5 percent) were identified by the BLM as habitat for the lizard. The agency determined that drilling could go forward on all 2,920 acres subject to conditions intended to protect habitat.
For the second half of 2011, the BLM has proposed 22,383 acres for possible leasing. At most, 3,484 acres may be habitat for the lizard, according to the BLM. Of those, the agency will allow drilling on 2,924 acres and defer leasing on just 560 acres — which is less than 1 percent of all areas proposed for drilling since January 2010.
“Pearce misleads the public about environmental policy in service to the fossil fuel industry,” Lininger said. “He can make up whatever he likes, but it just makes him look foolish.”
Pearce accepted nearly $1.2 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests.
Today’s report bolsters U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service statements that protection of the dunes sagebrush lizard “would not imperil jobs” and that “there’s just no data to support” Pearce’s claims.
Similarly, officials with New Mexico’s state forestry division have stated that Pearce's claims that legal protections for the spotted owl caused the decline of the timber industry were “incorrect and oversimplified.”
The dunes sagebrush lizard has the second smallest range of any North American lizard, living only in southeast New Mexico and western Texas on sand dunes covered by shinnery oak. The lizard’s dunes habitat has long been in decline.
The Center for Biological Diversity first petitioned for the lizard’s protection in 2002. In December 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed protecting the lizard under the Endangered Species Act.
Protection for the lizard is unlikely to imperil jobs because the Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with protecting endangered species, almost never halts development projects altogether. Rather, the agency requires reasonable modification or mitigation ensuring that species aren’t driven extinct and that the environment receives some protection.
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 28 April 2011 - 9:53am
A letter-to-the-editor from a "Lunacrat" appearing in the Deming Headlight
We had an election in 2010 that put a lot of Republicans into power and now a whole lot of the electorate would like to take back their vote, or maybe wish they had gone to vote.
There is talk that President Obama is not doing what he said he would when running for office. We tend to forget how long it took for Social Security to become a benefit for all of us. It did not happen for women or blacks right away, but in time it has become a great social benefit. The President has gotten a lot of things started but not completed. I believe he will get more done in his second term. Talks of not voting for him will only benefit the Republicans!
Why are Democrats not standing up to vote and get involved when everything we love and stand for is under attack? Maybe people think it could never happen to them? They could never lose their job, their benefits, their rights
Myself, I see the attack on workers, unions and women as an outrageous attack. The Democratic Party and everything we hold dear is under this attack! Our Schools, Teachers, Labor Unions, Workers Rights, Women's Rights, Health Care, Environment, Consumer Rights all are under direct assault by an insurgent group of Republicans being supplied by the ultra radical wealthy and their corporations! They are attacking our supply lines by busting Unions, cutting off communications and by taking over the media airwaves. If we lose this war we will face years of lower wages, no work place safety regulations, more disastrous banking thefts of public money and the rapid death of the Middle Class!
You have been selected to serve your Nation! You are of legal age and as a Democrat are required to stand up and fight for Justice, Equality, and defense of the Middle Class! You should now report to your local Democratic Club or Office for service to your community to elect Democrats who will Champion Social Justice and defend our way of life from the Republican aggressors!
Every vote that you do not cast will be replaced by a Republican vote that we cannot afford. Are you happy with what the Republicans are doing around the country? Their own people are not happy. We must vote to remove them. Think about it, there is still time to reflect.
1570 Arrowhead Dr NE lot #2
Deming, NM 88030
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 13 April 2011 - 5:32pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Scott Forrester
April 13, 2011 505-934-5681
Martinez wrongly dismantled state labor board, court rules.
(ALBUQUERQUE) -- The following is a statement from Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman Javier Gonzales upon the news today that Governor Martinez's firing of Public Employee Labor Relations Board members was ruled unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court.
"In barely more than 100 days in office Susana Martinez has yet again lost in the state supreme court for overstepping her authority," said DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales. "First she was caught making a back-room deal with lobbyists to weaken clean-water protections, now she has been soundly rebuked for attempting to take away employees' rights by dismantling the board assigned to hear worker complaints. Clearly Governor Martinez has a troubling agenda and it appears she is willing to run afoul of state law to do it."
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 16 March 2011 - 12:51pm
(ALBUQUERQUE) -- The Democratic Party of New Mexico today launched "Where are the Jobs?" an ad questioning Governor Martinez's actions when it comes to the most important issue facing New Mexico -- jobs.
The 60-second ad will run in the Albuquerque metro area through the end of the legislative session. You can listen to the ad below:
"Here we have a governor who's clearly pushing a political and divisive agenda when the most important issue facing our state is job creation," said DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales. "Apparently Governor Martinez's plan is to do nothing and wait for the economy to improve on its own. That won't cut it."
"At least the Democrats in the Legislature have been talking about investing in our workforce and preserving new and innovative industries like film and renewable energy," Gonzales continued. "I don't think one innovative idea has escaped Martinez's lips this entire legislative session. What we have heard is a lot of political hot air.
The script for "Where are the Jobs?" is below:
Gail: Hi Teresa, How are you?
Teresa: Oh Hi Gail, I’m ok - Have you seen the news lately? I can’t believe what Governor Susana Martinez has been doing.
Gail: Well obviously she hasn’t been focused on creating jobs, my husband is still out of work and Governor Martinez is spending all her time on her divisive agenda. Ugh, thought the campaign was over. Does she even have a jobs plan?
Teresa: I don’t think she has one and didn’t she just attack the film industry? I heard New Mexico just lost the possibility for 1,500 new jobs including 700 construction jobs.
Gail: Well, we better start clipping more coupons because with Governor Martinez’s backwards priorities my husband is never going to find a job.
There are just a few days left in the legislative session. Call Governor Martinez at (505) 476-2200 and ask her to stop playing political games. She needs to get NM’s priorities straight and stop killing the jobs our families need. Paid for by the Democratic Party of New Mexico, not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee.
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 14 March 2011 - 2:16pm
Martinez heads down a slippery slope
Though the secretary of state says it’s legal for Gov. Susana Martinez to blur the line between lobbying the Legislature and campaigning, the situation has me questioning whether Martinez’s actions match with her campaign rhetoric about ethical behavior.
Early in the current legislative session, Martinez started webcasting legislative committee hearings on her bills and using the video to promote her views. She angered many lawmakers by showing selective parts of some hearings and including commentary about how committee members voted.
Taxpayers paid for that lobbying. The webcasting is being done by the webmaster in the governor’s office. The video is being published on Martinez’s official government website.
But another aspect of Martinez’s lobbying effort was paid for with campaign dollars.
As part of her push to pass a bill that would repeal the law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, Martinez ran radio ads urging people to call their lawmakers and tell them to stop blocking the bill.
A couple of nonprofits complained that such use of campaign money violates the state’s Campaign Reporting Act. Secretary of State Dianna Duran says the expense is legal. I’ve already written that the blurring of the line between campaigning and lobbying exposes a potential gray area in the law and may indicate the need to tighten language in the Campaign Reporting Act.
But there’s a more concerning aspect to Martinez’s using both taxpayer and campaign dollars for the same lobbying effort.
Campaigning with public dollars?
Martinez argued, in her letter to Duran justifying the radio ads, that she’s already in campaign mode – three months into her tenure and more than 3.5 years before the 2014 contest in which she’s up for re-election. Running radio ads that lobby the Legislature on a policy issue promotes her position on that issue and bolsters her image, she says.
Martinez is using public dollars on that very same lobbying effort with her webcasting. In addition, every time she holds a news conference or puts out a news release from her government office pushing a bill, she is, using her own logic, strengthening her image.
So, following her own logic, does that mean Martinez is campaigning with public dollars when she webcasts or puts out a news release with taxpayer money?
The reality is that Martinez is lobbying and campaigning at the same time. She’s using both taxpayer money and campaign cash to do it. There is, at best, only a technical separation between her campaigning and lobbying.
That’s evidenced in the statement Martinez makes time and again about bills she’s pushing. Though she clearly wants legislation passed, what she’s been urging lawmakers to do is give her bills and up-or-down vote.
There’s an implicit and political threat in urging an up-or-down vote: Pass my bills or get on the record as opposing them so I can use it against you in the next election.
No separation between lobbying and campaigning.
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 7 March 2011 - 12:34pm
Check out what the DSCC is saying about Heather Wilson
Democratic Committee Goes After Heather Wilson in New Mexico
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
Former Representative Heather Wilson, Republican of New Mexico, is expected to announce as early as Monday that she will run to replace Senator Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring in 2012. And Senate Democrats are wasting no time in going on the offensive.
In a new Web video to be released on Monday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee notes that Ms. Wilson tried — and failed — to win the Republican nomination for the Senate contest in 2008.
“When she asked New Mexico voters for a promotion to the Senate, so she could stay in Washington even longer, we told her it was time to come home,” the video says.
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 16 February 2011 - 11:31am
ABQ Journal Guest Column by Javier Gonzales, DPNM Chairman
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Martinez's Missteps Source of Concerns
By Javier Gonzales
Chairman, Democratic Party of New Mexico
As Democratic Party chair, it is part of my job to hold the Republican Party and its leadership accountable. So no one will be surprised if I often take a critical view of our new Republican governor.
We all hope that our governor will be a thoughtful leader committed to getting our economy moving forward, but we must never forget that it is our duty to hold her accountable for her promises and to fight to ensure that the voices of New Mexico's working families are heard by their government.
Unfortunately, recent events have led to legitimate questions about Gov. Susana Martinez's focus and the direction she is taking our state. All the more reason I was bemused to read a Martinez backer defend her crisis leadership in these very pages, "Governor Martinez: Crisis Leader" in Monday's Journal op-ed page.
In just the past few weeks alone, Martinez's missteps are creating a troubling pattern that has become harder and harder for New Mexicans to ignore.
These include the following:
She nominated an energy secretary who refused to follow basic Senate Rules Committee procedures related to background checks. No one would argue a governor needs appointees she can trust to carry out her agenda. While I respect his personal accomplishments, Harrison Schmitt's views are too far outside of the mainstream for such an important position.
Her failure to name one single New Mexican to her education-reform team is a second example. Either this is a PR blunder or Martinez truly believes there are no New Mexicans capable of instituting her education reform ideas. Not putting a single New Mexican on the team is a slap in the face to any New Mexicans who ever worked to improve our schools — parents, teachers and the hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans who are products of the system.
Another example is when it was recently learned that she allowed industry lobbyists and lawyers to write a policy halting common-sense clean-water rules. Martinez ran for office promising to put an end to back-room deals. Now we've learned that one of her first official actions was just more politics as usual in Santa Fe.
In addition, there have been legitimate questions raised about her handling of the recent natural gas crisis. If you look at the 2008 Ruidoso floods and the 2007 Curry and Quay County tornadoes, former Gov. Bill Richardson had FEMA doing an on-the-ground assessment three days after the events. It took Martinez seven days from the gas shut off to get FEMA on the ground.
Finally, and probably most important, Martinez has put forward no plan to address New Mexico's most pressing issue — job creation. Short of a few words about a rail project in the south, Martinez has said little, if anything, about jobs, and her proposals to slash film incentives would actually harm job creation in the state. Meanwhile, Democrats have already released a plan that would create jobs through tax incentives that would bring manufacturing jobs to our state.
As the Democratic Party state chair, I am proud to lead the Democratic Party as we fight to hold the Republican administration accountable and stand up for New Mexico's hard-working families.
Rahm Emanuel is right. Crises are opportunities to do things we never thought we could do. Tough times and crises are supposed to bring out the best in our leaders. New Mexicans are starting to wonder just what kind of leadership they're getting from their new governor.
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 9 February 2011 - 10:32am
From Public Policy Polling
New Mexico looks solid for Obama
New Mexico was one of Barack Obama's most surprising states in 2008- not that he won it, but that he won it by such a wide 15 point margin after George W. Bush had taken it in 2004. Obama remains popular in the state and if he had to stand for reelection today he'd take it by a similar amount to his previous victory.
Obama's approval rating with New Mexicans is 55% with 40% of voters disapproving of him. Most noteworthy are his very strong numbers with independents, 60% of whom are happy with the job he's doing to 32% who dissent.
The strongest Republican we tested is a native son, former Governor Gary Johnson, although he still trails 51-36. The key to Johnson's comparatively strong numbers is that he takes 19% of the Democratic vote, where none of the other Republicans can exceed 15%. That's probably attributable to his not exactly GOP platform views on some issues like marijuana- his favorability with Democrats at 44% is actually slightly higher than his 43% standing with Republicans.
Beyond Johnson none of the Republicans can claim much appeal to New Mexico voters and because of that Obama leads all of them by greater amounts than his 2008 margin of victory. He's up 16 points against Mitt Romney at 53-37, 19 against Mike Huckabee at 55-36, 21 against Newt Gingrich at 56-35, and 29 against Sarah Palin at 62-33.