Thursday, January 31, 2008

Busy days in New Mexico National Politics

The last few days have been very busy as National Politics settles into Santa Fe County. We have had several days of planning for visits by President Bill Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, and a possible weekend visit by Senator Hillary Clinton. In the 2004 election cycle we had visits by all the candidates and while the security concerns were high it does seem as though the candidates this year are receiving security usually seen by actual presidents.

With the short notice and quick planning for all these visits we have had to be on our toes and deal with ever changing plans. President Bill Clinton arrived yesterday and after attending fundraisers in Santa Fe he arrived at 2 am into his hotel room at the Eldorado Hotel. By 8 am he was having breakfast and preparing to leave. Thats when I met with him and what I thought would be a quick meet and photo op turned into a short conversation over COPS funding as well as law enforcement funding as a whole. I brought along a couple of 8x10's from the last time I met him and had a photo op and asked him to sign them for me. He graciously signed them both and as he did I complimented him on the fact that during his administration we enjoyed the best funding for law enforcement that we in law enforcement have ever seen from the federal government. I told him about how much we have been hurting under the Bush administration.

He told me that Hillary would work to balance the federal budget and put the country in a position to restore COPS program funding. He said she fought the cuts that have been put in place over the last few years and would continue to do so. I really appreciated that and I will be meeting with Senator Obama tomorrow and intend to let him know as well how much we need to restore law enforcement funding.

President Clinton and myself, ( I'm the short one) LOL

The last time I met with President Clinton it was on the tarmac at the Santa Fe Airport. There was no time for more than a quick hello and a photo. This time I was happy that we actually had a short conversation. For those who read my last blog post you know I endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton for the New Mexico Caucus. I will however fully support Senator Obama should he win the Democratic Nomination. I do feel this is the Democrats year and we have the best candidates and we are on our way to the White House. Regardless of who you support make sure you vote on Tuesday in the Democratic Caucus. If you are one of the few Republicans in Santa Fe County your primary is in June. I urge Republicans to vote in their primary and then in November I urge you to vote for the Democratic nominee and help get this country back on track.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's the Economy Stupid !

First off I apologize for my lack of blogging since the holidays. I took a break and then just didn't get back to it afterwards.

The title of this post is not only a cliche saying from Bill Clinton's first presidential election where he took out George Bush senior, I believe it is one of the two primary issues in this years presidential election. "It's the economy, stupid" was a sign hung in Bill Clinton's campaign headquarters to keep everybody "on message" in 1992. James Carville put it there. Along with then President Bush's "read my lips" quote it became the mantra of the election.

With Governor Bill Richardson out of the race I began thinking about what I would do in the presidential election. My first thought was John Edwards, I have to admit some bias in that I have met him and he greatly impressed me. However, In reality I think this is between Obama and Clinton. Keeping that thought in mind I started thinking about what I feel is important and where these two candidates stand. The two main issues I think about are the war and the economy. I am sure either candidate will begin to extricate us from Iraq immediately upon taking office. So the economy is next. Who has the experience and ability to put America back on track? I can't help thinking about where President Bill Clinton "whom I have also met and I have no doubt he is one of the great political minds alive today", left the economy upon his leaving office.

During his administration he took over at a time when another Bush had decimated the federal budget and left us with huge deficits and an economy that was on the skids. When President Clinton took over, his administration eliminated the deficit and put the economy on the right track. Skip ahead six years and another Bush has put us right back where we started, actually its worse. Ok, so it is Hillary and not Bill running this time. I understand that. I also know that she by being a part of her husbands administration knows what it took to fix the economy. I know they will hit the ground running and not have any learning curve. This is an important fact I could not overlook.

I would whole heartedly support Obama should he win the primary and go forward to the general election. However, in the primary I have to support and will vote for Hillary Clinton. I urge readers to look at the candidates seriously and join me in support of Hillary. Most important is to be sure and go vote in New Mexico's Caucus on February 5, 2008. I know everyone says that whichever election we happen to be in is the most important election of our time. So I won't repeat that cliche although I thought about it. This is however the most important political decision you will make in the next four years. Make it wisely and take a stand by voting. Some may say that I should not endorse because I am in a campaign myself. I hope you don't want to elect someone who cannot take a stand and explain it to the public. If not then there are plenty of others who will stand on the fence.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don Wiviott Filing lawsuit to throwout HB 1156

I received this in an email from 3rd Congressional District Candidate Don Wiviott just a few minutes ago.

Dear Greg,

The right to fair and open elections is being threatened in New Mexico, and we must respond.

House Bill 1156, which went into effect last year, drastically changes how candidates qualify to appear on the primary election ballot. It takes the power of choice away from voters and limits ballot access to a select few, and if we do not act quickly, our very ability to put a progressive voice on the ballot this November may be in jeopardy. Replacing a free, open system in which candidates must collect signatures in order to appear on the ballot, HB 1156 restricts access to only those candidates who receive at least 20% of support at a pre-primary convention. Instead of giving primary voters the opportunity to hear and select from the full chorus of voices in the Democratic party, it limits access to the ballot to a well-connected few.

And the consequences for progressives in New Mexico could be disastrous. Under this law, if no Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District reaches the 20% threshold at the convention, the Democrats can have no nominee, and we will be forced to surrender Tom Udall's seat to the Republicans in November.

We cannot allow this to happen. Elections ought to be a contest of ideas, and open and fair to everyone. To that end, I announced today that I am filing a lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, challenging HB 1156 and the restrictions it places on voter choice. In addition, I am urging all other Democratic candidates for the 3rd Congressional District to join with me in opposing HB 1156.


I'm not a career politician and I got in this race to fight to end the war in Iraq, to be a champion for the middle class, and to promote fairness in our political system. Minorities -- especially Native Americans -- will find it tougher to get on the ballot throughout New Mexico under this new system. That's unacceptable. New Mexico is about fostering diversity, and HB 1156 does not reflect our values. If there is one thing all the Democratic candidates can agree on, it is that the Democratic primary ought to be open and fair.


Together, we can unite the Democratic field in opposition to HB 1156 and repel this attack on our right to open and fair elections.

Don Wiviott

Don has a petition on his website asking supporters to protest HB 1156. While Don uses the chance that no one would recieve 20% of the delegates and the possibility of no democratic candidate as a reason to do away with HB 1156, the truth is that in the current election it is more likely that from a slate of 5 or 6 candidates only one candidate may get 50-60 percent of the delegates. This would leave the other 4 or 5 candidates scrapping to get 20% and the likely hood would be that no one else would get 20%. This would mean the election would be over in March before a single vote has been cast.

This has always been my point of contention with HB 1156. I truly belive that in a democracy that the voters should decide elections, all the voters. The election should not be decided by 712 or so delegates to a pre primary convention. I belive that when the legislature voted for HB 1156 that they truly belived that this would strengthen the party by requiring candidates to take part in thier party meetings, get to know delegates and contribute to the party. Many times you never see candidates at local party meetings unless they are involved in an election at the time. Otherwise many are not active participants in party politics and day to day running of the party. The legislature probably belived this would stimulate participation in the respective partys.

Unfortunately this bill was probably quickly concieved, and voted upon without any thoughts as to the negative ramifications. Northern New Mexico is now facing those ramifications head on as the worst case scenarios for this bill seem to be overflowing like the New Orleans levys when the city flooded. While I am not announcing support or non-support for Don Wiviott's candidacy I am in support of his efforts to end HB 1156. This bill is bad for democracy and should be thrown out by the courts or repealed in this months upcoming legislative session.