Wood received a notice in the mail at her Santa Fe home on Tuesday. The notice directs Wood to verify her voting status with the Secretary of State's own database, "Voter View" .
However, when Wood checked her voting status there, she found that her status had been changed to "INACTIVE" in this mail purge alongside a list all of the elections she has voted in since 1992, a total of 44. Wood's most recent vote was just 88 days before she received the notice sent to alleged non-voters.
Wood moved from Albuquerque to her current address in Santa Fe more than 5 years ago and has voted absentee from there at least 4 times during elections when she was working in other parts of the state protecting others' right to vote.
"I'm just shocked that I took my job to fight for other people's job to get their vote counted, and now I'm having to fight for my own," Wood told ProgressNow New Mexico in a recorded interview.
The secretary of state's voter purge began just weeks after Secretary Duran stopped printing new voter registration cards, leaving at least six New Mexico counties without registration forms. Now we learn that during that same time Duran was not printing new voter cards she was instead able to print more than 177,000 voter registration cards to target to those she deemed non-voters.
New Mexico has an estimated 250,000 - 600,000 eligible but unregistered voters.
"This is exactly what we have all been afraid of when the secretary of state acts unilaterally to terminate the right to vote for voters only she can identify," says Pat Davis of ProgressNow NM. "Diane is just the first of the more than 177,000 legal voters to get this notice and it shows the incompetence of the secretary in administering our elections. How many more active voters were included in her massive purge of voters?"
It's bad enough that they're purging active voters from the rolls, but how do they explain the failure to print sufficient numbers of voter registration cards, causing voters to be unable to register?
In the coming weeks, voter registration is going to be the single biggest issue around this election. Groups like the Voter Participation Center are gearing up for a registration drive in 28 states. Now that the right wing doesn't have ACORN to push around, they're targeting any group which is actively involved in getting unregistered voters registered. It's going to be ugly and we're going to be successful, which will cause right wing heads to explode nationwide, no doubt.
Just remember this: If the right wing can't count on your vote, they don't want your vote to count.
Mitt Romney's claim that there are too many firefighters might sound awesome to crazy conservatives, but to the residents of Colorado and New Mexico, it might sound like he doesn't really care if their homes burn down.
Via 9News.com in Colorado:
The High Park Fire is now at 36,930 acres and growing significantly, with zero percent containment. Larimer County says 400 personnel are fighting the blaze. Monday afternoon, officials said at least 100 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire.
According to Larimer County, flames lept 15 to 20 feet in the air, with some flames shooting 300 feet into the sky. Very dry brush, timber and grasses are providing the fuel for this fire.
What Larimer County is calling a "very aggressive" and "hard to fight" fire is growing at 20 to 40 feet a minute.
Larimer County officials say the lower temperatures, higher humidity levels and lower winds should help fire personnel to fight the fire. A number of air resources are battling the blaze, including five heavy-air tankers, five single-engine tankers and a few helicopters. Larimer County says two National Guard Blackhawks have been ordered, but only one is currently on the scene.
Larimer County says they are hoping at least 100 more personnel will join the fight by Monday night.
And in New Mexico, Governor Susana Martinez was ordering National Guard troops in to assist with fighting fires. Via Times-Union.com:
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced late Sunday that she was ordering an additional 100 National Guard troops to assist with evacuations. They will be dispatched to shelters or highways where people have to be turned back, Ruidoso spokeswoman Kerry Gladden said.
Military helicopters were also deployed to drop water at both fires in addition to air tankers dropping slurry.
Dan Ware, a spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division, said the number of Ruidoso evacuees was in the hundreds, but he didn't have an exact figure. The nearby community of Capitan and others also could face evacuation, said Karen Takai, a spokeswoman for the Ruidoso fire crews.
State Rep. Paul Bandy, co-chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council in New Mexico, gave a surprisingly candid, on-the-record interview that Progress Now New Mexico attended and recorded.
In the clip above, Bandy says that he never solicited a single donation and that money just appears in his mailbox from ALEC-related corporations. Some in the audience laughed at the remarks, but Bandy didn't bristle at being called a 'corporate-sponsored legislator,' something that should give pause to New Mexico voters.
Bandy was extremely confused about what the word 'lobbying' means and completely got the definition wrong in reference to ALEC, who he said didn't lobby. Lobbying, according to Bandy at one point, only takes place during the legislative session in the literal lobby of the state house. He later backed off those comments. He refused to answer a question about the secrecy associated with the corporate sponsors of the bills that come through ALEC, although he did admit that at least one law that he helped push through the legislature wouldn't have passed (or would've passed with a smaller margin) if he had told anyone that ALEC was involved. Bandy also refused to reveal all the legislators who were involved in ALEC, although he did reveal that more of them were associated with the group than was publicly known. He had the membership dues to know that for a fact, although he refused to produce the membership list.
An issue that came up quite a bit was how legislators were able to afford to attend ALEC events. Bandy had no problem with them using taxpayer funds to travel to the events because the organization is 'non-partisan.' He also had no problem with the fact that he and his ALEC co-chair, Sen. Bill Payne, run a corporate-sponsored slush fund to cover costs for the trips as well. Unsurprisingly, Bandy didn't reveal how the fund was paid for and seemed not to have any problem with the fact that legislators were attending ideological events using both taxpayer funds and corporate 'donations.' Bandy himself had received the funds, but didn't answer a question about whether or not they should be considered campaign contributions.
Bandy said that he didn't like the use of tax deductible money being used for political purposes, but had no comment on ALEC using tax-deductible money for political purposes. He refused to explicitly state how he felt about the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, refusing to state how he voted on the legislature's resolution condemning the ruling. Public records reveal that he refused to vote on the resolution.
Anyone interested in getting legislation passed, Bandy said, should do like ALEC and write him a check for $2,300, buy him lunch and he will consider the legislation. Theoretically, this comment was a joke.
The strangest comment to come out of the session so far was what Bandy said about the Occupy movement:
And my, uh, experience is that I have a lot in common with some of the Occupy protestors, I mean we have a lot of ideas that are similar. I think if we can get past some of the rhetoric, you know, we can come to some kind of a head and that's why I invited everybody to breakfast - my breakfast.
Bandy was one of a number of state legislators that Progress Now New Mexico has called upon to resign from ALEC. While he didn't agree to that suggestion, he was critical of the partisan nature of ALEC:
"ALEC has become more polarized," he told us. "I've heard, at various meetings, from Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich... Herman Cain, Rick Perry. So, we've heard from all of these people, and they give very partisan speeches... So, I've told people, if we want to keep this a non-partisan organization, we don't need to do that."
Like a typical ALEC member, Bandy decried the 'liberal social agenda' in public schools as the reason for educational decline in the United States. When pressed on what that meant, he said that it meant that kids were being taught 'conflict resolution' and 'self esteem.' These things are bad according to Bandy and he'd prefer them to learn about balancing checkbooks.
Full audio of all the clips is available on the Progress New New Mexico web site.
Dan Webster's constituents react to his support for the GOP non-jobs budget.
Working America is setting up "Buyer's Remorse" booths in Minnesota, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and New Mexico to collect "return" ballots from voters who feel betrayed by their representatives who refused to pursue legislation to create jobs. During the August recess, Working America's protests will focus on Representatives Daniel Webster (FL), Michele Bachmann (MN), Tim Walberg (MI), Mike Coffman (CO) and Governor Susana Martinez (NM). At a time when job creation is the top issue on the public agenda, these lawmakers have ignored the wishes of the people and pursued an extreme ideological agenda while creating few, if any, jobs.
These Republicans all campaigned on promises to focus on job creation, but have failed to live up to their promises. Many of the policies they have pursued have made the jobs crisis in the country worse, not better.
“Working-class families feel duped by broken election-year promises,” said Karen Nussbaum, Executive Director of Working America. “Elected officials must be held accountable for failing to even attempt to create jobs and strengthen the economy.”
Thousands of return ballots have already been gathered in these states and through Working America's website. Details on each event are in the events section of Working America's Facebook page. Events can be followed on Twitter with the hashtag #buyersremorse.
Working America is an affiliate organization of the AFL-CIO that organizes workers where unions don't exist. Their goal is to give workers the tools they need to fight for their own economic interests.
The problem with gay-marriage referendums is, it's about civil rights. Civil rights exist because your legal status shouldn't depend on popular opinion. If we'd had referendums in 1964 about the Civil Rights Act, it would still be illegal for Heidi Klum to marry Seal. Seems silly, right? That's because it is.
With 87 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, 53 percent of voters had approved the repeal, ending an expensive and emotional fight that was closely watched around the country as a referendum on the national gay-marriage movement. Polls had suggested a much closer race.
Maine voters also decided to expand the state’s 10-year-old medical marijuana law, approving a ballot question to allow state-regulated dispensaries to grow the drug and sell it to patients. The vote comes weeks after the Obama administration announced it would not prosecute patients and distributors who are in "clear and unambiguous" compliance with state laws. Maine will be the third state, after New Mexico and Rhode Island, to allow tightly regulated, nonprofit marijuana dispensaries.
Yeah, polls suggested a much closer race because people are so reluctant to admit they're homophobic. But hey, how about those stoners? Closeted Maine Republicans can still get high, so you got that going for you.
In one bright spot, the law expanding gay rights to "everything but marriage" in Washington state looks like it might win.
We won, with a strong progressive, too. How does this fit with bobblehead "Obama is dead" logic? Head. Must. Explode. Does. Not. Compute.
Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi will soon trade his state title for that of congressman after an expected victory Tuesday in the face of a surprisingly tough GOP challenger.
Garamendi easily beat Republican challenger David Harmer of Dougherty despite late cash infusions from the national party and an enthusiastic volunteer corps.
Outspent 2-to-1 in the heavily Democratic 10th district, the virtually unknown Republican David Harmer mustered just 39 percent of the vote, vowing to tap into public angst over an obdurate recession, federal spending and health care reform.
But Garamendi repeatedly touted his broad and deep political experience, and he never retreated from his support of progressive policies.
NEW YORK CITY
In New York, incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg won - but not by that much, considering polls showing an 18-point lead. And that was despite pouring what amounted to the GDP of a small nation into his campaign fund.
Unofficial returns showed Mr. Bloomberg with 51 percent and Mr. Thompson with 46 percent. The result will make Mr. Bloomberg only the fourth three-term mayor in the last century.
“Conventional wisdom says historically third terms haven’t been too successful,” the mayor told supporters at the Sheraton New York Hotel in Midtown Manhattan around midnight after a tense night of watching returns. “But we’ve spent the last eight years defying conventional wisdom.”
Still, the margin seemed to startle Mr. Bloomberg’s aides and the city’s political establishment, which had predicted a blowout. Published polls in the days leading up to the election suggested that the mayor would win by as many as 18 percentage points; four years ago, he cruised to re-election with a 20 percent margin.
The billionaire mayor had poured $90 million of his own fortune into the race, a sum without equal in the history of municipal politics that gave him a 14-to-1 advantage in campaign spending.
SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — Democrats won a special election in New York State’s northernmost Congressional district Tuesday, a setback for national conservatives who heavily promoted a third candidate in what became an intense debate over the direction of the Republican Party.
The Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, led with 49 percent of the vote, while the Conservative Party candidate, Douglas L. Hoffman, had 46 percent.
In NJ, former Goldman Sachs CEO Gov. Jon Corzine got his butt kicked by the corrupt Chris Christie. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but the Office of Public Integrity in D.C. should certainly investigate the odd lending practices of the soon-to-be governor:
In New Jersey, a former federal prosecutor, Christopher J. Christie, became the first Republican to win statewide in 12 years by vowing to attack the state’s fiscal problems with the same aggressiveness he used to lock up corrupt politicians.
He overcame a huge Democratic voter advantage and a relentless barrage of negative commercials to defeat Jon S. Corzine, an unpopular incumbent who outspent him by more than two to one and drew heavily on political help from the White House, including three visits to the state from President Obama.
“We are in a crisis; the times are extraordinarily difficult, but I stand here tonight full of hope for the future,” said Mr. Christie, 47, who will become New Jersey’s 55th governor. “Tomorrow begins the task of fixing a broken state.”
One of Corzine's biggest problems is that, like Barack Obama, his office was fiscally broken when he got there. Christine Todd Whitman left a series of landmines that didn't explode until years later - things like counting part of the teachers pension fund to "balance" the budget.
Virginians elected Republican Robert F. McDonnell the commonwealth's 71st governor Tuesday, sweeping the GOP to power and emphatically halting a decade of Democratic advances in the critical swing state.
The exclamation point on the former state attorney general's trouncing of Democratic state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds was a victory in Fairfax County, the state's most populous jurisdiction, which had delivered powerful Democratic majorities to President Obama and Govs. Timothy M. Kaine and Mark Warner. McDonnell also reversed the political order in the Washington region's outer suburbs, winning Loudoun and Prince William counties, which went for Kaine four years ago.
The bold headline on today's Washington Post? "A warning to Democrats: It's not 2008 anymore."
Yawn. Honestly, when was the last time the Washington Post was right about anything?
The dismissal of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in December 2006 followed extensive communication among lawyers and political aides in the White House who hashed over complaints about his work on public corruption cases against Democrats, according to newly released e-mails and transcripts of closed-door House testimony by former Bush counsel Harriet Miers and political chief Karl Rove.
A campaign to oust Iglesias intensified after state party officials and GOP members of the congressional delegation apparently concluded he was not pursuing the cases against Democrats in a way that would help then- Rep. Heather Wilson in a tight releection race, according to interviews and Bush White House e-mails released Tuesday by congressional investigators. The documents place the genesis of Iglesias's dismissal earlier than previously known.
The disclosures mark the end of a two-and-a-half year investigation by the House Judiciary Committee, which sued to gain access to Bush White House documents in a dispute that struck at the heart of a president's executive power. House members have reserved the right to hold a public hearing at which Rove, Miers, and other aides could appear this fall.
House Judiciary Chairman John M. Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) Tuesday characterized the role of Bush White House figures in the firing episode as improper and inappropriate.
Not to just keep flogging a dead horse endlessly, but it does strike me as worth noting that when you read a puff piece in The New York Times about the Gang of Six bipartisan dealmakers in the Senate that vast power is being wielded by people who, in a democratic system of government, would have almost no power. We’re talking, after all, about Max Baucus of Montana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, and Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Collectively those six states contain about 2.74 percent of the population, less than New Jersey, or about one fifth the population of California. The six largest states, by contrast, contain about 40 percent of Americans...read on
And Max Baucus was leaking out costs today to the media from the Holy CBO that he says gets their bill to cost under the magic 1 trillion mark. Of course the Holy Grail doesn't have all the figures yet, Max says, but he's trying to sell it to the media that way. If the plan doesn't cost anything then it won't do anything. Being obsessed by the Holy CBO has been a huge big mistake. Just to remind you, Max Baucus was instrumental in getting Bush's tax cuts passed back in 2001.
Baucus started his career as a relatively low-profile congressman from conservative Montana but, in recent years, has shown a willingness to stray from the Democratic lines, at times sparking intense fights with the congressional Democratic leadership. He supported President Bush’s trillion-dollar tax cut that mainly benefitted the wealthy in 2001, fought to add a prescription-drug benefit to Medicare (in language pushed by the Bush administration) and sought billions in aid for drought-plagued farmers in his home state.
Former President Bill Clinton, himself a victim of an errant Congressional Budget Office score or two, implied today that the agency wasn't connected enough to the real world to know whether programs would save money or not. Speaking a few days after the CBO estimated that the White House's latest "gamechanger," an independent Medicare Advisory Commission to set prices, would save little money over 10 years, Clinton urged policy-makers -- and here he means Democrats -- to not accept the CBO's scores without adding a dollop of common sense. " I recognize that if you're in that budget office, you've got to project the future," Clinton said. But certain programs would realize savings "regardless of whether the mathematical rules they are now up with will prove it or not." He said that those with a stake in changing the system "almost always get the short end of the stick" when it comes to budget projections.
n order to understand what this really means you you have to recall that there was no discussion, zero, when the last administration asserted without any debate that we were engaged in a war without end, for which costs could not be measured nor should they be. It was accepted by members of both parties as a simple imperative and no discussion of cost-benefit analyses were even on the table. But when it comes to directly benefiting Americans with a life and death threat of another sort, that's all we talk about. This is not an accident
This whole health care debate has been played very badly. Not getting into the game publicly for so long allowed the right wingers and Evan Bayh Democrats to corrupt the health care messaging. Now we hear that the Blue Dogs have corrupted the EC&C committee also. We'll see what actually happens a little later. People are usually very reluctant to change anything in life, even if it's going to help so it's not a shock that America is split over health care reform in the polls. It's a big deal and in the end people will be more hesitant to actually back change. That's why we need a strong leader to communicate it. That just means the Democratic Party must keep pushing forward. The Republicans went forward with the lunacy of the Terri Schiavo matter even when 79% of Americans were against government intervention in a family matter. That''s their core values. They are birthers. We want real health care reform that will help us all. We believe in America.
See, here's the thing about the very concept of "bipartisan" compromise: The only Republican officials left are from the far fringe of their party. So you really can't negotiate with them in any meaningful sense - you can only capitulate.
And that's pretty much what the members of Max Baucus's little private party have done. They've stripped anything resembling real competition from their secret healthcare proposal. I wonder why Republicans are running this process? (And please note: not one member of this cabal is a progressive, nor from an urban area. Not quite representative of the rest of us, wouldn't you say?)
This would be a very good day to flood the offices of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sens. Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, the Democrats slicing and dicing away our future, with PHONE CALLS (not emails) telling them you want a strong public option - unlike President Obama, apparently.
WASHINGTON – After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Barack Obama favors, according to numerous officials.
Like bills drafted by Democrats, the proposal under discussion by six members on the Senate Finance Committee would bar insurance companies from denying coverage to any applicant. Nor could insurers charge higher premiums on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions.
But it jettisons other core Democratic provisions in a reach for bipartisanship on an issue that has so far produced little.
[...] In the Senate, officials stressed that no agreement has been reached on a bipartisan measure, and said there is no guarantee of one. They also warned that numerous key issues remain to be settled, including several options to pay for the legislation. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss matters under private negotiations.
They said any legislation that emerges from the talks is expected to provide for a non-profit cooperative to sell insurance in competition with private industry, rather than giving the federal government a role in the marketplace. The White House and numerous Democrats in Congress have called for a government option to provide competition to private companies and hold down costs.
[...] The senators involved in the negotiations are all members of the Senate Finance Committee, and include Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chairman, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the senior Republican. Others participating are Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, and Republicans Olympia Snowe of Maine and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
But here's the real money quote:
Individuals would have a mandate to buy affordable insurance, but companies would not have a requirement to offer it.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is why we voted for Democrats - so we could hand over our fate yet again to the Republicans. Let them know what you think.
A 14-year-old Tucumcari girl is recovering at an Albuquerque hospital after being shot in the head with a Taser dart by Tucucmari Police Chief Roger Hatcher.
Now, her parents say they want the police department to review its policies for using the Taser.
Her mother, Stacy Akin, said her daughter underwent surgery Friday morning at University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque. “One of the darts entered her skull,” said Akin, interviewed by telephone.
After a CAT scan, a hospital resident told her the dart was “in her brain a little bit, but not much,” Akin said.
Hatcher is on administrative leave at the moment, but claims he had no choice because she was running away from him toward traffic. I wholeheartedly disagree with anyone who says that they HAD to use a taser on a 14 year old girl who posed absolutely no threat to them. Of course, Hatcher had no way of knowing that the girl had any kind of medical condition, but that once again proves the inherent dangers of using tasers.
Akin also said her daughter has epilepsy. The girl’s father, Donny Martinez of Amarillo, said his daughter takes medication for the condition. Read on...
SANTA FE — The Bill Richardson who announced a repeal of the death penalty in New Mexico on Wednesday was not the same Bill Richardson who usually shows up for face time with the news media.
The Richardson who usually hosts the media goes out of his way to convince you of the rightness of his decision. He is confident, bigger than life and even becomes jocular at times; he is a master of the room.
The Richardson who sat before a phalanx of news media Wednesday was anything but. At moments he appeared still to be working out the issue in his head and doubt occasionally crept in to darken his face.
Are there people who deserve the death penalty? Is it right for the state to execute a killer? What about the flaws in the system? And what of the United States’ general approval of the death penalty when compared to most Western democracies?
Richardson struggled to balance all those competing interests, but appeared unable to arrive at an absolutely satisfactory answer.
“I believe it’s the right decision. My conscience feels good, but I am still troubled,” Richardson said, by way of explaining his decision to repeal the death penalty.