Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Word is: Harris is Having a Super Time!

A life-long democrat speaks out on political campaign finance, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and why he thinks Governor Bill Richardson would make a good vice president.

Former U.S. Senator Fred Harris supported George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign (this b/w photo was taken at Old Town's La Placita Restaurant). Four years later he criss-crossed the United States in a motor home four during his own bid for the democratic nomination. This August he'll be in Denver for the nominating convention. Harris is an at-large Super delegate and former Democratic National Party Chairman. He's supporting Barak Obama, but said he originally backed Governor Bill Richardson for president.

At 77, Harris is still active in presidential politics, but he spends most of his time writing. His extended bibliography includes books on poverty, race, American government, the shift to republicans in the 1980's, and the rise of national politics.

On May 19th, Harris, a "new populist Democrat" spoke at a book signing at the UNM Law School. He's published "Does people do it? If people does it, I can do it." In this engaging memoir, he describes how he met life and political challenges head-on.

During a January 2008 Barak Obama Rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Harris, who has encountered the likes of John and Robert Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon, listens to Barak Obama.

Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Obama after a hand count of provisional ballots by state party officials

For now, only one Superdelegate in New Mexico, Rep. Tom Udall has not announced who he's supporting in Denver this August. Perhaps he is unwilling to aliente 50% of the democratic base he'll need in this fall's general election against either Steve Pearce or Heather Wilson.

Harris, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate when he was just 33 years old, has maintained a reputation as a down-to-earth man of the people whose advocacy included American Indian causes.

My interview with Harris, was originally broadcast on 770KKOB morning host Bob Clark's program.

Photos: MG Bralley

The Word is: It's NOT Over!

Former United States Attorney David Iglesias got straight to "to the point" as he addressed 300 people at the Albuquerque Academy. His new book, In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration, is scheduled to be released nationally on June 2nd.

Iglesias' local supporters were the first to get a copy of the hardcover "tell all" during a brief lecture on May 18tth at the Albuquerque Academy when Page 1 hosted his first book signing. The event came less than a month after six-term U.S. Senator Pete Domenici received a written admonition from the Senate Ethics committee. On Sunday, May 25, 2008, Iglesias told NY Times Magazine reporter Deborah Solomon he's a disillusioned Republican, and he that believes Domenici's punishment was "a roughly fair result."

The wrist-slap was for the senator's telephone call to Iglesias in October 2006, less than a month before the closely contested Congressional District 1 (NM) race between incumbent Rep. Heather Wilson (R) and Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D). Domenici allegedly wanted to know if voter-fraud cases were going to be prosecuted in the State of New Mexico.

Iglesias has always claimed prosecutors, who have the power to take life, liberty and property, must remain independent of the political process. He told the crowd there are still five on-going investigations involving "attorney gate." He stressed his book is not about losing his job 18 months ago; rather, Iglesias, reminded the crowd, the scandal is about "the separation of powers and the rule of law."

Cindi Iglesias says what happened to her husband is unconscionable and inexcusable. And, Iglesias told supporters he's speaking out because the scales of justice need to be blind.

Before signing individual books, Iglesias told the the crowd his firing was a life altering event, and he was infuriated when he heard supervisors lie to congress about the nature of his firing. The crowd roared with laughter after he said if he could go back in time he'd tell Heather Wilson, "You'll be sorry," referencing her telephone call to his office inquiring about sealed indictments. He says Wilson apologized, but continues to spin the truth during her U.S. Senate primary campaign. Iglesias admits he should have called Washington to report the two congressional inquiries immediately.

He says his coming forward isn't about what's Right or Left, but what's Right and Wrong. The crowd cheered when they learned Karl Rove may have a legal target on his back for his role in Iglesias' firing. Rove who has been speaking publicly, and on cable television about the matter, has been held in contempt by the U.S. Senate for failure to appear. Rove claims executive privilege, but the President says he was never involved in any discussions with U.S. Attorneys; so, it's doubtful the privilege extends to Rove. He has also been served a subpoena from Congressman John Conyers to testify on July 10, 2008.

Check out the book and listen to Iglesias' account of the scandal.

Photos: MG Bralley

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Upcoming Posts

Still ahead this week:

Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias introduced his new book "In Justice" to a crowd of about 300 people at the Albuquerque Academy on Sunday. Visit the blog, on Thursday, to listen to his comments on the scandal that is rocking the Department of Justice and may affect the outcome of the U.S. Senate Campaign in New Mexico's G.O.P. Primary.

On Friday plan to visit the blog to hear directly from former U.S. Senator Fred Harris, a life-long At-Large DNC member, and 1976 presidential candidate. He tells us why he's supporting Barack Obama, and why he thinks New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is on the short list to be vice president.

Come back on Saturday for a bonus post. This weekend we'll post an exclusive interview with Sheriff Darren White. He's running for congress, but still on patrol in Bernalillo County. White says "win or lose" he'll be an advocate for crime victims for the rest of his life and remembers how hard it was on his father after his own grandfather was murdered.