Saturday, August 9, 2008

Television News Veteran Awes Judges at Spamfest

In the heat of a general election we've all had our mailboxes stuffed with political postcards and our email in boxes filled with SPAM from candidates requesting donations.

On Saturday, members of the media took a break from the political campaigns and headed to the Albuquerque Press Club for dinner.

SPAMFEST is a time-honored tradition at the Albuquerque Press Club.

It was retired KOB TV Assignment Manager Orlando Medina who captured the top prize. His
Spam Adobada featured chunks of SPAM in a lovely red chile sauce. It was accompanied with pinto beans and tortillas. Medina spent 32 years in broadcast news before retiring last year.

Defending 2007 Champion Tom Wright protested enforcement of the rules requiring contestants prepare their own dishes and simply opened a can of SPAM, stuck a serving knife in it, and entered the can.

Last year Wright was challenged when members learned he had a chef prepare his entry. Allowed to keep the trophy, Wright says he has "the creativity to win, but lacks the technical skills to prepare it."

His 2008 entry, "A SPAMIN Tragedy" was funny enough to pick up 2nd place (likey a pity vote by the judges for this "humorous" entry).

Contestants were challenged to use their imagination and culinary creativity to liven up the processed pork in a can.

Of course, entry rules required SPAM be used and the dish had to be edible.

From our viewpoint, most of the tasters in the crowed filled their plates, and some went back for seconds.

Judges scored each entry on
taste, humor and originality. Nick, a judge on tonight's panel, said "this SPAM" is delicious. Justin who filled his plate twice took to singing lyrics from SPAMALOT.

Entires included:
  • Spameroni calzone
  • Spam spud specials
  • Plain can of spam
  • Deviled spam eggs
  • Spiche
  • Spamwich hors d'oeuvres
  • Spam Adobada
  • Spam pad thai
  • Spamelette
  • Croque le spam
  • Spam with anjou pear and blue cheese
  • Spicy spam poppers
  • Spam bhaji with mint chutney
Winners List:

1st Prize: Orlando Medina, Spam Adobada
2nd Prize: Gary Hubbard spam spud

Tom Wright, A Spamin Tradegy
Lisa Benski, Croque le spam

Orlando Medina, Spam Adobada

Our favorites Spam Devil Eggs and Spiche didn't make the final cut.

If you're hungry and craving a can of SPAM... check out these recipes and cook books on Amazon.

Pearce: Udall Needs to Make a Decision About Debates

U.S. Senate Steve Pearce is putting pressure on Democrat Tom Udall to set dates for broadcast debates ahead of this fall's election. Pearce wrote an open letter to the media this afternoon asking Udall to stop stalling and pick a date for the NBC "Meet the Press" Senate debate.

Udall's campaign staff says they've been meeting and the letter is a publicity stunt.

Here's a copy of the letter from Pearce:

Dear Member of the Media,

Since it is clear that Tom Udall is stalling on debates, it is time to bring the statewide media into the negotiations for him to do what is right.

urge him to have a meeting within the next seven days with our campaign and all of the electronic and print media to finalize a date certain for a series of debates to be televised in New Mexico and to confirm a date that is acceptable for Meet the Press as a national debate.

It is important to set these dates now so that Tom Udall cannot duck and run.


Steve Pearce

Earlier in the week Pearce's campaign suggested debate dates in this August 07, 2008 News Release:

Albuquerque - Today, People for Pearce Campaign Manager John Billingsley contacted officials at KRQE, KOB, and NBC's "Meet the Press" to suggest possible dates for the future televised debates between Congressman Steve Pearce and Tom Udall. Billingsley has already accepted a debate on October 26th that will be televised by KOAT.

For the two remaining televised debates the Pearce and Udall campaigns have already agreed upon, Billingsley requested late September for KOB and mid-October for KRQE. The campaign has encouraged an October date for "Meet the Press".

"Steve wants the people of New Mexico to see the real differences between the candidates. He's willing to stand up and defend his record, his positions and his vision for the future of New Mexico and the country, " said Billingsley. "It's time for Tom Udall to stop ducking these debates and let the people of New Mexico know where he stands."

The suggested dates are as follows:

KOB: Septemeber 23rd, 25th, and 30th
KOAT: Between October 15th and 19th
NBC's Meet the Press: October 5th, 12th, and 19th

The Pearce campaign has already accepted KOAT's offer to hold a televised debate on October 26th.

Local Nonprofits Issue Rebuttal to Attorney General's Statement on Primary Election Dispute

Colleen Heild has the latest on the non-profit mailer controversy in the Albuquerque Journal

Note we received these statements from several of the the groups involved.

John Boyd - Counsel for Center for Civic Policy and New Mexico Youth Organized

Sara Berger - Counsel for Center for Civic Policy and New Mexico Youth Organized

The United States Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that election officials are only permitted to regulate public statements that explicitly address elections. They are not permitted to regulate public statements that relate to officeholders' conduct, even though those officeholders may be running for re-election. This is fundamental to the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. The Attorney General's statement that he recognizes what can be regulated on the basis of whether it 'walks like a duck' is an indication that he doesn't understand the law in this area, and he is inviting entirely unnecessary litigation against the State of New Mexico."

Eli Il Yong Lee - Executive Director, Center for Civic Policy

We are disappointed by Attorney General King's uncharacteristically glib assessment of a serious matter. At stake is the ability of nonprofits throughout New Mexico to hold elected officials accountable for their actions and to advocate for issues that are critical to their missions. Further, we are disappointed that the Attorney General is issuing a verdict through the media prior to his office completing its research on this matter."

McCain Pledges Easier Access to Quality Health Programs for Rural New Mexican Vets

Thousands of rural New Mexican vets now have to travel to Albuquerque for access to care, but things might get better for them if Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain gets his way. On Saturday in Las Vegas, Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain told disabled vets, like himself, that he'll create a Veterans' Care Access Card. The card, McCain said, will provide those without timely access to VA facilities the option of using high-quality health-care providers near their homes.

Here's the text from his speech:

Though victory in Iraq is finally in sight, a great deal still depends on the decisions and good judgment of the next president. The hard-won gains of our troops hang in the balance. The lasting advantage of a peaceful and democratic ally in the heart of the Middle East could still be squandered by hasty withdrawal and arbitrary timelines. And this is one of many problems in the shifting positions of my opponent, Senator Obama.

To read the rest of the remarks click here.
Photo from Memorial Day Speech in ABQ - MG Bralley

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rio Rancho Scores A Victory Over Former City Manager

A district court judge ruled Thursday that the city of Rio Rancho did take proper action in correcting any violations of the state’s Open Meetings Act it may have made in terminating Jim Palenick’s employment contract. Rio Rancho blogger Eric Maddy has more details on his website The Score.

Heinrick Supports Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes.

It's been 13 months since New Mexico's Medical Marijuana law took effect. We asked Democratic Congressional Candidate Martin Heinrich his views on the program.

In this AUDIO INTERVIEW, Heinrich says he supports marijuana for medicinal purposes, but says he's adamantly opposed to legalizing drugs.

"It's incredibly important that we don’t decriminalize or legalize the recreational use of marijuana. I think that would be an enormous mistake."

Heinrich told me at an event featuring a national guest, Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel (a former Clinton Aide), that he believes the effectiveness of marijuana should be left up to the medical establishment, and not to politicians.

He says he's proud of the work he did as an Albuquerque City Councilor to approve one of the first laws in the country that required Sudafed to be locked behind glass or stored in counters. He said it made an enormous impact in the community.

Heinrich says there needs to be more of an effort here to cracking down on methamphetamines, heroin and cocaine. If elected to congress he says he'll try to get more funding to fight illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, the NM Department of Health will have a public meeting on Monday, September 8, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. to determine the "Licensing Requirements For Producers, Production Facilities and Distribution" Visit this webpage to read more about the program in New Mexico.

Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain told me, on his Straight Talk Express bus, during his recent trip to Albuquerque, that he supports New Mexico's right to have a medical marijuana law. In this AUDIO INTERVIEW, however, he says he also believes, as do millions of other Americans that marijuana is a gateway drug. McCain says the Bush administration has been AWOL on the War on Drugs.

The D.E.A. says it's illegal. And they're arresting users, growers and distributors. On August 5th Federal prosecutors won a conviction against a Morro Bay pot dispenser. David Lynch faces five years in prison. The Los Angeles Times reported:

Cultivating, using and selling doctor-prescribed medical marijuana are allowed in some instances under California law. But they are outlawed entirely under federal law, which supersedes those of the states.

According to the FEDS marijuana is still addictive and people using it for relief are having to seek admittance in rehab programs, but probably like this exclusive center one in Malibu.
We learned there are more teens in treatment for marijuana use than for any other drug or for alcohol. Adolescent admissions to substance abuse facilities for marijuana grew from 43 percent of all adolescent admissions in 1994 to 60 percent in 1999.

Agents claim marijuana is much stronger now than it was decades ago. According to data from the Potency Monitoring Project at the University of Mississippi, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of commercial-grade marijuana rose from an average of 3.71 percent in 1985 to an average of 5.57 percent in 1998. The average THC content of U.S. produced sinsemilla increased from 3.2 percent in 1977 to 12.8 percent in 1997.

To read about the myths of the "drug" consider visiting this
D.E.A. webpage.
Photos: MG Bralley

Nearly 200 Laid off at Albuquerque's Eclipse Aviation

Eclipse Aviation released approximately 190 temporary workers. This affects nine percent of Eclipse's total workforce. The company insists the labor move is not a layoff because it does not affect any direct employees. Eclipse's total employment remains at about 1865. The majority of the released temporary workers in Albuquerque were hired from outside of New Mexico. They will return to their agency for further job placement.The company was not available for comment.

AG Clears the Air on Campaigning Dispute

Attorney General Gary King today answered erroneous reports that his office was somehow backing away from its request to the Secretary of State's Office to require a non-profit group to report campaign expenditures and abide by other requirements under the Campaign Practices Act and Lobbyist Regulation Act.

"Despite some reports to the contrary, we fully support our earlier position in a letter that the Secretary of State's Office needs to tell the New Mexico Youth Organization (NMYO) to immediately comply with the law," says Attorney General King. "Due to the spread of misinformation there seems to be some thought that my office had "disavowed" our letter or told the Secretary of State to "ignore" our advice, that is just not true. Those words were used, however, by others who support theNMYO."

The AG also says, "If the Deputy Secretary of State thought we had instructed him to simply ignore our letter, then that was a misunderstanding on his part of what was said."

Following receipt of a letter from the Center for Civic Policy (CCP), the Secretary of State's Office forwarded the letter to the AG's Office. In the letter, the CCP set forth a number of claims supporting NMYO's actions and urged the Secretary of State not to grant the AGO's request. Before they made a decision to disregard or follow the AG's advice, the SOS was asked to let the AG's office closely examine the CCP's claims and report back. That is where the issue stands today.

NMYO is responsible for a number of messages distributed publicly that targeted state Legislators. The group claims that the mailers it sent out were not campaign materials. The Attorney General disagrees.

"There's an old saying that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then its probably a duck," say AG King. "And I think we know a duck when we see one."

White: I'm Back on the Trail.

He may be slowed down a bit while recovering from a back injury and week long hospital stay, but Darren White says he’s ready to campaign.

On Thursday he squelched rumors that he was quitting the campaign for the 1s Congressional District. He says bloggers who claimed NM Republicans might replace him on the ballot at a meeting next Thursday with Heather Wilson are “absolutely false.”

In this PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO White says he’s prepared to earn every single vote and eager to talk about important issues in the campaign, including health care.

"America has the highest quality health care in the world, but too many Americans (44 million) are without basic health coverage. We must enact common-sense reforms and market-based solution that will make quality health care more affordable and more accessible for every American."

4 Point Health Care Program:

Making Health Care More Affordable:

  • White wants common-sense tort reform measures. He says they are necessary to reduce frivolous lawsuits that are driving up the cost of health care through unnecessary litigation, forcing doctors and other specialists to practice defensive medicine.
  • He also wants to provide individual tax credits to purchase health care, and promote Health Savings Accounts, so more Americans can purchase their own health insurance.

Improving Accessibility and Increasing Choices:

  • Allow people to shop for health insurance across state lines so they can find the plan that is best for them and their families at a cost they can afford.
  • Make it easier for small business to pool together so they can provide their employees with the same quality health coverage as larger companies.
  • Ensure people are able to keep their health insurance when they change jobs.

Keeping Patients and Doctors in Charge:

  • Darren White says he believes that patients and doctors, not Washington bureaucrats, should be in charge of health care.
  • Darren opposes government-run health care schemes that would increase costs, limit patient choice, and reduce the quality and efficiency of health care in America.

Providing More Coverage for Uninsured Children in America:

  • In a country with as much wealth as America, it is morally unacceptable for children to go without basic health coverage. White says he’ll support a program to provide more children with basic health coverage through expanding the S-Chip Program.
  • In case you missed it, Congressional Candidate Darren White released his 7 point plan for energy independence this week.

Here are the key provisions:

Innovate to find the next generation of energy sources:
We must continue research and development into promising new, clean, and reliable energy sources, including solar power, hydroelectric power, wind power, and biofuels.

Expand the use of clean energy sources now:
We need to expand the use of proven alternative energy sources, including nuclear power, natural gas, and clean coal technology.

Increase the production of American-made energy in an environmentally-safe way :
Today, about 70% of the oil consumed in the United States is imported, a significant amount from countries that are not friendly to the U.S. That is unacceptable when America has a vast reservoir of untapped resources. We must increase domestic production to increase supply, and lower the price of gas.

End bureaucratic red tape:
We have to bring new, modern oil refineries on-line to increase supply. Bureaucracy and regulations have held up the construction process long enough.

Encourage conservation:
Americans want to be active partners. We need to reward Americans who make their home, car, or business more energy-efficient through conservation tax incentives. We should help more businesses allow their employees to telecommute by providing incentives.

Corporate responsibility:
American corporations need to be partners in this process as well. I support increased fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. And there must be serious accountability tied to any tax credits for energy companies.

More oversight on speculators:
Some estimate 25% of the cost of a barrel of oil is due to speculation. The trading of oil futures should be transparent and subject to strict oversight. We must close loopholes, reform the system, and aggressively investigate cases of potential abuse and price manipulation.

Photo: MG Bralley

Eclipse Aviation: NTSB issues preliminary report on Pennsylvania accident

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a preliminary report on an accident involving an Eclipse 500(r) that occurred on July 30, 2008 at the Brandywine Airport (OQN) in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The accident involved a customer aircraft with two occupants on board. Neither of them was injured.

The report states that the pilot's approach was a little high and fast.

He overran the runway while landing the airplane, skidded off the end of the runway, traveled down a 40-foot embankment, and crossed a service road where the airplane came to rest.

In a recent article in the Pottstown Mercury, NTSB Investigator Todd Gunther was quoted as saying that the plane had no structural problems or mechanical malfunctions prior to impact. To view the article, you can go to this link:

The investigation is ongoing and we are cooperating fully with the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

To view the NTSB's preliminary report, you can go to this link:

AG Consumer Alert: Learn to Protect Yourself Now...

Identity Prevention and Repair Kit Available Online.

The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is advising consumers to learn how to prevent and recover from identity theft. In light of the recent national fraud involving credit and debit card holders that shopped at TJ Maxx and various other retail businesses, the NMAGO has moved the Identity Theft Prevention and Repair Kit to the top of the Web site publication list at:

With the help of the ID Theft Prevention and Repair Kit, consumers can learn how to prevent identity theft before it happens as well as learn how to identify signs of identity theft.

Visitors to the next month’s New Mexico State Fair can pick up a copy of the Identity Theft Prevention and Repair Kit free of charge from New Mexico Attorney General’s Office representatives in the Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Hall throughout the run of the fair.

"Painful " New TV Ad?

U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released its latest television ad, entitled "Painful." The ad highlights Barack Obama's record of voting to raise taxes on middle class families and his proposals for painful tax increases that will only further hurt those already struggling with higher gas prices, higher food prices and the threat of home foreclosure. The last thing we need to do is raise taxes that force families to make even tougher choices with less money in their pockets. The ad will air in key states.


Script For "Painful" (TV :30)

ANNCR: Life in the spotlight must be grand, but for the rest of us times are tough.

Obama voted to raise taxes on people making just $42,000.

He promises more taxes on small business, seniors, your life savings, your family.

Painful taxes, hard choices for your budget. Not ready to lead. That's the real Obama.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approved this message.

AD FACTS: Script For "Painful" (TV :30)

ANNCR: Life in the spotlight must be grand, but for the rest of us times are tough. Obama voted to raise taxes on people making just $42,000.

· Barack Obama Voted Twice In Favor Of The Democrats' FY 2009 Budget Resolution. (S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 51-44: R 2-43; D 47-1; I 2-0, 3/14/08, Obama Voted Yea; S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #142: Adopted 48- 45: R 2- 44; D 44- 1; I 2-0, 6/4/08, Obama Voted Yea)

· The Budget Resolution Would Have Allowed Most Of The Provisions Of The 2001 And 2003 Tax Cuts To Expire, Effectively Raising Taxes On Those Making $41,500 In Total Income. "What Obama voted for was a budget resolution that would have allowed most of the provisions of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to expire. In particular, the resolution would allow the 25 percent tax bracket to return to its pre-2001 level of 28 percent. That bracket kicks in at $32,550 for an individual or $65,100 for a married couple. But as those of you who have filled out a 1040 know, that's not actually how income taxes work. We don't pay taxes on our total earnings; we pay them based on our 'taxable income.' The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center's Eric Toder told that 'people with taxable income of $32,000 would have a total income greater than that.' In 2008, anyone filing taxes with single status would be entitled to a standard deduction of $5,450, as well as a personal exemption of $3,500. So to have a taxable income high enough to reach the 25 percent bracket, an individual would need to earn at least $41,500 in total income, while a married couple would need a combined income of at least $83,000." ("The $32,000 Question,",, 7/8/08)

· "Obama's Votes Indicate A Willingness To Raise Taxes." "Certainly Obama's votes indicate a willingness to raise taxes, and Obama has not been shy about saying explicitly that he will raise some taxes." ("The $32,000 Question,",, 7/8/08)

· Obama Campaign: Barack Obama Voted For A Budget Resolution That Wouldn't Have Increased Taxes For Any Taxpayers Making Less Than $41,500. ROSEN: "Campaign aides to Senator Obama today, called the charge that he voted for tax hikes on people making only $32,000 a year, quote, 'bogus.' They circulated an analysis stating that the resolution that Obama had voted for would not have increase taxes on single taxpayer making less than $41,500 a year in total income." (Fox News' "America's Election Headquarters," 7/30/08)

· The New York Times: Barack Obama's "Vote Was On A Budget Resolution To Raise Taxes On People Making $41,500 A Year." ", a nonpartisan Web site, said the vote was on a budget resolution to raise taxes on people making $41,500 a year; the $32,000 figure, it said, was the amount of taxable income those people had." (Michael Cooper, "McCain Goes Negative, Worrying Some In GOP," The New York Times, 7/30/08)

· The Associated Press: Budget Resolution "Would Have Allowed Tax Rates To Return To Pre-2001 Levels, Meaning That An Individual With Taxable Income Of About $32,000 Would Have Faced A Tax Increase." "At issue is Obama's vote on a non-binding budget resolution in March that called for President Bush's tax cuts to expire. Such a step would have allowed tax rates to return to pre-2001 levels, meaning that an individual with taxable income of about $32,000 would have faced a tax increase. Taxable income is what's left after taxpayers account for deductions." (Liz Sidoti, "Obama Dismisses Conservative Criticism," The Associated Press, 7/12/08)

· In June 2008, Obama Said "The Senate Voted To Stand Up For Working Families In Illinois And Throughout The Nation" By Passing The Democrats' Final Budget Resolution. Obama: "Today the Senate voted to stand up for working families in Illinois and throughout the nation by rejecting the failed policies of the Bush Administration and moving our country back on track to fiscal discipline. ... Our country needs change, and this budget is an important step in the right direction. I commend House and Senate leaders for working together to move this legislation through Congress." (Sen. Barack Obama, "Statement Of Senator Barack Obama On The Senate 's Passage Of The FY 2009 Budget Resolution," Press Release,, 6/4/08)

· In March 2008, Obama Hailed His Vote For The Budget As Making "Significant Progress In Getting Our Nation's Priorities Back On Track." Obama: "The budget passed by the Senate tonight makes significant progress in getting our nation's priorities back on track. ... We need change in this country, and this budget is an important step in helping bring it about." (Sen. Barack Obama, "Obama Statement On The Senate's Passage Of The FY 2009 Budget," Press Release,, 3/14/08)

ANNCR: He promises more taxes on small business, seniors, your life savings, your family. Painful taxes, hard choices for your budget. Not ready to lead. That's the real Obama. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approved this message.

· Barack Obama Has Called For Higher Income Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes, And Corporate Taxes, As Well As "Massive New Domestic Spending." "Obama's transformation, if you go by his campaign so far, would mean higher income taxes, higher Social Security taxes, higher investment taxes, higher corporate taxes, massive new domestic spending, and a healthcare plan that perhaps could be the next step to a full-scale, single-payer system. Is that what most Americans want, someone who will fulfill a Democratic policy wish list?" (James Pethokoukis, "Barack Hussein Reagan? Ronald Wilson Obama?" U.S. News & World Report's "Capital Commerce" Blog,, 2/12/08)

· Barack Obama Would Raise Social Security (Payroll) Taxes On Families. "Obama's proposal ... would impose social security taxes on income above $250,000 per year. He would continue to exempt income between $102,000 and $250,000 from social security taxes." (Teddy Davis, Sunlen Miller, and Gregory Wallace, "Obama Kisses Billions Goodbye," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog,, 6/18/08)

· Barack Obama Would Raise Income Taxes. Obama: "[I] would roll back the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000." (Sen. Barack Obama, CNN Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Manchester, NH, 6/3/07)

· U.S. Department Of Treasury: Small Business Owners "Are Frequently Subject To The Highest Individual Income Tax Rates." "Changes in the individual income tax affect most businesses in the United States. That is because taxes on business earnings are often paid through the individual income tax when 'passed-through' to business owners. The business income from sole proprietorships, farm proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, etc., is all taxed at the owners' individual income tax rates. This year 34 million business owners are expected to receive this type of income and pay tax on this income through the individual income tax. These businesses are typically small and often entrepreneurial in nature, and a source of innovation and risk-taking in the economy. Moreover, these business owners are frequently subject to the highest individual income tax rates." ("Topics Related To The President's Tax Relief," U.S. Departm ent Of Treasury,, May 2008)

· Barack Obama Would Raise Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes. "Sen. Obama wants to raise the long-term capital-gains rate for families making more than $250,000 to around 20 percent or somewhat higher but not above the 28 percent level it reached during the Reagan presidency, an Obama economic adviser says. The same rate would apply to most dividend income for these investors." (Tom Herman, "Tax Report Your Tax Bill: How McCain, Obama Differ," The Associated Press, 6/18/08)

· In 2006, Over 26.7 Million U.S. Taxpayers Reported Capital Gains Income. (Internal Revenue Service Website, "Individual Income And Tax Data, By State And Size Of Adjusted Gross Income, Tax Year 2006,", Accessed 7/30/08)

· In 2006, Over 31.5 Million U.S. Taxpayers Reported Dividend Income. (Internal Revenue Service Website, "Individual Income And Tax Data, By State And Size Of Adjusted Gross Income, Tax Year 2006,", Accessed 7/30/08)

· Barack Obama Called For Tax Hikes On "Dirty Energy" Such As Coal And Natural Gas. Obama: "What we ought to tax is dirty energy, like coal and, to a lesser extent, natural gas." ("Q&A With Sen. Barack Obama," San Antonio Express-News, 2/19/08)

· Even Barack Obama Admits That His Tax Increases May Harm The Economy. CNBC'S JOHN HARWOOD: "And I found this fascinating, Maria, that on the issue of taxes, he looked to insulate himself by saying that if, in fact, economic conditions justify the fact that it might harm the economy, he might be willing to hold off some of his tax increases when he takes office in January. Let's take a listen to Barack Obama." BARACK OBAMA: "Some of those, you could possibly defer. But I think the basic principle of restoring fairness to our economy and encouraging bottom-up economic growth is important. So here's what we know: We know that over the last decade or so, that more than half of the economic growth has been captured by the top one percent of U.S. citizens. That means the other 99 percent have seen their effective incomes go down. That is not a recipe for long- term economic growth." (CNBC, 6/9/08)

· Tax Policy Center: Barack Obama Would Raise Taxes On One Out Of Every Three Senior Households. "Even though Senator Obama's plan eliminates individual income taxes for seniors with incomes less than $50,000, his plan would raise taxes for almost 10 million senior households, over a third of the total (not shown in table). On average, seniors would face a tax increase of about 2 percent of income." (Burman et al., "A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans," The Tax Policy Center, 6/11/08)

· Tax Foundation: Seniors "Rely Most On The Stable Flow Of Income That Dividends Provide." "Most debate over whether to extend the reduced rates on dividends and capital gains has focused on the tax benefits of these cuts to high-income taxpayers. What has been largely ignored is the impact these tax policies have on corporations' decisions on how best to distribute their income to shareholders--including senior citizens, who rely most on the stable flow of income that dividends provide. A recent Tax Foundation analysis illustrated that a large number of those benefiting from dividends are seniors and those on the verge of retirement (See A further analysis of these seniors earning dividends reveals that lower-income seniors who file tax returns depend more heavily on dividend income than high-income seniors." (Gerald Prante, "The Importance Of Dividend Income For Low-Income Seniors," Tax Foundation,, 2/8/06)


U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released its latest Spanish radio ad, entitled "Are You Ready For Obama?" The ad highlights Barack Obama's record of voting to raise taxes on middle class families and his proposals for painful tax increases that will only further hurt those already struggling with higher gas prices, higher food prices and the threat of home foreclosure. The last thing we need to do is raise taxes that force families to make even tougher choices with less money in their pockets. The ad will air in key states.


English Script For "Are You Ready For Obama?" (Radio:60)

ANNCR: With the economy as bad as it is, gas prices going up, home foreclosures, and jobs being lost, we need to be careful about who we pick as our next President.

No doubt, Barack Obama is a popular figure, a celebrity who says the right thing. But will he do the right thing?

So here's the question you need to ask yourself, in these tough economic times, are you ready for a president who voted for higher income taxes on working families making $42,000 a year?

Are you ready for Barak Obama, for his tax plans that will hurt senior citizens.

Are you ready for the higher taxes on income, savings and the sale of your home that Barak Obama promises?

It's not that you're not ready. Barak Obama is not ready yet. Because when it comes to the economy, experience matters, and he just doesn't have it.

He says he'll give you change, but that's what he'll leave you with.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

ANNCR: Paid for by John McCain 2008.

National Recognition for NM Public Safety Program

100 Days and Nights of Summer Wins National Criminal Justice Association Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award

100 Days and Nights of Summer was recognized as an outstanding criminal justice program by the National Criminal Justice Association at the National Forum on Criminal Justice and Public Safety held in Louisville, Kentucky earlier this month.

The program consists of 100 DWI checkpoints conducted throughout New Mexico during the 100 days and nights of summer (June through September). New Mexico law enforcement agencies held 232 checkpoints and made 2,216 DWI arrests during the 2007 100 Days and Nights of Summer traffic safety program.

“This program has been of the most successful and rewarding endeavors that the New Mexico State Police has participated in,” said Paul Cook, division director at the NM Department of Public Safety. “It is my opinion that this organization really deserves this recognition and I am proud to be associated with them.”

Preliminary statistics indicate traffic fatalities in New Mexico declined by 15 percent in June, July and August 2007 during 100 Days and Nights of Summer enforcement, compared to the same months in 2006.

The NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Awards are a way to seek out and share successful criminal justice programs. The purpose of these awards is to highlight programs that:

Address an important criminal justice issue;

Demonstrate effectiveness based on program goals;

Are a good example of used of federal funds to initiate the program; and

Can be easily replicated in other jurisdictions.

For more information on NCJA, please visit

Monday, August 4, 2008

Denver Post Recommends Richardson for Vice President

After falling out of the media's list for top vice presidential contenders, Governor Bill Richardson may be back in the picture. On Sunday, the Denver Post recommended Barack Obama pick the New Mexico democrat to be his running mate.

The Post says Richardson "clearly leads" all other contenders, and is the most qualified to serve in the top job if needed. The post says Richardson has an outstanding record as a congressman, ambassador, energy secretary, and Western Governor. The paper's editorial says that make Richardon the "ideal" partner for Obama. The Dems will meet for their national nominating convention in Denver the last week of August.

Matthew Reichbach recently reported, on the NM Independent, that Richardson placed third in a StrategyOne research poll showing the publics opinion on possible VP candidates.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Colorado Dems Recruit Former NM Exec Director.

Matt Farrauto
The politically savvy Matt Farrauto, former NM Democratic Party Executive Director, is on the move. He’s just been hired as the Communication’s Director for the Colorado Democratic Party. He resigned his NM position in 2007 after Chairman Brian Colón was elected to replace John Wertheim.

In his P.J.'s Farrauto protests President Bush during a fund raising trip to Albuquerque for Sen. Pete Domenici in August 2007.

Farrauto has spent the last year working as an independent political consultant for Grassroots Solutions, volunteering for Hillary Clinton, and working as the Interim Campaign Manager for Steve Gaw in Missouri.

Farrauto was replaced with Attorney Laura Sanchez after a long search by Colon. Sanchez, underfunded and short staffed, took the fall for a mis-managed, problem-plagued Super Tuesday Caucus in February.

Joe Monahan described the debacle this way:

Sanchez, operating under the gun in what has been the week from hell for her and Dem Party chair Brian Colòn, also had to take time to fend off rumors that she was resigning or being fired. "I am here and working and not leaving," she told me.

Two weeks later Sanchez quit on February 19, 2008 and was replaced with Josh Geise who's birthday is Monday, August 4th.

Photos from MG Bralley

News Release from Colorado:


Denver, CO – (August 2, 2008) - Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Colorado Pat Waak announced that veteran Democratic political operative Matt Farrauto will serve as Communications Director for the state party.

“Because Colorado is hosting the Democratic National Convention and has become a competitive battleground state, we are enjoying a new degree of media attention. I am pleased that we could find someone like Matt Farrauto, who brings a unique set of qualifications and experience to the job of Communications Director,” said Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak. “He has steady hand and a passion for Democratic politics.”

Matt Farrauto comes to Colorado from New Mexico where he served as the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico from 2005 until late 2007. Prior to being promoted to Executive Director, Farrauto served as spokesman for New Mexico’s Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

Farrauto started his political career as a Press Assistant and Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Senator Russ Feingold before joining the Communications Department of Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in Iowa. Later in 2000, Farrauto went on to work as a Communications Director for a U.S. Senate campaign in Vermont, and on a competitive statewide judicial race in Ohio.

From 2001 through 2004 Farrauto served as Communications Director for California Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), taking a break in 2002 to work for now-Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT).

Farrauto graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he majored in Political Science.

Former POW Says McCain Is Ready to Command!

The first naval aviator shot down in Vietnam, 61-year-old Everett Alvarez, is the grandson of immigrants from Mexico. Born and raised in Salinas, California, he spent 8 and half years as a P.O.W. in the Hanoi Hilton. Now he’s on the campaign trail for Senator John McCain. He spent part of Saturday in Albuquerque talking to Vets for McCain.

In this AUDIO INTERVIEW Alvarez, who is recognized as a war hero in his home town, has a high school named after him. Alvarez says he believes Hispanics Americans will give the likely Republican Party nominee their support this fall.

McCain will need a big percentage of Hispanic America votes if he hopes to prevail in the fall. In 2004, George W. Bush got a little more than 40%, but the G.O.P lost its footing with this largest minority voting block in the 2006 mid-term elections when the failed to garner more than 30%.

Alvarez talked to us about problems in the Veterans Administration, the new G.I. Bill, and a 20% increase in military suicides rates in 2007.

Alvarez, whose wife divorced him while he was imprisoned in Vietnam, wrote about his war time experiences in Chained Eagle and Code of Conduct.

Access to Information Key to Open Government Act

On Friday, New Mexico Attorney General and Attorney Pat Rogers addressed a crowd of lawyers at the Radisson Hotel in Albuquerque in conjunction with Medical Education Services and the Professional Development Network. King talked about the impact of technology on the legal requirements for public records and New Mexico's Open Meetings Act (OMA).

King gave a comprehensive overview of the ACT and IRPA including a discussion of current cases and complaints and how the OMA affects public bodies in conducting business. Afterward both King and Rogers talked to blog contributor Mark Bralley.
Pat Rogers
In this AUDIO INTERVIEW Rogers told Bralley having access to information in a timely and accurate manner is an important aspect of open government.

In this AUDIO INTERVIEW King talks about the OMA and his compliance guide.

King also talked about why he filed an immediate appeal to Thursday's Environmental Protection Agency's decision to issue an air permit for a 1,500-megawatt coal plant (Desert Rock) that Sithe Global Power and the Navajo nation plan to build south of Farmington in northwest New Mexico.

Gary King

King told Bralley legislative candidates need to comply with a state law prohibiting legislative candidates from raising money from now until after the special session. King says he'll send them a reminder and if they don't comply he'll investigate complaints.

1-19-34.1. Legislative session fundraising prohibition.
A. It is unlawful during the prohibited period for a state legislator or a candidate for state legislator, or any agent on behalf of either, to knowingly solicit a contribution for a political purpose. For purposes of this subsection, "prohibited period" means that period beginning January 1 prior to any regular session of the legislature or, in the case of a special session, after the proclamation has been issued, and ending on adjournment of the regular or special session.
B. It is unlawful during the prohibited period for the governor, or any agent on his behalf, to knowingly solicit a contribution for a political purpose. For purposes of this subsection, "prohibited period" means that period beginning January 1 prior to any regular session of the legislature or, in the case of a special session, after the proclamation has been issued, and ending on the twentieth day following the adjournment of the regular or special session.

Audio and Photos from MG Bralley