Saturday, March 7, 2009

Romero On Track for Public Financing!

Photo: MG Bralley
Richard Romero Turns in Over 1,000 $5 Qualifying Contributions Filing of first report shows Romero is on track to qualify as a publicly financed candidate by March 31 deadline.

Richard Romero filed his first campaign contribution and signature report yesterday as required for mayoral candidates seeking to qualify for public financing under the Clean and Ethical Elections law. He submitted a total of 1,007 $5 qualifying contributions and 1,388 nominating petition signatures to the city clerk. Four more reports are due by the March 31 deadline. At that time publicly financed candidates will have had to turn in 3,287 $5 qualifying contributions from Albuquerque voters in order to receive public financing.

Romero says,

I am proud to be running as a Clean Election candidate. Through their $5 contributions, voters are sending a powerful and reaffirming message that they want to change the political campaign culture in New Mexico. They're saying that elected officials should be beholden to the average, every day citizen - not the big moneyed special interests.
Each day our campaign is picking up momentum. We are building a strong and motivated grassroots effort, and we're well on our way to reaching the contribution and signature requirements.

Romero is on record as an advocate of public financing since he served in the State Senate. In 2005, he fought for the successful passage of the Albuquerque Clean Elections law.

Romero's Change Agenda focuses on job creation, cleaning up city hall and cutting government waste, improving education, and smarter strategies for combating crime.

Candidates are required to turn in weekly reports to the City Clerk each Friday leading up to the March 31 deadline to track their progress in collecting contributions.

Richard is a former teacher and principal. He served as President Pro Tem of the NM state Senate from 2001 to 2004. He is from Albuquerque's Barelas neighborhood and lives downtown with his wife, Margie.

Richard is facing City Councilors Debbie O'Malley and Michael Cadigan, Rep. RJ Berry, and Rob Dixon. Mayor Marty Chavez has not declared whether he will seek a fourth term as mayor.

Albuquerque's municipal election will be held on October 6, 2009.

Richard Romero’s Steering Committee (still in formation): State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, State Senator Cisco McSorley, State Rep. Mimi Stewart, State Senator Eric Griego, State Senator Tim Keller, former State Senator Tito Chavez, former U.S. Senator Fred Harris, Veronica Garcia, New Mexico Sec. of Education, Danny Hernandez, AMAFCA Director, Blair Kaufman, CNM Board, Carmie Toulouse, CNM Board, Lorenzo Garcia, APS Board, Ralph Arellanes, Lydia Ashanin, Pat Baca, Mercy Berman, Fabrizio Bertoletti, Dr. Mustafa Beyyette, Eleanor Bratton, Dr. Teresa Brito-Asenap, Pat Bryan, Phil Ewing, Ramona Torres Ford, Michelle Garcia, Robert Garcia, Richard L. Gonzales, Earl Holmes, Lou Hoffman, David Kleinfeld, Ted Martinez, Mary Molina Mescall, Dr. John Mondragon, Bill Moye, Toots Obenshain, Michael Passi, Dr. Steve Pilon, Kim Posich, Stephanie Poston, Tey Diana Rebolledo, Giovanna Rossi, Frank Sedillo, Orlie Sedillo, Orlando Vigil, Gregory Webb, Ann Yegge, Kim Zamarin.

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Monday, March 2, 2009


Earlier today in Santa Fe, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., spoke to a joint session of the New Mexico Legislature about plans to address the country’s economic crisis, create clean energy jobs and fix America’s health care system. Read his remarks below:

Udall 322009

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Denish's Children Cabinet Days Kickoff Today.

Lt. Governor Diane Denish says she'll emphasize long-term value of early childhood investments during her annual Children's Cabinet Roundup this week.

At noon today, Denish launched three days of aggressive advocacy for investments in New Mexico’s youth.

We spoke with Denish this morning. She tells us statewide budget cuts are not impacting most of the children's programs.

"Actually in some of our areas, voluntary pre-K, and others have been held very stable, we actually have some very small increases. We are concerened about some cuts to our Americorp programs that help implement these programs. Primarily, we want to say, now is not the time to pull back on these investments that we've been making over the last six years."

She tells us her top three priorities for the Children's Cabinet includes preventing school dropouts, home visiting, early childhood education programs, and before and after school programs which includes development and mentoring.

"This keeps kids in school," said Lt. Governor Denish. "It gives them a good start. It helps them stay in school and be productive citizens. It's a huge impact on the community. We want to prevent dropouts which is our number one priority."

Denish will be joined by Helen Blank, Director of Leadership and Public Policy of the National Women’s Law Center, Economic Development Secretary Fred Mondragon, and Secretary of Children, Youth, and Families, Dorian Dodson.

Together they will tout the long-term value of investments in youth development.

Each day of the Children's Cabinet will have a specific focus:

  • Monday, March 2, will start the advocacy effort for early childhood initiatives.

    Tuesday, March 3, will focus on school-age youth and adolescents.

    Wednesday, March 4, will be dedicated to early adulthood.

The Lt. Governors Children’s Cabinet Days in the Roundhouse will draw national leaders, cabinet secretaries, over 50 community organizations, and youth advocates statewide.

NM Senate Schedules Floor Debate on Health Care Reform.


from Sen. Tim Keller:

Santa Fe , NM – SB259 offers a free market solution to help consumers and business make better decisions with their medical insurance.

“It is clear purchases of medical insurance would benefit from more information about how their premiums are being spent, this is about helping consumer decision making and fostering more competition in the healthcare system,” said bill sponsor Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17).

SB259 would require insurance providers to disclose the medical loss ration, historical premiums and any third party commissions when consumers and small business request a medical insurance quote. “I believe true healthcare reform has to connect the cost of services and to the fees we pay, without allowing supply and demand to set an accurate price the public will never get a fair shake and healthy competition in the industry won’t occur,” said Keller after the bill passed out of the corporations committee.

A 2007 study of healthcare financing conducted by UNM’s Institute for Public Health reported a need for greater transparency about information that would help consumers evaluate the costs and performance histories across the various medical insurance plans; including the percent of premium that actually goes to pay for medical services and broker commission and fees.

The survey voiced skepticism around the accuracy information that typically was made available and reported difficulty in comparing competing plans because lack of clear, interpretable information on costs and performance.

While medical insurance providers and brokers have remained neutral on the bill, strong opposition from national home & life insurance brokers who are concerned the bill could eventually open the door for similar rules in there industry. The Public Regulatory Commission, members of the small business community and executive departments have come out in support of the bill.

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