Pledge to stand with Sens. Udall, Heinrich against these Trump’s nominees

Donald Trump’s nominees are a who’s who of conflicts, billionaires and bigots and each one must be confirmed by the United States Senate.

Democrats have already given many a grilling and slowed the quick nomination processes Trump and Republican Senate leaders wanted. Our own US Senators have been front and center of those fights. Here are just a few whose appointment could mean big trouble for New Mexico.

Watch: Udall, Heinrich grill Trump appointees on climate change, torture, surveillance & Russia

Both of New Mexico’s United States Senators are in a front-and-center role in the work to vet President-elect Trump’s nominees to head our country’s federal agencies. Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Tom Udall pressed the former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson about his position on climate change and whether he will continue his relationship with ExxonMobil if he is confirmed as the nation’s top diplomat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CidK1jgfr00&feature=youtu.be

In the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense Retired General James Mattis. Heinrich asked Mattis about the key threats to the security of the United States. Mattis replied, “I would consider the principle threats to start with Russia.”

Did President Obama Just Save Planned Parenthood from Donald Trump?

President Barack Obama, in his final days in the White House, isn’t running down the clock like it’s the last week of school before summer vacation. Over the holiday break, the Obama Administration proposed a new rule that prevents states from defunding Planned Parenthood, or any other family planning provider, and it is sheer genius. Under the rule, states can no longer vote to defund Planned Parenthood simply because some of its clinics offer abortion services. According to the Huffington Post:
The new rule, which the Department of Health and Human Services proposed last week, says that states cannot withhold Title X federal family planning money from certain recipients for any reason other than the provider’s “ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.” That means states can no longer vote to defund Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortion services. The Obama Administration may be in the throes of making its transition, but President Obama still has real work to do to ensure not all of his progressive choices and policies get rolled back by Trump and his cronies.

This holiday season, give the gift that fights Donald Trump

As this crazy year comes to a close, I asked our staff to look back at all the work we’ve all accomplished together to build a new progressive majority for New Mexico.  While most other states are licking their wounds and trying to figure out what they did wrong, we have a lot to be proud of. I get to see it up close every day, but even I was surprised to see it in one place. Once I saw what you had done through ProgressNowNM I knew you’d want to see too. We aren’t just building a new voice for the progressive movement – you ARE the voice of our movement and I have the data to prove it.

Four things that make Trump’s new Interior Secretary bad for public lands and New Mexico

After weeks of speculation over which pro-fossil fuel leader Trump would place in charge of our national parks, public lands and oil/gas/coal resources, the President-elect today named Montana’s Congressman Ryan Zinke his Secretary-designate of the US Dept. of Interior. Who is he and what does that mean for our country and New Mexico?  Here’s a quick primer:

Zinke’s homestate newspaper, The Billings Gazette, has said that Congressman Zinke’s efforts are clearly intended to “rob Montanans (and all citizens) of money that’s rightfully theirs.”

After first campaigning on support for President Obama’s climate action plans, he suddenly became a science denier. Not coincidentally, he took in almost $350,000 in campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry since his overnight change.

Trump considers New Mexico’s Heather Wilson for top of national intelligence spot

Just when you thought you’d seen the last of Heather Wilson, she was expected to show up at Trump Tower today to talk to Team Trump about leading our nation’s sprawling intelligence apparatus. NM Political Report: Heather Wilson in contact with Trump team over possible administration position

ProgressNow NM readers will remember Wilson for her connection to a “register a dog to vote” stunt ProgressNow uncovered in 2012.  During her unsuccessful run for US Senate, the husband of a Wilson campaign staffer registered their family dog to vote, as a Democrat, to prove that voter fraud could occur.  It proved that he could be prosecuted for it after ProgressNow outed the owners’ connections to Wilson’s campaign. Read more: Wilson’s staff linked to attempted voter fraud scandal

Wilson is a Republican with a long history in New Mexico politics.

Trump’s EPA pick let Republican donors, oil execs draft climate policy

Donald Trump will name Oklahoma’s climate-denying, Big Oil attorney general to head the Environmental Protection Agency. He’s been an architect of a plan by conservative attorneys generals suing to undo the very agency Trump has now proposed him to lead and public records show that he allowed Republican donors and big oil executives to write climate policies for his office. Way back in 2011, industry lobbyists hailed new New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez for introducing new new dairy rules rolling back Gov. Richardson’s environmental protection rules. Those rules protected drinking water and nearby streams from being infected with manure and urine waste from nearby dairies but required environmental protections dairies opposed paying for. Months later, public records requests showed that dairy industry lobbyists who had funded her campaign wrote those rules introduced under Martinez’s name.

Sen Domenici returns to lobby Congress, Trump to transfer public lands to big oil through Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn

In August, Republican Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn announced his plan to ask the federal government to turn over “upwards of 6.5 millions acres” of  “unleased federal subsurface mineral acreage” (ie, federal public lands) and federal mining leases to him. “Any and all unleased land… would then be leased out by the State Land Office” for new oil and gas permits, Dunn said. At the time, he had a big problem: a Democratic president who favors more public lands. But with Donald Trump in the White House, Tea Party leaders in Congress see a new opportunity to transfer our public lands to private hands – and apparently so does Aubrey Dunn.

Heinrich: Trump will take public lands “over my dead body”

As President-Elect, Donald Trump is wasting no time filling his administration with hardliners pro-corporate, anti– (well, most anything progressive) leadership (they are also all white guys, have you noticed?). With a White Nationalist as a chief advisor and an attorney general who was rejected for a federal judgeship because of racists remarks, what else could they do to reverse centuries of progress in just four years? Turning over control of national parks and public lands to a corporate big oil tycoon, for one; and New Mexico’s Senator Martin Heinrich isn’t having it. This tweet from Heinrich is getting a lot of attention: 

What has him all riled up?  Probably this note from Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump is just starting to arrange the team that will advise him and implement his policy agenda.

Gov. Martinez not troubled by Trump appointment of anti-semite, alt-right nutjob to lead White House policy

In the first few hours after Trump won the presidential elections, hundreds of reports of biased attacks against immigrants, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos and gays were reported nationwide. This was all news to Donald Trump who learned about them not from advisors who should be watching these things, but from Leslie Stahl during his 60 Minutes interview last weekend.  He stumbled through a response, eventually settling on a directive to his followers to “stop it.” If those hate-motivated Americans feel emboldened by Trump, they do so for good reason: his campaign went from bad to worse when Trump named Breitbart News publisher Steve Bannon to lead his campaign. Now, as President, Trump named Bannon his chief advisor.