Udall says no to Gov run; Here’s who else is expected to be in.

Almost exactly a month after he first announced that he was considering a run for governor, New Mexico’s senior senator said today that he’s sticking with the senate. That announcement (full text below), is likely good news for Albuquerque-area Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham who is widely expected to announce for governor soon. Other names rumored to be considering a run for the Democratic nomination include Attorney General Hector Balderas, Santa Fe businessman and former candidate Alan Webber and former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Congressman Steve Pearce have both been rumored to be considering a run to follow Susana Martinez who is term limited in 2018. From Sen. Udall today:

Udall: Staying in the Senate is the Best Way I can Fight for New Mexico

U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement:

“I am very grateful for the support of so many New Mexicans who have personally urged me to run for governor in 2018.

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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.

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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.

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Could violent protests over North Dakota pipeline happen in New Mexico?

 

All is not well in North Dakota. For months, members of local tribal groups and other private landowners have been battling an oil pipeline designed to move tar sand oil from Canada down to US manufacturing interests in the gulf. This particular pipeline is slated to go UNDER the Missouri River, a key source of drinking water for tribal groups in the area as well as millions of others down river. Did you know that there have been at least 18 pipeline spills in the US this year already? Two already IN THE LAST 3 DAYS, one in California and another in Louisiana.

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OMG: As SecOfState, Nora Espinoza could command the national guard as Acting Gov (and 5 other scary things she’d do if she was in charge)

As the third highest office in the state, the SOS is responsible for filling that role when the Governor and Lt. Governor are unavailable. And it happens more often than you might think.  

Since GOP stalwart Dianna Duran’s spectacular fall from grace last year, the current interim Secretary of State, Brad Winter, has stepped up into the acting governor role at least three times.  

And that should have your really worried considering one of the two candidates for that position this November is Nora Espinoza and even acting governors can control the national guard (and so so much more).  

Espinoza was quoted in an interview this week saying that, “her work ‘has given me the kind of experience required for supervising the staff and operations of an administrative office, one geared to ensuring that procedures and policies are carried out in accordance with the law and established rules.’ ”

 

Take a look at a few of the proposals Espinoza has championed from her perch as State legislator (and imagine what she would do if she had full authority to direct the state police, national guard or guard the state’s checkbook without anyone requiring anyone else’s approval at all).

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Happy Independence Day!

What does it mean to be independent in our modern world? I’m partial to President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms as they address the conceptual freedoms laid out in the Constitution, as well as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In a modern world though, FDR’s third freedom, the freedom from Want, affects the ability of everyone in their ability to achieve those other freedoms. After all, how can we be free of Fear, when so many people are wanting for basic necessities? How do we celebrate Independence Day in a country where so many are really not free, and so many others fear that a progressive shift in politics will limit their freedom? When we talk about Independence Day there’s a strict historical narrative about former British subjects throwing off the shackles of monarchical rule and establishing a representative government.

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Trump wins New Mexico… kinda

Donald Trump got 70% of republican votes in yesterday’s primary race, but as the only active candidate and presumed nominee of the party, why wasn’t that number higher? The Donald didn’t win a single New Mexico county by higher than 82% (Sierra County) but only secured 50% of republican support in Los Alamos County. Given that he’s the presumed front runner, what does it say about Republicans willing to lodge protest votes in such high numbers? But there’s something more important at play here than just looking at the percentages. You need to look at the real numbers to understand how desperate Trump’s victory in the state really was.

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You wont’ believe what NM oil and gas companies want do to with $104 million in NM taxpayer subsidies

On Friday afternoon, the federal government will stop taking comments on the President’s proposed rule to require oil and gas drillers working on public lands to plug leaks, limit the release of noxious global warming gases and increase royalty payments to local schools across the West – but not before oil and gas companies turn in thousands of comments opposing it. New Mexico’s biggest oil and gas producers have turned out employees and distributed petitions claiming that proposed methane rules will kill thousands of jobs in local communities. You can watch KOB-TV’s very one-sided story featuring these “stop the destruction of 9,000 jobs” petitions online:
They are new rules intended to help the energy industry and the environment, but opponents say they will end up costing thousands of jobs. That’s why one group is working to collect signatures to send to Washington showing opposition to Bureau of Land Management rule changes for venting and flaring by residents. Source: Four Corners residents petition Washington on BLM flaring rules
The don’t have any actual data to back that up nor do they mention that “New Mexico taxpayers contribute $104 million per year in subsidies to the oil and gas industry — or $285,000 per day.”

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Steve Pearce joins a very exclusive new club: the Anti-Parks caucus

New Mexico’s lone Tea Party congressman just joined a very special club. In recognition of his work to sell off New Mexico (and our country’s) national parks and public lands, the Center for American Progress named Steve Pearce to the new Anti-Parks caucus along with 19 other federal representatives and senators who have filed at least 44 different bills to sell off or otherwise exploit our national parks and public spaces for profit since 2013. Much like the dad in “A Christmas Story,” this recognition must make Pearce very proud. In recognition of his work to sell off New Mexico (and our country’s) national parks and public lands, the Center for American Progress named Steve Pearce to the new Anti-Parks caucus along with 19 other federal representatives and senators who have filed at least 44 different bills to sell off or otherwise exploit our national parks and public spaces for profit since 2013. From our friends at CAP:
A Center for American Progress analysis found that between January 2013 and March 2016 members of Congress filed at least 44 bills or amendments that attempted to remove or undercut protections for parks and public lands—making the 114th Congress the most anti-conservation Congress in recent history…

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Heinrich: Make today “TRUMP-FREE DAY!”

New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich has used email and social media to call out the dangerous and divisive tactics and language some of the right wing’s loudest voices are using to get attention. His post calling for the US Dept. of Justice to prosecute “armed extremists” occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon received hundreds of shares. Now he’s turning his efforts to Donald Trump. Sen. Heinrich has declared today a “TRUMP-FREE DAY!”.

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