Sneaky Friday announcement: Gov. to takeover UNM’s hospitals/health sciences to stop healthcare expansion plan

Susana Martinez is trying to take over the UNM Health Sciences Center. You probably won’t believe it – who are we kidding, it’s Susana Martinez – but Gov. Martinez is attempting a shady movida on a Friday afternoon to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the hands of doctors and qualified hospital administrators and hand it over to her hand-picked political appointees. A story from the NM Political Report (full story here) was just published that shows the UNM Board of Regents have an item on their Monday meeting agenda to dissolve the board governing the UNM Health Sciences Center and replace its oversight with the UNM Board of Regents, all of whom are Susana Martinez appointees. The UNM Health Sciences Board was created under Gov. Richardson under the belief that political appointees at UNM didn’t have the proper experience to guide the hospital and so needed a team of doctors and hospital administrators…you know, the people who actually do this stuff everyday and aren’t influenced by fickle political winds. The Board of Regents has always been an important body, but it has become politicized in recent years under Martinez.

Exclusive: Dianna Duran proposes to change campaign rules she is accused of breaking.

Diana Duran is drowning in a sea of criminal charges including fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. And the bad news keeps coming. Last week, we learned that her scheme goes all the way back to her first election in 2010 when she lied about her treasurer and pocketed more money from her campaign. This week, KOB reports that a family member of Duran’s wrongly spent six months in jail when she accused him of breaking a custody agreement that never existed. And now there’s this:  Dianna Duran just announced plans to use her power as Secretary of State to rewrite campaign finance rules she is accused of breaking.  Really.

ACTION: Stand with Planned Parenthood, and ask our Senators and Congresspersons to stand with them too

On Tuesday, a shady anti-abortion group, deceivingly named “Center for Medical Progress,” released a second video that—like the video released last week— manipulates footage to falsely portray a Planned Parenthood official discussing the price of fetal tissue. Don’t believe the lies. These videos are part of a long-term, concerted campaign to undermine safe and legal abortion care and target abortion providers. Anti-abortion radicals are hurling these false accusations and attacks against Planned Parenthood in an attempt to discredit, harass, and stigmatize women and their doctors. If you haven’t seen the response from Cecile Richards at Planned Parenthood, you should.  We posted the video here on Facebook for you to view and share.

ACTION: Should ABQ remove its Confederate shrine from Old Town plaza?

“This thinly-veiled tribute to the Confederacy exists in the center of Albuquerque’s most important historic area. Historical acknowledgement of the Confederacy’s brief military presence in New Mexico is appropriate only in the context of the larger breadth of our city’s history. Symbols that honor the military of the secessionist slave states have no place in New Mexico. As a representative of a community that prides itself on tolerance, I call for the two plaques on the gazebo to be removed immediately, and that the wording on the plaque with the cannons be changed to remove pro-confederate language.” – City Councilor Isaac Benton
Old Town Plaza contains two plaques honoring Confederate soldiers that are attached to the Viejo Gazebo in the middle of Old Town; two commemorative cannons used by the Confederate Army, with another plaque listing financial supporters of the effort to create these replica cannons; and the original Confederate States of America flag – with seven stars signifying the first seven states to secede from the Union – hanging next to those of the United States, New Mexico, Spain and Mexico. The Confederate flag flies alongside four others, each symbolizing different governments which have led Albuquerque since our founding.

New Mexico-based Reelz partners with Donald Trump to air the Miss USA pageant Univision dumped

Just days after Univision dumped Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant, he announced that he has found a new TV home for it – in New Mexico. Albuquerque-based Reelz channel announced that it will partner with Trump to air his Miss USA pageant. From CNN:
Trump’s depiction of Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “drug-dealers” drew widespread condemnation from Hispanic advocacy groups. Univision withdrew its plans to air Miss USA a week ago, and NBC followed suit earlier this week. The co-hosts of the pageant and most of the judges have also dropped out.

BREAKING: Judge quashes recall complaint against Las Cruces councilors; Recall petition failed to get enough signatures

A few weeks ago, ProgressNow NM launched a legal defense fund to represent Las Cruces city councilors targeted for recall by a Tea Party activist group upset over the council’s recent vote to raise the minimum wage. Their initial recall attempt came up short and hundreds of residents asked the clerk to remove their names after allegations surfaced that petitioners paid by the recall organizers had used deceptive tactics to obtain some signatures. After the city clerk announced that the recall had come up short, organizers filed an action in District Court demanding a recount and certification of the recall, including those names of voters who had filed complaints and sought to remove their signatures. At the request of the councilors, we launched a legal defense fund to support local attorney Peter Goodman.  Maureen Sanders, Kate Girard and Brian Moore sought to intervene on behalf of Councilor Gill Sorg (and other councilors who were similarly situated).

A fight worth fighting: Legal defense fund supports city councilors targeted for recall over minimum wage vote

A few years ago, Doña Ana County’s clerk did a pretty amazing thing – and the Tea Party went straight to court to stop him. With your help, we established the legal defense fund to defend Lynn Ellins and other county clerks who issued the state’s first same-sex marriage licenses.  Together, you helped us raise more than $30,000 and we defended them all the way to the State Supreme Court.  Lynn even donated the left over money to LGBT groups helping newly married couples across New Mexico. Today, those same conservatives are targeting a new group of New Mexico’s progressive champions and we need your help again. Here’s the short version from KRWG:
The controversy continues over efforts to recall three Las Cruces city councilors.  The political action committee New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow is trying to get a court to force the city of Las Cruces to reinstate petition signatures that were thrown out.  More than 700 people asked the city to remove their signatures from petitions to recall city councilors Gill Sorg, Nathan Small, and Olga Pedroza. Currently, there are not enough valid signatures to require a recall election.

Mayor Berry: ABQ is ‘a national model’ by paying women 90% of what men earn [Action Alert]

 
PROGRESSNOWNM
How would you feel if your boss said he was going to reward your supervisor if he paid you 10% less than the guy down the hall doing the same job? That’s exactly what Mayor Berry told women in Albuquerque when he proposed and passed his brand new “equal pay for women” ordinance this week. Here’s how the Albuquerque Journal describes it:
An ordinance adopted by city councilors this week, at the request of Mayor Richard Berry, establishes a 5 percent preference in the evaluation process for businesses seeking a city contract. The incentive will go to companies that show they pay women at least within 10 percent of what they pay men in comparable jobs… The city estimates that its own wage disparity is about 7 percent, according to testimony before the council on Monday.

Las Cruces recall effort heats up in court

The Tea Party attempt to recall three Las Cruces city councilors who supported a minimum wage increase is turning into a legal battle.  Councilor Gill Sorg, one of the councilors targeted for recall, filed a request on with the District Court on Thursday to be permitted intervenor status, meaning he would be able to represent his own interests pushing back against the recall attempt which has been fraught with allegations of fraud and misinformation to voters. From KRWG in Las Cruces:

The controversy continues over efforts to recall three Las Cruces city councilors.  The political action committee New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow is trying to get a court to force the city of Las Cruces to reinstate petition signatures that were thrown out.  More than 700 people asked the city to remove their signatures from petitions to recall city councilors Gill Sorg, Nathan Small, and Olga Pedroza. Currently, there are not enough valid signatures to require a recall election. As KRWG first reported, the New Mexico State Police is conducting an investigation into allegations of fraud by petitioners…including statements that the petitions were to prevent the closure of a youth boxing center.

Anti-Minimum Wage Ideologues Lose Another Battle in Las Cruces

 

In yet another example of how out-of-touch New Mexico conservatives are with prevailing views about economic fairness, anti-minimum wage ideologues in Las Cruces have failed (yet again) in their attempt to recall a city councilor. The Las-Cruces Sun News reports that the conservative PAC “New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow” failed to gather enough signatures to recall City Councilor Olga Pedroza. This comes a week after the group also failed to gather enough signatures to recall City Councilor Gill Sorg. From the article:
The Las Cruces city clerk’s office announced Thursday that supporters of a recall attempt didn’t get enough valid signatures to trigger an election against City Councilor Olga Pedroza of District 3. …