Yesterday, we introduced you to Pat Rogers, the itinerant Republican lawyer who seems committed to stopping progress at every turn in and around Albuquerque. We started our series with a synopsis of Rogers’ peculiar schemes to kill ABQ Democracy Dollars at the Bernalillo County Commision. But the bigger story is that just about every time community organizers in Albuquerque fight to return some agency to the people over corporate interests, or to boost the well-being of workers over big business profits, Pat Rogers is on hand like the grim reaper. Only a lot more smug. But his ability to swing citizen initiatives isn’t done in a vacuum. The voting members of the county commission and city council are culpable, even some Democrats.
“Why I only got a problem when you in the hood?” -Kanye West, The Good Life
That was the theme of last week’s Bernalillo County Commission meeting when several commissioners threw a bizarre curveball at what should have been an otherwise homerun for democracy in Albuquerque and eventually statewide. In the preceding months, over 28,000 Burqueños had signed a petition to put the ABQ Democracy Dollars initiative on the November ballot and organizers had followed the process “to a T.” Excitement about the campaign was buzzing and on the night of the hearing, supporters packed the commission chambers. Only one individual showed up to oppose the measure – attorney Pat Rogers. But that’s when Commissioners Steven Michael Quezada and Jim Smith, along with the help of County Attorney Kenny Martinez (formerly NM State House Speaker), performed a charade of question and answer about the initiative’s content (kinda like the mailman debating whether to deliver the shirt you ordered because it’s not his style) – and ultimately blocked the initiative (2-2). So who is Pat Roger’s and how did his presence relate?
ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race. Our series will focus on the offices that New Mexicans can vote for statewide. This is the fourth piece in our series. The New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) is first and foremost charged with managing the vast amounts of land within our state’s borders, managing leases and sales to entities who use the land, and collecting monies from those sales and leases to fund education in the state.
ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race. Our series will focus on the offices that New Mexicans can vote for statewide. This is the second piece in our series. Susana Martinez came to power in 2010, at the height of the Great Recession and with a host of ideas about how she’d turn the state around by addressing jobs and crime using the reputation she’d garnered as a tough District Attorney to rouse New Mexicans on both sides of the aisle.
Today is March 14, 2018. It is the day after “filing day” in New Mexico when candidates file for their races around the state, from county commissions to the governor. With little exception, if candidates haven’t submitted the required amount of signatures or have for some other reason been disqualified by the Secretary of State’s office, we now have a pretty good idea of who’s running in 2018 across the board. ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race.
“NMOGA is going to be the most powerful organization in the state of New Mexico, period.”
– Ryan Flynn, Executive Director New Mexico Oil and Gas Association
This is the beginning of a series of articles highlighting the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. NMOGA lobbies on behalf of oil and gas interests, seeking less regulation and oversight for their industry and greater access to political power in the state. Last year, the Executive Director of NMOGA, Ryan Flynn, spoke at their annual meeting about the future of oil and gas in New Mexico as they moved into the election cycle of 2018, their goals to seize power, and the strength of their “opposition,” the citizens of New Mexico who have pushed back against the fossil fuel industry and their stranglehold on the state at all levels.
Every fall, members of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association meet in Santa Fe for their annual member meeting; a meeting so large that two years ago there weren’t enough hotel rooms in the city to accommodate legislators who had to return to the Roundhouse for a special session. At the most recent convention in October of 2017, the NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn gave his keynote address to his members, highlighting the return of higher per-barrel oil on a worldwide level, the increased growth of wells and production in New Mexico, and towing the line that their work was critical to the success of the state. About halfway through his half-hour remarks, Flynn gave a nod to his former boss and her role in the Oil and Gas Industry’s continued success in New Mexico.
The Las Cruces City Council seated its new and re-elected members today and, in a flourish of newly proposed business, showed what a dedicated panel of progressive leaders can accomplish when working together. In their first session, the newly seated council saw returning Progressive Champion Gill Sorg be elected unanimously as the new Mayor pro-tem, signaling a shift away from registered Independent Greg Smith who’s held the post for the last two years. Sorg also went on to introduce proposals that the council take up a resolution in support of the Legislature legalizing recreational cannabis as well as a measure to bolster support for immigrants living in Las Cruces. Major cities in New Mexico are “home rule cities” which allow citizens to directly shape their cities in important ways — the most prominent being the use of citizen-led ballot initiatives. This rule has been an extremely important tool for progressive voters to move New Mexico forward.
Consider your options, talk to your neighbors, attend one of the remaining forums, and then go vote. Municipal level elections are where change is influenced most immediately. As an outlet for information, keeping people aware, informed and engaged, is always our focus. We urge you to keep the focus as we head toward October 3rd and November 8th and push your friends and fellow community members to vote. We appreciate it and you.
The International Business Times published an article today detailing allegations that Governor Susana Martinez used her office to help private companies who made big donations to her campaigns to secure investment deals from state agencies in violation of federal Securities and Exchange Commission rules. REALLY BIG deals.
As part of our continued efforts to inform the voters of New Mexico about their choices when it comes to who they/we elect for public office, we are providing a comprehensive voter guide for the upcoming municipal election. See the full Voter Guide here. Gus Pedrotty
Registered as a Democrat
Endorsements by community organizations:
None listed on candidate’s public website. Endorsement lists can be sent to carlos[at]progressnownm.org. Occupation: Recent Graduate of University of New Mexico
Facebook: Gus Pedrotty for Mayor
Who pays for their campaign: view the finance report.