PVA Meeting Recap – June 26, 2008

Congressman Pearce Introduces Legislation to End Wilderness in Doña Ana County

Nathan Small, Las Cruces City Councilor for District 4 and regional organizer for the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, reported that Steve Pearce had introduced a bill (HB 6300) that would remove wilderness designation from public lands in southern New Mexico. A press conference in opposition to the bill was held at the SWEC office on Monday, June 23, with approximately 200 people in attendance, including Mayor Miyagishima and members of the League of Women Voters.

The Las Cruces Sun News also denounced the bill soon after its introduction, as did other newspapers, radio stations, and blogs in and out of New Mexico. There are no cosponsors of the bill. For more information about the legislation, its possible impact, and what you can do, go here.

Unified Action

Don Kurtz reported that 50 PVA members reported completing the May Unified Action which was to promote participation in the primary election by contacting two friends or acquaintances and helping them decide which candidates to vote for during the primary election. There is no Unified Action for June 2008.


Jean Ossorio reported the results of a survey taken by the Sanderoff polling firm regarding the issue of reintroducing wolves into public lands. Sixty-nine percent of those polled in New Mexico supported such an action. Of those polled in Arizona, 77% were in support. For information about the poll, go to www.rpinc.com. Jean can be contacted at ossorios@zianet.com.

Scott Krahling

Scott Krahling, candidate for the County Commission, District 4, noted his opposition to Mr. Pearce’s wilderness bill and expressed his gratitude to the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance for its work on this and similar issues.

Tom Udall for U. S. Senate

Xochi Torres of the Tom Udall for U. S. Senate campaign spoke of behalf of Mr. Udall and reminded people about the importance of the race. She asked for volunteers for the campaign. She also spoke about Congressman Udall’s opposition to Mr. Pearce’s bill. For more information, you can send email to Xochitl or call her at 575-496-5782.

Harry Teague for Congress

Art Terrazas, Jr., speaking on behalf of Mr. Teague, explained the candidate’s regrets at being unable to attend the PVA meeting because he was in Washington, D.C. Art read a letter from Mr. Teague making clear his support for wilderness and his opposition to Representative Pearce’s bill. For more information about the Teague campaign, or to get involved, send email to Art at politico21@hotmail.com or call him at 915-731-4245.

Health Care in America

Rhonda Brown provided an example of the terrible state of affairs of the health insurance situation. She told the group about her recent very serious cancer diagnosis and said that she had been informed by the hospital that she would not receive any further treatment unless she showed she was able to pay the bill. To find out more or to communicate your concern to Rhonda, email her at ccscustomservices@comcast.net.

Energy Solutions

Jack Soules discussed the rising cost of gasoline and other forms of energy and urged people to consider buying hybrid vehicles and converting their homes to solar energy while the tax rebates are available. For more information, email Jack at jsoules@sysmatrix.net.

Lynn Ellins for County Clerk

Lynn Ellins, the victor in the Democratic primary for County Clerk, thanked the PVA members who worked and/or voted for him. You can email Lynn at lellins@ziagold.net.

Reaching Out

Win Jacobs of the League of Women Voters advised those in attendance at the meeting to reach out to those office holders who do not share the group’s progressive point of view. Win can be contacted at winjacobs@zianet.com.

Kent Wingenroth for Magistrate Judge

Kent, the winner in the Democratic primary election for Magistrate Judge, thanked the PVA members for providing a forum for candidates, and for welcoming him at the meetings. Kent can be contacted at krwing80@comcast.net.

Obama for President

Daniel Balke of the Obama campaign announced that 200 new voters had just been registered by their campaign workers at the Warped Concert at NMSU. He informed the group that on Saturday, June 28, there would be “Barack Obama for Change” house parties held in 3000 locations, including in Las Cruces. Representatives Cote and Steinborn are hosting parties, as are Councilman Small and Rae Fortunato. For information about the campaign, send email to dbalke@nmobama.com.

Animal Shelter

Al Solomon gave an update on the animal shelter situation. A new director has been hired who has a goal of having a “no kill” shelter. One focus will be on a much-needed spay and neuter program in the city. Al can be contacted at Solomonpix@aol.com.

Steve Fischmann for New Mexico Senate

Terry Miller stated that Steve opposed the Pearce bill, and she listed Steve’s numerous credentials which she believes make him the better candidate for Senate District 37 seat. If you would like to volunteer for Steve’s campaign, contact Terry at terrymiller575@gmail.com.

Progressive Democrats of America

Al Kissling announced a meeting of the group to be held on July 8, 2008, at 7 p.m. at the Democratic headquarters in the downtown mall. He said that Steve Fischmann would be on a panel that would be discussing Energy Solutions at the meeting. For more information, contact Al at albethki@juno.com.

Former New Mexico Representative Supports Harry Teague for Congress

Mary Helen Ratje read a letter from her father, J. Paul Taylor, in support of Harry Teague for Congress. She announced that her father is hosting some of the out-of-state workers of the Obama campaign.

Representative Nate Cote’s Re-election Campaign

Cheryl Frank talked about the importance of the Nate Cote campaign in District 53. If you would like to help out on Nate’s campaign, contact her at Cheralla@msn.com.

Scott Krahling for County Commission District 4

Scott Krahling asked for volunteers to help him in various ways, including walking District 4. To participate in his campaign, contact Scott at www.scottforcommissioner.com.

More News About Unwanted Animals

Sue Patterson of the Humane Society of Southern New Mexico, a group which has been in existence for a year, told the PVA members that the Society is trying to facilitate the adoption of dogs and cats from the shelter by having some of the dogs at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and also having contracts for adopting cats available at Petsmart. People can see the dogs and cats without having to visit the shelter. For more information, contact Sue at sueatlascruces@msn.com.

Thanks to our Legislators

Nathan Small told the members that Representative Jeff Steinborn, Executive Director of the Southern N. M. Wilderness Alliance, sent his apologies for not being able to attend the PVA meeting and report on Congressman Pearce’s bill. Mr. Small reminded everyone of how busy Rep. Steinborn is working on various interim committees. Mr. Small also stated that he appreciated working with Representative Joni Gutierrez who is a very effective legislator.

PVA Summer Party

After the meeting adjourned, a large contingent of PVAers headed out to the PVA’s Fourth Annual Summer Party, taking place at the NMSU golf course. As you might expect, a good time was had by all.

NO PVA meeting in July.
The next PVA meeting will be
Thursday, August 28, 2008, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite.
See you all there!


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