PVA Meeting Recap – September 25, 2008

Special Report—State of the Vote

Lynn Ellins, Supervisor of Elections for Doña Ana County, reported that voter registration is way up in Doña Ana County. Since January 1, 2008, the county has gained 11,596 new registrants. In keeping with national trends, Democrats are in the lead with 45% of new registrations, Republicans have 22%, and “declined to state” has 32%. As of September 25, the total number of voters in the county was 103,565. In response to audience questions, Lynn explained—

Our voting machines are working extremely well and we have an adequate number of machines and backup equipment

Overseas voters, both civilian and military, can now use fax and email voting options in addition to snail mail

Federal voter registration forms can be obtained on the internet. County forms provide greater protection when dealing with third party registrars. Bottom line: be sure that you are registered by calling the Bureau of Elections at 575-647-7428 or by visiting Voter View.

Unified Action

This month’s PVA Unified Action is to contribute time and/or money to the campaign or election-year activity of your choice. This is the traditional pre-election Unified Action. Looking around the room, it was difficult to spot anyone who was not already hard at work on this action. Making a Difference—Election 2008 provides names and contact information for candidates who have visited PVA to ask for our support. As always, please send an email message saying “I did it!” to unified action when you have completed the Action.

Back of the Ballot

Jim Locatelli, judge with the Las Cruces Municipal Court, cautioned that judges up for retention were printed on the back of the ballot where they might be overlooked by less than diligent voters. As he was explaining the havoc that could be wreaked, Lynn Ellins interjected the news that a ballot change had been approved earlier in the day. The judges will be placed on the front of the ballot. Constitutional amendments and bond issues will be on the back of the ballot.

State of McCain’s Health

Rupert Clark, speaking in his capacity as a physician, expressed his grave concern that John McCain’s voluminous medical records have not been properly evaluated. They have been available for review for only three hours and only by reviewers without adequate medical credentials. For more information, send email to Rupert.

Leticia “Letttie” Duarte-Benavidez for County Commission District 5

Lettie asked for our support as she runs for County Commission. Lettie recently retired from a 25-year career with Doña Ana County. She served as grants administrator the the past eight years and prior to that worked on issues of affordable housing. If you have questions or would like to help with the campaign, you can send email to Lettie or call her at 575-523-5712.

Kent Wingenroth for Magistrate Judge

Kent asked for our support in the election and welcomed questions about the workings of the magistrate court. Kent can be contacted at krwing80@comcast.net.

Representative Nate Cote’s Re-election Campaign

Nate spoke of his record in his first term as representative—34 bills sponsored and 8 bills passed into law. He pledged to continue his work and welcomed volunteers to his campaign. For more information or to volunteer send email to Cheryl Frank or visit natecote.com.

Liberals on the Loose

A Nate Cote t-shirt went to Vi Cauthon, who was the first to answer the question, “Whose campaign uses the slogan “Liberals on the Loose”? The answer? Nate Cote’s opponent, Stanford Locke.

Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA)

Al Kissling announced that the PDA will hold its next meeting November 11. Criminal justice will be the focus.

Tuesday, November 11, 7 p.m.
Progressive Democratic Alliance
Democratic Party Headquarters
1390 N. Water Street

Barack Obama for President

Guillermo Maciel of the Las Cruces field office asked us all to give 12 hours to canvass for Obama in the days (39!) before the election. He reminded us of the amazing power of face-to-face contact as a campaign tool. For more information send email to Guillermo or call Obama’s Las Cruces Headquarters at 575-915-0614.

Steve Fishcmann for New Mexico Senate

Steve spoke of the interconnections among issues of energy, the economy, and education, and how he will help us make use of them as our next state senator. To volunteer on Steve’s campaign, send email to Terry Miller or visit stevefornmsenate.com.

Harry Teague for US Congress

Harry noted that, for the first time in 28 years, we have a good chance of sending a Democrat to represent our district in Congress and he talked about the many positive progressive initiatives that he would support. For more information visit harryforcongress.com.

Candidate Forum

The Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a candidate forum for legislative candidates

Wednesday, October 1, 5:30 p.m.
Good Samaritan Auditorium

AFSCME Updates

AFSCME will hold an Open House to show off their new Union Hall.

Saturday, October 18, 2 to 6 p.m.
138 S. Downtown Mall (next to White’s Music Box)

The presidential search committee at NMSU is considering some great candidates, and AFSCME has—for the first time— had real input in the search.

Barbara Arispe announced that AFSCME will be active in negotiations to protect the rights of the university’s book store employees now that Barnes and Noble is taking over the campus bookstore.

SWEC On the River, for the River

Lori Miller announced the annual fundraising event for SWEC, the Southwest Environmental Center.

Saturday, October 11, 4:30 to 10:30
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

Tours of the brand new park start at 4. There will be food from five caterers, live music, and a silent auction. Tickets are $50. For more information, send email to Lori.

Voter Protection

Peter Ossorio called for volunteers to serve as poll watchers and challengers on election day, reminding us that volunteers are needed to ensure fair and efficient elections. For more information, send email to Peter or call him at 575-644-8436.

Travels with Jim

Jim Moore will be showing slides of his amazing trip through India and Nepal. Two shows are scheduled:

Tuesday, October 7, 9:45 a.m.
Munson Senior Center

Friday, October 10, 7 p.m.
Wellspring Church
140 W. Taylor Road (near corner of Taylor and El Camino Real)

Recycling Update

Al McBrayer sends news that recycling efforts are continuing with curbside recycling still the goal. Meetings of the South Central Recycling Partnership (SCRaP) are open to the public. For more information, send email to Al.


Speaking from recent experience, Jean Ossorio recommended that every Senator and Congressperson be required to take a long Greyhound bus tour . . . every year. That would change Washington.

Connie Richardson announced that our PVA microcredit bank has a new translation of its name. “Come Along with Us,” has been corrected to the more sober “Let Us Try.” Our bank is funding vendors, butchers, a lumber yard, agricultural endeavors, and used clothing businesses. For more information, send email to Connie.

Several members spoke about the economic crisis and the need for citizens who will speak out for an intelligent plan that protects the taxpayer. The views of 2001 Nobelist in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, are here.

The next PVA meeting will be
Thursday, October 23, 2008, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite.
See you all there!

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