PVA Meeting Recap – May 27, 2010

$100 Million to Iran—Every Day

Chuck Tyler of Operation Free displayed an enormous check made out to Iran, making the point that our dependence on Iranian oil costs us $100 million every day and undermines our national security.

He reported that Senator Udall has announced his support of energy legislation now before the Senate (the American Power Act introduced by Senators Lieberman and Kerry). Chuck urged us to contact Senator Bingaman, who has not yet announced his position on the bill.

For more information send email to Chuck. Visit Operation Free on the Web to learn more about energy policy and national security and check out the tools for becoming an advocate.

Unified Action—April Update

Cheryl Frank, PVA’s Unified Action coordinator, reported that she received 58 “I did it!” responses from people who wrote to city councilors urging completion of the downtown revitalization project. (The vote was unanimous in favor of completion.) She introduced Greg Smith of the Las Cruces Downtown Partnership who expressed the group’s appreciation for all the public support they received, answered questions, and noted that completion of Las Placitas is already underway.

Complete information is here.

Unified Action—May

Charlotte Lipson introduced Father Bill Morton who described the violence and intimidation visited on the families of Lomas del Poleo. The village shares the border with Sunland Park, New Mexico—the residents there are our neighbors. The Unified Action this month is to sign a email petition calling for justice for the residents of Lomas del Poleo.

Full details for this Unified Action are here.

$14 Million for NMSU Bookstore

Charlie Scholz pointed out that NMSU plans to construct a 14 million dollar bookstore this summer. He argued that the bookstore is not only unnecessary but indefensible given the current budget crunch, i.e. cuts of 9 to 10 percent. He urged those in agreement to send emails to NMSU President Barbara Couture and members of the board of regents.

For more information send email to Charlie.

Teague and First Time Voters in 2008

Evelyn Erhard reminded us that President Obama considers Harry Teague an ally and is supporting his bid for reelection. She invited volunteers to join her in knocking on doors, calling, and raising money for the campaign.

Evelyn also asked us to join her in working with Organizing For America (OFA). The group is reaching out to all the people who were first-time voters in 2008. The effort begins Saturday, June 5.

For more information send email to Evelyn.

Can anyone not complete the Unified Action?

Cliff Pelton spoke of his longstanding concern for the plight of the people of Lomas de Poleo. “Can anyone not complete the Unified Action?” he asked and offered to help anyone needing assistance.

For more information send email to Cliff.

The Power of Emails

City Councilor Olga Pedroza reaffirmed that the emails sent to city councilors in support of downtown revitalization were effective. She continued by speaking of the huge numbers of hateful emails received by city councilors after they voted to condemn Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. She noted that the vast majority of immigrants in the U.S. are doing essential work and are deserving of our support.

For more information send email to Councilor Pedroza.

Immigrant Rights are Human Rights

Sue Cain asked that people join her in speaking out against Arizona’s anti-immigration law, SB 1070, and urging our elected officials to pass resolutions to challenge the law. Click here to email all city councilors. Click here to email all county commissioners.

For more information send email to Sue.

NM Health Security Act

Maury Castro advocated for support of the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign (HSNMC). Specifically, HSNMC is working to pass the Health Security Act in 2011 and to find a remedy for the federal law that would require states to wait until 2017 to implement an alternative to the “insurance exchanges.”

For more information send email to Maury or visit Health Security for New Mexicans.

Jose Cano for Magistrate Judge, Division 6

April Cano spoke in support of her father’s campaign for magistrate judge in division 6, the newly created district. She noted her father’s 23 years’ experience with the Las Cruces Police Department and his knowledge of the many facets of law enforcement work. She invited volunteers to the campaign to help with the tasks of phoning, knocking on doors, and getting the voters to the polls.

For more information visit the campaign Web site.

Our Friends at the Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC)

Jason Burke of SWEC issued the following invitations:

>visit SWEC’s new and beautifully redesigned Web site
>buy a raffle ticket for a brand new Prius
>Raft the Rio on Saturday, June 12
>view photos by Michael Berman on exhibit in SWEC’s Cottonwood Gallery.

SWEC welcomes volunteers to help with Raft the Rio and more.

For more information send email to Jason and visit SWEC on the Web.

Kent Wingenroth for Magistrate Judge, Division 5

Kent asked for support as he runs for reelection to the position he won for the first time in 2008. He expressed his appreciation for the forum that PVA provides for candidates and introduced his wife Ronnie.

For more information send email to Kent or call him at 575-649-3121.

Linda Vanzi for Appellate Court

A friend spoke in support of Linda Vanzi for Judge on the NM Court of Appeals.
Judge Vanzi was appointed to the court in 2008 and has served for 14 months. More information about her experience and qualifications is available on the Web at VoteVanzi.com/.

For more information send email to Judge Vanzi or call her at 505-264-9413.

Juan “JR” Stewart for Sheriff

The mother of Juan “JR” Stewart spoke in support of his campaign for Doña Ana County sheriff. She mentioned his 31 years’ experience as a police officer with Las Cruces Police Department, his leadership if professional organizations, and his commitment to the community.

For more information send email to Juan or call him at 575-644-0650.

Eaton to Speak on Energy and Security

Xochitl Torres announced that the Green Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an address by Paul D. Eaton, retired Army major general. He was in charge of training Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004. Since his retirement from the Army in 2006, he has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war. He will outline the consequences of continued national dependence on foreign oil and climate change. As both issues have a direct impact on our national security, the address will detail the future consequences of inaction and raise awareness of the key threats that our nation is facing.

Major General Paul D. Eaton
June 23, 7 p.m.
Good Samaritan Auditorium
3011 Buena Vida Circle (map)

You can read his NY Times op-ed piece here and watch a recent video clip here. For more information send email to Elisa Cundiff.

Billy Garrett for County Commissioner

Pat Aguirre spoke in support of Billy Garrett’s candidacy and invited volunteers to help with get-out-the-vote phone calls on election day. She also had jobs for anyone willing and able to hold signs at the polling places on election day.

For more information send email to Pat or call her at 575-532-5127.

Re-Energize America Returns to Las Cruces

Ginette Magana of Harry Teague’s Las Cruces congressional office, announced that Harry is again sponsoring an energy forum in Las Cruces. The conference is free, but you must register and attendance is limited to 400. Go here to register and find schedules, speakers, and sponsors.

Re-Energize America
June 3 and 4, 2010
Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

For more information send email to Ginette or call her at 575-649-6430.

Nicole Parra-Perez for State Representative, District 36

Nicole asked for our support in her first run for public office. She spoke of her involvement in student government at Las Cruces High School and New Mexico Highlands University and her work with the Legislative Education Study Committee when she was an intern with Senator Cynthia Nava.

Bill McCamley for Public Regulation Commission

After thanking all those who participated in a recent health care forum with Representative Teague, Bill asked for our support in his campaign for the PRC, District 5. He announced his pleasure at qualifying to receive public funding for his campaign and explained that public funding means not a lot of funding. He will be relying heavily on volunteers and a grassroots campaigning as opposed to spending lots of money on advertising.

He invited interested people to attend a June 12 meeting to discuss the policy issues handled by the PRC.

For meeting details or more information, visit the McCamley Web site or call Bill at 575-496-5731.

Update from the County Commissioner Krahling

Scott Krahling apologized for bringing more bad news from the County Commission, i.e., the budget troubles are serious. The county is in the midst of spending 7 million dollars to improve the Detention Center, which Krahling characterized as a de facto mental health facility. On the brighter side, the east mesa is getting a new range management plan to replace the 20-year old plan now in effect.

For more information send email to Scott.

Frustrated with Teague, Anyone?

Wes Wilson was the first, but not the last, speaker to express frustration with Representative Teague. He noted that the Doña Ana wilderness legislation (Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act) will be voted on this summer and Teague has yet to make a clear statement of support or not.

For more information send email to Wes.

Diane Denish for Governor

Lloyd Covens spoke in support of Diane Denish for governor and pointed out that the oil and natural gas industries have contributed heavily to the campaign of Republican candidate Susana Martinez.

For more information send email to Lloyd.

Wilderness—It’s Not Just the Organ Mountains

Alice Anderson reminded us that the wilderness designation would cover not just the Organ Mountains but also the Portillos, Doña Anas, Robledos, and more. She referred to John Hummer’s recent Sun-News piece in which he argued that the wilderness designation would be both a help and a hindrance to the Border Patrol.

For more information send email to Alice.

[Hummer’s opinion piece is available at the Sun-News Web site for a fee; you can read 55 comments on the piece, for free, here. A thoughtful response to Hummer is here, written by Paul J. Deason, Ph.D, a Las Cruces resident who is currently a member of the U.S. Department of Justice Anti Terrorism Advisory Council.]

Lawrence Rael for Lt. Governor

Don Kurtz spoke in support of Lawrence Rael’s bid for lt. governor. He noted Rael’s record of achievement included securing partner rights for Albuquerque city employees, building hundreds of miles of bike paths, and creating after school programs.

For more information send email to Don or visit the campaign Web site.

Ray Powell for State Land Office

City Councilor Nathan Small spoke in support of Ray Powell for state land office. He emphasized that Powell has a record of excellence and ethical conduct and that he would “get integrity back, get science back” at the land office.

With regard to Congressman Teague, Nathan said, “I believe that he is working in a positive way on conservation.”

For more information send email to Nathan or visit Powell’s campaign Web site.

Alex Cotoia for Public Education Commission

Alex asked for our support in his bid for state education commissioner. He is committed to work to lower the dropout rate for New Mexico students, promote charter schools, reform technical vocation education, and oppose funding reductions for public schools.

For more information contact Dick Marsden at 575-36-4059.

Reality Check

Jack Soules pointed out that Congressman Teague is “slightly to the left of Pearce.”

For more information send email to Jack.

Teague Votes Yes on DADT

Moments after the actual vote, Ginette Magana, of Harry Teague’s office, announced that the House had voted 234 to 194 to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and Teague’s vote was one of the yeses. In a PVA first, Ginette relayed information she had just received by text.

The Washington Post’s article is here along with a short video about the groundbreaking vote.

For more information send email to Ginette.

Tell Five Friends … VOTE!

Cheryl Frank spoke of the importance of getting out the vote for the primary election on June 1. She referred to a PVA tradition of talking with five friends about the candidates you support. In the past the five friends strategy has sometimes taken the form of a Unified Action.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

Billy Garrett for County Commission

Billy Garrett spoke of the many people he has met during the campaign and the impression they have made: “This is a wonderful place. We’ve got wonderful people.”

For more information send email to Billy, call him at 575-915-5755, or visit the campaign Web site.

Maria Rodriguez for Magistrate Judge

Evelyn Erhard spoke in support of Maria Rodriguez for division 6 magistrate judge. She spoke of Maria’s many years of experience beginning in high school when she worked part time for a local law office and encompassing a variety of positions in legal and judicial settings.

For more information send email to Evelyn.

Not the Biggest Fan

Mary Lujan began by saying that although she is not the biggest fan of Congressman Teague (“I have my doubts. I have my qualms.”), she intends to support him in his bid for reelection. She urged others to consider the alternative and to join with her in supporting Teague.

For more information send email to Mary.

Jose Campos for Lt. Gov.

Lloyd Covens spoke in support of Jose Campos for lieutenant governor and argued that his small town roots coupled with his business experience would bring positive results for rural New Mexico.

For more information send email to Lloyd.

June Meeting and Party

Terry Miller closed the meeting by inviting everyone to the sixth annual PVA summer party. Following the June meeting (which will be as brief as possible) we will adjourn to the NMSU Golf Course clubhouse for snacks, beverages, conversation, and an all-around good time. From the patio we will have a great view of the valley and the almost-full moon will be rising. Be there!

Our next meeting will be
June 24, 2010, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite


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