(Un) Special Session Ends Thankfully

We escaped the death penalty and expanded Three-Strikes, but with the only strategy acceptable to the House being program cuts, program cuts and program cuts, claiming victory would be a real stretch. And the budget ain’t fixed just yet.


deficit-2For those of you who have not yet gotten to the phones or the pavement, even a cursory review of the ‘achievements’ of the Special Session will provide ample motivation to get moving. Just two examples:

  • Despite a $600M deficit looming over the State, House GOP and Governor Martinez made the first priority foisting an entirely political agenda with three crime bills that were never even going to be considered by the Democrats. Pure political theatre.
  • While the Senate considered numerous adjustments to scheduled tax credits, the GOP-controlled House never even considered these concepts that could have spared education, Children, Youth & Families and corrections from deep cuts that none can afford to make.

And if that isn’t motivation enough for you, consider this:  If we lose just 3 Senate seats this November, Martinez would be able to pass and sign the death penalty, let loose the floodgates in tax credits for her corporate pals, and further gut the social safety net. So while Retake has been criticized by some for endorsing Democrats with less than stellar voting records, let’s be candid, without retaking the House, the reality is that Democrats are forced to play only defense without even a possibility of any good legislation being sent on to the Governor.  And while we know that she will veto anything remotely progressive, at least with the House restored to the Democrats,  a collection of bills will be passed in both chambers and will be ready to be signed into law when a progressive Democrat becomes Governor in 2018.

But in 2016, I encourage all of you to support the Democratic ticket. Then beginning in 2018 Retake the Roundhouse and its progressive partners will oust those Democrats who undermine progressive initiatives, support tax credits for their corporate friends and who fail to support increased funding for education, early childhood, healthcare and other progressive initiatives.
phone-bankingCampaign Opportunities.  The last two weekends we sent out canvassers to the Rancho Viejo community of Santa Fe and reached hundreds of homes. For more info on how you can support Liz Stefanics, call Cecile Lipworth at 505/699.2539.

Phone Banking Every T-Th, 5-8pm
Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos
At this phone bank you can also get info on how to PB from home.

Two Strong Progressives Very Worthy of Your Support 
Phone Bank & Canvass for Liz Thompson & Natalie Figueroa

Retake is asking for your help to elect two courageous progressive legislative candidates:  Natalie Figueroa (HD30) and Liz Thompson (HD27).  

Natalie Figueroa is a lifelong educator and the daughter and grand-daughter of teachers.   She is intelligent, warm, and despite being a political novice, has demonstrated a curiosity of and quick familiarity with key policy challenges facing the state.  She is running in a competitive general against the incumbent Republican Majority Leader.  The district leans Democratic and was briefly held by a Democrat before 2010.   As the Republican House Majority Leader, Nate Gentry is the chief political strategist of the House Republican caucus. Gentry is vulnerable and defeating him in the 2016 election cycle would be a major victory for progressives. The district leans Democratic, and is shifting even more that direction based on recent voter registration. Over his past few elections Gentry, Figueroa’s incumbent opponent, raised more than $1 million from oil and gas companies, predatory lenders, and big insurance companies among others, and he has consistently voted in their favor.  He has also been endorsed by the National Right-to-Life Committee and voted for legislation that would allow a cashier at a pharmacy to deny a woman access to emergency contraception.  It would be HUGE to oust Gentry.

Liz Thompson is a physical therapist who has dedicated her career to serving children with special needs.  In her one term in the legislature she was an outspoken, unabashed progressive voice for equality, public education, behavioral health and economic justice.  She is running in a competitive general in an open seat that she formerly held for one term and then narrowly lost in 2014 by 375 votes. The district leans Democratic and was won by all Democratic candidates for state and federal office in the 2014 cycle.  The seat is targeted by national Republican groups as a must win to keep the House in Republican hands.

We hope you will join fellow progressives in working hard to elect Natalie and Liz.  Please commit to phone bank or canvass for Liz and Natalie in the next few weeks before the election. Here is the information for the two campaigns:

Natalie Figueroa
Phonebanking Tuesdays and Wednesdays
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Canvassing Saturdays and Sundays
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
8705 Horacio Pl. NM 87111

Liz Thompson
To volunteer Contact Eric Castillo  eric@lizthomson.org 505-948-9910

We also invite you to join us for a rally and fundraiser for Liz and Natalie on October 20.  Susan Popovich and I are both serving as hosts. Contact Eric Castillo above for more information.

There is much to do.  If you want ongoing updates on NM legislation and policy initiatives, go to www.retaketheroundhouse.org and sign up.

Best,

Paul Gibson
Coordinator, Retake the Roundhouse

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