Retake Town Hall Announced. Call to Action Tomorrow & Video Discussion: Trump Supporter vs. Paul

Last minute call to action to oppose PNM SB 47, Retake Town Hall announced, and a video discussion of Paul taking on a Trump supporter, funny story how this evolved, but the video is worth watching.

I was going to blog today about a recent Intercept article exposing Congressman Lujan and his Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But the week has been too jammed to polish it and I’d actually like to give Lujan a shot at a response before publishing it. So look for that tomorrow or Sunday. I am going to try to also include in that blog the results of the Mayor’s City Policy Survey. All candidates have completed them and I just need to assemble the data. In addition to a summary of trends in candidate responses, each candidate’s unedited, complete response will be posted.

Roundhouse, Senate Chambers, 9am Sat, Feb 3.  We need you to be at the Roundhouse Saturday and to Call/Email today.  I just want to remind you that tomorrow at 9am, at the Senate Chamber of the Roundhouse there will be a hearing to vet (and hopefully kill) SB 47, the PNM bailout that I’ve written much about. Click here if you want to review my Open Letter to Speaker Egolf and Senator Wirth. It is so important that the Roundhouse is packed with opponents to this bill for all the reasons detailed in prior blogs. I have posted at the bottom of this blog the contact info for the six Democrats on the Committee and speaking points. Even if you’ve called once, do so today. They need a fresh reminder that we are paying attention and they need to see you tomorrow. Unfortunately four of Retake’s leadership team will be in ABQ for a full day retreat with the emerging Democratic State Central Committee’s Progressive Caucus (still haven’t finalized the name, but that gives you the idea). So we need you to represent us and to call/email with us. See below for speaking points and contact info.

Monday, Feb 5, 12:30pm City Hall, Transit Equity Day on Rosa Park’s Birthday. Chainbreaker Collective and Somos Un Pueblo Unido is staging a press conference announcing the City of Santa Fe’s Transit Equity Day Proclamation on MONDAY the 5th at 12:30 in front of City Hall. The event will highlight the important role transit plays in civil rights in honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday and as part of a national day of action. Chainbreaker will also be releasing its non-partisan voter guide to highlight the last day to register to vote and emphasize the importance of civic engagement.
Other speakers include a transit dependant bus rider, a spokesperson from the NAACP, and a member of Somos Un Pueblo Unido’s worker committee. Councillor Maestas will also be there and said he is willing to read the proclamation if the Mayor it’s unable to attend.

The blog also includes an interesting 30 minute interview with me.

Video on Capitalism, Racism and the Sad State of Our Democracy. There is a story here. I was contacted by Anthony Dorazio about two months ago. He represented himself as being part of the national organization Resistance. He described how a crew was going on a national tour and he wanted to interview activists and video their story. I figured what the heck. When he and his “crew” showed up at my house to tape the interview, it turned out the person had nothing to do with Resistance, had somehow gotten access to some of their email list and was actually a software techie who was a Trump supporter. To balance this, his sound guy was his brother who was from Berkeley and an avid Bernie supporter. His idea was that he would challenge me from a conservative perspective and then let me tell my side. I was beyond wary and totally unprepared for this. I thought I was gonna be getting softball questions and I was worried that he’d cut this up and make me look like an idiot. I got the video yesterday and I couldn’t be happier with it. It is provided at the end of this blog. If you don’t have time to watch it now, save it and watch it as I would love to hear your thoughts. Personally, I think I represented the progressive perspective well.

If you haven’t taken the Speak Up New Mexico! Legislative Priorities survey, please do so today to tell your legislators which bills you want to see become law.  Click the blue button at left to take the survey. I circulated flyers and spoke about the survey at the Susan Herrera Campaign Kickoff last night. It is critical we get a very large number of folks to complete this survey as we plan to use it to vet 2018 candidates and focus 2019 lobbying at the Roundhouse when we hopefully we can go on the offensive. Speaking of going on the offensive….

Sunday, March 4, 2pm-4pm, Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe.  Retake Our Democracy Town Hall: The Launch of Our 2018 Election & 2019 Legislative Strategy. During the Town Hall a panel of representatives from Retake’s Roundhouse Advocacy Team will present our campaign strategy for 2018 and our legislative strategy for 2019. We will outline how we will use the bills in the survey to vet candidates in 2018, identify the initial set of races in which we will be endorsing and supporting candidates, how the results of the survey will be used to focus lobbying in 2019 and how we have begun development of a statewide Rapid Response Network comprised of progressives throughout the state and how we plan to utilize that network. For almost a year, about ten volunteers from Espańola and Santa Fe have been meeting twice a month to create the priority bill list, the survey and the 2018-19 strategy. We will also preview our plans to support Susan Herrera in her District 41 challenge of Debbie Rodella and Andrea Romero’s challenge of Carl Trujillo in District 46. It is instructive what a team of 20 can do, but to be effective going forward, we need hundreds of you get involved. Imagine a Roundhouse where we are lobbying FOR things we believe in rather that fighting AGAINST things we abhor. That starts March 4.  Click here to RSVP via Facebook, or write to me at

The Roundhouse Advocacy Team is returning to its regular schedule, 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 4:30-6:30pm at New Energy Economy, 343 E Alameda, Santa Fe. So for February that is the 8th snd 22nd. We will begin planning our election strategy for 2018 while also developing a promotion campaign to get the word out on our Legislative Priorities Strategy. We need a statewide response and the team has assembled an incredible list of progressive organizations, faith organizations, media, and other groups. if your reason for not attending is the time and you need an early evening meeting time, let us know. And there are LOTS of ways you can support our work without attending meetings, so write me to let me know you want to help:

Researcher Needed to Research Best Practices in Making Just Economic Transitions.  Retake is getting involved in a collaborative effort to develop Just Transition Strategies for Four Corners and San Juan. As is our habit, we are not leading this at all, just lending support. And the most tangible support we can provide is to comb the existing research to identify models and strategies for making a transition from coal to renewables. There may not be a tremendous number of these yet, so we will also want models of transition from industries like lumber, tobacco, steel and other iron belt industries. If you are interested, please contact me at

Speaking Points for Contacting Senate Conservation Committee Members

Below find contact information for Democratic members of the Senate Conservation Committee.  Democrats outnumber GOP 6–3 so getting these Democrats to stand firm is our best chance at stopping SB 47/ HB 80.  The message should be respectful but clear:  You oppose SB 47 because it:

  • Bypasses PRC regulation;
  • Gives PNM a monopoly on future renewable energy
  • Forces rate payers to pay 100% of the $350M PNM claims it will lose in closing San Juan
  • Sets a precedent for PNM being able to force rate payers to pay a possibly far larger amount of money for reclamation (clean-up) at Palo Verde Generating Station, Four Corners and San Juan.

And very importantly, your message should be that the Senate Conservation Committee has an opportunity to kill this bill.  We want this bill called to a vote or tabled on Saturday and we want a 6-3 to do so, so we are asking for Chair Cervantes to bring it to a vote either to vote it down or to table it and for all Democrats to stand firm and vote it down. I am told that in some ways tabling is more effective as if a bill is tabled in a committee it can’t come to a vote on the floor, but if it is defeated, it can still be called to the floor, but I have not been able to confirm this. But please just show up and raise your voice and before then, call, email, and let them know what you want. Let’s Do This!  Won’t it be fun to play offense in 2019 and not be killing bad bills, but passing good ones?  

Title Name Telephone Number Email Party Role
Senator Joseph Cervantes (505)986-4861 D Chair
Senator Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (505) 986-4377 D Vice Chair
Senator Richard C. Martinez (505) 986-4487 D Member
Senator Cisco McSorley (505) 986-4389 D Member
Senator William P. Soules (505) 986-4834 D Member
Senator Peter Wirth (505) 986-4727 D Member

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne


Categories: Personal & Collective Action

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3 replies

  1. Great video. Thank you. I applaud you for being calm, informed, and well spoken.

    Personally, I think it is pretty sad if “The American Dream” is about complaisance not hard work and “grit” as we’ve been told.

    In fact, “Millennial Success Sequence” reminds me of Ralph W. Emerson’s warning in 1837: “The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself. There is no work for any but the decorous and the complaisant. Young men of the fairest promise, who begin life upon our shores, inflated by the mountain winds, shined upon by all the stars of God, find the earth below not in unison with these, — but are hindered from action by the disgust which the principles on which business is managed inspire, and turn drudges, or die of disgust, — some of them suicides.

    I’m a white male but my Evangelical extremist parents isolated us in Wyoming where nobody goes to college. To their dismay I returned and graduated from a real college at 30 (classical literature). To provide for my daughters and ensure I wouldn’t become excess labor I broke bad, sold out, and earned a full time MBA in “strategy” from a top school (Purdue). I knew Emerson was right soon after graduating when I learned how business really works: Complacent management, multiple levels of manipulated books to appease Wall Street’s need for consistency, scapegoating $10 factory workers when management strategy was clearly was the problem, and offshoring as deep and quick as possible because 30% net profits weren’t enough. (I worked out east directly under the president of a Fortune 500 company, then under the president, or later VPs, of a couple large multinationals. I was known as super smart and hard working but a bit of a gadfly. I always fought for the working class I grew up with even though it hurt me as a “suit” and many of them would probably stick me in the back for not being a “patriot.”)

    Now I’m mid forties, my kids are raised, and I decided to move back to NM and not to be a part of it. Complaisance, selfishness, greed, blind loyalty, “Success Sequence” might be OK with the likes of Paul Ryan, but I’d rather die of disgust than shed the blood of my own conscience through complaisance, whatever the current label may be.

    Thanks again,

  2. Paul,

    Kudos! This interview should be on national media. Your responses were wonderfully on target and skillfully articulated. I am so tired of the purposeful mischaracterization of socialism (failed) or the wonders of capitalism that has been promulgated. The argument the interviewer made about human nature including dog-eat-dog behavior and how capitalism fits that nature was particularly disturbing. Just because our nature includes self-interest does not mean that we should build our society to magnify that selfish behavior.

    I noticed the interviewer’s reflection on his Italian heritage and how his grandparents and parents assimilated into the American culture. Although a little older than he, I share that history. However, unlike him and many other Italian American friends and family members, I did not forget the discrimination that were directed my way when I was young “greasy, classless, thugs yet cowardly” (at least based on Italy during WWII) but now is much less (at least more nuanced). What he also seems to have forgotten as have many other more recent immigrant groups that American culture has also become more Italian, Irish, Polish, etc. not just how Anglo we more recent immigrants have become. This is part of melting pot seems to be ignored. In addition, to not see how the discrimination obstacles are much higher for other groups, whether due to skin color, religious beliefs, economic traps, gender or gender preference is so disappointing.

    Again well done!

  3. Dear Paul,

    We just finished watching your interview on “Drive to Understand” – a great show! You did a wonderful job of explaining issues with thoughtfulness and depth. Your exploration of the history as it relates to current situations was clear and approachable. You were a wonderful representative of progressive thinking. Thank you so much.

    Best to Roxanne, Marilyn and Ed


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