Lujan Grisham Votes to Ease Regulation of Big Banks, Students Jam Roundhouse & Webber Acts on Pay Incentives

Susan Herrera endorsed by Daily Kos, Webber asks for resignation of City  Mgr & HR Director and Rep. Lujan Grisham broke with Democrats & crossed the aisle to vote for the Volker Act, a bill purported to help small banks, but….Donate to Retake Today!  If you believe in what we are doing, we need your financial support.  We really don’t waste Donate Button with Credit Cardsmoney here and we are 100% volunteers, so we do depend on you to cover our costs. Thank You!!!!

Webber Asks for Resignations of City Manager and PR Director. Mayor Webber asked for the resignations of City Manager Brian Snyder and HR Director Lynette Trujillo.  Described as “temporary raises, when they were announced days before the Mayoral election, Webber said the increased pay fell under under a policy that called for City Council approval of any “incentive” pay and went on to point out that the City Manager and HR Director consulted with the city attorney or with union representatives they would likely have been told of the 1992 ordinance requiring City Council approval. They didn’t do this.

“It means it wasn’t a communication error or even a minor error in judgment,” Webber said. “It was an error in policy practice and it was fundamentally not holding the city’s management to the way that their job needs to be done.” Click here to read the New Mexican report.

The Students Show Up In Force.
 With a crowd that was 90% students, Roundhouse Room 307 was jammed to overflow with two other large overflow rooms also filled to capacity with students watching on video screens. Overall, 8-900 students descended on the Roundhouse to ask questions of four legistlators, a gun violence prevention advocate, county and city police officers, a school board member and me. The panel encouraged students to stay engaged and active and to channel their idealism into a sustained effort to address gun violence prevention and not to give up.

I encouraged them to educate themselves not just about gun violence issues but other social justice issues and to look outside traditional media. I noted that the media, government, and even school curriculum has been influenced by the oligarchy with Koch, DeVos and the 1% pouring money into a sustained effort to mislead and misinform. I reminded them of the recent effort to dilute state science standards and remove climate change from curriculum. I noted that influence of corporate money and lobbyists in politics are yet another force that undermines the voice of the majority. Finally. I encouraged them to connect the dots, as corporate America is using these same communication strategies to deprive you of information about women’s rights, universal healthcare, free college and innumerable other social justice policies. Not only do these forces undermine efforts to pass good gun violence prevention bills, we don’t get early childhood, universal access to healthcare, free college and a myriad of other policies that are supported by 5=60-75% of Americans. It was a tremendous event organized by students from 12 Santa Fe high schools.

Lujan Grisham Caves to Wall St.

Only recently, I got a raft of comments and critical email for applauding Lujan Grisham’s Energy plan, although none of that criticism was directed at the plan itself, just at voicing support for anything coming from MLG. Now,I am sure I’ll hear from the Lujan Grisham supporters, for reporting on her very bad vote on the Volker Bill.

As reported in Vox:  “The bill’s proponents say it is an example of bipartisanship at its best. But progressives say it goes too far and that it purports to help small community banks when its changes really benefit large financial institutions.”

The piece the bill that has caused concern among progressives is its raising the threshold at which banks are subject to certain federal oversight, e.g. stress tests that measure a bank’s ability to withstand an economic downturn such as was experienced in 2008. The entire purpose of Dodd-Frank was to create these tests that would identify when a banking institution’s portfolio of investments was top heavy with risky ventures. Prior to changes called for in the Volker Act, banks with assets of $50 billion or more are considered “systematically important financial institutions” (often referred to as SIFIs) and are therefore subject to stricter oversight from the Federal Reserve.

According to Vox:  “The Senate version of the bill would increase the SIFI threshold to $250 billion. Banks with assets of less than $100 billion would be freed of current oversight requirements, and those between $100 billion and $250 billion would no longer be subject to tougher rules after 18 months, although the Fed could determine periodic stress tests and other tailored oversight measures. That would free up a lot of regional banks from the heightened regulatory scrutiny they face today, including BB&T, SunTrust Banks, Key Bank, and American Express. The bill could affect about two dozen banks in total.”

Certainly there was a need to address the needs for small community banks to be grouped with large financial institutions, as these small banks do not have the infrastructure to address the complex reporting requirements and they typically do not invest in risky investments and certainly not at a scale that would impact the national or global economy. But while there was a consensus about the need to address the needs of small banks, but, according to Vox:  “in a recent CNBC op-ed, Barney Frank said that were he still in Congress, he would vote against the bill because of the $250 billion mark. (He has suggested a threshold in the $125 billion range.) He pointed out that the failure of two or three such institutions would put us in “Lehman Brothers territory,” referring to the investment bank that filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, precipitating the financial crisis. Click here to review the full post.”

So while our own Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and 102 other Democrats did not share Rep. Lujan Grisham’s enthusiasm for loosening regulations on Wall St. Neither did Bernie Sanders of Elizabeth Warren who warned weakening Obama era regulations “would jeopardize the global financial system.” Reports have said these changes would let “banks discriminate against people, coerce mobile-home buyers into predatory loans, and pursue high-risk lending strategies that increase the likelihood of a future financial crisis.” 

Yet, Rep. Lujan Grisham voted with Republicans, including Steve Pearce, to let Wall Street banks foolishly gamble with your money. Sen. Joe Cervantes, also a candidate for Governor offered up a suggestion as to why she may have voted as she did:  “fUnfortunately It’s no surprise Congresswoman Lujan Grisham chose bankers over New Mexicans. She has accepted $2,140,024 from political action committees and over $100,000 from lobbyists.”

Daily Kos Endorses Susan Herrera in Her Primary Battle with Rep. Debbie Rodella.  

In a recent article:  When is a Democrat Worse than a Republican? When Her Record Looks Just Like a Republican, the Daily Kos endorsed Susan Herrera (at left) in her challenge of Rep. Rodella.  The article began with the answer to the question posed in the article’s title:  “Take a look at New Mexico state Rep. Debbie Rodella’s greatest hits and see if you can guess which party she belongs to:

If you guessed that Rodella’s a Republican—despite that being a perfectly reasonable assessment—you’d be quite wrong.”

The article goes on to state:  “Rodella has also opposed bills to limit air pollution and support the renewable energy industry, making her the worst Democrat in the state House on environmental issues last year, according to a New Mexico conservation nonprofit.”  That would be the Conservation Voters of New Mexico for those keeping score. To read the full article, click here.  to find out more about Susan Herrera’s positions on issues, her background and how you can support her campaign, click here.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Look for a report on the State Central Committee meeting that Roxanne and I are attending this weekend. Heading out right now!!!


Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics, Local-State Government & Legislation

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7 replies

  1. The banking bill is not good because the $250 billion threshold is too high. But small banks did need some relief and that is good for New Mexico. This falls in the territory of how much compromise on a bad aspect do you accept for the good you want.

    Cervantes, on the other hand, quotes overall PAC money as if it all came from the big banks. It would be useful to know how much money came from big banks but, without that, Cervantes just sounds like an opportunist.

  2. That vote by Lujan Grisham is certainly an indication that she is not quite what she claims to be or we were hoping her to be! This is a major problem going forward and one that should make all Progressives worry about her policy choices as the Governor of our State! So what can we do? Well, to start with we can ask the leaders of the States Democratic Party, elected as well as operatives, what their position is n that Bill and if they support Lujan Grisham for Governor, do they think this vote an indication of lobbyist influence in her politics going forward? Second, we should all immediately write to her and let her know that we will not support her and may try to challenge her in a Primary! We need to act fast on this and not allow her to think that she can vote with Donald trump and the Republicans and get away with that! There is a line here and she has crossed it!

    • That’s not much of a line. You may have noticed her energy policy which was detailed on this site and is really excellent. This banking bill is, in my opinion, bad enough to vote against. But it is certainly helpful to a bunch of her New Mexican constituents. If you don’t vote for politicians who take a single vote you don’t like then you must stay home and not vote at all. Or can you name a politician who votes to suit you on every issue? Or maybe you like folks who run for office with no political experience and, hence, with no votes. That hasn’t worked out so well in the presidency.

      • You are correct, however in these times when even our Oligarchy is being threatened, may require us to be as steadfast in our determination to begin to develop a new type of politics. The old narrative, part and parcel of the NeoLiberal model of economic and political theory we currently live under, has proved to be one that only operates as you indicated. So, if we change the narrative and do not accept those “single votes” which continue to allow for obvious corruption and systematic repression of American families, we may change things?
        Condoning the support of a Bill that helps place us back under the thumbs of the Corporate elite, a mere 10 years after these people nearly brought down the entire worlds economic structure, destroyed millions of jobs, millions of family homes and much more, is just another arrogant display of greed and unconcern for the citizens of our country! And remember, Obama gave them the final gift and privilege of not a singe person going to jail!

        Let us not be complicit in this effort to maintain a rouge Capitalistic system, which by every responsible opinion has become a pay to play third world government. It is not too late for us to change this and eventually recreate a democracy that serves all, not just the elite. But, as with all previous governments in the western world, we will have to fight for every inch of turf we have lost over the last 40 years.

        So, I suggest that your position, if taken 60-70 years ago would be acceptable, even with the politics of that day. But today, as our democracy hangs by a thread as we continue to militarize our police, our borders and our schools, it is past the time for such courteous politics. Lujan Grisham has lost the right to be respected or trusted and she has made her decision to cross over to the oligarchs! She knowing accepted and continues to accept monies from these people and as a result, she has to do what is required by them! Even Barney Frank, one of the original writers of the bill after the crash stated that to vote for this bill is a terrible concession to those wishing to allow future crimes.

  3. Did Michele Lujan-Grisham think we wouldn’t notice? How can you run as a ‘turncoat-democrat’ and expect the host-party to accept it ( unless the entire party’s sold – out ) ?

  4. Too bad… MLG cast a bad vote this time.

  5. For those interested, here is a relevant article regarding the elimination of Oligarchy!

    How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’

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