Romero vs Trujillo in Dist. 46– Part I: Rep. Trujillo Votes & Donors

Over the next three blogs, Retake will examine closely the primary race in Dist. 46. We will first examine Rep. Trujillo’s voting record and his donor base, on Tuesday we will examine the candidacy of Andrea Romero, and then on Thursday we will take a look at the water and easement issues impacting Dist. 46.

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Representative Carl Trujillo, The Good Votes, Bad Votes and Funding Support.  

Andrea Romero          Rep. Carl Trujillo

I can’t recall any blog post ever taking this long to develop. There is a reason. Sometimes races seem black and white, as is the case with the 2018 PRC primary races, of which I’ve written much. More often, primaries are more nuanced with candidates who agree on many issues, disagree on others, and where it is much more difficult to determine who is best. And primaries can be debilitating and divisive, leaving lingering wounds, often with supporters of the loser feeling disenfranchised and dispirited. That was certainly the case in the 2016 Democratic Presidential primary.

But in heavily Democratic legislative districts like in Northern NM, Primaries are the only elections—no Republicans run because they cannot win. So saying you’ll wait for the General Election to get involved and to examine the issues is not getting involved. I also believe that  we  should expect more from our Democrats in these “safe” districts; they should be champions on core Democratic issues. In that spirit, today’s blog post will examine the voting record and campaign donations for Rep. Trujillo. The three-post series will give Dist. 46 voters a solid basis for making their voting decision as well as providing context for future lobbying in the Roundhouse.

Given that Dist. 46 is a safe district, Retake Our Democracy welcomed the challenge from Andrea Romero. But as soon as Retake “welcomed” Romero’s challenge we got significant push back with emails and comments in praise of Rep. Trujillo and taking some pretty vicious swings at Romero. As a result, I have taken my time developing this post.

When I began to discuss this race with voters from District 46 I found significant differences of opinion, with some pretty progressive folks being ardent supporters of Rep. Trujillo and others just as strongly critical. To fairly describe the pros and cons of each candidate, I also realized that I needed to do more research on voting patterns and to meet with Rep. Trujillo, Andrea Romero, and others as well. As a result, Retake took the following steps:

  • Held leadership team meetings with Rep. Trujillo and with Andrea Romero
  • Held a meeting with a former elected leader from one of the four Pueblos in HD 46;
  • Met with a handful of current legislators at the Roundhouse;
  • Read a number of articles critical of Andrea Romero and the Regional Coalition and articles supportive of Rep. Trujillo’s handling of the water and easement issues;
  • Reviewed notes of interviews with over two dozen progressive lobbying groups;
  • Attended a town hall on easement and water issues in Española Valley facilitated by US Rep. Lujan where Rep. Trujillo took part; and
  • Had drafts of the post read by no less than a dozen Democrats to ensure that the resulting blog was even-handed.

I am eager to hear from those of you who support Trujillo, in hopes that you can provide your perspective. I genuinely want to understand better why he enjoys such passionate support and why there is such passionate opposition to even considering Andrea Romero, who as a smart, articulate, young Hispanic with deep roots in her community, would seem to be the kind of candidate that Democrats should be cultivating as leaders. We will examine the Romero campaign, but today we are focusing on Rep. Trujillo.

Over the past two years, I’ve spent a fair amount of time at the Roundhouse and have heard advocates, progressive lobbyists, and even other elected representatives bemoan how often Rep. Trujillo either votes with Republicans or is absent when a key vote is about to happen. In each conversation, the person would cite an individual example that while compelling in relation to that one issue, didn’t necessarily speak to a pattern or trend. So, we undertook a pretty exhaustive review of Rep. Trujillo’s voting record beginning with the good. And there is much good to report. Rep. Trujillo has voted in favor of some very good bills that would:

  • Restore the rooftop solar tax credit- HB87 (which Rep. TrujilloI sponsored) HB61, SB79— every Dem supported these bills
  • Make it possible to put renewable energy on state buildings with no money down, saving everyone money. Supported by the Sierra Club.SB 227 — every Dem supported this bill;
  • Create tax credits for residents implementing water preservation strategies and to incentivize water and energy conservation, HB 124 (which Rep. Trujillo sponsored);
  • Provide tax credit incentives for outdoor water conservation efforts- HB238 (which Rep. Trujillo sponsored);
  • Create the Sustainable Green Building Tax (here he was a co-sponsor with Senator Wirth)—SB 14 & SB 279;
  • Create taxes on online business sales, HB 202 (which Rep. Trujillo also sponsored and passed twice only to be vetoed);
  • Require court protection in cases of domestic abuse to determine if the restrained party presents a credible threat and to require he restrained party to relinquish possession of any firearm and refrain from purchasing a firearm SB 259; This is a watered down version of the bill and needs considerable strengthening;
  • Transfer oversight of geothermal resources to the Energy Conservation and Management Division and close a loophole in the Water Quality Act that allows some permit-holders to avoid environmental rules for wastewater disposal. Supported by the Sierra Club – HB 289;
  • HB128 passed the House 59-7 with all 7 no votes coming from Republicans.
  • HB57 passed the House 66-0
  • HB60 passed the House 60-0
    Every Democrat present voted for every single one of the last three bills. Rep. Trujillo asked that I add those three bills  as each is related to expanding broadband.

All good bills and on each one a good vote from Rep. Trujillo. What’s more, Rep. Trujillo is a fierce advocate for animal rights and has also been very responsive to voter concerns about water and road easements, holding scores of Town Halls and following up on scores of constituent concerns. It isn’t as if Rep. Trujillo is unresponsive to his constituency. He is highly responsive and deserves credit for it. At the easement Town Hall facilitated by US Rep. Lujan earlier this week, Rep. Trujillo drew loud applause when he entered the auditorium and strong praise from those in attendance. Water issues and the easement issue are having a very debilitating impact in District 46, with 14 people at the Town Hall indicating that they had been refused title insurance to their property for lack of a viable easement, essentially denying those individuals the capacity to borrow against or sell their property. I have read of tragic consequences resulting from this problem, and so it is very easy to understand why those impacted would strongly support Rep. Trujillo’s efforts to work on their behalf. But I have also heard from many, many individuals that Rep. Trujillo’s approach to supporting his constituents has been highly divisive, pitting Indigenous and Hispanic neighbors against each other and using misinformation to exacerbate their differences. This issue is both extremely complex and highly volatile and so will be handled in a separate post that is still in development and under review.

As I examined the bills above, I noticed a common thread:  virtually none of them address industry malfeasance in relation to renewable energy or water conservation. The bills incentivized consumers to do more while not examining what industry could do differently, a nuance that may not be insignificant given what follows.  As I was reviewing Trujillo’s voting record, I had a conversation with the head of the California Democratic Progressive Caucus and I was told: ‘It isn’t enough to look at votes, you need to also follow the money.”  So, I did.  First, let’s look at Trujillo’s donors. The information on donor and donor amounts comes from the State Financial Information System maintained by the Secretary of State.

Information Technology. Trujillo has received at least $17,450 in campaign contributions from IT and telecommunications companies while going on to sponsor three bills and vote for several others that would directly benefit these companies. In 2018, Trujillo sponsored HB 128, which provides a gross receipts tax and compensating tax deduction for broadband telecommunications network facilities, and HB 57 with the Legislative Finance Committee noting on HB 57 that “The benefits of this bill will probably not be experienced by customers, but by the internet service providers.” In 2017, he sponsored a bill to amend the Local Economic Development Act to allow broadband companies like CenturyLink to access state funds to hire locally. Multi-million dollar companies like CenturyLink don’t need subsidies from LEDA to do the right thing.

The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) regulates IT companies like CenturyLink. In 2016, Trujillo sponsored a bill (HJR 8) to change the PRC from an elected body to an appointed body. Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) opposed this legislation. The purpose of this bill was to end the constitutional practice of PRC Commissioners being directly elected, and in turn create a political appointment process allowing CenturyLink and other companies to influence the process by donating to those making the selections.

Gas Oil & Energy.  Devon Energy, based in Oklahoma City, is Trujillo’s largest single contributor, at $7,900. Its contributions date to 2012, 2014 and 2017, with the largest ($5,000) in 2017. The New York Times has described Devon as “one of the more aggressive opponents in the oil and gas sector of new federal environmental regulations, working since early in the Obama administration to challenge such rules.” Trujillo has received at least $16,250 in contributions from the oil and gas industry, more than from any other sector besides IT/Telecommunications. The majority of this total – $13,600 – has come from out-of-state companies.

What’s more, a recent Santa Fe New Mexican article reported on how Rep. Trujillo is now receiving donations from Rep. Ruilobo in what appears to be a donation scheme as the source of the donations to Ruilobo are from the same corporate donors who have already contributed the maximum allowable to Rep. Trujillo’s campaign. In fact, according to the most recent campaign disclosure report, Trujillo and Ruilobo received donations from Encana Oil and Gas on the same day, only to then have Ruilobo make a subsequent donation to Trujillo. Apparently, this is legal in New Mexico, but it is inconsistent with any effort to have a transparent election process. An ethics complaint has been filed against Rep. Trujillo with the Secretary of State because he didn’t report this contribution from Encana Oil & Gas.

When we met with Rep. Trujillo and asked him about his receiving so much corporate support, he indicated that most of his donations come from small donors, an assertion made by one of his supporters in an email to me. In a NM In Depth report, Trujillo was quoted as saying: “I am probably the No. 1 representative or senator in the state that receives the vast majority, 90 percent of my contributions, from grassroots organizations, individuals and small businesses.  But this is simply not true. In the most recent quarterly campaign finance report, over half of Trujillo’s donations came from corporations, PACs and other elected officials. And while in our meeting with Trujillo he had suggested that he really doesn’t raise that much money, according to a Secretary of State report he has received over $450,000 in the past 7 years. Click here to review the report. What’s more, according to the New Mexican, this war chest has enabled him to outspend his opponent Andrea Romero 13-1 to date. It should be noted that while Rep. Trujillo has not been challenged since 2012 and is utterly safe from GOP challenges, he did have two expensive primary races. In 2010 he ran an unsuccessful, but very close race against House Speaker Lujan and then another close primary race in 2012 against Santa Fe Mayor David Coss.

Finally, in our meeting, Trujillo also claimed that he routinely distributes funds to Democrats running in other districts. I asked a Roundhouse legislator about this and he just laughed, commenting: “Carl doesn’t pass along much at all.”  So, I did some digging and according to the Secretary of State reports Rep. Trujillo has distributed $20,000 to other campaigns and non-profits, or less than 5% of what he has raised.

Retake Our Democracy has long bemoaned the influence of money in politics. Indeed I am appearing at a conference on getting money out of politics today (Saturday), and our last blog on Tuesday provided extensive analysis of how money influences elections and legislation. Click here to review that report. It also has info on the conference. We have reported on a number of great bills that Rep. Trujillo supported and on his fierce advocacy relating to constituent concerns about water rights and road access issues, but now it is time to look at some votes that we find troubling.

While a couple of comments to this post suggested that the use of different time frames for reporting on campaign donations may have been confusing to the reader. In looking it over, I find it pretty clear. And to comb over SOS reports for every year would be beyond the time I can give to this. I have tried to be fair….onward to votes.

Bills Sponsored or Co-sponsored by Trujillo

HB 199 (2017) – The Sierra Club describes this as “a PNM bill that, under the guise of consumer protection, puts a host of onerous requirements on companies that install residential solar panels.” When we met with Rep. Trujillo, he claimed that the bill had been supported by all but one solar installer in NM and that it had been initiated due to complaints about misleading promises from an LA-based installer. In reality, the initial version of HB199 was an ALEC bill designed to deter solar development. The version passed in the Roundhouse was tweaked a bit, but was still opposed by CVNM.

HB 296 (2014) – This bill would have allowed PNM and El Paso Electric to offer discounted electricity rates to businesses as an economic development incentive, ostensibly to create new jobs. According to CVNM, which opposed the bill, it would have “shifted costs for economic development and utility expansion (such as sprawl development and polluting industries) to other ratepayers – with virtually no safeguards or transparency. Utility companies would negotiate discounted utility rates for big businesses. Then, the utilities would be allowed to increase utility rates for families and small businesses to make up for the discount.”

Bills Trujillo Voted For

  • He voted for expanding the three strikes law. HB 5(2016). Sponsored by 11 Republicans.
  • He voted to make NM the Nation’s Nuclear Dump. HM 40(2016) authorized the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance to construct a consolidated interim storage facility for the storage of spent nuclear fuel rods from commercial (for-profit) nuclear power generation plants. Opposed by Conservation Voters New Mexico. This is a particularly bad vote given how so many of his constituents are concerned about the poorly managed clean up of nuclear waste at LANL. Why would someone advocating for cleaning up LANL open the door to allow NM to become the US’s nuclear dumping ground?
  • He voted to prevent women’s right to choose. HB 390(2015). I incorrectly noted that a pharmacist or clerk could deny a prescription for birth control, this was a mistake, but in reviewing the amendment I found this language:  A person who is a member of, or associated with, the staff of a hospital or any medical facility; any person under the direction of a physician; or any employee of a hospital or any medical facility in which who objects to the abortion on moral or religious grounds shall not be required to participate in medical procedures, including the dispensing of medication, that will result in the termination of pregnancy. The refusal of the person to participate shall not form the basis of any disciplinary or other recriminatory action against the person.”
  • He voted for efforts to prevent gun violence prevention. HB 106(2015) would have weakened concealed carry gun control requirements. Sponsored by three Republicans and the NRA.
  • He voted for gas and oil profits at the expense of our environment. HM 105(2015) was a memorial urging New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation to support efforts to remove the ban on exporting crude oil. Governor Martinez, along with nine other Republican governors, asked President Obama to lift the ban in 2015. This is another particularly troubling vote given that the only ‘constituents’ who benefits from this are the gas and oil donors to his campaign.

Trujillo Voted Against:

  • He voted against slowing the privatization of public education.  HB 46(2017) would have imposed a moratorium on the approval of charter schools until 2020 over concerns about scarce public funding and academic accountability at schools without publicly elected boards. Trujillo was one of only three Democrats to vote against the bill, which failed on a 34-34 vote. Public education advocates supported this bill to slow the rapid expansion of corporate-run charter schools that have no community base. This is just one of many areas where those believing in corporate solutions to public policy challenges advocate for the continued privatization of so many public sector responsibilities (e.g. education, prisons, public land management, to name but a few). Gov. Martinez is a strong supporter of charter schools and privatization.
  • He voted against regulations that would have prevented big pharma from exploiting health plans by foisting more expensive drugs on patients, when less expensive alternatives were available. HB 244(2017) – Would have regulated the use of step therapy – the requirement by health insurers that their enrollees be treated with a less expensive drug or device before moving to a more expensive one if the lower-cost therapy proves ineffective. Bill was supported by numerous health care organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes.
  • He voted against protecting employees. HB 277(2013) – Would have enacted a statute prohibiting the practice of requiring employee attendance at meetings called by an employer for the purpose of conveying the employer’s opinions on religious or political matters.

A sampling of votes Trujillo missed:

  • He failed to vote for expanding local jurisdictions’ opportunities to develop solar gardens. HB 338(2017) – Would provide for the independent development and operation of community solar gardens within the service territory of investor owned electric utilities. Failed by a 31-34 vote on the House floor.
  • He failed to vote to voice opposition to the desecration of Chaco Canyon. HM 70(2017) – Requests that the BLM not lease any land in the greater Chaco Canyon region without prior consultation with tribes until it finishes amending its management plan for the region. Supported by the Sierra Club.
  • He failed to  vote to protect our lands from groundwater contamination. HB 429(2013) – Afforded landowners or other affected parties a private right of action to pursue enforcement of environmental laws against violators or agencies who are failing to enforce existing law, such as a rural landowner whose groundwater is at risk of contamination by a polluting company. If the state refuses to require the company to stop polluting groundwater, the landowner would have recourse in court. Supported by CVNM.

Taken together, there are too many bad votes to overlook, with votes that are bad for women, bad for education, bad for the environment, bad for labor, and good for gas, oil, and other industries. And his voting record seems to carefully, almost artfully, oppose or remain silent on bills that hurt industries at the expense of consumers. Recall my comments on Trujillo’s good votes and how so many are incentives for individuals and businesses to do the right thing (conserve water, use solar, etc.), but there is little to no evidence of taking on corporations, of making them do the right thing for consumers. And there is the large number of times that Rep. Trujillo has aligned with Republicans in a district with very few Republicans as constituents. And we should all consider closely his votes on women’s access to abortion, his support for an NRA-sponsored open carry legislation, and in a community/district so concerned about LANL and environmental degradation from uranium and chromium, his support for the Eddy Lea Energy Alliance, which would make NM the US dumping ground for unspent nuclear waste. And his failure to be on hand to vote for the memorial asking BLM to deny leases for fracking until the BLM completes its management plan all should be very troubling, not just for progressives but for moderate and even conservative Democrats.

We will analyze the Romero campaign in a separate post, but we feel that this summary provides ample reason for welcoming a challenge and for welcoming debate and discussion. I sincerely hope that the discussion that follows will be dignified. I welcome comments from those who share my concerns and from those who remain firmly supportive of Rep. Trujillo.

Given that the vote is a scant six weeks away, we want to provide links to information on both candidates and how you can become involved in either campaign. Again, we welcome this challenge and the ensuring, respectful debate.

For more information on Andrea Romero’s candidacy, her background and how you can become involved, click here.

For more information on Rep. Carl Trujillo’s candidacy, her background and how you can become involved, click here.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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

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50 replies

  1. Let us try to remember that we are all Democrats, a party founded by Thomas Jefferson, primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and James Madison, father of the Constitution and primary author of the Bill of Rights. We all passionately support freedom of speech and “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    Last December, a group of citizens, organized as Northern New Mexico Protects, peacefully assembled and petitioned the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) for a redress of grievances concerning financial malfeasance. The response from Andrea Romero, who had not yet lost her position as Director of the RDLC, was to write the Board of the RLDC requesting that it (and I quote):

    “1. Hires an attorney to respond to allegations from NMMP;
    “2. Considers lodging a formal request to Los Alamos National Laboratory to investigate whether Ms. Duran-Cash and Ms. Nordquist, both employees of LANL, completed LANL Form 701 and other relevant procedures because they are both officers in an “outside organization” (i.e. Northern New Mexico Protects). Further, were Ms. Duran-Cash and Ms. Nordquist aware of “potential conflict of interest (COI) situations” and did they “contact [their] manager or the Ethics and Compliance Group (EA-Ethics) with any concerns or questions” related to their work with the outside organization (Northern New Mexico Protects) and Representative Carl Trujillo, and their efforts to disparage RCLC and me for a political purpose? These issues are relevant to RCLC because our mission is to work closely with LANL and advance LANL’s mission in northern communities. If LANL employees are acting in ways that conflict with LANL’s regulations, it impacts negatively both LANL and RCLC.”

    First, I should assure everyone that both of these concerned citizens are fully in compliance with all LANL regulations, which do allow their employees their first amendment freedoms.

    Second, we should recognize that the Board of the RCLC is a political powerful group composed of leaders from both local jurisdictions and Pueblos, including at that time the Mayor of Santa Fe.. If the Board had filed a “formal request” to investigate these two concerned citizens, that request might have received consideration. Certainly, Ms Romero intended so.

    Third, Chris Chandler, RCLC Board member, Los Alamos County Councilor, and Democratic candidate in NM House District 43, spoke to the Board in opposition to retaliation. Those Democrats who seemed to have forgotten what we are about might want to read her words:

    “I am bringing this up now because as a public official, which we all are, I think it really sends a bad message when we receive a complaint about something concerning our expenditure of funds and other issues, our reaction is to request that the individuals making the complaint be investigated,” Chandler said. “I think that sends a really bad message to people. I’m open as I’m sure every member of this board is to hearing from citizens on every sort of controversy or concern relating to the Coalition, Los Alamos County, or any other member of this organization.”

    “It concerned me when I read in the paper yesterday that we were questioning the motives and intent of people who lodge complaints and I just want to make sure it is understood that I don’t share that and my suspicion is that most other members of this board do not share that point of view,”

    Fourth, the Board rejected both of Ms Romero’s requests.

    Fifth, the Board, composed of leaders from local communities, chose not to renew Ms Romero’s contract. She is no longer executive director of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities . . .

    I have a number of reasons for supporting Carl Trujillo, the best legislator I have known in my 78 years. Perhaps I will detail some of these in another comment. I have other reasons for opposing Andrea Romero. But, fundamentally, I believe that the first amendment to our Constitution is the cornerstone of our democracy. I am not willing to give our democracy away.

    • Thank you, Devin. I am still not clear on why someone that so blatantly misused public funds is the subject of a debate at this time. These were the same folks that found Hillary corrupt, am I right? Anyway, I am happy to be the whistleblower. It is my badge of honor. I will continue to do so. Pick up Wednesday’s Rio Grande Sun. Thanks.

      • Hello Paul,

        Thank you for taking the energy and time to construct your blog. As you mention, some things are black and white and others are not. Understanding the details can be extremely important. Another comment made in your blog is “simply not true”. I think we can all agree that in the wake of the disaster that has taken place in D.C., the truth should be important.
        I will post a comment that consists of the factual edits and omissions to your blog and ask that you correct untruths. It is my hope that you will edit your blog where you are incorrect.

        Carl Trujillo
        NM Representative 46

      • Thank you for taking the time to comment, Rep. Trujillo. I welcome your response here and in the future. I already caught one mistake in the blog and corrected it. The vote I referenced regarding clerks being able to not fill birth control prescriptions was amended to delete that from the bill before you voted for it.

      • I will address Romero’s reimbursement issue in a blog next week (T or Th). She acknowledges her mistake and has repaid it. And I know people who had initially had the same reaction you did to Romero’s mistake, but after meeting with her, felt differently. It was a mistake, though, and her handling of it initially, as referenced by Devin Bent, also was a mistake. For some that may be enough to dismiss her candidacy, but for others, their concern will be more about her obvious commitment to public service in Africa, DC and in her community. As noted in response to another comment, she is one of many young, women of color across the country who stepping into the political arena. I personally welcome these women.

      • Paul makes the point that Andrea acknowledged her mistakes. However, I am not aware that she has in fact done so with respect to her effort to enlist powerful political figures in retaliation against concerned citizens.. As far as I know, she continues to attribute her problems and your motivation to politics. Has she apologized to you?

        She is a political science graduate of Stanford. Do you think they left the 1st Amendment to the Constitution out of the curriculum?

  2. I thank you for this info. I too find it troubling that Carl has made some bad votes. I think it’s time for a change.

  3. You talk about campaign contributions that Representative Trujillo received and change the time period. You talk about “the past 7 years.”. You talk about the “most recent quarterly campaign finance report.”

    Sometimes nobody can tell the time period you are using.


    • I will try to go in and make it clearer. I will also emphasize the overall point: that he gets an awful lot of corporate (and small donor) support in a district that, until now, had been an uncontested seat.

      • Paul,

        I realize that you are new to the area. The seat has been uncontested in the general election. However, the primary has been contested before this election. It was contested the first time Carl ran in 2010 — against the late Ben Lujan, the long time incumbent and leader of the Democratic party in this state. Carl lost narrowly. The second time (2012) Carl and the then mayor of Santa Fe, David Coss, contested the open seat. Coss made a determined effort, even doing door-to-door canvassing. He came to my home and we had a long talk. Ben Ray Lujan, our US Representative, endorsed Coss and his PAC spent $3,300 in his behalf. Carl won narrowly. You can see that Carl twice went up against powerful entrenched politicians.

        Now Carl contests yet another effort by powerful elites to control our district.

        So, your overall point is simply based on what I can only attribute to ignorance. The amount of money that he has raised in no way inappropriate for three hotly contested elections.

        — Devin

  4. Thank you, Paul, for your commitment to “delving deeply.”
    I want to share w/you & your readers my experience w/ Rep. Trujillo. I asked him to sponsor a bill to survey the waste treatment plants in NM, asking where & how they dump their “biosolids”, aka, sludge. He said, “Better yet, a memorial.” I said, “Fine.”

    He never honored his promise. When I realized that he had not honored his promise to me to sponsor said memorial, I left a message at his Roundhouse office asking him to call me. He didn’t. I went down to his office, asked his assistant if she passed along my message to him, She said, “Yes.” I again asked him to call me. He never did. Instead, he stood on the House Floor w/ Brian Egolf, staring up at me up in the Gallery, talking for over 15 minutes. Since then, I stopped voting for him. He has no credibility w/me.

    We voters have every right to have legislators committed to integrity. Carl Trujillo has none.

    Marge Johnson

    • With due respect, his cell phone is on the legis site. I can assure you he answers it. Perhaps you need to pass messages to other legislators, but Carl answers his phone. In case you didn’t see it there, it is 505 699-6690.
      I’m wondering the sort of cognitive dissonance that needs to happen to say Carl is not committed to integrity while defending a young woman who thinks that rules don’t apply to her?

      • I can’t comment on Marjorie’s specific comment, but will note that “cognitive dissonance” is not in play here. Ms. Romero met with our leadership team, admitted her seeking reimbursements were a mistake and repaid the costs. I never accused Carl of lacking integrity. I stated that he had a history of donations from industry and a pattern of votes that included votes that benefited industry more than consumers (and for that I didn’t make the judgment, I quoted CVNM. And I pointed to a number of other bad votes that had nothing to do with industry. just bad votes that I don’t think most Democrats would be happy with, especially for a Democrat in a district that is entirely safe. protecting Chaco, preventing the Lea-Eddy unspent uranium pit, protecting women’s right to choose, and strengthening, not relaxing open carry laws are more pretty bad votes that warrant examination.

      • Paul, I will explain this to you in our meeting, but not only did Ms. Romero attempt to have me personally investigated for my finding her “mistake” in reimbursements, but she went on radio to say I was a bully for being at Democratic (and public) meetings. She has NEVER apologized for targeting me, and she did not “pay back” the money. The coalition retained part of her final pay to do so.

  5. Compare records? What public service/elected position has Romero ever held, in comparison to Trujillo? Come on . . . Voting record? Working in the round house getting things done, devoting hours and hours of time to hundreds of constituents, taking stands that no one else will, attending countless meetings, engaged in local issues, etc . . . “Part 1” is about Trujillo because Romero has no record, no experience and no history with my community. If you were comparing apples to apples okay-but your not. Are really eager to hear from those of us who support Trujillo, Why? Your mind is made up on who you think we should support in OUR district. Trujillo has passionate support because he has earned our support? As for Romero, you give her credit for being smart and articulate, her misuse of tax payer dollars and continued denial of any kind of responsibility is not a candidate that Democrats should be cultivating as leaders.

    • Across the country there is a wave of young, progressive, women of color stepping forward to run for office. In most cases, these are women who have not been involved in politics in the past, but who are fed up with how things get done (or undone) in local, state and national political arenas. Across the country this wave of new candidates is being embraced because many of us are also fed up. As to your comment about “OUR” district. Our leadership team has one member who lives in Carl’s district and hosted a meeting with him. Roxanne and I live 50 feet from Carl’s district with most of our neighbors living in his district. What’s more, his votes impact everyone and decisions about easements and water (to be discussed soon) also set precedent for policy in relation to pueblo sovereignty and the aquifer that is of importance to all of us. I will acknowledge that the easement and water issues are of much more direct impact on residents of Dist. 46 than on others.

      • I am guessing that the area where you live was not impacted by the easement issue and was never destined to be reached by the Aamodt water lines. Moreover, I’m guessing that it is not a traditional community and thus was not threatened with urbanization and the loss of its community plan by the SLDC. Will the proposed Hunt high voltage power line come anywhere near you?

        Those are questions above. I am interested in how much any of these local issues have impacted you. I will say, in general, that the folks living on the north side of Santa Fe have been indifferent to these issues.

        Moreover, in particular, I would say that Andrea Romero was totally indifferent to our pressing issues until she got, or was given, the idea that she should represent our district. I have been active in all these issues and have never met her.

  6. Old Tricks from those attempt to manipulate us.

    1. I detect a pattern in Paul’s blog post of the shifting of the time period when discussing financial data. At one point he reports data for “the past 7 years.” At another point he looks at “2012, 2014 and 2017.” Typically, it s not clear what time period he is discussing. But then he will look at “the most recent quarterly campaign finance report..”

    Clearly, the manipulation of the time period serves to support whatever preconceived notions Paul has concerning Carl. For instance, he quotes Carl, ““I am probably the No. 1 representative or senator in the state that receives the vast majority, 90 percent of my contributions, from grassroots organizations, individuals and small businesses.”

    Thne Paul says this is simply not true, but then only looks at the most recent quarterly report. Clearly, an honest evaluation of Carl’s claim requires a look at a longer time period — thee months is not enough.

    2. Does Paul use other tricks? Yes, he shifts the criteria for judging legislation. At times, he uses the sponsors of the legislation — Republican sponsorship alone is all the evidence Paul needs to cast a negative judgement. He feels no need to discuss the merits of the legistion. At other times, he cites the opinion of a single progressive group, ignoring other progressive groups. On another issue, he finds a different progressive group — becuase they agree with his preconceived notions. He sometimes provide a one sentence description of the legislation, but makes no mention of sponsorship nor the position of progressive group. Then he sometimes may took a brief look at the issue, but is not above an appeal to NIMBYism.

    How much has Paul managed to distort the data? Well, reading Paul’s blog you probably came to the conclusion that Carl is terrible on the environment. Would you be suprised to learn that the Sierra Club has endorsed Carl?

    I could go on, but this enough. Months ago, Paul initially supported Ms. Romero and attacked Carl Now he finally does some research to support his hasty decision.

    The shifting time period and shifting critera are old and obvious tricks of those who wish to bend the data to their purposes and manipulate their readers. Their flagrant and frequent use casts doubt of the veracity of Paul’s entire post. A long time ago, I grade student payments. This blog receives a charity D.

    • I wish to add that my post immediately above was a collaboration with a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. I take full responsibility for all errors and typos.

      • I also should also note that earlier another person made a brief comment on shifting time periods and provided examples that I used. I must acknowledge my debt to that earlier comment.

    • I have gone back and forth with Devon Bent several times in emails. While I did use different time frames in the financial analysis, I am not nearly as devious as he would suggest. The larger picture is that in the SOS report for which I provided a link, Rep. Trujillo had raised over $450K in a district in which he had run unopposed until now. I have looked through these reports for Rep. Trujillo and other candidates. I simply do not have the time to pour over endless pages of reports to justify every word in my blog. It should be pretty obvious that I devoted a good deal of time to reviewing votes and donations.

      As to my “finally doing some research to justify” my supporting Andrea Romero, as my blogs in the past and the current one indicated, I have not indicated my personal support for anyone and made it clear that Retake “welcomed Andrea Romero’s challenge” as I think that primaries can provide a healthy focus on the issues and in a district where there are no GOP challenges, this is the only context in which such an examination can occur.

      I am not going to respond to every comment from Devin, as it has been my experience that as soon as I do another long comment results. And frankly, I have other stuff to do. This campaign is but one of many issues and campaigns that Retake has on its plate.

      But, as always, I welcome comments.

      • “The larger picture is that in the SOS report for which I provided a link, Rep. Trujillo had raised over $450K in a district in which he had run unopposed until now.”

        Obviously have already stopped reading my comments as I refuted this in one of my comments. I will copy it below and perhaps correct a few typos.


        I realize that you are new to the area. The seat has been uncontested in the general election. However, the primary has been fiercely contested before this election. It was contested the first time Carl ran in 2010 — against the late Ben Lujan, the long time incumbent, and leader of the Democratic party in this state. Carl lost narrowly. The second time (2012) Carl and the then mayor of Santa Fe, David Coss, contested the open seat. Coss made a determined effort, even doing door-to-door canvassing. Ben Ray Lujan, our US Representative, endorsed Coss and his PAC spent $3,300 in Coss’ behalf. The local Democratic party refused to share with Carl the data base that volunteers such as myself had built in the Obama campaign. Carl won narrowly.

        You can see that Carl twice went up against powerful entrenched politicians.

        Now Carl contests yet another effort by powerful elites to control our district.

        So, your overall point is simply based on what I can only attribute to ignorance. The amount of money that he has raised in no way inappropriate for three hotly contested elections.

        You welcome comments, but don’t read them.

        — Devin

      • frankly I am tiring of you and your comments as so often you presume to know what I am doing and thinking. How do you know whether I have read your comments. I read every single comment. I had already indicated I would not respond to all your comments because I have other things to do. It is interesting. Every CT supporter who comments finds ways to fault what I have done, but not once has any supporter said anything like: “Actually, I was disappointed that Carl voted in favor of Lea-Eddy or in favor of the third strike bill.” Or any of his bad votes. I am not suggesting you unsupported any politician for a single vote, but I have not seen any indication that any of the supporters who comment on my blog find anything that he has ever done that is not good. Nor do I see anyone hint that any of you feel that I may have actually worked pretty hard to present a balanced view. I am done responding, but I’d appreciate it if you’d stop insinuating that I don’t read or think about comments. Or else, you’ll find your comments deleted. I am glad you are so engaged in the process, but I don’t have the time you seem to have to respond to someone who appears to be so utterly incapable of seeing that there could be two sides to a story, two sides to a candidate.

      • Devin is fantastic, and he pays a lot of attention to detail. As for us blindly agreeing with whatever from Carl, that is simply not true. I have personally spoken to him about his 20 week abortion ban, but I also did not engage him at the time of the vote. Please don’t make us seem like a monolith. I disagree with pretty much everyone at one time or another; Carl and Devin are among those.

  7. Paul, since your blog is very extensive and long. I will start at the beginning of your blog and list omissions, hearsay, and untruths and await a response for each piece, it may be a bit easier to follow by doing so.

    Omissions from blog — It is an important note that our campaign has been endorsed by the Sierra Club and all the 17 trades unions.

    Hearsay in the blog — ……. have heard advocates, progressive lobbyists, and even other elected representatives bemoan………
    Without stating any names, this is a very disingenuous comment and just hearsay.

    Omissions from blog — Acknowledgement that I sponsored and championed many of these bills (5 out of the 8), instead of downplaying and saying I just voted for them is an important nuance. I changed it below to reflect the bills I sponsored and was a fierce champion for:

    • Restore the rooftop solar tax credit- HB87 (which I sponsored) HB61, SB79— every Dem supported these bills
    • Make it possible to put renewable energy on state buildings with no money down, saving everyone money. Supported by the Sierra Club.SB 227 — every Dem supported this bill;
    • Create tax credits for residents implementing water preservation strategies and to incentivize water and energy conservation, HB 124 (which I sponsored);
    • Provide tax credit incentives for outdoor water conservation efforts- HB238 (which I sponsored);
    • Create the Sustainable Green Building Tax (here he was a co-sponsor with Senator Wirth)—SB 14 & SB 279;
    • Create taxes on online business sales, HB 202 (which I sponsored and passed twice to be vetoed);
    • Require court protection in cases of domestic abuse to determine if the restrained party presents a credible threat and to require the restrained party to relinquish possession of any firearm and refrain from purchasing a firearm SB 259; this is a watered down version of the bill and needs considerable strengthening;
    • Transfer oversight of geothermal resources to the Energy Conservation and Management Division and close a loophole in the Water Quality Act that allows some permit-holders to avoid environmental rules for wastewater disposal. Supported by the Sierra Club – HB 289;

    Omissions in the blog — Since you took the time and energy to do an exhausted review of my votes, I believe it is necessary to list the other 27 votes I took which are in line with the Sierra Club and Conservation Voters. Some of those I also sponsored. I will gladly send you this list to add to your blog post or add as an attachment.

    I will await a response and continue working through your blog post.

    Carl Trujillo
    NM State Representative

  8. Paul,

    You do put a lot of work into this blog. I admire your energy, your dedication, and your competence.

    I mean that sincereley,


  9. I can see why you are tired of Devin, he has you in check. Look I get the need for young leaders and greater still all citizens to have an equal voice not just progressives and people of color (used to discribe Native-Americans or Spanish people-well that is just wrong) In my opinion The NM Democrats core values are not what you seem to stand for given your response to me. Your about moving forward “adelante” bueno, entonces Muevete in the right direction. Democrats are smart we understand the issues and are capable of seeing the bigger picture no need to try to school us, it is insulting to the 99%. And speaking of insults to the party how is it ReTake Our Democracy is advocating for a candidate that is being investigated for waste, abuse and fraud of taxpayer money. The first preliminary audit found many abuses, that is a FACT. Will Retake Our Democracy advocate for Ms. Romero if a criminal complaint is filed on any of the findings, probably because those who support Ms. Romero will admit to no wrong. The report also shows that for 2 and half years, every time Ms. Romero left her house locally, she treated as a travel day and was reimbursed for mileage and meals on the tax payer money. Straight out of the gate Ms. Romero revealed her true character and now expects voters like you and me to have the confidence in her judgement to vote on issues that affect us all. Pablo,Gracias por nada. Martha

    • I get tired of Devin because I simply can’t respond to all of his comments or all of the comments of others. I put out the blog and then allow for free ranging debate in the comments, sometimes I respond, sometimes not. It is not out of disrespect to commenters if I don’t respond, it is just that I am 100% a volunteer and the blog is one small part of what I do to keep Retake going. You have so many elements to your comment, but I’d like to respond to a bit. If you are insulted by my posting about issues, I have a suggestion: unsubscribe. The entire point of the blog is to do research on issues and share them with folks who do not have the time to do that research. 99% of those reading the blog express appreciation for what we do in that regard. Even Devin wrote me a nice note acknowledging the effort put in. I am not aware of my response to you….please write to me about this privately. If I offended you in any way, I apologize. And your comments about Andrea have been made by others and will be addressed in a blog this week. It isn’t as if I am not aware of mistakes made. I just haven’t completed my review of what has transpired….stay tuned.

      • I am stunned by your suggestion to “Unsubscribe” to your online service that promotes being progressive. A site to educate, inform and engage fellow democrats, an attempt to gain and increase the number of progressive candidates (of color) to the party. I did ramble and rant in my response but it wasn’t that hard to follow. Feel free to respond if you have time, its of no consequence to me. mic dropped

      • Martha,

        Perhaps I completely misunderstood your point. I thought you were saying you were saying you didn’t think Democrats needed any blogs or posts on issues, as they understood them:

        “Democrats are smart we understand the issues and are capable of seeing the bigger picture no need to try to school us, it is insulting to the 99%.” That is why I thought: well if you don’t want blogs about issues, why would you subscribe? I am glad I misunderstood. Adelante!!!!

  10. Paul,

    The blog is about me and I have not yet received a response from you addressing my post of the omissions, hearsay, and untruths in your blog. I too, am 100% volunteer as a citizen legislator.

    Carl Trujillo
    NM State Representative

    • Hello Carl,

      I am sorry for not getting back to you, but I have incorporated all of your suggestions related to including reference to your having sponsored the bills on the list, as you had indicated. I can’t include all 17 other bills you suggested to include as it would make the blog too long and the intent was not to represent every vote. I am researching your statement about being endorsed by 17 unions and the Sierra Club. There is no reference to a Sierra Club endorsement on its Endorsement Page on their website. I have no idea how to verify the other endorsements. As to the hearsay: All I can say is that I had many conversations about your votes and in each, I was asked to not disclose their identity. It is not uncommon to use sources in this way. I would not have reported this unless there were multiple references and I kept my reference to this to one sentence as it was the impetus for our doing more research on your voting record. I would say that I referenced about as many good votes as votes I viewed as problematic, so I tried to be balanced. I also want you to know that I am meeting with Heather Nordquist on Friday….one of your biggest supporters and I have had several exchanges with Devin Bent, another huge fan. I plan to ask him if he wants to review my analysis of the water and easement issues before I publish it. So I am trying to be fair and responsive to your candidacy and respectful of your very ardent supporters.

      • Paul,

        Every word said in praise of you was genuinely meant. I should add that you are a natural leader and excellent and prolific author.

        I would be happy to review your analysis of the water and easement issues. I am flattered that you would ask. However, there are others who are better informed on these issues. Thus I would prefer to give your analysis a quick initial read and might then suggest that you refer it to those who are better informed. In any event, I will read your analysis carefully and thoughtfully.

        You are correct that I have, in this not, in this forum, criticized a single vote by Representative Trujillo. I am sure that there is more than one vote with which I disagree. However, I am a policy analyst by training and experience: I need to examine any specific issue in depth. If you ever put a single issue on this blog for discussion, I would be happy to respond — if I know at least something about it. I would look forward to a discussion of Lea-Eddy, for instance.

        One quibble. I am not a “huge fan” of Representative Trujillo. Fan is, after all, short for fanatic. I am a rational supporter of Representative Trujillo who has done so much for this district and certainly will do more..

        Best wishes,


        PS Please don’t feel any obligation to respond to this comment.

      • No intention of suggesting you are not rational….I am a HUGE fan of the Golden State Warriors…and for 25 years it was entirely irrational, to be sure. Now, not so irrational. In any case, we’re good Devin. I am talking with the Aamodt Project Coordinator for SF County today and with her input I should be able to put finalize the water-easement summary. I’ll send it to you and to Heather to get input.

      • HAHA. I am quite sure that you will not want me to review Sandra Ely’s work.

  11. Paul,

    You might also send your take on water and easements to Martha Trujillo who has demonstrated an interest in your posts. Both she and Heather are leaders in this community.

    I hope I have not given you the impression that water and easements are the only issues important to this district. People are concerned with the proposed Hunt high voltage power line, and with the incredibly opaque and undemocratic management of the Jemez Mountain Electrical Cooperative. Broadband and even decent cell service is lacking. The public paid for cable from Taos to Santa Fe, but now the State Auditor is trying to figure out where the money went. (This is not a partisan issue. The local board is paying for the audit.) And of course, we are concerned about the cleanup of nuclear and other waste before it reaches the Rio Grande and before it further penetrates aquifers. There are complex issues surrounding acequias which I will not even pretend to understand. All of these issues cut across the county line into Rio Arriba. The waste issues particularly impact San Ildefonso Pueblo and Los Alamos County.

    In addition, issues simmer beneath the surface concerning the implementation of Santa Fe County’s Sustainable Land Development Code. Those of us who were rushed into completing our local overlay intended it to be home business friendly. In practice, this may not be the case. Even simple additions to one’s home may be impossible for many.

    Thank you for providing this forum for discussion,


  12. Paul,

    After considerable thought, I must reject your generous offer to allow me to respond to a preview of your discussion of the issues of NM House District 46. If you wish to send it to me, I would be happy to suggest others who might more appropriately respond.

    What follows is a brief explanation of my decision. You and everyone else is under no obligation to read it or respond. Spend your time more fruitfully.

    Some years back, I began to undergo a series of surgeries that eventually included my heart, my spine, my mouth, my eyes, and my feet. This forced me to admit that I could not be depended upon to meet the responsibilities of even a semi-leadership position re issues important/critical to District 46. Thus I have withdrawn from any board or other position, and become a generalist maintaining a Facebook group, Pojoaque and Espanola Valleys Forum.

    IMO, responding to your preview might be more appropriate for others.

    I am doing better now, have no surgeries scheduled, and once more am planting trees, but there is something nice about making a contribution without being in a leadership position. After all, if I have a strength, it is analysis, not leadership.

    Best wishes,


    • I have had no surgeries and none scheduled and yet there are plenty of days when I wake up wishing to be doing analysis in support rather than playing the leadership role. ;-). Planting trees, reading novels, hitting a bucket of balls….memories. So I get your setting limits and honor it. Thanks, Devin.

  13. Wow what a back and forth. We are in the age of the Me-too, Never Again Movements, and instant information and gratification from the Internet. But this new age has no relevance to the institution of the NM Legislature. An institution based on seniority and party loyalty. So that votes must be judged against these realities. Often the safest vote you can make is NO. Just knowing a Bill’s title and subject from Paul’s list above doesn’t mean it is not bad or even illegal legislation. Thru the committee process amendments can be made that water down the original bill so that it should be voted against.

    As far as campaign contributions just 1t years ago the average legislative race was $25,000. Now it is $250,000. Century Link sends to EVERY incumbent legislator without them asking. I figure if they are dumb enough to sent it you should just spend it especially if as in District 46 you must run against unlimited CASINO money. The question to ask is not why he doesn’t return the money but WHAT DO THE CASINOS WANT in backing an opponent?

    • Yet another detail to examine. As you noted: what a back and forth. But I must say, aside from Day 1, the dialog has been mostly civil and thoughtful. I have incorporated input from many of Carl’s supporters. I agree that money has become insidious in politics and that is why I am so strongly in support of any and all legislation that can get money out of politics. Thanks for the comment.

      • That is interesting, Paul. Where do you place tribal (i.e. casino) money on your scale of evil? Having watched my community ravaged by gaming for 20 years, I know where I’d put it.

      • When the Pueblo backs a candidate they use the Casino art & graphics department, the printing, the embossed bulk mail permit, delivery services and this is valued at like $0.44 per piece when Representative Ben Lujan was getting these services. So the Postal Service “run” for the Pojoaque Valley is like 10,000 and the Casino would print 15,000 and only bill for 10,000. But it is clearly much more. Paper Tiger, one of the cheapest, values the graphic design services at $80 an hour. So the Campaign Finance Reports will need to be examined especially for any “in-kind services.”

      • I’ve talked to about five legislators about the kind of money that comes in immediately after they are elected from New Mexico’s major corporations and it is always $500-$1,000 from (Century Link as mentioned by all), PNM, Xfinity, Presbyterian, (use to be Loveless and Meridian Oil), NM Gas, Trial Lawyers Association, etc. Some put them on installment plans of $250 until they hit the maximum allowed. This runs $20,000 to $30,000 per Legislator. Speaker Lujan use to strongly discourage anyone from sending it back because it made the ones that kept it look bad. I worked on some Campaign Finance Reform bills in early 2000’s and the Speaker didn’t want anything to do with it (Ray Sanchez then later Lujan).

  14. Thru United Communities of Santa Fe County I have come to know all the Community leaders losting here since 2009. They are good people who believe in Carl Trujillo. Carl’s grandpa was the Demo Ward Chair for the area since FDR’s New Deal.

    I read City Councilor Renee Villarreal’s UMM Dissertation on the historic cooperation with Pueblos and Hispanics in the Pojoaque Valley, with 200 years of examples. It was a wonderful story of sharing plows and hay balers.

    But the challenge of the land grabbing by Casinos (checkerboarding), the Aamodt water settlement, the use of easements as blackmail, is threatening the survival of non-Native people in the area.

    In talks about the Onate fiesta in Espanola and the Entrada in Santa Fe, online comments by Native Americans say CASINO money should be primarily used to legally drive out non-Native people from the Valley. Unless this is a joke, this is way too explosive to entertain in public dialog. Our Congressional delegation is ignoring this and in fact is funding policies which promote easement and water inequalities. Carl Trujillo has been the only voice of reason. Can Retake Our Democracy really endorse an opponent without having the situation deteriorate?

    • The history of the land grants in New Mexico is rich enough for years of discussion. Paul, please take a look at this in all your spare time to find out why. Not sure if you are aware, but treaties aren’t just for tribes. What Spain and Mexico built here was meant to be protected by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which at the time applied to ALL citizens. Pueblo members were treated no differently by their law than Spaniards (or gringos) were. The only land grants that have increased in size from colonial times are tribal, and the process carried out by the US government to verify grants was less than stellar.

    • Also, William, hit me up for a Land Grant coffee sometime.

  15. I didn’t want to invoke the V word in my last post: violence. BUT people may be driven to that point. Back 15-20 years ago Pojoaque Governor Jake Villareal (one r) used Tribal Police to stop the rush hour traffic on US285/84 to hand out flyers that the road was being closed in 30 days unless the State Highway Department paid a egress/ingress fee. Non-Natives called for the National Guard to be on standby to keep the road open. People on KOB talk radio said they were carrying their gun to stop the blanking blanks. So not a pretty picture.

  16. Paul,

    As was mentioned by William Mee…..”Paul’s list above doesn’t mean it is not bad or even illegal legislation”……with your words Paul, you work so hard to mislead people. Please list the bill votes so that readers can make their own judgement, instead of misleading them. Here are the votes, just in case you don’t have them.

    Omissions from blog — Information Technology section, these are the votes on the bills you list here:

    HB128 passed the House 59-7 with all 7 no votes coming from Republicans.
    HB57 passed the House 66-0
    HB60 passed the House 60-0
    Every Democrat present voted for every single one of these bills!

    Reason why I think these bills are important. We are number 48th and 43rd in broadband connectivity and speed in the country. People from District 46 have asked for more broadband infrastructure for tele-medicine, education, and opportunities to stay competitive for our children to have a place to stay. These bills are provider neutral, even our small local companies benefit from them, which is certainly benefiting the citizens of Santa Fe.

    Carl Trujillo
    NM State Representative

    • The purpose of the section on good votes was to show votes where you showed leadership and voted on bills that were not nearly unanimously approved. I understand the broadband need. I added the bills, even though I don’t think they illustrate much.

  17. Broadband and even reliable cell service is lacking in much of District 46. In addition, land line service is being allowed to deteriorate in some areas. Home businesses, which are important in this area, are increasingly difficult and expensive to operate without reliable telephone service of any type.

    If memory serves, REDI-Net, an organization of local governments and Pueblos, received $10 million from the Obama stimulus program to run fiber from Taos to Santa Fe. But things went very wrong — REDI-Net was hemorrhaging money, and fault seemed to lie with the fiscal agent, yet another organization of local governments.

    The board of REDI-Net, chaired by Gabe Montoya of Pojoaque Pueblo, called for a Special Audit by the State Auditor, but as long as the State Auditor was a Democrat, Tim Keller, nothing happened. Only after the Governor appointed Wayne Johnson was there an audit. It turns out that the fiscal agent had lost a million dollars and a mile of cable.

    I applaud the efforts of Gabe Montoya and the current REDI-Net Board to bring order out of chaos. However, for several reasons, REDI-Net will never bring broadband all the way to our homes. We are ultimately dependent upon private Internet Service Providers — ISPs.

    Lesson Learned:

    1. It is misleading to interpret issues in this district as simply pueblo versus non pueblo. I certainly support Gabe Montoya and the Board of REDI-Net in cleaning up the corruption and incompetence and putting local broadband on a sound financial basis.

    2. Carl has worked hard to make it easier for ISPs to bring service to our homes. That is a plus with me.

    3. Carl works in a bi-partisan manner. Do we want to become the Tea Party of Left and refuse to work in bi-partisan manner? I don’t.

    4. Andrea Romero tries to discredit the State Auditor by saying he was appointed by Martinez, a Republican. However, the Board of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities called for and agreed to pay for the Special Audit. Could we get real — the Board Member are pretty much Democrats. And the same is true of the Board of REDI-Net. Neither Board is going to vote for and pay for a biased audit.

    4. I will not deny that Andrea Romero has very good reason to fear an audit and the harsh light of public scrutiny. If I can make enough time I will elaborate on this point in a later comment.

    4. Local issues are incredibly complex in District 46. It is not possible to make intelligent decisions about local issues by the application of simple categories that may work elsewhere.

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