A Call To Action: Time to Take to the Streets to Save NM and this Nation

Canvassing, House Parties, Phone Banking. It’s time to get out of our comfort zones and seek the change we want and to move toward a just transition in NM. Retake has five excellent candidates, all challengers, all underdogs, all in need of one thing: YOU.

Thoughts on Civic Dialog: Today’s post focuses on the need for all of us to get far more active over the next weeks. This weekend Donate Button with Credit Cardsalone, there is a Somos rally on Friday, canvassing and calling for five Retake supported candidates, and the NM launch of a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience and direct action. That is an awful lot for Fri-Mon. But before I describe those events, I have to comment on the character of civic dialog evolving in relation to the Dist. 46 primary campaign.

Yesterday I posted that Retake had decided to support Andrea Romero. In the body of the post was a summary of observations, facts, and claims that had been reported in prior posts and that were largely derived either from a review of NMlegis.gov voting records or from the larger print media. The response from most supporters was very positive: e.g. “Thank you for your continuing balanced citizen journalism.”

Two-thirds of the comments on yesterday’s post were from Trujillo supporters, with some commenting multiple times. Most were respectful and introduced other interpretations or versions of the facts. As usual, no matter how critical, all of these comments were approved. In 18 months, until yesterday I had never prevented a comment from being posted. However, yesterday two commenters presented such tortured versions of reality that I decided not to publish them, not because they were critical, but because they lacked any substance or evidence to support claims that were not going to advance a civil dialogue.

If people want to claim that we are descending into “mob rule” or conducting a “witch hunt” when we are reporting on the claims made by now 3-4 women, claims that other women have corroborated, I don’t think any response will make a difference for those people.

What is most interesting to me is that the same people who are criticizing reports of harassment and who say we are rushing to judgment are the same people who are asserting, utterly absent any evidence whatsoever, that the harassment claims are part of some “establishment” conspiracy. No evidence, but in one comment after another this conspiracy is presented as fact, an assumption not to be questioned.

The willingness to accept as fact a conspiracy without any evidence is different than believing multiple women making claims of harassment. In the latter there are written claims, supported by written corroboration. From what I can tell, Trujillo supporters are relying on an utterly unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. I suppose the conclusion to draw is that if you have absolutely no evidence of conspiracy, just present it as fact and insist it’s true. That may be enough for some, but hopefully most will see this a transparent effort to devalue the claims of a growing number of women. #MeToo.

Time to get out of your comfort zones, off of your couches
and into the streets.

No it’s not another march, but it is a time for you to talk with your neighbors
about the importance of the June election and it is time to do something other than feel bad about our political reality. It is time to change it.

For 18 months, Retake has been engaging and educating a growing NM constituency. But that is only half of our organizational slogan. Engaging and educating is utterly useless if we do not achieve the second two components of our slogan: organize and activate. Without organizing and activating, education just leaves people sitting at home furious. And it is pretty clear that letters, emails, petitions, calls, and even massive marches are falling on deaf ears. But, we can act locally and at the state level where our voices still matter and our elected officials are not 2,000 miles away in a calcified Congress. So if you want to do something with your stress and anger, it is time to get out of your comfort zones and take to the streets and talk with registered Democrats and show up at the Roundhouse on Monday, May 14 to join the kickoff of the National Poor People’s Campaign. 

Right now there are five races in NM where your direct involvement could decide each race. In November 2016, 450 of you showed up in the snow to our first gathering, asking “What can we do?” Well, over the next three weeks there is plenty to do, and without question the single most important thing you can do is to canvass. And before you say: ‘I’ll march and I’ll march, but I just don’t like canvassing,”  I have two questions: How much do you enjoy being pissed off about injustice and feeling completely disempowered?  And how much has changed as a result of our marches?

Leah had never canvassed before, but she took a risk, she got out of her comfort zone last week and here is what she had to say:

“I spent several hours today canvassing for Janene [Yazzie] in Cerillos. It was inspiring to hear how many people felt energized to vote for her and spread the word once they understood the importance of this election and what Janene’s platform is all about. I would be happy to volunteer to organize canvassers from Santa Fe for the next two weekends.”   

And before you say to yourself, “Does canvassing really matter?” more from Leah:

“People are ready for change! Canvassing made me realize that our efforts are crucial because most people initially had no idea what the PRC is or does. Neither did I, before I started getting the Retake Our Democracy newsletter.”

Let me emphasize, obviously the “engage” and “educate” part of what Retake does is important, it is what led to Leah taking the leap, and now because she did, people who had no idea what the PRC was got fired up because of Leah. IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF NOT FOR LEAH. If Yazzie wins by 20 votes, Leah will know that her work swung the race. If we get more folks out canvassing for Yazzie, for Fischmann, for McCamley, for Romero, and for Herrera, we can win these races. And that would be something to celebrate.

Before you dismiss Leah’s experience, many research studies have shown that canvassing works:

“Studies[1] , one study after the other have shown that door-knocking does indeed work. It may not work as effectively on a voter who holds a totally different viewpoint on the issues you’re advocating, but the personalized approach is effective in convincing swing voters as well as for getting people out to vote.”

We had just 3 teams of 2 people canvassing last weekend and they hit half the houses in Yazzie’s district near Santa Fe. They will finish that work this weekend. But, as described below, there are more races to support, more justice to seek. Each of our five races could easily be decided by 100 votes. If we organize 100 canvassers to work for three beautiful weekends, we can swing each of these races. That is what canvassing can be. If you’ve never done it, give it a shot. This is why we produce this blog, to activate you. Now is the time, my friends, now.

Before We Get to the Campaigns: We Need to Stand Up for Somos

Friday, May 11, 9:00 a.m. First Judicial District Court, Judge David K. Thomson’s courtroom, 225 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe. Somos Un Pueblo Unido’s first hearing in its class action lawsuit against MVD
Many vulnerable New Mexicans are being illegally denied non-REAL ID licenses and ID cards by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). And every day they go without a license or ID is another day where they are unable to cash their paychecks or pick up their prescriptions, another day where they lose a job opportunity. This Friday, a district court judge will hold a hearing over Somos’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop MVD’s shameful practice until our lawsuit, which was filed earlier this year, is resolved. For more information, call Somos at (505) 424-7832 or email somos@somosunpueblounido.org. Most of Retake’s followers are not harmed by the MVD policy, which is precisely why we need to show up in solidarity with those who are. Now you have the info. Will you be there?

To Support Andrea Romero & Women Who Aren’t Believed

Door Knocking Dates and Times:
Meet to doorknock and call on May 12-13; May 19-20; May 26-27; June 2-3
Saturdays, 11am-2pm; Sundays, 1pm-4pm

Phone Calling Dates and Times:
Sundays and Wednesdays: 5:30pm-8pm. May 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30, June 3

Download the Volunteer Flyer here.

The campaign is happy to accommodate walking and calling outside of scheduled times. To volunteer, please call or text Cecile Lipworth at 505/699-2539 or email fieldhousedist46@gmail.com.

Canvass for Janene Yazzie, PRC Dist. 4 in and around Santa Fe & ABQ
for Steve Fischmann, Dist. 5 in and around ABQ 

Yazzie & Fischmann Endorsed by Conservation Voters of NM. The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) keeps big public utilities like PNM and El Paso Electric in check and, with the right commissioners, can be a driving force in how New Mexico addresses climate change. When we successfully elect our two candidates for the PRC, we will have New Mexico’s first reliably pro-renewable energy majority on the commission. We began this work with your support in 2016 when we were instrumental in electing Commissioner Cynthia Hall in Albuquerque’s PRC district. Since then, she’s invigorated the PRC’s ability to thoroughly scrutinize utility rate increases and do what’s right for ratepayers.

CVNM is proud to endorse both Steve Fischmann and Janene Yazzie, and our supporters in Santa Fe and ABQ live near critical precincts in each of their districts. Read on.

Santa Fe Activity for Janene Yazzie

Opportunities to Canvass and Get Out the Vote for Janene Yazzie
Contact Paul at paul@retakeourdemocracy.org. We are canvassing every Sat and Sun. We want to return to houses where no one was home, so we need you.

In Santa Fe, Two Opportunities to Meet Janene Yazzie:
Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 5-7 PM, At the Home of Marilyn and Ed Winter-Tamkin in Santa Fe. Please contact Marla Painter at 505-220-3969 to RSVP and for directions. Join us for beverages, appetizers and great conversation. Contributions will be welcomed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2018, 5-7 PM, at the Home of Shane Woolbright in Santa Fe. Please contact Marla Painter to RSVP and for directions: 505-220-3969. Beverages, appetizers and great conversation. Contributions will be welcomed.

For more information about how to support the campaign, visit janeneyazziefornm.com

Opportunities to Canvass, Call & Contribute to Steve Fischmann’s Campaign

Click here for more information on Steve Fischmann and why it is so important to support his campaign. Click here to find out how you can help Steve’s campaign by canvassing, calling or donating! There are lots of districts in Los Lunas, Socorro, and elsewhere just south of ABQ where he could use canvassers. As Leah’s quote above indicates, PRC races fly under the radar.

Opportunities to Canvass, Call & Contribute to Susan Herrera
In Her Race Against Rodella in Dist. 41

We have lots of supporters up in Dist. 41 and I know this race is going to be tight. Every vote will count, so if you live in Dist. 41, now is the time to get active. Click here to reach her campaign and find out how you can canvass, call or contribute.

Bill McCamley for State Auditor

We hosted a fund raiser for Bill some weeks ago, but have not written much since. In this statewide race, every precinct is in play. Bill faces an enormous challenge: his opponent, Brian Colon, who waged a very negative campaign for ABQ Mayor against Tim Keller. Colon lost despite raising over $700,000 and benefiting from a massive and horribly negative and misleading media campaign led by sprawl developers targeting Tim Keller. During the campaign, Colon said he did not support sanctuary cities, a minimum wage increase, and would not say if he would support a massive sprawl development on Albuquerque’s westside. Click here to find out more about Bill McCamley and Brian Colon. In  Bill McCamley has been an incredible legislator in the Roundhouse, as the link above reveals. He needs your support because name recognition is huge and Colon has been in the fray for decades and is a former DPNM Chair. Click here to contact his campaign to find out how you can canvass, call or contribute.

1REVBARBERPoor People’s Campaign Santa Fe.

Saturday, May 14, 2pm, Eastside Entrance to the Roundhouse. The launch of the Poor People’s Campaign is just around the corner. Monday, May 14 will be the first of a series of direct actions and acts of civil disobedience over a 40-day period. While petitions and social media may have their place, it is definitely time to increase pressure on our elected officials. We are losing what is left of the limited democracy that has ever existing. These are very dark and dangerous times and it is time to say ENOUGH and to say it very clearly.

On the 14th, there will be a front line team of 40 that has been trained for direct action and will be arriving at the Roundhouse together at 2pm, singing, chanting, and carrying signs. We need hundreds, no thousands, of you to greet us. There be a team of PPC leaders at the Roundhouse to get you singing and chanting before we arrive. If you want to become part of the frontline team for future events, please email newmexico@poorpeoplescampaign.org to get on the list for future training and to be kept informed about NM events over the next 40 days. Find out more about the campaign at https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org

Lots of options for being active. So please. it is time to put in some time to help create a more just NM.
In solidarity,
Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics, Personal & Collective Action

Tags: ,

13 replies

  1. My understanding is that the PPC civil disobedience trainings are held in 2 parts. Part 1 training was already offered in ABQ. Does anyone know if there will be a part 2 CD training offered in ABQ prior to May 14? I have not heard anything from PPC NM on this. Thanks.

  2. HOLD FIRM, PAUL and the rest of us who will no longer support abuse of women…harassment of women…manipulation of facts…the gig is up, but for those who now choose to subscribe to a BOGUS reality…screaming conspiracy at anything that does not fit their world view is epidemic and justified in the era of the “Predator and Prez”…and to be truthful, the conspiracy rhetoric simply “thinly veils” the male training of this culture that says: “boys will be boys…..what is all the fuss about….men are predatory and it is natural to chase women, they love it” WRONG…… THE GIG IS UP!!

  3. Carl Trujillo will be on KSWV this morning at 7AM. He has taken a lie detector test and has passed with flying colors. He DID NOT DO THIS. We, constituents of HD46, will pay for Laura Bonar to take the same test.

  4. Comments that do not promote civil, SANE discourse will be removed from this site. All comments that are nasty, hateful, and not based in truth will be removed. You may be paranoid and call it a conspiracy, but I call it thoughtful moderation in the interest of encouraging constructive, respectful dialog. If you don’t want to be considerate and respectful, you’re welcome to unsubscribe and take your vitriol elsewhere.

  5. Footnote to my previous note: taunting and ridiculing is also not welcome here. Again, if it’s not civil, sane, respectful discourse, we will remove it from the site. Apparently, this clarification was needed for a few folks who didn’t understand my first note. We are able to ban individuals from commenting here entirely, but we are trying to keep the dialog open. If anyone wants to stay in the conversation, please no rants, insults, or other nasty or taunting comments or you will lose your permission to comment on the posts. Let’s hope this is clear now. Thanks.

  6. I do not remember suggesting a conspiracy theory. Nor do I remember presenting any falsehoods. IMO, I identified a falsehood in the original post — the claim that:

    “In truth, Romero’s reimbursement mistakes add up to less than $1,000, and she has paid back all of that.”

    I believe that I offered a link to a reputable source showing that her net (not gross) mistakes identified in a cursory initial review added up to more than $8,000.

    The falsehood about Andrea Romero is still posted. If more documentation is required, please let met know.

    The initial review that uncovered all these errors was not sufficiently rigorous to be styled an audit. That is coming. It will be performed by an independent auditor whose contract was approved and paid for the Board of the Regional — who are pretty much all Democrats. Andrea Romero has already attempted to discredit the audit. That should tell us something.

    I wish you could understand how someone so adept at conning people scares us in her effort to represent us. She should scare you and Paul. It is Retake Our Democracy’s reputation that will suffer if she is elected.

    • Never said u did, devin. But others have and we don’t approve them.

    • After the audit, Romero was asked to reimburse less than $600. The info you have is not the most current. An audit as you note is also being done by the Atty. Gen. I don’t have any idea how you could say Andrea has tried to con anyone. If you are referring to the issue of reimbursements, I’ve said this 50 times, she didn’t try to hide anything or con anyone. She submitted invoices with detailed receipts itemizing what the receipts were for. She submitted them to her Treasurer and the fiscal agent. Both of whom approved the receipts. She didn’t personally benefit from any of the reimbursements as the dinners, etc. including over a dozen people. I honestly think that most Dist. 46 people do not think Andrea is a con or anything but someone who made a mistake. But MANY Dist. 46 so believe in Carl that they believe everything good said by or for him and nothing good about Romero. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      • Paul, they had withheld her last couple of paychecks already. The $600 is ABOVE that. I assure you, Devin’s numbers are correct.

        I have said kind things about Andrea. She is bright, she is articulate. I have no idea what great things lie before her, but her grasp of the complexities of my district are lacking.

        I didn’t tell you this, but I attended a Hispanic Caucus meeting where she was present. The speakers were Joe Talachy of Pojoaque Pueblo and Henry Roybal, our county commissioners. I was invited to observe and answer questions from the community’s point of view. She sat furiously taking notes. She has attended a couple of the county commission meetings, but it was clear this was way beyond her depth.

        I contend that NO ONE can walk into the issues of this district, no matter how bright, and hit the ground running. I have been steeped in this stuff for 4 years, Carl Trujillo for 6. This doesn’t mean I am being overly-critical of your golden child. It is a fact.

      • Paul,

        I am very sorry, but the above is not correct in multiple ways. First, a brief review was done by Los Alamos County staff. They did not call it an audit. The Board of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) then deducted more than $8,000 from the two final check for Andrea Romero Consulting. This was in the New Mexican, and I provided the citation in an earlier comment on this blog. Then another review was done, and that resulted in an additional amount less than $600 that could not be deducted from a check because her contract had not been renewed. This results in a total of more than $8,500 that was recovered from Ms. Romero.

        The audit is the responsibility of the State Auditor, not the Attorney-General. If the State Auditor finds violations of the law, then the matter would be referred to the Attorney-General.

        The very short travel policy clearly states that all out-of-state expenses, and certain in-state expenses, require the prior approval of the full Board. So Ms. Romero’s frequent statement that she sought post approval from the fiscal agent and the Treasurer is a big so what? That was not the proper procedure for the infamous Washington trips and for the extraordinary in-state expenses. She had two years to learn a very short travel policy. She did not. She is incompetent or indifferent to the rules or dishonest or some combination of those.

        Moreover, Santa Fe County Commissioner Henry Roybal, who had been recently elected Board Treasurer, raised a red flag by emails when the expenses of the Bull Ring party came in. He approved the Bull Ring expenses only after seeking assurances from the fiscal agent and Ms Romero and her assistant that everything was in accord with the policy. (Commissioner Roybal’s emails are in the public record.)

        The material that Commissioner Roybal and the fiscal agent were shown for the Bull Ring was not detailed. It did not include sufficient detail to indicate the number of guests and provided no indication that alcoholic drinks were included. Commissioner Roybal learned the number of guests only by email inquiry. (The emails are in the public record.) The inclusion of alcohol in the Bull Ring expenditure was discovered only during the subsequent review. (The review is in the public record.) Approval was obtained only by the submission of incomplete information by Ms. Romero.

        It is Commissioner Roybal’s statement that after a period he was no longer asked to post approve reimbursement requests. Commissioner Roybal is honest, solid, calm. No one doubts him.

        Whether Ms Romero benefited personally is the subject of the audit. It will be determined. Let me explain the situation.

        Department of Energy (DOE) employees cannot accept anything from the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) valued in excess of $20 and that is a cumulative limit for a year. After all, the RCLC uses DOE money to expressly, overtly attempt to influence DOE decisions. A gift of any value was clearly improper.

        If any Department of Energy employee accepted a single entree at the Bull Ring, or a single baseball ticket, or a single entree at an expensive Washington restaurant, or a single shot of $28 Scotch, then they committed a flagrant ethics violation. Would they pay for themselves in order not to commit an ethics violation and to hold on to high-paying, influential positions? The question might be stated:

        Would a DOE official commit a flagrant ethics violation in the presence of a large group of people?

        But Andrea Romero Consulting was reimbursed. If the DOE officials paid their expenses and Andrea Romero Consulting was reimbursed, then that is double reimbursement or double dipping. Please don’t accuse me of rumor mongering The State Auditor has explicitly raised the issue of double dipping by Andrea Romero Consulting:

        “The audit will also look to see if RCLC board members and/or Andrea Romero Consulting, LLC, received double reimbursements for mileage, per diem, or other expenditures. There are also issues of procurement that will be investigated.”

        Andrea Romero Consulting is specifically named with respect to double reimbursement. The board members are the then Mayor Gonzales of Santa Fe and then Mayor Lucero of Espanola. The issues of procurement include the contract with Andrea Romero Consulting.

        Certain Board members including Commissioner Henry Roybal and Councilor Chris Chandler of Los Alamos did not participate in any of the partying and cannot possibly be implicated. These two Board members are to be commended for their role in ending the out-of-control spending.

        The audit contract was approved and paid for by the Board of the RCLC in open meeting. Board members are elected local officials, pretty much all Democrats. There is no partisan motivation.

        Ms. Romero’s contract with the RCLC was not renewed and will not be renewed.

        She is now running for office with the determined support of Retake Our Democracy.

        Best wishes,


      • Paul, I have provided you with the fully documented facts in this case, which you choose to ignore. There is someone here that is showing a disregard for facts, and it is not Devin or me.

  7. Those who mindlessly embrace conspiracy theories in support of their candidate demonstrate loyalty to a person, not to principle. Time is now to make principle the foundation of decision-making.

    • Here is the principle at stake here, Michael….

      Carl Trujillo grew up in this Valley and he understands the importance of things like protecting the water and land rights of these residents. He stands so tough on principle that he walked 600 people through the process at the Office of the State Engineer. In groups of 20 or so, he took them and helped them quantify their historical water use so that they weren’t screwed out of their water.

      On the road easement issue, he used the leverage of the funding for the regional water system to try and force a negotiation (which happened, after we got our county commissioner to do the same with county funds).

      On electrical easements, he attempted to disallow any entity to charge for distribution lines, you know the ones that serve houses, in electrical cooperatives because his constituents’ bills went up by as much as 40% when tribal easement fees were assessed. My community is not wealthy, we have many elderly and fixed-income here.

      I can assure you, his constituents believe him because he has given them more than ample principled history on which to base that belief.

Leave a Reply