Key barriers to progressive legislation were removed by voters and the PRC could flip to environmentalists in November. Yazzie comes oh so close. And a video from RFK. 50 years ago, I was at the Ambassador when Bobby was shot, so today I include a stirring video of Bobby Kennedy’s A Tiny Ripple of Hope speech delivered in South Africa. One can only wonder at the world we’d have, if only…
One brief request. Yesterday’s post included a request for donations, in part to help cover the costs of fees covering legal consultation in responding to the Ethics Complaint. We also incurred some significant costs prior to engaging in primaries to be sure we knew the rules. It was a wise investment as that advise helped us take proactive steps to ensure we were compliant with SOS rules. In any case, we asked for folks to help with that yesterday but for reasons I don’t understand, the link failed and I got several emails asking how they could donate. I’ve checked this link twice, so if you are feeling exuberant about the results or just relieved that at least for a few weeks you are not likely to be deluged with House Party opportunities and opportunities to help some candidate meet a critical fundraising deadline, please consider contributing to Retake. Thanks so much.
Reflecting on Election Results
I am going to keep it brief. It was a long night last night and frankly, I want to go back to bed. The primaries were ugly affairs, but the voters have spoken and for the most part progress is the winner.
- In the Roundhouse: When Retake was considering supporting Romero and Herrera, we were told by experienced lobbyists and legislators that it would be no easy ride. It wasn’t. But in Jan 2019, Speaker Egolf will have a far easier time advancing good bills through the House with the ousting of two legislators with a history of using committees to kill bills unfriendly to their corporate supporters. These upsets also send a clear message to Democratic leadership: the people are watching and we want results in 2019. If you are interested in joining with Retake’s volunteer lobbying effort, our Roundhouse Advocacy Team meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. Next meeting is June 8 and we will be beginning to flesh out our Statewide Legislative Rapid Response Network for the 2019 session. This is a tremendous group of volunteers who are doing great work. And now we have a chance to make good bills, good laws. Join us. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the list of folks who want to be involved.
- The PRC Commission also gets a message. Steve Fischmann overcame PNM’s almost a half million dollars in last minute PNM dark money to defeat incumbent Sandy Jones. Fischmann still faces Ben Hall in the District 5 general election. That is no guaranteed victory, as Hall almost took his race against Jones in 2014. It will take a strong effort to finish this job and flip the PRC to environmentalists. In the other PRC Democratic primary, Janene Yazzie almost overcame her being new to politics and a very dirty, PNM-funded campaign, but finished 900 votes shy of beating Becenti-Aguilar and incumbent Lynda Lovejoy in Dist. 4. Janene has a future in NM politics and I hope Becenti-Aguilar has paid close attention to the results last night: whether you sit in the Roundhouse or the PRC, voters are watching and they want their elected officials to represent their interests, not PNM, Chevron, the NRA or other corporate interests.
- Auditor. Unfortunately, the other candidate supported by Retake did not fare as well as we hoped, with Bill McCamley losing the Auditor nomination to Brian Colon. The Roundhouse lost a tremendous legislator in Bill McCamley. who left that seat to run for Auditor. We applaud his effort and hope he is back in the political arena soon. The Roundhouse needs politicians who honor transparency and stand for progressive principles.
In other races, Michelle Lujan Grisham soundly defeated her challengers by a 3-1 margin, Howie Morales easily defeated Rick Miera and Billy Garrett in the fight for the Lt. Governor, Stephanie Garcia Richards narrowly won her race of Garrett VeneKlasen. Right now, we aren’t even going to try to analyze these races or the implications for the general election in November except to say that with the primaries behind us, it is critical that Dems learn from 2016, lick their wounds and work in unity to ensure that the Democrats recapture the Governor’s seat. With the wins in Dist. 41 and 46, we are in a tremendous position to reshape NM, to advance progressive legislation and make good bills into good laws. Or we can endure four years of vetoes and compromise. Let’s do this.
One last comment. It is no secret that the Dist. 46 race was a brutal contest, full of acrimony and two sides who were uncompromising in their support for their candidate of choice. That is over now. It is time to unify and work together on the easement issue. Too many Dist. 46 residents are unable to sell or borrow against their homes, with often tragic consequences.
Fifty Years Ago Today RFK Died From Wounds Suffered the Night Before
Yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary of what was the saddest day of my political life, the day that Robert Kennedy was shot. My high school best friend, Jason and I were at the Ambassador that night, completely inspired by RFK. We left minutes before he was shot and only realized what happened when I got home to find my mother sobbing in the living room. I often wonder what would have happened had he not been shot. The nomination almost surely was his after winning the California primary. And, as the speech below reveals, RFK had an extraordinary commitment to social and racial justice and was decades in advance of other ‘liberals’ in understanding the need for community activists and impacted communities to lead whatever policy interventions were to be advanced to address injustice. Plus, he had degree of ruthlessness and political savvy that I feel could have resulted in many of his ideas being implemented. Oh what a difference he could have made.
So today, I recommend spending a moment with Bobby to hear what a progressive commitment to social justice really looks like. And then let’s take a day off from politics and recharge our batteries for the challenges ahead.
Paul & Roxanne