Why Kennedy Retired; Civil Disobedience Erupts, More Planned in NM Today

Also in this post: reports that Dist 46 Dem. Ward Chairs are subverting the party to advance opposition to Dem. nominee Andrea Romero — a divisive effort at a time when unity is needed more than ever.

Today will be brief as I am at my son’s wedding and internet connections are incredibly slow and episodic. Today we include a report on Dist. 46, the backstory to why Kennedy so suddenly retired, and information on protests today in Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, and Gallup. If anyone is aware of protests in ABQ, Las Cruces or elsewhere in NM please add a comment about details and post on Retake’s Facebook page.

Trujillo supporters and Democratic Party Ward Chairs Launch Petition Drive for Independent Candidate for District 46… and if that were not enough. On June 6 it appeared the horribly divisive Dist. 46 race was over and a process of healing and uniting could begin. Guess again.

First Heather Nordquist and Martha Trujillo, two Democratic Party ward chairs and Carl Trujillo supporters, began a petition drive to put Amadeo Ortiz on the ballot as an Independent.  And only a day later, Heather Nordquist announced that she would run also, as a write-in candidate. You can’t make this stuff up.

While we recognize that this is a democracy and nothing Nordquist and Trujillo have done is counter to the rules of the game, Retake Our Democracy firmly opposes both efforts and feels that Martha Trujillo and Heather Nordquist need to resign their positions as chairs of Democratic Party wards or be removed by the Democratic Party. We feel that their retaliative efforts will distract voters, divert campaign resources that should be focused on critical NM races, and further divide the Dist. 46 community. [Correction:  I have been informed that Heather Nordquist and Martha Trujillo resigned a few days prior to announcing Heather’s campaign and that while they supported Ortiz’ signature campaign, they did not “launch” it. Mea Culpa.]

In the context of the mounting protests all over the country and the pressing need to unify our focus on opposing Trump deportation policies and Trump’s looming Supreme Court nomination, this effort to launch two challenges to Andrea Romero are just not what is needed now. We need to heal and to work together. There is too much at stake where we need to be working in consort and this campaign is very likely to be even nastier and more fractious than what we just endured. We firmly oppose these efforts and we will provide no platform for any comment on our FB page or this blog for anyone associated with these myopic campaigns.

Disgusting Trump Courtship of Justice Kennedy

Since before the inauguration, Donald Trump has been orchestrating a multi-pronged courtship of Justice Kennedy in an effort to encourage him to retire and allow Trump to refashion the Supreme Court for decades to come. Among the many fawning actions taken by Trump:

  • He appointed three of Kennedy’s clerks to highly prized judicial positions;
  • He appointed Nick Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, another Kennedy clerk of whom Kennedy is supposed to have an almost “paternal pride,” and Trump had Kennedy do the swearing in;
  • Trump cultivated a relationship with Justice Kennedy’s son, Justin, who worked closely with the Trump Organization in his role at Deutsche Bank as the global head of real-estate capital markets, according to the Times.
  • The White House made sure to float two more potential Supreme Court candidates—Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge Raymond Kethledge—both of whom also clerked for Kennedy;

While none of these actions are illegal, they are disgusting and have obviously proven effective. The one glimmer of hope is that it is not a sure thing that just any Trump appointee will be approved by the Senate. With Sen. McCain at home battling cancer, all that is needed is one GOP defection to stall any nominee and Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have shown courage in resisting Trump legislation in the past, most notably efforts to entirely unravel Obamacare. However, with two and a half years to push through a nominee and the very clear willingness of Trump to do ANYTHING to achieve his ends, we are clearly in a world of trouble.

Women Lead DC Civil Disobedience Across the Country: Twenty Arrested In Santa Fe, 600 in DC. More Saturday

The Women’s March organized the Washington DC act of nonviolent civil disobedience with the Center for Popular Democracy Action and CASA in Action. The protesters draped themselves in silver thermal blankets — evoking images of migrant kids in shelters — and chanted “Abolish ICE” and “We care.”  Capitol Police said approximately 575 people had been arrested during the sit-in. The Women’s March said in a press release that a total of 630 women had been arrested.

Thousands are expected to take to the streets today, June 30, in Washington, DC, and hundreds of other cities across the country for a nationwide Families Belong Together Rally. See below for times and locations in NM. Jess Morales Rocketto, the political director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance — one of the groups organizing the June 30 event — said people are recognizing that they can’t let up the pressure. “It’s not just one day,” Morales Rocketto said. “We’re seeing folks turn out over and over and over again.”

In Santa Fe, sixteen protesters were arrested at the Roundhouse on Thursday, with 13 being released after being charged with disorderly conduct. Three protesters who refused to leave Gov. Martinez’ office were charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. On Friday afternoon the three were released after two additional charges were added–disorderly conduct and interfering with the work of public officials. Mayor Webber arrived at the protest at 8:45 p.m. and attempted to negotiate with state police, to no avail. It is very heartening to see the Mayor making this effort and we were also very pleased to see him go to Texas to voice his concern about the detention camps and family separation. But this is the second time in a year that the District Attorney has overcharged protesters. Recall that Jennifer Marley was charged with assault on a police officer during the police over-response at the Entrada protests last September.

Take to the Streets –Stop the Slide Toward Fascism:  NOW!

The Trump administration has failed to reunite immigrant families cruelly separated at the border and continues to implement a ‘zero tolerance’ policy that fails to recognize that so many of these families should qualify for asylum under US law, arresting and confining these families without a hearing. And in response, the President’s allies in the House of Representatives nearly succeeded in pushing for an extreme anti-immigrant proposal that would have fueled even more separations.
This Saturday, June 30, join Somos and our many allies as we march, rally, and protest across the state to call for an end to the separation of families and family detention.
#FamiliesBelongTogether Rally
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Gateway Park
Click here for flyer.
#FamiliesBelongTogether March and Rally
March starting at 9:00 a.m. from train station on Route 66
Ends with rally at Downtown Courthouse Plaza
Click here for flyer.
Protest Against Congressman Pearce’s Vote for More Family Separations
Starting at 3:00 p.m. in front of the federal building and ICE office
500 N. Richardson Ave. Roswell, NM
Click here for flyer.
Santa Fe
#FamiliesBelongTogether Vigil
Starting at 6:30 p.m. following the Santa Fe PRIDE parade
The Roundhouse located at 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM
Click here for flyer.
In solidarity,
Paul and Roxanne

Categories: Activist Organizations, Personal & Collective Action

Tags: ,

6 replies

  1. Alamogordo vigil, 6 pm, Alameda Park gazebo. Listed on MoveOn.org
    Wear white, flashlights instead of candles.

  2. Albuquerque rally starts at 9:00 a.m. At the Civic Plaza on Saturday, 6/30.

  3. “First Heather Nordquist and Martha Trujillo, two Democratic Party ward chairs and Carl Trujillo supporters, began a petition drive to put Amadeo Ortiz on the ballot as an Independent. And only a day later, Heather Nordquist announced that she would run also, as a write-in candidate. You can’t make this stuff up.”

    Actually, Paul, you did make this stuff up. Both Martha and Heather resigned their positions with the Democratic party some time before Aj Ortiz decided to run as an independent. You owe both of them a retraction and an apology.

    If you wish to play the blame game for party division, think of your own role in encouraging and supporting the candidacy of a person who is simply unacceptable to many people in the 46th district.

    • I didn’t “make it up” as you assert, that is simply what was known to me at the time. When Heather sent me her resignation letter, I posted the corrected information promptly, but I am not going to go back and forth with you folks endlessly anymore. You say we supported someone unacceptable to some people in Dist. 46, well we opposed someone who was unacceptable to the majority and had Trujillo not mounted a campaign full of misinformation about Andrea, it would not have been close. I respect you, Devin, but not those who are leading this misguided campaign. And as noted in the blog, I will not parry with you and your allies. I have more important things to do. I approved this out of personal respect for you.

  4. So basically you’re saying the president bought out — oh excuse me, “free-speeched out” a Supreme. Just free-speeched him right on out of there.

    I say good riddance to “Justice $$FreeSpeech$$”!

  5. I think any follower of this blog will agree that the Dist 46 feud has been covered fairly, up to this posting. Thanks for your help sorting this out, Paul. Certainly it is appropriate that Nordquist and Trujillo resigned their party positions before running independent campaigns.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to respectfully make the point that retaking our democracy requires an “us” but also requires “democracy.” Both are needed now, but as a Democrat I believe that if you breathe and love and organize democracy, the unity will come as citizens become empowered. We must strive to realize a democracy that not only tolerates but welcomes legal citizen participation in our government, including the wackos, the selfish and the obviously wrong or, as is usually charged, “mis-timed”. New Mexico Democrats have historically been in the forefront of discouraging, frustrating, and crushing independent/third party upstarts in the name of “party unity.” I respect Party regulars who have dedicated years of their life to party discipline but come on, guys — I am still taking flack from people who call themselves “progressive” for my 2000 support of Ralph Nader.

    How about we thank Nordquist and Trujillo for their patriotic interest and continue to state and re-state our reasons for supporting Romero in the general? Isn’t that how we will win both the election and also the democracy?

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