Retake is providing endorsements for both Amendments to the NM State Constitution and for Supreme Court, Appellate Court , Santa Fe Court races, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courts and other Santa Fe County races. Very handy thing to print out (and to share) for those wanting guidance on races that don’t get much attention. Please share this with friends.
Retake Our Democracy on KSFR 101.1 FM Sat (Today) 8:30am with Kevin Kellogg, Director of Santa Fe Housing Trust.
Donate to Retake Today! Retake wants to make it easier for you to be involved and to make good, well-informed decisions when you are active. That is why we produced this Voters Guide. While most all of you have made up your minds how to vote on the big races when it comes to bond measures, judges and charter amendments, you may well arrive at the booth and as you get through your ballot, find yourself wondering. Uh oh. No clue. We’ve all been there. So Retake produced this Voters Guide. It took a lotta time. But it will help you and the friends who you share it with to make better decisions on important, albeit less discussed issues. As we hit the 2019 Roundhouse session our costs will multiply as we will be producing issue summaries to distribute to each legislator, we will be launching our Nation Builder data base to manage a statewide Response Network, and these things will cost money. The volunteers at Retake love giving their time, but we turn to you to cover our expenses. If you believe in what we are doing, we need your financial support to cover ongoing expenses. Most of these expenses are largely ‘invisible’ but amount to between $300-500/month. We really don’t waste money here and we are 100% volunteers, so we do depend on you to cover these costs. While many have stepped forward, many more have not and every little bit helps. And Thank You!!!!
Retake Our Democracy 2018 Mid-Term Voters Guide
Several folks wrote asking for a guide for these races and so we spent a bit of time to research and make recommendations. If there are other races where you are wondering what to do, please just comment to this post and I’ll try to oblige. Keep in mind, this is not a guide designed to assess the relative level of support for candidates in each race or their ‘pedigree’ in terms of positions on progressive issues. It is a strategic set of recommendations based upon a simple criteria: of the two candidates in the race, which would I prefer to be lobbying on any particular social, climate, racial, or economic justice issue? Which candidate is more likely to listen to a thoughtful appeal? Make no mistake, many of those candidates endorsed below will need to be pushed to do the right thing. Please share this with your friends. I have a feeling many people could use it. And when you share, please encourage them to subscribe to the blog. Thanks….and vote!!!! And if you are looking for ways to support good candidates in the last week of the campaign, click here. The link includes information updated since Thursday and now has links so you can phone bank from home for Abbas Akhil and Stephanie Garcia Richards. I don’t know about you, but next week is calling time. I hate it, but it needs to get done.
- Senator: Martin Heinrich
- US Congressional Dist 3: Ben Ray Lujan
- US Congressional Dist 1: Debra Haaland
- US Congressional Dist 2: Xochitl Torres Small
- Governor: Michelle Lujan Grisham
- Lt. Governor: Howie Morales
- Secretary of State: Maggie Toulouse Oliver
- State Auditor: Brian Colon
- State Treasurer: Tim Eichenberg
- Attorney General: Hector Balderas
- Land Commissioner: Stephanie Garcia Richard
- PRC 2: Kevin Sanders
- PRC 4: Theresa Becenti-Aguilar
- PRC 5:: Steve Fischmann
Amendments to the State Constitution
Amendment 1 to Article Six of the constitution proposes to give the legislature authority to provide for appellate jurisdiction by statute, enabling the legislature to prescribe the court that will hear an appeal of a case decided in a probate, metropolitan, magistrate or other inferior court. It would remove the default requirement that appeals of cases decided in those courts be heard through a new trial in district court.
Arguments for approval include that the amendment would allow for faster and less costly appeals; may reduce caseloads in district courts; may align appellate review of court decisions to the seriousness of the offense; and allow the legislature the flexibility to address evolving needs of the lower courts.
Arguments against approval are that the amendment may increase the number of cases in the appellate courts; that district courts might be best suited to establish a record for review; and a new appellate process might not yield great efficiency.
The fiscal impact report done by Roundhouse fiscal team found no fiscal impact. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Wirth and the vote to put this on the ballot passed 67-0 in the House and 38-1 in the Senate. Seems like it must be a good idea. Retake recommends a YES vote.
Constitutional Amendment 2 to Article 5 proposes to create an independent state ethics commission with jurisdiction to investigate, adjudicate and issue advisory opinions concerning civil violations of laws governing ethics, standards of conduct and reporting requirements. The legislature would determine how the commission would proceed and issue opinions. The commission would have jurisdiction as provided by law over state officers and employees of the executive and legislative branches, candidate and participants in elections, lobbyists, and government contractors or seekers of government contracts. It would give the commission subpoena power.
Arguments for passage are that the amendment supports continued review and development of the state’s ethics laws; the national trend is to establish state ethics commissions; establishes an ethics commission in the state constitution; the legislature will use the deliberative process to create the best politics for the state ethics commission; and the state ethics commission could be a resource for public servants and encourage ethical behavior.
Arguments against are that a constitutional amendment is not necessary to create a state ethics commission; the amendment would only create a commission, the legislature still must enact laws to provide for the commission’s powers and duties and the commissioners’ qualifications and terms; a state ethics commission could duplicate efforts to combat unethical behavior already prohibited by law; appointment of the commissioners would be dominated by the legislature, which may undermine the independent nature of the commission; the commission’s ability to exercise authority over any unethical behavior of legislators is limited by the constitution; and creating a new state ethics commission could be costly, and there is no guarantee that it would be more effective in deterring unethical conduct than the current system.
Retake Strongly Recommends Approval of Constitutional Amendment 2 to Article 5, the Independent State Ethics Commission
In addition to deciding on candidates for county, state and federal offices, voters in New Mexico are being asked whether the state should issue $166 million in bonds to pay for public works projects. The proposals would include funding for colleges and universities, senior citizen centers, public libraries and school buses. Each of those four areas are separate ballot questions for voters. Fair disclosure: I don’t think I have ever voted “no” on a bond measure unless it was to increase funding to create more prisons. There may have been a couple of others, but generally bonds are used to fund the things that are not sexy but that need to be in place for our schools, senior centers, transportation systems, and libraries to function. If you believe in public services, you can’t very well believe in them and then not support them. Vote Yes on all four bond measures.
The New Mexico Senior Citizen Facilities Bond. This would authorize the state to sell and issue $10.7 million in bonds for senior citizen facilities, including money to address code-compliance issues and purchasing equipment and vehicles for senior citizen facilities across the state. VOTE YES
The New Mexico Public Libraries Bond. This would authorize the state to sell and issue just shy of $12.9 million in bonds for academic, public school, tribal and public libraries. Among projects the money would be spent on are print and electronic resources, broadband internet equipment, and furniture. VOTE YES
The New Mexico School Buses Bond. This would authorize the state to sell and issue $6.1 million in bonds for public school districts to purchase school buses and equip them with air-conditioning, if necessary.VOTE YES
Higher Education, Special Schools and Tribal Schools Bond. The lion’s share of the bond money — more than $136.2 million — is in the fourth bond question for higher education, special schools and tribal schools. VOTE YES. And Tell Others to Vote YES!
Santa Fe City Amendments to Its Charter
Vote Consolidation. A vote for this amendment would allow the City to consolidate its local elections, both school board and Mayoral/City Council as well as local bond measures to that they occur in November during national election voting. One argument for doing this is that it would eliminate wasteful costs for multiple elections but more importantly it would increase voter turnout for important local elections and decisions. Another not so inconsequential feature is that you will not feel as if you are constantly being besieged by people seeking your vote, with a local Mayor/City Council election in March, followed by a primary in June and then a national election in November. The argument against this consolidation is that one of the ways that school boards actually get their needed bonds passed is by having the vote in special elections with low voter turnout, allowing those voters with children who want funds for the school to have a disproportionate impact in the voting. As someone who appreciates how hard it can be to pass bonds, especially in a community with such a high concentration of seniors and retired folk with no kids in the system, I understand the argument against consolidation. But it seems that democracy is served best when it does whatever it can to increase voter engagement. And so we recommend a YES vote.
Sustain Public Transit Taxes. Here voters must decide whether to sustain the North Central Regional Transit District, which operates the largely free blue bus service across a 10,000-square-mile service area including Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Española and even farther afield. The majority of the transit district’s revenue is derived from a one-eighth-cent gross receipts tax increment in the four counties — Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos. If all four counties do not approve the sustaining the tax, this vital bus service would end. If you care about social and economic justice, you have to care about sustaining free public transit. VOTE YES. AND DO IT TWICE.
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Recommendations
The American Federation of Teachers New Mexico endorses the following candidates:
- Michael Vigil, New Mexico Supreme Court vote for Vigil over Clingman who is a GOP endorsed by NM Right to Life
- Position 1, Kristina Bogardus, New Mexico Court of Appeals;
- Position 2, Jacqueline Medina, New Mexico Court of Appeals;
- Position 3, Briana Zamora, New Mexico Court of Appeals;
- Position 4, Megan Duffy, New Mexico Court of Appeals; and
- Jennifer Attrep, New Mexico Court of Appeals.
As further evidence related to the Court of Appeals, NM Right to Life Committee endorsed the following candidates for judge. Retake Our Democracy recommends that you vote for all of the judges above, recommended by the AFT and that you NOT vote to elect or retain any of the following judges.
- Position 1, Stephen French (R) (Incumbent)
- Position 2, Henry Bohnhoff (R) (Incumbent)
- Position 3, Emil Kiehne (R) (Incumbent)
- Position 4, Daniel Gallegos (R) (Incumbent)
Retention Election, J. Miles Hanisee (R) (Incumbent
- Gary Clingman (R) (Incumbent)
Santa Fe County and Neighboring House Races
- State Rep Dist 22: Jessica Velasquez (East Mountain)
- State Rep Dist 40: Joseph Sanchez
- State Rep Dist. 43: Christine Chandler
- State Rep Dist 45: Jim Trujillo
- State Rep Dist 46: Andrea Romero
- State Rep Dist 47: Brian Egolf
- State Rep Dist 48: Linda Trujillo
- State Re Dist. 50: Matthew McQueen
Santa Fe County Judicial Races
- District Court Division 2: Maria Sanchez-Gagne
- District Court Division 5: Jason Lidyard
- Magistrate Court 1: David Segura
- Magistrate Court 2: George Anaya Jr
- Magistrate Court 3: John Rysanek
- Magistrate Court 4: Donita Sena
- Probate Judge: Cordilia Montoya
Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court
The Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, created by the New Mexico Supreme Court, announced in a Friday morning news conference that voters not retain four out of 18 judges currently serving in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. Those four judges are Metropolitan Court:
- Chief Judge Edward Benavidez,
- Judge Michelle Castillo Dowler,
- Judge Kenny Montoya and
- Judge Linda Rogers.
The judges are evaluated on legal ability, fairness, communication skills, and preparation, attentiveness, temperament and control over proceedings
Santa Fe County Races
- County Commissioner 1: Henry Roybal
- County Commissioner 3: Rudy Nelson Garcia
- County Assessor: Gus Martinez
- County Sheriff: Adan Mendoza
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE
Roxanne and Paul