GOP Senate Bolts from Trump, Military Funding to Saudis in Jeapardy as Mueller Closes In + SGR & Land Commission Plans

The post includes an alert that our Roundhouse Advocacy meeting is being pushed back from tomorrow to Thursday, the 13th. Also included is a preview of Stephanie Garcia Richards Legislative priorities and of what might be the beginning of the end for President Trump. Yay.

Roundhouse Advocacy Team Planning and Training Session Postponed One Week. We had planned to meet Thursday, tomorrow, to continue developing plans for advocacy in the Roundhouse, to provide more training and to expand our outreach and recruitment efforts. But a combination of the need for a bit more time for our leadership to finalize a key training: a thorough demonstration on how to use the Roundhouse website at nmlegis.gov and my need to lay low for a week, has caused us to postpone. But we will meet on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 6-8pm at The Center for Progress and Justice.

So much progress is being made so quickly, it is mindboggling. I get emails every day from people in other parts of the state, from San Juan to Las Cruces, to Albuquerque and Valencia County, all asking for how they can become involved in our Statewide Roundhouse Rapid Response Network. I met with the our IT team for two hours yesterday and they are making rapid progress in finalizing the Nation Builder site that will contain a wealth of resources to make it much easier for people throughout the state to advocate for the bills they care most about. The Nation Builder site will also enable us to send Action Alerts to constituents of Roundhouse legislators who will be voting on our priority bills in committee. Constituents who sign up for the Network will get a bill summary, speaking points, contact information and the day and time of the committee hearing. With pressure from their own constituents arriving in their email boxes the night before a vote and with Roundhouse Advocacy Team volunteers sitting in the hearing room watching, we will be able to respectfully seek support for bills that are important to NM and will be able to hold accountable those legislators who undermine those bills. There are a myriad of opportunities for volunteers. You don’t have to be an expert, you don’t have to have tons of time, you don’t have to go to the Roundhouse (but if you do, you will be trained, supported and prepared). All you need to do is care about the state of our state and our nation and be willing to come to a couple of our meetings, become oriented to the options we offer for involvement.

What we do in the Roundhouse in 2019 could have significant national implications. One example can illustrate this clearly. In 1962 Healthcare for All wasn’t on anyone’s radar any where in North America: except in Saskatchewan. Voters there approved Healthcare for All and after three years of implementation and obvious fiscal and patient benefit, it was adopted as national policy. We have our Health Security Act, but we will also have a handful of renewable energy bills that could transform NM and point it in the direction of 100% renewable. There are opportunities in education, early childhood, minimum wage, and tax reform. And we have a chance to reverse the heinous 1969 Abortion Ban bill. All of this is possible and Santa Fe is at the epicenter with opportunities for you to be part of it. If you don’t join us, you will still experience great joy as you read that these bills get passed and signed, but if you do join, imagine the chill down your spine on March 16, when the Roundhouse session, when so much has been accomplished and when you can reflect on being part of it. So if you can make it on the 13th, please let me know so I can keep you posted and so we can be prepared. And if you can’t make it but you want to be involved, please let me know that too. Write to me at paul@retakeourdemocracy.org.

Retake Our Democracy on KSFR, 101.1 FM, Sat. Dec 8 at 8:30am with Lands Commissioner-Elect Stephanie Garcia Richards and Emerge NM Executive Director, Ashley Sanderson. We’ll be talking about the amazing work that Emerge NM has done in recruiting and training women for leadership roles in business and politics and about Stephanie Garcia Richards goals and challenges in taking the reins of the Land Commission. It should be a tremendous show. To preview some of what we will discuss find below, Garcia Richards legislative priorities and her plans for a statewide Legislative Preview Tour. We should be grateful for Garcia Richards’ Roundhouse experience as she has keen insight in how the Roundhouse can make her job of protecting our lands much easier. I’d argue that increasing the royalty rates are only incentivizing the state to continue to produce more and more gas and oil but who could argue with a methane capture law and increasing funding for early childhood education?

State Land Office Priority Legislation

  1. Raising the Royalty Rates – Currently, Texas charges a 25% royalty rate on oil and gas production but in New Mexico, we are capped at 20%. These resources are not renewable and it is important that we are maximizing revenue opportunities at every level. This starts with raising the royalty rate – something that hasn’t be done in over 40 years.
  2. Methane Capture & Reporting – On average, the people of New Mexico lose at least $100,000 a month in revenue that should fund our schools and hospitals from industry leaks and intentionally flaring methane. A series of rules must be implemented to require the capture and accurate reporting of methane.
  3. Increasing Transparency – The State Land Office is the second most powerful entity in New Mexico, primarily because of its nearly complete autonomy to make decisions about our land and minerals. There are a series of legislative actions we need to push through to ensure all New Mexicans have access to meetings, lease sales, and environmental shortcomings data.
  4. Early Childhood Education – As the 2018 cosponsor of House Joint Resolution 2 to use an additional 1% of the permanent fund to pay for early childhood education for all, I am excited to support this action once again.

SGR’s Legislative Preview Tour

  • Saturday, December 15 – Silver City at the Little Toad Creek Distillery at 200 N Bullard Street starting at 2PM.
  • Sunday, December 16 – Las Cruces at the Little Toad Creek Brewery at 119 N Main Street starting at 2PM.
  • Monday, December 17 – Santa Fe at the Center For Progress and Justice at 1420 Cerrillos Road starting at 5PM.
  • Wednesday, December 19 – Albuquerque at Tractor Brewing Wells Park at 1800 4th Street NW starting at 5PM.

Trump Silent As GOP Senate Leadership Revolts

All the media is a buzz with quotes from Senate leadership after they finally heard from CIA Director, Gina Haspel. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have said that no single piece of evidence irrefutably links Mohammed to the killing. After all the Saudi Prince denies involvement and Trump says he buys it. But the senators didn’t buy it for a second because the evidence they heard convinced them beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Senator Lindsay Graham said it is “virtually impossible that an operation like this could be carried out without the crown prince’s knowledge,” though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis both declined to offer senators that conclusion last week. “Secretary Pompeo and Mattis are following the lead of the president. There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw,” Graham said, referring to reports that a bone saw was used to dismember the journalist. “You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was … involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi.”

Sen. Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said there is “zero question that the crown prince directed the murder. If the crown prince went in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes. Corker went on to say that, “I’ve been here 12 years,” he said. “I’ve never heard, ever, a presentation like was made today.”

Lindsay, Corker and other GOP Senators called for Haspel to share her testimony and findings with the full Senate as soon as possible. Her testimony should consolidate Senate efforts to eliminate military funding for the Saudis, which in turn could constrain their genocidal assaults on Yemen. The Senate voted last week to advance a resolution that would pull U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts in the Yemeni civil war. There will be more procedural votes either late this week or early next that could force an open-ended debate not only on foreign policy but unrelated matters as well.

The most telling thing about this story is Trump’s silence. No tweets decrying the GOP Senate revolt. With Mueller clearly closing in the GOP Senate in retreat, the Trump White House must be a very scary, lonely place, especially for an egomaniac who feels he can do no wrong.  We’ll keep you posted.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

2 thoughts on “GOP Senate Bolts from Trump, Military Funding to Saudis in Jeapardy as Mueller Closes In + SGR & Land Commission Plans

  1. Healthcare for All is great, but we also need to take measures so that we have DOCTORS to treat people. Currently Christus has been without a neurologist on staff for over a year. There are only a handful of neurologists in Santa Fe. And neurologists aren’t the only specialties missing. The GRT is a regressive tax that keeps well qualified doctors from coming to NM and drastically impacts the poor and those living on fixed incomes. We need to look at completely overhauling the tax system so that those who live in properties over $1M pay a whole lot more in property taxes. Or tax those properties owned by out of state people with a higher bracket. With as much tourism as this state gets, I think we need to just revamp the whole thing. Also, a HUGE tax on alcohol, especially if you want to stop drunk driving. There are lots of ideas, but the government just isn’t willing to look at this.

    • The lack of doctors is a well kept secret around here. The lack of a qualified neurologist here, has led to some horrific outcomes. Our local news does not cover any of this anymore. The alcohol issue was buried in that CDC death rate information, they glossed over it, even though it is a big part of the Epidemic of Despair. The big box stores make a lot of money selling alcohol, so that kind of information is suppressed. They never talk about the long term effects or even count the numbers of people who die from alcohol related deaths. The state made licenses harder to get, which shut down neighborhood bars, driving alcoholics to drink alone at home, out of sight.

      Christus has ignored the doctor shortage for years, they have a reverse incentive to hiring doctors. They are doing very well with the current situation. As as multi billion dollar out of state corporation, they control our local politicians, and have no oversight at all. They are involved in some hanky panky in Mexico, using the money they generate here to attack women’s healthcare in Mexico. No one wants to look at how they have impacted healthcare, and politics here in Santa Fe.

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