Common Cause Call to Action, Town Hall with Ben Ray, and Links to 3 Great Nation Mag. Articles on the Midterms

Normally an off-day for Retake, but late breaking actions hit my in-box and I thought you should know, as they are happening today.  As a bonus, I include links to three tremendous The Nation articles on the midterms and their long-term impact. Very worthwhile reads. Plus stunning video of Pelosi, Schumer, and Trump discussing wall funding & government shutdown. Hilarious, if this weren’t or national leaders.

Important actions for today and tomorrow are described below, followed by links to thre The Nation articles that should provide you inspiration and motivation. The mainstream media covered the 40 seat House flip, but The Nation digs in to what happened in the down ballot in states across the nation, where Democrats (and largely very progressive ones) flipped almost 400 State Legislative seats and many important state level races for Governor, Secretary of State, etc. These wins will improve the lives of millions of people and these leaders are the leaders of our future. Prepare to be inspired. When combined with tomorrow’s report on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her New Green Deal it is clear that something is happening here….and it is very, very good. The New Green Deal is an absolutely game changing initiative integrating economic and climate justice and infusing it with the urgency it deserves. We’ve played defense in NM for over a decade and now we can see what offense and justice look like. Well, we aren’t alone, friends, good things are coming and I get a chill writing those words.

Bonus coverage at the end of this short post: Trump being ever so Trump-like in clashes with Schumer and Pelosi at the White House. Whose idea was it to broadcast this embarrassment?

Wednesday, December 12 at 7 p.m., at the City Council Chambers, 200 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501. We always back our allies and so while Wednesday is typically an off-day for the blog, Heather Ferguson, Common Cause, called and so here you go.  A robust public campaign financing system is one of the few ways the US Supreme Court has left to us for combatting the influence of big money on our politics. Santa Fe has a public financing system, but it is failing to keep up with recent increases in private campaign spending that have made publicly financed candidates uncompetitive. A bill to fix this is now being considered by the Santa Fe City Council. The bill would allow publicly financed candidates to obtain additional funds by raising small $100 contributions and having these matched by supplemental payments from the city up to certain limits.  Join Common Cause and Retake tonight!  We need to pack the room and show City Council that Santa Fe supports a strong citizen-funded elections program!

For additional background information, check out this op-ed from our State Board Chair, Jim Harrington, in the Journal North.


Phone Town Hall with Rep. Ben Ray Lujan Today at 6pm. If you can’t make it to the City Council, maybe give a listen on Rep. Lujan’s phone town hall. From his office: “One of the most important parts of my job as a Member of Congress is hearing from my constituents about the topics that matter most to them. That is why I’m hosting a Telephone Town Hall on Wednesday, December 12 at 6:00 pm MT. To join the call, dial 855-821-1345 on Wednesday at 6 pm or RSVP here for us to call you when we get started. This Town Hall will be an opportunity for me to share an update with you on my work in Congress and discuss issues that impact all of us, including lowering prescription drug and health care costs, strengthening our economy, and protecting our democracy. If you have topics you want to discuss with me, please call in. You can call my DC office at (202) 225-6190 if you have any questions about the town hall or would like to share an opinion with me at any time.”

Please keep this post and BRL’s number because tomorrow’s blog will focus on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ New Green Deal, a potentially game-changing approach to climate change, that while certainly not something the GOP will pass, could well be the standard bearing issue for the Dems in 2020, leading to big wins in the Senate, a stronger House and a Democratic President. But that will only happen if Democratic leadership recognizes this initiative as something that could catapult candidates throughout the Nation into office. Rep. Lujan needs to hear from us on this. But let’s listen in tonight and then send him our thoughts on The New Green Deal. I was told by one of our readers that when he called the number above, he was told that Rep. Lujan didn’t want to take “political” input on this line. If that is the response you get, be assertive and ask how best to provide ‘political’ input to our political representative. 😉

CREDO. An Alternative to Verizon, et al and an Ally in Seeking Social Justice. Tired of higher fees, terrible coverage and your money going to some multinational corporation with no social conscience? Roxanne and I were and so we did some poking around and found Credo. We had actually seen them years ago, but they couldn’t deliver cell coverage where we live. But now they use the Verizon transmission lines and so coverage is quite good. But why switch. Our monthly cost dropped by $50/month and that is with our paying off two new iPhones as Credo uses their own version of iPhones and other phones that include their chip that connects you with them. After we pay off the phones, our savings will double. But to us more importantly, CREDO has a conscience. They have donated over $86 million to progressive causes. It was easy to switch because Credo gave great support in helping you transfer your data from your current phone to your new one. There are precious few corporations out there will an explicit progressive social purpose. I think we should support them. Click here to check them out.

Roundhouse Advocacy Team. Thursday, Dec 13, 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd.

Roundhouse photoFrom 6pm-6:30 we will offer an orientation to what the Roundhouse Advocacy Team has done to prepare for the 2019 Legislative Session, our  MUST PASS bills and how they were identified and an overview to the specific volunteer roles you could play at the Roundhouse and in hearings and from your home. From 6:30-7:15 we will provide a comprehensive training in how to understand and use the Roundhouse website,, a site with a wealth of information, but not the most intuitive. A team of Roundhouse volunteers has been working for two weeks to provide a step-by-step orientation and you’ll see the site projected on the screen and click through and see all that is there.  A great learning opportunity. From 7:15-7:45 we will work in small groups to make specific plans for reviewing and tracking bills (a task that can be done from home), serving as a Volunteer Advocate at the Roundhouse, attending hearings, visiting legislator and committee staff and reporting on floor and committee votes. We will close the meeting with Q&A.

If you would like to attend the meeting on Dec. 13, please email Paul Gibson at It really helps us set up the room for the right number of folks.

The Nation Provides a Thorough Examination of What the Dems Did in the Midterm and What Should Be Next

This is an off day for Retake. I try to only post blogs 3 days a week, plus the Week in Review, but the above action alerts came in after I had posted on Tuesday and the actions are for Wednesday. But I had spent last night hunkered down with The Nation and was blown away by the excellence of reporting (the norm for them) and at the scope and scale of the wins in the midterms. More than just providing information, the three articles below should provide you with inspiration as to the depth and scope of not just Democratic wins in the midterms, but the victories of young, very progressive people color now in key positions throughout the nation, and not just in progressive hubs. Riding on the coattails of Beto O’Rourke, no less than 17 Black women judges were elected to the bench in Houston. This stuff matters and it bodes very well for our nation going in the future. There is an urgency that seeps out of every page of these reports and these newly elected officials get it. And they will be our leaders in the next decade or two. Highly recommended reading. Do as I do, I set The Nation aside and then when I have the time, I read it from cover to cover. But here you get three great snapshots of the midterm and its potential impact on our future.

The Nation looks beyond the obvious 40 seat flips in the House. So below are links to pdfs for all three articles. Since I’ve subscribed since 1969, you get them free. But I highly recommend that you subscribe to this magazine. Dirt cheap, excellent weekly reporting, reporting with a conscience and vision. Click here to subscribe. The subscription button is on the top right corner of the home page.

  1. 9 Lessons from the Midterms. This is a great piece for anyone who will be working to identify candidates and help organize or support their campaigns at the local, state or national levels. Click here.The Nation 9 Lessons from the Midterms. From The Nation: “Maybe the defeat of Joe Donnelly in Indiana and Claire McCaskill in Missouri will lead Democrats to stop backing candidates who run away from their party. Meanwhile, the elections of McBath, Delgado, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, and Axne, as well as Abby Finkenauer in Iowa, Sharice Davids in Kansas, Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, Chuy García in Illinois, and Jahana Hayes in Connecticut, means this new class of Democrats is the most diverse and the most progressive in the party’s history. “The idea that Democrats can’t compete anywhere, or that people of color can’t compete, is absolutely shattered,” said Democracy for America’s Charles Chamberlain.”
  2. Taking Back the States.  I had no idea how sweeping the Democratic wins were in State legislatures. Democrats flipped 380 state legislative seats, over a 1/3 of the 1000 seats lost during the Obama administration.  The Nation-Taking Back the States.  From ^he Nation: “If those 382 Democratic legislative flips sound good, maybe even more important is that Democrats have gained control of eight chambers under Trump: the state senates in Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, New York, and New Hampshire (after winning control of Washington State’s upper chamber in a special election last year), and the House of Representatives in Minnesota (where they picked up an astonishing 18 seats) and New Hampshire. They cracked GOP supermajorities in five additional chambers, including both the House and Senate in North Carolina. Once Republicans lose a supermajority, Democratic governors can veto their extreme measures without fear of an override. Smashing the GOP supermajority in North Carolina will give Democratic Governor Roy Cooper more leverage, and it will also protect the Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Democrats gained six supermajorities in another five states. Democrats also gained seven new governorships, giving the Republicans 25 to the Democrats’ 23.” We here in NM can understand the importance of state elections and this article does an excellent job of dramatizing the extent to which Democratic victories in state races across the nation are improving the lives of millions of Americans and planting the seeds for an even more dramatic shift left in 2020. 
  3. The Democratic Down-Ballot Triumphs. This article is perhaps the most important and least reported. As Rebecca Katz, Democratic Party Communications Strategist put it:  “We got a bench.” Put another way, the Dems won countless local and state elections propelling a strong bunch of progressives into positions where they can gain experience, build grassroots support and ready themselves to win higher office in the future. Click hereThe Nation- The Down-Ballot Triumphs. As an example of just one of the new leaders who have emerged in the mid-terms in down ballot races, from The Nation: Meet Mandela Barnes, the new lieutenant governor of the Badger State, a passionate progressive who has steeped himself in the new politics of going big on the issues and even bigger on the mobilization of an expanded electorate. He’s a rising star who is already being talked up as a contender for higher office. And meet Juliana Stratton, the criminal-justice reformer who will be the first black woman to serve as lieutenant governor of Illinois. And meet Garlin Gilchrist II, the 36-year-old former national campaign director for MoveOn, who celebrated his election as the first black lieutenant governor of Michigan by announcing: “We stand on this stage upon the shoulders of giants who had a vision that went beyond generations. And it’s our generation’s responsibility to live up to that responsibility by having our imaginations exceed our expectations.”

Happy reading. And make sure to check out tomorrow’s post about the New Green Deal being promoted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne


Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics, Local-State Government & Legislation

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