Cambodia & Thailand, 60 deaths 85 M People, California 40 M People, 22,600+ Deaths. Why? Plus, Who is Behind PRC Amendment 1 Dark Money! + Appeal for Navajo Nation

The usual ton of info from our Monday post along with links to last week’s posts. with one on how a state public bank could fuel development of a local food system & another on another study on Medicare for All. Plus what to do with your $600 Relief check. Read on.

Call to Action for Navajo Nation

It appears that most Americans will be getting $600 Covid checks soon. For many, this will bring desperately needed, albeit insufficient relief. For others, their life’s good fortune and the zip code in which they were born makes it possible to share their good fortune and their relief check. I received this notice from Ralph Wrons, one of our advocates. Mario Atencio launched this GoFundMe campaign for Far Eastern Navajo chapters. Mario is one of the three Navajo leaders who took about two dozen Retake folks on a tour of the Greater Chaco Area, which is part of Far Eastern Navajo Nation. We’ve written many times about the degree to which Covid has ravaged this under-resourced region. Last time we appealed for funds, you responded with great generosity. The note below comes from the GoFundMe page. A link to donate appears at the bottom of this message.

In coordination with the Far Eastern Navajo chapters the Torreon Community Alliance request your support to help these communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Because of distance from sophisticated medical facilities, governmental centers and food markets,  The Far Eastern Navajo communities are susceptible to significant socioeconomic-medical impacts caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The funds would purchase critical sanitation supplies/ food supplies for the most needy of the communities. This project is meant to immediately  supplement and support the local Navajo Governmental Chapters response and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. All federal, state and tribal laws will be complied with in order to keep all volunteers safe. TCA recognizes and respects the multi-jurisdiction issues in the Far Eastern Checkerboard Navajo communities and will aspire to work in harmony with as many partners, tribal and non-tribal, as the funding and safety issues allow.

The Far East Navajo Communities consist of, but are not limited to, Counselors, Ojo Encino, Torreon/Starlake, Pueblo Pintado, Whitehorse Lake, Casamero Lake  and Littlewater. Due to the size and time constraints of the impact COVID-19 is having, the far eastern Navajo communities felt the need to mobilize as many resources to shorten logistic chains of support.

If you are not comfortable sending money through Paypal you can also send a check: payable to: “Torreon Community Alliance” PO Box 1054 Cuba, NM 87013. Ahxé’hee ntsáago (many thanks) for donating to help our communities. Mario Atencio Exec. Director Torreon Community Alliance disclaimer:  This effort is a program within the Torreon Community Alliance and not the Navajo Nation government.  Torreon Community Alliance is directed by an All-Navajo board from the Torreon (Na’neelzhiin) community and its executive director is Navajo from Torreon (Na’neelzhiin, NM).  Please visit our Facebook site for more information at: https://www.facebook.com/TorreonCommunityAlliance/

Click here to make a contribution.


Join the Fun! Raise Your Voice
Take & SHARE Retake’s 2021 Legislative Priorities Survey!

We can’t overstate the importance of not just taking this survey, but sharing it with others. We are floored by the response so far, as our outreach is now just begun and yet we are closing in on 600 responses, with every Democratic Senate District represented, 12 districts having over 10 respondents, five districts having over 20 and two having over 50. So people are taking the survey. But for this survey to be useful with our advocacy, we need 3-4 times this number to take the survey. We are reaching out to non-profit allies, to county Democratic chairs and to others to encourage their circulating the survey.

The survey will be immensely useful in advocating with legislators, showing them how strongly their own constituents feel about each bill. What’s more, it is also a recruitment tool as over 300 respondents have indicated that they want to be kept informed about the legislative session and given us their email addresses. These are folks we will add to our Statewide Legislative Alert Network. So, please take the survey AND share the link on social media and in emails to friends and family. Onward!


Join Our 2021 State Senate Network Advocacy Teams

While the response to our survey has been staggering, I am surprised that, despite a fair amount of outreach, we’ve only recruited 125 members so far to our Senate District Teams. We are making it ever so easy for you to raise your voice. All you have to do is sign up below and the District Coordinator will do the heavy lifting of scheduling a Zoom meeting with your Senator. Then all you have to do is show up. If you have a bill you really want to see passed, you can comment in the chat or speak up yourself. If you are shy and retiring, then you can simply be part of the team without having to say a word. Merely having more constituents on the Zoom will make an impression.

Senator Wirth stated in our Zoom on Dec 1, that this strategy was the most effective way to influence your legislator and get bills you support passed. And we are convinced that communicating with your legislators in December and January before the session begins is even more important. This is an easy lift, let’s double our numbers.

News In Briefs

Today we offer two NIBs.

From New Mexico In-Depth: “Nonprofit groups put new independent expenditure law to the test.” Remember those horribly misleading PRC Amendment 1 mailers that told you that if you wanted experts on the PRC, you needed to pass Amendment 1. Nowhere in the mailer did it say that you were going to lose your right to vote for PRC Commissioners, nowhere did it reference how the reason that the PRC was absent “experts” was because the legislature and governor had starved the PRC of resources leaving them with one “expert” staff for five commissioners, instead of the one expert-per-commissioner that is best practices.

Well, In-Depth did a bit of digging and found that the PAC responsible for the mailers was the Committee to Protect New Mexico Consumers (CPNMC). Don’t you just love those charming PAC titles? CPNMC’s treasurer is Noah Long, a regional director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. We had long suspected that this group was backed by the utility industry and lo and behold, CPNMC is refusing to disclose its $260k dark money donors. I wonder why? If the donors are so proud of the campaign and the amendment, why would they not be proud to tell us who they were? Part of Long’s defense is that the mailers were “educational” not political. Right.

Alert to Noah: “Educational” information is supposed to “inform” as in, give you the information you need to decide thoughtfully, not to give you 1/10th of the information and hold back what is truly in play here. I’ve heard from others that they feel this campaign was as crooked as they come and I suspect there may be more digging going on. Shameless.

From The Guardian: “How have Thailand and Cambodia kept Covid cases so low? This is truly a staggering report because it requires you to reflect on the over 400,000 Americans who will have died by the end of January when in Thailand only 60 people have died from Covid and in Cambodia, none. NONE. Let’s put this in perspective 85M people live in Cambodia and Thailand and 40 million in California. Between Cambodia and Thailand, total deaths, 61. In California 22,650 people have died. So with less than half the people, California had 400 times as many deaths. How is that even possible? The article lays it out but the Cliff Note version: government leadership listened to experts and people adhered to shelter in place orders, wore masks and didn’t gather in groups until it was safe. Thailand and Cambodia also have far lower rates of the most common pre-existing conditions, largely due to a far healthier diet. I don’t know about you, but I feel Trump is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in America and he needs to pay for that, not with a check, but with a cell.

A Look Back at an Eventful Week

There is quite a bit to choose from in last week’s posts, but if I had to choose, I’d pick the Wednesday post for its coverage of the Health Security Act and/or the Sunday post with the link to Heather Cox Richardson’s moving tribute to Deb Haaland and the important information about the NM State Public Bank. Read on and share!

NM State Legislators: This Is NOT a Time to Be Timid Plus a Link to our 2021 Legislative Survey, & Obelisk Santa Fe City Council Hearing. RAISE YOUR VOICE!

Monday, December 14. We included a ton of resources and information today, including our new online Legislative Survey (5-10 minutes to complete) and a new social media strategy from Retake. Plus info on offering public comment on the obelisk and other public art. As usual, last Monday, we included links to the prior week’s posts with the one on Wednesday Dec. 9 being particularly important, as it laid out the degree to which the state’s fiscal picture has improved over the summer, despite Covid and despite low gas and oil revenue, Read on!

Click here to read the full post.


Largest Study Yet Points to $650B in Savings with Medicare for All: A Clear Validation of Health Security in NM,
Plus Report that Trump is Not Wanted at Mar-a-Lago!

Wednesday, December 16. From the Congressional Budget Office report: if a single-payer healthcare system were implemented in the US, “the costs will be lower than what even the most rabid Medicare for All supporters have traditionally claimed.” This bodes well for the Health Security Act in NM, the most supported bill in Retake survey results as of Wednesday, although Abortion Decriminalization jumped just barely ahead by Sunday afternoon. This is a very important post, as we all need to be fully informed about the Health Security Act. There will be barriers that need to be moved to get this done.

Click here to read the entire post.
The Health Security info is important.


Bad News in GA., Great News for the Interior, But Who Replaces Deb in the House? Lots to Ponder Today

Friday, December 18. In this post, we included some farewell thoughts on a host of Trump minions from novelist Hari Kunzru who says what all of us have been feeling. One reader found it too offensive and regrets we had posted it, but several liked the commentary. If you have a low tolerance for tasteless assaults on the character of people who have no character, skip it. We also shared discouraging news on the Georgia Senate runoffs, as the trends show small increases leads for the GOP with only two weeks to go until the runoff. We provided links to help you support the Dems. It is impossible to overstate how important two wins would be. It is clear the GOP intends to do all it can to impede Biden, no matter what damage is done to the American people. Click here to learn what you can do to help in GA.

Click here to read the full post.


Trump Ponders Martial Law, the Truth About a State Public Bank & Heather Cox Richardson in MovingTribute to Deb Haaland

Sunday, December 20. In this post, we offered important info worth sharing on the effort to create a State Public Bank in NM. It included an FAQ that offered responses to some of the misinformation floating around about a public bank. We also offered an excerpt from and link to a powerful Heather Cox Richardson tribute to Deb Haaland. HCR, as usual, concisely and clearly laid out the history of indigenous oppression by the US from mid 19th century to today. If you missed this piece, it is a must read. We also offered more commentary on the increasingly delusional behavior from Trump. Lastly, a link to tremendous 54 minute interview with Rep. Derrick Lente, Jasmine Yepa, J.D., and Conroy Chino, three of the leaders of the Tribal Education Alliance of NM.

Click here to review the full post. Highly recommended.

In solidarity and hope,

Paul & Roxanne



Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation

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3 replies

  1. Amendment 1 also reduced the number of Commissioners from 5 to 3. The wording on the ballot was essentially that of the mailers sent out by the group proposing the Amendment. Why is that?

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