We rely on CNN for 21 quotes from Trump’s new and remarkably inept impeachment lawyer (hysterical), plus Heath Cox Richardson offers a solid summary of the Democrats compelling impeachment case. We close with a shocking 13-minute video of the capitol insurrection that was used in the trial.
After the Legislative Update and two News in Briefs, you will find the capitol insurrection video followed by interviews with Mariel Nanasi, New Energy Economy, advocating to amend the Energy Transition Act and to establish Local Choice Energy in NM, and Angela Merkert, Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity, advocates for establishing a state public bank.
Activism Triumphs. Just Tuesday, we reported on the effort by Niagara Bottling Co. to abscond with almost 400 acre feet of water each year, diverting it from agricultural use. Well, activism triumphs. After Las Lunas People’s Protest yesterday, Niagara water bottle company has withdrawn their request for expansion!!!
It has been an eventful week already, with only one of our bills being killed in committee to date (Fusion Voting) and with many moving merrily along. But the waters get rougher as you move to some committees that have a history of being roadblocks for good bills. And despite the exit of five Democratic Senators who were central to that effort, there are still challenges ahead. Because we are observing committee hearings, we are able to note points made by opponents of the bills we support and revise bill summaries with information to counter those opposing views.
And remember to join us every Friday, 3:30-4:30 p.m., for our Legislative Advocacy Strategy Huddle via Zoom. New participants welcome! This is an excellent way to catch up on what happened during the week, discuss what is coming, and start to learn the ropes of how the legislative process unfolds. Please go to this link to register for this Friday’s meeting.
Abortion Ban Repeal Passes Senate, On to House. Well, the voters sent a very clear message to the New Mexico state legislature last June. Apparently they heard that message. With only two Democrats defecting (Sen. Muñoz and Sen. Campos), the Senate passed SB 10 Abortion Ban Repeal 27-15. Interestingly, the Democrats didn’t respond to any of the GOP baiting during debate, choosing to remain silent rather than extend a pointless discussion. This infuriated GOP Senators, but frankly, there are times when a debate between competing perspectives makes sense and times when it doesn’t. There is really nothing to debate here: you either believe a woman has a right to choose her own path in relation to reproductive health or you don’t. It wasn’t as if suddenly something the GOP said would change any Democrat’s mind and vice versa.
SB 10 will now move to the House, where Speaker Egolf has given hints at it receiving but one committee assignment. This could be on the Governor’s desk by the end of next week. Getting this done was a major motivation for many New Mexicans to become involved in the June primary and to support Democratic challengers to DINOs who voted with Republicans to stall this effort in the Senate in 2019. While yesterday’s vote was entirely expected, the scale of this win shouldn’t be diminished. This is a huge win. But this is just one win and with a very different NM State Senate, as Senator Wirth has said: ‘the window is wide open and the voters have made it clear that the time is now for bold change.’ (paraphrase). In short, we’ve got more to do.
Retake Conversations. To create another tool in our advocacy tool kit, we are also conducting 30-minute interviews with advocates for bills we support. Today we share interviews from Mariel Nanasi, New Energy Economy Executive Director, who is pushing both SB 155 Energy Transition Act Changes and SB 83 Local Choice Energy. We also include an interview with Angela Merkert, Director of Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity, who is advocating for SB 313 / HB 236, a State Public Bank; both are offered below. Tomorrow we will post a conversation with Mary Feldblum, Director of Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign. We are hoping that you will share links to these discussions with your legislators.
2021 Legislative Action Alerts: We are publishing alerts almost every day with dates, times, talking points, info about how to participate in committee hearings, and contact info for legislators. Go to this link to sign up for email Alerts. We also publish the Alerts on our website daily. You can find them all at this link . Look for an alert later today, as there are some new hearings announced for Monday morning, so today is the time to call / write your legislators.
Check out yesterday’s Alert here for more details on a busy and exciting day coming up, with five bills in four hearings slated to be heard Saturday, Feb 13, i.e. TOMORROW:
- 9 a.m. Senate Conservation: SB 155 Energy Transmission Authority Changes, amends the Energy Transition Act (ETA), first on the agenda. Get talking points at the link above, or read a more detailed explanation in our blog at this link. Second on the agenda is SB 149 Prohibit New Fracking Licenses.
- 10 a.m. House Health & Human Services: HB 12 and HB 17 Cannabis Regulation Act(same name for both). There are four cannabis legalization bills that we’re sorting through: the two above and SB 13 and SB 288. Based on sponsors alone, it looks like HB 12 is the one to support (Reps. Javier Martinez, Andrea Romero, Deb Armstrong). On Saturday morning we will publish a post outlining the differences between the bills and explain our support for HB 12.
- 1 p.m. House Agriculture & Water Resources: HB 207 Food, Hunger & Farm Act. This is a critical bill that we strongly support, as it will transform our food systems and inject resources and new initiatives to strengthen the local rural economies while protecting their land and water (and seeds, yay seeds).
- 2 p.m. House Judiciary: HB 47 Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act, another one of our Transformational bills.
News in Brief:
- From CNN: “The 21 most utterly bizarre lines from Trump impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor.” I’m relieved to no longer have the news dominated by Trump and his co-conspirators, but this piece caught my eye as I had read somewhere else that Castor had totally bungled his legal representation. I can only say that the 21 lines are beyond anything The Onion, SNL and Borowitz could have fabricated.
- From Letters from an American: “February 10. Heather Cox Richardson.” No one does a better job at capturing the essence of key political developments, and in this post she lays out exactly what transpired in the Senate Impeachment trial yesterday. She also places it in context, outlining the very difficult position that Trump adherents find themselves in. She describes how political forces within the Republican Party may erode Trump’s support from 40+ Senators who remain impervious to evidence, e.g., over 140,000 voters registered as Republican have changed their registration since January 6, and reports that a raft of GOP moderates from prior administrations are discussing the formation of another moderate-conservative party.
Impeachment, Round II, Day I
Even if you have seen tons of video of the capitol insurrection, you need to see this. The House Democratic Impeachment Management team have created a powerful video that seamlessly weaves Trump riling his terrorist following, with clips going back to 2016 and culminating in new security footage from the insurrection. Given Lindsay Graham’s depiction of the presentation as “offensive and absurd,” and other GOP Senators refusing to even watch, it seems unlikely we will achieve a guilty verdict. But the GOP is painting itself into the Trump Party corner, and given developments reported by Heather Cox Richardson above, that may not be a good corner to be in come 2022.
Retake Conversation with Mariel Nanasi, Director, New Energy Economy
Mariel Nanasi laid out the benefits of amending the Energy Transition Act and for passing Local Choice Energy. She also offered her view on why some enviro organizations fail to support her efforts to constrain PNM’s greed.
Retake Conversation with Angela Merkert, Director, Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity
Angela lays out clearly why we need a state public bank, how it does NOT compete with community banks, and how it could fuel an array of infrastructure and renewable energy initiatives.
In solidarity and hope,
Paul & Roxanne
Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation