Friday, December 21, 2012

Statement by ProgressNow New Mexico on the NRA's "Firearms for First Grade" Proposal for School Safety NRA declares virtual guns dangerous, but real guns safe

 

 

 

 

 

Statement by ProgressNow New Mexico on the NRA's "Firearms for First Graders" Proposal for School Safety


NRA declares virtual guns dangerous, but real guns safe.  Calls for members to "volunteer" in schools




Albuquerque -- ProgressNow New Mexico Executive Director Pat Davis released the following statements in response to the National Rifle Association press conference in which Wayne LaPierre called for putting guns in our schools.


 


"After spending millions of dollars and years of lobbying efforts to protect loopholes that permit shooters like those in Columbine, Aurora and Newtown to murder dozens of innocent people, including BackToSchoolNRA.jpgdozens of innocent children, the NRA used it's bully pulpit this morning to hold a 45-minute infomercial for it's plan to take virtual guns in video games away from children and replace them with real guns and in-school gun training for every first grader.  This is the most ludacris response anyone could imagine to the tragedy in Newtown and should be immediate denounced by politicians like Governor Martinez who the NRA called upon to form 'volunteer' malitias in our neighborhood schools. 


"Let's not forget that the first victim in Newtown owned dozens of weapons and none protected her from becoming the first victim.  It is my sincere hope that the same politicians the NRA calls upon to add education funding to put firearms in first grade classes will prefer to restore underfunded instructional budgets and teacher positions to our classrooms, instead."


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ProgressNow New Mexico is a grassroots non-profit organization advocating for responsible public policy advancing opportunity for every New Mexico family.  Pat Davis, our Executive Director, is a former police officer and graduate of the FBI National Academy.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Group Calls on Governor to Honor Speaker Lujan by Lowering State Flags


Group Calls on Governor to Honor Speaker Lujan by Lowering State Flags

Gov issued statement but no order for state honor, as is custom


By anyone's measure, Speaker Ben Lujan was a big man whose steadfast advocacy for families and New Mexico propelled him to become one of our state's most beloved statesmen.  Thanks to his tireless service and leadership, his legacy now extends far beyond his home in NambĂ© - through his family, friends and fellow legislators across New Mexico and through his son all the way to Washington, D.C.


 


On learning of the sad news of his passing Tuesday night, we call on Governor Martinez to order
the state's flags flown at half-staff, an honor that has been granted countless previous times to recognize the passing of notable New Mexicans.


 


It is tradition that the governor order flags flown at half-staff to




 honor the passing of distinguished New Mexicans be they public safety officers, members of our armed services or legislators.  A quick review of this governor's executive orders find that she has done so no less than 15 times since taking office - including most recently for the passing of Republican Representative Jeanette Wallace in October.  Now, in the second day since the passing of our sitting Speaker of the House, no such order has been issued.


 


While Governor Martinez has issued a statement of condolence on Speaker Lujan's passing, she has not issued an order honoring his service by the lowering of the state's flags.  Such an honor is befitting any public servant, and particularly the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives and lifelong public servant Ben Lujan.  We call on Governor Martinez to issue such an order as she and other governors have done for more than a century to mark the passing of prominent citizens.







Monday, December 17, 2012

Their Solution: Give Teachers a Discount at Gun Stores.









PNBannerYellowVertical.jpgThe right wing has started pushing a "more guns" solution.  On his show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh told his listeners assault weapons don't really exist and promoted a gun shop giving discounts to teachers.



When I signed up to serve as a police officer a decade ago, I never dreamed my mother, an elementary school principal, might need the same training I needed to work gang-ridden streets.



But that's where we are because our politicians haven't mustered the political courage to pass common-sense gun reforms to stop these shooting tragedies.



That's why we need you to tell our Congressional delegation that you demand to see action on responsible gun laws.  Calls for reform far outnumber those for the status quo that led to Tucson, Virginia Tech and, now, Newtown. But, unless we speak up, our representatives won't know.



Our delegation needs to see a list of pro-reform voters larger than the NRA's membership in New Mexico.   No one's right to own a gun trumps our right to be free from senseless violence.



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Sign it, share it and follow up.  It's time to demand reform.



Sign the petition to Senator Udall, Sen.-elect Heinrich, Rep. Lujan, Rep. Pearce and Rep.-Elect Lujan Grisham demanding they take federal action that holds gun dealers and owners responsible for owning a firearm and puts up real barriers to criminals and incompetent buyers seeking to unleash horror on our communities.


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

A time for action on responsible gun laws

In the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, ProgressNow New Mexico joins Americans in calling for action on responsible gun control.  The following statement was issued from our executive director:


 


"When I signed up to serve as a police officer more than a decade ago, it was inconceivable to believe that the most dangerous place I would serve would be a school instead of a street corner in a gang-ravaged neighborhood.


"Yet, our country changed and places like Columbine, Tucson, Virginia Tech - and now, sadly, Newtown - have taken the place of South Central and Anacostia in defining gun violence in America.  In my decade of service, I came to worry more about violence serving as a university police officer than I had been in a huge urban metropolitan department.


"The time for prolonged debates and discussion on responsible gun ownership ran out at 9:30 on Friday morning.  I cannot imagine the fear felt by those innocent lives as their young angels watched the horror befalling their friends and soon to befall themselves.


We agree with President Obama that it's time for a plan and time for action.  As a proud and responsible gun owner, I know we can protect my 2nd Amendment rights without giving easy access to weapons of war to those who are unprepared to handle them responsibly. A recent survey by conservative pollster Frank Luntz found that 87-percent of NRA members believe that we can protect our 2nd Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, and 74-percent of those members believe gun buyers should undergo background checks.  Yet, 40% of gun sales currently go to those who never undergo background checks, and the overwhelming majority of these mass-shooting perpetrators would not be able to pass those checks if required.  They would be denied because they are children, mentally unstable or violent towards others; yet, special interests spend millions of dollars to protect the loopholes these perpetrators walk through to become national terrorists.


"We have seen bipartisan agreement on responsible gun laws before, including here in New Mexico.  Unapologetically progressive, we supported Governor Martinez's conservative administration when it rescinded concealed carry reciprocity agreements with states whose concealed permit standards did not live up to our own standards of responsibility. We can, and should, do the same here and across the country if we put our children first and our politics second.  Our country is ready.  We are ready. Who will join us?"


 


-Patrick Davis is the Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico and a former police officer with the US Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Departments in Washington, DC and a Lieutenant with the University of New Mexico Police Department in Albuquerque.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. 



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Martinez Begins Campaign 2014 With Fundraising Appeal to Big Donors

11 December 2012


Martinez Begins 2014 Campaign by Trying to Increase War Chest
Governor Expects Well-Organized Progressive Opposition.
Let's Not Let Her Down!





  • Governor Martinez is in full campaign mode and is already lining her coffers to defeat progressive ideas and legislators from now until 2014

  • We need your help to protect the gains we've made and defend against Martinez's corporate-funded, anti-middle class agenda


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ALBUQUERQUE -- Ever the politician, Susana Martinez has already begun her re-election bid -- merely 22 days after the election -- by distributing a highly partisan fundraising email that gives New Mexican's insight into the divisive underbelly of her administration.


Instead of focusing on the problems she has exacerbated or has yet to fix here at home -- mounting job losses, corporate tax giveaways, failing schools, immigration, environmental degradation -- Martinez is already in full campaign mode and spreading the kind of conservative misinformation usually reserved for the weeks leading up to Election Day.


The Albuquerque Journal reported today about a Martinez fundraising letter replete with scare tactics and misinformation all in the service of filling her campaign coffers beyond their already enormous levels.


From the article:


In a fundraising letter dated Nov. 28, the Republican governor warns that "leftwing special interests and the anti-reform forces of government" are celebrating, emboldened, and looking to 2014 "to build on their gains and seize more power...[W]e can expect the out-of-state liberal groups to spend a record amount of money in their attempt to destroy and defeat me...They will attack early and often," the letter says.


She urges supporters to help her fight back by contributing $5,000, $3,750, $2,500 or whatever they can.


The governor's election committee reported $1.2 million on hand as of October.


Though such misinformation is no surprise to you or us, the Governor's fundraising letter serves as a reminder that even though progressives made great gains in 2012 we have to start working NOW to defend against the corporate and special-interest spending Susana is relying upon. (The letter fails to mention the out-of-state industries and special interest groups that fund Martinez or that her conservative super-PACs outspent progressives 2-to-1 in the 2012 election.)


ProgressNow New Mexico is committed to correcting conservative misinformation and advancing progressive causes for the working individuals and families of New Mexico. But, as you can see, our conservative opposition is (and will be) well-funded and staunchly dedicated to halting progress in New Mexico.


Over the past year we've had a number of successes that have shed light on the failure of the Martinez administration to enact the kind of reforms she promised she would. But we need your help to keep the fight alive!


Please CLICK HERE to donate $5, $10, $15 or whatever you feel is appropriate.


Here are just a few of ProgressNow New Mexico's highlights over the past year:


Pat Rodgers - high-profile Republican lawyer and Martinez confidant - resigns after ProgressNow New Mexico exposes his racist emails.



Reform New Mexico Now PAC - aligned with Martinez and run by her closest advisor, Jay McCleskey - was caught illegally coordinating with candidates after a ProgressNow New Mexico investigation.



The New Mexico Finance Authority - run by former Martinez cabinet appointee Rick May - is caught spending $100,000 of taxpayer money on luxury hotels and swank dinners after a ProgressNow New Mexico investigation.



A ProgressNow New Mexico investigation found that Jay McCleskey and his multiple consultancy companies have made over $1.2 million from Susana Martinez since 2010.



 



Friday, December 7, 2012

NMGOP Civil War Heats Up

John Fremont strikes again.  Well, the 21st Century incarnation of him.  


New Mexico Republicans will meet in tomorrow, December 8, to elect a new state chairman.  The election is seen by many as a referendum on the direction of the party, controlled by the pro-Martinez branch of the party managed by (some say held hostage by) the governor's political advisor Jay McCleskey.  


We wrote earlier about the post-election battle being waged publicly against McCleskey.  On the eve of the election, a new email was sent to GOP insiders from "John Fremont" (Fremont was the founder of the modern day Republican Party c. 1854) urging them to vote against any chairman controlled by McCleskey.


Seems the next battle in the NMGOP Civil War is upon us. 



Read the email here:



















From The Desk Of John Fremont















Dear Patrick,

On Saturday, December 8th, our State Central Committee will elect new party leadership that will have the opportunity to rebuild our party to ensure Republican victories in the future.

To successfully unite our party, it's critical that we elect leadership and a State Chairman who is not controlled by Jay McCleskey.  

In my last email, I made it clear that McCleskey's tactics have fractured and divided our party for too long because his primary objective is to enrich himself and destroy those who would stand in his way.

I received dozens of responses from fellow Republicans who were thrilled that someone finally shone a light on McCleskey, some of whom were met with reprisals for trying to do something similar. Here are just a few responses:

"Republican insiders have known this for a long time and have found it very frustrating. By bringing the problem out in the open maybe our party can finally address the problem."

"Thank you for sending out the information on Jay. I am glad someone had the guts to send something like that email."

"NOT A DIME for the state party from me until I see a full about-face in their approach."

With the election tomorrow, Jay is working hard right now to make sure that we elect a State Chairman he has the best chance of controlling.   I'm writing now to once again pull back the curtain on Jay so that our State Central Committee members can make an independent decision that is not influenced by Jay's tactics.

Quite simply:  the candidate controlled by McCleksey will be the candidate who attacks opponents using surrogates armed with baseless accusations that challenge a candidate's commitment to our party and our principles.  

These attacks are easy to recognize because their content is ALWAYS THE SAME!  Furthermore, they are usually launched at the 11th hour, leaving his targets unable to properly defend themselves until it's too late.    If you see a candidate or his surrogates launching an attack matching the above m.o. - there's a darn good chance McCleskey is behind it.

Here are just a few of the good Republicans who have been attacked by Jay like this: Lt. Gov Walter Bradley, John Sanchez (at the 2010 pre-primary convention), Allen Weh, and past Party Chair - Ramsey Gorham.   The list goes on.

In my last email, I urged you to reject McCleskey's politics and his tactics.  This is your chance.  

If you want our party to remain independent of Jay McCleskey, be on the lookout for a candidate (or a candidate's surrogates) who would launch baseless attacks on their opponents.   Any candidate who relies on circulating gossip that attacks fellow Republicans is not qualified to unite our party.

The purpose of this email is not to advance any specific candidate or slate for tomorrow, but rather to make you aware of what is happening behind-the-scenes so that you may make an informed choice about which candidate to support.  The fact is, every candidate is committed to our party, our governor, and our success in the future. 

I encourage you to support candidates that not only align with your principles, but have apositive vision for our party's future.

Sincerely,

John Fremont





The Wall St. Conspiracy

This weekend, ProgressNow New Mexico will host two screenings of the new investigative documentary The Wall St. Conspiracy at The Guild Cinema in Albuquerque. The film investigates the stock counterfeiting scheme known as "naked short selling" through the lenses of the businesses owners who've been adversely affected and the progressive advocates who have worked tirelessly to reform a system that allows large financial firms to prosper on the backs of unwitting citizens.


The film, directed by Kristina Leigh Copeland and produced by Brown Saddle Films, will be preceded at the Sunday screening by a brief discussion with State Senator Eric Griego about the current efforts underway to reform Wall Street and America's broader financial institutions.


"Naked short selling" is a devastating practice unknown to most citizens and investors. It is, basically, the practice of selling stock but never delivering the shares to a buyer because those shares do not actually exist. Most people call that stealing; many on Wall Street simply call it strategy. ProgressNow New Mexico is sponsoring these screenings to help raise awareness in New Mexico about this devastating stock fraud scheme. The film is an eye-opening look into the underbelly of Wall Street and we're proud to have State Senator Griego speaking at the Sunday screening to inform people of what efforts are underway to protect investors and reform an out-of-control industry.


WHAT: Film screenings of The Wall St. Conspiracy. Sunday show to include discussion with State Senator Eric Griego about Wall Street reform.


WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, December 8th and 9th at 1:00pm


WHERE: The Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM


HOW: All tickets $7, cash only


To learn more about the film, visit TheWallStreetConspiracy.com


To learn more about the practice of naked short selling, read "Financial Terrorism in America," an article by financial reform advocate Mark Faulk who is featured in the film.


We hope to see you there!


 


 



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Help Sen Udall Fix the Filibuster

 


The Senate is supposed to be a place of compromise, a home for grand debates on the biggest issues.


But Republicans are abusing the rules, turning the time-honored filibuster into a tool of obstruction and gridlock to prevent any debate or progress.  Since becoming the minority in 2007, Republicans have threatened to filibuster more than 400 times - twice as much as any previous terms. 


With the current rules, just the threat to filibuster is enough to halt proceedings. And they do it to block progress on everything from mundane procedural votes to judicial nominees and the budget.


Abusing this time-honored tradition, Republicans have blocked:Fixthefilibuster.jpg



  • Judicial confirmations to fill 55 judicial vacancies, including 34 considered "judicial emergencies." 



  • Food Safety Enhancement Act



  • Wounded Veteran Job Security Act



  • American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009



  • And the list goes on and on...


But, in just a few weeks the Senate has the chance to change its rules and require members who threaten a filibuster to actually take to the floor in a real-live debate.


Our own Senator Tom Udall is leading the movement to fix the rules and get the Senate back to work; but, he needs our help!


The window for change is short - rules can be changed when a new Congress starts next month. So, we need you to contact our senators today.


Sign the petition to reform Rule XXII (the filibuster rule) so that bills can actually come to the floor and force members in opposition to debate the merits publicly, even with a filibuster if they wish so long as they actually stand up and speak for as long as they want to filibuster.


Then, send this to your friends - including those in other states whose senators are still deciding how they will vote - and tell them it's time to fix the filibuster and put Washington back to work.


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