Please join Christy L. French, Chair
and the Doña Ana County Democrats at our


As we commemorate the American labor movement by honoring the
Local 7076
Monday, September 01, 2014, 9:00 am at the
Ramada Palms de Las Cruces
201 East University Avenue, Las Cruces, NM
Keynote Speakers


Candidate for Governor


Candidate for Lt. Governor
Tickets @ $45 each (in advance only)
Tables of 10 @ $405 (paid for with ONE check by August 22nd)
**Please note: The price of any table paid with multiple checks is $45. per ticket**
Please make check payable to: Democratic Party of Doña Ana County and mail to:
DPDAC, 1733 Salinas Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88011
(No reservations will be accepted without payment by August 22nd)
Tickets purchased at the door are $55 each (if available)
Please RSVP by August 22nd
For additional information, call Gayle Radom – 575.532.1780
Email: gradom@q.com

Senator Tom Udall Statement on Senate’s Failure to Advance Funding to Address the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after Republicans blocked a final vote on emergency supplemental funding to address the Central American immigration crisis:

“We face a humanitarian crisis at the border involving young children, and regardless of how each of us feels about whether they should be returned home or granted asylum, we have a responsibility to provide them with clean, humane housing while we make that determination. Ultimately, I believe the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill passed earlier this year is the best way to restore sanity to our immigration system by providing more border security and bringing undocumented workers out of the shadows. It’s unfortunate that Congress can’t come together on a targeted response to the current crisis.

“At the end of the day, the U.S. House of Representatives could solve this crisis and prevent it from happening again by passing the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform legislation. I’m deeply disappointed that they would rather grandstand and fight than address the serious issues facing our nation.”

ICYMI–DPNM forces Weh to take down stolen video.

Reposted from the Albuquerque Journal.  Thursday, July 31

By Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal Washington Bureau

Allen Weh’s U.S. Senate campaign on Thursday agreed to remove a YouTube video from his campaign website after the Marine Corps expressed concerns about copyright infringements.

The New Mexico Democratic Party called attention to the ad this week, accusing Weh – a retired U.S. Marine colonel and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Mexico – of inappropriately using Marine video footage and failing to include any disclaimers stating that use of the imagery did not constitute an endorsement from the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps officials told the Journal Thursday that the ad, which aired online but not on television, was inappropriate and that Weh’s campaign agreed to remove it.

“Marine Corps Recruiting Command officials called Allen Weh’s campaign headquarters today and expressed concern with regard to their use of Marine recruitment advertising footage in their political campaign ad,” Marine Maj. John Larson said in an email to the Journal. “The…campaign manager, Mr. Diego Espinosa, was courteous, understanding and said the ad would be removed from their website as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate their understanding and swift action.”

The Weh ad touted his and his family’s extensive military service, including his service in Vietnam, Somalia and Iraq. But some of the footage used was identical to that in a Marine recruiting ad titled “For Us All” and the ad contained no disclaimers of Marine Corps endorsements.

Department of Defense policy states: “Images, pictures, and other media depicting DoD personnel carrying out their official duties may be used by non-Federal entities in communication venues which are solely informational in nature, such as newspapers, news magazines, or other media that focus on reporting social or industry news, and are not directly or indirectly associated with a marketing, advertising, or a self-promoting activity.”

Weh campaign spokeswoman Paige McKenzie told the Journal Wednesday that the footage was “public domain,” an assertion that Caldwell acknowledged earlier in the week could be questionable.

“While respectful in intent and patriotic in nature, we should not have our work products included in political campaigns — whether it’s a legally defensible position or not,” Caldwell wrote to the Journal in an email Wednesday.

Senator Tom Udall Disappointed in Filibuster of Bill to Protect New Mexico Jobs

U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after Republicans blocked the Bring Jobs Home Act, which he supported to protect and create jobs in New Mexico and across the nation by offering incentives for companies that insource jobs and eliminating a tax loophole that benefits companies moving offshore:

“Today, we had an opportunity to do right by workers in New Mexico and across the country by moving forward on legislation to help build up communities and create jobs right here at home. This bill would protect tens of thousands of jobs in New Mexico, and attract new ones. By encouraging manufacturing growth, it would strengthen our economy and secure millions of dollars in wages for middle class families. I’m disappointed that Republicans filibustered this bill and put partisan politics in the way of a common-sense proposal to promote fair policies that support American families and communities.

“I’m going to keep fighting to do what’s right for New Mexico through policies like the Bring Jobs Home Act that will strengthen our economy and invest in the future of our communities, and I hope we have a chance to reconsider this bill soon.”

The motion to end debate on the bill received 54 votes in favor and 42 against, but fell short of the 60 vote threshold necessary to end a filibuster. Udall delivered a speech on the Senate floor last week to express his support for the bill and highlight its importance for New Mexico communities, including the village of Questa, where Chevron recently announced it will close a molybdenum mine that has provided good jobs for generations of families.

Senator Martin Heinrich Calls For Action To Address Central American Refugee Crisis, Fix Broken Immigration System

“Let us hope that our attitude as a nation continues to be defined by the image of the statue of Liberty, and not by shouting protesters holding signs labeled, ‘Return to Sender,’ as they stand in front of busses full of Central American children.”

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich delivered remarks on the Senate Floor calling for action on the current Central American Refugee Crisis and the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill that passed more than a year ago.

In his speech, Senator Heinrich emphasized the need to pass the Senate’s Emergency Supplemental Funding Bill, a proposal introduced by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) that includes $2.73 billion to help stem the current Central American refugee crisis.

Senator Heinrich also called for action on the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill that included provisions that would help address the Central American refugee crisis by strengthening the border, protecting children who have been victims of human trafficking, and cracking down on smugglers and transnational criminal organizations.

During his time on the Senate Floor, Senator Heinrich engaged in a conversation with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) on curbing drug trafficking to address the root causes contributing the refugee crisis in Central America.

Watch and share Senator Heinrich’s speech to the U.S. Senate.

Senator Tom Udall Joins Senate in Passing Extension of Highway Funding for New Mexico

Long-term solution to modernize roads and bridges critical to safety and economy

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement after joining the Senate in voting 79-18 to extend critical highway funding for construction on roads and bridges in New Mexico and across the country through Dec. 20, 2014.

“This is a bill that matters to every New Mexican – extending highway funding is critical to sustain hundreds of jobs in our state and to ensure that transportation improvement projects in New Mexico continue without interruption. I am pleased the Senate has passed this bill, and I call on the House to work with us on an agreement on this extension before funding begins to run out on Aug. 1. Without this extension, the U.S. Department of Transportation will have to start cutting funding for construction, putting up to 700,000 people out of work across the country.

“While this is a much-needed fix, it is will only last until the end of the year. I will work with members of both parties to do what’s right for New Mexico and our nation and find a long-term solution to extend the life of the Highway Trust Fund. New Mexico cannot afford an interruption in federal transportation funding when our economy is still struggling, and I will keep making this case until our work is done.”

Senator Tom Udall Supports Confirmation of New VA Secretary, Urges Approval of Bipartisan VA Reform Bill

U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined the Senate in voting unanimously to confirm Robert McDonald, a West Point graduate and former Procter & Gamble CEO, as the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The position was vacated in May when former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned in the wake of the veterans’ scheduling scandal that has impacted the Albuquerque VA. Udall recently met with McDonald to discuss the immediate need for changes within the VA so it can begin to regain the trust of the veterans it serves. Udall issued the following statement after the confirmation vote:

“What has happened at the VA is a betrayal of our veterans, and I urge Bob McDonald to move quickly to address these systematic problems and restore a culture of transparency and accountability. I’m optimistic he will be a strong advocate for veterans in New Mexico and across the country, and I look forward to working with him to help ensure our veterans receive the high quality care they deserve.

“I believe Congress must quickly approve bipartisan reform at the VA to help address the obstacles our veterans face as they try to access timely quality medical care. This legislation will help veterans who cannot get prompt appointments to obtain care outside the VA system, addresses the shortage of medical staff at many VA facilities – especially those in rural areas – and funds a $9.5 million lease agreement to continue VA’s pharmacy research center in Albuquerque. Importantly this legislation increases accountability for senior VA managers to ensure the recent scheduling scandal is never repeated. We have a duty to ensure that our veterans get the best possible care, and I hope we rapidly pass this legislation to give veterans in New Mexico and across the country better access to the medical care they have been promised.”

Where’s the Investigation? Weeks after Voter Registration Complaints, Duran Yet to Act

Following several reports to the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office of voter registrars providing misleading and suppressive information, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver was forced to alert the public about the improper tactics and reiterate correct registration procedures.

Toulouse Oliver immediately turned the information over to the Secretary of State’s office for further investigation. Now, nearly a month later, questions continue over Duran’s handling of these complaints.

“Dianna Duran gives lip service to protecting the integrity of our elections, but when presented with actionable information about organized efforts to provide voter registration misinformation, she just sits on her hands,” said Toulouse Oliver Campaign Manager Alan Packman. “Duran’s refusal to fully investigate the Bernalillo County issues is unfortunately consistent with her history of putting the interests of her political party, her political consultants and her campaign donors before what’s right for the people of New Mexico.”

Packman continued, “Dianna Duran has spent four years and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars chasing theessentially non-existent cases of in-person voter fraud in New Mexico to further her extreme partisan agenda of enacting strict photo voter ID laws – laws that only serve the purpose of suppressing the voter participation of seniors, working families and young people.”


Maggie Toulouse Oliver grew up in New Mexico, attended Albuquerque public schools and received her Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. She has served as Bernalillo County Clerk since 2007, where improving the integrity of the election process and delivering top customer service have been the highest priorities. This year, President Obama’s Election Commission lauded the work Toulouse Oliver has done in Bernalillo County including vote centers and innovations like the ‘My Vote Center’ app as some of the best practices in the nation. Maggie has also been a leading voice to promote the Voter Expansion Project, an initiative aimed at ensuring that every eligible citizen is registered to vote, all registered voters have access to the ballot box and every vote is accurately counted.  As our next Secretary of State, Maggie will build on this progress and work to make voting easier and more accessible for every New Mexican. Maggie lives in Albuquerque with her husband Allan and two sons.

Las Cruces City Clerk Certifies Minimum Wage Ordinance Signatures Sufficient

CAFé’s Ordinance will go to the Voters in November

On Friday July 25th, the City Clerk, Esther Martinez, validated the 2,257 signatures necessary to certify CAFé’s ordinance to improve wages to $10.10 by 2017 in Las Cruces.  According to the Las Cruces City Charter Article VIII. Section 8.04 (b) it is CAFé’s understanding that the city council will take action to approve or disapprove the petition’s sufficiency at its next meeting, Monday, August 4th.  If approved, the next step is to vote for or against CAFé’s ordinance.  If the city council votes “yes” then the ordinance is adopted by the City and becomes law.  If the city council votes “no” against making the ordinance law, then it goes to Las Cruces voters to decide.

“Anticipating that our ordinance to improve wages will be voted down, the best possible scenario for taxpayers is a concurrent and combined election with the City and the County during the November 4th general election,” explained Sarah Nolan, Executive Director of CAFé.  “To do anything else would risk disenfranchising voters who clearly want to participate in the democratic process.”  Nolan added,  “I trust that City and County officials will reciprocate our good faith efforts and streamline the process in the best interests of voters.”

Angelica Rubio, campaign manager asserted, “It is time for Las Cruces to hold their city government accountable allowing residents to exercise their right to vote in the most efficient manner possible, and since this is the first time a ballot initiative has been utilized by the citizens of our community to participate in the future of our community, I urge our city officials to be on the right side of history.”

On the fifth anniversary of the last federal minimum wage increase in 2009, the Center for Economic Policy and Research developed a Minimum Wage Workers Pay Cut Clock that shows that minimum wage workers have lost over $6 billion dollars as long as wages remain frozen buried under the rising cost of inflation.  In short, the purchasing power of today’s minimum wage debilitates consumers, weighing them down like an anchor.

In a memorandum dated June 1, 2014 from the CAFé faith community to city officials, we asked the city to consider a significant finding relevant to our community.  First, “the data tells us that the cost of living in Las Cruces is only -1.9% lower of that of Albuquerque, yet the typical salary is +15.4% higher in Albuquerque than in Las Cruces (Salary.com).  According to HUD, 97.8% of the county population spends more than 45% of their income on Housing and Transportation.  Two-thirds of economic growth comes from consumer spending and when nearly half of a person’s income goes to only two of the many necessities a person or family needs it is a recipe for an unstable and defunct local economy.”  The City of Las Cruces has not seen a minimum wage increase since 2009 when the phased-in statewide minimum wage topped out at $7.50 an hour.  According to the United States Census Bureau, raising the minimum wage in Las Cruces will inject at least $10 million into the local economy.  Furthermore, 18,000 low wage earners, 59% women and 64% workers who are Hispanic, will benefit from improving wages to $10.10.

Barbra Hayes, age 68, makes $8.57 at an assisted living center in Las Cruces where she has worked for 4.5 years. She is a born caregiver who loves her job motivating seniors to get the most life has to offer although, at times, it is difficult for her to enjoy life earning minimum wage. She believes in improving wages for all in our community, especially caregivers like herself who immerse themselves in this important and valuable work.

Leslie Belt, age 59, is a minimum wage worker who recently moved to Las Cruces. Prior to moving to Las Cruces Leslie was self-employed doing advertisement work. Unable to find similar work in Las Cruces, Leslie had no choice but to accept a minimum wage job at a call center earning six times less than her previous salary. Her clergy offered hope and support, the two ingredients she needed to keep going and not fall into despair.

Cassie Calway, a single mother of two teenage daughters, is working her way through school.  She will begin her Master’s program at New Mexico State University in the fall.  She is a tipped wage earner who makes $2.34/hour, slightly above the current tipped wage of $2.13, and depends on her tips to survive, which are inconsistent and unreliable.  Making matters worse, a car accident with an uninsured motorist left her without transportation.

“I believe that there is a seat at the table for workers, we just have to take it.  Our combined voices will guarantee that we are heard,” declared Cassie.  “We need to come out of the shadows and shed light on our wants and needs.  I am not looking for a hand-out.  A fair wage for a hard day’s work offers a way out of living paycheck to paycheck and allows one to live with dignity.” she added.

Steve Pearce Earns a ZERO from National Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, Labor and Faith Leaders on 2014 National Immigration Scorecard

National Hispanic groups, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as labor leaders and faith leaders have announced an unprecedented partnership and initiative of civic participation, beginning with the launch of its’ 2014 National Score Card on Immigration. The score card showing how Congress has failed on the issue of immigration reform. (Click here for the Scorecard)

Republican Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District earned 0% on the Scorecard, while Democratic colleagues Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-CD1) and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (NM-CD3) each earned a 91% score. (Click here for the scores.)

“After the 2012 elections, Congress made ​​several promises to enact immigration reform. However, opposition from anti-immigrant extremists turned these into fists hitting pointedly attempts to immigration reform and immigrant families, “said in a statement the 10 EU national leaders, civil rights and faith together Monday. “Congress can try to ignore us and the immigration issue, but we will not.”

Amid a national immigration crisis and a shameful lack of leadership in the U.S. Capitol, “Nowhere is anger and disappointment toward Congress is more palpable than in Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islanders communities, and immigrants who suffer daily the consequences of the failure of Congress to remedy the dysfunctional and immoral immigration system” said the advocates of immigration reform.

In response, national leaders have undertaken extensive civic engagement initiative that includes the national distribution of the very first score card on Immigration 2014  showing how Congress failed on issues of immigration reform by refusing to submit to the full House of Representatives a comprehensive draft law, and to appeal to anti-immigrant voting, such as the immediate termination of the DACA program and deportation of dREAMERS. Scores are based on tabulations of votes and actions related to immigration, including the co-sponsorship of bills that include a path to citizenship and family reunification through a visa reform.

The report also shows how the ratings of several members were knocked down by the refusal of leaders to present the full immigration legislation could have been passed in the House of Representatives.

“The National Assessment Card Immigration 2014 leaves no doubt about who supported immigration reform and who worked against us,” according to the joint statement. “The American people support immigration reform and join us to send a clear and unambiguous signal to Washington: Congress inaction fuels our action. The time for our communities to be involved is now. “


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