Doña Ana County Democrats Commemorate Veterans Day

The Doña Ana County Democratic Party joins millions of Americans today in commemorating the heroism and sacrifice of those who have served, and continue to serve in the armed forces of the United States. We celebrate the lives of nearly 23 Million American service people who have fought for our nation in every conflict since the American Revolutionary War of 1775-1783.

Veterans Day in the United States was established as Armistice Day to mark the cessation of fighting in World War I on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, to commemorate both the fallen, and in the hope that a time of war might give way to an era of world peace and cooperation. On this day we renew our hope for the end of war and the beginning of an era of peace among peoples.

Day 3: Governor’s Assault on Women’s Health is Taken From GOP Playbook

Governor Martinez attempted to ignore New Mexican families and put women’s health at risk to further her political career

This is day three for DPNM’s series in exposing Governor Martinez’s failed political agenda for the recent legislative session. Today’s topic is her extreme initiatives to limit access to women’s healthcare.

The Governor supported SB 347, which would have closed numerous clinics throughout the state that provide vital reproductive services to women; services ranging from family planning and birth control to non-surgical procedures.

“The Governor has once again showed complete disregard for the health and well being of New Mexican’s and instead has chosen to further her own political career,” stated DPNM Chairman Sam Bregman. “The people of our state have already said that women must have full reproductive rights and access to necessary medical services. Many women live in rural communities in our state that are far from hospitals. Access to clinics in their communities is the only safe way to ensure that they receive the services they need.”

HB390 and HB391 also passed the Republican controlled House with the backing of the Governor. These measures are an assault on a woman’s right to choose. Measures such as these would force young women who may have been sexually assaulted by a family member, to actually ask for that family member’s permission to get an abortion.

This is not the first legislative session that Governor Martinez has tried to limit access to proper healthcare and family planning for women. This Governor has taken a page out of the radical GOP playbook on these issues to increase her standing with the national GOP.

If you want to understand how she views the safety and wellbeing of women, simply look at her actions. Marcus Hiles, a wealthy donor from Texas who was also convicted of domestic violence in 2013, contributed $120,000 to the Governor and her supported PAC. While many other politicians who received contributions from Mr. Hiles have returned those contributions, Governor Martinez has stubbornly refused.

Thankfully, like the other terrible pieces of legislation that Governor Martinez advocated and pushed for during the 60-day session, these were ultimately stopped by NM Senate Democrats.

Senator William “Bill” Soules: Let’s Grow Our Local Distillery and Restaurant Economies

The State Legislature had a promising opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and to help hundreds of small businesses grow and expand across our state this week, but unfortunately that opportunity was extinguished at a committee hearing.   I had proposed simple legislation that would have allowed restaurants with beer and wine licenses to also serve spirits such as tequila, gin, vodka, brandy and so on, provided that they are distilled in New Mexico.

State Senator Bill Soules
State Senator Bill Soules

Full liquor licenses, subject to market forces, today carry a hefty price tag that cost from $500,000 to $1 million.  That frequently leaves the big national chain restaurants as the only establishments in a community that can afford to operate a full bar in New Mexico.  That shuts out our mom-and-pop, home-grown restaurants from a lot of customers and business.   I think that’s wrong.  That is why I introduced Senate Bill 71 (SB 71) to enable restaurants that currently have a wine and beer license to additionally offer New Mexico-produced distillery spirits without purchasing a high-cost, full-bar liquor license.

New Mexico distilleries such as Don Quixote Distillery and Winery, Santa Fe Spirits, Left Turn Distillery, Algodones Distillery, and KGB Spirits would get a chance to showcase their masterpieces in some of New Mexico’s finest dining establishments in our urban and rural communities.  When the distilleries grow, they hire more New Mexicans.

The high price of purchasing a full liquor license puts them out of reach for many local small restaurants, sometimes putting their survival at risk.  My bill was designed to increase local jobs, and level the playing field for local small businesses.  The training is already in place for new employees of the restaurants that this legislation targeted.   If my bill had gotten through the legislative process, the decision to enact would have gone to local governments for a vote.

Creating jobs should be our first priority.  Helping our home-grown restaurants to grow means they will hire more cooks and wait staff.  Distilleries will hire more employees. State and local governments will see more revenue in taxes.

We should encourage New Mexico branding, which feeds tourism by promoting high quality local products. Platforms like the one this bill would create help put New Mexico on the map and keep our local business owners and producers in business.  I will continue to push for New Mexico products, and I intend to bring this bill back again in a future legislative session.

State Representative Jeff Steinborn: Commentary: Bring transparency to lobbying process in state

Reposted from the Las Cruces Sun-News, Sunday, February 8

Now is the time for greater transparency of lobbying in New Mexico. We all deserve to have a government that works for all of us — not just those at the top or out-of-state special interests. As a public servant, I want our legislative process to be as transparent as possible and I will keep fighting to ensure this for every hard-working New Mexican.

This October I was honored to receive the Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. I was chosen to receive this commendation for working toward greater transparency of our state government including passing legislation to broadcast our legislative hearings over the Internet. As important as these reforms were, New Mexico has a long way to go to level the playing field between hard-working New Mexicans and the special interests that influence our laws and legislative process.

To get a clear picture of how laws are created and passed in New Mexico, it’s important to know who is influencing legislators and the governor. More importantly, it’s crucial to know how much money is being spent to affect the process. One of the most important improvements we can make is to require full disclosure of all lobbying spending in the state and put this information online for all to see. In 2013 there were approximately six lobbyists for every one of New Mexico’s 112 legislators.

To modernize New Mexico’s lobbying laws I have introduced HB 155. It will require companies and interest groups who hire lobbyists to report all of the money they are spending to influence our state government. This legislation will also require lobbyists to specifically report on the issues they have been hired to lobby on. Finally, HB 155 will require that all of this information be placed online on the Secretary of State’s website in an easy and accessible format for the public to see.

HB 155 will have its first legislative hearing today in the House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee. Committee members will have the opportunity to vote for greater transparency, or continue to keep New Mexicans in the dark and protect the status quo. I am hopeful that they will embrace the transparency New Mexicans deserve.

This legislative session we are hearing legislation on critical issues that affect us all. Lobbyists are spending a significant amount of money to either pass or defeat these bills. It’s our right to know who is trying to influence our state policies, and ensure we all have a level playing field to make our voice heard. We need a government that works for everyone, not just those at the top or out-of-state special interests. HB 155 is a critical step forward to help us achieve that.

Rep. Jeff Steinborn is a four-term Democratic legislator from Doña Ana County. He sits on the Appropriations and Finance Committee and the Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment Committee.

Citizens who wish to contact their representatives and senators to support HB 155 and watch the webcast of the committee hearing today at 1:30 p.m. can go to

Rodolpho ‘Rudy’ Martinez: Thoughts on right-to-work legislation

As I watch this year’s legislative session, I am concerned with the misinformed claims made by Republican Governor Martinez that have made right-to-work/anti-worker legislation her top priority.  When I think of all the issues we face here in our state in building a healthy economy I am appalled that the Governor will be attacking our working families.

r_martinezWhen the governor says right-to-work (RTW) is one of several hurdles New Mexico faces in attempting to become more economically competitive with neighboring states she couldn’t be more wrong. Talent and the cost of doing business are more important when factoring whether or not a company will do business in New Mexico or anywhere else in the U.S. Businesses look to see what a state has to offer them and the families they will bring with them when they come. Businesses look at the labor market and how well the labor force is trained before committing to bringing their business to a site. There are some right-to-work states that actually have higher rates of union membership than non-right-to-work states. Site selector James Renzas, a principal at The RSH Group Inc. in California, stated, “…Kentucky will likely never be a right-to-work state, and they have been very successful in attracting automotive suppliers, call centers and financial services operations.”

The whole idea of right-to-work perpetuates misleading information that makes false claims against labor unions. When the Governor states, “It is fundamentally wrong to require membership (in a union) in order to get a job … or take money from the paychecks of our workers by force,” she forgets that federal labor laws have been in place to protect workers who don’t want to join a labor union. What she and other, right-to-work, supporters want to do is provide us with misleading alarmist information that demonizes labor unions.  In doing so they opens the doors for more tax loopholes for major corporate greed. Corporate greed that has working families struggling to get ahead within a system that is working against them. A system that sold us the belief that the richest of the population, the corporations running our country, would carry an economy that would work for all of us, but really only works for an elite portion of the population.

Labor unions have done and continue to demonstrate their importance in the workplace by providing: safe working conditions, enforced health and safety regulations, standard minimum wages, forty hour work weeks, overtime pay, paid vacations, pensions, healthcare, and equal pay for equal work. Unions are able to do this work to protect our workers and provide safe and ethical work environments because of collective bargaining agreements. Right-to work laws would do nothing to secure or create jobs to improve our economy. The aim for this type of legislation is to dismantle unionized workers who negotiate favorable contracts for workers; reducing their strength and financial standings.

The facts about RTW laws that are never mentioned by the Governor and other right-to-work supporters are:

–          These laws drive down wages for all workers, including non-union members, women, and people of color.

–          Workers in right-to-work states are less likely to have health insurance.

–          Right to work makes workplaces more dangerous

–          Right-to-work laws do not improve business conditions in states.

–          Right to work is not a deciding factor in where businesses locate.

–          High-tech companies that provide good-paying, American jobs favor states where unions have a strong  presence, because unions provide a high-skilled workforce and decrease turnover.

–          Communities lose jobs when wages are lowered by right to work.

–          Right to work does not improve the employment rate.

The message the Governor sends out to our working families is that they will be targeted and lied to yet again by this administration. Let’s stick to the real facts about right-to-work and other union busting legislation. And let us remember the safe workplace and wage benefits we have today are due to the diligence and sacrifice of our labor unions.


Rudolpho “Rudy” Martinez is the former State Representative from New Mexico’s 39th District

Aubrey Dunn and the Republican Party of New Mexico Still Trying to Disenfranchise Voters

Dunn and the RPNM resort to ​lie​s and ​ fear in order to try to influence the outcome of the Land Commissioner’s Race

In a message to supporters can only be considered as comical, candidate for State Land Commissioner, Aubrey Dunn, attempted to scare his supporters into giving him money by making outrageous and racist claims. The two most egregious claims were:

1. Ray Powell and the Democratic Party have “40 attorneys” working on the recount effort.

This is a patent lie without any basis in fact ​ and especially funny considering it has become clear that the Dunn Campaign is not only working with the Republican Party of New Mexico, but also the Secretary of State ​ an d Governor’s​ office as well. Their combined efforts are sure to keep many attorneys (including some paid with taxpayer dollars) very busy throughout this process.

2. Insinuating that the reason why the vote deficit has narrowed between Powell and Dunn is because of “illegal immigrants.”

Not only is this not possible, it is absolutely playing on the fears of others. The fact is that there were a high number of provisional ballots this election because there were widespread issues with voting machines throughout the state especially in areas where there were efforts to disenfranchise voters. In fact, as the Chief Executive in charge of voter registration, Secretary of State Dianna Duran should be well aware of these issues and could have taken action before the election to address these issues so that we would not have had so many provisional ballots.

The following is a statement from ​DPNM ​ Executive Director Jon Lipshutz ​regarding​ Aubrey Dunn’s message:

“I am not only angry that Mr. Dunn would make such claims about Commissioner Powell, I am not surprised either. This is yet another example of the Republican Party and their surrogates doing everything they can to continue to disenfranchise the voters of New Mexico. The RPNM, along with Aubrey Dunn and Secretary of State Diana Duran will do everything they can to ensure that the election goes their way ​ and that voters are kept in the dark about the accuracy of the vote tabulators ​,​ ​ even if it means violating state law and creating their own rules to influence the outcome. Commissioner Powell has never done anything except fight for the people and the lands of our state. Our efforts during this recount process are simply to ensure that every vote is counted and that the law is followed. We stand proudly with Commissioner Powell in this fight ​.​ ”

Currently, the recount process has been put on hold pending action taken by the New Mexico Supreme Court. The Powell campaign, with full support of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, is challenging the Canvassing Board’s rules for the recount which clearly run contrary to state statute ​ and the Secretary’s own regulations.​ The ​process​ put forth by the Canvassing Board w​as​ created by Secretary of State Diana Duran and signed off on by Governor Susana Martinez. The ​Acting ​Chief Justice of the Supreme Court refused to sign the order

NM House Democrats Offer Ideas and Vision For Future

Republicans continue to push extreme, damaging, out-of-touch agenda

New Mexico Democrats are fired up and excited about our 2014 state house candidates. These outstanding women and men are teachers, labor leaders, firefighters, paramedics, veterans and small business owners. They don’t pretend to have all the answers but they do promise to offer common sense ideas and solutions to solve problems in New Mexico.

  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Accessing the permanent fund for early childhood education
  • Creating good paying jobs so families can remain in New Mexico and build a future.

NM House Republicans?

Rep.Nora Espinoza wants to keep Hispanic history books out of public schools. Why?

Rep. Tom Anderson obsesses about a non-binding 1992 United Nations resolution that suddenly, 22 years later is a “threat to homes (and the) property of our middle-class” in New Mexico.” Really?

Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s main accomplishment was to introduce a bill that charges a rape victim that ended her pregnancy with a 3rd degree felony for “tampering with evidence.” 3rd degree felonies carry a sentence of up to three years in prison. Then she tried to explain it was all a mistake. She is the mistake.

Rep. Paul Pacheco voted against increasing the minimum wage, against an expansion in education funding and against any other issue that his constituents support. Pathetic.

Why would anyone vote for these Republicans currently serving in the state legislature?

Fact is: they won’t. New Mexico voters, given the choice and provided the information, will consistently support and vote for Democratic candidates because of our common sense ideas and vision for the future.

Your contribution of $10, $25 or even $100 right now will send a strong message to the GOP that we’re ready to take them on in November.

New Mexicans believe in diversity, tolerance and compassion. That’s what Democrats believe too.

This is Governor Martinez and NM House Republicans Vision for New Mexico:

  • 50th in nation for well being of children
  • zero jobs created—state lost almost 6000 jobs within last year
  • 1st in nation for child hunger; 2nd for adults

Unfortunately, this is the reality.

New Mexico Democrats, led by Senator Tom Udall, Gary King and NM House Democrats, will help create jobs, maintain affordable health care and ensure our kids have a world class education.

If you share these views and want to build a better future for New Mexico and your kids, vote Democratic, from the bottom to the top on November 4th.

With our Democratic candidates tied in the polls with the GOP, we need your help. CONTRIBUTE NOW.

Democrats are building a better future.