Aug 14 2015

Get on Board!

Fellow Democrats

We have two exciting events you’ll want to attend.

First, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan is sponsoring a workshop – Getting ready for 2016 – Campaign Tips and Best Practices.  Let’s get fired up!  Join us at UNM West – 2600 College Blvd. NE in Rio Rancho on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM  To RSVP, please contact Tara Lujan at505-385-8676lujan.tara@gmail.com .

You can talk with our other great Congressperson at the First Friday Luncheon.  Michelle Lujan Grisham will be our guest on September 4, 2015 at the Range in Bernalillo from 11:30 to 1 PM.  It is always wonderful to be able to meet with Representative Lujan-Grisham.  Please let me know if you are able to attend this interesting luncheon.

 

Aug 18 2015

DPNM Staffers’ Emails Intentionally Blocked by Martinez Administration

While submitting a routine request for information necessary to conduct normal business, the Democratic Party of New Mexico uncovered a thinly veiled attempt by someone in the Republican Administration of Governor Susana Martinez to intentionally block the emails of DPNM staffers.
Access to the Voter File, the official list of New Mexico voters, is controlled by the Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State (SOS) is required by law to provide an accurate and up-to-date voter file to political parties so that they and members of their party are able to reach out to voters and constituents. Secretaries of State are affiliated with a political party when seeking office, but upon securing office, are expected to oversee and administer transparent, unbiased elections, in addition to providing the Voter File.
In July 2015, the Democratic Party of New Mexico confirmed it had been blacklisted from the Secretary of State’s office, and subsequently the entire State of New Mexico government servers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 17 2015

Get Ready for 2016!

Congressman Ben R. Lujan

Sponsors

Getting Ready for 2016

Campaign Tips and Best Practices

Let’s Get Fired Up!
Sandoval County Democrats

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
At
UNM West
2600 College Blvd NE, Rio Rancho, NM 87144
To RSVP, Please contact TARA at 505.385.8676, lujan.tara@gmail.com

Aug 12 2015

Message from DNC Political Director NM’s Raul Alvillar

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Happy Monday! It’s such a pleasure to have this opportunity to address my home state Democrats! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Raul Alvillar and I’m the National Political Director at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). But, just as important, I’m also a fellow New Mexican; I was raised in Tome in Valencia County.

I began my career in politics as a volunteer for the Democratic Party of New Mexico, so I know the importance of unlocking the potential of our volunteers and interns. It is with that in mind that I am proud to support my former intern, Joe Kabourek, who is now your new Executive Director. Joe interned for me and our illustrious CEO, Amy Dacey, 10 years ago on Senator John Kerry’s political team when I was the Deputy National Political Director and she was the National Political Director. As such, I am so happy that he has been chosen to lead the day-to-day operations of the Democratic Party in my home state! Joe understands the challenges Democrats in both New Mexico and around the country face heading into the 2016 election, and I know he will do a great job for our candidates up and down the ticket. As a fellow New Mexican, I ask that you give him your full support.

Joe represents the unique traits that are found within our party. That mix of passion, commitment to community, and professionalism is something that I am proud to say are major tenets of our party. I see it every day here at the DNC. Just recently, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. We deployed messaging and organizing tools, and reached out to our friends and allies to reinforce our commitment towards protecting every Americans’ right to vote. We have also been focused on holding Republicans’ feet to the fire, holding them accountable for their out-of-touch policy views. Each Republican in the recent debate unveiled extreme ideas that would take our country backwards. And every day, New Mexicans have to live under the corrupt Martinez administration, which has little to show for over four years in office.

We all know that the Republican path to victory depends on the American people not paying attention to their words and actions—words and actions that are not good for the country, and certainly not good for New Mexico. That is precisely why we need to be vigilant in our messaging, and maintain the passion, commitment, and professionalism that are paramount to our party, both nationally and locally.

As we near 2016, it is critical that you get involved with the Democratic Party of New Mexico! We must ensure that Republicans are held accountable! Every Democrat who becomes active will play a major part in returning our great state to safe Democratic hands. I want all of you to be a part of our victory!

Adelante,

Raul Alvillar

DNC National Political Director

Jul 26 2015

Please Join Us!

Believe it or not, summer break is almost over and some people are getting ready for school.  Even if you aren’t one of those folks, its time to end our break and resume our First Friday Lunches!  Join us on Friday, August 7 at the Range in Bernalillo at 11:30 AM to 1 PM.  We have lots to talk about!  We’ll count on you to comment on the first Republican Debate which occurs August 6.
Our guest this month is Pamelya Herndon, director of the Southwest Women’s Law Center.  She is a popular attorney and activist, Vice Chair for CD 1 and officer in the Democratic Party of New Mexico.  Pamelya will talk about the Fair Play for Women Act and Paid Parental Leave and answer your questions.  I hope you can join us to discuss these issues and show our support.  Please let me know if you can attend.
We are recruiting Voter Registrars for Sunday is Funday in Rio Rancho on August 16 and for the new Beer Fest in Bernalillo over Labor Day Weekend.  Let me know if you can help with these events.
I hope to see you soon.  Best, Marg

Jun 09 2015

Bipartisan State Senate Passes Strong Job Creation Package

During a one-day Special Session of the New Mexico Legislature, the Senate today passed a package of legislation that funds needed infrastructure construction projects – seniors centers, higher education facilities, and tribal infrastructure – worth nearly $300 million. Work on those projects will create jobs in communities across the state quickly. The overall legislative package consisted of three parts: capital outlay funds of infrastructure projects, funding to meet budget shortfalls for Magistrate Court operations and the State Department of Health, and a series of tax breaks.

“This legislative package was a strong compromise, a compromise between the Senate, House and the executive branch. All sides made concessions and negotiated in good faith. The Senate has fulfilled its part of the agreement,” said Senate Finance Chairman, Senator John Arthur Smith (D-35-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra).

Funding for a long list of infrastructure construction projects was contained in Senate Bill 1. The Senate passed it unanimously, restoring $10 million for repairs and improvements for many senior centers. Funds also will flow to infrastructure projects at institutions of higher education, public libraries, fire stations, elementary schools, at tribal entities as well as local projects throughout the state totaling $295 million.

“We came together and took action to kick-start jobs across the state by passing needed infrastructure construction projects. We also got some relief for individuals and families who have high unreimbursed medical expenses. I am pleased that we could forge a real compromise with Governor Susana Martinez and House Republicans to put progress before partisanship. I am proud of my fellow Senators from both parties for sticking to our principles to put the best interests of the people of our state first,” said Majority Leader Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo and Valencia).

“Jobs are the number one concern of the people of New Mexico. Passage of today’s capital outlay bill will create up to 15,000 jobs over the next three years,” said Senator Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo).

House Bill 1, passed by the Senate today, includes $300,000 to meet shortfalls at the state’s magistrate courts, and $4 million for a nursing-related shortfall at the Department of Health.

Included in the tax-breaks portion of the legislative package was the restoration of an expired tax deduction for medical expenses that go unreimbursed by health insurers.

 

Jun 09 2015

New Mexico House Democrats Vote for Economic Opportunities for Us All!

House Democrats voted for a package of legislation that will bring a more secure future to all New Mexicans. House Democrats stood strong and voted for bills that will create jobs and fund critical projects in our schools, for our seniors and help families and communities all across the state.

“This is a victory for all New Mexicans – regardless of political party affiliation,” said House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf. “When we work together for the good of every New Mexican, great things can happen. This package of legislation will positively impact the everyday lives of New Mexican families.   We have been proud to fight for a more secure future for every New Mexican.  We hope that our colleagues across the aisle will continue this work with us and not revert to partisan politics, as we saw in the 60-day session. Every New Mexican deserves a chance to get ahead, and these jobs will help many get one step closer to success.”

“These projects represent critical needs across the state of New Mexico for seniors, families, students, and local communities.  On the final day of the legislative session, House Democrats stood united to ensure that projects for seniors, students and our Native communities would not be cut,” said House Democratic Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton, “The legislation we passed today restored those cuts and will create jobs for New Mexico’s families.”

“The changes to the capital outlay package reflect the majority of positive changes that House Democrats have been championing since the 60-day session,” said Caucus Chair Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, “Our seniors, our students and our Native communities faced serious cuts to critical projects.  This package restored those cuts, and now we can move forward with projects that will boost the health and security of our seniors, help our students learn in safe and modern classrooms, and improve the community facilities that New Mexicans families use every day.”

“I’m glad that we could come back to work to accomplish something that makes life better for New Mexicans every day.  Today we invested in jobs and the future of our state,” said Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard.

“When it comes to jobs and investing in the infrastructure of New Mexico, we can’t let politics get in the way.  Today we worked together to move New Mexico forward and help families – that’s the job we were elected to do.”

The legislation included $295 million in capital outlay projects in communities across the state, a little over $5 million in tax incentives for tech jobs, and special appropriations for the Department of Health and the courts.

May 21 2015

NM Congressional Delegation Introduces Bill to Expand Research on Rare Genetic Disease Affecting Hispanics

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján,Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced they have introduced a bill to increase research, education and treatment for Cavernous Cerebral Malformations (CCM), an uncommon genetic blood vessel disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord, and affects people of Spanish descent, including many Hispanic New Mexicans. The lawmakers’ bill, the Cerebral Cavernous Malformations Clinical Awareness, Research and Education Act (CCM-CARE) would expand National Institutes of Health (NIH) research related to CCM through grants and programs to increase awareness, treatment and prevention of CCM.
The disease, also called Cavernous Angioma, was common among Spanish settlers in the Southwest, and the hereditary mutation that continues to cause it today has passed through 17 or more generations. CCM is characterized by vascular lesions that develop and grow within the brain and spinal cord. Individuals often are not aware they have the disease until they experience the onset of symptoms, which may include neurological deficits, seizures, stroke, or sudden death. An estimated 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from the disease, which is more prevalent among New Mexicans than any other population in the world, though other Southwestern states also have high rates of CCM. Due to limited research, there is currently little treatment for CCM besides surgery, which is an option only for some patients.
“Sadly Cerebral Cavernous Malformations is difficult to diagnose and has few treatment options, but this bill is an important step along the path toward developing a cure for the New Mexicans and their families who suffer from this disease,” said Udall, who has worked to raise awareness about CCM since he was a member of the House. “Boosting CCM research through expanded efforts and interagency collaboration will help to prevent, treat and ultimately cure this devastating disease.”
“Hispanics are disproportionately affected by Cavernous Angioma,” said Heinrich. “Expanding research and treatment centers across the country to identify, monitor, and treat individuals afflicted with this illness is an important step in improving the livelihoods of many New Mexicans and developing a cure.”
“This legislation takes critical steps to bolster research, education, and treatment of Cerebral Cavernous Malformations,” said Luján. “This devastating blood vessel disease is often inherited unknowingly, and New Mexico has the highest population density in the world. It’s time that we invest in research and programs to better understand this rare disease that continues to impact New Mexico families.”
“I am glad to work together with the New Mexico delegation to bring relief to the individuals and families afflicted by Cavernous Cerebral Malformations,” said Pearce. “This legislation is a great step forward in highlighting the debilitating effects of this disease, and one step closer to finding a cure.”
“I’m proud to stand with the delegation to invest in research and raise awareness about the devastating impact CCM has, particularly among native New Mexicans,” Lujan Grisham said. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to support efforts to find a cure for this disease.”
Specifically, CCM-CARE would direct the heads of NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement the following measures to further CCM research:
- Conduct basic, clinical and translational research on CCM; identify and support three national research centers’ collaboration on multi-site clinical drug trials; and integrate CCM within relevant existing clinical research networks to expand access to clinical drug trials to CCM patients.
- Establish a CCM education and information program under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand training for clinicians and scientists; establish a CCM Coordinating Committee at HHS to coordinate all federal CCM health efforts, facilitating the exchange of information and the effectiveness of research efforts; and award grants for CCM surveillance and epidemiology.
- Support appropriate investigational new drug applications and streamline the process from clinical drug trials to review for CCM treatment; and review appropriate request for designations for orphan drugs for CCM.
The proposed legislation is supported by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the Angioma Alliance Board of Directors, the Angioma Alliance Scientific Advisory Board, and Cure HHT.

 

May 05 2015

Join the Fight to Lower Prescription Drug Costs!

Dear Sandoval County Democrat:

This editorial in today’s (May 5, 2015) New York Times made my blood boil. It’s about runaway drug prices. What’s most irritating about pricing is the reasons for increases — for they have little to do with increased costs and a lot to do about windfall profits for Big Pharma. Read the editorial here:

The Opinion Pages: Runaway Drug Prices, NYT 5/5/2015

Since the inception of Medicare Part D in 2003, the law has prohibited price negotiations between Medicare and pharmaceutical companies. Although Medicaid and the VA are allowed to negotiate (and are saving patients up to 40% on some prescriptions), Medicare is not, and this has got to change. As more and more boomers reach Medicare age, current law is guaranteeing a huge windfall at our expense.

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has sponsored S.31 Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015. Her bill will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices starting on 1/1/2016. She needs our help getting this passed.

I’ve started a petition at Change.org to voice support for this bill and I need your help to get it off the ground.

Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:

http://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-harry-reid-tom-udall-amy-klobuchar-pass-senate-bill-31-medicare-prescription-drug-price-negotiation-act-of-2015

This bill is currently stuck in the Senate Finance Committee where it can languish and die unless we tell our Senators to support it by co-sponsoring it and helping get it out of committee.

I have a very personal stake in this.  I’m taking one medication, Esbriet, for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). This drug costs $94,000 per year, and could easily bankrupt me. This price is ludicrously high and out of reach for most people who have IPF.  There are many other examples of prohibitive pricing for other medications.  This issue affects a lot of retired people on fixed incomes and it’s just bad public policy.

We need to fix this problem and it should be a non-partisan issue.   Big Pharma will complain that lower prices eat into their Research and Development budgets, but the facts are they spend more on advertising than they do on research.

Please restore sanity to Medicare Part D prescription medication costs by helping get this bill passed.

Copy and paste the link to this petition, and Email it to as many friends as possible … especially those in other states. Share it on FaceBook and other social media. We need to start a groundswell of support across the country at the grassroots level.

Thanks!

Paul Mansfield

 

Apr 27 2015

Sandoval County Treasurer Montoya Elected to National Leadership Post

 Sandoval County Treasurer Laura M. Montoya was recently elected Treasurer of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Next Generation Network, a group of approximately 300 county officials and staff dedicated to professional development and community service.

“It’s an honor to serve as a leader in NACo’s Next Generation Network. This will give our County the opportunity to share our expertise and continue our work of advocacy for sound policies at the national level, Montoya said.  “We share a passion for public service and strengthening leadership skills in counties across the country.”

The Next Generation Network provides a forum for young county officials nationwide to network, become engaged in NACo and develop a new generation of leaders.  It identifies and supports the educational and professional development needs of leaders and draws on their talents, ideas and expertise to inform NACo’s work.

The Next Generation Network is planning a service project as part of NACo’s 2015 Annual Conference & Exposition in Mecklenburg County, N.C.  This year’s project will benefit the Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter, a local program whose mission is to provide hope and healing for people in crisis through comprehensive programs and services.

Montoya has been active in NACo since 2013 as a member of its Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs  Committee.  She currently was appointed by President Riki Hokama as a vice chair on NACo’s Programs and Services Committee and by NACo members as the subcommittee vice chair for Fiscal Policy and Pensions on NACo’s Finance, Pensions & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States.  Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,069 counties.  NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public’s understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.  For more information about NACo, visit www.naco.org.

 

 

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