Nov 29 2015

Join us for lunch!

Dear Sandoval County Democrat:

December’s First Friday luncheon should be stellar – Congresswoman Michele Lujan Grisham will be our special guest.   Come ask your questions, make comments, and celebrate the holidays.  Bring som220px-Michelle_Lujan_Grisham_official_photoe canned goods or contributions for the Storehouse – a food pantry in Rio Rancho.  The luncheon is on Friday, December 4 at the Range Cafe in Bernalillo (Click here for a map).  This month’s luncheon starts at 11:30 but not before as another group will be in the space until 11:30.  The luncheon lasts until 1 PM.

Please let me know if you will be able to attend.  RSVP Here.   I look forward to seeing you at the last luncheon before 2016!

All the best,


Nov 27 2015

No Response from Gov. on New Evidence That TRD Secretary Tried to Help Client

State Dem Logo

Question Remains: Does Gov. Martinez Condone Abuse
of Power in Her Administration?

With clear, written evidence now out in the open showing that Taxation and Revenue
Department Secretary Demesia Padilla tried to use her position to get preferential treatment
for a former client being audited, the only question left to answer is whether Gov. Susana
Martinez approves of the Secretary’s actions.

“New Mexicans need to know,” said Democratic Party of New Mexico executive director Joe
Kabourek. “Does Gov. Susana Martinez approve of her hand-picked Secretary of Taxation and
Revenue using her position and influence to try to get preferential treatment for a former
client? As the Martinez Administration’s house of cards continues to fall, it’s time for answers.”

In breaking news on Monday and Tuesday, news outlets across New Mexico reported on the
release of a veritable smoking gun in State Auditor Tim Keller’s investigation of abuse of power
by Padilla. The letter was released due to a public records request and showed definitively that
Padilla directly intervened in an audit being conducted on her former client, Harold’s Trucking.

“This is not acceptable,” Kabourek said. “An appointed leader in the administration must be
beyond reproach. Sec. Padilla has failed to live up to the responsibility of her position by
engaging in an inherent conflict. Not only that, she used her position to pressure state
employees time and time again. Now it’s time for New Mexicans to finally hear from Gov.
Martinez. Does she condone this kind of activity under her watch?”

Despite months of ongoing investigations of various activities involving the Taxation and
Revenue Department, Gov. Martinez has had little to say about the scandals or her hand-picked
department secretary.

Oct 07 2015

Senators Udall and Heinrich Announce $4.39 Million for Tribal Suicide, Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence Prevention

 Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that several New Mexico Tribes and organizations will be receiving a total of $4.39 million over five years to prevent suicide, fight drug abuse and combat domestic violence through the Indian Health Service’s Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) and Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) programs. The MSPI program provides support for Tribal communities to develop culturally appropriate prevention and treatment methods for suicide and drug abuse, particularly methamphetamine. Similarly, the DVPI program helps Tribes prevent domestic violence and support survivors.
Native communities are at a higher risk for suicide and substance abuse, especially Native youth. Suicide rates among Native Americans ages 15 to 24 are more than double the national average. And according to the National Congress of American Indians, an estimated three in five Native women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.
The New Mexico Tribes and organizations receiving suicide and drug abuse prevention funding through the MSPI program are the Pueblos of Isleta, Acoma, Ohkay Owingeh, Sandia, Santo Domingo and Taos; the Ramah Navajo School Board in Pine Hill; First Nations Community HealthSource based in Albuquerque; and Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, which represents the Pueblos of Cochiti, Jemez, Sandia, Santa Ana and Zia. A total of $578,000 will be awarded in the first year, and the funding is expected to be renewed until 2020.
Organizations receiving funding for domestic violence prevention through the DVPI program also include First Nations Community HealthSource and the Ramah Navajo School Board. Additionally, the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council is receiving funding to support programs at the Pueblos of Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, Ohkay Owingeh, Nambé, Picuris, Taos and Pojoaque. A total of $300,000 will be awarded in the first year, and the funding is also expected to be renewed until 2020.
“Suicide, drug abuse and domestic violence tear apart too many New Mexico families, and Tribal communities are particularly vulnerable. But we can fight these epidemics through collaboration and strong leadership, and these grants will help support those efforts,” said Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “By adapting prevention programs to the culture and unique needs of New Mexico’s Native communities, this funding will help Tribal communities work to prevent further tragedy. This is a battle we cannot afford to lose — together, we’ll make progress and renew hope, especially among our young people.” 
“This funding will help provide support for tribal communities as they combat domestic violence, substance abuse, and suicide,” Heinrich said. “We must ensure that Pueblos and Tribes throughout the state have the resources to provide access to quality care that is often unavailable in rural communities.”

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Sep 30 2015

Secretary of State Duran Must Put New Mexican Voters and Small Businesses First and Resign Immediately

Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) Executive Director Joe Kabourek released the following statement on behalf of DPNM:

Enough is enough; Secretary of State Dianna Duran must resign immediately.  Rather than performing the duties she was elected to do, Secretary of State Dianna Duran has become singularly focused on abusing the powers of her office to carry out a political vendetta. It is clear that Duran is attempting to distract from the fact that she has been charged with 64 counts of criminal violations that include embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, violations of the Campaign Practice Act, the Governmental Conduct Act, tampering with public records, and conspiracy.

Just recently, Secretary Duran’s former top aide and one of her closest political advisers called for her immediate resignation citing a blatant breach of the law. If there’s one place where politics shouldn’t play a role, it’s the Secretary of State’s office. The issues facing New Mexico are too important to have our top elections official solely focused on making political attacks.

As Secretary Duran tries to change the subject, New Mexico voters and small businesses suffer. Secretary Duran must finally put New Mexico first and resign immediately.


Sep 26 2015

Once again Republicans are threatening to shut down government

In just four days, Republicans may shut down the government.

How did we get here? Here’s what you need to know:

The federal government is funded through midnightSeptember 30th. If Congress doesn’t pass a new budget by then, the government will shut down.

A Congress controlled by responsible leaders would just pass a budget and keep the government running seamlessly, but, of course, that’s not what happens when Republican extremists are in charge. Thirty-six Republican men have pledged to block any budget bill that contains funding for Planned Parenthood — a move that would then trigger a shutdown.

If we want the shutdowns and brinkmanship to stop, Democrats HAVE to take back control of the Senate and fill more seats in the House. 

You may remember that there was another government shutdown a mere TWO YEARS ago. That one was led by Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who decided he hated Obamacare so much, he would shut down the government over it.

Cruz isn’t the only Republican presidential hopeful who loves shutdowns. Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, and Ben Carson have all shown support for shutting down the government.

This is what it’s been like since Republicans took over Congress. At least twice a year since 2011, they’ve threatened to shut down the government if they didn’t get everything they wanted.

End the shutdown mania and help elect responsible leaders who will protect hardworking women and families. 

Thanks for all you do,

Kate Black
Vice President of Research, EMILY’s List

Sep 26 2015

What to expect from Dianna Duran impeachment panel

By  | 

The special committee tasked with looking into a possible impeachment of Secretary of State Dianna Duran will meet for the first time next week.

DSC_0044Whether anything substantial will happen at this meeting is a good question—one we are still trying to find an answer to. State Reps. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, and Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque are the co-chairs of the bipartisan special investigatory committee. Neither returned our calls and emails left for them Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Last time we went here was the fall of 2011, when then-state House Speaker Ben Luján appointed a subcommittee to look into the impeachment of Jerome Block Jr., a Public Regulation Commissioner who was under fire for alleged car theft and misusing state money. Block Jr. later pleaded guilty to the charges and resigned.

That year, the impeachment panel met a handful of times before Block voluntarily resigned by the end of the month in a plea deal with then-Attorney General Gary King.

This reporter was on hand to cover a Sept. 13, 2011 meeting for the Santa Fe Reporter:

Today, the subcommittee spent about a half-hour trying to narrow the following sentence in one of the approved rules: “Only subcommittee members, an analyst for the majority, an analyst for the minority and designated Legislative Council Service staff members may attend executive sessions.”

It came as part of a rule that would require the subcommittee to conduct “appropriate proceedings” in the process of considering impeachment.

Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Curry, mentioned striking “only” from the sentence to assure impeachment sessions always have an analyst for both parties and members of the LCS present. Rep. Larry Larrañaga, R-Bernalillo, followed up on the idea by making it into a motion. But before that happened, others suggested that moving “may” from the sentence would be more clarifying.

After much deliberation over this, the subcommittee ended up deciding to simply strike the entire sentence in question.

The subcommittee members also weighed how they, like a grand jury, would make impartial decisions amid the constant embarrassing news headlines about Block. State Rep. Eliseo Alcon, D-Milan, explained at that meeting how he would remain unbiased.

“I read the news and the blogs for information,” he said. “I don’t believe everything they say.”

This meeting came during the 2011 special session on redistricting. Since no such special session is happening now, more could happen during next week’s first meeting.

Earlier this month, the interim Legislative Council approved formation of the special committeeappointed by House Speaker Don Tripp, R-Socorro, to look into impeachment. They also approved $250,000 in funding for the committee.

In 2011, the Block impeachment subcommittee didn’t approve general counsel until its third meeting. Then, the subcommittee hired Albuquerque attorney Robert Gorence for the job after one week of searching for a lawyer.

Secretary of State Dianna Duran

To date, Duran has remained adamant that she will stay in her office while fighting the 64-count criminal charges that Attorney General Hector Balderas filed against her in August. She is accused of taking using  $13,000 in campaign contributions. The complaint also found that Duran withdrew more than $400,000 from her personal bank account at casinos since stepping into office in 2011.

If Duran resigns or is impeached before Jan. 26 of next year, that will kick off a special election for November 2016 to replace the remaining two years of her term.

But any impeachment, if it goes forward, will be a lengthy process. For that to happen, the special committee would make a recommendation to the full House. The House must then give a majority vote for impeachment.

Then, the state Senate would have to preside over an impeachment trial. At the end of trial, two-thirds of the Senate must vote to impeach in order to remove Duran from office.

The special committee is set to hold its first meeting Monday, Sept. 28 at 9:30 am at the State Capitol in Santa Fe. The agenda for that meeting hasn’t yet been written.

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.

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Aug 17 2015

Get Ready for 2016!

Congressman Ben R. Lujan


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.
UNM West
2600 College Blvd NE, Rio Rancho, NM 87144
To RSVP, Please contact TARA at 505.385.8676,

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!


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

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