First Friday Luncheon and Other Announcements

New DNC logo-thumb-452x148-33275

Please note – There will be no First Friday Luncheon in July due to the 4th of July activities.

Sandoval County Democrats,

Our office has recently opened at 1520 Deborah Road, Suite K in Rio Rancho.  If you have not been by, feel free to come by and volunteer.

Here are some things we need that you can help with:

  • A Computer – Do you have a computer around your house that we could borrow until the First Tuesday in November? We need one that can be connected to Vote Builder and assist our volunteers in telling walk-ins what Precinct and other districts they are in.
  • Drinks – All kinds: Soft-drinks, Caffeine and Non-Caffeine
    Tea in cans
    Coffee by the pound(s)
    Bags of ice for an ice chest (5 to 10 Lb. bags).
    Snacks – Individually wrapped bags of candy
    Health Bars
    Nuts, etc.

Pat Stover and Sue Buckner are acting as Volunteer Coordinators for the Office.  Currently, we need individuals to cover the front desk Monday through Thursday 10:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M. (anytime period of time you can volunteer) and Friday Mornings 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 Noon. These times may change as we get further into the campaign. There will be sign-up sheets available at the office for you to indicate your times available.

I know that our Sandoval County Democrats always come through.

Thank you in advance. 

Thomas R. Buckner
Democratic Party of Sandoval County
(505) 331-8262


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Missing: Republican Assessor Tom Garcia – Video

Click the image above to play video


In the wake of the last Commissions meeting Republicans are finally holding their own accountable. The Republican controlled Commission has formally launched an investigation for removal of Assessor Tom Garcia from office.

He should have never been re-elected. Please help us disseminate the information. So the tax payers are not fooled again with his Chief Deputy who is running to succeed him. She too, is complicit in the shenanigans.

Please share this video from the Democratic Party of Sandoval County’s Facebook page. It was published this morning.

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Sandoval County Commissioners pass right-to-work ordinance, defying legal threats


Read the original article here.

Commissioners approved a county-level right-to-work ordinance even as detractors promised to sue.

Early Friday morning, the Sandoval County Commission voted 3-1 to make the county the first to implement a right-to-work ordinance. Previous efforts at the statewide level repeatedly failed, while a citywide effort in Clovis decades ago was struck down by a federal court.

“This is our time to lead the state,” ordinance sponsor Jay Block said in arguing for the ordinance.

He said the bill would bring better wages, more jobs and would, in fact, help unions by increasing their rolls.

Union leadership and rank-and-file members who filled the room vigorously opposed the ordinance and said it would hurt unions and lower wages.

And they promised the passage by the commission wouldn’t be the end of the issue.

“We have lawyers, you have lawyers and we’ll see you in court,” New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President Jon Hendry told commissioners.

Right-to-work laws, which are in place in more than half the states in the country, bar unions from imposing mandatory fees on workers. The proposed ordinance would not apply to current companies and unions in the county or public unions.

Commission chairman Dave Heil, another sponsor of the ordinance, said the county would be represented pro bono by two law firms to defend the ordinance.

Commissioner F. Kenneth Eichwald later said one was Tampa-based attorney Brent Yessin, who represented a county in Kentucky that prevailed. Yessin frequently works on right-to-work efforts and works for the Florida-based nonprofit Protect My Check.

The two sponsoring commissioners also had support from Americans for Prosperity, whose state director Burly Cain was a frequent presence at commission hearings. AFP was founded by David and Charles Koch, billionaire brothers who advance conservative and libertarian causes.

Cain called the vote a “momentous step forward.”

“The commission’s vote allows hard-working New Mexicans to keep more of their paycheck and better compete in the workforce,” Cain said in a statement. “Employees should be able to choose whether to join a union – that choice should not be made for them by the government.”

Behind the scenes, Matt Patterson, a conservative commentator, appeared to direct parts of the process, according to emails obtained by NM Political Report from Inspection of Public Records Act requests from county commissioners. Yessin was also included on many of the emails, as were Cain and leaders of local business and libertarian groups.

Patterson and Yessin wrote an Albuquerque Journal column praising the Sandoval County right-to-work effort earlier this week, but did not disclose their role in the process.

At Thursday night’s meeting, Stephanie Ly, the president of AFT New Mexico read from a Powerpoint presentation she said Yessin presented at an event sponsored by commercial real estate group NAIOP. In that presentation to realtors, Yessin spoke of how right-to-work would hurt unions.

She said the county commission should stop looking to pass right-to-work, and had advice for the five commissioners.

“Stop the political bullshit and get to real policy,” Ly told the commission.

Proposal likely ‘invalid and unenforceable’

Opponents of the proposal came armed with an opinion from Attorney General Hector Balderas. Balderas’ office weighed in at the request of State Senator Benny Shendo Jr., a Democrat who represents parts of Sandoval County.

Assistant Attorney General Dylan K. Lange wrote that the ordinance “would likely be found invalid and unenforceable” on a number of levels, both running afoul of state law and the National Labor Relations Act. Lange added that a provision that directed the county’s sheriff’s department to enforce the law could divert law enforcement resources.

“Governor Martinez said in her state of the state address just this week that ‘we must make New Mexico a safer place for families and the worst place in America to be a criminal’. I urge Sandoval County’s commissioners to heed this admonition, and reject the right to work ordinance,” Shendo said in a statement.

Supporters of right-to-work pointed to federal court decisions in Kentucky and a countywide minimum wage law in Santa Fe County as reasons why this will prevail. .

Commissioner Don Chapman, who abstained from the vote, expressed concern at the cost to taxpayers from a lawsuit. And he read from a letter from the county attorney to each member of the commission in November. The attorney said that the state would likely immediately be sued and lose if they passed the ordinance. She said the fact that Sandoval County is not a “home rule” county, which would give the county more power to make its own laws, would be a key factor in any court case.

When asked at the meeting if her opinion changed, she said it had not.

Chapman said others he trusted also said the ordinance would be “dead on arrival.”

  1. Kenneth Eichwald, the only commissioner to oppose the ordinance, said it was an issue for the Legislature, not the commission.

But Block said he was tired of waiting on Santa Fe.

“This state and its elected leaders have done nothing to move our state forward except talk in Santa Fe,” Block said.

The commission hearing itself was already lengthy before the commissioners even brought up right-to-work. Discussions on an update to the county’s Open Meetings Act and sending a controversial oil and gas drilling ordinance back to the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission and other business took more than three hours, before the right-to-work ordinance could even be raised.

Supporters of right-to-work have said other counties will follow suit, though none have introduced proposals to do so as of yet.

Correction: This story said Matt Patterson was a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Economic Freedom. He has not been for some years, according to CEI.

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Join Us to Support Mel Lawlor Night

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Democratic Party of Sandoval County Pre Primary Nominating Convention

Be part of picking our next Governor and Congress!

Sandoval Democrats, this is your first chance of the year to ride the Blue Wave!  Join us in deciding what Democrats will be on the ballot for our Primary election in June 2018.  These folks will, with your help, be elected to govern in 2018.

Here’s how it works: Delegates are elected in their Ward Meetings on February 3, 2018,  be approved in the County meeting on February 11, and vote at the State Pre-Primary Nominating Convention on March 10 to select folks to be on the ballot.  Candidates need 20% of the vote to be on the ballot.  They need you!

The list of our Ward Meetings and County meeting follows.  To find your Ward, look yourself up on the Secretary of State web site, find your precinct and match it to the ward list.  It is complicated in Rio Rancho.

Good luck!

Democratic Party of Sandoval County Pre Primary Nominating Convention

In response to the Call from the Democratic Party of New Mexico and in accordance with DPNM State rules, a Call is hereby issued for the Pre-Primary Nominating Convention.  Sandoval County will select 81 delegates at County Convention meeting listed below.  State Central Committee Members are automatic delegates to the County and State Conventions and are not a part of the delegates listed below.

Ward A Meeting Saturday, February 3, 2018.  VIVA Events Center, 1420 Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM.   Registration is at 8:30 AM and attendees must arrive by 9 AM to participate.  Ward A will elect 21 delegates. 14 delegates are from CD 1 (Congressional District) and 7 are from CD 3.

The Precincts in Ward A are:  1, 2, 3, 4 in Bernalillo; 5 (Placitas), 6(Algodones), 7(Pena Blanca), 8 (Cochiti Pueblo), 9 (San Felipe Pueblo), 10 (Cochiti Lake), 14(Zia Pueblo), 19 (Santa Ana Pueblo) 20 (Santo Domingo Pueblo), 28 (La Madera), 29 (Sandia Pueblo), 55 and 56 (Placitas) 74 (Bernalillo and Rio Rancho) 76 (Placitas) 78 (La Cueva), and 79(Sierra Los Pinos)

Ward B Meeting Saturday, February 3, 2018.  Corrales Senior Center, 4324 Corrales Road, Corrales, NM. Registration is at 9:30 AM and attendees must arrive by 10:00 AM to participate. Ward B will elect 10 delegates.  1 delegate is from CD 1 and 9 from CD 3.

The Precincts in Ward B are: 11, 12, 13, 53, 54, and 57 (Corrales), and 59 (Rio Rancho)

Ward C MeetingSaturday, February 3, 2018.  6374 Highway 550, Cuba, New Mexico, in the Cuba Investments Building. Registration is at 1 PM and the meeting starts at 1:30 PM.  Ward C will

elect 7 delegates in CD 3.

Precincts in Ward C are: 15 (Jemez Pueblo), 16 (Ponderosa), 17(Canon/Jemez Valley), 18 (Jemez Springs), 21 and 22 (Cuba), 23 (La Jara) 24 (Counselors Chapter House) 25 (Torreon Chapter House), 26 (Ojo Encino Chapter House), 27 (San Ysidro) and 77 (Jemez Pueblo).

Ward D Meeting Saturday, February 3, 2018.   Rio Rancho Elementary School, 4601 Pepe Ortiz Road, Rio Rancho, NM.    Registration is at 2:30 PM and attendees must arrive by 3 PM to participate.  Ward D will elect 16 delegates.  1 delegate is from CD 1 and 15 are from CD 3.

Precincts in Ward D are: 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 60, 61, 62, 72, 82, and 83.

Ward E MeetingSaturday, February 3, 2018. Esther Bone Memorial Library, Program Room, 950 Pinetree Road SE, Rio Rancho, NM. Registration begins at noon (12) and attendees must arrive by 12:30 PM to participate.   Ward E will elect 27 delegates.  2 delegates are from CD 1 and 25 are from CD 3.

Precincts in Ward E are: 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52, 58, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 75, 80, 81, 84, 85, and 86.

COUNTY PRE-PRIMARY NOMINATING CONVENTION, Sunday, February 11, 2018 at the Bernalillo High School Cafeteria, 148 Spartan Alley, Bernalillo, NM.   Registration opens at 2:30 and the meeting begins at 3 PM. 

For further Information contact Chair Marg Elliston at 505-259-5860 / or
Vice Chair Edward Lovato at 505-366-9071/


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Boisterous meeting over right-to-work in Sandoval County By Matthew Reichbach

A Sandoval County Commission meeting attracted a boisterous crowd Thursday night, as passions ran high over a proposed right-to-work ordinance.

The capacity crowd remained mostly respectful, at least until after public comment and once the commissioners began speaking. One commissioner compared unions to the mafia and then singled out a teacher who commented earlier and blamed teachers unions for poor education of students.

Right-to-work laws, which are in place in more than half the states in the country, bar unions from imposing mandatory fees on workers. The proposed ordinance would not apply to current companies and unions in the county.

Read the rest of the story in the NMPolitical Report here.

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American Federation of Teachers New Mexico Announces Early Endorsements for 2018 Candidates Statewide Candidates for Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General are Champions for Educators and Working New Mexicans

October 2, 2017
Contact: John Dyrcz

Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly and AFT NM Committee on Political Education Chair Sara Attleson released the following statements:

“We are proud to endorse Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Tim Eichenberg, and Hector Balderas for their 2018 re-election campaigns. AFT NM’s Committee on Political Education asked candidates to complete questionnaires detailing their positions on public education and labor issues in New Mexico, and each of these candidates share our values, without hesitation or reservation,” said Attleson.

“We believe AFT NM’s endorsed candidates represent strong, progressive voices who share our values and believe New Mexico’s students, schools, and communities can excel from birth through career, and that a strong, respected working class is the foundation for New Mexico’s success. We will work to ensure each of these candidates are re-elected and look forward continuing our partnership with each of them in Santa Fe,” said Ly.


AFT NM’s Executive Committee, in late September, voted to endorse the 2018 re-election campaigns of  Maggie Toulouse Oliver for New Mexico Secretary of State, Tim Eichenberg for New Mexico Treasurer, and Hector Balderas for New Mexico Attorney General, based on their questionnaire responses, campaign platforms, and tenure in office. In August, AFT NM reached out to both major political parties in New Mexico encouraging candidates running for office to complete an endorsement questionnaire.

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Steve Pearce Should Never Be Governor – July 10, 2017

Steve Pearce’s extreme voting record hurts New Mexico.
• If Steve Pearce thinks he should be governor after voting against the interests of
New Mexicans and supporting an extreme right-wing agenda, he should know he
can’t fool voters.
• Pearce would push the same failed Republican economic agenda of the past seven
• Democrats are going to hold Pearce accountable for his failure to stand up for the
community on healthcare, on policies that will drive job creation, and community
efforts to protect our state’s public lands.
• After eight years of Gov. Susana Martinez’s failed economic leadership, New Mexico
needs a change – not a Donald Trump clone like Steve Pearce.
• Steve Pearce has proven to be a far-right ideologue outside the mainstream of New
• Steve Perce’s support of the extreme Republican agenda would potentially take
health care away from 250,000 New Mexicans, kill approximately 11,000 jobs, and
put a $678 million burden on hospitals in the state.
• Pearce wrote a letter to the Department of Interior undermining community efforts to
protect the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument, which has a direct
impact on New Mexico’s economy.
New Mexico needs a Democrat in the second congressional district.
• New Mexico’s second congressional district is in play.
• Since the 2016 election we’ve seen an increased interest in the Democratic Party
from people across this district and we’re working on building this grassroots effort.
• With this energy we will surely register new voters, organize more events, and
support our candidates come election time.
• Any Republican in this seat will vote for harmful bills that don’t benefit our community
and instead give unfair advantages to millionaires and billionaires.
• Democratic values are New Mexico values— Democrats believe that we’re greater
together than we are on our own, that New Mexico succeeds when everyone gets a
fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.
• Republicans in Congress are looking to take health care away from people right here
in Southern New Mexico, and Congressman Pearce voted for that bill.
• A strong Democratic candidate will be ready to take on the Republican nominee and
be a champion for working families in New Mexico’s second district.
• Democrats know that New Mexicans work hard—we value family, we value dignity,
and we value respect.

Background on Pearce’s Record
HEADLINE: Pearce votes yes as House passes sweeping healthcare bill. [New Mexico Political Report, 5/4/17]

Pearce Called the GOP House Health Care Bill “A Step in the Right Direction.”
According to the New Mexico Political Report, “In a statement, Pearce said ‘While
today’s bill is in no way perfect, it is a step in the right direction.’ He continued: ‘My
decision on today’s health care bill, as with all bills, came down to its overall impact on
the lives of the New Mexican people. This is a step-by-step approach, of which this is
merely the first.’ Pearce is part of the House Freedom Caucus, a hardline conservative
bloc of House members that successfully pushed the health care legislation to the right
after a failed repeal attempt in March.”

So Far in 2017, Pearce Has Voted with Trump 94.6% of the Time. According to
FiveThirtyEight, So far in 2017, Rep. Pearce has voted in line with President Trump’s
position 94.6%. [FiveThirtyEight, 6/29/17]

January 2017: Pearce Said Trump’s Travel Ban Would Further “The Safety of Our
Nation.” According to a post on Pearce’s Facebook page, “The clunky roll out of
President Trump’s recent order on refugees shows the youth, but also the ambition, of a
new Administration. The goal of this order, however, is one we can all agree on – the
safety of our nation. With this short term halt on certain visas, our nation can take a
comprehensive assessment of the refugee and visa admission process to ensure our
procedures are placing the safety and security of our nation first. I applaud DHS
Secretary Kelly for working through the stumbled introduction of the order, to act on
provisions laid out in President Trumps order that permit lawful permanent residents and
green card holders admission into the United States. I hope the Trump Administration
takes immediate action to follow through on its plan to revise our security procedures so
we can return to a safer America.” [Facebook, Congressman Steve Pearce, 1/30/17]

2017: Pearce Cosponsored HR 354, “Defund Planned Parenthood Act of
2017.” [, HR 354, 1/6/17]

Opposed Minimum Wage Increase. In 2007, Pearce voted against increasing the
minimum wage from by $2.10 an hour to $7.25 an hour. The measure passed 218-212.
[HR 1591, Vote #186, 3/23/07]

Named One of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress in 2007 and 2008. In
September 2007 and September 2008, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington (CREW) named Pearce to their lists of the 22 and 20 most corrupt
members of Congress.

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State Rank on Child Well-Being Reveals Failure of Republican Policies, Success of Democratic Initiatives

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Photos Attached
Contact: Felicia Salazar
Phone: (505) 750-2585

New Mexico – Today, New Mexico’s rank in child well-being revealed a dramatic contrast between the failure of Republican policies and success of Democratic initiatives.

Democratic Party of New Mexico Chair Richard Ellenberg highlighted the stark difference between the policies saying, “Democrats believe that New Mexicans are resilient and powerful, and we can work to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life for everyone. This report makes it clear that Democratic policies improve the lives of our children and have a positive impact on New Mexico families; where as, Republican policies in education have kept our state at the bottom. The contrast couldn’t be more clear.”

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Book, New Mexico remains dead last in education—an area the Martinez-Sanchez administration has taken steps to privatize, increase testing and push teachers out of the profession. On the other hand, child health has seen significant gains—largely due to greater access to health services through the Affordable Care Act.

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American Federation of Teachers New Mexico React to Resignation of Secretary Hanna Skandera Skandera Latest in High-Level Exodus from Martinez Administration

June 8, 2017
Contact: John Dyrcz

Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

“The resignation of New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera is welcome news for New Mexico’s educators.

“While we recognize this is an opportunity to reset the course New Mexico’s public education has taken under Governor Martinez and Secretary Skandera, and we sincerely hope her replacement is willing to meaningfully include stakeholder input and work towards strengthening education as a profession, recognizing that a strong system of public education is the foundation of a successful society.

“On Governor Martinez and Secretary Skandera’s watch in New Mexico, our State slid from 37th to 49th in the nation in the quality of our public education, was subjected to relentless attacks on public schools in favor of charter and private schools, had to fight against voucher schemes raiding public school funding, fought mandatory flunking of our students based on standardized testing, was subjected to abusive levels of over-testing of our students, and faced the institution of the nation’s most punitive evaluation system which has contributed to historic shortages of educators and students studying to enter the field of education.

“Whomever is named as the new Secretary of Education in New Mexico, they will have to quickly use their position to advocate for New Mexico’s public schools to avoid millions of dollars of cuts under President Trump’s proposed budget, potentially further harming an already fragile and underfunded system in New Mexico. We are ready to work together with a new Secretary, and are calling on Governor Martinez to name a replacement with deep and meaningful education experience who is equally ready to work with educators, parents, communities, and other stakeholders in an honest and productive way, prioritizes New Mexico students and educators.”

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