Where Are Your Friends When You Need Them?
It’s all over now but the schadenfreude. Watch Facebook users unfriend Mitt Romney in real time, courtesy of Disappearing Romney. Since losing the election, he’s down more than 100,000 friends—and losing an average of 847 more per hour.
View From the Hotel Lobby
I had a chance to chat with an employee madly tidying up the Marriott lobby in the wake of the Republican Party election night gathering. He told me his roommate participated in the campaign to get the minimum wage ordinance passed.
"I was totally for it," he said. "I think a lot of the people I work with didn't even know about it, but I'm really glad it passed. I think it could help a lot, and I like that it goes up with the cost of living."
He nodded toward the crowd filtering out of the ballroom.
"I've been waiting to see some tears—even just one. And I finally did," he said, grinning. "I feel much better now."
"What Do We Do Now?"
Few celebrations at state GOP rally
The mood's been somber in the Marriott hotel ballroom since Obama’s win was flashed on the big screens looming in each corner. Lieutenant Gov. John Sanchez tried to console a woman who looked on the verge of tears, saying that this loss could serve to rally and galvanize conservatives to work even harder as they go forward.
"But what if the country goes completely bankrupt in the meantime?" replied an older man with an "I voted" sticker on his lapel. "It could happen."
"I'm feeling a little flabbergasted that people in this country and this state don't realize what's going on," said Bob (he didn't want to share his last name). A retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, Bob said individuals need to take more responsibility for their own actions and not rely on government to take care of things for them.
"When are they going to wake up and realize that the country is in a malaise that, to a large extent, is caused by government?"
Take the passage of Albuquerque's minimum wage ordinance, for instance, said Bob. It's a sign that people are caught in a cycle of government dependence: Instead of getting more education or working harder, they legislate themselves a raise.
There’s a clear segment of the country that favors the policies of Romney, Bob continued. The fact that their candidate didn't win does not bode well for the overall economic health of the country, he added.
“I think we’re going to see that there’s an overwhelming number of counties that vote Republican, and it’s only the cities that vote Democrat,” he said. “You have an influx of people into cities who are dependent on government, and people who are not dependent on government leave the cities. And of course what’s happening now? Cities are going bankrupt.”
Mayor Richard Berry and Westside City Councilor Dan Lewis were both pleased that the Paseo/I-25 bond measure passed resoundingly.
"I'm excited because it'll alleviate enormous traffic problems and improve air quality," said Berry. "Plus, the Mid-Region Council of Government estimates that it could create up to $2 billion in economic activity."
Berry said he had misgivings about the minimum wage increase initiative, particularly the effect it could have on organizations that provide home healthcare services to the elderly and disabled. Still, he said "our bosses—the voters—have spoken, and I wouldn't be doing what I did if I didn't believe in the will of the people."
“I’m excited,” said Monica Youngblood of her race’s outcome for state House district 68. “My constituents want legislators who can help the governor reform New Mexico in a good way, and my seat is good pick up in the right direction.”
Results in BernCo and N.M.
In Bernalillo County, with 62 of 69 vote centers reporting:
Debbie O'Malley won County Commission District 1
Paseo del Norte / I-25 cash was approved by a landslide (65 percent to 34 percent)
The AMAFCA bond passed
The minimum wage hike passed by a lot (66 percent to 33 percent)
Statewide, with 826 of 944 sites reporting:
Barack Obama and Joe Biden won president and vice president
Martin Heinrich won the Senate seat
Michelle Lujan Grisham won the congressional seat
Carmie Lynn Toulouse will be on the Public Education Commission
Karen Montoya won the District 1 PRC seat
Most of the constitutional amendments are passing, though two of them about the PRC are awfully close. They would pull corporations and insurance out of the PRC's purview.
As a side note: Gary Johnson's only pulling 3.5 percent statewide. If he doesn't cross that 5 percent threshold, the Libertarian Party will not be considered a major party in New Mexico.
Looks like all of the county and state bonds made it through.
A jubilant Dem watch party
People spilled out of the ballrooms and into the hallways. About 2,000 Democrats attended the results watch party at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.
Folks celebrated Democratic victories even before they were certain. Sam Bregman said at just after 8 p.m., still early in the evening, that presidential candidate Mitt Romney was "on the ropes" and would be defeated.
City Councilor Ken Sanchez was all smiles as he worked the room, as did Brian Colon and many other Democrat candidates, officials and campaign workers. State Rep. Gail Chasey, who was re-elected to her legislative seat was beaming from ear to ear, not just for herself but newly elected congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Lujan Grisham said the progressive core values need to reach a broad group of citizens. "And the kinds of issues that we need to be passionate about are for women and people of color and persons in poverty. These are the issues I am going to be so proud to work on."
The party will likely be going strong for a while.
Colorado legalized weed
"We have a lot to celebrate tonight," says Judge Jim Gray, Gary Johnson's presidential running mate.
Ending the drug war was part of the Libertarian platform this year. And Colorado has voted in favor of the sale of marijuana for recreational use.
I don't want to be all "Dewey Defeats Truman" about it, but NPR, the AP and CNN are calling it for President Barack Obama, since he took Wisconsin.
Homegrown presidential candidate
I'm at Gary Johnson's presidential campaign party at Hotel Albuquerque with about 150 of his fans and friends.
The former New Mexico governor hasn't yet made an appearance, but I got a chance to talk to spokesperson Joe Hunter. He says the campaign isn't looking to pull any particular percentages around the country. "The number we end up with tonight is not that important."
If Johnson gets 5 percent of the vote in New Mexico, the Libertarian Party will be a major party in our state during the next election cycle.
"What we have done is created a good foundation," Hunter says. "We've identified hundreds of thousands of Gary supporters." Johnson made more than 1 million friends on Google Plus, 100,000 Twitter followers and 400,000 Facebook friends, according to Hunter. He visited 20 college campuses and drew hundreds of attendees at each, even with only a couple of days notice, Hunter says.
Johnson ended up on the ballot in 48 states and in D.C. His name wasn't listed under presidential options in only Michigan and Oklahoma.
As the election neared, Hunter says third-party candidates lose supporters, especially if the race is looking close.
Why I let lady issues determine my vote
If you refuse to look away while one political party puts personhood for fetuses above personhood for women, this election is relevant to you.
The GOP platform does not make exceptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest, or even some insignificant detail like the life of the mother. They tell us rape resulting in pregnancy is a gift from god. They tell us some girls “rape easy.” I could go on, but I’m sure you know the rest. (If you don’t, the gist of it is really, really misogynist.)
I’m hardly saying President Obama is perfect, or even that another Obama presidency will prevent a gaggle of old white men from talking about vaginas. But a non-vote allows them to continue talking about women as second-class citizens. A non-vote doesn’t combat the notion that we’ll go slut-crazy with unfettered access to birth control. A non-vote won’t keep funding for Planned Parenthood—an organization that provides cancer screenings, treatments of STDs and low-cost contraception as 97 percent of its services. And most of all a non-vote doesn’t tell Republicans that these issues are real, deciding factors for many women of all class, color and circumstances, no matter how much they try to tell us otherwise.
Obama has let a lot of us down on a lot of things to be sure. But he (and the Democrats behind him) continue to do all right when it comes to ensuring women have basic agency over their own bodies. And I haven’t even mentioned the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or basic civil rights for our LGBTQ community.
Plus, why would you vote for a party that erects a “lady tent” to convince us ladies to like them as much as we all like pink.
Where to watch results roll in
Our three-reporter election team is heading out to various camps around the city. In the meantime, watch preliminary results roll in online.
Politico’s got a few states breaking red or blue on its still mostly gray map.
At the New York Times’ 538 blog, the counting has begun. The forecast is looking Obama-y.
In New Mexico, the Secretary of State’s Office has results online for you. Nothing’s up yet since our polls are still open.
The county clerk’s site is the place to check in about Albuquerque’s minimum wage. Nothing will be there until after 7 p.m.