On Election Day, its common to see those who participated in the democratic process sporting an oval-shapped sticker with an American flag declaring “I Voted” Where’s the one for “I Filed My Tax Return”? I suppose it is one of the most hated aspects of being a citizen of the union. Like voting, not all Americans participate. But unlike voting, the feds really (really) want you to. Nay, require you.
Along with the filming of The Avengers in Downtown Albuquerque this morning, protesters turned out to participate in the MoveOn.org organized gathering to draw attention to corporate tax shenanigans. With all the film equipment, lighting vans, kraft service carts and security guards, I (for one) mistook the protesters as part of the movie’s background. In reality, I was too busy gawking towards the director chair trying to catch a glimpse of the ultimate patriot. I bet Captain America filed his tax return.
It's the Weekly Alibi's 18th annual Best of Burque issue. Faster than a speeding red-light runner. More powerful than Don Schrader's home-brewed goat head yerba maté. You, the readers, picked the best of the best in the Duke City. We, Albuquerque's faithful alternative weekly, compiled those green chile slathered nuggets of local goodness into what is sure to be the best Best of Burque issue of 2011.
Don't take our word for it. The issue (officially) hits stands on Thursday, April 7, but if you hunt diligently it can be found in select locations on Wednesday, April 6.
Who will win best Albuquerquean? Which bar has the best staff? Which radio station came out on top? Tune in next week to find out.
Gary Johnson in 2012? He's not saying, but his other quote is great.
Less spam e-mail. Woo!
Let the (newly atop my favorite list) games begin!
Zilch—"A dice game of skill and chance." And awesome. Explaining the rules here would be pointless—you've just got to get in and try it.
Factory Balls 2—Drop the balls into paint and grass and other things in the right order to match the picture on the box. Clever and super fun.
Let the click-happy games begin!
Kagi Nochi Tobira--Find the key, find the door, get out. Simple. Right?
StarShine 2--Aim the shooting star correctly to light up all the stars in the sky. In this sequel, there are new stars with new abilities to make this puzzle game even more challenging.
In honor of President-elect Barack Obama, my fellow martial artists and I recorded a little video for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin.
(Sorry, I don’t know how to reorient the video. As you can tell, I’m no filmmaker.)
With less than half-an-hour before the polls close, the race for New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District was still being run.
From the campaign trail in Rio Rancho, Republican Dan East says he's feeling cautiously optimistic about tonight's outcome, despite being behind in the polls yesterday. Tomorrow, he's ready to go back to work—whatever happens tonight—but not until after he's gotten some sleep. "There are some great people out there in this district," he says. "I'm ready for the campaign to end and the work to start."
In Santa Fe, Democrat and New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Lujan arrives at his campaign headquarters bright eyed from a long day of campaigning. Lujan says an Obama presidency is extremely important to the nation and our state given the magnitude of issues facing the new administration.
Lujan says, while knocking on a wooden table, if everything goes his way tonight, he will use his experience on the Public Regulation Commission to improve health care, education and increase renewable energy incentives. Like East, the people he's met and the stories he's heard have been the most influential part of his campaign experience. It's those personal encounters that will continue to motivate him, if he's selected to represent New Mexico's 3rd District, he says.
Independent Candidate Carol Miller did not return multiple phone messages requesting an interview.
I’ve been asked that question at three separate locations today—maybe more. Upon entering Santa Fe this morning to act as the Alibi’s Santa Fe elections correspondent, I realized the batteries in my voice recorder had died. Just one of many electronic difficulties I’ve encountered today.
With only a short 20 minutes to get across town for the Udall photo-op, I dropped in a Walgreens to get some AAA-batteries and a few Sharpies (you’ll see why in another blog post later today).
“Have you voted?” a chipper lady asked as I bee-lined for the entryway.
“Of course,” I replied without pause, continuing into the store.
After successfully purchasing said needed goods, I walked out and stopped to ask the get-out-the-vote greeters a few questions. Bunny Lichtenstein and her husband, Paul, have never been so active in a campaign, she said. “We’ve been canvassing every Saturday for weeks.” Today, they and many other Sen. Barack Obama supporters would be around Santa Fe reminding people to vote, offering rides to polling places and giving out precinct information.
I asked if she’d give a ride to a McCain supporter and she said, “No,” with a laugh. “I don’t know what we do about a McCain voter,” she said. It was clear she never thought about the prospect of taking anyone but an Obama supporter to the polls. It just never crossed her mind.
Just then, a man with a “Proud to Vote” sticker and an American flag lapel pin walked out of Walgreens. “Have you voted?” Mr. Lichtenstein asked the man.
“Yup, but not for that guy,” the man replied as he pointed to a sticker on Bunny’s jacket.
“Well, just as long as you voted,” Bunny said, trying to cut the awkward tension.
“Oh, give it up,” the man said and continued to his car.
“What did that mean?” Bunny asked me. “Am I just naive, cause I don’t know what he means.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know, ma’am, I said, unsure what to tell her. “Good luck today and keep the energy up.” I waved and walked away.
Made by Albuquerque artist Goldie Garcia. I didn’t find any McCain ones--sorry.
DATELINE: Santa Fe—After a hearty breakfast of steel-cut oats and an omelet, Rep. Tom Udall rolled up to Atalaya Elementary School in his blue Toyota Prius Hybrid with his father, former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, and wife, Jill Cooper Udall, to do their civic duty. With no lines, it was an easy saunter to the check-in table where the Udalls gave their names and got their ballots. Papa Udall, who is legally blind, was aided by Mrs. Udall and wasn’t afraid to say he was voting for all the bond issues—by his own admission, he’s a sucker for bonds.
Rep. Udall filled out his ballot from behind a black voter booth, his signature cowboy boots visible bellow the table. He placed his filled-out ballot in the scanner with a smile and vocalized his appreciation for getting to see a record of his vote on the printed receipt. A few friends and politically starstruck voters stopped the congressman to shake his hand and wish him good luck on Election Day, some going so far as to call him “Senator.”
In his trademark humble style, Rep. Udall greeted his supporters graciously and asserted his belief that this election is one of the most important ever in the country as well as for New Mexico. He says his campaign is exhilarated by Election Day, and New Mexicans are, too. “People out there are energized, they’re excited and they’re really going to get out to vote,” he said.
To those unsure about heading to the polls, Udall urged them voice their opinion. “The big issues that face us have to do with the economics and with how the middle class is doing,” he said. Affordable health care, the war in Iraq and the reform of No Child Left Behind are just a few issues Udall said will be tackled under the new administration and legislative session. “There are so many things that impact people’s lives, we’ve got to have them get out to vote and express an opinion on all these issues.”
In his campaign leading up to today’s election, Rep. Udall says he learned just how much the working class and working families of New Mexico are hurting. If elected a U.S. senator today, Udall plans get back to Washington and get to work. “The first thing I want to do is get back there and put together an economic recovery package that’s going to move us in the direction of building back and growing our economy,” he said.
But Election Day isn’t over, and there are still votes to be cast and ballots to be counted. Rep. Udall will travel between his home in Santa Fe and the Democratic Party headquarters in Albuquerque for the duration of the day. Tomorrow morning, he’s up early for a radio interview at 6:30 a.m. No rest for the elected, it seems.