Friday, Oct 28: TEDxABQ Women
The Obvious, the Important and the Inscrutable
The Alibi’s guide to amendments and advisory questions
Dotdotdotdashdashdashdotdotdot: High court calls on SOS to perform job as election nears
In a stunning blow to governance by partisan paternalism, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on Friday, Sept. 19, that the Secretary of State does not have authority to remove advisory initiatives approved by county commissions from the general election ballot. This high court ruling means that citizens of Bernalillo County will get to vote on two nonbinding polling questions regarding decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana and raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent to fund mental health services.
In an oral presentation of the Court's ruling, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil said New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran failed to perform a mandatory duty of her office by refusing to include county-approved initiatives on the general election ballot; the Court ordered her to do so.
If you haven't already, you'll hear more about Duran in the weeks to come. Her unsuccessful attempt to quash Bernalillo and Santa Fe County advisory initiatives via unilateral memorandum and petititions of both federal and state courts is only part of the coming Duran-centric news cycle. As the incumbent candidate for Secretary of State, Duran may already be familiar to you.
In the wake of the Court's decision, Duran issued a written statement: “We of course will comply with this order, but what it means is that Bernalillo County voters will be using a ballot printed in tiny 7-point font, just so people can be presented with a meaningless public opinion poll.” How can the opinion of voters—some of whom obviously voted for her—now seem meaningless to Duran?
Her campaign website, diannaduran.com, colorfully presents polarizing rhetoric. On a page titled "Dianna Duran v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver: The Striking—and very Alarming—Contrasts," Duran calls herself the "target" of "extreme far-left activists of the Democratic Party." She goes on to contrast herself with Toulouse Oliver using all-caps and underlined keywords like "DARK MONEY," "political consultant" and "left-wing activism and partisanship" in reference to Toulouse Oliver.
In contrast, Toulouse Oliver's minimalist campaign website, maggietoulouseoliver.com, focuses on endorsements, and finding criticism of Duran is more challenging. (On the landing page of Duran's website, an arrow guides you straight to the aforementioned "Contrasts" page.) After clicking through Toulouse Oliver's bio and thoughts on the job, the news section of her site reveals her official statement on the Supreme Court decision. And it is critical of Duran, but phrases like "overtly partisan and activist interference in the ballot creation process" and "blatant disrespect for the separation of powers in our government" pale in comparison to Duran's chart that lists Toulouse Oliver's background and experience as "Campaign Manager for Dark Money Orgs."
But don't take my word for it. Visit their respective websites, linked above, and form your own opinion. For even more insight into their educational, professional and political backgrounds, news, endorsements and campaign contribution disclosures, visit the Ballotpedia pages for Dianna Duran and Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
The Alibi encourages our readership to remain politically informed. To that end, please keep your eyes peeled for websclusive and print-edition political news and election coverage as the 2014 general election nears. And be sure to pick up a copy of the Alibi Election Guide, which hits stands on Thursday, Oct. 30. On a personal note, I've always appreciated the way Halloween and elections coincide. After all, there's really nothing scarier than citizen apathy, low voter turnout and resulting ineffective, subpar leadership and representation.
Crib Notes: Sept. 18, 2014
The Daily Word in Nevada shootings, online health care woes and the zombie obsession
President Obama will give a talk today addressing problems people have been having with HeathCare.gov, a new health care website that allows people to compare insurance rates, understand health care laws and more.
A lawyer for a Roma couple accused of kidnapping a little girl in Greece says that the couple adopted her from her birth mother, though they still haven't located said mother for verification.
Hurricane Raymond is getting stronger.
There was a shooting at Sparks Middle School in Nevada this morning. Police say the suspect was “neutralized,” though it's not clear how many were shot, but the children were evacuated to the nearby high school.
There was another shooting in Nevada this morning, though this one was at a Las Vegas casino, in which one person was pronounced dead and two were wounded. Police say the suspect is in custody.
Joseph Sandoval, 50, was killed on Saturday after being struck by a Rail Runner train that was headed north to Santa Fe. Police are still trying to figure out why Sandoval was near the tracks.
Scott Chandler, owner of Tierra Blanca Ranch, spoke to Matt Lauer on "The TODAY Show" about the allegations of abuse and the Amber Alert for nine missing kids last week.
You think UNM has a solution to the national debt?
Are zombies holding America's imagination hostage?
Black Eyed Dog and Yellow Wallpaper
Songs in the key of blue
The Daily Word in New Mexico jobs, Costa Concordia and record-breaking rain
A shooting at Washington Navy Yard broke out this morning, with police reporting that one of three possible shooters was “down,” though reports aren't clear on exactly what that means. Reports also state that at least seven people have been killed, and eight have been injured. This is still a breaking story, so check news sources for more information.
Engineers are attempting to raise the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized off the island of Giglio in Italy. The ship, which capsized in January of 2012, killing 32 people, is being watched closely by environmentalists who fear that a toxic spill from the ship could pollute the waters.
Search-and-rescue teams in Colorado are grounded due to heavy clouds in the sky, and more than 1,000 people are still unaccounted for after massive floods in Larimer County and surrounding areas.
New Mexico's health care system is in turmoil as an investigation looks into allegations that 15 of its largest mental health providers defrauded Medicaid of $36 million over the course of three years.
In today's city council meeting, a proposal will be introduced that will make it illegal for Albuquerque's employers to refuse paying the new minimum wage, unless they want to face criminal charges.
Albuquerque's rainfall over the weekend broke a record, y'all.
I think someone in Northampton took Stephen King's IT a little too seriously.
Misinfo on Obamacare
In this week’s opinion section, Jerry Ortiz y Pino posits that the right is straight-up lying about the Affordable Care Act.
Ortiz y Pino
The Right is Lying About Obamacare
The Daily Word in minimum wage, cardboard bikes and Bob Dylan
State Supreme Court orders minimum wage increase back on the November ballot.
There’s a zip line at the Fair this year—and tigers.
Way to go, N.M. organ donors!
Santa Fe’s politicians call for a meeting with Zozobra organizers, saying the event should be more family-friendly.
Slinky blows physics’ mind.
The man who made the anti-Islam film causing violent protests throughout the Middle East is a 55-year-old former criminal and Coptic Christian in California, according to the Associated Press.
Protesters storm the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.
An actor from that anti-Islam film says she had no idea they were staring in a propaganda flick.
Meet the $9 recycled cardboard bike that can support a 485-pound rider.
Monica Lewinsky is writing a book, maybe.
“Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff,” says Bob Dylan in response to accusations that he’s plagiarized some of his material.
How to: Turn your wall into a projector screen for $50.
31 rad DIY projects.
The first 1,000 digits of Pi skywritten over San Francisco.
Hobby Lobby doesn’t want the Affordable Care Act to make it cover birth control for employees.
OyP: This guv is a policy wrecking ball
Jerry Ortiz y Pino opines that Gov. Susana Martinez is on a neocon crusade of destruction. But the public can’t see it yet, he writes, because the media fawns over her so.
Most voters’ impressions of a governor are shaped by media coverage. On TV, we get split-second footage: She's cutting ribbons, smiling at children, waving to crowds, and looking perky at a rally or solemn at a memorial. ... The honeymoon ain't over yet, even after 18 months.