Mr. Fancy Pants Goes to the Ball

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I alluded in my Twitter feed a few weeks ago that I had purchased a tuxedo. Well, it’s inauguration season here in Washington D.C., and I’m going to celebrate in style courtesy of the New Mexico State Society. My sister and I are society members, and while she forked up the cash to get in, the Society was gracious enough to allow me to attend as a member of the press. I think it’s very indicative of how well the Land of Enchantment, its lawmakers and other leaders have embraced new media and the state’s bloggers.

I’m also going to work with Matt from NMFBIHOP and Barb from Democracy for New Mexico to interview the freshman members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation (Reps. Ben Ray Lujan, Martin Heinrich, and Harry Teague) in the coming week.

Regardless of that possible coverage, I will be taking my camera to the Inaugural Gala (which is to be held at the beautiful Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian). So, I hope to snap a bunch of photos of New Mexican politicos and other friendly faces as we celebrate the inauguration of President-Elect Barack  Obama.

Crunch time

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I imagine most of the people still in New Mexico who read this blog are watching the economic turmoil with a mixture of fear, anger and awe. So much of the current mess seems beyond our control and completely out of our hands. And, while I’d agree with that in part, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Register to vote! This mess is the result of a bunch of bad decisions by a bunch of people, and voting better people into office is a great way of remedying the situation. There’s a widget on the right hand side of this blog where you can go, or visit this link to register through Rock the Vote. You only have a few days left.
  2. Donate to candidates. I know it’s tough right now, especially with the economy in the state it’s in. However, it’s probably the best investment you can make with your money. Vote more and better Democrats into Congress (people like Martin Heinrich or Harry Teague) and they’ll work to fix some of the inequality that has impacted families across the state and country. Check out the True Blue New Mexico page on Act Blue and send some coin to some worthy candidates.
  3. Volunteer. Knock on some doors or make some phone calls on behalf of Barack Obama. My understanding is that they’re coordinating a lot of the get-out-the-vote effort, and this will be crucial in swinging New Mexico for the Democrats in the 2nd Congressional District and for the presidential race.
  4. Tell your friends. Send them a link to this post. Ask them to register. See if they’ll volunteer with you.

Or, you can do nothing – you can sit back and watch what happens. If you think the country is doing great and you’re happy with your health care options and you think America is safer than in 2000 and you’re not worried about your retirement, then I guess you don’t have that much at stake in this election. Otherwise, I hope you’ll help out. You owe it to yourself.

True Blue New Mexico

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Donate to Democratic CandidatesMy friends at Democracy for New Mexico and New Mexico FBIHOP are fundraising again: they’ve started an ActBlue page for all of the Democratic candidates for federal office in New Mexico. They inlcude: Sen. Barack Obama, Rep. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Harry Teague, and Ben Ray Lujan.

The netroots is playing a big role in elections this year, and I give some serious props to Matt and Barb for stepping up and getting this effort going. I think it’s a testament to their hard work, and a recognition of the role they’re playing, that each of the New Mexican candidates are posting guest blogs this week (you can see Heinrich’s posts here and here).

Matt has a great post introducing the project, highlighting the unique situation in New Mexico this cycle:

In 2008, New Mexicans have a chance for a true change — a golden opportunity to make a True Blue New Mexico.  There are more Democrats than Republicans registered in the state, and Democrats control both the state Senate and House.  Yet in federal offices, Republicans hold a 3-2 advantage, including a 2-1 advantage in the House. This year, that can change — and change dramatically.

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve thought that some additional attention in southern New Mexico from groups like the DCCC could help push the district closer toward the “Democratic” column, and with the right candidate Rep. Steve Pearce might have had a fight on his hands. With changing demographics, who knows what would have happened? Continue reading…

More stuff I wrote elsewhere

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From a post on the Pennsylvania primary election:

As this CQ Politics article points out, regions in Pennsylvania that leaned toward Democrats in the most recent presidential and gubernatorial elections received more delegates from the state party. In addition, the state’s 19 congressional districts use a proportional system to determine how many delegates a candidate receives at the convention. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will easily clear the 15% threshold mandated by the DNC, but the number of delegates they receive will depend on how well they perform in the districts.

As this chart shows, candidates need a very high percentage of the vote to really “win” a district. For example, unless a candidate breaks the 58.3% mark in CD-6, Clinton and Obama will split the six delegates there. And while anything over 50% in CD-14 will give a candidate a 4-3 delegate advantage, they would need to reach 64.3% to net a 5-2 win. It’s for that reason that CQ Politcs predicted a slim 53-50 delegate spread for Clinton, despite her relatively sizable and constant polling lead in the state.

We’ll keep Pennsylvania’s congressional and presidential pages updated as best we can throughout the night and tomorrow. If you’re looking for the most complete picture around (from district-by-district vote results to updates on the superdelegates) Congresspedia is the place to be.

Bill Richardson Endorsing Obama

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Looks like Big Bill has finally made an endorsement:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the nation’s only Hispanic governor, is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president, calling him a “once-in-a-lifetime leader” who can unite the nation and restore America’s international leadership.

Link via Chris Bowers, who, like me, wonders if Richardson can sway any of New Mexico’s other Superdelegates to the Obama camp. I would say the odds are good (though you shouldn’t expect Martin Chavez to do a reversal on Richardson’s orders). The governor is going to be around for a couple more years, and, more importantly, can do a lot to help get people elected (I’m looking at you Diane Denish).

Aside from Richardson, only one other New Mexico Superdelegate has endorsed Obama: former DNC chair Fred Harris.

Superdelegate Transparency Project

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In the past 48 hours, Congresspedia (in conjunction with The Literary Outpost and OpenLeft) launched the Superdelegate Transparency Project. My editor (working from a café in Argentina while on vacation) drafted a pretty great support structure, while we imported a bunch of data volunteers have collected on the Democratic nomination.

The result is 55 pages — divided by state, district or territory — that compiles the popular vote, a pledged delegate count and, most importantly, a system to track the superdelegates. We’re identifying them, determining whether they’ve endorsed a candidate, and trying to track whether their vote is in line with what the constituents in each state want. With Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama racing toward a photo-finish, the superdelegates might decide who gets the nomination.

Chris Bowers wrote a great introduction over at OpenLeft, if you want some of the back story on the process.  Otherwise, if you’re interested in the role these individuals will play in the Democratic nomination, you should head over to the project and read up. If you want to help shine some light on the process, help out. If you need any assistance, just let me know.