Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Districting is a Constitutional requirement that must be done every ten years following the census.

The requirement has become a political tool. It is believed that If one can corral many of one's own party into one district, reaching them will be easier. This assumption guides most if not all of the planning of those who refer to themselves as "Politicals."

"Politicals" generally are campaign managers, lobbyists, and candidate promoters. Through a variety of marketing techniques, they promote a given candidate either for pay and/or for conviction. That means they spend money. And that means their central concern is how to get the biggest bang for the buck in order to get their candidate's name recognized and ultimately elected.

For this reason, some statistics are considered important: (1) It is widely accepted that 20% to 25% of the electorate vote the straight ticket;

(2) if many of the same political party are corralled into one district, that district is thought to be assured of 20% - 25% of the vote for the party. The advertising dollar thereby does double duty as it focuses on the other 75%. Districting in one party's favor is thought to make more effective use of campaign money.

Whether districting does or does not help a given political party, ask yourself who does most to get out the vote? Individuals who want their candidate to win and are willing to talk to others to elect him or her.

Who is the electorate today? It is not only Democrats and Republicans. It comprises a significantly large number of Independents or DTS and other parties. And it comprises many that are registered as one of the foregoing but who in fact stand for individual rights, limited government, free-markets and fiscal responsibility. In other words the principles that guide most Tea Party supporters---whether they call themselves Radicals for Laissez faire Capitalism, or Classical Liberals, or Conservative, or Democrats.

Surely, if most of one's party is in the same area, then one can reach them more easily. But reach them how? Ultimately the electorate is reached by the individual precinct captains, individual ward chairmen who organize and motivate the individual neighborhood walkers to go door to door and explain what a given candidate stands for and why voting the straight ticket is detrimental to one's self-interest.

How does one persuade an individual to refrain from voting the straight ticket, and instead to vote for individual candidates? Would you buy a quart of strawberries if you saw that some of them were rotten? It's the same idea with voting the straight ticket. If you vote a straight ticket, the danger is you'll be voting for a number of rotten candidates. Better to vet men individually. The collective approach is never a good idea in anything.


For those who would like to learn more about districting, I recommend the following web site where you can download a number of documents dealing with aspects of it. http://www.janicearnoldjones.com/Redistricting/tabid/180/Default.aspx

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How to Kill a Bill

The Democrat members of the Voters and Elections Committee had a good time at the RoundHouse today, Thursday, March 10.

Democrat Representative Chairman Mary Helen Garcia did not lead her committee in all the festivities. She kept good order during the first two hearings; so, the deliberations of House Speaker Democrat Representative Ben Lujan, Sr. and fellow Democrat Representatives James Roger Madalena, W. Ken Martinez, Danice R Picraux, Debbie A Rodella and Edward C Sandoval proceeded---at a noticeably snail pace.

But toward the end of the hearings of SJR 11/d things started to get a little out of hand. The relieved atmosphere among the Democrat Representatives became nearly palatable as they unabashedly expressed their delight at the end of the hearings. Laughing and smiling, their chatter becoming a little louder, one almost expected them to burst into song.

They had good reason to celebrate. After all, they are not necessarily engaged in representing the wishes of New Mexicans. Something else evidently moves them.

Take a look at the set up. The Voters & Elections Committee is comprised of seven Democrats and six Republicans. Thus, the Democrats will always dominate if they vote along party lines. The agenda clearly was stacked against hearing a particular bill---HB577 (Voter Photo ID). HB535 was heard first, followed by HJR 12/d, SJR 11/a HB517 and last, HB577. The committee was supposed to start at 8:30 AM. It was called to order a little after 9:00 AM.

Discussion of the first three bills was delayed by long pauses, as Representative W. Ken Martinez meditated upon "unforeseen consequences," and Representative Rodello declared she was confused, and during the hearing of SJR 11/a ("Transfer of State Owned Property") the sponsor, his expert witness and a clerk were actually allowed in situ to engage in editing of text which was repeated three times. Some jolly exchanges regarding abbreviations and commas also took place.

Clearly someone was dragging the lower appendages. But why?

All will soon be clear. The first discussion---of HB535 was serious and polite as Republican Representative Jane Powdrell-Culbert introduced her bill to "Create a Bond Selection Day." Representative Powdrell-Culbert was joined by Secretary of State Dianna Duran and Bobbi, Director of Elelctions. Although it was obvious to observers that the discussion was stuck in low gear, both Secretary Duran and Representative Powdrell-Culbert remained alert, attentive and immediately responsive to the committee's questions. After about 45 minutes of discussion, Chairman Garcia declared that the committee "seemed in favor of HB535," but because four changes were required, the bill would be "rolled over" to March 15 to be discussed again then.

There followed discussions of HJR 12/d ("Recall of Certain Public Officials") and SJR 11/a ("Transfer of State Owned Property"). It was 11:30 AM when Chairman Garcia called for a hearing of HB517 (Financial Disclosures of Legislators). The bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Cathrynn N. Brown, apologized that her expert witness was absent. She therefore requested that HB577 be heard next.

"No, it's late," said Chairmen Garcia, "It would be better to hear it on Tuesday. You'll be first. I promise you." "Could we discuss it on Saturday or Sunday?" asked Representative Brown. "Not possible," quickly said Democrat Representative Ken Martinez "Tuesday is best."

Tuesday is March 15. The end of the 2011 General Session is March 19. If HB 577 wins a Do Pass, it won't get to the House Floor until Thursday March 17. It would then still have to pass the Senate. Postponing of the hearing on HB577 to Tuesday March 15 is a virtual killing of Voter Photo ID, which Republicans have requested perhaps 4 or 5 times in response to 83% of New Mexicans wanting this protection at the polls.

Committee members Republican Representatives Thomas Anderson, Nate Gentry, Conrad James, Bill Rehm, James A Smith and Shirley Tyler said next to nothing during these hearings. It is obvious why. They did not want to contribute to prolonging the hearings. It was clear to most observers that the Democrat majority of the committee had deliberately wasted time in order to avoid a hearing of HB577. As one observer remarked, "They were nit-picking and dic-dic-dic-ing all over the place."

This, in the face of some New Mexicans having traveled over 3 hours to take part in their government. Is it any wonder that many New Mexicans are taking a second look at the veracity and trustworthiness of Democrats? Is it any wonder at the growth of the Independent segment of our voting population?

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