Sunday, July 30, 2006

Richardson: The World is on Fire

Yesterday, Governor Richardson posted the first of what I'm sure are many diaries over at Daily Kos.

Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said"We're for staying the course in Iraq and the war on terror."

But as the world faces crises on multiple fronts - from oil prices to Lebanon, Iraq to North Korea - it is time for our country to chart a new course. The threats of nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and international Jihadism grow daily. Our great military, bogged down in Iraq, cannot meet every threat alone.

It is time for a new realism in our foreign policy.

It is time to use our military as a last resort, not a first option.

It is time for a rebirth of American diplomacy, to win back friends and isolate our enemies.
Governor Richardson understands that which the GOP leadership in Washington, D.C. can't seem to fathom: the status quo is unacceptable. Stay the course is not working. It's time for a change. Richardson for America in 2008.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Our Message Is Getting Out

Earlier today, I came across this post, by New Mexico blogger Heath Haussamen, where he recounts posts that I and others have written about our recent meeting with Governor Bill Richardson.

First, I want Heath to know that not all of us who met with Governor Richardson would classify ourselves as liberal. Some were liberal and some were more moderate in their views. But there were some fairly liberal folks in the room.

Heath also makes a good point:
Since Richardson is larger than life here, New Mexicans are sometimes out of touch with the national perspective on our presidential-aspiring governor. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on what others are saying.
For a little perspective Heath all you have to do, as I found out, is put up a diary in support of Governor Richardson at Daily Kos. It's nice to see what the opposition thinks and the arguments they make against Governor Richardson.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Where is the Love for Bill Richardson?

Cross-posted over at Daily Kos. Let it not go unstated that we at Washington for Richardson have a lot of love for the Governor.

Though it's early in the race for 2008, and nobody is yet a declared candidate, I find it interesting that on Daily Kos, I'm seeing more netroots support for Senator Russ Feingold, General Wes Clark, and Governor Mark Warner than any other candidates. And I'm wondering why am I not yet seeing a lot of netroots support for New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am the founder of Washington for Richardson, and he is my candidate for 2008, should he decide to run.

As I posted at Washington for Richardson, the Albuquerque Journal reported last week on Governor Richardson's outreach to bloggers.
Gov. Bill Richardson has been lavishing some <3>He spent Sunday afternoon chatting with another group of bloggers in Seattle. Last week, he launched into a plug for the blogging phenomenon during a speech at the National Association of Secretaries of State convention in Santa Fe.

"The bloggers are here to stay," the governor told the convention-goers. "Don't dismiss those folks. They are strong. They are everywhere. They blog everything."

[...]

A quick Google computer search using the words "Bill Richardson" and "blog" turns up a long list of sites from enthusiastic Richardson supporters around the nation.

At the top of the list is billrichardsonblog.com, an unabashedly pro-Richardson chronicle of recent news items that also offers links to other Richardson fan sites including America for Richardson, Missouri for Richardson, and Washington for Richardson.
That's right, Governor Richardson is into blogs and the role we bloggers play in the political process, and he genuinely wants to engage in dialogue. He showed that by going to Yearly Kos and hosting a blogger breakfast and participating on a panel. He demonstrated that in Seattle 1 week ago when he met with 15 of our progressive/Democratic bloggers for 40 minutes. Yet, Governor Richardson isn't getting much love from the Kossacks, outside of those of us who have started "for Richardson" blogs.

Today, the Albuquerque Journal published more remarks that Governor Richardson made about bloggers while at the DLC annual meeting.
He also plugged Internet "bloggers," who've become bigger players in national politics.

"Some of the best thinking on energy is happening in the blogs," Richardson said. "I invite you to look at them because I think they're important."
I know a lot of you are reading that, completely ignoring the part about bloggers and saying, "but Governor Richardson was at the DLC meeting, ewwww. " There is a reason for that. As Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, and as a rule, Governor Richardson is reaching out to all constituencies of the Democratic party. He's an inclusive leader, a uniter, unlike George W. Bush. Bill Richardson took questions in Seattle from some of our most liberal bloggers, and engaged in respectful dialogue. If nothing else, some of those bloggers walked away impressed that he was so open to the dialogue. And if you think Governor Richardson is just a tool of the DLC, think again. From his work on the minimum wage, to his support for renewable energy, to his "Year of the Child" initiatives, to his new 5 point plan to get more New Mexicans health care coverage, Bill Richardson carries some excellent progressive credentials.

He's doing outreach to bloggers, and has recognized our importance in the political process, so again I ask, where is the love for Bill Richardson?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Richardson Health Care Plan

On Friday, Governor Richardson revealed his 5 point plan to extend health care coverage to more New Mexicans.

From the Governor's press release, the plan includes:
1. Phase in a requirement that companies that do business with the state must offer health insurance benefits to their New Mexico employees. The General Services Department will lead a small group of cabinet secretaries to develop a plan that will institute this requirement by fiscal year 2008. This group will be sensitive to the needs of small vendors.

2. The General Services Department will pinpoint the number of state employees who decline health coverage. Currently, if an employee declines enrollment, the state does not check to see if they have coverage through a spouse or another entity. This full accounting will help get an accurate picture of the coverage gaps and target outreach to get as many state employees covered as possible.

3. Maximize the Medicaid program. For fiscal year 2008, Governor Richardson will seek funding to increase coverage for adults via a two-year, phased-in approach. This initiative will be specifically designed to help low income adults up to 100% of the federal poverty level. It will leverage millions of dollars in additional federal funding and help cover tens of thousands of New Mexicans.

4. Funding to expand the State Coverage Insurance program to help cover more working adults and asking the federal government to raise the federal poverty requirement to 300% with cost-sharing based on income. Expanding this public/private partnership with small employers will help cover the many hardworking New Mexicans who currently cannot afford insurance.

5. Governor Richardson and the legislative leadership have appointed a 21-member task force to analyze health coverage models and make recommendations on across-the-board coverage solutions for New Mexicans. This Coverage for New Mexicans Committee will have broad membership from the health care industry, insurance and advocacy communities (list attached.) This committee will deliver its findings to the Governor in a year, in time to work with the legislature on a comprehensive health coverage package for the 2008 session.
With New Mexico's growing economy and the fiscal responsibility that Governor Richardson has showed in the first term of his administration, it makes a lot of sense to use surplus funds to take care of the growing issue of health care. In my state, health care is second only to education in terms of the budget, and education funding is constitutionally mandated. In New Mexico, I'm sure Governor Richardson is facing the same issues with rising health care costs.

The Bush Administration and GOP Congress have demonstrated that they're in bed with the HMO's and pharmaceutical companies. We can expect no help in the near future from the federal government on health care costs, which underscores the point Governor Richardson made when he met with us last week that the state is where the action is.

One of the things I really like about Governor Richardson is that he is a man of action. He sees the big picture and he goes after it. This 5 point health care plan is another example of his strong, visionary leadership.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another Recap: BR Visit With WA Bloggers

Mollie over at The (liberal) Girl Next Door, posts her thoughts on the discussion we had with Governor Richardson last Sunday.
I was invited to join a blogger meet-up with Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico last week and I have to say, he’ll make an impressive Presidential candidate should he choose to run in ’08. I can’t say that I’m a supporter, but I did like what he had to say about immigration, the minimum wage and energy policy, particularly how it relates to foreign policy and national security.

[...]

He did say he supports an Apollo like project for renewable energy and that he thinks subsidies for nuclear power should be scrapped. Funding the science and discovery of new technologies is where we should be focusing our attention, it’s the right thing to do for the planet, for the stability of our country and because it will support new industries that will help grow our economy and provide more jobs. The Governor talked a bit about how he’s done just that in his own state with great success.
Sounds like a progressive agenda to me. Hearing the Governor speak about these initiatives, to me, is like hearing JFK talk about landing a man on the moon. Governor Richardson is clearly committed to moving our country into the next century and beyond. He has clear ideas of where we need to go and how we need to get there, and he has the experience to make it happen. It's time to get behind Richardson and move our country forward.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Vote Now in July Daily Kos Straw Poll

You know the routine. Get on over to Daily Kos and vote for Richardson.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Audio of Washington Blogger Meeting with Governor Richardson

After some technical difficulties, the audio of our meeting last Sunday with Governor Bill Richardson is available. Thanks to Jim for offering to host it for me, while I work out my technical issues. You can find the audio here.

Update: I forgot to mention earlier today that jpeg has a post up about our meeting with Governor Richardson over at Washington Outsiders.

Richardson <3 Bloggers


In yesterday's Albuquerque Journal, Jeff Jones and Trip Jennings wrote an article on how Governor Richardson is reaching out to bloggers, which mentioned our friends at the Bill Richardson blog, and America for Richardson, as well as this blog.
Gov. Bill Richardson has been lavishing some <3>He spent Sunday afternoon chatting with another group of bloggers in Seattle. Last week, he launched into a plug for the blogging phenomenon during a speech at the National Association of Secretaries of State convention in Santa Fe.

"The bloggers are here to stay," the governor told the convention-goers. "Don't dismiss those folks. They are strong. They are everywhere. They blog everything."

[...]

A quick Google computer search using the words "Bill Richardson" and "blog" turns up a long list of sites from enthusiastic Richardson supporters around the nation.

At the top of the list is billrichardsonblog.com, an unabashedly pro-Richardson chronicle of recent news items that also offers links to other Richardson fan sites including America for Richardson, Missouri for Richardson, and Washington for Richardson.
That's right, we've organized ourselves and linked to each other all in the name of promoting Governor Richardson and his policy initiatives. I want to stress that we are unofficial representatives of the Richardson campaign and our opinions are our own and not the official positions of the campaign. But in the words of Governor Richardson at our meeting this past Sunday, we're "his guys" and we hope to expand the Richardson blogosphere as much as possible.

Photo above is Governor Richardson with Washington for Richardson co-founders Ken Camp and Emmett O'Connell. Emmett also is a co-founder of America for Richardson.

Monday, July 17, 2006

July MyDD Straw Poll is Up

Make sure you get on over there and give Governor Richardson your vote. As of 8:33pm Pacific time, Governor Richardson was outpolling Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mr. Richardson Comes to Washington

Governor Richardson met with Washington state bloggers earlier today. Emmett was first with a post, so I'm going to link to him until I can get my own thoughts into words.

I walked into the meeting already impressed with Governor Richardson, but walked out even more impressed. Usually, a man with Richardson's credentials will sit there and tell you what's on his mind. One reason Bill Richardson is a great leader is because he listens to people, and genuinely cares about what they have to say, and he showed that today.

The governor gave us about 40 minutes of his time and covered a broad range of topics, and despite the efforts of his staff and my efforts to help them (as Emmett briefly covered in his post), Governor Richardson was late to his next meeting because he wasn't ready for our discussion to end.

I'll have more thoughts as soon as my schedule allows me to compile them on here, but you should also check out America for Richardson for Emmett's thoughts on the meeting.

Update: Will over at Pike Place Politics also has a post up, and he thinks the Governor might have what it takes to win in 2008.
While I'm officially undecided for 2008, I like what Richardson brings to the table. He's a dynamic governor with White House level experience, and is also Hispanic, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the electorate.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Richardson's Opponent Makes Inappropriate and Offensive Remarks

Is John Dendahl New Mexico's version of Montana Senator Conrad Burns? Burns, as you may or may not know, has a long history of making offensive remarks about women, minorities and Native Americans. Now, Dendahl, who is Governor Richardson's opponent in the election, has made offensive remarks about New Mexico Hispanics.
Dendahl said during a radio talk show earlier this week that lawmakers have failed to adequately deal with the problem of repeat drunken drivers because "the Legislature understands that statistically ... too many people who are repeat offenders happen to have Spanish last names."
As if that wasn't bad enough, Dendahl then accused New Mexico state legislators of not enacting tougher laws against drunken driving because "that would be racist".

With comments like these, John Dendahl is not going to be making any friends in the Hispanic community, which comprises a significant part of the population in New Mexico, or in the state legislature. And while John Dendahl is out there dividing New Mexicans, Governor Richardson is bringing them together. To the people of New Mexico, if you want a blowhard vote for Dendahl, but if you want a Governor vote for Richardson.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Governor Richardson to Visit Washington This Weekend

I received confirmation earlier today that Governor Richardson will be in Washington this weekend. According to the Yakima Herald, he'll be holding a town hall meeting on Saturday in Sunnyside (15th LD) to rally Democrats and get out the hispanic vote.

On Sunday, he'll be in Seattle hosting an exclusive meeting for progressive/Democratic bloggers in Washington. It will be a great opportunity opportunity to talk with Governor Richardson about issues important to our state and to introduce him to our progressive blogosphere. And yes, I'll be there.

For more information on Governor Richardson please visit Bill Richardson for New Mexico or the Governor's official state website. Or you can just keep coming back here for the latest.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tony Snow blames Bill Richardson for failed diplomacy with North Korea

In his press briefing yesterday, White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob (R-Fox News) demonstrated the Bush Administration's doctrine of making things up when it has no reasonable answer for a problem.

When asked about diplomatic efforts with North Korea, Snowjob recited the Bush Administration's version of past history for the press.

MR. SNOW: Well, this is not the Clinton administration policy. I understand what the Clinton administration wanted to do. They wanted to talk reason to the government of Pyongyang, and they engaged in bilateral conversations. And Bill Richardson went with flowers and chocolates, and he went with light-water nuclear reactors, and he went with promises of heavy oil, and a basketball signed by Michael Jordan, and many other inducements for the "Dear Leader" to try to agree not to develop nuclear weapons, and it failed. But there was, at least, a good-faith effort on the part of some very smart people to use that as an approach.
The only problem is that Tony Snow failed history. Today, Governor Bill Richardson issued this smackdown of Snowjob’s revisionist history:

"Tony Snow doesn't let facts get in the way of a snappy quote. Unfortunately, he's trying to rewrite history. Even trying to be funny he got it wrong- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright brought the basketball and Ambassador Robert Gallucci worked on the light-water reactor issue. I negotiated the release of a downed pilot and a political prisoner and handled a number of diplomatic chores for the administration. And let's not forget that the President provided a plane for me last October so I could travel to Pyongyang to meet with the North Koreans, conversations that resulted in the North Korean delegation returning to the negotiating table."

"Under President Clinton, direct talks resulted in an agreement that kept North Korea from increasing its supply of enriched uranium and nuclear weapons."

"Now, because of the policies of this administration, the North Koreans are more dangerous than ever, and the region is more unstable. They've apparently quadrupled their supply of enriched plutonium and now reportedly have as many as 8 nuclear weapons."

"After nearly 6 years of neglect, the President suddenly seems to have discovered the value of true diplomacy. However he's missing the most important piece- direct engagement. He says talking with the North Koreans would send the wrong message and reward bad behavior."

"If direct talks will get the North Koreans back to the table and move the process forward, we should do it. Contrary to those who think it gives Kim Jong Il what he wants, direct talks would give the US what it wants- getting the process moving to shut down the North Koreans nuclear weapons program. It's time for the administration to reverse its failed policy and take action that will make progress toward a real solution."

First off, to make light of a serious situation by making the Governor of New Mexico look like he was trying to woo the North Korean leader is ridiculous. Second of all, as Ian at the Bill Richardson blog points out, if Richardson is such a bad envoy, why did President Bush send him to Pyongyang?

There has been only one man that I know of, who has negotiated successfully with North Korea, and that man is Bill Richardson. Lord Bush and his cronies should show some respect to a man he could learn something from. After all, if I have my way, it's going to be Richardson who will be left cleaning up Bush's mess in January of 2009.


Update [7/12/06]: Yesterday, I wrote that I could think of only one man (Bill Richardson) who had negotiated successfully with North Korea in recent memory. Well, there are two. President Carter is the other.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Governor Richardson on Meet the Press

In case you missed it, Governor Richardson was on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday morning, speaking about the issues surrounding North Korea. You can find the transcript here.

In the interview Governor Richardson laid out his plan for how things should be going. He should know, since he's directly negotiated with the North Koreans before.
Our policy so far is not working. What you have is North Korea has quadrupled its enriched plutonium since 2002. The six-party talks are going nowhere. We should talk directly to the North Koreans to discuss what is next. They need to dismantle their nuclear weapons. They need to destroy their missile capability. The only way to do that, in my judgment, is face-to-face talks at a level of Christopher Hill. He is a competent diplomat. The successes we’ve had with the North Koreans have been through direct engagement: when I got some pilots out of North Korea, when Bob Gallucci negotiated the agreed framework, Secretary Albright close to having an agreement on reducing or terminating their missiles.
But the best indicator of how things are currently going with North Korea was when Governor Richardson said:
We are trying to outsource our foreign policy to China.
Leave it to the Bush administration to find a way to outsource foreign policy. Leave it to Bill Richardson to have another common sense solution to a serious problem.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Bill Richardson 2006

You may have noticed light posting on this blog recently. There are 2 reasons. One is that I took a new job doing campaign work, and it keeps me busy all week. The second is that I was on a 2 week vacation that saw me in Santa Fe, visiting the state Capitol, where I did see the lobby of Governor Richardson's office. In my absence, I received an e-mail from the Governor's campaign staff informing me that his new website is up and running.

Please go visit Bill Richardson 2006.

Richardson Leads the Way on Clean Renewable Energy

Western Democrat has 2 great posts up, one by our own Emmett O'Connell, discussing how Governor Richardson is taking the lead in the fight to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and to establish clean, renewable energy sources.

You can read Emmett's post here, and the other post here.

What is clear is that in a time when our dependence on foreign oil has brought us the highest gas prices in history, record profits for oil companies, Texas and Wyoming oilmen in the White House making sure their cronies are taken care of at the expense of the consumer, and further instability in the Middle East which helps to drive the prices up, Governor Richardson (himself a former Secretary of Energy) is taking the lead in ensuring our future.

Richardson's future, and the future of America, is one of environmental conservation through development of renewable resources, consumer protection from spiking prices at the whim of Middle Eastern sheikhs and Big Oil, and one where energy companies don't write energy policy. Bill Richardson gets it, and it's just another reason why we support him for President in 2008.