Thursday, September 28, 2006

Welcome to The Plaza

Now that The Plaza is up and running, get on over there, meet some new people and see what Governor Richardson is doing for New Mexico and what he could be doing for all of us in 2008. The Governor posted today and described the concept of The Plaza:
Across New Mexico and America, plazas are places where people come together to visit with one another about the issues of the day, and to celebrate good news. Here on The Plaza, we're doing the same thing.
The plaza is a place where all viewpoints are heard and anyone can participate in the discussion. Governor Richardson's blog is aptly named. The Plaza takes that metaphor to a new level because it allows citizens like you and me, but particularly New Mexicans, to interact with their governor on a personal level and to participate more fully in their government and participate in new ways. Kudos to Governor Richardson for utilizing this tool to speak to his constituency, when so many others have yet to embrace it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Plaza Goes Live

I received word last night that Governor Richardson's blog, The Plaza, will be going live today. I encourage anyone reading this blog to go sign up for an account and be a part of the community. Of our elected officials, Governor Richardson, is one of the few who understands the revolution that's happening online with regard to politics, and he's embraced the use of blogs, podcasts and video technology to engage in the discussion online.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Governor Richardson's 1st Post at MyDD

Tonight Governor Richardson posted for the first time at MyDD, outlining his thoughts on current American public policy and how the states are leading the way, his support for the netroots and an update on some gubernatorial races. In case you missed it, Richardson is sponsoring MyDD's Governor's Forecast. Here's an excerpt from his post tonight:

It is time for a new American foreign policy -- a policy based on diplomacy, strong alliances, and the use of our great military only as a last resort. But while we will have to wait until 2008 to change our foreign policy, we have an opportunity right now to help the millions of Americans who have been abandoned by Washington. In the absence of federal leadership on health care, education, border security, disaster preparedness, the environment, renewable energy, fiscal responsibility and economic development, it is up to states -- and governors -- to get the job done.

Look around. In Wisconsin, in Arizona, in Michigan, in New Hampshire, and in my state of New Mexico, Democratic Governors are making a difference. Our states have balanced budgets. Our states are expanding access to health care. Our states are creating jobs, investing in renewable energy, and making schools work. In the 2006 midterm elections, there are 36 Governors races -- 36 opportunities to make things better.

We don't have to wait for 2008 -- working together, Democrats and the Netroots can win in 2006 and build a track record of success for years to come.

That's why I'm committed to supporting and building the progressive online infrastructure we need to win now. It's why the Democratic Governors Association is stepping up our internet efforts to serve as a clearinghouse for information on races around the country and how people can get involved. It's why I've set up a page at ActBlue.com to highlight our candidates, and why it's so important to activate ActBlue fundraising for every state. And it's why I'm proud to partner with MyDD to sponsor the Governor Forecast 2006.

The truth is, none of the potential 2008 candidates are saying the kinds of things that Bill Richardson is saying and none of them are providing the kind of leadership that Bill Richardson is, and that's why he is the best candidate to lead this country out of the mess that George W. Bush has created.

And here is Governor Richardson on the netroots, in his own words:


A New Lawman In Town

One of the funnier campaign ads I've seen.



Tip of the hat to Emmett for posting the ad to YouTube.

E-mail from Governor Richardson

Dear Friend:

Over the last several days, as it's become increasingly clear how unstable the world has become, events at the United Nations General Assembly underscored just how far the prestige of the United States has fallen. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell summed it up: "The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

We did not get here by accident.

We got here because of an impatient and reckless foreign policy which rejects international treaties, ignores longstanding allies, and favors unilateral action without proper regard for consequences.

The Republicans will do anything they can to distract attention from this situation, and the GOP has openly announced that they are going to spend over 90% of the $50 million they've raised nationally attacking Democrats over "personal issues." That's code for "smear campaigns."

There are rumors that the national GOP and shadowy, right wing organizations like the one that aired the notorious "Swift Boat" ads against John Kerry are buying TV air time in New Mexico.

When those attack ads appear, we must be ready to respond effectively – and quickly. That's why I've pledged that every contribution made to my campaign between now and October 5th will go to the New Mexico Democratic Party. In fact, I have committed to match all contributions 2-to-1 up to $25,000 over the next 10 days, for a total of $75,000 for our Democratic candidates.

Click here to help New Mexico Democrats fight off these attacks with a generous gift of $50, $75 or even more, and your contribution will be effectively tripled!

Democrats simply must take the lead in 2006. So much has gone wrong since George Bush and his GOP allies took power:

  • The number of children living in poverty has grown every year.
  • The number of Americans without health insurance has grown every year.
  • Real wages have stagnated or even decreased every year.
  • The national debt has increased every year – to an astonishing $3 trillion.

What is especially disheartening is how George Bush and Karl Rove have cynically relied on wedge issues to divide America like no other time in our lives. They have turned our nation against itself at a time when we most need to come together.

We simply can't let another election slip away from us as a result of the gutter politics the Republicans have relied on again and again.

Click here to help New Mexico Democrats fight back against GOP attacks and your contribution will be tripled!

If we meet our $25,000 goal, my campaign will send $75,000 to the New Mexico Democratic Party to fight off these attacks and turn out voters.

With so little time before November 7, we have very little margin for error. If the GOP is able to sway just enough voters through their outrageous tactics, they could prevail again on Election Day.

Thank you for standing by me and our Democratic candidates during these last critical days.

Sincerely,

Governor Bill Richardson

P.S. Don't forget that if you make a contribution right now, it will be tripled. Click here to give $50, $75 or more to support New Mexico Democrats in November's elections.

Donate Today!Volunteer

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All content © 2006 Richardson for Governor

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Richardson Establishes Presence InThe Blogosphere

My colleague over at Western Democrat, Landon, scooped me on this story, and not because I didn't know about it, but Governor Richardson has made his entrance into the blogosphere. Landon was also linked to by LP over at NMFBIHOP, who posted his own thoughts on Governor Richardson's blog.

Since two New Mexicans have gone public with the news, I suppose this Washingtonian can do it too.

You can go check out the blog at: http://blog.billrichardson2006.com/, and sign up for an account. I've already signed up. It's running on platform similar to the one used at Daily Kos, and provides a lot of opportunities for users to interface with the campaign. The Plaza, as it is called, also has a clean, slick design, something this blog is sorely lacking.

With posts at Daily Kos, and meeting with bloggers in various states across the country, Governor Richardson has shown himself to be committed to making bloggers a part of the process. He recognizes the value that blogging provides, and you can be sure he will continue to engage in conversations with bloggers and use this medium as a way of elevating the conversation and taking our country back.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Richardson Statement on Ann Richards

On behalf of the Democratic Governors Association, Governor Richardson issued the following statement upon the death of former Texas Governor Ann Richards:

“The passing of Governor Ann Richards is a loss not only to Texas, but to the nation, and all our thoughts and prayers are with the Richards family.

“A strong voice on civil rights and issues of economic justice, Ann’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention propelled her into national prominence and introduced the country to both her wit and wisdom.

“Governor Richards was also a remarkable public servant known for her wonderful sense of humor and her ability to get things done. As state treasurer and later as governor, she oversaw the revival of the state’s economy – a success story still held up as an example by Democrats and Republicans alike.

“Ann was a trailblazer. As governor, her education reform efforts empowered parents and teachers and brought decision-making back to the local level. And her support of programs to fight substance abuse helped thousands.

“We will all miss Ann. She was a true friend and a great leader. Her innovative ideas, commitment to public service, her desire to help women and working families, and her willingness to speak on behalf of those often without a voice make her a model for the rest of us. She cannot be replaced, and she will not be forgotten.”

The Next Prez Friday Top 5

So Doug Daniels has his Friday Top 5 up at The Next Prez, and Governor Richardson is listed at #5. It's not where Richardson is listed that bothers me, it's Daniels' reasoning for listing him at 5.

5. Bill Richardson (rising) -- Gained more favorable media for negotiating the release of an American journalist in Sudan.

Doug, certainly name recognition helps and positive press stories are always a good thing for any potential candidate. But, there's a better reason why Governor Richardson is on the move.

Governor Richardson is rising because he actually has a foreign policy, something that not many potential candidates nor the Bush Administration have. He understands the issues, he's been there and done that, and there's not a candidate in the Democratic field who has the breadth and depth of experience in foreign policy and foreign relations. Joe Biden may come close, but I know Bill Richardson (ok I've met him but I know his background) and he's no Bill Richardson.

More Kudos for Richardson in Nevada

From Nevada today:

If Richardson decides to enter the 2008 race for president -- or, perhaps more accurately, if he can raise enough money to enter the 2008 race for president -- he would stand as a candidate with arguably the best resume since the father of the current occupant. Headed to certain re-election this year, the governor is a former congressman, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and energy secretary in the Clinton administration.

As Titus happily told her supporters, through his position as chairman of the Democratic Governors’ Association, Richardson “was instrumental in helping us” get Nevada’s early 2008 presidential caucus.

For 2008, Bill Richardson is the candidate with the most to gain from Nevada's early caucus, something us Westerners are proud to support because it gives our region a voice in the presidential nominating process. Let's just hope Nevada remembers who helped put them in such a position of prominence.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"America's Go-To Guy"

Cross-posted at America for Richardson.

That's right, when it comes to diplomacy, Governor Richardson is America's "go-to" guy, according to American Profile. We can't agree more.
With a resume that includes seven terms in Congress and stints as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of Energy, the four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee often was the nation's go-to guy when delicate negotiations with Iraq, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea required face-to-face encounters.
But how is it that Bill Richardson is so successful in negotiations with rogue regimes? Just ask his wife, Barbara:

"He's bicultural, and that gives him an insight into dealing with people, especially in tough situations,” says his wife, Barbara. "If you can't do it one way, let's look at another way to achieve a goal. He points out that you have to walk in that person's shoes and know what it is that person needs when you are in negotiations.”
I believe that Richardson truly cares about people and isn't out for his own self-interest like the neo-cons running the current Administration. Having met him, I can sayGovernor Richardson is a warm, friendly guy who listens, and to me that is one key to success in diplomatic negotiations. So while Bush and his cronies tell other nations what they're going to do, Bill Richardson listens and negotiates a win-win for everyone. Even the village idiot can see which strategy has been more successful.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Governor Richardson Gets Some Attention From the Big Boys

Governor Richardson got some attention today from two of the heavyweights in the world of progressive blogs. First up was Daily Kos where Markos blamed Governor Richardson for failing to deliver New Mexico to John Kerry in 2004.
Richardson
I lost a bit of respect for Richardson when he failed to help deliver New Mexico to Kerry in 2004. He can start making up for it by helping deliver NM-01 to the Democratic column this November. Both chambers of the state legislature are already under Democratic control, and they should stay that way.
What was Richardson going to do Markos, drag people to go vote for Kerry? Twist some arms in the Secretary of State's office and steal some votes for Kerry? And what of other states that didn't go for Kerry? Truth is, the election was lost before election day, so while you might want to blame Richardson for not following through on a recount, as some Kossacks like to do, don't make excuses for the Kerry campaign (with which I had a small paid role). I agree with Markos most of the time, but think he's a little off on this one.

Chris Bowers over at MyDD, noted that Governor Richardson, as chair of the DGA, is going to be sponsoring the MyDD Governor's Forecast.
Starting soon, Governor Bill Richardson's campaign will be sponsoring our Governor's Forecast. This sponsorship will include weekly front-page posts to discuss Governor's races around the nation. As head of the Democratic Governor's Association, this is something that Governor Richardson is particularly well-suited to do.
Nice to see the Governor being covered by the big boys.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Update from the Campaign Trail

In my e-mail today, I received an update from the Richardson campaign, one I signed up for on his website (in case you thought I was special or something). Here's the latest news from the campaign trail (cut and pasted directly from the e-mail):

Poll results from the Albuquerque Journal

Meanwhile, recent polling shows that the people of New Mexico believe in Governor Richardson's leadership. At a time when only 38% of responders approve of President Bush's job performance and only 35% approve of Congress, an incredible 61% of New Mexicans agree that Governor Richardson is moving New Mexico forward.

Most striking, given the national divide between the two political parties, are the 40% of self-described conservatives who say they would vote for Governor Richardson.

While a bipartisan approval rating of 61% makes his reelection prospects promising, Governor Richardson takes nothing for granted, and is working hard to elect Democrats across New Mexico.

Update from the field

Since the Richardson for Governor field team began reaching out to voters door to door, we've knocked on over 100,000 doors, contacted over 66,000 voters and made voting easy and convenient for over 18,000 voters by signing them up to vote by mail.

If you'd like to vote from the comfort of your home, please contact us and one of our field organizers will send you an application to vote by mail. Voting by mail is easy and convenient – all you have to do is send the application to your County Clerk's office, and you'll receive a ballot you can fill out and mail back.

Fundraising for fellow Democrats

Governor Richardson has been hard at work helping Democratic County Parties and Democratic candidates raise money so that they can take their message to the voters. This summer, the Governor hosted fundraisers for 18 County Democratic parties. He's also hosted fundraisers for State Treasurer candidate James Lewis, State Attorney General Candidate Gary King, San Juan County Magistrate Judge Stacey Biel, and State Representative candidates Tracy Cadigan, Jeff Steinborn, and Rio Rancho Democratic State Representative Tom Swisstack.

Online pledge update

On Wednesday, August 23, we launched an online pledge. Over 600 New Mexicans have signed on to support Governor Richardson's plan to move New Mexico forward. In the past three years, Governor Richardson has cut taxes for every New Mexican, created 76,000 new jobs, protected our environment, and balanced the budget. He's done all of this while taking on the hard work of making our schools work. The Governor knows that the job is not yet done, and with your support, he will strive to give New Mexico's children the education they deserve.

Education podcast

We just launched our latest podcast featuring Governor Richardson and Campaign Chairman Dave Contarino discussing New Mexico's educational accomplishments since Governor Richardson took office. The Governor has had great success improving education, as he's shifted money from administration to the classroom, invested in new schools and modernization, and tied pay raises for our teachers to tough new standards. New Mexico's teacher quality has jumped from 30th to 17th in the nation.

New Campaign Commercial

Bill Richardson has a new campaign commercial up on his website, and while touting his accomplishments as Governor of New Mexico, it also shows his lighter side. Check it out.

Richardson is Successful

Earlier today, Governor Richardson was successful in obtaining the release of journalist Paul Salopek and his colleagues from the Sudanese government.
“I am pleased to report that our negotiations were successful, and Paul Salopek will return home to New Mexico with me,” Governor Bill Richardson said today following his meeting with the Sudanese President. “I want to thank the Sudanese President Lt. General Umar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, who was receptive to my request to release Paul Salopek and his colleagues based on humanitarian grounds. I emphasized to the President that releasing these men was the right thing to do because Paul Salopek is not a spy, he is my constituent and a respected journalist who was attempting to do his job telling the story of the people, culture and history of the sub-Saharan region known as the Sahel.
When is the last time an elected American official was successful with foreign relations? Clearly Bill Richardson is respected by world leaders, judging by his success in negotiating with various regimes in the world.

Want to see more success with foreign policy? Elect Richardson in 2008.

Update: Here is the video.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Big News

We'll have a post up in the morning detailing some big news from Governor Richardson (and no it isn't him announcing that he'll be a candidate for POTUS). We hope to be able to add to that news, by announcing that Governor Richardson has secured the release of Paul Salopek and his colleagues, Suleiman Abakar Moussa (Salopeks’s interpreter) and his driver, Abdulraham Anu, from President Al-Bashir of Sudan. We hope Governor Richardson and any staff that may have accompanied him, and Mr. Salopek, Mr. Moussa and Mr. Anu are safely back with their families tomorrow.

Stay tuned tomorrow morning...

UPDATE 2:19pm PST: The news hasn't broken yet, but we'll have a post as soon as the news becomes public.

Governor Richardson Visits Sudan to Negotiate For Freedom of Detained American

Governor Richardson was in Khartoum, Sudan today to meet with President Lt. General Umar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir to negotiate the release of New Mexican journalist Paul Salopek and two of his colleagues. Once again Richardson heads to a faraway land to negotiate with a not-so-nice despot. Thus far he's had success in these kinds of matters in Iraq, Cuba and North Korea.

From the Governor's office:
It was Salopek’s wife Linda and Chicago Tribune Editor-in-Chief Ann Marie Lipinski who first appealed to Governor Richardson for help. Following that request, the Governor met last week with Sudan’s Ambassador to the United States, Khadir Haroun Ahmed, in Washington, DC, to discuss Salopek’s detainment. This week the Sudanese government formally invited Governor Richardson to travel to Sudan and meet with President Al-Bashir. Linda will accompany the Governor on the trip to Khartoum.

The invitation to Sudan came about in large part because of the Governor’s long-term relationship with President Al-Bashir and Ambassador Ahmed, which dates back to 1996. In December of that year then-Congressman Richardson successfully negotiated the release of another New Mexican, Albuquerque pilot John Early, and two Red Cross workers. The three had been held hostage for 38 days by Sudanese rebels. In that situation President Al-Bashir and Ambassador Haroun supported Congressman Richardson’s efforts.

This is an example of the cooperation that happens when one is a leader and establishes relationships. It's also something sorely lacking in the Bush Administration's foreign policy, which brings me back to 2 of "Richardson's Rules" from his book Between Worlds:

  • Find common ground and establish a personal connection.
  • Give up the locale. Don't insist on neutral ground, but go to his or her turf. It's the substance that counts, not the place where you negotiate.
To me, that's much better policy than, "Let's go bomb 'em back to the Stone Age." And that's why Bill Richardson is a more successful leader than George W. Bush.

Emmett has a post (with video) up at America for Richardson that details what Governor Richardson did the last time he went to Sudan.