Washington for Richardson
The Evergreen State proudly supporting Governor Bill Richardson for President in 2008
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
More Info on DNC Meeting This Weekend
Here is some information for those of you in the D.C. metro area (including
You are invited to come hear Governor Bill Richardson speak at the DNC meeting at the Capitol Hilton on Saturday, February 3, at 9:40 am in the International Ballroom. Governor Richardson will also be hosting a "Meet the Candidate" session on Saturday in the
Monday, January 29, 2007
New Mexico Republicans Support Richardson
From Heath Haussamen:
Las Cruces Mayor Bill Mattiace, a Republican, was the first to mention the presidential race by saying, after
concluded his speech and it was his turn to speak, that “it’s hard to follow the governor.” Richardson
“In the future, we may be following the next president of the
,” Mattiace said. United States
That elicited a loud round of applause from the hundreds in attendance.
Doña Ana County Commissioner Kent Evans, another Republican, had especially kind words for the Democratic governor.
“I love him and I think he’s doing a great job,” Evans said. “I think he is going to be the next president of the
.” United States
I asked Evans after the event if he was endorsing
Richardson’s candidacy, and he said he was, adding that is the best candidate he knows about. Richardson
Bill Richardson is a candidate who appeals to people of all political persuasions. It's because he doesn't get caught up in nasty partisanship. He shows respect for his opponents, and engages in postive political discourse. And it's clear that Democrats did not make up all of the 69% of the voters who re-elected Richardson.
And remember Will Smith who wrote of his support for Governor Richardson in the UW-Madison newspaper? As it turns out, Will and I traded e-mails and he describes himself as a libertarian Republican.
Bill Richardson has many qualities that voters find attractive. Among them: He's electable.
Richardson on Foreign Policy
Daily Kos diarist Nonpartisan had 2 great diaries up in the past 2 days regarding Governor Richardson and his thoughts on foreign policy.
Go read them. Now.
In Search of a Foreign Policy Vision
What Should I Ask Bill Richardson About Foreign Policy
Important DNC Meeting
The DNC's winter meeting will take place February 2-4 at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW in Washington, D.C.
If you recall, this was the place in 2003 where Howard Dean let them know "What I want to know", and declared that he represented "the Democratic wing of the Democratic party".
Nevada Loves Richardson
Governor Richardson is getting a lot of love from Nevada bloggers after his weekend trip there. It's not surprising.
And in riffing off of Emmett's post from his personal blog (read the whole post, it's worth it), on the difference between Govenor Richardson's blog outreach and that of other candidates, it's clear that Bill Richardson's efforts to reach out to local and state bloggers (in Washington, Nevada, Iowa and South Carolina - that I know of) will pay off in the long run. Governor Richardson won't need the big boys and girls of national-level blogging as much when us local folks are getting the word out about him to voters in our states.
From Olympia Time:
The main difference between Edwards (especially his blog powered tour a few weeks ago) and Richardson is that one has focussed on the national blogosphere, while the other has focussed on smaller, regional blog networks. Edwards is the national guy, Richardson has focussed his attention on the regional blogosphere.Here's the love from Nevada:
At least in how Richardson has approached the netroots, he seems to understand that local matters. It doesn't matter really what national bloggers pay attention to you, it matters what the bloggers are getting locally.
Nevada Up North has endorsed Richardson for President.
We need someone who can settle international conflict in a way to repair our reputation in the world. Richardson has done it.Coyote Angry has come to a similar conclusion that "Richardson is the man".
We need someone who can speak with leaders across the globe in a manner that creates cooperation and understanding. Richardson has done it.
We need someone who understands the legislative process in Washington DC. Richardson understands it.
We need someone who can create jobs. Richardson has done it.
I have no idea how Richardson will play in the rest of the country but in the Western states I'm pretty sure he's the man.And Chip at NevadaDem is also backing Governor Richardson.
Bill Richardson is perhaps the most qualified candidate of any presidential contender (not that being qualified has been the indicator of the eventual winner): U.S. Reprentative at the U.N., U.S. Energy Secretary, many years (16?) in Congress, a history as a masterful negotiator with the worst of America’s enemies, and a stellar record as Governor of New Mexico that would be the envy of any Republican governor – tax reductions, job creation, budget surpluses, attracting new businesses in chosen industries.
Bill struck me as very down to earth. His answers to questions were direct and thoughtful. He has the common touch with his conversational and interpersonal skills, the gift that has probably fueled his success as a negotiator. He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times.
Nevada Up North Endorses Richardson
Earlier this morning, Nevada Up North became the first Nevada blog to endorse Governor Richardson for President. Hear is an excerpt, but please go read the entire post.
We need someone who can settle international conflict in a way to repair our reputation in the world. Richardson has done it.
We need someone who can speak with leaders across the globe in a manner that creates cooperation and understanding. Richardson has done it.
We need someone who understands the legislative process in Washington DC. Richardson understands it.
We need someone who can create jobs. Richardson has done it.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Why Polls Don't Matter Yet
Here's a reminder from my college classmate, Kari Chisholm, on why it doesn't matter that Governor Richardson is polling at 2% in Iowa or New Hampshire.
So let Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards continue to lead for now, and they'll likely flame out just like Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt did in 2004.
And don't forget that Bill Richardson has vowed that he will out-work all of the other candidates, and he holds the Guinness Book World handshaking record.
John Dendahl to Leave New Mexico
Apparently losing 69% of the voters is a clear sign to get out of town before they round up a posse. At least John Dendahl thinks so.
John Dendahl, a leading figure in the state's Republican Party who took a lopsided loss against Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson in November, said he's leaving New Mexico and will relocate in Denver.Someone cue the violin. It sounds to me like John Dendahl should buy a bunch of Kleenex stock. Or add some sugar to his sour grapes.
Dendahl leveled much criticism at Richardson, who soundly defeated Dendahl in the general election and now has announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for president.
Dendahl said Richardson "has expanded what I think is corrupt conduct in government in New Mexico and people of New Mexico have accepted it."
Sorry John, your political fortunes won't improve by moving to Denver. You may have noticed that the Democratic National Committee will be hosting its 2008 convention there. Colorado has also become more blue than New Mexico lately, though both are becoming more Democratic.
New Mexico just turned a little bluer.
Richardson Coverage in Nevada
The Reno Gazette Journal has the coverage of Governor Richardson's weekend trip to Nevada.
Richardson Makes First Campaign Stop
Acknowledging the importance of Nevada's role in the 2008 presidential election, New Mexico governor and Democratic hopeful Bill Richardson made Reno his first official campaign stop Saturday since announcing he was creating an exploratory committee.2 Presidential Hopefuls In Northern Nevada
"I want to be the first candidate for president who has accepted invitations to Nevada's two debates; the first one (Feb. 21) in Carson City and the health care forum in Las Vegas" on March 24, Richardson told a crowd of about 50 supporters at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
But Richardson is the only Westerner among the many candidates. While not sure he can carry Nevada, he said he’s dealt with Western issues such as water and public lands and “our next president must understand these unique challenges facing the American West.”Emmett also has a post over at America for Richardson with coverage from an Edwards supporter in Nevada.
“I have to do well in Nevada,” he said when asked how critical the state’s caucus is to his candidacy.
“I know I’m the underdog, but I’m going to outwork the other candidates,” Richardson said. “Nevada is going to be a critically important state because of its early caucus. I’m going to campaign very hard, door to door. I’m after voters, not big endorsements.”
“I’m a fellow Westerner,” he said. “The main issues today require someone with the background and heart, and I believe I have the best qualifications.”
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Governor Richardson in Nevada on Saturday
As reported by the Nevada Appeal, Governor Richardson will be in Nevada on Saturday for events aimed at turning Nevada blue.
Richardson is scheduled to arrive at the Reno airport at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and is to be welcomed by a small group of supporters.And making clear that he'll be the candidate to beat in Nevada, Governor Richardson has announced the hiring of staff in Nevada, making him the first candidate to do so.
Then he has a private meeting with Washoe County Democratic activists, followed by a speech at the Douglas County Democrats' annual fundraising dinner in Minden.
Richardson also is the first candidate to announce hiring staff to organize his campaign in Nevada.Tip of the hat to Nevada Up North, who e-mailed me in December to let me know that Theresa Navarro had been hired by the Richardson campaign (before it was a campaign), though neither of us could confirm it.
Richardson has hired Theresa Navarro in Reno, rural coordinator Michael Tassone and Las Vegas organizer Javier Trujillo.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Large Flow of Online Donations Benefits Richardson
From the ABQ Tribune:
"We had a huge flow of contributions when we made the announcement without even having a donation request, so we're going to really specialize in that," Richardson said as he was shuffled away following an interview with MSNBC at the state Capitol.
"I think the message I'm putting forth is really popular with younger voters, with technology voters, and the Internet is a huge factor already."
Bill Richardson hasn't yet made a concerted effort to request donations from prospective supporters, but bloggers like me and the good folks over at America for Richardson have been soliciting on his behalf. And it's paying off.
So far, two days into his campaign, Richardson said he's raised "tens of thousands of dollars" over the Internet without even asking.
And we'll keep soliciting and do what we can to complement Governor Richardson's efforts. As I said before, I donated my first $25 the day he announced his intention to run and there's more where that came from.
So, please consider donating whatever you can to Bill Richardson for President. Every little bit helps, no matter how much you can donate. And while you're at it, go tell 5 friends about Governor Richardson.
Another Addition to the "For Richardson" Family
Welcome to Wisconsin for Richardson. The link has been added to the blogroll.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Governor Richardson's Appearance on Larry King Live
Hat tip to harmonickev of America for Richardson who uploaded the video of last night of Governor Richardson's appearance on CNN's Larry King Live.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Richardson on Larry King Live
The transcript for Governor Richardson's appearance on CNN's Larry King Live can be found here. Video will be posted as soon as it's available.
And once again, Governor Richardson outlined his sensible strategy for Iraq.
KING: OK. You're president. What do you do about Iraq?Bill Richardson is the only candidate with the foreign policy and diplomatic experience to clean up the mess that George Bush has us in in Iraq. And he gets results.
RICHARDSON: I say that within the year that I'm elected, 2008, that we will withdraw the troops in an orderly way. We redeploy those troops into Afghanistan and the surrounding Persian Gulf to deal with terrorist threats. We convene at the same time, using as leverage the withdrawal, a reconciliation conference to have a date and kind of agreement of power sharing and political administration of the three ethnic groups.
But you can't have a military solution. I would diplomatically force a political solution that gets the Maliki government, if they are still there -- and I don't think that much of them, I think that this prime minister is not just -- not helping us in terms of turning the security over to his country and national reconciliation talks.
I would simply bring the three ethnic groups together. I would bring a donor conference of Muslim countries, Arab countries, European countries, and basically stabilize the Persian Gulf. At the same time, I would talk to Iran and Syria for a broader agreement to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
You do that, Larry, through diplomacy, through talking, through dialogue, not through military solutions.
I think I have got a good record. I brought nations together. I've negotiated with bad guys, with good guys.Experienced leadership. Proven results. Richardson in 2008.
I believe that if you're going to resolve a problem, you've got to be bipartisan, you have to have some civility. You have to bring people together, Republicans and Democrats.
I've solved problems, fixed problems.
Governor Richardson on Hardball Today
Harmonickev was kind enough to upload the video from Governor Richardson's appearance on Hardball today.
NY Post Plays the Race Card
The campaign is one day old and already the New York Post has played the race card. The Post's headline for Governor Richardson entering the race for the Presidency reads:
What a lack of class! But then, I'd expect that from a rag like the New York Post.
N.M. GOV THROWS
SOMBRERO INTO RING
And as Governor Richardson pointed out:
"But I wouldn't run as a Hispanic candidate. I would run as an American, proud to be Hispanic, proud of my heritage," he said in an interview.By running that quote with the idiotic headline, the Post shows just how sleazy it is and how low it will stoop in the name of "journalism".
Governor Richardson's TV Schedule Today
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Richardson Staff Roll-Call
Hotline On Call has the roll-call of Richardson campaign staffers, and there are some familiar faces to New Mexicans and some D.C. insider types:
Among the key staff:Note that Contarino and Cooper just delivered 69% of the voters of New Mexico to Richardson. Given the mix of Beltway insiders and New Mexico politicos, it's shaping up to be a great team.
* Dave Contarino, who ran Richardson's first GOV campaign and was his CoS. He'll be overseeing the campaign.
* Amanda Cooper, who ran the the NM GOV re-elect and also served as the campaign's fundraising dir. She also oversaw Richardson's efforts to raise money for the DGA.
* Pahl Shipley, was most recently the Comm. Dir. and chief spokesperson in the GOV office. Before politics, Shipley worked in Albuquerque local TV news.
* Colleen Turrentine was the national fundraising director for the DLC and in '04 worked for Joe Lieberman's '04 campaign.
Help Governor Richardson Out
I just sent in my first $25 for Governor Richardson's Presidential campaign. Please go to his website and contribute whatever you can. I'll definitely be giving more over time.
Every little bit helps. $5 would be nearly the cost of that Starbucks Coffee you buy on a daily basis. $15 could be the large pizza you had last night. $20 could be that DVD you bought recently. Whatever you can contribute will go far in helping Governor Richardson bring sanity in foreign policy back to the White House.
Governor Richardson Announce Exploratory Committee
Governor Bill Richardson has thrown his hat in the ring. Visit his website for details.
And for our Spanish speaking friends (something no other candidate has done yet):
Friday, January 19, 2007
Will Smith: "Richardson Can Save the Democrats"
No, not that Will Smith (though that would be nice too), the other Will Smith.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson can be the party's saving grace, but only if the party wakes up in time to embrace him.As the byline noted, Will Smith is a freshman majoring in political science and religious studies. My take: great analysis by the freshman. While most people his age are worried about where the party is on Friday night, Will Smith has broken down the 2008 Presidential race with more skill than journalists twice his age. Well done, Will.
Richardson, as the only Hispanic contender, has the greatest chance of instituting immigration reform (he supports comprehensive immigration reform), he can win the Hispanic vote in swing states such as Florida and he can attract Republican moderate crossover voters. He has clout in energy policy, as the former energy secretary and proponent of alternate fuels to help solve America's oil dependency. He has cut taxes and expanded jobs in New Mexico and enjoys the libertarian Cato Institute's top ranking of any Democrat for fiscal and economic policy. Also, he would dominate New Mexico in any national election, a state that tilted toward Bush in 2004. Richardson's regional notoriety could shift Colorado and Arizona, both competitive Bush-leaning states.
He is as confident as his resumé is strong, as bold as his approval ratings are high (65 percent in New Mexico). He is the most qualified possible candidate for president in either party.
AP: Richardson is Running
According to this diary at Daily Kos, using the Associated Press as a source, Governor Richardson is going to throw his hat into the ring for the Presidency. I've also heard that NPR also has run this report.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson intends to take the initial step toward the Democratic nomination, hoping his extensive resume will fuel a campaign to become the first Hispanic president.And Heath Haussamen, one of our better sources of information inside New Mexico is also on the spot with his report.
Richardson plans to announce Sunday that he will soon file the papers to create a presidential exploratory committee, several officials with knowledge of his plans said Friday. The governor is scheduled to appear on ABC's "This Week."
is scheduled to appear on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning, and will likely make the announcement there. According to the show’s Web site, he plans to discuss whether he’ll run and how he can “combat the star power of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.” Richardson
Update, 4:20 p.m.
spokesman Gilbert Gallegos made this statement: Richardson
“The governor will announce his intentions before the end of the month, and we have no further comment beyond that.”
So there is no official word yet, but several media sources are confirming that Governor Richardson is running.Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, also had this to say about Governor Richardson today:
I'm eager for a serious Latino candidate. It's time my people rose to the top of the political heap. He's bilingual. I dig his resume. Rather than talk about Darfur, he got his ass over there and brokered a cease fire, and that's on top of high-profile diplomatic missions all over the world, including places like North Korea. His resume is the strongest of any of the candidates. He had a strong reign at the top of the Democratic Governor's Association last year.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Nevada Presidential Debates
Nevada has some debates scheduled in the 2008 Presidential sweepstakes.
Now, NV Dems have chimed in by not just announcing a "first" candidate debate or forum, but they've released an entire 5-event schedule. -- 2/21 (that's right, NEXT month): AFSCME will be hosting a candidate forum (as opposed to a debate) in Carson City.
3/24: SEIU/Center for American Progress health care forum at UNLV.
-- mid-8/07: apparently piggy-backing off the end of the IA State Fair, NV Dems will sanction their first official "debate" in Reno.
-- 11/2: a one-year out debate sanctioned AND sponsored by the state party.
-- 1/15/08 (one year from tomorrow): the NV Dems are sanctioning a debate for the day after the IA caucuses. Fairly shrewd move as it likely guarantees that all the Dem candidates will fly directly from Des Moines to Vegas, rather than Des Moines to Manchester.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Governor Richardson's 2007 State of the State Address
Here is the text of Governor Richardson's 2007 State of the State Address.
And here is a sample of what the Governor said:
We can take the timid path of the status quo, or continue down the path to progress with bold steps and strong action.Substitute United States of America for the great state of New Mexico in that last paragraph and you've got the makings of one heckuva stump speech in the Presidential campaign.
As I’ve said before---Let us choose to be bold. Let us choose to act. Let’s choose to make a difference.
We care too deeply for this generation and every one that follows to do anything other than make a difference for the people we serve, in the place that we cherish—the great state of New Mexico.
Live: Richardson State of the State Address
Governor Richardson is giving his annual State of the State Address to the New Mexico Legislature.
To view it online go here.
"A booming economy is no excuse for excessive spending."
More updates later when I can get a copy of the text of the speech.
How Obama's Announcement Affects Governor Richardson
This is also a shrewd move in that it puts the unannounced candidates in a difficult position for their announcements. Richardson, who in some respects would be the anti-Obama resume candidate, has said he will announce his decision by the end of the month, but now with Obama and Obama speculation everywhere, he will have a difficult time generating a lot of free press should he announce his candidacy.
Hey Chris, have you noticed the media coverage Governor Richardson is getting on his efforts in
As long as Governor Richardson continues exercising his considerable diplomatic and foreign policy skills, Barack Obama and others will not be the only ones in the national media spotlight. And since problems like
Daily Kos January Straw Poll
The Daily Kos January Straw Poll is up. Go vote for Governor Richardson. Do it now!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Richardson on CNN's The Situation Room
Governor Richardson was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's The Situation Room today, leading off with his thoughts on President Bush's escalation of his personal war in Iraq and his views on the Iraqi government, then discussing his recent trip to Sudan, and finishing off with questions about a potential run for the Presidency.
Once again, Governor Richardson reiterated his support for a phased withdrawal in Iraq and engagement of Iraq's neighbors to bring a political solution to the country.
But first let's start withMemo to the right-wing haters, who wouldn't recognize diplomacy and effective foreign policy if it walked up and introduced itself: This is what leadership looks like. Richardson in 2008.
, Governor. Iraq
Are you in favor of using the power of the purse that Congress has to try to stop this war?
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D),
: Yes. I believe because the president has not listened to the Congress, he hasn't listened to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and to the American people, that overwhelmingly want a change of course, I believe that's the function of the Congress, to deal with the appropriations process, find ways to at least this surge, to deny the funds to make it happen, because this is going to add to sectarian violence. NEW MEXICO
I would support a phased withdrawal, tie it to a political solution. There is no military solution. I would also organize a regional conference to get other states to help with the security and civil administration. I would talk to
Iranand to try to get the situation to at least a stable level. Syria
I just believe that this is an ultimate decision by the Congress. But since the president doesn't listen, he's off in, I think, his own bubble. Unfortunately, that's the course I believe the Congress needs to take.
BLITZER: What do you say to those who would then come back and say you know what, you're going to undermine the
U.S.fighting men and women in by denying them the bullets, the military equipment they need, by cutting off funds? Iraq : Well, I would say that you don't cut off the military equipment. You don't cut off the armor or their weapons. But you basically say to the 20,000 surge of troops that it can't happen without an adequate explanation and that it shouldn't happen because the American people don't believe this is the right course of action. RICHARDSON
Again, Wolf, I do believe that what is important is to redeploy those troops that are in
. Use them in Iraq , where al Qaeda and the Taliban are getting stronger. Use them against the fight on international terrorism. Use them to deal with nuclear proliferation and a loose nuclear weapon on the black market. Afghanistan
Use it for our ports. Use it for our subways. Use it in homeland security protection in this country.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Richardson's Trip to South Carolina
Governor Richardson is in South Carolina this weekend, and FITS News reports on what the Governor is doing there.
Richardson - who won reelection two months ago courtesy of the biggest landslide in New Mexico history (68.8% to 31.2%) - is in South Carolina this weekend to give the keynote address at the S.C. Democratic Party’s Second Annual Governors’ Appreciation Dinner.
Of course - surprise - it’s not entirely a social visit.
Richardson will be having several high-level political meetings in Columbia and Greenville, most of them reportedly engineered by longtime Fritz Hollings’ aide Crawford Cook. Richardson’s Saturday schedule also includes face-time with key media - thirty minutes with The State’s Lee Bandy and Aaron Gould Sheinin and another sit-down in Greenville with the News‘ Dan Hoover.
Stay tuned for more reports on Governor Richardson's visit to South Carolina.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Presidential Candidate Debates
According to Political Insider:
New Hampshire's two leading news organizations will partner with CNN to host two presidential debates in April, executives with the three media companies announced Friday.
CNN, WMUR and The New Hampshire Union Leader will hold the back-to-back debates on April 4 and 5, the first such events to be held of the 2008 presidential campaign. CNN's Wolf Blitzer will moderate the debates with questions coming from WMUR's Scott Spradling and Union Leader's John DiStaso. WMUR's Jennifer Vaughn will be moderating questions from the audience. The debate will be televised live nationally on CNN and throughout New Hampshire on WMUR.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Washington Meetup for Governor Richardson
Emmett has worked to organize the First National Bill Richardson Day on February 6. Various Richardson supporters in many states will be getting together that night to discuss and promote the Presidential candidacy of Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico.
Here are the details for the Washington state Richardson Meetup:
Date: February 6, 2007For more information, visit: America for Richardson.
Time: 7:00 PM PST
Location: Mud Bay Coffee on Olympia's westside, located at 1600 Cooper Point Rd SW Olympia, WA .
Come join other Richardson supporters as we help plan how we can get Governor Bill Richardson elected in 2008.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
"The Top Humanitarian And Most Singularly Destructive Event In The World Today"
Once again, Governor Richardson has reached out to the netroots.
Earlier today, I participated in a phone conference with Governor Richardson, who reached out to bloggers, to brief us on his trip to Sudan and to shed light on the dire circumstances in Darfur.
Governor Richardson indicated that he was asked two weeks ago by the Save Darfur Coalition to go to Sudan, because of his personal relationship with President al-Bashir. Their goals were to get U.N. troops into Sudan, a peacekeeping force that doesn’t yet exist within the country's borders. Second, they hoped to broker a ceasefire to stop the violence. According to Governor Richardson there have been 300,000 killings and 2 million people displaced so far. Richardson also stressed that he hoped to put an end to an incredible number of sexual violations and rapes, of women and the violence against young children who are victims of a brutal war.
Governor Richardson noted that he met twice with President al-Bashir, and also met with rebel groups. He said he sent a strong message to all that they have to stop pillaging and raping and join the peace process. Governor Richardson noted that there was a peace agreement reached in
Then the Governor reported on the progress that had been made on his trip.
Richardson obtained a commitment from President al-Bashir and rebels for 60 day cease-fire. There are to be no hostilities, and the U.N. and African Union are to mediate the ceasefire. Then during the ceasefire the sides will meet to talk about the peace process.
To this point, President al-Bashir has been adamantly against having UN troops in Sudan but will, for the first time, allow UN technical troops within his country's borders.
President al-Bashir also committed to investigate reports about sexual violence and to prosecute the crimes. His government will work with UN to look at the many acts of gender violence, and start helping humanitarian groups and assigning troops to their convoys so they can deliver food and medicine.
Governor Richardson also felt that an important achievement was that President al-Bashir also committed that he’d paint his military aircraft some color other than white (U.N. aircraft are painted white). Previously no one was able to detect the difference between U.N. planes and those sent on military missions. Humanitarian groups thought this would help them enormously in getting supplies in. President al-Bashir also agreed to cut the red tape with humanitarian workers, allowing them to better do their work, and committed to allow journalists into the country to report on the situation in Darfur.
Governor Richardson also pointed out that with visits by high-profile celebrities like George Clooney and Don Cheadle putting a focus on Darfur, along with the work of the Save Darfur Coalition, President al-Bashir is finding himself under intense scrutiny for how he is handling the matter. The people of Sudan are taking notice and the Darfur situation is becoming a political issue.
The Save Darfur Coalition also informed the rebel groups that they are part of the problem, wagin war and committing atrocities against women and children, and in Richardson's words "need to behave."
Governor Richardson expressed his hope that President al-Bashir would stand by the agreements, given that they released a joint statement in writing.
At the end of the call, Governor Richardson implored the participants to learn about the problems in Darfur, and for bloggers to shed additional light on the subject. He called it "one of the huge tragedies in the world".
Governor Richardson also very graciously took questions from our group. The highlight for me was when Ken Bulko of America for Richardson asked him how he pulled off what some people consider a miracle.
Richardson responded that when he was in Congress, President Clinton sent him to meet with Saddam Hussein, and the leaders of Cuba and North Korea (he referred to them as bad guys). Through those experiences he realized his goal was to bring peace or rescue someone. Governor Richardson strongly believes that the key to his diplomatic successes has been that he has connected with these leaders and explained to them why it’s in their interest to behave. With regard to President al-Bashir, Governor Richardson noted:
"With Bashir I told him, you know me, this issue is going to affect the soul of your country. He realizes the effect on his image around the world. He trusts me and I connected with him and appealed to his pragmatic senses. He’s in a bit of a box, everyone is against him, his people in
When asked, Governor Richardson indicated that he will make an announcement on whether he will run for the Presidency in 2008 at the end of January, noting that he has some work to do with the New Mexico Legislature in upcoming days (perhaps selling them on his budget proposal).
And in concluding the call, Governor Richardson called on bloggers to use their power to help save Darfur. He expressed his opinion that blogs have an important role in the process, from raising funds for humanitarian groups to operate in Darfur to shining a bright light on these important issues.
Governor Richardson's Statement on the DNC Convention
Courtesy of Heath Haussamen, here is Governor Richardson's statement on the selection of Denver as the site of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
“This isn’t just a win forToday's announcement by DNC Chair Howard Dean, coupled with the decision to move the Nevada caucuses to the front, only boosts Governor Richardson's potential Presidential campaign.
Denverand , but for the whole mountain west. From Colorado Montanato , the west is the most fertile ground for Democrats. The New Mexico convention in 2008 will only further these efforts.” Denver
Summary of Governor Richardson's Trip to Sudan
Governor Richardson's Online Ops Team has a great summary of his trip to Sudan on the recommended list at Daily Kos.
Here are the Governor's remarks from his press conference this morning, upon arrival in Albuquerque.
The diary notes that Governor Richardson will be posting a diary on Daily Kos later today and taking and responding to comments, continuing his dialogue with the netroots as he's done in the past.
Thank you for being here so early.
I will try to summarize what we have been able to accomplish over the past several days, and then I’d like to ask each member of our delegation to introduce themselves and say a few words as well. Then we’d be happy to take your questions.
First, I would like to thank the members of the Save Darfur Coalition for the important work that they do. For joining my delegation and for paying for this trip.
Usually when I am asked to take on a mission like this it is to help get one or two or a few people out of a dangerous situation. In this case we are talking about millions of people in the Darfur region of Sudan who are victims of a brutal, seemingly endless conflict. They are facing the loss of family members, their homes, and their lives.
During our trip we saw with our own eyes just how desperate the situation is. We met twice with President Omar Al-Bashir and spoke with top officials of his government. We spent a day in Darfur hearing from representatives of the United Nations and African Union, as well as rebel commanders who are fighting this war. We visited one of the camps for those left homeless by the war, and met some of the courageous Sudanese people caught up in this human tragedy.
I believe we made important progress on this trip, and took some critical steps toward finding a solution that will provide a lasting peace for the people of Darfur, and all of Sudan.
- Most importantly, we got a commitment from President Bashir and the leaders of the rebel factions for a 60-day cessation of hostilities. This is critical. Before more African Union and UN troops can provide effective protection for the people of Darfur, there must be a cease-fire. You can’t have peacekeepers if there is no peace to keep.
- The cease-fire will give the African Union and the United Nations an opportunity to build a framework for the political process to address the remaining differences between those who signed the Darfur Peace Agreement, or D-P-A, and those who did not.
- President Bashir reaffirmed his commitment, as he had agreed with the UN Secretary General, under the DPA, to allow the deployment of UN personnel and equipment into Darfur.
- We reiterated that sexual violence must be condemned and prosecuted no matter which party or organization is responsible, and the government agreed to extend existing efforts to support Sudanese women against all gender-based violence.
- We got an agreement from the government not to paint their military aircraft white, the same as the aircraft of the UN and other relief agencies, and we underscored the need to disarm all armed groups, in particular the government-supported janjaweed militia.
- The President agreed to have government forces improve security conditions in all areas of Darfur and provide protection for humanitarian convoys and workers,
- President Bashir also agreed to cut the red tape for humanitarian workers in Sudan, and he agreed to allow and facilitate the travel of journalists from around the world to report on the situation in Darfur,
- And, importantly, President Bashir has opened a dialogue with the Save Darfur Coalition and committed to building that relationship, toward the goal of ending the violence in Darfur and achieving a lasting political solution to the crisis.
I believe we have opened the door for the peace process to take hold and move forward. It is now up to the leaders of the UN and AU to monitor and ensure implementation by the Sudanese government and rebels, and to use this opening to pursue the durable political solution that will end the tragedy afflicting the people of Darfur.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Richardson News Conference Tomorrow
As Heath Haussamen has covered, Governor Richardson has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning around 7:30am Mountain time in Albuquerque.
According to a news release,
Richardsonwill “outline the situation in Darfurand discuss his success in negotiating a 60-day ceasefire between the Sudanese government and rebel forces.”
Richardson Submits Balanced Budget to Legislature
Imagine this, a potential Presidential candidate, governor of a small state who offers up balanced budgets to the legislature. No, I'm not talking about Howard Dean and this isn't 2004. I'm referring to the $5.7 billion budget Governor Richardson submitted to the New Mexico Legislature, that not only is balanced, but sets aside money in reserve and is an model of fiscal responsibility.
To avoid creating obligations for future spending that can’t be supported by anticipated revenue, Governor Richardson’s budget plan establishes reserves at 10 percent of recurring appropriations.Imagine what Governor Richardson could do with the federal budget if given the opportunity. Economic growth, fiscal responsibility, meeting the country's needs...something we haven't experienced under REpublican leadership.
“We’re taking care of the state’s needs, and investing in the future,” Governor Richardson said. “But we’re doing it in a fiscally responsible way – with a balanced budget and prudent cash reserves. I will not tolerate reckless spending.”
In addition to balancing the budget, Governor Richardson's budget provides significant funding for education, health care and public safety.
Governor Richardson’s budget proposal for the 2007 budget year leaves room for $125 million in tax cuts, and includes $561 million in new, recurring spending, which enables the state to pay for bold initiatives, such as:You can find the text of the budget here.
o 9.1% increase for pre-kindergarten through 12 education
o 8.9% increase in higher education
o 10.6% increase in public safety
o 13.3% increase in health and human services
Richardson on The Bush/McCain Surge in Iraq
After negotiating a ceasefire in Sudan, Governor Richardson, set his sights on another foreign policy debacle: Bush's war in Iraq.
“I strongly oppose any plan to increase American troop levels in Iraq. Sending moreThe chest-beating, testosterone-laden, "bomb them back to the Stone Age" doctrine has failed. It's time for thoughtful, effective leadership on foreign policy. It's time for Bill Richardson.
American troops will not make us safer. It will only add to the sectarian violence that is already tearing Iraq apart. I am also very concerned with this plan’s impact on our overburdened National Guard forces, which already compose half of our forces in Iraq.
The only surge we need in Iraq is a diplomatic one. We need to withdraw American
troops from Iraq this year, redeploy our men and women to Afghanistan and other
international terrorism hotspots, and reinvigorate our diplomacy throughout the Middle East. We need a political solution to the Iraq crisis, not a military one.”
Richardson Timeline In Sudan
Emmett has posted over at America for Richardson a great timeline of Governor Richardson's recent trips to Sudan.
Richardson Achieves Progress In Sudan
When he went to Sudan, Governor Richardson had 2 objectives. One was to negotiate with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to allow U.N. peacekeeping troops into the Darfur region. The second was to negotiate a ceasefire. Richardson was successful in achieving the second objective.
From the AP:
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson met Wednesday with al-Bashir in part to try to persuade him to change his mind on the U.N. force, but was unable to achieve that goal. Bashir did not commit to allow any more U.N. troops into Darfur.
Richardson's other main objective was to get a cease-fire, and he claimed accomplishment by issuing a joint press statement with al-Bashir that said both sides in the fight agree to a 60-day cessation of hostilities while they work toward lasting peace. However, many issues were outstanding, including whether al-Bashir would uphold his verbal agreement with Richardson when he has a history of breaking commitments.
It is easy to be skeptical of President al-Bashir's commitment to a ceasefire and peace in the Darfur region, however, if his past dealings with Governor Richardson are any indication, we should expect him to be a man of his word.
With negotiations, both sides typically ask for everything they want and start from polar opposite positions and move toward common ground. Although he didn't achieve everything he wanted, Governor Richardson's visit should be considered a success. The ceasefire is a small step in working towards peace. Such hostilities don't end with the drop of a hat. And this step most likely wouldn't have come without Bill Richardson's personal relationship with President al-Bashir, a welcome change to the cowboy diplomacy of the Bush Administration.
Update 9:52 am:
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
More Richardson in Sudan
Today, Governor Richardson visited a refugee camp as he prepares to meet with Sudanese President Al-Bashir. Above is a photo of his visit to the camp, with a tip of the hat to Cara, who received a copy of a press release from Governor Richardson's office today.
Governor Bill Richardson today saw first-hand the human toll taken by the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan as he toured a relocation camp and spoke with citizens forced from their homes and villages by war. The Governor visited the As Salaam IDP (internally displaced persons) Camp in El Fasher, home to more than 43,000 people, mostly women and children.More news tomorrow, watch for the update.
Governor Richardson also received a briefing from top United Nations officials in Sudan and met with the Commander of the African Union peacekeeping forces, Major General Luke Aprezi. General Aprezi expressed his frustration that the relatively small numbers of AU troops cannot provide adequate security for the 65 IDP camps as well as serving as observers and running patrols to protect civilian activities such as gathering firewood.
“The AU urgently needs more troops,” said Governor Richardson. “It is difficult to find sufficient numbers of Africans to act as peacekeepers, so I will continue to push President Al-Bashir to accept a hybrid force that can truly make a difference.”
In addition, the Governor urged several field commanders from different rebel Sudanese forces to do their part to reduce violence against women and humanitarian workers and to undertake efforts to restore peace and stability to their region and throughout Sudan.
Governor Richardson is scheduled to meet with President Al-Bashir tomorrow morning before returning to New Mexico.
“Our first meeting on Monday was positive,” said the Governor. “I look forward to meeting with the President tomorrow to try to make additional progress toward peace in the Darfur region.”
Richardson to Visit Nevada Later This Month
Governor Richardson has another trip planned to an early primary state. This trip takes him to Nevada, where recently, a "Draft Richardson" movement was launched.
According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune:
The Douglas County Democratic Central Committee will have its third annual "Turn Nevada Blue" dinner Jan. 27 at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden. Special guests will be New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Gen. Wesley K. Clark (Ret.) Other elected state and Democratic officials will be attending.That makes 2 early primary states within a couple of weeks of each other. Richardson visits South Carolina in next week. With these visits coming so close together and at a time when one might expect a governor to be pressing his legislative agenda in the statehouse, it's hard not to speculate that Governor Richardson will make a run at the White House.
Again, I have no sources, no insider information, and I don't know what Governor Richardson will do. I only have my political experience as a staffer, and my years of observation to guide me, and everything I see points to a Richardson candidacy.
Richardson in South Carolina Next Week
As we've reported before, Governor Richardson will be in South Carolina next week. Here are the details (as much as we know at this point):
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)'s speaking at the Second Annual Governors’ Appreciation Dinner in Greenville, SC on 1/13 (release).
Richardson Meets with Sudanese Rebel Leaders
Governor Richardson met with Sudanese rebel leaders yesterday, trying to broker a deal to bring peace to the Darfur region.
Trying to broker peace in war-torn Darfur, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson pushed rebel leaders on Tuesday to participate in a 60-day cease-fire and hold talks with the government.
On a one-day visit to Darfur, Richardson met with local government leaders, the commander of overwhelmed African Union forces, people who have fled their homes because of their violence and the rebel leaders.
While at AU headquarters, Richardson also had discussions with leaders of rebel groups who refused to sign a cease-fire agreement with the Sudanese government last May.
Richardson told the rebels he also asked Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to agree to a temporary cease-fire during a meeting Monday in the capital of Khartoum.
And with his considerable diplomatic skills, Governor Richardson seems poised for a breakthrough. Given his past history in Cuba, Iraq, North Korea and Sudan, this is not a surprise.
But under pressure from Richardson, Ismail agreed to meet with the government if there is prior agreement on a 60-day cease-fire. "When the government is serious we have no problem," he said.
Richardson is planning to meet al-Bashir again on Wednesday and promised the rebel leaders he would report back to them after that meeting.
As more news comes out from Sudan, we'll bring you new developments here.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
National Bill Richardson Meet-Up Day: February 6, 2007
As advertised over on America for Richardson, we supporters of Governor Richardson are organizing a national meet-up day on February 6. Stay tuned for details.
Friday, January 05, 2007
More Commentary on Richardson's Sudan Trip
Heath Haussamen does it again:
Enter Richardson, a brilliant negotiator and, quite possibly, the American who has the best relationship with the Sudanese government.
Richardson has a penchant not only for finding his way into such situations, but also for laying the ground work in advance so that his missions are successful. [emphasis mine]
Should he opt to run for president, a victorious mission would allow
to remind the world that he played an instrumental role in helping stop a conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions. Richardson
No potential 2008 candidate even comes close to matching the diplomatic and foreign policy skills of Richardson. The world trusts Bill Richardson, which is why he is in high demand in hot spots like North Korea and Sudan. As it stands, foreign policy is the biggest failure of the Bush Administration, and will clearly be the biggest mess for the next President to clean up. There can be no doubt that Bill Richardson is the most capable and experienced candidate in this aspect.
Haussamen also notes that Governor Richardson will be in Nevada on January 27 for a Democratic party dinner. We've also previously noted that Richardson will be in South Carolina on January 13. And he recently got back from his latest trip to New Hampshire.
I do not have any insider info, nor has anyone connected to Governor Richardson given me any indication that he's running, but having worked in politics for a while and knowing that he's headed to primary states at a time when a Governor would be pushing his legislative agenda at the statehouse, it's hard for me not to believe that Governor Richardson will run.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Richardson Heads Back To Sudan This Weekend
Governor Richardson, at the request of the Save Darfur Coalition, is headed back to Sudan this weekend, utilizing once again his exceptional diplomatic skills to hopefully bring a conclusion to the violence in the region.
Gov. Bill Richardson will travel back toTip of the hat to New Mexico blogger Heath Haussamen for being on top of the story. Heath references a press release, but as of this writing, it hasn't been posted to the Governor's website.
Sudanthis weekend to urge the country to allow U.N. peacekeeping troops to enter the war-torn Darfur region.
The governor is making the trip at the request of the Save Darfur Coalition, which asked for
’s help last month. Richardson
will meet with Sudanese officials Saturday to urge the acceptance of a joint peacekeeping force made up of troops from the United Nations and African Union forces, according to a news release from the governor’s office. He will also push for a cease fire. Richardson
“This is a crisis of incredible proportions. Millions of lives in the Darfur region are at risk from war, disease and malnutrition,”
said in the release. “The Richardson has an opportunity to use leadership and diplomacy to help, and if I can play even a small part in that effort, I am ready to do it.” U.S.
Sudan, Richardsonwill travel to the Darfurregion to make a personal assessment and will meet with humanitarian groups.
Richardsonhas coordinated his trip with Andrew Natsios, special envoy to for the U.S. State Department, according to the release. The Save Darfur Coalition is paying for the trip. Sudan
"The Most Competent of Major Candidates"
At least that's what jobsanger is telling us about why he supports Governor Richardson for President.
So, I have opted for competence. I support Bill Richardson because I believe he is the most competent of the major candidates. He is a successful governor, and was just re-elected by the citizens of
He also understands
Even more impressive, he has been effective on the world stage. He has been
Note: According to his profile, jobsanger is a 60 year old male from Tarrant County, Texas (suburbs of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area). I've connected him with America for Richardson and Texas for Richardson.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Murphy Putnam Likely to Handle Richardson Media
According to The Fix, Democratic media firm Murphy Putnam is likely to be handling the bulk of media work for Governor Richardson's presidential campaign.
Speaking of Democratic media firms, one of the largest -- Murphy Putnam Shorr -- is splitting up. Saul Shorr, who joined Steve Murphy and Mark Putnam in July 2004, has decided to go out on his own again. Murphy and Putnam have been partners since 1996 and will remain so following Shorr's departure. Murphy Putnam is expected to be the lead media consultant for the likely presidential bid of Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.)If you run a Google search under Murphy Putnam Schorr (the firm's former name since partner Saul Schorr is striking out on his own), you can go see their website.
I don't know about you, but I'm completely unimpressed with the "access denied" message I'm getting from the Murphy Putnam website. I hope this isn't a sign that they don't get the online medium. Hopefully, it's a website redesign or something along those lines.
I'll revisit the website in the next few days and see if it's back up and running.
1/4/07 - Update: Murphy Putnam's website is up and running, click on the link above.
ABQ Tribune Profile of Governor Richardson
The Albuquerque Tribune has published a nice profile of Governor Richardson, which gives you some insight into his political career.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
"Our new beginning is today and our best days start tomorrow."
With these words, Bill Richardson was inaugurated for a second term as Governor of New Mexico, yesterday.
There will be better days to come, when we elect Governor Richardson to be our next President.
Here is the full text of his inaugural speech.