Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend Roundup

Here is the wrap-up from Governor Richardson's appearance at the Save Darfur rally in San Francisco. Other candidates have raised the issue of Darfur recently, but only Bill Richardson has experience dealing with the issue. Go here to read Bill Richardson's strategy and to sign on to his call for ending the genocide in Darfur.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The rally also drew an appearance from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who flew in en route from the California Democratic Convention in San Diego to a stop on his presidential campaign in Carson City, Nev.

"I care deeply about this issue," said Richardson, who has been to Sudan three times visiting refugee camps and negotiating the release of American aid workers and journalists. "The United States should be paying more attention. We should be more forceful to build international support to pressure the government and the rebels to come to a peace."

Below is the wrap-up from the California State Democrats Convention in San Diego.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune's Newsblog:

Bill Richardson told cheering state Democratic delegates Sunday that as president he would tear down the wall on the border between Mexico and the United States and enact a compassionate immigration policy.

Richardson, governor of New Mexico and a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, said his immigration policy would rely on controlling the borders, but also allow a path for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship.

During his speech to the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego, Richardson called for an "Apollo" program to reduce the nation's dependency on foreign oil from 65 percent to 10 percent, a univeral health care plan and a minimum yearly salary for teachers of $40,000 a year.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Turning serious, he also called for ending the war and touted his globe-trotting resume as a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and freelance diplomat-at-large.

"I'm asking you here — all Californians, because you are awfully important: Vote on the basis of who's the most qualified, who has the most vision," Richardson said. "Not who's the biggest rock star, not who has the most money, not on legacies. But who has a plan for America."

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Democratic governor and former U.N. ambassador, one of seven presidential candidates who addressed the California Democratic Party Convention in San Diego this weekend, isn't put off by the considerable challenge of competing in a race dominated by New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

"I don't have their money,'' said Richardson, adding that delegates should consider his experience over the party front-runners even though "I don't have their celebrity status.''

[...]

Richardson and Edwards, the party's 2004 vice presidential candidate, were enthusiastically received during their speeches Sunday to the party activists.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Live from the Debate

"I'm a Governor, I've done it."

Liveblogging the Democratic Debate Part V

Biden is asked what 3 nations represent the biggest threats to the U.S. He says North Korea, Iran and Russia under Putin who is moving to a more totalitarian government. Calls for more diplomacy.

Gravel gets the same question. "We have no important enemies. We have to deal with the rest of the world as equals. Who are we afraid of?"

Edwards gets asked about Russia. Are they a friend or a foe? Edwards says Russia, moved from being a democracy under Yeltsin to being an autocracy under Putin. Any dissent has been squashed. Edwards says we need to maintain our political, economic, and military strength, but how do we affect what's going on? Wants America to demonstrate its "commitment to humanity".

Richardson is asked how he would do things differently with Russia. Richardson wants Russia to: Assess strategic interests (have them control loose nukes), be more humane in Chechnya, be a stable source of energy for this country, and promote more democracy in their own country. Richardson restates his tenets of forein policy: Being stubborn isn't a foreign policy, and power without diplomacy is blind. Brings up Darfur and wonders aloud why shouldn't America be putting an end to the genocide.

Show of hands question: Is there a global war on terror? It looks like everyone raises their hand except Kucinich and Gravel.

Edwards on national security, when posed with a hypothetical about an attack by al-Qaeda on 2 U.S. cities: there are dangerous people and dangerous leaders that we must deal with strongly. But we have more tools than bombs and we need to use those tools.

Clinton says we should retaliate as quickly as posible. Doesn't mean we go looking for other fights. Let's focus on those who attack us.

Show of hands: Anyone on the stage willing to impeach Vice-President Cheney? Kucinich is asked if this is a proper use of the resources of the Congress, given that nobody publicly supports his proposal.

Kucinich's response is to pull out his pocket copy of the Constitution, and says Cheney should be held accountable. We have to stand for this Constitution and protect it, but while his friends on the stage may not be ready to take the step, they should know that there is one person willing to stand up for it.

Dodd is asked if there is a difference between gay marriage and civil unions. He talks about his two young daughters who "might one day be of a different sexual orientation." His answer is that everyone should be able to have their loving relationships sanctioned. Civil unions are appropriate and proper, but doesn't support same-sex marriage. Expresses pride for Governor Lynch in NH who will sign a civil union bill.

Richardson gets asked about normalizing relations with Cuba under Fidel Castro. Goes off on a tangent about the previous hypothetical scenario on an al-Qaeda attack, and says he would have a strong military response. Brian Williams grants him a few extra seconds to answer the question. Richardson says we must find ways to deal with a post-Castro Cuba. He would change Bush Administration policy limiting family visits, re-evaluate the embargo, make sure Cuba has free elections and unions in a post-Castro Cuba.

Obama is asked what he's done in his personal life to make a difference in the environment recently. Says he organized 3000 people to plant trees on Earth Day. He's also been working to change lightbulbs in the house to save energy.

Gravel and Kucinich engage Obama in arguments over pre-emptive war and nukes with respect to Iran. Gravel is quite a character.

Edwards is asked who he considers his moral leader. He pauses for a long time and says he can't think of anyone. Then he talks about God and his wife.

Clinton is asked if Wal-Mart is overall a good or bad thing for the U.S. She says it is a mixed blessing because it brings goods to rural areas like rural Arkansas. As Wal-Mart grown they've raised serious questions about corporate ethics. Need to get both public sector and private sector leadership to step up and take care of people.

Brian Williams is wrapping up the debate. Thank you and good night.

Liveblogging the Democratic Debate Part IV

Richardson is asked about his position against raising taxes to pay for universal health care. Hopes Democrats don't always need to raise taxes to pay for programs. "I'm a Governor, I deal with this every day."

1. No new bureaucracy,

2. Everyone shares - businesses, state & federal government

3. Focus on prevention, deterring diseases like diabetes which is 30% of health care costs.

4. Deal with inefficiencies in the system.

5. Re-establish doctor-patient relationship.

Question from the audience: Do you support the NAACP, which has asked people not to come to South Carolina until the Confederate flag is taken down from the state house?

Biden - important to show off this state and these people and this university.

Obama - The Confederate flag belongs in a museum.

A note on perceptions about the candidates so far:

Hillary looked downright wide-eyed and animatronic at the beginning of the debate. And she shouldn't shout her answers so much.

Gravel is the hellraiser, making wild statements to fire people up.

Richardson looks like the statesman he is, calling on his vast experience to answer questions.

Obama seems to still be all style and no substance

Liveblogging the Democratic Debate Part III

Edwards says the Supreme Court decision on abortion last week is indicative of exactly what is at stake in this country. Believes in a woman's right to choose, but it is an extraordinarily difficult issue for many people, and we have to show respect to people who have a different view.

Obama gets the same question. Most Americans recognize this is a profoundly difficult decision for families and women to make. Trusts women to make these decisions with their families, doctors and clergy. Broader issue: can we move past some of the debates on what we don't agree on and start talking about things we agree on like reducing teen pregnancy.

Biden: As President would you have a litmus test question for Supreme Court nominees regarding Roe V. Wade? Said he led the fight to defeat Robert Bork, would make sure his Supreme Court nominees shared his values.

Kucinich gets the same question. Any of his appointments would reflect his thinking. Intends to be a President who is a healer. Wants to protect a woman's right to privcay, protect Roe V. Wade but to go out and engage people and open their hearts.

Dodd is asked about whether he regrets his vote to confirm Chief Justice Roberts. Says he is profoundly dismayed with Roberts' decision on the abortion case last week, but doesn't regret his vote. Thinks Kucinich is right, an that abortions should be "rare, safe and legal" (borrowing words used by earlier candidates).

Asking all candidates to say a name or pass: Your model Supreme Court Justice?

Richardson - Whizzer White - Justice Ginsburg is his second choice since White is dead.

Dodd - Justice Brennan - second choice is Justice Ginsburg

Edwards - Justice Ginsburg or Justice Breyer.

Now the candidates get questions about guns and Virginia Tech.

Clinton says the system failed because mentally ill person gets a gun.

Richardson gets asked about being the NRA's favorite candidate. Did any part of the Va Tech shooting cause him to re-think his position on guns. Admits to being a Western governor, in a region that likes hunting, but notes that the vast majority of gun owners are law abiding. Says we should ensure mentally ill cannot buy a gun. For instant background checks, and that states are properly funded to detect problems. Calls for mental health parity.

Biden is asked about how the federal government could have saved the students at Va Tech. Should not have let the assault weapons ban lapse, should close the gun show loophole, agrees with other candidates that federal government should focus more on mental illness.

Liveblogging the Democratic Debate Part II

Next round of questions.

Obama goes first. Obama promised a new brand of politics but the Chicago Sun-Times reported on dealings he had with a donor that was questionable, and asked if he was not practicing what he preached. Obama said no and says he denounced the donor and talks about campaign finance reform work he did in the Illinois State Senate.

Edwards has spoken with eloquence about poverty, and "Two Americas". He's being asked about the $400 haircut. Why did he pay for it out of campaign funds? Edwards said it was a mistake, and admits to living a privileged lifestyle, but says he hasn't forgotten where he came from. He is telling the well-rehearsed old story of being a son of a mill worker. "I'm running so everyone in this country has the same chance as I have." Brian Williams asked him about his work representing a hedge fund, and if hedge funds are of any value in this country. Edwards says people in financial markets in New York understand these issues and may be able to help out.

Hillary is asked how is America a great country because of hedge funds. She says the entrepreneurial spirit is what makes America great, but also being able to regulate that is great.

Governor Richardson is asked about why he is among the last to call for Attorney General Gonzales to resign because "he's Hispanic. I'm honest". Richardson explains that he wanted Gonzales to have a chance to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee to give answers to the questions regarding the firings of U.S. Attorneys. American people want candor, they don't want blow-dried candidates with perfection. He said he gave Gonzales a chance to explain himself, and he blew it, and so he called for his resignation.

Kucinich is asked why since he is anti-war from the start does he not seem to have the political support. He responds, "This isn't American idol, we're electing a President." He's calling out his colleagues on stage for making a bad decision on Iraq, and says apologies aren't enough.

Biden is asked about his "foot in mouth" disease, his penchant for speaking without thinking. Can you reasure voters that you have the discipline you need on the world stage. Biden responds with a one-word answer: Yes. Everyone laughs.

Gravel is asked why he's here tonight if he said that it doesn't matter if he's elected President or not. Calls out his opponents and says some of these people frighten me, and he says some of them are using code for using nuclear weapons. Brian Williams asks him who among the other candidates frighten him, and he calls out the top-tier candidates. "The only thing worse than a soldier dying in vain, is more soldiers dying in vain."

Liveblogging the Democratic Debate Part I

The debate is set to begin, live from the campus of South Carolina State University.

Of the 8 candidates, Bill Richardson will be all the way to the left on your screen. Order was chosen at random (nice to see Hillary and Barack Obama standing next to each other).

Candidates are asked to refrain from asking questions of each other. Most questions come from the NBC News political unit. Audience is asked to refrain from clapping or cheering for their candidates. No opening statements or thank yous from candidates.

Senator Clinton gets the first question about Harry Reid's comments on Iraq ("The war is lost"), and asked if she agrees. Hillary says this "isn't America's war to win or lose." and dodges the question.

Senator Biden is up next and has the same question. Biden says PResident shouldn't veto the bill that set a timetable and work towards a political solution. Change the fundamental premise of this engagement: give Iraq control over their own police, troops, etc.

Obama is next and is asked why he continually supports appropriations. "I'm proud I opposed this war from the start". Gives the answer that he thinks troops need funding for the supplies to get the job done.

Edwards is asked about his high-profile statement apologizing for his vote, and did he take a shot at Clinton by the statements he made when apologizing? Edwards said no, it's up to each to search their conscience.

Clinton gets a rebuttal. Takes responsiblity for her vote, "a sincere vote based on the info available to me" and "if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have voted for it".

Kucinich is asked if one can b against the war and still fund it? He says no. Every time you vote to fund the war you're reauthorizing the war all over again. "We're under no obligation to give George W. Bush any money at all". Not sufficient to say if we had the info at the beginning, we'd vote another way. The info was there for everyone at the beginning.

Governor Richardson was asked if he was a Congressman from New Mexico would he vote to fund the troops. A very badly worded question that Richardson said no to. Governor Richardson is now laying out his New Realism for Iraq.

Dodd says Iraq needs to take on the responsibility of whether or not they want to come together as a people, and that we need to engage in diplomacy (taking a page out of Richardson's book).

Gravel is up now, and says this war was "lost the day George Bush invaded Iraq on a fraudulent basis". Gravel would like to sit down with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid to pass legislation making it a felony to remain in Iraq. He's clearly out there on the left with regard to the war, making Kucinich look tame by comparison.

Democratic Presidential Debate Starts in 3 Hours

Tune in to MSNBC in just 3 hours to watch the first Democratic Presidential debate.

7pm Eastern/6pm Central/5pm Mountain/4pm Pacific

Live from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

The debates will be broadcast live on MSNBC, MSNBC.com and local NBC affiliates in South Carolina.

Richardson Could Surprise In South Carolina

With the Democratic Presidential debate coming up tonight in South Carolina, Governor Richardson is taking this as an opportunity to move this contest from a high school-like popularity contest to a more adult discussion of ideas and substance.
“This will be the first chance for Americans to see all of the Democratic candidates together and to see who is the most qualified and best prepared to be President on day one,” said Governor Richardson. “We won’t be debating the poll numbers, we’ll be debating and stating our opinion on real issues, and people will see a difference. There are important differences in the qualifications and accomplishments of the candidates. They’ll see that I would get our troops out of Iraq, all of our troops, with no residual forces. I’ve been there, I know the region, and I know our presence is no longer helping. They’ll see that I believe we can provide universal health coverage for all Americans without raising taxes. In New Mexico I expanded access to health care while cutting taxes. They’ll see how I plan to help the American middle-class prosper, and how I believe we can improve our schools and give every child the opportunity to go to college or vocational school. This is the best and brightest field of Democratic candidates ever, but there are real differences that people need to know before they make up their minds.”
Hotline On Call has been talking to the movers and shakers inside the Democratic party in South Carolina, and they have some interesting thoughts on Bill Richardson's chances.
Bill Richardson has a better organization here than people think, and superstardom and money aside, he's probably the best fit for Democrats here.
We agree. So go ahead and discount Bill Richardosn and his supporters at your own peril. We the Richardson netroots are a reflection of our governor, and while we may not be rock stars in the popularity contest, we'll work harder than everyone else, just like Bill Richardson is working harder than his opponents. Besides, have you ever gone back to your high school reunion and seen the cool kids? They aren't so cool anymore.

Rasmussen Reports Poll: Richardson Beats Romney

In a theoretical head to head matchup, in the 2008 general election, with Bill Richardson as the Democratic nominee and Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee, according to Rasmussen Reports Bill Richardson wins 42-34.
Democrat Bill Richardson could defeat a prospective Republican presidential nominee in the United States, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 42 per cent of respondents would support the New Mexico governor in 2008, while 34 per cent would vote for former Massachusetts senator Mitt Romney.

Methodology: Telephone interviews with 800 likely American voters, conducted on Apr. 11 and Apr. 12, 2007. Margin of error is 4 per cent.
Romney, as you may recall, had a great Q1 fundraising and raised boatloads of cash for his campaign. The problem is that unless you live in Salt Lake City or Massachusetts, or are a political junkie, you likely have no idea who Mitt Romney is. He'll have to spend all of that cash just to raise his name ID.

What this shows is that likely voters value experience over tons of money. Bill Richardson has decades of concrete experience on the issues that matter most to Americans. Mitt Romney has 4 years of being governor in a state where his party is marginalized and the state house is firmly in control of Democrats. How effective could Romney actually be?

This poll is also a warning to Barack Obama and John Edwards. They too are inexperienced, and Americans are fed up with amateurs in the White House after 8 years of the Bush Administration. It's time to put the adults back in charge of the White House. Bill Richardson for President.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

2008 Democratic Presidential Debate Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Governor Richardson will be participating in a debate in South Carolina with the other Democratic candidates for 2008. Here are the details:

7pm Eastern/6pm Central/5pm Mountain/4pm Pacific

Live from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

The debates will be broadcast live on MSNBC, MSNBC.com and local NBC affiliates in South Carolina.

Every effort will be made to cover the debate live on this blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Warning to the Perceived "Frontrunners"

Here is a warning shot over the bow to the campaigns of the perceived frontrunners. And a friendly reminder that folks in Iowa and New Hampshire don't like being told who the frontrunners are.

From the Gallup Poll:

Poll results at this phase -- nine months before the first primaries and caucuses -- do not necessarily bear a strong relationship to the reality that unfolds in the election year itself. This has historically been true for the Democratic nomination in particular. Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, Jimmy Carter, and George McGovern were all virtual unknowns who rose from obscurity to take their party's nomination.
And don't forget that Howard Dean was the frontrunner going into Iowa, yet John Kerry became the nominee. So this race isn't even close to over, and as National Journal's Blogometer noted last week, Bill Richardson is right in the mix.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Richardson First Candidate With Ads On The Air in Iowa and New Hampshire

Governor Richardson is the first candidate to go live with on-air ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. Check them out and pass them on to your friends.

Life's Work



The Wall

Saturday, April 21, 2007

1st Tri-State Bill Richardson Meetup

Posting here has been light because for the past 2 days I was in Washington, D.C. with my boss, who received a legislator of the year award from the Progressive States Network. If you haven't checked out Progressive States network, you should. They're great people who are doing incredible work supporting progressive legislators in our state capitols.

While in D.C., I was happy to participate in the first, and only (as far as I know), tri-state Bill Richardson meetup. Mike Kruger (D.C. for Richardson), Kristen Neville (Maryland for Richardson) and I all got together while I was there to discuss our support for Governor Richardson and how we could do more to help him.

I'll post more later but for now, here's the photo we took at our Meetup.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Richardson Statement on Virginia Tech Shootings

Here is the text of Governor Richardson's statement regarding yesterday's shootings at Virginia Tech (he issued the statement yesterday, I was slow getting it posted):
“On behalf of all New Mexicans, Barbara and I extend our condolences to the families of the victims whose lives were cut short by this horrific tragedy,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “This is a sad day and our hearts go out to the Virginia Tech community as it grieves this loss.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and the entire Virginia Tech community.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Richardson Fundraising Numbers in Washington

Did you catch today's Seattle P-I article on the 2008 candidates' Q1 fundraising in Washington?

Here are the numbers for our candidate:
Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.: $37,710 of $6.2 million total
Among the Democratic candidates who raised $10,000 or more in Washington, Governor Richardson came in fourth place. Given that Governor Richardson had a legislative session to contend with and wasn't able to ramp up the fundraising the way others did in Q1, expect his fundraising numbers to rise this quarter.

Here's my challenge to my fellow Washingtonians. For Quarter 2, will you help Bill Richardson raise $100,000 in Washington state? Go to Richardson for President and make as generous a donation as you can. No amount is too small to make a difference, and a whole lot of $5 contributions will add up to $100,000. Make sure when you make your donation that you add $.42 to whatever you donate (Washington is the 42nd state in the Union, and this will let the Richardson campaign know that Washington is for Richardson).

There are many ways to reach our goal of $100,000. Give up your daily latte for 3 months and give the money to Bill Richardson. Every time you swear for the next 3 months, put a dollar in a jar and give it to Bill Richardson. Sell those old CD's from your high school days that you don't listen to anymore and donate to Bill Richardson. You don't even have to be in for 3 months worth, but do something, anything, to help Bill Richardson take back our country. I'm already in for a total of $60 so far and will give as much as I can this quarter.

Tell your friends, family and co-workers about why you support Bill Richardson and ask them to donate to his campaign too. Let's raise at least $100,000 by June 30.

Daily Kos April Straw Poll

The April straw poll is up over at Daily Kos. Currently, Governor Richardson is at 13% (his best showing yet) in third place. Go vote for Bill Richardson. Now.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

5 Ways You Can Help Bill Richardson

1. Visit Bill Richardson for President and make a donation. No amount is too small to make a difference. Please give what you can.
2. Tell your friends and neighbors why you support Bill Richardson for President and encourage them to support him too. Visit Bill Richardson for President for more information on Governor Richardson’s biography and policy positions.
3. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, expressing your support for Bill Richardson for President.
4. Organize or attend a Richardson Meet-up in your city. For more information on Richardson Meet-ups in Washington, please contact me.
5. Go to Bill Richardson for President and sign up to volunteer for the campaign.

Governor Richardson on North Korea

Here is Governor Richardson, in his own words, giving the low-down on his trip to North Korea this week.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Governor Richardson's North Korean Breakthrough




Below is the text of an e-mail Governor Richardson sent out today:



After years of confrontation with virtually the entire world, the regime in North Korea yesterday took its first steps away from its policy of nuclear confrontation.

The North Koreans agreed to begin shutting down their Yongbyon atomic reactor, the facility that provides fuel for their nuclear weapons, and say they will allow UN weapons inspectors back into the country for the first time in five years.

The world is a safer place today, and I am proud to have played a role in securing this agreement.

I was in Pyongyang this week to secure the remains of six American servicemen who died during the Korean War.

This is a very positive gesture on the part of the North Korean government. Hopefully it will help heal the wounds from the Korean War and start a process to bring closure to the thousands of American families awaiting word about their loved ones who perished.

My years of experience dealing with North Korea and my knowledge of the region allowed me to help facilitate this new resolution to end their nuclear weapons program.

It will take a while for the media to understand the impact of this historic accord. NBC's Andrea Mitchell was the only network journalist in North Korea with us, and she has been leading the way with forward-looking coverage of this week's events.

Click here to watch MSNBC's coverage of North Korea's breakthrough announcement.


The bottom line is that diplomacy works - there is no other lesson to draw from this monumental breakthrough. And we desperately need someone in the White House who understands this and can restore American international leadership.

In today's world, we have to be willing to engage our adversaries in tough and direct talks that lead to resolution, not more confrontation and isolation. I don't have to tell you that there are trouble spots all over the world that could use some of this tough and smart American diplomacy.

I'm running for President, in part, to keep our country safe and secure. I'm proud that yesterday in North Korea I was able to make a contribution to real progress toward that goal.

Sincerely,


Governor Bill Richardson

MoveOn.Org Town Hall on Iraq

Yesterday, MoveOn.org hosted a virtual town hall meeting on Iraq with Presidential candidates. Here is the audio/video of Governor Richardson.

Kos: "Richardson would completely exit Iraq. The others wouldn't"

Go read this excellent post by Markos, where he compares the candidates' positions on Iraq. There actually is no comparison. The man with the most foreign policy and diplomatic experience has the only position that is supported by the majority of the American people.

Richardson, in just the last couple of months, has brokered landmark deals in Darfur and North Korea -- efforts that had stymied the Bush Administration through two terms. There is no one in American politics today more respected and accomplished on foreign policy than Bill Richardson.

The other candidates may be anointed rock stars by the media and Hollywood elites, but when it comes to experience and getting things done, Bill Richardson is the real rock star.

Go here to read more on Bill Richardson's New Realism in Iraq.

Richardson War Stance Gains Traction at Moveon Town Hall on Iraq

Last night MoveOn.org held a town hall on Iraq and invited the Democratic presidential candidates to "speak" on their positions on the war in Iraq. Governor Richardson is the clear winner of the debate.

From Hotline On Call's Blogometer:

MoveOn.org is still polling members to determine "Which Candidate is best able to lead the country out of the war in Iraq?" but if early blogger reviews are any indication, Bill Richardson managed to separate himself away from the pack during 4/10's Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Iraq. The Blogometer recently pressed card- carrying netrooter Liberal Oasis about what a candidate would have to say on Iraq to win his vote for BloggingHeads.tv. Bill Scher stressed that the candidate who best convinced him they would leave no permanent troops anywhere in Iraq would get his vote.

Bill Richardson did just that 4/10 telling MoveOners he "would have no residual force whatsoever" in the country. [emphasis mine]
From MyDD's Chris Bowers:
I am currently listening to the entire MoveOn.org forum on Iraq. Right now, I am about halfway through Clinton's segment. So far, in the entire forum, no line struck me more than Bill Richardson's "I would have no residual force whatsoever" in his opening statement (which he repeated in his response to question #1). With perfect clarity, that is exactly the line I have been looking for from Democratic candidates for President. It is a profound, substantive difference than what we have heard from, for example, Hillary Clinton, when she states that if she is President there will be a "remaining military as well as political mission" in Iraq. This is, in the final analysis, a difference between ending the war in Iraq, and simply decreasing the size of the war Iraq.

What really makes me happy about this statement is that it came from Bill Richardson. This is a man who, earlier today, brokered a deal with North Korea to allow weapons inspectors back into the country, and who, three months ago, brokered cease-fire deal in Darfur. To use the favorite term of neoliberal hawks, no one alive today is more "serious' about foreign policy than Bill Richardson. And yet, here he is, running for President of the Unites States, and stating that the United States should have no residual force in Iraq whatsoever.

[...]

There are candidates who will end the war, and there are candidates who will decrease its size but not end it. During the primary season, the only candidates who I will end up supporting when we start closing in on the primaries fall into the former camp. While I am sure that this makes me a naive, dirty fucking hippie, I guess it makes Bill Richardson one too. In fact, I am going to give $25 to his campaign for making this statement, and be on the lookout for Richardson 2008 drum circles in my neighborhood. Mind you, I'll keep voting for Edwards in straw polls for now, but this makes me take a long look a Bill Richardson.
On one hand you have candidates who say they are ready to lead who will either end the war or decrease the scope of the war but not end it. On the other you have Bill Richardson, a proven leader who will end the war. Why choose unproven leadership in unsteady times, when you can have a President, Bill Richardson, who has already done it and continues to lead on foreign policy?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Breaking News: Richardson Brokers Nuclear Deal With North Koreans

NBC Nightly News is reporting tonight that Governor Richardson has negotiated successfully with North Korea to allow U.N. inspectors into the country and to give them access to Pyongyang's nuclear program. Click below to watch the video.


Richardson Adds More Talent to Campaign

On the staffing front, Governor Richardson has added some new talent to his campaign.

From the Wilmington Star (South Carolina):
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson's campaign hired two of South Carolina's top Democratic operatives Friday to help his White House bid in this early voting state.

Trav Robertson, who has run Democratic campaigns in the state, and James Dukes, a former state party executive director, join Lachlan McIntosh, also a former party chief, on the New Mexico governor's campaign.

According to the campaign, Robertson will be field director and Dukes will be political director. McIntosh was hired as state campaign director last month.
From Bill Richardson for President:

Governor Bill Richardson today announced that Paul Maslin, a leading Democratic pollster, has joined his Presidential campaign.

"Paul will be a great addition to my campaign and will serve as a senior advisor," stated Governor Bill Richardson. "His over twenty-five years of political experience will help guide my campaign and our message to the American people."

Paul Maslin is a senior partner at Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, one of the leading public opinion firms in the country. Paul has advised six presidential candidates, a dozen U.S. Senators, and scores of Governors, mayors and members of Congress. In 2003-2004, he was the pollster and one of the key strategists in Howard Dean's groundbreaking run for President which opened new venues for grassroots organizing and fundraising

"Governor Bill Richardson is the most qualified candidate running for President," stated Paul Maslin. "And I am looking forward to working with the team to develop key policy initiatives and messages that will connect with the American voters."

In 1998, Maslin played an instrumental role in the election of Gray Davis — California's first Democratic governor in 16 years and only the fourth Democrat in the 20th century.

Additionally, Maslin has advised many major organizations and foundations including the American Federation of Teachers, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Education Association, and the Wellness Foundation; as well as corporations such as American Express, Coca Cola, Disney, Levi-Strauss, Pacific Bell, and Pacific Gas and Electric.

Richardson Successful in North Korea

You can't get much more successful in diplomacy than Bill Richardson. Once again the Governor has been successful in North Korea. The delegation that Richardson is co-leading with Anthony Principi has secured the remains of American servicemen and accomplished the mission it was sent to Pyongyang to do.

Richardson, a former ambassador to the U.N., has regularly made diplomatic trips, often on his own initiative, to global hot spots. Although visits to North Korea by senior U.S. officials are rare, this was Richardson's sixth.

In a possible sign of improved ties, a North Korean general said the remains of six U.S. servicemen would be handed over to the Americans. Three of the sets of remains had identification tags, U.S. officials said after meeting with the general.

Richardson called it a noble humanitarian gesture that would bring comfort to American families.

Not content to accomplish the mission, the delegation pushed North Korea to shut down its main nuclear reactor and allow U.N. inspections, as was laid out in an accord that came out of six party talks earlier this year.

Richardson said his delegation pushed Kim for a show of good faith that North Korea was ready to meet its obligations under the February deal, asking for a meeting of the six nations involved in the nuclear disarmament talks before the deadline.

He said he was hoping to travel to the reactor site in Yongbyon, 55 miles north of Pyongyang, but there were a lot of "political issues involved." He did not elaborate.

Heath Haussamen also has a good post on Governor Richardson's North Korea trip.

Here is the official press release from Governor Richardson's office
.

Policy on Anonymous Comments

Every now and then I get an anonymous comment that impugns Governor Richardson for an action he has taken, a veto he has made, or repeating some unfounded allegation against him. These comments will not be posted on the blog. I'm not trying to censor anyone, but if you have the courage to make the outrageous statements, then have the courage to put your name and e-mail on the comment so the world knows who you are. I do that every day when I write here. I expect no less of you. Anonymous comments, unless they add value to this blog, will not be posted.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Presidential March Madness Recap

Thanks again for participating in Presidential March Madness and making Governor Richardson the Democratic nominee.

Today, ProgressNowAction which organized the online contest issued a press release officially declaring Bill Richardson the Democratic nominee in the Presidential March Madness contest.

Most noteworthy in the press release isn't that Bill Richardson beat Barack Obama, but that the Obama internet operation lost to the Richardson netroots by 20%. That's the same Obama internet operation that's being touted by the media as the best in the business, setting the bar by which all others are measured, with thousands of friends on Facebook and MySpace. And with a player like Peter Daou on her staff, Hillary Clinton's internet operation is no slouch either. Memo to the media: it isn't the size of your operation that matters but the effectiveness of it. You can have thousands of "friends" on a social networking site, but if they aren't willing to take action on your behalf, what is the point?

The ProgressNowAction press release follows below.




Winners of “Presidential March Madness” announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
CONTACT: Michael Huttner, 303-931-4547

Denver—ProgressNowAction and ProgressOhio.org announced the winners of their “Presidential March Madness” contest today. The contest ran the last ten days. Voting on the final round ended yesterday at midnight. Thousands of people from around the country, particularly in Colorado and Ohio, participated.

“We were very pleased with the response from our members,” ProgressNowAction Executive Director Michael Huttner said. “The results show that voters are taking an early interest in the presidential race, and that the West will be a crucial factor in the 2008 elections.”

After three rounds of one-on-one eliminations of 8 major Republican and Democratic presidential candidates and hopefuls at http://presidentialmarchmadness.com, members selected former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as the Democratic preference, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the Republicans. Each individual matchup was surprisingly close after the first round, with Giuliani edging Arizona Senator John McCain by a very close margin in the “Final Four.” Richardson came out ahead of Illinois Senator Barack Obama by almost 20% in the final round.

“This was not a scientific poll, nor was it intended to be anything more than a fun way for our members to express their preference early on in the race for President,” Huttner said. “The results show that Richardson enjoys support among ProgressNow’s Rocky Mountain membership, as well as Giuliani, but all of these candidates have much to prove to Colorado’s independent and progressive voters.”

When I Find Myself In Times of Trouble...

Emmett was the first to post on this topic.

Who do you call when a foreign policy issue needs resolution? Who in the United States of America has the respect of world leaders and foreign nations to get the job done on behalf of Americans?

President George W. Bush provided the answer to that question by asking Bill Richardson to lead a delegation to North Korea to discuss the remains of missing U.S. servicemen.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat running for president, will lead a U.S. delegation to North Korea this month to oversee the return of remains of American troops from the Korean War, the White House said on Tuesday.

[...]

The group will meet with North Korean officials in Pyongyang then travel to Panmunjom on the demilitarized zone to watch over the transfer of remains from the Korean Peoples Army to United Nations Command personnel, a U.S. administration official said.

Clearly no other presidential candidate has the gravitas or diplomatic acumen that Bill Richardson possesses. If they did, why is Bush sending Richardson to North Korea and not one of the other candidates? I'm sure it has something to do with Richardson's track record of proven results with the North Koreans. No other person has had as much success negotiating with Pyongyang.

Update: Here is the official statement from Governor Richardson's spokesman.

"Governor Richardson is pleased to jointly head, along with former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi, a bipartisan delegation of Americans to facilitate the release of remains of US serviceman. Hopefully this trip will advance the progress made by the Bush Administration during the six-party talks to dismantle nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. Dr. K.A. Anthony Namkung, a senior adviser to Governor Richardson, will be a member of the U.S. Delegation," said Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for Governor Richardson.

Richardson Meetup Tonight

Our next South Sound/Olympia for Richardson Meetup is tonight at 7pm at the new Starbucks on the corner of Cooper Point Rd. and Mud Bay Road (across from Safeway) on Olympia's Westside. The address is 315 Cooper Point Rd. NW.

I'll have an update on Governor Richardson's activities this past month (including fundraising), an update on our supporters in Washington, and will discuss a possible visit by the Governor to our state in May.

Hope to see you there. Bring a friend, or two.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Richardson is the Democratic Nominee



At least in Presidential March Madness he is. Thanks to your help, Governor Richardson defeated Barack Obama and is the Democratic nominee facing Rudy Giuliani for the Presidency.

Update: In my haste to keep the Richardson juggernaut rolling, I noted that there was still a game to be played and urged you all to go vote for Richardson. Unfortunately, the game has ended. I would have liked Richardson's chances of beating Rudy Giuliani. Maybe we'll get that chance in the offline contest.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Next Meetup April 3

It's that time again. Our next South Sound/Olympia for Richardson Meetup will be on Tuesday, April 3 at 7pm at the new Starbucks on the corner of Cooper Point Rd. and Mud Bay Road (across from Safeway) on Olympia's Westside. The address is 315 Cooper Point Rd. NW.

I'll have an update on Governor Richardson's activities this past month, including fundraising, and will discuss a possible visit by him to Washington in May.

Hope to see you there. Bring a friend, or two.

You Did It!!!

Thanks to your efforts, as the first quarter of fundraising closed yesterday, Governor Bill Richardson surpassed his goal of raising $500,000 online last week, and raised $540,100.


While Richardson's numbers may be lower than some of the perceived front-runners, at $6 million raised and $5 million cash on hand, he will definitely be a player in this race. In addition, Governor Richardson won't be constrained in the second quarter by a legislative session back home in New Mexico. So expect his fundraising numbers in Quarter 2 to be much better.

"A Guy of Substance With A Real Record"

This editorial is worth the read and explains to the entire country why Governor Richardson should be President.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

I defy anyone to name a Democrat better equipped to take Florida than New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Think of it: a tax-cutting, NRA-supported progressive Democrat who can make a strong case in the conservative Panhandle; and the first Latino presidential nominee sure to energize the crucial Hispanic vote in South Florida and Central Florida.

For Central Florida's crucial swing voters disillusioned by what they've seen with Iraq and Katrina, the two-term red- state governor, former U.N. ambassador, and U.S. energy secretary can sell competence. Nobody on either side is as experienced and tested on the key issues of the day - foreign policy, energy independence and economic growth.

[...]

A presidential candidate who looks like normal Americans, is substantive, unscripted and spontaneous? It's about time.

"He doesn't have the $3,000 suit or the perfectly coiffed hair, but he's a guy of substance and with a real record," said Miami real estate investor Stephen Bittel, who is raising money for Richardson and finds a lot of people pegging Richardson as their second choice. "He opens his mouth, and you believe and feel he's telling the truth. And you know what, this is a time in our history when we want to be told the truth." [emphasis mine]

A guy of substance, a real record of proven experience and credibility...What a change from business as usual. Richardson for President in 2008.