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New Mexico Bush/Cheney Impeachment Resolution in Senate Rules Committee, 9AM Feb. 9th

The New Mexico Impeachment Resolution will roll into its first Committee Hearing this Friday, February 9th, at 9AM in Room 321 of the State Capitol Building. It is possible that it will be reassigned to a larger hearing room if there is a crowd. FOUR OF THE FIVE Democratic Senators on the Rules Committee have already signed the bill: Chairwoman Linda Lopez, Vice-Chair John Grubesic, Cisco McSorley and Dede Feldman. Senator Ben Altamirano, President Pro Tempore of the Senate IS THE SWING VOTE on Rules....[I]f you are from New Mexico and especially his district (Catron, Grant & Socorro), contact him at (505) 986-4733. If you can't reach the Senator, ask for Erlinda Campbell, his secretary. Take a few moments to read the below talking points...useful in discussion. ---Senator Ortiz y Pino recently called me and asked me to please ask that callers to Senator Altamirano's office be respectful in their discussions with him. ***It's an emotional issue, for one guy, Senator Altamirano, to determine whether an impeachment bill enters the Congress*** against Bush and I certainly understand why well-meaning citizens might lose their tempers on the subject, but we would not want to lose the good Senator's vote for the wrong reason. --- mention [1] right of States to initiate impeachment proceedings; [2] mention Bush's impeachment as goal is in his own New Mexico Democratic Party Platform of 2006, which was the "plank that received the *most* and thunderous applause, with upwards of 95% of those present standing and cheering in support."
Even England knew to put George III on ice when he went crazy
Even England knew to put George III on ice when he went crazy
summary:
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Senator Altamirano needs to understand that if but one Member of the US Congress invokes the New Mexico resolution to impeach, by law there must be an immediate, "privileged" one-hour debate on the subject on the floor. Given that Rep. John Conyers, the current Chairman of the Judiciary in the US House told the assembled masses at the recent rally in DC that "We can fire the President," a resolution from a State Legislature might be all it takes to prod him into official impeachment proceedings.

Furthermore, it is essential to explain to Senator Altamirano that Impeachment is the *Official Policy of the New Mexico Democratic Party*. The proof of this can easily be found on the party's website, where a click on "The Democratic Party of New Mexico 2006 Resolutions" link gives the following document:

 http://www.nmdemocrats.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/838875

Under "Election Issues," the platform reads, "Support the Impeachment of George W. Bush."

I have spoken with many Democrats who were present at that platform hearing, and they are all unanimous that impeachment was the plank that received the *most* and thunderous applause, with upwards of 95% of those present standing and cheering in support.

There is a chance that some national celebrities and expert witnesses may be able to attend the Rules Committee hearings. If you can help with airfare or house them while they are here, please let me [(505) 982-3609] know. Our current top five wish list is Cindy Sheehan, Sean Penn, Robert F. Kennedy, Liz Holtzman and James Bamford. If you know of any other national expert witnesses or celebrities with integrity who would be willing to support us on the ground here in New Mexico, please determine their availability ASAP. We are tentatively planning a press conference for Thursday afternoon - pending amenability of the sponsors and a room in the Capitol - where national figures will be able to voice their position and support. It makes sense to develop a wave of support going into the hearing on Friday morning, so we have to get the ball rolling Thursday afternoon. National folks planning on coming to the hearing, please arrange to be here for both Thursday afternoon and Friday morning if possible. If you can only make one day, the choice is yours.

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New Mexico Impeachment Resolution in Senate Rules Committee, 9AM February 9th, Room 321 at the State Capitol
by Leland Lehrman -  leland.lehrman@gmail.com (505) 982-3609

The New Mexico Impeachment Resolution will roll into its first Committee Hearing this Friday, February 9th, at 9AM in Room 321 of the State Capitol Building. It is possible that it will be reassigned to a larger hearing room if there is a crowd. Four of the five Democratic Senators on the Rules Committee have already signed the bill: Chairwoman Linda Lopez, Vice-Chair John Grubesic, Cisco McSorley and Dede Feldman. Senator Ben Altamirano, President Pro Tempore of the Senate is the swing vote on Rules and if you are from New Mexico and especially his district (Catron, Grant & Socorro), we encourage you to contact him at (505) 986-4733. If you can't reach the Senator, ask for Erlinda Campbell, his excellent secretary. Please take a few moments to read the below talking points for they will be useful in the discussion.

The sponsor, Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino's first comment on Altamirano's vote was that the most important thing was to get Ben to be there at the hearing, something that doesn't always happen in Rules. Without Senator Altamirano's vote, a tie will kill the resolution. Jerry felt at the time, and I believe still feels, that Sen. Altamirano will ultimately vote with the rest of the Democrats on Rules.

I'm hopeful but not so sure, because the feedback we've received on the subject from our friends in his district is that he feels it's a Federal issue. Due to an unfortunate misunderstanding of the process, some citizens accused Sen. Altamirano of having assigned the Resolution three committees, when the responsibility for that was most likely Majority Leader Michael Sanchez. This apparently led to unnecessary anger directed at the President Pro Tem.

Senator Ortiz y Pino recently called me and asked me to please ask that callers to Senator Altamirano's office be respectful in their discussions with him. It's an emotional issue, and I certainly understand why well-meaning citizens might lose their tempers on the subject, but we would not want to lose the good Senator's vote for the wrong reason.

The main point on which Senator Altamirano appears to be unclear is the right of States to initiate impeachment proceedings. In phone calls to the Senator, it will be important to explain that Thomas Jefferson's Rules of the House (which govern parliamentary procedure in Congress) explicitly make it possible for States to initiate impeachment proceedings for Federal Officials. In other words, impeachment is *not* strictly Federal. The right of States to initiate impeachment proceedings becomes the *responsibility* of the States when the Constitution is violated. With authority comes responsibility. The best source of info on this subject can be found here:

 http://impeachbush.tv/impeach/statebasis.html

Senator Altamirano needs to understand that if but one Member of the US Congress invokes the New Mexico resolution to impeach, by law there must be an immediate, "privileged" one-hour debate on the subject on the floor. Given that Rep. John Conyers, the current Chairman of the Judiciary in the US House told the assembled masses at the recent rally in DC that "We can fire the President," a resolution from a State Legislature might be all it takes to prod him into official impeachment proceedings.

Furthermore, it is essential to explain to Senator Altamirano that Impeachment is the *Official Policy of the New Mexico Democratic Party*. The proof of this can easily be found on the party's website, where a click on "The Democratic Party of New Mexico 2006 Resolutions" link gives the following document:

 http://www.nmdemocrats.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/838875

Under "Election Issues," the platform reads, "Support the Impeachment of George W. Bush."

I have spoken with many Democrats who were present at that platform hearing, and they are all unanimous that impeachment was the plank that received the *most* and thunderous applause, with upwards of 95% of those present standing and cheering in support.

Those concerned that this procedure is about making Nancy Pelosi President should realize that will not happen even in the scenario where both the President and Vice-President are removed from office. One or the other will have an opportunity to nominate a replacement who would become President, barring Senate disapproval, until 2008. This is not about choosing a President through legal proceedings. It is about removing lawbreakers from office and establishing a precedent that will protect the Constitution and curtail executive abuse in the future.

There is a chance that some national celebrities and expert witnesses may be able to attend the Rules Committee hearings. If you can help with airfare or house them while they are here, please let me know. Our current top five wish list is Cindy Sheehan, Sean Penn, Robert F. Kennedy, Liz Holtzman and James Bamford.

Former Congresswoman Liz Holtzman was a member of the Congressional Committee that impeached Nixon. Much of her work can be found on afterdowningstreet.org where she is listed as an expert witness and speaker. Her interview with David Swanson on Fox News is a delight to behold. An excellent selection of television coverage and news clips from the New Mexico impeachment proceedings has been assembled at  http://afterdowningstreet.org/nm .

James Bamford's recent New York Times editorial on the NSA spying case and the role warrantless wiretapping played in the impeachment of Nixon is priceless. It ran today, Sunday, Feb. 4th, in the New Mexican's editorial section. Find it online here:

 http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/views07/0131-29.htm

Mr. Bamford is a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the NSA over the warrantless wiretapping and is the famous chronicler of the NSA.

If you know of any other national expert witnesses or celebrities with integrity who would be willing to support us on the ground here in New Mexico, please determine their availability ASAP. We are tentatively planning a press conference for Thursday afternoon - pending amenability of the sponsors and a room in the Capitol - where national figures will be able to voice their position and support. It makes sense to develop a wave of support going into the hearing on Friday morning, so we have to get the ball rolling Thursday afternoon. National folks planning on coming to the hearing, please arrange to be here for both Thursday afternoon and Friday morning if possible. If you can only make one day, the choice is yours.

Leland Lehrman
Impeach Bush and Cheney in New Mexico
 http://mothermedia.org
(505) 982-3609

homepage: homepage: http://mothermedia.org
phone: phone: (505) 982-3609


Best of Luck Leland 05.Feb.2007 17:52

Leslie's daughter

Best of luck with this effort. I hope that other states follow suit, however for all this work to be of use, this will have to amount to more than a symbolic act. I applaud your hard work, and I hope that this momentum (and others who will be drawn to the success of such a resolution) will push past the constraints applied to the resolution as a purely symbolic act, push for the actual removal of the administration, and implement a system of accountability that will ultimately stand in opposition to the imperialist forces within our society and economy.

This is not all for your shoulders, of course, merely my hopes that your good work and good intentions will not be left in isolation of the needed movement for vast structural and economic change.

take care and congratulations on the progress

Fox News is a useless medium, with that said: watch Liz on impeachment 06.Feb.2007 03:15

me

Watch the Fox News attack dogs fail in their mission:
 http://youtube.com/watch?v=3bQhSkeT-dk
3 min 54 sec

You can find David Swanson and Elizabeth Holtzman on impeachment in many other videos at YouTube.

And FOX Newz's Hannity is without any credibility (duh, like we already knew that I know) once it gets around that he admits being invited to Bohemian Grove:

Sean Hannity Fox News Shills for Bohemian Grove
05:41
TheResistanceManifesto.com
 http://youtube.com/watch?v=cJqPowtmK2M
5 min 41 sec

New Mexico Impeachment: Michael Sanchez (505-986-4727) Now Main Focus 07.Feb.2007 22:43

update

summary
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Although there was some concern that President Pro Tem Senator Ben Altamirano of Silver City might swing the vote against the majority of the Democrats in Rules, he has now told the us that he is looking favorably on the issue after overwhelming numbers of phone calls in support. He has also requested no more phone calls to his office.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez now becomes the main focus of our efforts. The man who assigned the bill three committees, Senator Sanchez expressed his discomfort with the resolution because he feels it is a Federal issue. I explained to him that Jefferson's Rules of the House explicitly allow State Legislatures to initiate impeachment proceedings, but he still maintained his position. I then pointed out that his excellent Joint Memorial Opposing the Real ID Act of 2005 opposes a federal initiative, but he pointed out that he was just trying to keep it out of New Mexico. That is not entirely true, however, because the Memorial states plainly that it requests the New Mexico federal delegation "support measures to repeal the Real ID Act" altogether. Finally I asked him if he would vote for the resolution in Judiciary, at which point he laughed kindly and said to wait until we got there.

I thought at the time that his pleasant attitude was a sign that ultimately he would vote with us. But I'm not so sure. After all, it was he who assigned the bill three committees in the first place, an act on which we should question him. Furthermore, he has expressed displeasure with citizen attempts to take the bill out of Public Affairs [potentials to kill it in committee.] If we make it through Rules [committee], [one of the three hurdles set up by Democratic Senator Sanchez] this will be an important effort.

Here's how it works: If the sponsor of a resolution and the Chair of the Committee to which it has been assigned agree that they don't want the bill in that Committee [after Sanchez assigned it to it], they can make a motion on the floor of the Senate to take it out of Committee. (I have spoken with the sponsor Sen. Ortiz y Pino, and since the Chairman of Public Affairs Dede Feldman signed the resolution, there is a good chance we can succeed [to remove one of these procedural vetos set up by Senator Sanchez].) The President of the Senate, either Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, Ben Altamirano or an appointee, will then ask for unanimous consent to do so. It is unlikely the Republicans will allow this motion to pass so will object, forcing the proceedings to a voice vote. At this point, those in favor [in the Public Affairs committee] will have to say Aye louder than those against say Nay, which is why it now becomes essential to lobby every voice on the Senate for that purpose. If the voice vote is close, there could even be a roll call vote on the subject. Either we win this vote [to move it out of committee], or we have to go through Public Affairs [first]. It's important that citizens make every effort to counter procedural hurdles to important resolutions, ***however we may decide against such an effort if the opposition from Senator Sanchez is too fierce*** [and it goes through Public Affairs committee anyway].

At this point, respectful phone calls to Michael Sanchez at (505) 986-4727 may have a very positive effect on the Senator's attitude towards the resolution and its procedural path.

[1] Please thank him for his excellent Joint Memorial Opposing the Real ID Act and

[2] for his sponsoship of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards and the Land Wildlife and Clean Energy Act.

[3] Then ask for his support of the Impeachment Resolution and that he not obstruct its passage through procedural means, of which he has many.

Four other Senators, swing votes we will need on Public Affairs (if we can't get it out) and [on the third hurdle set up by Sanchez in] Judiciary, deserve a phone call, especially if you live in their district: Senator Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces (986-4270), Senator David Ulibarri of Grants (986-4265), Senator Lidio Rainaldi of Gallup (986-4310) and Senator Richard Martinez of Espanola (986-4389).

To contact any Senator or Representative to ask for their support for the resolution and note that it might come to a voice vote to get it out of committee, call the Capitol Switchboard at (505) 986-4300.

Finally, do please come to the Rules Committee Hearing at 9AM this Friday and stay afterwards for some direct action and citizen lobbying. We will be ushering folks in to Senator Sanchez's office as well as those of their own Legislators all day with letters to sign, talking points....

Bamford pointed out that one of the central charges against Nixon was illegal wiretaps on seventeen phone lines, and that the Bush Administration is guilty of thousands of such wiretaps.

It may be that a Resolution from a State Legislature is all that's necessary to trigger federal impeachment proceedings. In New Mexico, it's the official policy of the Democratic Party. (10) But some heavy-hitting Republicans including Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan have spoken in favor of impeachment as well. In an interview with Alex Jones, Rep. Paul explained: "Congress has generously ignored the Constitution while the President flaunts it...I would have trouble arguing that he's been a Constitutional President and once you violate the Constitution and be proven to do that I think these people should be removed from office." (11)

Mr. Roberts is even more explicit. In a major piece called "Bush Must Go, Only Impeachment Can Stop Him" published all over the internet, Roberts asked, "When are the American people and their representatives in Congress and the military going to wake up and realize that the US has an insane war criminal in the White House who is destroying all chances for peace in the world and establishing a police state in the US?" (12)

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New Mexico Impeachment Resolution - Next Steps to Passage - Come and Testify If You Can
Senate President Pro Tem Altamirano Looks Favorably on the Issue, Requests No More Phone Calls.

Majority Leader Michael Sanchez (986-4727) Now the Main Focus - Direct Action Information Follows Release.
by Leland Lehrman (505) 982-3609

For Immediate Release

Back on January 23rd, Senators Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) and John Grubesic (D-Santa Fe) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 5, to Impeach President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

Along with six other Democratic Senators, including the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Cisco McSorley (D-Albuquerque), they charged the President with lying to Congress to provoke war, illegal spying on Americans, ordering torture and ordering illegal detentions in violation of statute and the Constitution. Over one hundred citizens assembled for the two hour press conference on that date, nearly half of whom spoke passionately from the podium in favor of the resolution. New Mexico TV Station KRQE ran the story on the evening news including an interview with the Senator. (1)

Jack Cafferty of CNN covered the event and reported, "[Although] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is quote, 'off the table' not everybody is so sure about that," explained Cafferty. "Two New Mexico state senators have introduced a resolution calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney. The measure accuses Mr. Bush and Cheney of misleading Congress about the war in Iraq, torturing prisoners and violating Americans' civil liberties through the domestic spy program. One of the sponsors told a crowd of supporters 'We created a ripple. Your voice is going to turn it into a tidal wave hopefully.' Well the way it works is that a state of course, cannot mandate impeachment of a president but the impeachment charges can be forwarded to the House of Representatives.... The fact that the issue of impeaching a sitting president is being discussed seriously in a state legislature like New Mexico's speaks volumes." (2)

Now, the pro-impeachment Senators will meet their first challenge in the Senate Rules Committee on Februrary 9th at 9AM in Room 321 of the New Mexico State Capitol Building.

Organizers expect a huge turnout at the hearing and have fielded expert witnesses, veterans and religious figures to testify.

Groundswell support for impeachment has begun as the President ignores the nation and elections regarding the war in Iraq and hostility towards Iran. According to Newsweek, 51% of Americans believe impeachment should be either a high or medium priority.(3)

Over the past weekend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. interviewed Sean Penn who made the case for impeachment on Air America (4) and four pro-impeachment editorials appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican 's Sunday editorial section (5).

Three citizen editorials (6) ran alongside that of James Bamford, NSA chronicler and plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the NSA and the Administration over warrantless wiretaps. Bamford pointed out that one of the central charges against Nixon was illegal wiretaps on seventeen phone lines, and that the Bush Administration is guilty of thousands of such wiretaps.

Entitled, "Bush Is Not Above the Law," (7) Bamford's New York Times editorial spelled out the case against the Administration:

"Last Aug. 17, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court in Detroit issued her ruling in the A.C.L.U. case. The president, she wrote, had "undisputedly violated" not only the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, but also statutory law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Enacted by a bipartisan Congress in 1978, the FISA statute was a response to revelations that the National Security Agency had conducted warrantless eavesdropping on Americans. To deter future administrations from similar actions, the law made a violation a felony punishable by a $10,000 fine and five years in prison."

He concludes, "To allow a president to break the law and commit a felony for more than five years without even a formal independent investigation would be the ultimate subversion of the Constitution and the rule of law."

Although the Bush administration is making some half-hearted attempts to negotiate with the Judicial Branch regarding their illegal programs, the New Mexico Senate has begun formal impeachment proceedings citing Jefferson's Rules of the House which allow impeachment charges to be transmitted by a State Legislature . (8) If the Resolution passes in New Mexico, and these charges are brought before the United States House by any one single Member, a mandatory debate of one hour on the subject is prescribed by the rules of parliamentary procedure. The resolution is then assigned to the US Judiciary Committee. Rep. John Conyers, the current Chair of Judiciary, pointedly declared at the recent antiwar demonstrations in DC that Congress can fire the President. (9)

It may be that a Resolution from a State Legislature is all that's necessary to trigger federal impeachment proceedings. In New Mexico, it's the official policy of the Democratic Party. (10) But some heavy-hitting Republicans including Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan have spoken in favor of impeachment as well. In an interview with Alex Jones, Rep. Paul explained: "Congress has generously ignored the Constitution while the President flaunts it...I would have trouble arguing that he's been a Constitutional President and once you violate the Constitution and be proven to do that I think these people should be removed from office." (11) Mr. Roberts is even more explicit. In a major piece called "Bush Must Go, Only Impeachment Can Stop Him" published all over the internet, Roberts asked, "When are the American people and their representatives in Congress and the military going to wake up and realize that the US has an insane war criminal in the White House who is destroying all chances for peace in the world and establishing a police state in the US?" (12)


(1)  http://www.krqe.com/video/expanded.asp?ID=5678
(2)  http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat?pid=160409
(3)  http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/14897
(4)  http://www.ringoffireradio.com/
(5)  http://sfnewmexican.com
(6)  http://mothermedia.org/impeachmentprocedure.htm
(7)  http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/18002
(8)  http://impeachbush.tv/impeach/statebasis.html
(9)  link to www.truthout.org
(10)  http://www.nmdemocrats.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/838875
(11)  http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2006/100706impeachbush.htm
(12)  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16175.htm

Impeachment Resolution Direct Action Information

Although there was some concern that President Pro Tem Senator Ben Altamirano of Silver City might swing the vote against the majority of the Democrats in Rules, he has now told the us that he is looking favorably on the issue after overwhelming numbers of phone calls in support. He has also requested no more phone calls to his office. Please honor his request. Wrongly accused of having assigned the resolution three committees, Senator Altamirano was feeling much better about the situation when we last heard from his secretary Erlinda Campbell.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez now becomes the main focus of our efforts. The man who assigned the bill three committees, Senator Sanchez expressed his discomfort with the resolution because he feels it is a Federal issue. I explained to him that Jefferson's Rules of the House explicitly allow State Legislatures to initiate impeachment proceedings, but he still maintained his position. I then pointed out that his excellent Joint Memorial Opposing the Real ID Act of 2005 opposes a federal initiative, but he pointed out that he was just trying to keep it out of New Mexico. That is not entirely true, however, because the Memorial states plainly that it requests the New Mexico federal delegation "support measures to repeal the Real ID Act" altogether. Finally I asked him if he would vote for the resolution in Judiciary, at which point he laughed kindly and said to wait until we got there.

I thought at the time that his pleasant attitude was a sign that ultimately he would vote with us. But I'm not so sure. After all, it was he who assigned the bill three committees in the first place, an act on which we should question him. Furthermore, he has expressed displeasure with citizen attempts to take the bill out of Public Affairs in order to save precious limited time in the sixty day session. If we make it through Rules, this will be an important effort. Here's how it works: If the sponsor of a resolution and the Chair of the Committee to which it has been assigned agree that they don't want the bill in that Committee, they can make a motion on the floor of the Senate to take it out of Committee. (I have spoken with the sponsor Sen. Ortiz y Pino, and since the Chairman of Public Affairs Dede Feldman signed the resolution, there is a good chance we can succeed.) The President of the Senate, either Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, Ben Altamirano or an appointee, will then ask for unanimous consent to do so. It is unlikely the Republicans will allow this motion to pass so will object, forcing the proceedings to a voice vote. At this point, those in favor will have to say Aye louder than those against say Nay, which is why it now becomes essential to lobby every voice on the Senate for that purpose. If the voice vote is close, there could even be a roll call vote on the subject. Either we win this vote, or we have to go through Public Affairs. It's important that citizens make every effort to counter procedural hurdles to important resolutions, however we may decide against such an effort if the opposition from Senator Sanchez is too fierce.

At this point, respectful phone calls to Michael Sanchez at (505) 986-4727 may have a very positive effect on the Senator's attitude towards the resolution and its procedural path. Please thank him for his excellent Joint Memorial Opposing the Real ID Act and for his sponsoship of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards and the Land Wildlife and Clean Energy Act. Then ask for his support of the Impeachment Resolution and that he not obstruct its passage through procedural means, of which he has many.

Four other Senators, swing votes we will need on Public Affairs (if we can't get it out) and Judiciary, deserve a phone call, especially if you live in their district: Senator Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces (986-4270), Senator David Ulibarri of Grants (986-4265), Senator Lidio Rainaldi of Gallup (986-4310) and Senator Richard Martinez of Espanola (986-4389). To contact any Senator or Representative to ask for their support for the resolution and note that it might come to a voice vote to get it out of committee, call the Capitol Switchboard at (505) 986-4300.

Finally, do please come to the Rules Committee Hearing at 9AM this Friday and stay afterwards for some direct action and citizen lobbying. We will be ushering folks in to Senator Sanchez's office as well as those of their own Legislators all day with letters to sign, talking points and copies of the bill. We look forward to seeing you there.

Leland Lehrman can be reached at 982-3609 and  leland.lehrman@gmail.com