Saturday, September 30, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Otero Mesa

An Associated Press Story led with a sentence that said environmentalists had been handed a defeat in a Federal court case that says the BLM didn't violate the law in leasing and planning for drilling on Otero Mesa. The sentence should have said that New Mexicans had been handed a defeat.

I am pretty sure my opponent Pat Lyons is rejoicing as he supports drilling this last great Chihuahuan grass land in America. His largest oil and gas contributor, Yates Petroleum, will do the deed. I am hopeful an appeal of the case will be made, or that other avenues might be used to halt this pending disaster.

P.S. My campaign manager in the Primary Election, Jessie Keefe, has started a blog about her new life in Maui. It is good reading and I will visit it often. It is called NewMexicaninMaui.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Water Issues & Debates

There isn't a day that goes by when the issue of water supplies, water rights or water sheds doesn't come up at least half a dozen times. Today the Albuquerque Journal had a story about another law suit brought against the State Engineer's Office fighting new regualtions that would affect domestic water wells. This will be fought over for a long time before it is finally decided.

I have described our reclamation of our small farm in Pena Blanca. We invested money that will probably cut in half the amount of water that is used for irrigation there. What happens to the saved water? We have pre 1907 water rights and if we save water do we lose that water right?I would like to see irrigators who conserve be able to sell their saved water rights to the cities or entitities that need them. Perhaps I am all wet, but it seems that if the state were to start helping these farmers with laser leveling and new irrigation systems then some of the pressure might be relieved. I am sure I am not the first one to think about this and I might be over simplifying it, but it might work!

Finally, since Bill Richardson has wisely refused to debate with John Dendahl I hereby ask the TV stations to provide time for TV debates between Pat Lyons and me. After all, this position of State Land Commissioner is the most powerful constitutional office in the state. Folks should hear from us.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Negative Ads, Liver and Lima Beans

Yeah, now I would be suprised if many of my readers on this blog listen to Rush Limbaugh etal on KKOB, but if they do they heard me strike back at my opponent with a negative radio ad. I can't seem to upload it on this blog, but Joe Monahan posted it on his blog this morning.

I abhor negatives ads as much as I despised Lima Beans and Liver when I was a kid. (As the old saying goes...gag me with a spoon) Ugh! But, as you will read in this article out of the L.A. Times today they are effective, especially if they are not responded to. So, I started my negative ad today on KKOB, along with a lot of comparison ads on other stations. My sister Carlota listened to it and wasn't too happy, but once again I am not happy about it either.

Monday, September 25, 2006

10 1/2 Minutes of Truth

Beach Property 4 Sale Cheap!

I have a friend who winters at a home on St. Thomas out in the Carribean. He described it to me as a place that has the feel of Santa Fe in the 1970's, except that it is surrounded by an ocean. After reading this article from the National Academy of Sciences I think I better go see his place sooner than later.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Good Sunday

We stayed busy today. First was getting up early to read the Albuquerque Journal profiles on my opponent and me. I felt the story was evenly balanced and certainly pointed out the differences between us.

We stopped by the well attended solar fair and then we then took off to Velarde, NM for a meeting and fundraiser organized by Steven and Sandra Rudy and hosted by Levi and Angelina Valdez. It was a beautiful afternoon in the apple orchard at Velarde. Levi's red delicious apples were awesome and we gave a speech to about 40 residents. His grandaughter was beautiful.

Those residents are angry because of the scene above. A landscape disaster is the best way to describe it. The land office allowed this to occur when it leased the land for sand and gravel operations over the objections of the local residents. It is everything that is wrong with putting money ahead of environmental concerns. A lot of residents say that the mountain that has been eradicated no longer can provide proper wind currents to the orchards in Velarde and that the crops have been freezing the last few years. I don't know if that is true or not, but people here are really upset and think my idea of a state land conservation system is a good one.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

BLM Puts Things Straight

You will recall that my opponent said that if I were to win the election that the Bureau of Land Management would refuse to work with me. Here is what the BLM had to say today to the Editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper.

September 23, 2006

We read your story (“Debate centers on environmental issues,” Sept. 21) about the debate between state land commissioner candidates Patrick Lyons and Jim Baca and wish to comment on a statement by Commissioner Lyons ( “… you better vote for me because the BLM isn’t going to work with Jim Baca.”) We do not know the context in which the remark was made, but we would like to offer the following information.

The BLM has a long history of working with the State Land Office on land exchanges to consolidate state and federal land holdings when the actions benefit both parties. An example of such exchange is to acquire of state land within BLM Wilderness Study Areas.
BLM has worked on major land exchanges with the State Land Office since the early 1990s, and we look forward to continuing this work with its leadership in the future.

Linda Rundell
state director BLM
Santa Fe

Gasoline Price Chart

Friday, September 22, 2006

My Cat Jerry's Bodyguard

All this negative advertising by my opponent has my cat Jerry nervous so this Ninjacat is hanging around all of a sudden. Bodyguard?

Seriously, this cat is so black than even my Nikon's fast lens has trouble getting an image.

Ethics Task Force-Lyons Caught in Web

There is a good story in the Journal today on the work of the State Ethics Task Force that Governor Richardson convened. They are on the right track on limiting of campaign contributions and the possibility of public financing of all statewide elections. A limit of $2100 per contributor per election is reasonable. For example, that would mean someone could give me a total of $2100 each for my Land Commissioner primary and general elections, but nor more. I actually like public financing better because it would hopefully take the really heavy hitters, like the oil and gas industry, out of the game.

Yes, someone would figure out ways around this but anything that makes it more difficult for the rich and corporate interests to control elections is a good idea.

During our debate the other night Pat Lyons stated two times that if I was elected the Bureau of Land Management would not work with me. I served as Director for the BLM in Washington for President Clinton and it has a lot of good professional people working there. So, Lyons' statement is a real serious thing to say since this crucial federal agency can not by law refuse to work with a statewide elected official. You might have severe policy differences, but there is always something that is beneficial to both the state and the Bureau that can be worked out. So, I conclude that either Pat Lyons was telling the truth and someone at the BLM told him this, thus violating the law, or that Pat Lyons was being untruthful. I will ask him in our next debate. In the meantime one enterprising blogger went to the BLM to ask them if Lyons was correct. Read it here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Pat Lyons and I debated tonight in front of the League of Women Voters at the Unitarian Church in Albuquerque.

I haven't been drinking here. My eyes are red from pollen.

The crowd was very patient and sat for an hour and a half listening to us answer questions from them. The forum was very well run by LWV. If it weren't for them we wouldn't have much chance to get into details about our reasons for running.

The media was out in suprising strength tonight. I love this process.

Thank You Governor Richardson and AG Patsy Madrid

Over a million and a half acres of roadless U.S. National Forest Lands will remain that way in New Mexico and millons more through out the west because of a court victory today. A large measure of the credit goes to Governor Richardson and AG Patsy Madrid for being the first to sign on to the effort at overturning the bush administration's attempt to destroy the roadless areas created by President Clinton. The AG of California and the Governors of Oregon and Washington also joined this lawsuit.

This is a victory for our watersheds in the roadless forests. It is a victory for hunters, fisherman, and all outdoor enthusiasts.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Here is the conundrum. All polls say that education is one of the top issues with the public. Most respondents put it at number one. But, everytime there is a school board or school bond election no one votes. As I retire to bed tonight only 38,000 people voted in Albuquerque's school bond election. It passed easily, but only about 12% of the people bothered to vote. It just seems that at the very least every parent with a kid in public school should want to go to the polls. Well, maybe they just knew the bond issue would pass with or without them, but still, a vote for your kids education would seem a good reason to go to the polls. These school elections are the lowest turnout elections of all. I think it would be interesting to do an analysis of who did vote. Were they senior citizens with no kids in school? I would bet that an awful big chunk of the voters might be in that category.

Radio Daze

All the action seemed to be on the radio today. My opponents nasty radio ad, and it is a doozie, had people calling us all day. I finally heard it this afternoon and it is really pretty mean spirited, but that is what you have to put up with when candidates get desperate. I can only figure my opponent has a new poll that shows him slipping.

This ad was a topic of discussion on the Jim Villanucci show. A friend called and said they were talking about the ad and that I should call in to comment. I did, even though I hadn't heard the ad except for second hand accounts at that point. The ad says I am against the Bill of Rights because I sued to keep concealed weapons out of Albuquerque after the Legislature passed the bill. This law was passed when I was Mayor and our Police Chief and other law enforcement officials were not too happy about it. We lost the suit. That hardly makes us against the bill of rights or gun ownership. I own a lot of firearms. I got my first .22 caliber rifle when I was 8 years old. It stood beside my bed for years until I went into the Air Force. (P.S. Did my opponent ever serve in the military?)

Anyway, after I got off the show my opponent called in and said I was going to keep all hunters off public lands by taking away their guns! Come on Mr. Lyons, last time I checked that wasn't part of the responsibility of the Land Commissioner. The real threat to hunters is Lyons. Remember when he tried to trade away Whites Peak to a political contributor. That would have left a lot of northern New Mexico Hunters without the best hunting grounds in the state, unless they had $10K to give Lyon's buddie for a private hunt.

Lyons also said he had charts showing that Land Office revenues dropped when I was Land Commissioner for two terms. That is true, but that was due to the price of oil and gas plummeting. If he blames me for that then I guess he is to blame for $3 a gallon gasoline and the high revenues at the land office now. I will ask him that tomorrow night.

This is the way it will be for the next 48 days. If you want to see us Land Commissioner candidates in action, just come to the Unitarian Church tomorrow night in Albuquerque at 7PM for a two hour debate between us. The Church is at Carlisle and Comanche. It should be a hoot.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oil and Gas Industry Funds Dirty Politics

So what else is new? My opponent started his negative radio ads today. They are being paid for by the oil and gas industry, you know, they are the same guys who gave us bush and cheney. The ads are full of erroneous and misleading information. The oil and gas guys don't care. They want to continue owning the New Mexico State Land Office just like they own the White House. If you would like to help counter the oil and gas industry and their mascot Pat Lyons, please go to and make a donation. Lets show the oil and gas industry that they don't run New Mexico.

One of the lies in the radio commercial was that I was fired by President Bill Clinton as BLM Director. Nothing is further from truth. Please read this for a good approximation of what happened after I left Washington after 13 months. Both the President and Vice President had asked me to stay as BLM Director. After meeting with Bruce Babbitt and witnessing his obvious lack of respect for the BLM's efforts, I placed a letter of resignation in his lap and left with my head held high. Both President Clinton and Vice President Gore asked for my support in their subsequent bids for the White House and I gladly gave it to them.

Republicans on Education

My opponent has more billboards up in town than all other candidates put together. Just remember they are all paid for by the oil and gas industry.

The funny thing is that all he talks about is "working for education". That is his message and it is always a good one, but you have to ask yourself---What have republicans done for education?
My opponent came out hard against using more of the permanent fund for education. That is what its purpose is, but he objected to spending more than 4.7% of the fund per year for our school kids when voters decided to pass a constitutional amendment allowing that. Since he led the fight to try and stop that amendment the Permanent Fund has grown by more than 4 billion dollars. The fund will easily sustain a little more spending for the kids. I sit on private foundation boards. They are required to spend 5% of their fund annually by the IRS. Most spend much more than that and they are prudently run.

I would invite you all to go back a couple of days on my blog and read a wonderful comment by one of Joyce Briscoes former students. It is very moving.

p.s. I am trying to ignore all this stuff about the Pope and the Mullahs. No good will come of it.

Blog Clogged

My blog has been clogged today. No one could sign on. I am working on it!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


First, read this great column by V.B. Price of the Albuquerque Tribune.

We got back from Silver City at 1:00AM last night. We had a very successful fundraiser in Pinos Altos and saw some incredible folks. This couple came in the door from the Fort Bayard Days celebration. At first I thought they were there to protest the 1872 Mining Law!
I can tell you that the people in Grant County are not happy with the bush administration on a lot of levels. From Iraq to the Environment they are angry and motivated to see a change made. They are pretty much attuned to the fact that my opponent is an oil and gas funded candidate and they are not happy about it. My opponent has started his TV and Radio Ads. Just remember every time you see or hear one that it has been paid for by the oil and gas industry, led by Yates Petroleum who wants to drill on Otero Mesa.

My little pickup made it over Emory Pass in the Black Range twice yesterday. We drove 570 miles and made numerous campaign stops.

As I have blogged before, Silver City would be an incredible place to live. I have always thought the area would be a great place to retire. Silver City's main street is just beautiful and the old buildings look great. Governor Richardson's Mainstreet Program, headed by Rich Williams, is one reason it has really become so viable. Of course the good people of Silver City and the local city government deserve a lot of credit too.

Finally, thanks to consultant Phil Muller for sharing the burden on this 19 hour campaign day. The rest of the day will be spent campaiging in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Crunch Time

Three days of hard campaigning. This morning we go to Socorro for a candidate forum at 8AM, then on to T or C and Hillsboror, then to Silver City for campaigning and a fundraiser, then back over Emory Pass and home at midnight. Saturday, a 7 hour caravan of Democrats through Torrance County and the football game that night. Sunday to Ruidoso for a fundraiser and back. Monday, sleep late.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


A longtime friend died yesterday in an automobile accident on her way back from Clovis to Albuquerque. She and a colleague died after their car collided with a large truck.

Joyce Briscoe and her husband John helped on my very first Land Commissioner race back in 1982. She was a charter memeber of the State Land Advisory Board that I passed through the legislature. She represented teachers. Joyce was a gifted and much loved teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools. Her students revered her and she was named Disney's Teacher of the Year in 1990. She specialized in Literature and more importantly she taught her students to think critically. She was a champion of science. She was described this way by the ACLU when they awarded her the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2005.

"Joyce Briscoe will receive the ACLU Volunteer of the Year Award for her assistance in the ACLU public education program. Among her contributions, Joyce organized community demonstrations to raise awareness about the USA Patriot Act; organized an ACLU workshop on teacher rights through the teacher's’ union; and organized projects centering on student privacy, military recruitment, and intelligent design. She recently retired from 25 years of teaching American literature, Western civilization and government at Manzano, La Cueva and Sandia High Schools."

Joyce often asked me to speak to her government classes and I always gladly accepted. It was very rewarding for me to see her interactions with her students who obviously stood in awe of her. There are just not enough people around like Joyce.

I talked with her husband John this afternoon. He is an architect and all around decent man. He and Joyce had their fingers in every good cause in New Mexico. I asked him what I could do to help him out and he said, "you and other progressives just win your elections for Joyce." Thats all he wanted.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Baca Campaign Goes to the Dogs

Alright, I didn't think this one up. The nice people at Animal Protection Voters did. Lisa Jennings and Heather Greenwood organized the fund raiser called "Bowsers for Baca" and it was held during 'Yappy Hour" at the Three Dog Bakery on Montgomery Blvd. in Albuquerque. The Animal Protection Voters have endorsed my candidacy because of my strong stand on protecting animals from the so called Wildlife Protection Services of the Federal Government. They kill wildlife on federal lands. Only the bush administration could give a name like that to an outfit that traps predators in leg hold traps and lets them die agonizing deaths. The group used to be called animal damage control. I threw them off state land in my last term but they are back now and killing again.

I also did a lot of work to protect wild horses in the west while I was Director of the Bureau of Land Management. Certainly those populations have to be controlled, but sending those Mustangs to the slaughter house is not the way to do it.

Bobbi was there with our much loved Beagles. Beagle, 11 years old and Athena, 6 years old. The beagles are wearing bandannas commemorating the opening of the first dog park when I was Mayor of Albuquerque. I actually had to fight with the city council to get that done. Now there are eight dog parks because they are so popular. Marty Chavez has continued my work there.

There were about 25 dogs and fifty people attending. Cookies for humans and gourmet dog biscuits for the canines. There were no dogfights and only a couple of 'accidents'. And we brought in some good money too!

Jeff Armijo Redux

Jeff Armijo listened to voters, citizens and friends and removed himself from the race for State Auditor for the second time today. This is a good thing for him, the voters and the state. I am hopeful that we can move on from this affair and use the last seven weeks talking about issues important to the future of our country and the New Mexico.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Worth the Time

Both my sister Carlota and Rodger Beimer sent this to me today. It is worth the time to listen to or read!

Oh, wait, here is a completely self serving link to the Duke City Fix.

Monday, September 11, 2006

56 Days

It is just fifty six days until General Election day 2006. I have been at this campaign now for over ten months. It has been a typical political season with ups and downs but it is a lot of fun and will get better over the next 8 weeks.

All of the candidates will be on the road constantly now. In the last couple of weeks we will travel as a team through the state. We need to get a giant RV with exercize equipment and showers so we all don't drop dead of heart attacks. Bring on the broccoli too. Yoga mats might help too.

I got word last night at Tim McGivern's fundraiser that the Sierra Club has endorsed me. I was the first candidate the Sierra Club ever endorsed back in 1982 when I ran for Land Commissioner and beat an oil and gas industry candidate. I am hopeful that history will repeat itself.

I have already received the endorsement of Conservation Voters New Mexico and the Animal Protection Voters and know they will work hard for me. I am extremely proud to have recieved these endoresments from these politically active and knowledgeable groups.

These endorsements are very important in a race like the one I am running for State Land Commissioner. My opponent has already raised about four times more than has ever been spent on this race before. I estimate that 90% of his funds comes from people who do business with the Land Office. That will certainly curtail his independence. Sadly, although I am ahead in the polls he can still win it because of that bankroll. But that is where the value of grass roots endorsements come in. It can be enough to tip the scale to this effort.

We do need to raise more money and each one of you can help by going to
I really don't like using this blog to ask for bucks, but the time has come. Also, if you want to see both of us candidates in action please come to the League of Women Voters Sponsored debate next Wednesday everning at 7 at the First Unitarian Church at Carlisle and Commanche in Albuquerque. You will certainly see the difference between us candidates at that time. It should be fun.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fund Raiser

We had a really nice fundraiser at the home of Tim McGivern and his wife Andrea this evening. It was a beautiful late summer evening. Lt. Governor Diane Denish was there and gave a nice speech in support of my campaign. Our cosponsors were Martin Heinrich and Deborah Coleman.

Things to Come

Read this link about what to expect from the republicans in the next few weeks.

Richardson Delivery Service

I ran over to the news conference held by Governor Richardson upon his arrival back from the Sudan. He delivered National Geographic Reporter Paul Salopek back to New Mexico after he had been imprisoned. The Governor also affected the release of Salopek's two assistants. The Governor, Salopek's wife Linda Lynch, Chicago Tribune Editor Anne Marie Lipinskie and others arrived back after many hours in the air on a private jet donated for the trip by R.D. Hubbard of Ruidoso.

The Governor and Salopek appeared happy and relieved to be back in New Mexico. This was an impressive rescue of a New Mexican from a dangerous and far away place.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

State Fair Parade

It was an incredible 2006 State Fair Parade. It was flawlessly run and the staff did a great job. Bobbi and I were in the back of Campaign Manager Mike Davis's rental pickup. You might see Mike's white hair and moustache through the tinted window.

The Crowds were like this along the 2.5 mile route. I believe there were 100,000 people out.

This is a great campaign picture of Democratic Representative candidate Moe Maestas. He is in my good friend Carl Garcia's old truck. Moe got it reserved before I could.

Patsy Madrid had a great show of support on her float and along the way.

The Ladies in Pink want Heather out of office for her support of bush's war.

The City's Cleanup crew was ready to follow the parade.....Clydesdales you know......

And I got my annual corndog!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Its Always Something!

There is a big controversy at the State Fair this year. Moe Chavez, a law enforcement official with the State Gaming Board, showed up at the opening of the fair today with a petition. He and the other signatories are outraged that the "World's Largest Pig" was not going to make an appearance at the Fair. There were already 24 signatures on his petition sheet. I mentioned to him that he might just possibly have had the "Worlds Largest Pig" as part of his breakfast burrito this morning. He looked dismayed.

State Fair Manager Fred Peralta and Deputy Fair Manager Rodger Beimer immediately got on their cell phones to see what could be done. Alas, I think they may have had burritos this morning as well.

This is as close as I got to my annual epicurean delight. The State Fair Corn Dog. The numerous food joints were not selling because the city health inspector hadn't given the okay to open yet. I had to just salivate and wait for tomorrow after the State Fair Parade.

And then my daughter Noelle sends me this joke but says it doesn't apply to me.

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers...those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would."

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no brains and no spine, and the head and the butt are

And Finally! Click here to see the best New Mexico Political Commerical of the Year.