It turns out that news sources based as far away as El Paso are concerned about Santa Fe mayor David Coss’ attempted power grab. Milan Simonich, chief of the Santa Fe Bureau for the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership recently published an article about what he calls the mayor’s “me first attitude” and that attempting to be “mayor and state representative all at once is wrong because it ignores the public’s needs.” The entire text can be viewed here.
The criticism of him is both fair and unfair. Other legislators have held high-stakes public jobs while serving in the Legislature. Nonetheless, Coss’ plan to be a mayor and state representative all at once is wrong because it ignores the public’s needs.
A Democrat, Coss is running for state representative in House District 46. If he defeats Carl Trujillo in the June 5 primary election, Coss says he will continue as mayor when he takes office in the Legislature. This me-first attitude shows that Coss, a Santa Fe native, has a streak of Huey Long, the Louisiana powerbroker of the 1930s.
Coss, we should say, has not responded to requests to talk about his candidacy and his plan to be a dual officeholder. The main question he needs to answer is how he could do both jobs effectively. Legislators go to work in a 60-day session starting in January. Would Coss attend city council meetings that conflict with legislative hearings or floor votes? Which work, the city’s or the state’s, would be his priority? Perhaps most important, why does Coss want to hold two political offices at once?
Is it because he perceives the political bench in Santa Fe to be thin, or because his ego tells him being mayor of the capital city is more prestigious than being a freshman legislator at the Capitol?
Although Simonich seems to miss the mark when pointing out that other legislators currently hold other jobs. Holding another job is not where the dubious ethics of Coss’ power grab lies. It is the fact that two elected offices can and will conflict with each other. What happens if Coss is in a position where he must vote on a capital outlay project that benefits the City of Santa Fe, but may not benefit or completely ignore the Northern communities? Heath Haussamen addressed this in his blog NMPolitics.net today. That story can be viewed here.
Now’s our time to elect a candidate that will represent us equally and fairly!
It turns out that news sources based as far away as El Paso are concerned about Santa Fe mayor David Coss’ attempted power grab. Milan Simonich, chief of the Santa Fe Buerau for the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership recently published an article calling Coss’ plan to be both Mayor and State Representative “wrong because it ignores the public’s needs.”
Our campaign for change has already pointed out the clear conflict of interest that holding two elected offices creates. Mayor Coss still refuses to acknowledge this fact, despite what many major news publications and people in the community are saying.
In his blog, Milan Simonich concludes that:
Just because other legislators have loaded up on power or public paychecks is no reason for Coss to make matters worse.
Santa Fe should have a mayor who is focused on the city.
House District 46 should have a representative who is able to concentrate exclusively on state government.
We need a representative in the Roundhouse that will be able to represent District 46 fairly and equally. Now’s our time to elect candidates that are interested in serving the people first and their own interests and political power.
Recently Carl attended a local Neighborhood Watch meeting where citizens voiced their concerns and discussed how to help each other keep their communities safe.
Our communities in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico are special places, where people care about each other and get to know their neighbors. Common sense tells us that the more of that we do, the safer we all are.
Recently the Santa Fe Police Department reported that residential burglaries have increased 52 percent the first four months of the year, as compared to the same months in 2011. The men and women of the SFPD are doing their absolute best to address the problem, but they can use our help.
There is no easy answer to combating crime, but together we can do a lot to ensure the safety of our families. We can make our community safer by becoming involved in neighborhood watch groups, making close relationships with our neighbors, and reporting suspicious activity.
Another way we can protect our communities is by supporting candidates and legislators that will fight hard for the safety of our neighborhoods. State legislators may not have direct authority over public safety, but there is still a lot of work that can be done at the Roundhouse to help reduce crime.
This includes giving people more hope of a better economic future, which will in turn give our kids more options beyond gangs and drugs and violent crime. They can support schools so that our graduation rate improves and teachers have all the resources they need to keep students engaged and learning. And anti-drug programs can be supported, which will help reduce the crime often committed by those
struggling with addiction.
Now’s our time to elect candidates that will listen to our concerns and make public safety in our neighborhoods a priority!
We are happy to announce that this week’s issue of the Rio Grande SUN contained an endorsement for our Campaign for Change! Below is the full text from the editorial section of the SUN:
With the retirement of Ben Lujan Sr., District 46 is open for a new representative. Lujan is throwing his support to Santa Fe Mayor David Coss.
Los Alamos National Laboratory engineer Carl Trujillo is taking his second run at the seat. He almost beat Lujan two years ago.
Coss says he’ll remain the mayor of Santa Fe and represent Northern Santa Fe County fairly. We doubt that is possible. The many letters we’ve received asking how Coss can serve two masters are right on point.
We’re troubled Trujillo will not participate in forums or debates but it is part of the political game. He answered the SUN’s questions and they’ll be published next week. He earned the seat two years ago by doing the hard work and taking on an entrenched democratic icon when most Democrats were busy riding both Lujan’s coattails and kissing the appropriate ring.
The representative of this district must remember we’re here and it’s not just Santa Fe. Trujillo will represent the northern parts of the district equitably and with forethought. He’s already proven he is his own person and capable of independent thought, separate from influences.
Vote for Carl Trujillo in the District 46 house race.
I’m Carl Trujillo and, as most of you probably know, I’m running for state representative.
Over the past few weeks, my opponent, Santa Fe mayor David Coss and his campaign have spread misinformation and outright lies about who I am and what I stand for.
My stands on the issues are clear — they’ve been on my website since the beginning of the LAST campaign in 2010 — and for Mayor Coss and his campaign to suggest otherwise is dishonest political posturing.
I’ve been a Democrat since I was first old enough to vote. And I’m proud to come from a long line of Democrats, because I believe in the values that the Democratic Party has long stood for — chief among them, fairness, honesty, social justice and inclusivity.
My opponent and the Establishment party insiders who back him have seem to have forgotten those ideals. I haven’t. And I don’t think the people in our community have, either.
When I got into this race, I expected that it would be a tough campaign and I welcome that. What’s not okay is my opposition’s dishonesty. Trying to win a campaign through dishonest smear tactics is beneath the dignity of our community. It’s the same tactics used by the Swift Boat Veterans in 2004 or when opponents insinuated that President Obama wasn’t born in the US and “obviously” has ties to terrorists because his name sounds Muslim.
The truth is that Mr. Coss and I aren’t that different when it comes to our positions on “the issues”. What is deeply, fundamentally and profoundly different is how we view the role of a representative. Mayor Coss is a career politician. I’m a citizen candidate.
That means I’m seeking to represent the people, not govern them. That’s why instead of spending my time arguing with my opponent about “the issues,” I prefer to invest my time in the community listening to what the people think. Because I believe in a government by the people, for the people.
And while we’re on the subject, as a Democrat, I believe that “we the people” means ALL of the people. Black, Hispanic, Native American, or white, gay, straight or bisexual, old or young, male or female, Progressive, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green Party, Socialist, Libertarian, Tea Party, Liberal or conservative — I welcome everyone’s ideas if they will make our community better.
To my mind, that’s what being a representative means. That’s what being a Democrat means — being open to new ideas even when we disagree, including every member of our community in the discussion, respecting different points of view, and creating solutions that are based on our shared experience of living in this community together in peace.
The people I’ve been listening to in our community have all kinds of great ideas for solving the problems we have here in New Mexico– teachers and students and parents who have innovative ideas for reforming education that deserve a chance to be heard. Leaders in the alternative energy field, both in the community and at LANL where alternative energy is a particular interest of mine, have some exciting ideas for supporting green, sustainable energy that will uniquely benefit New Mexico. Local business people struggling to keep their doors open who know first hand what the state could do to help their business so they can hire more people.
These are the people I seek to represent. They are all throughout our community and they are ready to have a voice in the Roundhouse.
So, it’s understandable that Mayor Coss and company would feel the need to lie to win this election. He’s a career politician with a dubious record when it comes to ethics, candor and transparency in government. Also, he’s backed by the political old boy network and their cronies, who are threatened at the idea of a candidate who is willing to listen to the people and not simply vote as he’s told by the special interests and old boy club. It’s understandable, but that doesn’t make it okay to lie.
On June 5, we will all have a choice as to who we want speaking for us in the legislature. I hope and trust that the people in our community would rather have a representative who doesn’t ignore what they think to advance his own personal agenda.
I believe that the people of our community understand that a politician who is willing to lie about his opponent to win an election is likely a politician who is equally willing to ignore the will of the people once he gets into office. And we all know what it feels like when the people we elect to speak for us vote against the will of the people. The invasion of Iraq. Healthcare reform. The debt ceiling debacle. Do we really want more of the same or do we want something more in line with our deeper values as Democrats?
Of course, that’s a choice we’ll all have to make for ourselves.
Each day I wake up concerned whether or not my children will have the same opportunities in their futures than I had in mine. Unfortunately, I’m becoming more and more discouraged about the current trend of our state government. Political tricks and games have taken a priority over the future of our children. Throughout the years I have observed career politicians line their pockets and the pockets of their friends while the children, elderly and others in need in our communities continue to suffer.
Like me, Carl Trujillo shares the same concern over the future of our children and our communities. This is why I am supporting him.
Carl and I both grew up here in Northern Santa Fe County. We both care deeply about our communities and its residents.
My family has deep roots in Northern New Mexico. My great grandfather and grandfather were sheep and cattle ranchers and I too grew up working on a cattle ranch. I believe that Northern New Mexico is one of the most beautiful and culturally-rich places on this Earth, which is why after graduating from college I returned to Northern New Mexico to raise my family. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to start a career in Research and Development here in Northern New Mexico.
I have worked with Carl for the past 12 years and during this time I have also come to know Carl on personal level. We have had many discussions regarding our concern that our state government is not providing the foundation for a sustainable, successful community. We both share concerns that our young sons will not be able to secure reliable, well-paying careers here in Northern New Mexico and out of economic necessity will be forced to move elsewhere.
The problems are sitting right in front of us, yet it feels as though our communities do not have a voice. Our communities do not need more of the same corrupt, career politicians. We need a change; we need someone who listens to the residents of our communities; we need someone who will be the voice for our communities and will always work for us and not their own political agenda.
Carl is motivated, intelligent, innovative, ethical and a good person. I feel that Carl will always put our communities and children first—as a lifelong Northern New Mexican community member and father—that is why I’m supporting Carl.
Thomas A. Sisneros
One of the things that makes northern New Mexico and Santa Fe so special is that we’re an animal loving community. Our dogs, cats and other creatures hold a special place in our hearts — and in Carl’s, too! Carl currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Santa Fe Animal Humane Society & Animal Shelter and has adopted several rescue animals himself.
The Santa Fe Humane Society and Shelter has been been committed for more than seven decades to reducing “animal suffering by curbing overpopulation, teaching compassion, and supporting healthy relationships between people and animals.” (period in quotes)
One way the Shelter is able to engage the public in their work is by holding special events to highlight the special relationship between people and animals. Last week, Carl attended the Paws for a Cause Run & Walk event, co-sponsored by the Santa Fe Humane Society and St. Vincent Hospital Foundation. He had the opportunity to listen to what the animals – and their humans – had to say about life in our community! Carl loved the chance to share some time outside with everyone at this fun event.
This month’s special adoption event at the Shelter is titled “Back In Black.” The event focuses on finding forever homes for animals with black fur – studies show these animals are often overlooked at shelters. Adoption fees are 50 percent off all adult animals with black markings through May. Give black cats and dogs the attention they deserve by spreading the word about the Shelter’s adoption event.
Check out some of the amazing pets available for adoption at the shelter below. For more information on pet adoptions, call at the shelter at (505) 983-4309.
Cleo, a black Bombay mix, is about 6 years old. She’s independent, curious and loves to explore or hang out with other cats. Cleo loves back rubs and playtime and will do well in a multicat home. She’s in foster care right now, but would love to find a forever home.
Duke, a black Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Boxer mix, is about 2 years old. This big boy – about 60 pounds – loves to go for walks and outdoor adventures. He’s energetic, curious and super friendly.
Over the course of this campaign, we’ve been approached multiple times by corporate and special interest lobbyists looking to contribute to our campaign. We’ve said (a polite) no thank you to every single one.
And in the legislature, that’s what we will continue to do.
Because too often at all levels of our government, corporations and their lobbyists have more influence over our elected officials than we do. We saw this multiple times in the last legislative session here in New Mexico, where large corporate lobbyists packed committee meetings to influence legislation.
I’ve been actively working with the dedicated, concerned local grassroots organization, Money out of Politics, for almost a year now. Their mission is to reclaim our government from corporate fat cats and their lobbyists and return our democracy back to the people. This mission aligns closely with the mission of our campaign to reclaim the state legislature from professional career politicians and restore it to the people where it belongs.
It will take some work, but we can reclaim our government from career politicians and lobbyists. We can do it by getting involved with groups like Money Out of Politics. By encouraging our friends and neighbors to stand up and say, no more lobbyist influence in government. And by voting for candidates who accept no lobbyist contributors at all.
“Now’s our time to turn the page on the corrupt, lobbyist driven, outdated New Mexico political system!”
Just a reminder that early voting is set to start this Saturday, May 19.
Voting early is a great way to avoid lines on election day and make sure your vote and voice gets counted!
Here is a link with information on locations of polling places. During early voting you can vote at any of these polling locations regardless of where you live. And if you need a ride to the polls, let us know and we’ll be happy to help.
Now’s our time to have our voices heard — let’s show them that we want a citizen candidate, not a professional career politician, representing us in the legislature.
On Friday, an article on the District 46 race at NMpolitics.net included a discussion with the Director of the UNM Center for Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy pointing out that Santa Fe mayor David Coss’ intention to hold two elected offices at the same time is “fundamentally problematic” and “not fair.”
The excerpt is below (our emphasis added),
Would dual roles be complementary or problematic?
Coss said he views the dual roles of mayor and representative as complementary. If the Legislature considers the issue of gross receipts taxes and the amount local governments have to contribute, Coss knows the issue well since he is intimate with Santa Fe’s city budget and understands the effects of state decisions.
The jobs might complement each other, but if there’s a conflict, there is an issue of ethical representation, said UNM Political Science Professor Lonna Atkeson. Atkeson is the director of Center for the Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy.
“How do you balance the needs of the state over the needs of your city and your residents?” Atkeson questioned. “I don’t see how you can balance that. I think it overwhelms any complementary perspective.”
Atkeson isn’t sure how voters will perceive Coss’ interest in being a legislator and mayor, and it may be a bigger issue for people outside of House District 46.
“What if I use my mayoral office to benefit my district, leveraging one branch of government to benefit my self-interest in another political arena?” Atkeson asked. “You might look at it as a plus, but it’s not fair to other constituents that don’t have that power. It’s fundamentally problematic because your institutional powers are crossing different branches of government.”
Read the full article here (and here’s a link to today’s Journal North Article expressing concern about the ethics of Coss’ campaign as well).
What do you think?