Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Santa Fe Dems Meet:  
Bernie-Hillary Supporters Not Yet Quite Chilled Out

Between 115-120 people, mainly Anglos and mainly middle-aged or older, showed up at what amounted to a post-election venting session at Democratic Party headquarters in Santa Fe last night (Wednesday).  One man, who expressed deep resentment over the insider mischief by Debbie Wasserman against the Bernie campaign, left the podium after someone shouted repeatedly he didn't want to "hear about that."  Several people then repeated their similar dismay about the wiki-leaks scandal, while several others spoke of their passionate support for Hillary.

But mostly people offered suggestions about what to do next or else ask for guidance on whether to focus on the local scene or the national scene.  Paul Gibson, who ran the Bernie campaign, announced a town hall meeting to be held on Sunday afternoon, November 20, for a new organization called "take back the roundhouse."  He said one effort will be to have people in place for every committee meeting at the legislature, to hold legislators accountable for their actions.

One man suggested creating a foundation like the Libertarian Rio Grande Foundation, to focus attention on statewide issues.  A woman wanted to see an effort to pass the industrial use for hemp products, vetoed by the Governor.  Several educators brought up education issues.  One man thought Democrats needed a liberal version of Rush Limbaugh.  Several expressed a need to listen to the young people who voted for Trump.

In Las Cruces after the Kerry campaign in 2004, which attracted many Anglo Democrats in the county, a group of Kerry supporters formed what they called the Progressive Voters Alliance, which began fielding candidates for local offices, with impressive victories in city elections.  Nathan Small was elected to the city council through this group, and last week he beat Andy Nunez (who has run as a Democrat, Independent, and Republican) for state rep.  But the group has been less than fully imaginative or ambitious about their project, focusing mainly on getting liberals into local elected positions, and spending time on local environmental issues of importance to some of the leadership.  Retake the Roundhouse ( has far stronger leadership, ambition, and ganas, than  the PVC.  At the moment that's where the most dynamic energy lies among Democratic voters in New Mexico.

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