Members of the Press, Friends of the Campaign -
Kate Nash and Heath Haussamen, two of New Mexico's best political reporters, recently contacted me about my Senate campaign plans in response to Tom Udall's decision to enter the race. I am in to stay and will be filing FEC documents next week, now that I have secured a treasurer for the campaign. I have also been invited to be on KNME TV next week to discuss the issues. Here's why I'm staying in:
Tom Udall's recent vote to table Dennis Kucinich's resolution (HR 333) to impeach Richard Cheney is a prime example of exactly why Rep. Udall would not make a good Senator for New Mexico or the US. Although his votes on the environment and civil liberties make us all proud, his Washingtonian willingness to avoid tough issues means that he cannot be trusted with the leadership role a US Senator must take. A US Senator has the power of the filibuster, a Representative does not. One US Senator can bring the nation to a halt in times of crisis, and I would like to show New Mexico and the United States how that is done, when necessary.
In these dangerous days, with a criminal administration in charge of the most awesome military on Earth, Senators are going to have to realize that their unwillingness to use the power of the filibuster to check an out of control Executive Branch amounts to collaboration. The Nuremburg Principles clearly point to a heightened responsibility for all decision makers within a war-making apparatus. There can be no excuse for not using the filibuster every time immoral war spending or other warfare-enabling bills hit the floor of the Senate.
As George Bush has recently invoked the spectre of World War III, we must keep in mind the moral and historical gravity of our present situation.
Rep. Udall has heard from his constituents often on this topic. In March of 2006, the Democratic Party of New Mexico resolved overwhelmingly in favor of impeaching the President. It is the official policy of the New Mexico Democratic Party to support impeachment. Observers on the scene at the 2006 party caucus say that not only was the thunderous response to the impeachment resolution the highlight of the entire meeting, but that up to 98% of the room stood in favor (based on an estimated 20 votes against out of an estimated thousand voters present).
State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino's SJR 5, impeach the President and Vice President passed successfully through three packed committees in the New Mexico State Senate. Since no one wants to end up with the Vice President after impeaching Bush, Kucinich is starting with Cheney.
I personally asked Udall to support Congressman Kucinich at the recent Democratic Party Central Committee Meeting in Albuquerque. His warm greeting and kind words can not make up for the distant noncommittal attitude he displayed when I asked him to support impeachment. There were 86 Democrats who voted for the impeachment resolution, Tom wasn't one of them. New Mexicans need to ask themselves if they want someone who does well in the glitzy but shallow world of polls and cash, or if they want someone who will have the courage to honor their oath of office, represent the will of the people and protect the planet, even if it could be difficult in Washington.
Where's Tom's attention to the will of the citizens in his party on such a critical issue? Where's the courage to act on an oath of office that requires him to defend the Constitution against domestic enemies such as Bush and Cheney?
Congressman Udall's vote against impeachment is unforgivable, and I will make that clear to the people of New Mexico throughout the 2008 race for US Senator and beyond.
One other fact might be worth mentioning here - I remember that people involved in Jerry Ortiz y Pino's SJR 5, a bill calling for the impeachment of Bush et al., said it was killed after Tom Udall made a quite visit to the Round House and meet with several key folks there. Pino's bill was interesting because if passed by the NM House & Senate it would have required the US House to debate Impeachment. Since the Dem leadership in the US House are cowards they wanted that bill dead and looks like Tom helped out. So, Tom's fingerprints were on the death of that bill as well.
Wow - Tom has critics to the left of him, critics to the right of him - whatever will he do?