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Martin Heinrich
Martin Heinrich
In 2008, Martin Heinrich went from Albuquerque City Council to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first Democrat to win the 1st District seat since it was created in 1969. The district's voters elected him to higher office in part because of his achievements in his four year tenure on the council, achievements which included a 31 percent hike in the minimum wage for workers in the city of Albuquerque. That advocacy for low-wage workers made sense for Heinrich, the son of an electrician and a factory worker who also worked the family farm. Starting from age 12, Martin worked too, bussing tables, washing dishes and bagging groceries.

Heinrich also served as Natural Resources Trustee for the State of New Mexico, and has drawn strong support from environmental groups. That support included an early and big ad buy from the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund. The groups are also behind a smart piece of legislation from Heinrich that would make sure that public lands that are supposed to be open to the public for fishing, hunting, and recreation, but where access is blocked. What's smart about this legislation is that it creates a natural coalition between groups that might not normally work together: the "hook and gun" crowd and environmentalists. Access for hunting and fishing on public lands is a big issue in the West, and one where two often opposing groups find common ground. It's smart coalition building, that broadens Heinrich's appeal across the state.

The other thing that should broaden Heinrich's appeal for progressives is his opponent, Heather Wilson. If you've been around a while, you'll remember that Wilson was Heinrich's NM-01 predecessor. She resigned the seat to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Pete Domenici, but lost her primary. You might also remember Wilson because of her involvement back in the bad old days with the Bush administration, Alberto Gonzales, and the prosecutor purge. Former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, a Republican and one of the eight fired prosecutors in the purge, has consistently alleged that Wilson pressured him to take action on a political corruption case that Wilson was using as political fodder against her opponent Patricia Madrid. When Iglesias pushed back, Wilson pushed Gonzales to fire Iglesias, which he did. Wilson continues to deny the allegations, but even Karl Rove has confirmed them. This incident helped Wilson become one of the most corrupt members of the 110th Congress, as compiled by the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Upgrade the Senate bug

If you've been keeping up on the War on Voting, you'll also remember that a person associated with her campaign was caught trying to manufacture evidence of voter fraud. The husband of one of Wilson's senior campaign aides registered the family dog to vote in order "to expose the problems with the registration system," proving once again that voter registration fraud pretty much only exists when Republican operatives commit it to prove it exists. That's the Heather Wilson ethos. So is going negative in the campaign, right out of the gate.

Heinrich has maintained a five-point lead in PPP's polling of the race over the last three months, holding at 48-43. And Wilson has a growing problem of disapproval. "Where she had a net -5 favorability spread before (40-45), that is now -11 (38-49)." Her early launch into negative campaigning isn't likely to help her close that favorability spread.

This race is certainly winnable. Tom Udall carried it 61-39 in the 2008 Senate race, and Barack Obama won it 57-43. Martin Heinrich is in a strong position to help keep New Mexico blue in 2012. And to help Upgrade the Senate by adding another voice for filibuster reform, for protecting Social Security and Medicare, for comprehensive immigration reform, and for workers' rights.

Please give $3 to Martin Heinrich on ActBlue. Let's make the Senate better.

Answers to the Orange to Blue candidate questionnaire are below the fold.

Orange to Blue Questionnaire – U.S. Senate Candidate Martin Heinrich, 2012

1. Do you support:

a) A public health insurance option, offered by the federal government and tied to Medicare reimbursement rates plus 5% (H.R. 3200, Subtitle B, including § 223(b)(1)(A), as introduced in the House, 111th Congress)?

Yes.

b) The Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?

Yes.

2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:

a) Contain a meaningful path to citizenship—one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a touchback requirement—for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;

Yes. I was an original cosponsor of H.R. 4321, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act in the 111th Congress.

b) Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and

Yes.

c) Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?

Yes.

3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:

a) Raising the retirement age;

Yes.

b) Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment;

Yes.

c) Directly reducing benefits;

Yes.

d) Means-testing recipients; and

Yes

e) Privatization or so-called "personal accounts"?

Yes.

4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?

Yes, I was an original cosponsor.

5. Do you pledge to vote against any efforts to extend the temporary tax cuts for income over $250,000 (Public Law 111-312)?

Yes.

6. If elected, do you pledge to restore majority rule to the Senate and work/vote to end the filibuster?

I support Senator Tom Udall's efforts to reform the filibuster through the constitutional option. I look forward to working alongside Senator Udall to ensure that the Senate rules do not result in gridlock or prevent vital legislation from moving forward.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Martin Heinrich is a Real Person and . . . (12+ / 0-)

    Will make a Great Senator!

    I first met Martin at a local Democratic gathering.  I sat down beside a nice, well-dressed young man who listened quietly as my colleague and I discussed the local political situation.  Martin sat quietly and watched as other individuals were introduced including Bill Richardson who was then Governor, our local mayor, and others.  After a while, I introduced myself, and Martin introduced himself and said that he was running for Congress.  Martin has always been very approachable. He has always had time to listen and has always been responsive to constituent issues.

    I cringe when I see the false issue attack ads that are being run by Heather Wilson and Karl Rove's organizations.

    New Mexico and the Nation need more individuals like Martin Heinrich representing the people in Washington, DC.

    Dick Cheney said, "Pi$$ on 'em!" And, Ronald Reagan replied, "That's a Great Idea. Let's Call it 'Trickle Down Economics!"

    by NM Ray on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 02:43:18 PM PDT

  •  A True Blue Guy (10+ / 0-)

    I have been volunteering for his campaign for the past few weeks. Awesomely cool group of motivated people that are fun to deal with. We have been knocking on doors in Northern NM and getting mostly positive responses. Heather's crew has very little to work with because Martin has got all the bases covered. And, he is kinda dreamy which...well, it doesn't hurt.  Ahem.

    Keep Your Party Outta My Pants.

    by Storey on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 02:49:59 PM PDT

  •  Would have liked him asked about.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thinking Fella, lgmcp, jancw

    Democratic Platform's Marriage Equality plank.

    We are the 99% ... we will be heard. We are WOMEN... we Will be Heard.

    by LOrion on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 02:52:04 PM PDT

  •  Don't read too much in to Udall's massive victory. (9+ / 0-)

    The Udalls are extremely popular in New Mexico and he was running against Steve Pearce, who is a complete wackadoodle (much moreso than Heather Wilson.) Heinrich needs and deserves our support.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 02:53:26 PM PDT

  •  Although I live in CO, (7+ / 0-)

    I receive Albuquerque tv. American Crossroads has a ton of ads up against Heinrich, as well as Heather Wilson doing her own ads. They obviously want to win this one bad. Heinrich does have his own ads on tv, but it seems like Rove's ads come in groups of 2 or 3 at a time.
    Repubs are willing to spend a lot of cash here, I hope we(you & me & The Democratic Party) can help Martin Heinrich stay ahead of the game with a donation.

    "The better I know people, the more I like my dog."

    by Thinking Fella on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 02:54:52 PM PDT

    •  National donors big and small get a lot bang (4+ / 0-)

      for their buck, in New Mexico's smaller economy.  But our Senators have the same vote as those from states with huge economies.  

      Small donations can make a bigger difference in New Mexico.  Help us out!  I've had a standing monthly donation to Heinrich's senate race for the last year.  

      Heather "Nipplegate" Wilson (so-called for her over-the-top think-of-the-children meltdown re Janet Jackson's boob) is very well-connected as the chosen protege of longtime senator Pete Domenici.  She is in fact thoroughly right-wing, but compared to the craziest tea-partiers she comes across as a moderate Republican. Her core constituency is the defense industry.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:23:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heather's Just So "Independent" (gag) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Thinking Fella, samddobermann

      Wilson's done at least one positive ad wherein she laughably calls herself an independent voice for New Mexico.  But she can't run away from her sorry record during the Bush admin.

      I think Heinrich is stellar and I think he's well positioned to absorb whatever garbage Rove & co. fling at him.  I say that because they already went at him hard in '10 for his re-election to NM-01, and the best they came up with was that a pub he's used for fundraising happened to get an SBA loan approved -- as if Heinrich had to do with that.

      "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

      by emobile on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:24:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We heard Martin speak at Santa Fe fundraiser (4+ / 0-)

    WildEarth Guardians Gala last year, and we were very pleased  with what he had to say.

    However, we have not yet contributed so will take your suggestion and send him some love.

    (We already bought our tickets to this year'sWildEarth Guardians Galaas well. This group is awesome!)

    How did Supreme Court decision ACA help the 23 million still uncovered? Ask the 18,000 Doctors of PNHP -- they're not waiting, FORWARD now to pass H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act .

    by divineorder on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:00:54 PM PDT

    •  Martin ran a model primary campaign .. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, divineorder, Storey

      against Hector Banderas, our state auditor.  Hector (who I recently met at a party for Evelyn Madrid Erhard) also ran a model campaign.  They are both decent politicians and would each have made good senators.  I voted for Martin because I liked his stands on environmental issues and thought that he was a bit more experienced, but Hector is certainly an up and coming Democrat in our state.

      •  Yes, hope to see more of Balderas (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist

        but this race was just a shade too soon for him.  Heinrich served an apprenticeship for the US Senate  in the US House of Representatives -- and gave up his fairly safe House seat to make this Senate run.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:37:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  send Martin some love! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, BoogieMama, Storey

    He's been a great rep, and WE DO NOT WANT HEATHER in the senate. Or anywhere... Honestly.

    She wore scarlet begonias...

    by jancw on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:22:13 PM PDT

  •  for law-abiding undocumented immigrants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Morgan Sandlin

    Wouldn't that exclude all of them?

    •  lol...Okay, that made me laugh. (0+ / 0-)

      Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

      by Morgan Sandlin on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 04:30:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no law against being in this country (0+ / 0-)

      without papers. That is, no criminal law. They can be deported but not jailed unless there is some actual criminal law violation.

      The is law however against employing those non-citizens without work permits. Even those here on student visas cannot legal work here without some other dispensation.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 11:30:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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