Deb Haaland Moves to Shut Progressives out of NM DNC Delegation


by Jerilyn Bowen

At the March 7th NM Democratic Party Pre-primary Convention, US Representative Deb Haaland put a big thumb on the scale to keep progressives from serving on the Democratic National Committee that determines party rules, and that is already heavily stacked in favor of corporate Democrats.  Two eminently qualified long term Democratic Party devotees were running for the two open New Mexico DNC seats as progressives:  Pia Gallegos of Albuquerque and Jay Levine of Taos.  Their centrist opponents were Trish Ruiz of Lea County and former Albuquerque mayor Marty Chavez.

The DNC vote was not held until after the convention ended, at a meeting of the State Central Committee where 367 SCC delegates cast votes. That’s when purportedly progressive Congresswoman Haaland stepped in to wield her considerable influence on behalf of Ruiz with a rousing full throated introduction to the candidate.  It had been made known that she backed Chavez as well.  When the results came in, Gallegos lost by 18 votes and Levine by 19.   Had Deb not endorsed their centrist opponents, there’s a very good chance both progressives would have won.

Among other things, DNC members serve as superdelegates who, in the event of  a contested national nominating convention, have the option to choose a presidential candidate without regard for the popular and electoral votes the candidate received in state primaries and caucuses.  In other words, for “the good of the party,” they can overturn the will of the people.  Gallegos and Levine campaigned on platforms that specifically addressed the issue of democratic process and accountability on the DNC while Ruiz and Chavez ignored that key aspect of the positions they sought in favor of mouthing vague platitudes about what the Democratic Party stands for.

Since Representative Haaland presents herself as a progressive, it is very telling that, when the chips were down on a matter of great significance to the 2020 election, she aligned herself with the party power brokers who are conspiring to suppress the growing progressive presence in the party by any means necessary.  This stacked situation makes it all the more crucial for New Mexico to send at least a couple of progressives to speak for us in that important body and Deb Haaland knows this.  Do we need to remind her that it’s her job to represent her constituents as vs. joining in with the party establishment to strangle progressivism in its cradle?  Which side are you really on, Deb?

We progressives need to let Representative Haaland hear from us about her dereliction of duty to those she supposedly serves.  Given all that’s at stake in the 2020 election, she should be made aware that we’re watching what she does, not just hearing what she says when she tells us she’s committed to our values and will stand strong for our cause.

Time is of the essence.  Please take a few minutes to call Deb to account by writing, phoning, and/or emailing to tell her how you feel about what she did to keep progressives from claiming seats on the NM DNC delegation:

mailing address – U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515
phone – 202/224-3121
email via website – haaland.house.gov (take “contact” link).

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