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in response to attacks on Rep. Lujan Grisham

While PDACNM has had reason to be disappointed In Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s lack of support for many of our progressive issues, we do not agree with the latest attacks by her Democratic rivals concerning her involvement with Delta Consulting, the high risk pool management firm. From what we have learned, these accusations are misleading and unfounded. Yes, there is a not very significant discrepancy in the fiscal reporting and some questions about how the contract was obtained but the political debate should be about issues that most impact the lives of New Mexicans, given the dismal condition of our state after 8 miserable years of Republican corruption, incompetence and non-governance. There are plenty of unanswered questions PDACNM has for Rep. Lujan Grisham, but her Democratic rivals are not asking them. For example, why has she not co-signed  H.R. 676 : Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.  This kind of legislation would do away with obscenely expensive medical costs and leave less need for companies like Delta Consulting.  Let’s talk issues and message.
Laura Stokes

Following is a statement by Dr. Nandini Kuehn Ph.D., MHA. She worked in NM for fifteen years as an independent Health Care Consultant.  This statement clarifies the need for the pool that Politico challenges.

“There is a story circulating right now on Politico here that makes some serious accusations against Michelle Lujan Grisham and her involvement with Delta Consulting which manages the high risk pool.  The story then attacks and calls into question the need for such a pool.  First, a portion of the pool’s enrollees are among the sickest and most expensive patients in our state. Once the ACA kicked in, anyone on the pool who was there because they were denied coverage for pre-existing conditions moved to the regular insurance pool on the Exchange. So the people who were left include the sickest and or the undocumented who are a substantial portion of the pool.  The Board is composed of consumers and experts from insurance plans who understand the financial risk this would pose to a small state and the small numbers on the NM Exchange.   Pool members with high risk, complex conditions cost tens of millions of dollars (this from a Board member of the pool who knows).  Dumping them into the Exchange general enrollment population would be a disaster for insurance plans that they might sign up with. And most importantly, the high intensity needs of these patients would get lost in the shuffle.  In this highly managed pool, their care is monitored and they are managed for the complexity of their condition.

As an insurer, Medicaid shares in the cost of the pool. The 43 million dollar savings to the state is grossly misstated by the author of the article, as every dollar that Medicaid puts into the pool generates 9 from the federal government back to the state!Most of the money that pays for the pool goes for staff and clinical management of the patient needs, not to the owners of the company.

Who does the story serve?  There is no attempt to claim that eliminating the pool would be better for the high-risk individuals whose needs, as said earlier, would get lost if they were subsumed into the Exchange.   It doesn’t serve the state which could lose Exchange carriers, nor the Exchange members who without the help of the Pool would pay much more in premiums.  Clearly it is a hatchet job on a candidate for Governor, and given the facts, the bias of the uninformed reporter who did not do adequate research has to be called into question.  Is she a Pearce mole?”

We do not need to be reminded that Steve Pearce will be a disaster for NM.

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PDA CNM DIGEST June 4, 2018





“The DCCC’s scorched-earth campaign against Texas Democrat Laura Moser backfired.” Ella Nilson, May 7, 2018.  Read article here.

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PDA CNM DIGEST May 14, 2018

“Indian 101” Presentation

Our May 2nd evening program was honored by our two guests, LaDonna Harris and Kathryn Harris Tijerina, bringing the acclaimed Indian 101 presentation developed by the Americans for Indian Opportunity.

“We don’t study the history of America. We study the history of the Europeans coming to America.”
–  LaDonna Harris (Comanche) AIO President

Indian 101 BINGO challenged PDA members on their knowledge of American Indian and indigenous peoples’ history and contemporary experiences.  The origin of the word “caucus” is from the Iroquois language and means to assemble in order to make a decision. Kathryn pointed out that our new Adelante Progressive Caucus in the DPNM owes its origins to the Haudenosaunee 6-nation confederacy. BINGO winners received blue corn for planting from our tribal neighbors.

Play Indian 101 BINGO (download here) and read the answers (download here) .

The Americans for Indian Opportunity 4 R’s show how closely progressive values link with the heritage values of our native nations.Kathryn took us through “500 years in 50 minutes” covering key events, concepts and critical issues. AIO’s recommended reading list can be downloaded here so we can all learn more since much was left out of our formal educations and mainstream press does not adequately represent Native issues. The slide below formed the outline for the presentation and Kathryn added detail, indigenous lived experiences, and Indian rights legislative and legal successes and stories.

Click the image to enlarge

We were asked to consider cultural misappropriation and how we can all choose our words more thoughtfully like “… hold the fort down” and “low man on the totem pole,”and which sports teams to support like the Washington Redskins (a direct reference to bounty take from murdered Natives).  Continuing to support negative stereotypes attacks tribal identify and culture. The original Doctrine of Discovery used to conquer this land continues to resonate through our legal system and generational trauma impacts the health and lives of indigenous people today.

New Mexico has one of the highest populations of indigenous people living in both rural and urban areas. It is our responsibility to speak up in support of American Indians’ rights.  Here’s something we can each do – go to the National Congress of American Indians at & read and watch the videos. Then act by contacting sports teams you support and current or former schools that have derogatory Indian mascots, imagery or names. Look here for direct actions.

The resilience, self-determination and governance of Native peoples was the final focus of the presentation including:

If your organization or business would benefit from the Indian 101 presentation, please contact to schedule and discuss the fee:

Americans for Indian Opportunity
1001 Marquette Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505-842-8677
Contact: Brittany Schulman at


State Democrats Authorize New Progressive Caucus

[Truth or Consequences, NM – April 21, 2018] — The State Central Committee (SCC) of the Democratic Party of New Mexico authorized the state’s first progressive caucus on April 21 at the SCC meeting in Truth or Consequences: the Adelante Progressive Caucus.

“Adelante” is a Spanish word that means “move ahead” or “go forward.” The new caucus, already with more than 250 members from 10 New Mexico counties, will work to move the Democratic party forward by attracting and recruiting people who have been historically under-represented in the democratic process, to implement a small-donor base fundraising model in the state party, and to create more transparency and accountability in the state and national party.

The Adelante Progressive Caucus fully supports the new platform of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, approved by more than 90% of the delegates at the March 2018 convention, including the values outlined in the platform preamble:

All citizens should have an equal voice in how we are governed and call out the disproportionate influence by rich and powerful special interests on our government.
We envision a New Mexico in which every person has what it takes to live a life of dignity-secure, decent-paying jobs; a just economic system; not-for-profit universal healthcare; high quality public schools; a safe, healthy environment where the unmatched beauty of our land is preserved for future generations.

As caring citizens of this state, this country, and this planet, we hold these basic rights to be the natural heritage of all people.

As dedicated Democrats, we band together to claim that heritage for every member of our human community, both now and in times to come.

There are now Democratic Party progressive caucuses in at least 17 states, a sign of the growing strength of the nationwide movement to reinvigorate the party with the participation of people of all ages, genders, colors, and incomes.

All are invited to one of the first events held by the caucus, a forum for Democratic candidates in races for state land commissioner, Bernalillo County sheriff, and PRC District 4, on Saturday, May 12, at 2 p.m., at the Albuquerque Main Library, 501 Copper NW, in the downstairs auditorium.

Contact:Pia Gallegos, Interim Chair
Adelante Progressive Caucus

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PDA CNM DIGEST April 24, 2018

PDACNM NEWSLETTER April 9, 2018 – Practice Peace


One of PDA’s 7 pillars is Ending Wars and Occupations and for this reason as well as the fact that it is the right thing to do, we make the focus of this issue  the violent actions taken by Israel against innocent protestors in Gaza. The illegal occupation of Palestine has brought unceasing misery to the lives of the Palestinians and created impossible living conditions for the people of Gaza.  As individuals we can’t be the actual brokers for a peaceful resolution to the conflict but we can use our voices to protest Israel’s murderous acts of violence and demand that our government speak out and cease our country’s moral (immoral) and financial support of this violence. Go to the rally, write letters, call your Representatives and Senators, educate your neighbors. And write and call the media and ask them why they have given either tepid or little or no coverage to this  outrage.

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PDA CNM DIGEST April 9, 2018

PDACNM NEWSLETTER MARCH 28, 2018 – “Give them a piece of your mind”

Presentation: The Danger to our Groundwater  
Hydraulic Fracking in the Albuquerque Basin

6:30 pm, April 3, 2018 in the Vincent E. Griego Council Chambers, basement level of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center, 1 Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102. The city council chambers holds 250 people so please attend and bring your friends.

Hydraulic fracking presents an unique threat to our ground water in the highly fractured rock of Albuquerque Basin. The geology of the Albuquerque Basin is unlike that of the Permian and the San Juan Basins.

Please attend a presentation by Geologist Don Phillips that clearly illustrates these geologic differences in the Albuquerque Basin that make hydraulic fracking so dangerous to our drinking water and our future.

Don Phillips’ Groundwater Protection Presentation has already been seen by hundreds of concerned citizens and convinced many of them that hydraulic fracking cannot be safely done in the Albuquerque Basin. Come see for yourself.
The Presentation is sponsored by Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis and Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins.

For more information, please contact:
Jim Mackenzie

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PDA CNM DIGEST March 28, 2018