This statement can ring true on Tuesday night, if we stick together. Making phone calls, sending e'-mails are all part of what can get the job done.
Voters hoping for a Rick Lass win, can help on Monday night by placing signs strategically outside polling places. Remember, they must be at least 100 ft away from the polling building or they will be removed. Also, on Tuesday, sign carriers are needed to hold signs up, outside the polling place,during the elections process from 7:AM - 7:PM. We can all work in shifts! I have some signs and Will get some more.
Providing rides or car-pooling can be fun! Remind your friends, this election is going to be very close and their vote could be the one! We need all people who believe in Rick Lass to take this time to show unity and support. We do not want Jerome Block jr. to win. That would be devastating to District 3 and the people who rely on their utility bills to be as low as possible.
Your presence is needed on Voting Day! Call me @(505) 410-0176 and sign up now to help the campaign.
Today, Democrats for Lass distributed two tuneful new reasons to vote for Rick Lass, sent by email to thousands of voters.The release follows telephone calls, paid for by the group “Democrats For Rick Lass’ to Democrats last weekend explaining how to vote straight ticket and for Rick Lass
“I’m Sorry” features a diverse group of Democrats (plus one chicken) explaining their votes to the strains of the famous 50’s Brenda Lee song, of the same name.Thanks to the many people involved with the video.We offer special thanks to Max Coll for his appearance.
“Block Around the Clock” rockets through a blizzard of Block scandals on the wings of Bill Hailey’s classic R&R anthem.You can even dance to it!
Rick Lass has run for public office once before, against a Democratic state representative, mainly as a way to bolster the Green Party and raise key issues.
His run for Public Regulation Commission might otherwise be another futile mission if he wasn't facing a scandal-wracked Democrat who has been losing support from his party.
Lass draws hope from a select set of numbers. At forums and in talking with reporters, he notes, three-fourths of Democrats voted for someone other than Jerome Block Jr. in a six-way June primary. He points to one newspaper's unscientific online poll that shows him leading Block. He also has the backing of a crossover political action committee, Democrats for Lass.
"I ran before just to raise issues or get support for the Green Party," he said. "But it's a lot of work, and I decided six years ago that I wasn't going to run unless I really had a chance to win."
If he wins half the Democratic vote, the Greens and some independents and Republicans, he says, he could pull it off. This outlook comes as voters have been inundating the Santa Fe County Clerk's Office with questions about how to cast a straight-Democratic ballot yet vote for Lass in the PRC race. Top Democrats such as Gov. Bill Richardson so far haven't endorsed Block, while others, such as Ben Ray Luján, who is giving up the PRC seat to run for Congress, have already decided not to back Block, whose father and grandfather served as elected state regulators.
"And it's a great election to be a Democrat right now," Lass said. "They got some good really progressives, from Obama, Udall and on down, and then they sort of got this black eye in their party with Jerome Block Jr., who apparently feels he's entitled because his parent and grandparent held the seat before him."
Lass also has taken shots at Block for refusing to debate him and says he's too cozy with business interests, noting the Democrat is a former title company employee. "He doesn't take any strong positions," Lass said. "Ask him about title insurance, and he says, well, maybe it needs to be reformed. And there's all these qualifiers like sort of and possibly with every answer that he gives."
But Lass has been hesitant to go after Block Jr. for the Democrat's past legal troubles some 10 years ago, which includes a drunken-driving arrest. The Democrat has said he didn't recall also being charged with disorderly conduct, something he omitted from responses to newspaper inquiries.
Lass had his own brush with the law, also 10 years ago. In January 1999, Santa Fe police arrested him on a domestic violence charge after an early morning incident involving his then-girlfriend. The police report doesn't allege he touched his girlfriend, but in an interview Lass said he grabbed her by the upper arm and shoved her.
Police reported getting a 911 call from the woman, who was cut off when someone grabbed the phone and hung it up, the report says. The woman was in bed when police arrived, and she was visibly shaken, crying and nervous when she told police she and Lass were breaking up and she was afraid of him, according to police. Police also said Lass had a strong odor of alcohol and showed difficulty understanding the arrest process.
"I made a mistake, I was arrested, but I followed up, and I went through the programs that were recommended by the court and completed them," said Lass, whose programs included anger-management classes. "As far as I'm concerned, it's over, and I made a mistake and I fessed up to what I did wrong."
Discussing Block's legal trouble, he said, "What's pertinent about that to me is that he's in denial about it. Everybody makes mistakes and does stuff when they're in their teens and twenties; to me, that's not a big deal. But when he's confronted with this, he acts like they never happened."
(Block recently ran a newspaper ad saying, "I made mistakes in the past and sincerely apologize for them.")
Lass, 42, said he had a "pretty middle class" upbringing in Grosse Pointe, Mich., a Detroit suburb, where his parents divorced when he was young. His father, who died a year and half ago of a heart attack, was a salesman for auto parts manufacturers and his mother, who is retired, was a hospital volunteer coordinator for such programs as Meals on Wheels. "They instilled a really good work ethic," he said. "They both worked long days to make sure we could all go to good colleges."
Lass said he enjoyed learning about Galileo, Newton and other famous thinkers and chose to attend St. John's College, where he enrolled in 1984. "I wanted to go a little deeper on how these ideas came to be," he said. After graduating, he worked at a pizza shop and also helped build an adobe home near St. John's.
He got into politics after running into a former classmate, Nate Downey, a Green Party member who was working on Fran Gallegos' campaign for municipal judge in 1996. also helped Miguel Chavez's City Council campaign in 1998.
In 2004, Lass ran against state Rep. Lucky Varela, D-Santa Fe, and picked up 33 percent of the vote. He planned to run for the state Senate two years later, but he felt Democrat John Grubesic was progressive enough and backed out.
Last spring, he worked for passage of Santa Fe city charter amendments that include public campaign financing and instant-runoff voting.
Block Jr. has criticized Lass for being "drafted" to run for PRC. Lass said he had no intention to run until Green Party members approached him after Block's victory in the June primary. "I said I'd think about it," Lass said. "I made a lot of calls. I met with some of the losing Dems and basically asked them for their support, and enough people either said yes or probably that I decided to run."
This isn't the first time a Green Party member has run against a Block. Cliff Bain twice lost to Jerome Block Sr., in 1998 and 2000, each time after gaining about a third of the vote. He senses Lass' prospects are better.
"I knew it was a long shot," the Arroyo Hondo resident said of his own campaigns. "I think Rick has a better shot this time. Jerome Block Sr. came out of the Corporation Commission (which later became part of the PRC) and was pretty well established, and that's certainly not the case with his son."
Bain's advice to Lass was to get out of Santa Fe, and Lass listened, having visited every county in District 3, which includes all or parts of 13 counties mostly in north-central and northeastern New Mexico.
But Bain didn't know what to think when Lass recently endorsed Democratic congressional candidate Ben Ray Luján over independent Carol Miller, whom Lass helped get on the ballot.
The move was too politically convenient, Bain said. "Frankly, I thought that was one thing that Rick has done that made me question his judgment," he said. "I thought it was gratuitous, myself. Maybe he felt he had to do that, or maybe it was his opinion."
Lass has said he thought Miller wasn't working hard enough to win and has been divisive. Miller disputed that, saying she has spent her career building coalitions.
When he discusses the issues, Lass is quick to take aim at the state's biggest utility company, Public Service Company of New Mexico, which recently won PRC approval for a 10 percent rate hike and is seeking another boost.
"And yet they're asking us to tighten our budgets every month and give them another 10, 20 dollars on every utility bill, and yet they have a huge advertising budget even though they're a licensed monopoly," Lass said.
He acknowledged rising fuel costs helped prompt PNM to seek a rate hike. "But it's a question of foresight," he said, using as an example the auto industry's response to the 1973 oil embargo. "They just dug in their heels and said, 'This is America; this is how we do it. We'll weather the storm.' Here we are, a generation later; we should all be driving cars that get 50 or 60 miles to the gallon."
Democrats for Rick Lass will announce its plans for support of Public Regulation Commission candidate Rick Lass at a press conference to be held at 2pm Friday in front of the P.E.R.A building @ 1120 Paseo De Peralta in Santa Fe.
Democrats for Rick Lass is a independent political committee formed last month by long time Santa Fe Democrat Bernie Logue Y Perea , Lawyer John Howard, former State Democratic Chair Earl Potter, Charlotte Roybal, Gideon Elliot, Dr. Leslie Lakind and others. Its purpose is to urge party members to support Rick Lass.
“Frankly, as Democrats we are embarrassed by Jerome Block Jr’s behavior since he was nominated” said Logue Y Perea. “Rick Lass has a record of dedication to important public issues, and we believe he will serve all citizens well at the PRC”
Yesterday the organization opened a web site where Democrats can sign a petition of support for Lass and make contributions at http://democratsforricklasspac.typepad.com/ “Already we’re had 25 persons sign up” said Perea “ We also reported $6,968.00 in contributions in our state filing on Tuesday.
Rick Lass came here 24 years ago, earned a degree from St. John's College — and stayed, fascinated by our region and its politics. He got involved, and stayed involved, working in run-of-the-mill jobs to pay his bills while devoting lots of his free time to the kind of community-organizing efforts that launched Barack Obama into politics.
Lass, as a Green Party candidate, ran against such regional stalwarts as state Rep. "Lucky" Varela. He also worked with community groups in the Española region, and had a hand in getting environmental activists and land-grant heirs together over the volatile mid-1990s issue of firewood-cutting.
He's been involved in any number of reform projects — among them this year's passage of several Santa Fe charter amendments, notably one providing for "instant-runoff" elections. Consumer protection has been a constant aim.
In all, at age 42, he has become a seasoned and effective politician. He has the makings of a good public regulation commissioner.
Not as good as local attorney Bruce Throne, as Lass is quick to agree; nor County Commissioner Paul Campos or Española Mayor Joe Maestas. Those were three of six Democratic primary candidates for the PRC.
But because Northern New Mexico's daily press weren't serving as the watchdogs we should have been — or was it because crucial information was being hidden from us and our competition? — the Democrats nominated a truly awful candidate, while the Republicans didn't even bother fielding one.
When Lass and some fellow progressives saw the results of the June primary, they realized that they might be the only hope for PRC District 3, which includes Santa Fe and most of Northern New Mexico. So Lass jumped in.
About that time, reporters got wise to lies and cover-ups involving Jerome Block Jr.'s behavior. Little by little, he's being exposed as someone unready, unqualified, dishonest and potentially disastrous for the citizens who count on the PRC to oversee our state's public utilities and its transportation and insurance industries.
From misinformation/mendacity about his education — which, despite his claims, is next to none — through an out-and-out lie about public campaign funds being spent on a band run by his pal, the San Miguel County clerk, and onto an unconvincing claim of burglary and an ethnic slur scribbled on his wall — supposedly by the "burglar" this person has no business in public office.
His campaign strategy? Hide out from the voters — especially the concerned kind who hold debates; perhaps show up for one nondebate community forum, but mostly just wait out all the criticism and hope those casting their ballots on Election Day sweep him into office along with Barack Obama, Tom Udall and Ben Ray Luján.
It might work: Unless enough voters turn out for Lass, Block will be on the public payroll at $90,000 — and will be given a public trust he's unworthy to hold.
For Republicans and independents, voting for Rick Lass should be a snap. But it's also easy for straight-ticketing Democrats: They can mark all-Democrat on their ballot, but go down to the Public Regulation Commission part of it and mark Lass — without spoiling their ballots.
This is a clear case of voting against someone — but in the process, Northern New Mexicans would get an honest and competent commissioner.
I will gladly deliver yard signs or bumper stickers to your home within Santa Fe County. Just let me know where. You can call me at (505) 992-1037 home or cell (505) 410-0176. I was the sign guy for the Kerry campaign four years ago and know the area very well.
I began a PAC so that Democrats excited about helping Rick Lass can contribute. This is our way of being able to assist in his effort. I believe Rick can win but, he needs our support. Money raised in this endeavor will be used for a U-Tube video, mail-out and internet endeavors. If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting an event for Rick Lass sponsored by "Democrats For Rick Lass," please contact me. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call me @ (505) 410-0176 -cell.
Also, it is very important you vote early and sign our endorsement list. You can do so on this site and also by donating by clicking on the Donate icon. This will free you up to help us on electionday. Plus, ignore the request for money $$$ when you sign the endorsement list. It is part of the company who designs the list. Again, no need to give money there. Click the donate icon only on the front page of the website. Right under my photo. There and only there. Should you encounter any difficulties with the site, please let me know. I can always add you manually to the endorsement list. You can contribute by sending checks made out to "Democrats For Rick Lass"