UPDATE on Non-Profit “Advocacy” Groups in NM: SOS Agrees with AG Gary King, NMYO Must Register as PAC (Update 1X)

I’m going to quote extensively from Joe Monahan’s blog on the change.  I was wondering if King might cave to pressures from the Richardson crew, but apparently, the SOS did her job.  The link to the ABQ journal’s “complete report” is behind a firewall, so forget about getting the full story, but Eli Lee’s op-ed of August 15 is available, for some reason. I might be able to track it down the report at another site like I did for my earlier posts on this fight.

From Monahan’s August 19th post “Watching the Watchdogs”:

NM Secretary of State Herrera has agreed with AG King and on Monday ordered NM Youth Organized (NMYO) to register as a political committee, forcing them to disclose their contributions and expenditures. The group, an affiliate of Eli Lee’s Center for Civic Policy, says it will fight the order in court, which could prove expensive and raise questions by donors concerned that their money is being used for lawyers’ fees. Here’s a complete report from the ABQ Journal. Read on for our analysis.

The political nonprofit at the center of the storm over disclosing contributions and expenditures is lawyering up and pulling out all the PR stops. But none of it will avoid the inevitable collision. Center for Civic Policy executive director, Eli Lee, writes in an op-ed piece in the ABQ Journal that the people of NM deserve to know “from whom (legislators) receive financial contributions” but then he turns around and asserts the people have no right to know who is funding his nonprofit’s expensive mail attacks on an assortment of legislators. His latest excuse is that release of the donors to the Center would subject them to “harassment.” Does that mean we should halt already required financial disclosure because it is a threat to the public safety? Lee, under pressure, recently identified foundation donors, but not individual donors, to his group.

The political nonprofit has sent out loads of hit literature against legislators they claim is “educational” while the AG argues it is blatantly political. The enduring question is why Lee and his allies, who so forcefully promulgate disclosure by the campaigns of elected officials, are themselves so reticent to adopt this ethical behavior as their own, even as they claim to be self-appointed ethical watchdogs of our Legislature. If there were an indictment for being hypocritical, the grand jury would be looking at a true bill.

Lee has also not disclosed specific group expenditures, including his salary. Informed insiders tell us he may be getting as much as 20% of the gross donations. That would be about $329,000 if his group collects his projected amount over two years. (If our insider figure is inaccurate, we would be glad to provide updated information from the Center, or they can give it to the newspapers.)

King has been ridiculed by Center allies as a backwoods country lawyer. It now faces a legal fight over his quest to force full disclosure of the estimated $1.645 million the Center says it will take in this year and next (Although some say the recent publicity can’t be helping the Center’s fund-raising while others argue the legal trouble will spur it on). Center lawyers say King’s action could lead to “unnecessary litigation.” But we face the prospect of continued undisclosed funding coming into this state from far and wide, depriving us of the knowledge of who is trying to influence public policy here. Under those circumstances, litigation is something to look forward to, not shy away from.

Background posts, from most recent to oldest:

Update on Non-Profit “Advocacy” Groups in NM…AG Gary King Squelched by Richardson?

Part II: NM AG, “Gutsy Gary” King, Fighting for Transparency re: Non-Profits Like the League of Young Voters and ACORN

Part I: New Mexico “Progressive” Voter Registration Groups in Trouble: ACORN Again…Surprised?? (UPDATE 1X)

UPDATE  August 22, 2008

A great new post up at NO QUARTER…ACORN – CSI – OBAMA. Someone else noticed!

McCain to Appear in Southern NM Tomorrow (Wednesday, 8/20)

Following on the heels of Obama’s visit to ABQ on Monday and Hillary’s quick moves to escape the on-coming clutch of Bill Richardson in Espanola yesterday, John McCain is going to show up tomorrow here in Las Cruces, NM. He’ll be flying into El Paso tonight.

According to the local rag, McCain will do a townhall-style event at an annex building of the Pan Am Center at New Mexico State University.  The venue can hold about 500 people and tickets are first-come, first serve via email at the McCain website.

If I didn’t have several appointments for tomorrow morning, I might have gone out of curiosity.  I’ve seen several candidates in past years here in Las Cruces.  It’s a mecca for political visitors even though it is a pretty small city. But, with nothing around it for at least 50 miles (El Paso is to the south), it is the “capitol” of southern NM and a completely different political entity than the ABQ-Santa Fe region.

So, instead of attending, I will watch the reporting closely. I’m interested to see if McCain gets the same attention as Obama did back in May. Back then, I wrote a string of reports as the drama unfolded–the transformation from an exclusive meeting with veterans into a campaign rally with a mostly supporters who were contacted in haste at the last minute.  The blogger from the El Paso Times who covered the event was totally in the tank for Obama. We’ll see if he reports for duty again for the McCain visit!

I’ll start reporting on this tomorrow as soon as I get back from my appointments and as soon as information starts to trickle in.

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Coverage of Obama’s visit which began on May 23, 2008:

Obama to Visit Site of Bataan Memorial Death March on Memorial Day…To Repair Dumb Comment Damage? (Or…To Straighten Out Foreign Policy Mix-up with Bill Richardson?)

Yup! Obama Doing an “Invitation-Only” Event for Vets on Memorial Day…and Richardson Will Appear…

Obama Holds Memorial Day Vet Visit in Secret….McCain visits ABQ in PUBLIC

UPDATE 1 on Obama in New Mexico, Memorial Day

UPDATE 2 on Obama in New Mexico, Memorial Day–Nothing Like an “UNBIASED” Press…

UPDATE 3: Video of Memorial Day NM Obama Visit Up…Local Press TOTALLY & SHAMELESSLY COMPLICIT in Boosting Obama

Final Update: Obama in NM Results in Excuses, 3 Pinocchios, and a Rebuff from Vets?

ALERT! Local Paper Actually Allows Vets to Say Something Not Fawning about Obama Visit!

So, Now Hillary Should “Bring a Casserole” to the Convention??? (Update 1X)

Hey, gals, on the heels of listening to the obtuse Howard Dean saying  “even women, they’re more successful in the Democratic party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the [laughs] Republican party”… and hearing how Nancy P. thinks we are “ungracious, now we’re supposed to embrace the suggestion that Hillary should “bring a casserole” to the Convention??

Well, Salena Zito, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial page columnist thinks so!!! (See below for Zito’s bio and be not amazed.) In a column picked up by RealClearPolitics, Zito explains how the Democratic Convention won’t be as “contentious” as many pundits and bloggers are saying and then she goes on to give Hillary some sage advice:

If Hillary is seen as a sore loser, her chances to be the nominee in the future will be slim to none — and she knows that. The night of her convention speech, a wise, radiant, confident Hillary should take the microphone and give her staunchest supporters the voice they want on a national stage. After highlighting their struggles, she should pivot to why Obama is the better solution than McCain, and then crown herself as Obama’s surrogate for those voters.

Despite numerous news reports and blogs second-guessing her intentions and pondering a possible overthrow of the convention in some Clinton coup, the possibility of her committing such political suicide is slim to none.

(snip)

If anything, both Clintons should leave the crowd (and people back home) panting for more.

Hillary knows that this is Obama’s moment and that she would gain nothing from bad behavior. She will take the high road, hold her feelings in check, and focus on the policy issues she cares about passionately.

From the ashes of her failed campaign — not unlike the SS Titanic setting out, with her as the unsinkable Molly Brown — she can then rise higher than ever.

OK, we already know that Hillary Clinton is NOT about political suicide.  And she’s been “radiant” for months…does the term “radiant” apply to men, by the way?  Has Obama been “radiant”??  And what is this nonsense about “bad behavior,” as if the woman who EARNED more votes than any other person in primary history needs to be reminded that she must be a good little girl?

And what is this about the Titanic??  Does Zito think that boats at the bottom of the sea rise out of ashes?  Whaaa?  Obviously, she sees the Clinton campaign as the Titanic, with Hillary having spent a lot of time getting staffers in line in a valiant effort to “save” it from sinking.* No mention, of course, that Hillary was skunked by the DNC’s elaborate fix and unrelenting media bias which enabled the Precious One.

Zito again swoons over “Obama’s moment” and suggests:

This convention is Obama’s moment — his hour to welcome America into his home, the Democratic Party — and he deserves to set the table any way he wishes.

Hillary’s job is to bring a casserole dish and to serve it with a smile.

Jeebus, what did I just read??

Ok, so what kind of casserole should she bring? Isn’t that the crucial question we should be asking now??

Should it be the ever-popular cream of mushroom soup/tuna casserole?  Perhaps the classic green bean/cream of mushroom side dish??  Something with a little leftover turkey in it, perhaps?? Should she wear a pink, frilly apron when she delivers it?  Or perhaps she should serve it in stilletos and a topless French maid’s outfit?

Shoot, Hillary doesn’t like baking cookies, and you expect her to bring a casserole???  How about bringing her brain along as an appetizer??

Ah, but Zito does recognize that Hillary might have another role: She thinks that Hillary could “go with the ‘nuclear-unity option,’  withdrawing after her name is put in nomination and having the New York delegation move to make his nomination unanimous.”

OOOH, and then Hillary could “top all of that by becoming the surrogate anti-McCain hit man.”

How about THAT?  Bring the casserole, then act “manly” and do all the dirty work for Obama, who can’t possibly STOOP to that level!  I’m surprised Zito didn’t suggest that Hillary wipe his ass for him! But where ‘ya been, Zito?? In case you haven’t noticed, he’s stuck his little toe in the mud already and has by his side his lovely wife Michelle who likes doing the hit-man job…

Hey, gals..after witnessing Obama’s finger and brush off, watching the DNC sit there while the misogyny of the media flowed, watching fearless leader Dean slighting women in his latest wanderings in NPR interview-land, and then reading Zito’s crap, I’ve come up with my OWN suggestion for Senator Clinton:

Hillary–bring the casserole, nice and hot, and dump it on Obama, Dean, and Pelosi’s heads…and let someone else clean up the mess!  Salena Zito, perhaps?

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Salena Zito’s bio courtesy Townhall.com

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and editorial page columnist. She has also reported on Pennsylvania politics for The Weekly Standard. A board member of the Center for Media & Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation, she honed her skills working on the campaigns of George H.W. Bush, Senator Rick Santorum, Bush2000, Bush-Cheney 2004 served on the senate staff of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. Miss Zito has interviewed one on one Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director General Hayden, Homeland Security Director Chertoff, Attorney General Gonzales and First Lady Laura Bush. Zito spends a third of her time on the road interviewing legislators as well as current policy makers and the contenders that are running for president in 2008.

*I wonder if Salena Zito even knows anything about Margaret Brown beyond what she’s seen in movies or on Broadway? She probably thinks Brown was just like Debbie Reynolds! Or, if she IS working with full knowledge of Brown’s life, she sure cheapens the reference by throwing in the request for the casserole…

From The Encyclopedia Titanica:

Margaret became a founding member of the Denver Woman’s Club, part of a network of clubs which advocated literacy, education, suffrage, and human rights in Colorado and throughout the United States.

***

By the time Margaret Tobin Brown boarded Titanic at Cherbourg, France, she had already made a significant impact in the world.

Margaret Tobin Brown was one of the first women in the United States to run for political office, and ran for the Senate eight years before women even had the right to vote. On July 25, 1914, with Alva Vanderbilt (Mrs O.H.P.) Belmont, she organized an international women’s rights conference at Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island, which was attended by human rights activists from around the world. A lifelong advocate of human rights, Margaret was also a prominent figure following the Ludlow Massacre in Trinidad, Colorado, in April 1914, a significant landmark in the history of labor rights in the United States.

UPDATE

Read the latest from Froma Harrop “It’s No Longer About Hillary” to get started on “The New Agenda”…