Sunday, May 20, 2007
Though 11% of those polled are still undecided as to whom their pick might be, 78% of likely caucus participants could be persuaded to support another candidate as their first choice.
The top issues rated as `extremely important' by the respondents are; Iraq and the War (46%), Relations With Other Countries (37%), Health Care and Health Insurance (35%), along with Economy and Jobs, National Debt and National Security all at 33%.
In New Hampshire, a Zogby poll released on May 17 shows that Governor Richardson had surged ahead with support in the Granite State, jumping up from a 2% showing in April to 10%, only five points behind Edwards.
Friday, May 18, 2007
You may have often heard Governor Richardson discuss the need for an "Apollo Program" effort to help initiate a sense of stewardship on the part of our nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and alleviate the harmful effects of energy consumption upon the world in which we live. On Thursday, May 17, Bill Richardson outlined the most comprehensive and visionary plan yet seen by any candidate to help achieve this important goal.
The Richardson Plan: source
* Cut oil demand: 50% by 2020
We must reduce oil imports from around 65% to 10%. We can reach these goals in part by getting the 100 mile per gallon (mpg) car into the marketplace, push fuel economy standards to 50 mpg by 2020, and set a life-cycle low-carbon fuel standard that reduces the carbon impact of our liquid fuels by 30% by 2020, including increasing use of alternative fuels.
* Change to renewable sources for electricity: 50% by 2040
I am calling for a national renewable electricity source portfolio standard of 30% by 2020 – which will rise to 50% by 2040. This is aggressive, but necessary as we start using more electricity for automobiles. I will push for an energy productivity law requiring a 20% improvement in energy productivity by 2020. We could easily save customers $21 billion a year by 2020. Also, my market-based cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions will create incentives for the electric and industrial sectors to make significant reductions in their carbon emissions.
* Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions: 90% by 2050
20% by 2020, and 80% by 2040 -- ten years faster than scientists say is necessary, because we must lead the world, and we can’t afford the possibility of backsliding and inaction. We will start with a market-based cap and trade system. Economists say the world can protect itself from drastic climate change at a cost of 1-3% of our economic activity. We can afford to protect the climate. Given the risks of catastrophic climate change, we can’t afford not to.
* Lead by example and restore America as the world’s leader
We must return to the international negotiating table and support mandatory world-wide limits on global warming pollution. We will work closely with fast-growing nations and, as President, I will cooperate with the European Union, the World Bank, and other allies to help finance the incremental cost of “doing it right.” I will create a North American Energy Council with Mexico and Canada, which supply about 20% of our oil, and make sure our relations with these neighbors are firm and friendly. As we reduce our demand for foreign oil, we should work with the Persia Gulf nations, and our partners in consuming nations and the United Nations Security Council, to try to create a multilateral system for protecting the Gulf so that within ten years the U.S. presence there could be sharply and safely reduced.
* Get it all done without breaking the bank
We will raise some revenue from the sales of carbon permits, for example. Further, I will get out the “green scissors” to cut back on wrongly-placed tax subsidies. Over time, this program will yield huge productivity increases in our economy, as well as significant budget savings and revenues. We will create more than ten times as much value in the American economy by reducing our oil imports as we spend to make this program happen.
On energy policy, we need to change fast or sink slowly. We need to act boldly and act now. Defy conventional wisdom and join the revolution -- endorse Governor Richardson bold new agenda for an American energy and climate revolution.
You can read the entire speech here
...Or Watch It Here!
The Early Reaction Has Been Phenomenal
* Governor Richardson Will Be America's Energy President: NH Insider
*Richardson's Energy Plan a Hit With Environmentalists
* As of today, Bill Richardson has become the boldest, most visionary Democratic presidential candidate on climate and energy policy... (David Roberts: Huffington Post)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Saturday, May 5, 2007
I first called for de-authorization of the war in Iraq in January, and I have repeated that call all around the country -- because I believe immediate de-authorization and removing all of our troops from Iraq this year is the only way to end Bush's war.
Congress should de-authorize the war today and demand that the President begin redeploying our troops.
There would be no need to negotiate the withdrawal with the President, and he could not veto the resolution.
The time has has come for Congress to stand up to this President who refuses to recognize that his war is bleeding our military and weakening our country. He believes mere stubbornness is a foreign policy and that he can just ignore the will of the American people. In the interest of our national security, he must be stopped.
Congress has the ability to end this war under the War Powers Act -- let's not wait or waver while more people die. And de-authorizing the war should mean removing all our troops. Every last one.
This is essential, because our presence in Iraq worsens the violence and enables our enemies to portray us as imperialist occupiers. If we announce that we are getting out completely, we undercut this propaganda. We need to get all our troops out of the crossfire of this civil war.
Anything less than immediate de-authorization, and beginning the process to remove all troops, is not a real plan to end this war. I know this region well, and understand how people there see the world.
I have served as US Ambassador to the UN, President Clinton's Special Envoy, and as Secretary of Energy. I have been there. I even met with Saddam Hussein and secured the release of hostages. I applaud Senators Clinton and Byrd's steps to begin the process of getting us out of this disastrous war. But I urge them and their colleagues in Washington to commit to the full task at hand:
Immediate de-authorization, and the removal of all U.S. troops.________________________________________________________________
The Huffington Post. 05.04.2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Challenges President Bush to Renew Commitment to Comprehensive, Fair Immigration Reform
Richardson says May 1 should mark the beginning of a new effort to pass real reform and move past partisan gridlock
SANTA FE, NM -- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today called on President Bush to renew his previous commitment to passing comprehensive immigration reform and reject the unworkable and divisive laws favored by extremists. The Governor issued the challenge on the eve of the one-year anniversary of nationwide protests by as many as one million immigrants and those who support implementing a practical and humane immigration system in the United States.
"A year has passed since these remarkable and emotional demonstrations and not only has there been no progress, the country is even more divided and frustrated than before," said Governor Richardson. "Once again the administration has failed to follow through on its pledge to address one of the most serious issues facing our country. I am disappointed the President has retreated from his previous position favoring realistic reform to a position that virtually guarantees nothing will be accomplished."
The Governor stated that the President's plan to require undocumented immigrants to pay $10,000, return to their home country and apply for legal entry into the country is unworkable.
"The majority of illegal immigrants in the United States are hardworking, law-abiding people trying to improve the lives of their families. They don't have that kind of money, and it is unreasonable to force them to leave the country. What about children who are US citizens? Breaking up families is not an answer. All this would do is force immigrants farther into the shadows."
Bill Richardson is the Governor of a border state and deals with the effects of immigration, legal and illegal, virtually every day. He has proposed a detailed, realistic plan for comprehensive immigration reform that would help secure our borders, bring the estimated 11-12 million illegal immigrants out of the shadows, and help strengthen our economy:
- The US must first secure its borders, and do it by doubling the number of Border Patrol agents and providing the latest technology to monitor remote areas. The Governor also believes the border fence will not work, sends the wrong message, and should be torn down;
- There must be a practical, humane plan to give illegal immigrants a path to legalization, and eventually a path to citizenship. Immigrants must be law-abiding and pass a background check, pay any back taxes and a fine for entering the country illegally, they must learn English, and they would not jump in front of those applying to enter the country legally. Eventually, after meeting all specified requirements they would be granted legal residency and ultimately would be allowed to apply for citizenship;
- Employers who knowingly hire illegal workers should be hit with stiff penalties. These laws have been on the books for years but have not been enforced;
- The United States should significantly increase the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country, based on employer needs; and
- The US should engage Mexico and convince the Mexican government to do its part to stop the northward flow of illegal immigrants. Last fall, Governor Richardson spoke with Mexican President Calderon, who admitted that Mexico should have a role in solving this problem. The two countries should also work together on economic development efforts, especially in the border region, and should initiate joint border law enforcement patrols to reduce violence, drug smuggling, and illegal immigration.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Breakfast With the Next President
by Jeff Woodburn, NH Insider
I’ve forgotten the exact breakfast spot we’re suppose to meet, but figured it wouldn’t be too hard to find (there are only two in town.) The entourage should stick out in this little town. Just look for the suits filled with young aides worrying about things they have no control over. I enter the diner and see just one local in a baseball cap having breakfast. This can’t be it so I rush back to my car wondering where everyone is. I see a suit: just one. At 7:06 a.m., it is too early for funeral or a wedding, so I assume he’s part of the candidate’s team.
“He’ll be right along,” he says, but it sounds more like don’t leave or the next president will have breakfast alone, “snow slowed us up.” I thought there would be a few more people, not just me and the guy at the end of the counter.
A moment later, my guest walks in with a rush of busy aides, and heads toward the baseball capped man. They talk about guns. My guest’s position on gun control is rare among Democrats. I greet his handlers and we engage in small talk. In an instant, he’s back and he’s got my hand and before I know it, he slides into the booth and grabs a menu. “I’m on this crazy diet,” he announces, “I ‘m going to get some real food (sausage and eggs.)” This ordinary comment is extraordinary in modern day Presidential politics, where everything is analyzed and poll tested. Presidential candidates are a very different breed.
Since 1980, I’ve met a couple dozen Presidential candidates. To survive the endless scrutiny, they create a plastic veneer and can become paralyzed with caution. You become guarded when everyone you meet wants something from you, or wants to pin something on you. Most stuffed shirts simply try to endure this process, and look utterly uncomfortable at best or like a damn fool at worst. A few like Pat Buchanan, Bill Clinton and John McCain seem to enjoy it.
The New Hampshire Primary forces big shot politicians to come down to earth and meet real people. I realize that my address is more important than my political prowess. I find the attention to be a little odd and embarrassing. The process does work so long as state politicians don’t begin to see themselves as “King makers,” rather than simply good links to the locals. My guest has been briefed enough to know a little bit about me. So he asks a question or two. He doesn’t pander, but he does listen and offers quick, witty one-liners and thoughtful observations.
I don’t get mired in policy. Politicians provide canned answers all day long to these questions. I’m interested in what kind of person they are. Issues change, people don’t. I come with two topics about his background that I find revealing. First is that he holds the Guinness Book of World Records for handshaking. This proves to me he’s willing to take risks and that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
The second is that, as governor, he signed a bill that banned cock fighting. As a novice chicken farmer, I followed the legislation introduced in New Hampshire this year to ban the strict confinement of chickens (even though no one uses this practice here.) I wonder how different our two states are in terms of our politics (and our chickens.) I remember that George Bush beat John Kerry in my guest’s home state. Maybe we need a candidate who can win and govern in a place where his or her own party doesn’t dominate? I can’t imagine Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama stopping a cock fight.
My guest makes me feel comfortable. We’re now going back and forth with casual banter. It’s like a Friday night at the Woodburn House (a popular local establishment owned by the author.) I like him. I’m a sucker for an authenticity. He reminds me of the best qualities of an old time politician. He’s a character, who genuinely enjoys meeting people. He doesn’t seem disturbed with his low standing in the polls; rather he believes he can win one vote at a time. “I’m going right to the people” he adds. It sounds more like a populist political philosophy, than a campaign strategy.
My guest is Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico and former Congressman, Energy Secretary and UN Ambassador. He finally gives me the sales pitch. He’s a successful governor and diplomat, with a knack for getting things done at home and abroad. As President, he certainly would have his work cut out for him.
An aide interrupts, “It’s time to go.” I’m up and headed out not wanting to be the cause of his tardiness at the next event. I glance back; he’s still at the table settling up, I assume. I turn and move toward him, and say, “Governor, I’d be happy to support you.”
The New Hampshire Presidential primary doesn’t build character, it reveals it. Our great contribution to the Presidential selection process is that we can see beyond polls, endorsements, fundraising, and even issues, and look right into the eyes of the candidates. This process is just beginning, but I know now what others will soon learn: Bill Richardson is a good man and is worthy of serious consideration.
(Jeff Woodburn, of Whitefield, served as Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party from 1997-99)