A net-home for those in Maine who believe that Richardson ought to be the next president of the United States. So, why Richardson? Read this posting, "Why Maine Needs Bill Richardson" Just a disclaimer... This site is designed and maintained by a volunteer. For the official info on Richardson and to join his campaign, see his official site

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Richardson on tv

Tomorrow, Sunday, Bill Richardson will be on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. I encourage you to watch if you are able.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jefferon-Jackson and Veteran's Day

"America has to become not the policeman of the world, but the conscience of the world."

At the recent Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner, the candidates had the chance to present themselves. Richardson pledged to bring the troops home from Iraq within a year, not by 2013. And with his diplomatic experience, he's the one who would know how to do it!

The Governor spoke with compassion for the soldiers who are in constant danger and developing PTSD. He expressed a disgust with the position that waterboarding is not torture, noting the shame that four Democratic senators running for President did not vote against the appointment of Judge Mukasey.

Watch his speech here:

Notably, Bill Richardson also said, "It is not okay for Democrats to tear each other down," calling for a positive campaign with constructive criticisms but without smears or unnecessary attacks.

Another (shorter) video worth a watch, and very worth sharing, is his new ad highlighting his commitment and incredible diplomatic powers. What a contrast with our current President, to have gone and saved Americans from Saddam Hussein by diplomacy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

busy, busy

Once again, life intervened and I haven't been posting as often as I would like. But there are only 24 hours in a day. That hasn't limited my enthusiasm for Bill Richardson. I have been talking to all kinds of folks and I think the energy is growing in his favor. One of my friends even took off his Edwards bumper sticker the other day and put on a Richardson one!

Please continue to talk to our friends, loved ones, acquaintances, and folks we meet on the street. Richardson is the best candidate out there from any party and we need him to get the nomination!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Richardson Surge

I urge everyone to read this article from The Nation about my candidate of choice "The Richardson Surge"

I have to quote just a bit:

Richardson has refused to play his assigned role, and with an unexpectedly resolute antiwar stance and a freewheeling campaign style that distinguishes him from the field's punch-pulling frontrunners, he is the first member of the race's "also-ran" pack to elbow his way from the margin of error to the verge of serious competition.

Richardson rocks!

On a related note, in order to keep Richardson surging, he needs our money. The end of the quarter is coming up, and every dollar will be significant. Please, even if it is only a few dollars, give what you can!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Reactions to the Univision Debate

On Sunday's Univision debate, the candidates addressed millions of Hispanic voters. However, they did it through translators. In fact, Richardson had to do it through a translator too. I've blogged about this before. But it is silly that a translator is needed when speaks both languages. Richardson was the first to sign on to the debate, and at that time, there wasn't an English-only rule. But in order to woo the rock-stars, the rules were changed. And the Governor was not happy. "“I’m disappointed today that 43 million Latinos in this country, for them not to hear one of their own speak Spanish is unfortunate," he said.

Richardson and I aren't the only ones who were disappointed in the rules. As Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote in his commentary for CNN:
Univision had prohibited the two candidates who speak fluent Spanish -- Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd -- from answering questions in that language and insisted that all candidates answer the questions in English and have their answers translated into Spanish. Apparently, this was meant to level the bilingual playing field.

During the debate, Richardson called the network on its hypocrisy. Identifying himself as the first major Latino presidential candidate, he said it was unfortunate that Latinos in the United States couldn't "hear one of their own speak Spanish." Then Richardson accused Univision of promoting -- gasp! --"English-only."

Bravo. He's right. It was a dumb rule, obviously intended to prevent the monolingual front-runners -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards -- from being at a disadvantage.

But silly rules or not, even being cut off for speaking the language of his mother, Richardson still did a fabulous job. He reiterated the need to bring all the troops home from Iraq and to do so swiftly. He again spoke of the need to have comprehensive immigration reform. We need to have stronger border security. We need to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants. But we don't need a wall. A wall is a waste of money. As the governor says, "The wall is a horrendous example of what is wrong with our current approach to immigration reform. Congress only funded half of the wall. You know, if you build a 12-foot wall, people will get 13-foot ladders." And of course, Richardson reiterated the need to scrap No Child Left Behind.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Richardson on Iraq Withdrawal

If you missed it, I would highly recommend Richardson's Op-ed piece in the Washington Post from yesterday, "Why We Should Exit Iraq Now". In the article, Richardson calls for complete and quick withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.

My position has been clear since I entered this race: Remove all the troops and launch energetic diplomatic efforts in Iraq and internationally to bring stability. If Congress fails to end this war, I will remove all troops without delay, and without hesitation, beginning on my first day in office.

I love the Guv!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Univision Debate -- English only?

The Univision Debate is scheduled for this Sunday, September 9 at 7:00pm EST. According to Univision's press release, "Univision Communications Inc. is the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States." The debate will be broadcast on the Univision television stations "which reach 99% of Hispanic households" as well as "Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group which owns and/or operates 70 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and 5 stations in Puerto Rico" and finally the Univision website. So, this is a really big deal. Not surprisingly, Richardson was one of the first (if not the first) to confirm attending the debate.

Now, for the weird part... This is a Spanish language debate on Spanish language television and radio reaching Spanish speakers. But, I have heard that all the candidates must speak in English only! If the English-only language policy is true, I am appalled! Why should a candidate who has been speaking Spanish his whole life now need to speak through a mediator?

I think it is important that Governor Richardson be able to let people know of his strengths -- and one of his strengths is the ability to speak directly to the Hispanic community. Obviously, there should be translators as we have had very good monolingual presidents. But an English only policy is ludicrous for a Spanish language network.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Yesterday in Dover, NH

Yesterday, I drove south for three hours to see Bill Richardson in Dover, NH. He was at the Waldron Towers community room for a Presidential Job Interview. All the seats were taken and many of us (like myself) were standing in the back. There is so much to share, I am sure to leave things out and I don't even know where to start.

My first impression after leaving the event is how he talks to everybody like they are his peers. This shouldn't seem to be a big deal, but it is. Some candidates answer questions in a slightly condescending way -- they are experts after all. But Richardson answers in a way that he assumes his audience is bright and well-informed, yet without resorting to jargon. A similar point, is that when someone would ask a question and they were obviously passionate about a given issue; after answering, Richardson would ask them if there was something he missed, something of which he should be aware. It isn't that he agreed with the questioner, but there are people who are experts in different areas and one person can't be an expert in all policy areas. I thought it refreshing that he acknowledged that some of those experts might just be in the room.

This ties into one of the points he made during the interview. That is, he has pledged that we will know who his cabinet is before the general election. Furthermore, he wants his cabinet to be composed of people who are experts with practical knowledge in the field. So, a the secretary of education will be a teacher. The secretary of veteran affairs will be a veteran. Etc.

I was also impressed with the fact that he talked about the need for mental health parity. This is incredibly important and I'm pleased that Governor Richardson recognizes its importance. Along with health issues, he mentioned that New Mexico now has a medical marijuana law (as does Maine). The difference between NM's and ME's laws are that in New Mexico, the state will actually do the production and distribution. This way, state employees are growing the plants and the resultant medication is of a more consistent quality, it is more regulated, and only folks who need the treatment can get it. Now, the Bush administration has threatened to arrest the New Mexico employees who work for this program. The Governor has vowed to fight any such threatened arrests.

Bill Richardson also talked about voting. He wants to see everyone vote on paper ballots (as we do here in Maine). He also wants to see same-day voter registration (as we have here in Maine). We all know why paper ballots are important. But some don't recognize that requiring folks to register to vote 6 weeks before an election as required by some states, effectively disenfranchises the poor more than the wealthy. Lower income folks are more apt to rent. If you rent, you are more apt to move frequently....

In regard to illegal immigration, Richardson has a common sense solution. We make the border more secure, punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, offer a path to citizenship -- but not amnesty, and the part I think is most important, we use foreign policy. That is, we talk with the president of Mexico and ask that something is done about poverty in Mexico.

The Governor was asked a question about bridges. He spoke of our need to have an infrastructure policy -- something that is currently lacking. This policy would cover things like bridge and road repair, the electric grid, and land use policy. This last bit is huge! When is the last time a national politician spoke about a comprehensive land use policy?

There were many other questions -- important questions -- and many other interesting answers (restoring funding to international family planning efforts, researching and doing something about autism, ending No Child Left Behind, getting ALL of our troops out if Iraq, etc.). If you have any questions about his policies. Please check his website, or ask me.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We are in a fine position!

Someone pointed out to me that this time four years ago, the Iowa polls had Gephardt in first place, followed by Dean, then Edwards, then Kerry (not sure of accuracy, but it sounds right -- please correct me if I'm wrong). Similarly, in the national polls this time four years ago, Dean was first, then Clark, then Lieberman, and then Kerry. As a Richardson supporter, I'm pretty encouraged by these numbers.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Prez on the Rez

Most of you probably missed this, but on Thursday, there was a presidential forum which received little press. That forum was the Prez on the Rez debate. Why so little press? Two reasons: 1) On the whole, the press really doesn't care about Native American issues. and 2)apparently, most of the candidates aren't all that concerned about Native American issues either -- or at least they aren't too concerned about Native American votes.Three candidates bothered to appear: Richardson, Kucinich, and Gravel. Honestly, I am kind of surprised that so few attended (though not surprised that Richardson was the first to agree to come). I would think that anyone who wanted to talk about issues such as poverty, racism, and discrimination would want to appear at this forum.

Coverage of Prez on the Rez can be found here, here, and a press release from Richardson on the forum is here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

jobs and the economy

Yesterday, Richardson unveiled his plan for strengthening our economy and creating good jobs. I urge everyone to read the plan in its entirety. Here I will only comment on some of the highlights.

In regard to taxes, Richardson plans to repeal the Bush tax cut to the uber-rich. He will extend tax credits to those companies which offer high paying jobs as well as those that employ folks in rural areas (very important for us in Maine). He also wants to end the Alternative Minimum Tax which so adversely effects many middle class families. What I find very exciting is that he wants to slash corporate welfare!

Now, those tax changes will help create jobs. But Richardson also wants to tie the minimum wage to inflation. This way, we won't have a lull of a decade plus before the minimum wage is increased again. What a great common sense solution!

He wants to make it easier for working people to organize and punish companies who try to crush budding unions!

He plans on giving incentives for green building. Again, this is huge in a number of ways. It is environmentally responsible, energy responsible, and will create more jobs.

He plans to hire 100,000 new math and science teachers -- who will fall under his teacher minimum wage.

I know many don't think that job plans are all that exciting, but please, read the plan. This will be great for all of us.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Richardson's LGBT Record

The discussion over last week's Logo/ HRC debate continues. I wanted to pass along some thoughts of my own as well as a statement Barney Frank released today.

Rep. Frank's first:

Governor Bill Richardson's apology for the mistake he made in saying that sexual orientation is a choice did not surprise me, because he has been a strong supporter of our right to be treated fairly throughout his public career. It is especially relevant that he voted consistently on our side from the start of his Congressional career in the 1980s, when the issue of LGBT rights had far less support even from Democrats that it has today. I regret Gov. Richardson's misstatement - as I sometimes regret one or two of my own - but his error in the pressure of a debate should not detract from his very strong record in defense of equality for all Americans, including those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

As for my thoughts... I too think that Richardson's record is terrific. I prefer to judge someone based on their actions -- and his actions have been outstanding. He has fought tirelessly to end discrimination. As for the question/misstatement, many don't think about the how and why sexual orientation develops the way it does. Many don't analyze why we fall in love with who we fall in love with. We just fall in love with certain individuals -- no explanation needed. (It is especially true that people who are both straight and in healthy relationships rarely analyze why/how they fell in love with their partners.) The important thing (regardless of how it happens) is not to discriminate on that basis.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Richardson in the Harvard International Review

For those who are interested in foreign policy (and who isn't?), Bill Richardson has a really good article in the Harvard International Review, "A New Realism". In this article, he discusses 6 new trends: jihadism, the sophistication of international crime networks, the rise in Asian economic and military power, the reemerging importance of Russia, global economic interdependence, and the globalization of health, environmental, and social crises. In the article, Richardson then outlines how he feels these issues need to be addressed. I highly recommend reading the article!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Today is Bill Richardson and Barbara Flavin Richardson's 35th Anniversary! Happy Anniversary!

According to the press release:

"Barbara and I have been together since we were teenagers," said Governor Bill Richardson. "We have practically grown up together. Over the past 35 years Barbara has been my wife, best friend and my number one advisor. She has stood by my side through it all and on this special day I thank her for her love and devotion. Truly, there is no luckier man. Barbara here's to another beautiful 35 years."

Bill and Barbara first met when Bill was a senior at Middlesex High School in Concord, MA. It all began one afternoon in downtown Concord, MA when Barbara asked Bill if he needed a ride back to school. They immediately began dating and since then have been a couple.

Please join me in offering the happy couple an anniversary gift. It would be wonderful if you would donate $35 to the campaign for their 35th anniversary. If you can't afford $35, any gift will be happily accepted, I am sure.

Lobster Festival Parade and another Debate

Saturday morning, Rockland held the 60th annual Lobster Festival Parade. This is a big deal for us in Rockland, Maine. It is a big deal for people not in Rockland too. The parade averages over 25,000 spectators. This year, the Democrats had a large showing, with several of us carrying Bill Richardson signs. My goal is that next year, there will be many, many more Bill Richardson signs! Anyway, it was a beautiful morning and a lot of fun.

Now, other politics. Tomorrow, there will be the AFL-CIO debate from 7-8:30 EST. It will be broadcast live nationally on MSNBC and XM Satellite Radio. Governor Richardson has a strong record on labor issues and other concerns facing working America. Tune in and see shat he and the others have to say!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Richardson and Native American affairs

There is a great article in today's Indian Country, "'Big Three' can learn much from Richardson". In it, the editors note that Bill Richardson already has a strong track record on Native American affairs, including government to government relations. He is proposing to have a cabinet level secretary of Indian Affairs. As they write:
Given his record, this is less lip service than intention. In 2005 he appointed Jemez Pueblo native Benny Shendo Jr. as New Mexico's first secretary of Indian Affairs. It is the only state in the country that has a cabinet secretary and a department of Indian Affairs. Spoken commitment followed by action is the key to winning the increasingly critical Native vote.

The article continues by pointing out that while Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are courting the Native American vote, none of them are planning on attending the Prez on the Rez debate.

It is important to note that while the leading candidates are reaching out to Indian country as campaign strategy, they will not appear at what may be the only forum focused solely on Indian issues. Prez on the Rez, an event sponsored by the Indigenous Democratic Network (INDN's List), is slated for Aug. 23 at the Morongo reservation in southern California. The forum places Democratic candidates squarely before Indian people to address their concerns. It is the first such forum to be held in Indian country, and leaders of all federally recognized tribes have been invited. The chance afforded to nearly every other group in America has finally materialized for Indian people. Not surprisingly, Richardson was the first to accept the invitation. Unfortunately, the ''Big Three'' won't attend due to scheduling conflicts. It is too bad. Each could benefit from the example set by Richardson, and by experiencing firsthand the strength of Indian leadership and the challenges they face in their communities.
Once again, Bill Richardson stands out on issues important to the country, and to Maine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Article and an Ad

This morning, the Boston Herald had a great column on Richardson. In part it reads:
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is on the rise from the second tier in the Democratic presidential race and former Sen. John Edwards is closing in on Barack Obama as front-runner Hillary Clinton’s strongest challenger.

That’s how I saw it in Monday’s dramatic new-age debate, televised by CNN with questions from ordinary citizens on YouTube. It’s an exciting format, with some questions offbeat and clever, others heartbreaking and poignant. And it brought out the best in Richardson. . .
The governor, who wants to be the first Hispanic president, appeared strong, empathetic and decisive as he addressed issues from the Iraq war and genocide in Darfur to No Child Left Behind.
Answering a moving plea for help from a woman in a Darfur refugee camp, Richardson said he had visited it, seen the desperation and pain there. He asserted passionately, “The answer here is caring about Africa” - about AIDS and poverty and massacres. He said the U.S. must do much more to pressure other nations in Africa and beyond for a more effective U.N. presence in Darfur.
Richardson doesn’t mince words. Asked whether No Child Left Behind (though many have been, in a badly run, underfunded effort) should be revised or scrapped, he quickly replied, “Scrap it!” It was badly conceived, he said, especially in its insistence on penalties for underperforming schools. “If a school isn’t doing well, we should help it,” he said.
He really was terrific in Monday's debate. I especially appreciated the Governor's answer to the question about same sex marriage. Instead of saying he is torn on the issue or that he thinks marriage is only between a man and a woman, he said he wants to accomplish what can be accomplished. That is, he wants to work towards civil unions, domestic partnership benefits, and anti-discrimination. Good answer!

Now for the ad... Many Mainers are veterans. I don't know the statistics off hand, but I am sure we are among the higher percentages of veterans in the country. As such, we are interested in how our service members are treated. I urge everyone to look at Richardson's new ad "Heroes"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Debate tonight!

I encourage everyone to watch the debate tonight! Just an advance warning, CNN has decided to put Clinton and Obama in the center again -- and will most likely give them the most airtime again. But, hopefully, Bill Richardson will have a chance to show his stuff.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Top Tier!

In case you haven't heard yet, Richardson is now in third place in New Hampshire! He just keeps moving up.

On another note, Forbes had a poll on the coldest candidates. Bill Richardson ranked the least cold out of all of them -- Republican and Democrat. I should note he tied with Obama on this scale. I am certainly not surprised that Richardson ranked the least cold -- he is so personable.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yesterday in New Hampshire

Yesterday, I took a half day off of work and drove four hours south to Portsmouth, NH to see the Governor. He shook many, many hands in Portsmouth before going to a house party/ "job interview" in Dover -- which I also attended. Folks, he is such a genuinely nice guy. That is the biggest thing I came away thinking.

But I should let you know some other things he said which are really exciting. First of all, he kicked off his "Women for Richardson" group. With this, he added some initiatives which he will pursue once in the White House.

He said for Supreme Court nominations, he will come out and ask what the potential nominee thinks about Roe vs. Wade and whether it is settled law.

He wants to give caregivers a social security credit. This point is important because being a caregiver is one of the reasons that women get smaller social security checks than men. When someone leaves the workforce to care for a child or parent, they don't get credit for those years. Governor Richardson wants to rectify that inequity.

He wants to mandate that employers disclose pay statistics by gender, race, and job category, so that women can see if they are being treated fairly in the workplace. This too is major. Far too often, women are still being paid less than men who do the same work. But it is hard to find the data. With Richardson's proposal, we would have that data.

Of course, he also spoke about the war. Richardson has been outspoken about the need to withdraw our troops quickly. He pointed out that our troops are not preventing a civil war; there is already a civil war. He also would seek a diplomatic solution. With his diplomatic ability and experience, I think he has the best chance of being able to achieve a diplomatic solution.

Another point that I found interesting is Governor Richardson said he would support expanding public financing of elections. I think this is a very important issue and would urge everyone who reads this to check out the organization Just $6 (I do not know if the Governor supports their version of expanded public financing or not, but the organization is worth checking out regardless.)

What a great guy! As more people get to know him, I am sure they will agree.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

He keeps coming up in the polls!

Two polls were just released of Democratic voters in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Richardson has reached 8% in Pennsylvania and 7% in Michigan. To some, this might seem low, but it wasn't all that long ago when Richardson polled too low to register. With this kind of upward trend, being number 1 is on its way!

Cool Shirt

Well, I've been looking for the perfect Bill Richardson shirt. I think I have it! Check it out...
It will not be the only Richardson shirt in my wardrobe. But until the campaign offers official ones on their website, unofficial will have to do.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

NY Daily News Candidate Challenge

I just came across this article this morning. The NY Daily News asked the top 4 candidates from each party to answer a series of questions, mostly on foreign affairs (Iraq, Iran, and the US international standing). Richardson, of course, gives great answers and shows that he knows what he is talking about. While he could have given stump-speech quick answers, he instead gave clear and thoughtful answers to each question. I highly recommend everyone read this -- and read the responses of the other candidates as well. It is a perfect example of why I think Richardson is the best person for the job.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

2nd Quarter Countdown

The decisions you make in the next few hours can truly influence who wins the White House in 2008.

We've got only a few hours before the crucial second quarter FEC fundraising deadline. Can you help keep our momentum alive by making a contribution now?


If you've been waiting to see if this campaign is going to take off, now is the time to act. Right now is when your contribution can make the biggest difference.

Governor Richardson's poll numbers are skyrocketing. Now is the time to capitalize on this momentum with a fundraising haul that will really make the media sit up and pay attention. If we put enough $25 and $50 donations together before tonight's midnight fundraising deadline, we can shake up this entire race.

The clock is ticking -- we need your help now to meet our goal and keep the momentum going.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Please Give Now

The end of the fundraising quarter is tomorrow. Let's give Richardson a strong showing! Click on the ActBlue donation button on the top left corner of this blog to give a donation to Richardson's campaign. Any amount will help.

I also want to mention some of the highlights from last night's debate. The Governor did a great job in this first really fair debate (all candidates were given equal time). One of my favorite comments was, "This is the first time we've talked about education at any debate. The first thing you hear is -- how are we going to pay for it? No one asks how we're going to pay for the war." This is so true with any domestic program. People gripe and worry about the cost. But when it comes to a war, we are, for the most part, silent in regard to the cost. However, social programs such as education are investments which really will pay off in the long run. War rarely does.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Richardson on Iran

So, here is another example of how Richardson thinks practically and diplomatically in regard to our foreign affairs. Earlier today, he was asked about Iran. Instead of the response given by the Republican candidates (which is to use nuclear weapons to kill Iran into submission), Richardson has a thoughtful approach. He said he will reach out to the country's moderates (of whom there are many). He would talk to moderate clerics, to students, to businesses and others to negotiate halting the country's nuclear development. What a smart guy.

Read more about it here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sorry for the disappearance

Well, I went away for quite a while. Life intervened and I have been busy doing other things. Bill Richardson, however, has been busy running for office. And he is working harder than anyone out there. To prove it, his poll numbers keep climbing. The more folks know who he is, the more they like him. As I've said before, he has the experience to do the job well. He knows what diplomacy means and can get things done.

Now, if only I can get things done...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

He is in!

Well, it is official. He announced today. I am so siked. Please refer to my why Maine needs Richardson post for why he is the best.

That being said, he has promised to outwork anybody. Richardson excels in retail politics -- meeting people, shaking hands, parades, all of those things we expect from our politicians here in Maine. It is great for people elected by the people to like people. And he really likes people. Plus he is a positive person. I agree with his analysis that the focus should be on what the candidate can accomplish and not on ripping apart opponents. I especially agree on that approach during primaries. There is no need for allies to tearing down each other.

He is a negotiator. He has negotiated successfully with some of the most fierce people in the world. When he talks of a diplomatic solution in Iraq, he is the one who could actually do it. As he said about diplomacy and energy and working within a balanced budget, etc.; a lot of people talk about these issues, but he has actually done it.

So, the campaign is real now. Let's start working!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Watch TV!

I'm not a big one to either watch tv or recommend it. However, Bill Richardson is appearing on ABC's This Week on Sunday (tomorrow), and there promises to be some exciting news! For those of us in Maine, the show is from 9am-10am. Tune in.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Richardson and Darfur again

I just got off the phone with Governor Richardson about his Sudan trip. He is so inspiring. While there has been some coverage, it is just a shame that the national media hasn't made the agreement front page news. Actually, I would argue that it is a shame that the national media hasn't made the Darfur crisis front page news.

In addition to the 60 day cease-fire -- which was agreed upon not just by the government, but by all the rebel forces as well, Richardson got the President to agree to include the militia -- which is vitally important. He also garnered an agreement that the horrible rapes and gender violence would start to be investigated and prosecuted. This is a huge part of the humanitarian horror faced by those in Darfur. Another important aspect of the agreement was that he got the president to loosen red tape for humanitarian groups and journalists.

What I found most amazing about this call was the Governor's humility. When complimented on this huge accomplishment, the Governor modestly said that he just tries to connect with and appeal to the pragmatic interests of the bad guys. Instead of merely focusing on the agreements, he said we ought to learn more about Darfur and the tragedy facing the people there. While there are huge tragedies throughout the world, this part of the world needs more attention. He called it the worst humanitarian crisis of the world.

Taking Richardson's suggestion, I would encourage all who read this to check out SaveDarfur.org. Learn about the crisis. Donate time, money, and/or energy.

For myself, I have to reiterate that we need this guy! He accomplished so much in the past four days -- as a private citizen. I can't even imagine how much he could do diplomatically sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Richardson responds to Bush's address

Richardson's response to Bush's address last night can be found here, but to quote:

"I strongly oppose any plan to increase American troop levels in Iraq. Sending more American troops will not make us safer. It will only add to the sectarian violence that is already tearing Iraq apart. ... The only surge we need in Iraq is a diplomatic one. We need to withdraw American troops from Iraq this year, redeploy our men and women to Afghanistan and other international terrorism hotspots and reinvigorate our diplomacy throughout the Middle East." Gov. Bill Richardson.

Who better to help us with a diplomatic surge than the man who just negotiated a cease fire in Darfur?

Governor Bill Richardson, we need you as President!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cease-Fire Agreement again

I have already posted about the monumentous Darfur agreement. But I got the following information from SaveDarfur:

SaveDarfur.org has a post called "Cease-Fire Agreement Offers a Moment of Opportunity for Political Settlement in Worsening Darfur Cri" that's worth checking out...

Cease-Fire Agreement Offers a Moment of Opportunity for Political Settlement in Worsening Darfur Crisis On Save Darfur Coalition trip, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Gets Commitment For Cease-Fire and Improved Humanitarian Aid and Media Access To…

Richardson Brokers Cease Fire in Sudan!

I normally don't flat out copy. But this press release from the Governor's office is huge:

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Gets Commitment for
60-Day Cease-Fire in Darfur Region of Sudan
KHARTOUM, SUDAN – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today announced that he has secured a commitment from Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al Bashir to agree to a 60-day cessation of hostilities in the Darfur region to allow for a new political process under the Darfur Peace Agreement and the auspices of the African Union and the United Nations. Governor Richardson also spoke this week with rebel leaders who said they would agree to a cease-fire. If all parties follow through with the cease-fire, the A.U. and the U.N. will convene a Peace Summit on March 15 under the framework of the peace agreement.

Governor Richardson also secured the following commitments from President Al Bashir:
• Agreed not to have the National military aircraft painted in white markings
normally reserved for international organizations.
• Agreed that government forces would attempt to improve security conditions
in all areas of Darfur with special emphasis on El Geneina, and would provide
protection to food and other humanitarian convoys.
• Agreed to expedite procedures for entry visas for all humanitarian aid workers
as well as goods. He also agreed to terminate the requirement of exit visas for
humanitarian aid workers.
• Agreed to allow and facilitate travel by journalists from all over the world to
• Governor Richardson and President Al Bashir reiterated that gender-based
violence and such crimes must be condemned and prosecuted regardless of
which party or organization was responsible. President Bashir said he would
welcome a significant contribution of female members to the AU/UN hybrid
operations. In addition the Justice Minister offered analyze and extend
existing efforts to support Sudanese women against all gender-based
Joint Press Statement on the conclusion of the visit by Governor Bill Richardson to the Sudan
7th – 10th January 2006
H.E Bill Richardson Governor of New Mexico accompanied by a delegation sponsored by and including members of the Save Darfur Coalition, the leading United States-based Darfur peace advocacy organization, conducted a visit to Sudan to discuss ways to secure peace in the Darfur region of Sudan and the protection of all civilians and other non-combatants. The Governor and the delegation visited EI Fasher and Nayala in Darfur, for meetings with internally displaced persons in Darfur, rebel groups that are signatories to the (DPA) as well as those which are not as of yet, international agencies, the United Nations, and humanitarian aid as well as the Wali of North Darfur and the Deputy Wali of Southern Darfur States and held meetings in Khartoum with H.E President Omer Hassan Al Bashir,Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ali Ahmed Karti and a number of high ranking Sudanese officials.

Both sides agreed that ending the conflict in Darfur is Sudan's and the international
community’s highest priority. Peace, they agreed, can only come through a political
settlement that is joined in by and addresses the needs of all parties, on the basis of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) of 5 May 2006 reiterating their support for preserving Sudan's territorial integrity and the importance of respect for Sudan's sovereignty. Both sides agreed that there was a compelling need for a comprehensive cease-fire to launch a political process based on the DPA that would lead to a durable end to the conflict as soon as possible. Both agreed to a 60-day cessation of hostilities by all parties within the framework of the DPA, accompanied by a start in African Union/United Nations diplomatic efforts, within the framework of the DPA, to begin narrowing the gaps between the non-signatories, including government approval of a field commanders' conference attended by the African Union and United Nations. This would be followed at the appropriate moment by an African Union/United Nations – sponsored peace summit, again in the framework of the DPA, no later than 15 March 2007.
Simultaneously, both agreed that the UN needed to expedite as quickly as possible the provision of UN personnel agreed in Addis Ababa and further specified in Abuja in November 2006. President Bashir re-affirmed his commitment to continue to facilitate the deployment of UN personnel and equipment consistent with his agreement with the Secretary General of the UN on Phases II and III, including the eventual conclusions of the Tripartite Committee as stipulated in the DPA.

The two sides noted that Governor Richardson had secured a commitment from
commanders of the Justice and Equality Movement and of the Non-Signatory Front
to participate in a process including a 60-day cease fire agreement within the
framework of the DPA. Governor Richardson and Save Darfur Coalition expressed
their grave concern to all parties with whom they met about continuing and
increasing attacks on civilians and other non-combatants.

They reiterated that gender-based violence and such crimes must be condemned and prosecuted regardless of which party or organization was responsible, noting that Governor Richardson and the Save Darfur Coalition emphasized the need in all their meetings for implementing mechanisms to ensure that "zero tolerance" policies towards gender-based violence be applied in practice, quickly and robustly. Governor Richardson noted with appreciation President Bashir's commitment to welcome a significant contribution of female members to the AU/UN hybrid operations. Both sides expressed their grave concern at allegations of gender based violence by United Nations personnel in South Sudan.

Governor Richardson and the delegation also met with the Under-Secretary of Justice, the Rapporteur of the Advisory Council for Human Rights and Dr. Attigatt who presented a briefing on Sudanese Government efforts to institutionalize protections for women. The Governor and the delegation accepted the offer to work with the Ministry to analyze and extend existing efforts to support Sudanese women against all gender-based violence.

President Bashir and Governor Richardson also agreed that more light needs to be
shed on the full situation in Darfur. President Bashir agreed to allow and facilitate
travel by journalists from all over the world to Darfur. The two sides underscored the need to disarm all armed groups, including the Janjaweed, pursuant to the provision of the DPA, and further agreed not to have the National military aircraft painted in white markings normally reserved for international organizations.

President Bashir agreed that government forces would attempt to improve security
conditions in all areas of Darfur with special emphasis on El Geneina, and would
provide protection to food and other humanitarian convoys. They also agreed that
humanitarian aid agencies have greatly assisted the Government and people of Sudan by providing much needed emergency and development aid in Darfur and other parts of Sudan. President Bashir agreed to expedite procedures for entry visas for all humanitarian aid workers as well as goods. He also agreed to terminate the requirement of exit visas for humanitarian aid workers. President Bashir noted with satisfaction the strong statements by the Save Darfur Coalition to rebel commanders condemning attacks by their members on humanitarian aid operations and agreed to initiate an ongoing dialogue with the Save Darfur Coalition aimed at ending the violence in Darfur and on achieving a political solution to the crises.

The two sides agreed to apprise African Union Special Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim and United Nations Special Envoy Jan Eliasson of these developments, so that the African Union and United Nations will facilitate the commanders meeting and launch the political discussion and to maintain regular communication assessing progress on these important initiatives to identify areas of difficulty on which further engagement may be necessary to ensure rapid progress and durable outcomes.
Both sides agreed that an improvement of relations is in the mutual interest of both
This is a major accomplishment!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Happy New Year!

With the holidays and then Governor Baldacci's inaugural, I have been a busy woman and remiss in posting. That being said, I am looking forward to 2007 -- and on to 2008!

Right now, I am anxiously awaiting Governor Richardson to decide to be our next president. I hope an announcement will be made soon. Despite the large field, he is the best person for the job -- especially with his foreign policy experience. I have posted before that he was asked to go to Sudan. Well, I just read, he is going to go there to try to help out in Darfur. The article is here.

Best New Year wishes to all!