Saturday, May 26, 2007
I hope that everyone is having a nice holiday weekend!
Just an FYI for everyone:
Governor Richardson will be the guest on NBC's "Meet the Press" - Tomorrow (Sunday, May 27).
Check your local listings for channel number and program air time.
Please watch and encourage your friends and family to tune in as well!
In the fourth installment of our "Meet the Candidate" Series, Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) joins us for the full hour to discuss his 2008 presidential bid. The exclusive interview will originate live, from our NBC studios in Washington, D.C. Find out where Richardson stands on the major issues facing the country as our in-depth "Meet the Candidate" interviews continue.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Governor Richardson's official announcement of candidacy for President of the United States will be carried live tomorrow (Monday) on CNN - at 1:00 pm Eastern time (11:00 am Mountain time) - from Los Angeles, California.
For those of you who will not have access to a television at that time, I will have the video of the announcement up here, on the blog, later in the day.
The times they are a changin' !!!
~ Richardson for President - I Believe! ~
I want to apologize for not updating the blog in a couple of days. I've been ill and have gotten behind on a few things.
I have a number of updates that I'm going to post this afternoon and evening, so please check back later...
I have some exciting news about new poll numbers in Iowa & New Hampshire. (Guess who's polling in the double digits now??!!!!) I also have some information on the Governor's big announcement tomorrow, as well as awesome new additions to the campaign website, and ways that everyone can get involved to help the Governor's campaign - in Colorado and across the country!
Thanks so much for your support and enthusiasm!
Together, we're going to change America!!!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
In order to make America a Clean Energy Nation, as I made New Mexico a Clean Energy State, we need a man-on-the-moon program to end our addiction to oil and abate our global warming crisis. And we need to do it must faster and much more boldly that most people are suggesting. Some politicians and some industry people will say we can’t do what I propose – I say we need to change fast or sink slowly. Now is the time for bold actions, clear vision, and complete commitment.
Consider this a call to action, for Congress, the energy industry, and the public. I am calling for a new American revolution – an energy and climate revolution. And I am calling on you to join it.
** Cut oil demand: 50% by 2020 **
** Change to renewable sources for electricity: 50% by 2040 **
** Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions: 90% by 2050 **
** Lead by example and restore America as the world’s leader **
** Get it all done without breaking the bank **
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.
Governor Bill Richardson Will Be America's Energy President
Calls for Fast, Comprehensive Energy Revolution
Proposals Dramatically Reduce Oil Consumption, Incentivize Alternative Vehicle Market, and Save Consumers Thousands in Fueling Costs
WASHINGTON, DC - Governor Bill Richardson today unveiled a bold new Energy and Climate Policy Plan at a speech to the New America Foundation.
"Gasoline is back up over $3 a gallon and people are hurting," stated Governor Richardson. "Retail sales are down, as many American households do not have income to spread across high gasoline costs and other life expenses. Consumers are hurting because US energy markets are not diverse and competitive, and because we have fed our addiction to oil instead of ending it."
"We need an aggressive national energy and climate policy that helps Americans who are struggling to heat their homes, fill their gas tanks and that moves us to safe, available alternatives as quickly as possible. We also need a policy that will help the US meet the two great challenges of our era: energy security and global warming."
Today, I'm going to stake my claim to being the next President, the Energy President, on the concept of a fast, comprehensive energy revolution in the United States," stated Governor Bill Richardson. "We need a man on the moon program to end our oil addiction, but we need it faster and bolder than others have suggested."
Governor Richardson's five point framework breaks our oil addiction, creates competition and value for consumers, strengthens our national security, creates American jobs and will the lead the world toward effective climate protection.
By 2020, dramatically reduce oil consumption by as much as 10 million through a series of bold measures:
Get low and zero petroleum plug-in cars into the marketplace, while sharply reducing the carbon emissions from our electric sector. The pure-electric vehicle offers simplicity and performance for an average daily commute in our larger metro areas, while the plug-in electric car or truck provides more range and flexibility for people who drive longer distances, as it can extend gas mileage above 100 miles per gallon.
Create a well-to-wheels low carbon fuel requirement that reduces carbon impact of our liquid fuels by 30% by 2020, including ethanol and biodiesel. Requiring conventionally powered cars and trucks, to be flex fuel capable and provide tax credits to the first 10% of gasoline retailers who install renewable fuel pumps.
Push fuel economy standards to 50 miles per gallon by 2020.
Reduce oil consumption for other modes of transportation-ships, trains, trucks and planes through new technologies, such as fuel-switching to electricity and renewable fuels.
Goal 2 --
Create new efficiencies and energy sources in the electrical sector
Call for a national renewable portfolio standard of 30% by 2020, rising to 50% by 2040 -- thus mandating utilities to provide a certain amount of renewable energy in the electricity sold to every consumer.
Push for a law requiring a 20% improvement in energy productivity by 2020. This 20 by 20 proposal has been studied by the Western Governors Association and will save western customers $21 billion a year by 2020.
Goal 3 --
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2040.
Start with a market-based cap and trade system. By 2020 utilities and industry will be allowed to emit 80% as much global warming pollution as they do today. Combined with transportation sector savings, these changes will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020.
Move to carbon-clean coal using safe, long-term carbon disposal or sequestration, and deploy these carbon-clean coal technologies here and around the world.
Goal 4 --
Capitalize and invest in America's strengths in science and technology
Establish a national energy innovation trust fund with a one-time funding commitment to provide needed research and technology support, invest in our world-leading institutions and science and technology programs.
Goal 5 --
America must lead by example and become a beacon of the New Energy Future.
Immediately return to the international negotiating table and support mandatory limits on global warming pollution and keep atmospheric carbon below 450 parts per million.
Cooperate with the European Union, the World Bank, the Asian partnership, the UN and our allies around the world to finance the small incremental cost of "doing it right."
Work closely with fast-growing nations like China, Brazil, South Africa, and India so that they use new, low-carbon technologies to help meet their energy demands.
Renew our relations with our largest oil supplies, Mexico and Canada, which supply about 20% of our oil and create a North American Energy Council to stabilize the oil and gas trade, build a continental electrical grid, help bring energy resources and productivity to market throughout the continent and develop a regional system for carbon trading.
Governor Richardson has a record of accomplishment on each of these challenges. As Energy Secretary, he pushed for aggressive energy efficiency standards, conservation in the midst of the California electricity crisis, a national renewable portfolio standard, and development of new vehicle technology.
As Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson has initiated mandates requiring utilities to meet standards of renewable energy production, supported generous solar, biodiesel and biofuel tax incentives, eliminated sales taxes on hybrid vehicles, and set aggressive targets to reduce global warming pollution. New Mexico is on track to exceed the Kyoto Protocols and has become the Clean Energy State.
"As a diplomat and negotiator, I have a record of dealing successfully with hostage-takers and tyrants," stated Governor Richardson. "Now I want to bring that experience to the task of freeing the United States from its status as international hostage to costly energy...and from the tyranny of oil dependence."
"I have a record, I have the will, and I am making this a central priority in my campaign for president," stated Governor Richardson.
After the Governor's speech today the League of Conservation Voters released a statement applauding Governor Richardson's plan.
To read the statement please go to http://www.lcv.org/newsroom/press-releases/page.jsp?itemID=33471896
By Jennifer Tallhelm, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, May 17
WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson on Thursday laid out his plan for a dramatic shift in the way the U.S. uses energy, proposing to all but end the country's reliance on oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2040.
Invoking President Kennedy's call for the Apollo space program, he said the nation needs a "man-on-the-moon" effort to develop technologies that will cut energy costs and halt global warming.
"I am issuing a call to action, for Congress, the energy industry and the public," he said in a speech to the New America Foundation. "I am calling for a new American revolution — an energy and climate revolution."
Richardson's plan encourages people to drive electric and plug-in cars, promotes public transportation and calls for increasing fuel economy standards to 50 miles a gallon by 2020 from about 25 miles per gallon now.
He also wants to fund programs to develop wind, solar and biomass energy, and create a market-based system requiring utilities to emit less pollution.
Richardson has promoted his energy plan this week in campaign stops in California and elsewhere.
He says his experience as energy secretary under President Clinton, and as the current governor of New Mexico give him a leg up on other candidates, who also have rolled out energy plans.
The Democratic front-runner, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton also has called for an "Apollo program" on energy. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama recently lectured automakers for investing in bigger, faster cars while dependency on oil is jeopardizing U.S. security and the global environment. And Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd wants to double the average fuel economy for each automaker to 50 mpg by 2017.
DNC SANCTIONED DEBATES:
July 23, 2007 -- YouTube/Google and CNN -- Charleston, South Carolina
August 19, 2007 -- ABC -- Des Moines, Iowa
September 26, 2007 -- NBC News/MSNBC -- Hanover, New Hampshire
October 30, 2007 -- NBC News/MSNBC -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 15, 2007 -- CNN -- Las Vegas, Nevada
December 10, 2007 -- CBS -- Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Richardson to announce candidacy
By Bruce Smith, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON, D.C. - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who has been campaigning for weeks for the nation's highest office, plans to announce Monday in Los Angeles that he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Richardson, who was born in California and lived there briefly, will make his announcement at the Los Angeles Press Club. Aides to the governor said the backdrop will be several Hispanic leaders, underscoring Richardson's Hispanic heritage and the importance of California's Feb. 5 primary.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Democratic presidential contender Bill Richardson on Monday proposed dramatic increases in automotive fuel economy in the next 10 years and the near-elimination of industrial greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Previewing the national energy strategy he will unveil later this week, the New Mexico governor and former energy secretary called for "an Apollo program" that would vault the nation into a massive undertaking to wean itself from fossil fuels. He also said he would encourage shared sacrifice, but he was quick to add that under his vision Americans could keep their SUVs. Those big vehicles would get better gas mileage, he said.
"We need to become energy-independent," Richardson told about 200 employees of search-engine giant Google Inc. at its Mountain View headquarters. "Having our dependence on foreign oil is not worth it."
Richardson said he would reduce U.S. imports of foreign energy from 65 percent to 10 percent; require that 20 percent of all electricity generated in the United States come from such power sources as wind or solar by 2020; and mandate a 90 percent greenhouse gas-emission reduction by 2050.
And he called for "a massive public and private investment — yes, tax dollars — in promoting renewable technologies."
Richardson, who was energy secretary in the Clinton administration, was disdainful of
President Bush's announcement Monday that his administration will decide how to regulate pollution from new motor vehicles by the time he leaves office. Bush signed an executive order directing federal agencies to craft regulations that will cut gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.
The new rules could help Bush implement his plan to reduce gas consumption by 20 percent over 10 years.
"It's insufficient," Richardson said of Bush's plan. "It's weak. It has no mandates. It's all voluntary."
Richardson said the notion of sacrifice has been missing during the Bush administration. He added, however, that he would not urge Americans to "stop heating your home."
"I'd say be more careful, everybody pitch in — kids, companies, citizens," Richardson said. He would encourage purchases of energy-efficient appliances, lighting and cars, he said.
"I don't mean sacrifice in a negative way," he said. "I think sacrifice (would be) for the common good to become less energy (dependent) to countries that jeopardize our national security — OPEC countries."
Richardson is to outline the complete energy proposal on Thursday in Washington.
Several Democratic presidential candidates have sought to make energy a centerpiece of their campaigns. One,
Hillary Rodham Clinton also has called for an "Apollo program" on energy.
Richardson is the third presidential candidate to submit to a grilling by employees of Google. Clinton visited in February, Republican John McCain earlier this month.
Bill Richardson's Poll Numbers are Rising -- Is He the Next Top Tier Candidate?
Bill Richardson's improvement in the polls and his successful release of two television advertisements on YouTube to be aired on Iowa indicate that Richardson is up and rising.
Bill Richardson released two new television ads on the popular internet video sharing website YouTube.com on Tuesday May 8, 2007. In just a few days, these ads have had over 100,000 views and over 250 comments from others.
About three weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that Bill Richardson would be the first Democratic candidate running television advertisements in Iowa.
Since then, things have improved for governor Richardson. For the first time ever, American Research Group has Richardson polling above the margin of error according to its latest poll taken from April 27-30, 2007 approximately a week after the Washington Post article.
David Terr, who holds a PhD in Math from UC Berkeley and is the lead content developer at PresidentPolls2008.com, says, "Polling better than the margin of error is significant because it affirms that Bill Richardson has true suport." The idea behind all of that is the fact that you could add anybody's name, even a dead person, and still get 2% but getting more than the margin of error would theoretically requires true support.
"The fact that Bill Richardson is still a relatively unknown candidate according to the latest familiarity ratings, Richardson stands the most to gain as each of these candidates get their names and positions out there," says PresidentPolls2008.com.
With the successful launch of his new television ads on YouTube since May 8, things bode well for Richardson in Iowa and the rest of the presidential campaign.
To view all of the latest polls regarding the 2008 election, PresidentPolls2008.com is the nation's leading centralized location for free access to all of the latest national and state polls.
To view Bill Richardson's television ads on YouTube, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjOuL5qwNIc
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Governor Richardson is scheduled to appear on C-SPAN's "Road to the White House" today, Sunday, May 13.
They will be appearing footage of the Governor's recent campaign visits to New Hampshire and Nevada.
"Road to the White House" airs on C-SPAN every Sunday at 4:30 pm, 7:30 pm, and 10:30 pm. (all times Mountain, check your local listings)
Saturday, May 12, 2007
By Kate Nash, Albuquerque Tribune
SANTA FE — Maybe Gov. Bill Richardson thought he was on CNN instead of the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" because he sure didn't yuk it up like other guests on late-night comedy shows.
The governor spent eight minutes with Leno on Friday night, talking mostly about his background and foreign forays.
The second-term Democrat was second on the show, following a woman who showed off exotic animals including a pink bird with a spoon-shaped bill.
In his introduction, Leno said the governor had been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize - "That's why he's following two toads, three birds and a cat," Leno quipped.
The tired-looking governor talked about growing up bilingual in Mexico, his love of baseball and his negotiations with Saddam Hussein.
The line that drew the most applause came when Leno asked Richardson about his standing in the polls. He had earlier said Richardson was "the most qualified presidential candidate you have never heard of."
"Is that a little discouraging when you go out there with your résumé‚ and everybody is kind of going crazy for sort of the rock stars?" he asked.
Richardson said people won't vote based on the hype. "They're not going to make a decision on who the biggest rock star is and who raised the most money."
"You don't think so?" Leno asked, prompting laughter from the audience.
Richardson got some laughs when talking about how he got to the recent Democratic candidate debate in South Carolina. Leno had said the Democrats all flew to the event in private jets.
Richardson interrupted, saying he flew commercial. "I took - I think it was Southwest, because I couldn't fit in the seat."
The dieting governor also drew heavy applause, but not laughs, with a line about his approach to foreign policy.
"I believe, Jay, that we don't practice diplomacy enough. We ought to talk to our enemies. We ought to practice diplomacy and mediation and negotiation before we send our troops."
Richardson today speaks to the Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles.
By Barry Massey, Associated Press Writer
SANTA FE - Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson bantered with comedian Jay Leno about hitchhiking, baseball and diplomacy as the New Mexico governor appeared Friday on "The Tonight Show."
He's "the most qualified presidential candidate you have never heard of," Leno proclaimed in his introduction.
Richardson, elected governor twice, also served in Congress, was U.N. ambassador and energy secretary in the Clinton administration and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.
During his appearance, taped Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, Richardson recounted his experiences as an unofficial diplomatic troubleshooter which over the years took him to such places as Sudan, North Korea, and
Saddam Hussein's Iraq, where he negotiated the release of American hostages in 1995.
"We don't practice diplomacy enough," said Richardson. "We ought to talk to our enemies. We ought to practice diplomacy and mediation and negotiation before we send our troops."
Born in California, Richardson was raised in Mexico before attending prep school and college in Massachusetts.
"My mother only spoke Spanish to me. She was Mexican. My father. He wouldn't speak to me," said Richardson, drawing chuckles from Leno. "But when he did, he would speak to me in English. It was totally a bilingual background."
Richardson recounted how he met his wife, Barbara, while hitchhiking when he was attending Middlesex School in Concord, Mass.
"So you would encourage women, if you see Mexican guys hitchhiking, pick them up," said Leno.
Richardson was a baseball standout during his prep school days, Leno pointed out, and the show featured a picture of the young Richardson.
"By the way that was a few pounds ago," said Richardson, who has been dieting to slim down for presidential campaign appearances.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The program airs at 11:00 pm Eastern time on NBC. Check your local listings.
Please watch and tell your friends and family to tune in as well!
Thanks and enjoy the show!!!
The first of the two is already on the air in Iowa, with the second to follow shortly. Both ads are in hot circulation on the internet! They are already hugely successful and are gaining in popularity!
The ads, showcasing Governor Richardson's vast - and unmatched - experience, as well as his terrific sense of humor, are serving to introduce the populus to this great man, diplomat, and leader who will make an outstanding president!
Please view the ads and forward them to everyone you know!!
Let's make sure that everyone knows about the most qualified candidate in this race -- and let's get them on board as true believers in this movement to bring hope and promise back to America -- through the presidency of Bill Richardson!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
"I've done it. I don't just say I'm for it: I've done it," the New Mexico governor said at an International Association of Fire Fighters convention.
"There are a lot of candidates who will come up and take a picture with you and make you promises, but when it's time to deliver, maybe they'll be with you. . . . I'll always be with you," he said.
In 2003, Richardson signed a law requiring the state, cities, counties and school boards to negotiate with unionized workers. The law replaced one that had lapsed several years earlier.
"Those were dark, dark ages for us," said Emily Kane, president of the New Mexico Firefighters Association. After Richardson signed the law, wages for firefighters increased "to the point people are fighting to get into the departments," she said.
"When he takes office in 2009, my loss is going to be your gain," she told her peers from around the country.
Richardson said he also supported unions during his 15 years in Congress and as Energy Secretary, when he proposed a health care compensation package for union workers who built nuclear weapons. He said that as president, he would help firefighters by ensuring they have the equipment, training and protected pensions they deserve, and he also would appoint someone with a labor background as labor secretary.
"I want you to look in my eye: I will fight for you," he said.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Congress has the power to end this war. They authorized the invasion of Iraq under the War Powers Act and they can now de-authorize it and bring the troops home.
De-authorization can't be vetoed. The President won't listen to the American people, and he won't listen to Congress -- together we can show him that being stubborn isn't a foreign policy.
For several months, I have been calling for de-authorizing this war and leaving no residual troops because I believe that this is is the best approach to ending the violence.
But many Americans don't even know that de-authorization is an option. They know the proposals coming out of Washington don't go far enough, but they don't know a better way forward.
That's where you come in. I need your help to send the message to Congress that they need to execute their authority to end this war immediately. It is increasingly obvious to me that only an overwhelming public outcry will force our leaders to act. So let's create that outcry.
Click here to sign the petition calling on Congress to use its power to de-authorize the war and bring the troops home now. We need their help to end the violence in Iraq.
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 the withdrawal of all American troops is not a real plan to end this war. We can't leave behind airbases. We can't leave behind embedded troops to train the Iraqi army. We can't leave behind any residual force whatsoever in a country where American troops aren't wanted and have targets on their backs.
Click here to sign the petition calling on Congress to use its power to de-authorize the war and bring the troops home now. We need their help to end the violence in Iraq.
I know this region well and understand how people there see the world. I served as 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. Diplomacy can work in this region -- I've done it before -- there is no military solution in Iraq.
Last Thursday, Senators Clinton and Byrd introduced a proposal to de-authorize the war. I'm pleased to have their support, but I encourage them to go further.
We must de-authorize the war and set a timetable to get our troops out by the end of this year.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Richardson wants Dems to be party of science
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson told New Hampshire Democrats during the weekend that their party should be the party of science and technology.
Speaking at the Rockingham County Democrats' Clambake, the former federal energy secretary said he would make America the leader on global climate change and find ways to be more energy independent through renewable energy.
Richardson also pledged to support New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation status. He said he'll compete whenever New Hampshire holds its primary.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Governor Richardson has written an op/ed for The Huffington Post:
De-Authorize the War Now, No Residual Troops
By Governor Bill Richardson
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.
Continue reading De-Authorize the War Now, No Residual Troops
Newsweek is running a feature -- including mini-interviews with each candidate -- on the topic of which former president the current crop of contenders most admirers.
Governor Richardson's response....
Bill Richardson: "When you look at FDR's presidency, there are so many heroic actions to choose from, but his leadership during World War II remains his most courageous act. America had to become a global leader in the fight against fascism. This meant more than leading the military charge; it meant working with other countries to bring about lasting change."
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I recently posted a new diary on Daily Kos:
"Bill Richardson: You've got to be part of causes you believe in"
I will post the piece here as well, but I would also like to ask everyone to please forward it to their friends and family (or at least forward the address of this blog [www.Colorado4Richardson.blogspot.com] and the link for the below mentioned San Francisco Chronicle article [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/05/01/BAGGQPIDK41.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea] )
If there is one Richardson article that everyone should read, that S.F. Chronicle article is the one.
Also, if you are registered at Daily Kos, please visit the the post with my diary and recommend it, so that it will pop up on the front page and everyone can find that great Chronicle article on the Governor.
Thanks so much!
The world won't become a better place unless we help make it so.
I'm a true believer in the Bill Richardson for President movement.
Call me a kool-aid drinker...because, well, I am. Every now and then there's some kool-aid that's actually worth drinking... Because every now and then, there's a special person with the character and vision that can change this country...and for the resolute better. Every now and then there's that special candidate worth believing in...and worth going to the front lines for. I've only found that candidate twice - John Kerry - and now Bill Richardson.
I don't need to sound off with superfluous platitudes about my candidate. He makes his best case himself - right here: "Richardson: 'You've got to be part of causes you believe in'."
And it's not just his words that make the case, but rather his actions. When everyone else was glad handing and politicking, Richardson was speaking up for the cause he believes in....a cause not about himself, or about campaigns, or money, or votes, or flash bulbs...but a campaign about giving a voice to those without, and of making an effort to save their lives.
I was - and forever will be - a proud drinker of the Kerry Kool-Aid Club... And I'm now proud to drink and serve the Richardson Kool-Aid.
Bill Richardson believes in speaking - and acting - on behalf of the causes he believes in. An example worth noting, worth following...and worth believing in.
The world won't become a better place unless we help make it so.
Richardson for America ~ I Believe
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Richardson: 'You've got to be part of causes you believe in'
Tyche Hendricks, Chronicle Staff Writer
"It's not going to get votes," Richardson acknowledged in an interview with The Chronicle before his speech. "But you've got to be part of causes you believe in."
The former U.N. ambassador has made three trips to Sudan, visiting stricken refugees in makeshift camps, negotiating the release of kidnapped aid workers and pressing President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to accept U.N. peacekeepers.
Richardson, who has also represented New Mexico in Congress and served as President Bill Clinton's energy secretary, said he is not worried about getting blowback for controversial positions he has taken recently, including supporting New Mexico laws legalizing medical marijuana and creating concealed-weapon permits, and or for his endorsement last year by the National Rifle Association.
"I'm not your usual candidate," he said. "But I do believe I have the most experience. I'm the most electable."
One hot-button issue he has had to confront as governor of a border state is illegal immigration. He said he is unequivocally opposed to building a border fence, calling it "a terrible symbol" that sends the wrong message to a friendly neighbor.
"If I'm president, I'll tear it down myself," he said.
But he does favor tightening border security, calling for a doubling of the 12,000-strong U.S. Border Patrol and increasing surveillance technology such as motion sensors and night-vision cameras.
He also supports an "earned legalization plan" for illegal immigrants in the United States, stiffer enforcement of sanctions on employers who hire undocumented workers, expanded legal immigration and a relationship with Mexico that encourages its economic development.
"Mexico needs to not view this as a cash cow of remittances. It's got to step up," said Richardson, the first major Latino candidate for president. "President Calderon, I like his words. He agrees Mexico bears responsibility. "
On Iraq, Richardson said the war is "a disaster" and he wants to see all U.S. troops withdrawn by the end of 2007.
"But accompany that with diplomacy," he said. "I want an international donor conference, including Japan and the European Union, to deal with Iraq's reconstruction; a security conference, with Iran, Syria and other Middle East countries to create an all-Muslim peacekeeping force; and a reconciliation conference led by the United States forcing the three groups, Sunni, Shia and Kurd, to come together in a coalition government."
On energy, Richardson said he would work aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make America independent of foreign oil.
Richardson has raised just over $6 million so far for his presidential bid compared with the $36 million amassed by Clinton, $26 million by Obama and $14 million by former Sen. John Edwards.
But in the online world, Richardson seems to have eclipsed Clinton and holds third place after Edwards and Obama in unscientific straw polls conducted by Democratic-leaning Web sites such as MoveOn and Daily Kos.
"My skill is to bring people together," he said as Sudanese musicians warmed up nearby. "I'm a great believer in diplomacy."
By BRENDAN RILEYAssociated Press Writer
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson sought Monday to play down his underdog status and stress his broad political experience and Western roots in an interview and campaign stops at a coffee shop, high school, union office and Nevada Legislature.
"I know I'm an underdog. I read the polls," Richardson told supporters at Comma Coffee, across this capital city's main street from the Legislature. "But we're moving up."
"I'm not the one who's the biggest rock star or who has the most money - but who has the most experience," added Richardson, pointing to his status as current governor of New Mexico, former congressman, U.S. ambassador, and globe-traveling negotiator and diplomat.
Richardson brought up key Western issues, including water, public lands, alternative energy sources, the environment and immigration - in addition to discussing the Iraq war, education, health care, the economy, transportation and the need for action to help end violence in the Darfur region of Sudan.
While in this wide-open gambling state, Richardson also said he might occasionally play slot machines but otherwise doesn't gamble. He also said during an interview with The Associated Press that he understands the economic significance of the gambling industry and favors new legislation to overturn last year's congressional ban on Internet gambling.
"I'm against shutting it down," Richardson said. "This is important to the economy of the state, as long as it's properly regulated and it is."
On water, Richardson said he's considering a plan to have a Cabinet-level water official, adding, "I just believe it's an issue that deserves more attention than being buried in the Department of the Interior."
Richardson also said he favors policies that promote water conservation and desalinization, and negotiations to help deal with issues such as the impact of a massive pumping plan that would bring water from rural Nevada to booming Las Vegas.
On public lands, Richardson noted that 86 percent of Nevada's land is under federal control and "there has to be a way that at the very least the federal domination is diminished." That could involve giving more multiple-use options to state and local government entities, he added.
Richardson also said transportation is as much an issue in the West as it is anywhere in the country, and he supports state-federal partnerships on mass transit projects that would result in broader use of transportation funds.
"The infrastructure of this country is crumbling. What we do with our annual highway budgets is to repave roads. We don't plan ahead," he said.
On gun control, Richardson brought up the recent Virginia Tech rampage that left 33 people dead and said he supports efforts to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and to make schools safer.
But he also said he pushed concealed gun-permit legislation in New Mexico that has resulted in the National Rifle Association favoring him, adding he's a Second Amendment supporter and "I have a permit myself."
Discussing immigration, Richardson, who lived for years in Mexico and whose mother is Mexican, said an extensive border fence is "a bad idea" and "a terrible symbol." He also said arguments against immigrants "sometimes become irrational" and what's needed is a practical solution that protects U.S. jobs and the border but also provides a path to citizenship for qualified immigrants.
Richardson also repeated his opposition to the Iraq war, saying that without a diplomatic withdrawal this country will remain divided and the money needed to advance a strong domestic agenda will be lacking.
Richardson arrived Sunday in Nevada, on a weekend that also saw presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and John McCain in the state. Later Monday, Richardson stopped for a brief rally at a Las Vegas senior center, where he addressed about 100 supporters after being introduced by a mariachi band.
"This election is nine months away, and I need the Latino vote," he told the crowd. "I'm one of you."
Richardson urged supporters to learn about the caucus system and register people to vote. He was scheduled to leave Las Vegas on Tuesday.