New Press Release 6/25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25, 2015

 

 

 

Former State Rep. Bob Perls Changes Party Registration and Launches Independent Electoral Reform Movement for NM called New Mexico Open Primaries

 

Bernalillo, New Mexico – Former State Representative Bob Perls will hold a press conference at 2:00 pm on June 25, 2015 at the Sandoval County Administrative Offices, 1500 Idalia Road, Building D, Bernalillo, NM 87004, where he will change his party registration from Democrat to independent (decline to state) and announce the formation of a new movement dedicated to electoral reform.

 

In March, Perls attended Partnerships for Independent Power, the 8th National Conference of Independents, in New York City where he was joined by 500 independent voter activists from across the country.  The event, sponsored by IndepedentVoting.org, a national think tank and strategy center with organizations in 40 states, was broadcast by CSPAN.

 

Perls was joined at the conference by MoveOn.org co-founder Joan Blades, former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, Fair Vote Executive Director Rob Ritchie, IndependentVoting.org co-founder Lenora Fulani, Independent Voter Network’s Chad Peace, Open Primaries President John Opdycke, National Action Network general counsel Michael Hardy and Violence Interrupters founder Tio Hardiman.

 

“The political process is broken – that’s old news.  What I’ve come to see is the breadth of support for a new way of doing politics.  Independents are coming together to end the partisanship that is destroying our country.”

 

Partnerships for Independent Power was convened and hosted by IndependentVoting.org President and author of Independents Rising, Jackie Salit.

 

“What independents are doing all over the country,” said Perls “is fighting for the structural reforms that are needed to open up our democracy so that voters have a meaningful voice.  The political parties should not be the gatekeepers to the election.  They are participants in public elections, but are setting the rules like it is their own, private affair. 

 

Examples of structural political reforms sought by New Mexico Open Primaries include: redistricting reform that ends the practice of gerrymandering and primary reform that ends the exclusion of independent voters while moving elections to a non-partisan basis.

 

New Mexico is a closed primary state. On June 3, 2014 Albuquerque lawyer Ed Hollington brought a lawsuit challenging the system on the basis of State of New Mexico Article 7 section 1 that lists qualifications for voters and affirms that all registered voters that meet the qualifications shall be allowed to vote.  Nowhere is party affiliation referenced.  The second basis for the lawsuit is Article 2, section 8, within the Bill of Rights, that states all elections shall be free and open and no power shall interfere with the free exercise of the right to vote.  In 1969, the NM state legislature passed a bill that says DTS voters shall not vote in any primary.  This is in direct conflict with constitutional guarantees. The case is on appeal.

 

Ed Hollington’s case lost at the district court level when the judge ruled that the legislature could impose prohibitions based on parties’ associational rights.  On appeal to NM Court of Appeal, Hollington’s argument is based on strict scrutiny so the state has to show compelling interest to take away the right to vote.

 

 

 

 

Contact:

Sarah Lyons

independentvoting.org

slyons@cuip.org

212-609-2823

 

Or Bob Perls

perlsbob@gmail.com

505-259-2377

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Bob Perls of New Mexico Open Primaries Radio Interview

Here is the Link to Bob Perls's Recent Radio Interview on Rock of Talk.

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Appointment: June 21, 3 pm, NMOP

Hello Supporters:

Please come to the next New Mexico Open Primaries Meeting June 21, 3 pm.  Invite some friends to come with you!
Also, our web site is up and functioning!
Our web site:  http://www.nmopenprimaries.org.  Thank you to Aaron Perls for creating the web site and designing and promoting NMOP through social media.
Our guest speaker via Skype will be Jason Olson, who is the director of Independent Voice, http://independentvoice.org.  He will discuss how the movement was born in California and how it was successful at passing non-partisan primaries, top two voting and non-partisan re-districting.  I have had a number of requests to have someone explain what a movement on the ground here in NM might look like and he has been a central figure in CA success.  Please RSVP to me so we have an idea who is coming, but please come anyway if your plans change at the last minute and you are free.
We will have a discussion about our mission and goals, which in draft form look like this:

Mission:  To make sure that every vote counts by getting at the root cause of our political dysfunction.

 

 

Goals:

 

1)    End state subsidization of parties including using public money for primary elections that are not open to all; people should not have to join a party to vote.

2)    Ensure that independents have equal ballot access as candidates; end discriminatory practices.

3)    Adopt non-partisan redistricting so that voters can decide for whom to vote before the incumbents get to decide who can vote for them.

4)    Start a public education campaign focused on “making every vote count” so that people think about all elections as a fundamental state function that can’t exclude anyone.

5)    Start a lobbying campaign directed at all elected officials and other interest groups to endorse platform.

6)    Draft a constitutional amendment for introduction in the 2016 legislative session that will ensure all voters can vote in all elections; no specific solutions, rather civil rights guarantees.

Other news:

I was on a guest panel at Conspiracy Brews, which is a right leaning organization that Janice Arnold co-founded and the topic on June 13 was party platforms, the relevance of parties, open primaries, etc.  Eddy Aragon, who owns a number of radio stations in town said in front of the 50 or so people there, “what Bob just described transformed the room”.  I got lots of very position feedback (and some negative).  It was very gratifying for my first public presentation as an advocate for NMOP.
I have been invited to speak to the Albuquerque Foreign Relations Committee on June 29 which should be quite interesting.  I will be speaking on “The Role of Partisanship in U.S. Foreign Policy”.  There has been a bit written over the years on this topic, but I am formulating some new thoughts combining my experience as a U.S. Diplomat with all that NMOP stands for.  They expect 50 or so attendees at the Tanoan Country Club.
Thanks to George Richmond for writing a check to NMOP and for getting me scheduled to talk in front of the League of Women Voters on September 2.  If you are a member of a group, please invite me to speak!
I had a great meeting with the folks at the Thornburg Foundation who might be in a position to fund our efforts.  The Foundation is already supporting groups like Common Cause and have 5 full-time people working on good government initiatives.  They are very interested in open primaries, non-partisan re-districting and other critical electoral reform measures that we are interested in.  I will be working on a complete business plan and budget with the help of some of our national supporters at Open Primaries and IndependentVoting.org.  It would be very exciting to have the financial resources to pull together a full time team to move this important agenda forward.  They only work through registered 501(c)3 organizations, hence the push to get some funding to file the paperwork soon.
I hope to see you at the meeting on June 21.  Call me at 505-259-2377 with questions or e-mail me.
Thanks.
Bob Perls
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Robert Perls Special Guest at Conspiracy Brews

Bob Perls will be a special guest and panelist at this event:
The 2016 Election is Coming!
Is the Media Ignoring Independent Voters, Major Party Platforms or Both?
Join us for a special discussion.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
at
Southwest Secondary Learning Center
10301 Candelaria Rd NE 
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)
First hour will include a panel discussion composed of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, DTS, and members of the media who will address some of the following questions.
 
·         What is the Republican or Democratic Platform?
·         What are the differences between these two platforms?
·         Do registered voters choose or stay with a party based on the platform?
·         Do candidates and elected leaders know of, and support, the majority of the platform?  Should they be required to do so?  If not, why not?  How will the public know what they stand for?
·         Are voters leaving the major parties because of the platform?
·         Are independents/DTS voters so because there is no platform that represents their views?
·         With the increase in independent voters, does the focus on the two-party system disenfranchise voters?  Is this the media’s intention?
·         And more…..
 
Party platforms and resource material are attached. The first hour will be a moderated discussion, followed by two hours of open discussion. As always ---
If you like your coffee and your politics flavorful, served with a heaping dose of civility by a diverse group of interesting people from all parts of the political spectrum then you should be joining us every Saturday.  Started in 2007 over coffee and lively conversation by a group of concerned friends and neighbors, ‘Conspiracy Brews’ is committed to finding solutions to some of our State’s toughest problems. Our zest for constructive political discourse is only equaled by our belief that the only way forward is to exchange our views in a relaxed and friendly setting.   For additional information or to be added to our e-mail list contact:  ConspiracyBrews@aol.com .
Conspiracy Brews  

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

Benjamin Franklin


Not your average political discussion group!

We think that government should be open and honest at all times.
People from all political parties are welcome.

 *** Quotes of the Week ***
 
--“It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.”

James Madison
 
 
--“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of the day.”

Thomas Jefferson

 *** (Light Quotes of the week) ***

--“I find nothing more depressing than optimism.”

Paul Fussell
 
 
--“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”

Bill Watterson (Cartoonist, “Calvin and Hobbes”)


--“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful morning.  But this wasn’t it.”

Groucho Marx (In honor of our discussion, a paraphrase)

 

 

 

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Dear Supporters:

Dear Supporters:

This has been another good week for our new organization. 

 

Social Media update

 

We have over 100 “likes” on our Facebook page.  If you have not done so, please “like” our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoOpenPrimaries.  Also, post, ask questions, etc.  I am the administrator and will answer and keep dialogues going. This is important.

 

Our Twitter account is open @nmopenprimaries.  Please follow us.

 

Our LinkedIn account can be found by searching by our name.  Please think about how we can use the LinkedIn account.

 

Our web site is under construction and I will let you know when it is up in a basic form.  Aaron, our web master, is busy working on it.

 

NMOP Meeting Update

 

Our next meeting will be June 21 at 3 pm in Los Ranchos.  Please message me for the details.   Most importantly, we will have an important guest speaker arranged by IndependentVoting.org, Jason Olson, who is the director of Independent Voice, http://independentvoice.org.  He will discuss how the movement was born in California and how it was successful at passing non-partisan primaries, top two voting and non-partisan re-districting.  I have had a number of requests to have someone explain what a movement on the ground here in NM might look like and he has been a central figure in CA success.  He will Skype in.  Please RSVP to me and feel free invite interested friends.

 

Public Launch of NMOP

 

I had a great phone conversation yesterday with Doug Johnson, former Mayor of Phoenix, and a nationally known, articulate advocate for electoral reform.  He offered great insight into how to organize on the ground in NM and helped me think through what our process might be.  I asked him if he would come to speak at our public launch and he agreed.  I want to discuss this at the June meeting and target August or early September for a public launch.  He is an amazing, thoughtful speaker and I am very excited that he has agreed to be our keynote speaker at the launch.  We will coordinate the date with his schedule.

 

Draft Platform

 

So, where do we go and what are we doing?  Through my conversation with Doug, it is becoming clearer and the first step is to adopt a platform.  For your consideration, please review this draft.  We will refine it at the next meeting and then post it on our web site and social media outlets for feedback:

 

NMOP Platform Draft

Mission:  To make sure that every vote counts.

 

1) End state subsidization of parties including the use of public money for primary elections that are not open to all; people should not have to join a party to vote.

 

2) Ensure that independents have equal ballot access as candidates; end discriminatory practices.

3)  Adopt non-partisan redistricting so that voters can decide for whom to vote before the incumbents get to decide who can vote for them.

4)  Start a public education campaign focused on “making every vote count” so that people think about all elections as a fundamental state function that can’t exclude anyone.

5)  Start a lobbying campaign directed at all elected officials and other interest groups to endorse the platform.

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