Friday, March 30, 2007

What Is Terrapsychology?

Craig Chalquist, MS PhD

For the last five hundred years of Western history, environmental research has confined itself primarily to looking at the world from the outside, through a screen of self-interests, numbers, theories, and data. Whether prompted by profit, curiosity, fear, or concern, this heavily quantitative style tends to frame the world as an object and ourselves as detached observers of it.

Yet every culture, including ours, has insisted throughout its pre-industrial stages that the world—including the sky, the air, the sea, and particularly the land—is alive, reactive, and very present to what human beings do upon it. From kami to lorelei, naiads to dryads, the Navajo Changing Woman to the Neoplatonic World Soul, every local folklore reflects what the Greeks and Romans knew as the genius loci, a resident “spirit of place.”

That such animated images have been depreciated as mere projections or primitive superstitions says less about indigenous or rural psychology than about an economically and colonially vested need to see the land as an exploitable resource and ourselves as above it, masters rather than dwellers or guests. Nevertheless, they recur time after time in place after place. Artists, poets, naturalists, nature healers, and wilderness guides have born frequent witness to the strength of this influence of the surround. So, finally, has psychology as it extended outward from inside the person to inside the family and beyond with constructs like the transference (Janet and Freud), the psychological field (Lewin), intersubjectivity (Stolorow and Atwood), the relational matrix (Mitchell), and ecopsychology.

Terrapsychology seeks to hinge the two great traditions of inner and outer knowledge—the richly animistic and the empirically scientific—by listening into the terrain and its features and occupants without losing what more external knowings can tell us about them. Put simply, terrapsychology is the deep study of the animated presence, or “soul,” of locale, made visible through deep connections with the human interior. It treats the places and things below and around us as psychological presences in a widely flung field.

It is precisely the power of these connections that the market- and conquest-driven Western habit of self-world mind-matter dualism has obscured. But if they inhabit our psychological field—and their persistent reappearance in dreams, symptoms, folklore, recurring motifs, and unhealed local histories suggests that they do—then we share an ongoing but nonvocal dialog with the things around us. Consider the following examples of this:

  • A man residing in a city heavily militarized in his absence discovers otherwise unanalyzable qualities of defensiveness and guardedness showing up in his relationship with a long-term resident.
  • A woman working in an oppressive, conflict-ridden institution realizes that she and her coworkers unknowingly repeat a 150-old local historical drama whose key player bore the same name as the institution’s.
  • A graduate student researching the designs of petroglyphs scattered around a present-day bombing range discovers carved images shaped like bombs, jets and explosions—images carved hundreds of years before the invention of missiles or aircraft. Indigenous locals attribute these parallels to the presence of the Thunderbird deity.
  • Another student preparing to visit a county he’s never been to dreams about it the night before his trip. The word “contaminated” occurs throughout the dream. When he arrives at the place, he finds this motif everywhere, from polluted bays and streams to invading species and underground oil spills.
  • In a small sample of interviewees asked about their experience of some sacred or meaningful place, all unknowingly describe it as though it were a soothing, healing, or mentoring person.
  • Shortly before a tsunami strikes, five tribes move inland to avoid a flood that destroys their villages. One medicine leader claims that the god responsible for the deluge warned him in a dream.

The tribalist says that the natural world acts like a community of living beings. The geologist says that natural disasters like tsunamis come from measurable seismic movements. What if both are partially correct?

From the mainstream perspective, the examples above seem superstitious in their evocation of a soul or spirit of place. But this perspective fails to distinguish between literalized animism—explaining meteorology or other natural events as being caused by a spirit or arcane force—and the inner experience of these events as animated, ensouled, and full of significance. That places and things act as though alive need not conflict with explaining them outwardly as Western science normally would. How we experience them depends on the mode of consciousness available: literalistic and externalized, or symbolic and interpretive.

The uncanny aliveness of the locations we inhabit seems to be the rule rather than the exception. It’s as though what the conscious mind sees as dead places and things, the unconscious reacts to as animated presences and metaphors. Borderlines and borderlands, polluted bays and polluted moods, personal complexes and apartment complexes all seem to resonate together. This should not surprise us. Not only can events in the world symbolize aspects of the human self, those aspects in turn point back to the features of the world that evolved our minds.

Terrapsychology aims to bring these resonances more fully into consciousness by using the psychological field in which they surface to listen in on parallels between human and ecological wounding and well-being. Rather than reducing one to the other, the method honors the fully interactive nature of placefield motifs—recurrent themes common to people and place—as multidimensional, interdependent, intersubjective, and symbolically connective and meaningful. In fact, given the “transferential field” they inhabit with us, we interpret them much like the images of dreams, where even the most literal facts carry symbolic impact.

When local events are reexamined as linked to our interior depths by motif and metaphor (the language of the unconscious)—in other words, as though they possessed their own subjectivity, inwardness, or psychical aspect—then a fortified border is not just a very tall fence: it also recurs as a psychic division, a cleavage of the heart, a spiritual dam, a cultural barrier, a split within the self, a political regression. Instead of a psyche confined to human heads, we behold an ecology of the heart, where verdant landscapes moisten verdant souls. The matter we would master enters into us at will over bridges of image and dream.

How is terrapsychology different from ecology or environmental psychology?

Terrapsychology follows the example of deep ecology and depth psychology by looking below the surface of obvious connections between persons and places. Mainstream studies show a high correlation, for example, between rates of obesity near expanding metropolitan regions, whereas a terrapsychological question would be: Do we need a new concept, obecity, to describe an unconscious but bodily registered connection between urban sprawl and expanding waistlines?

Is terrapsychology scientific?

In terms of “science” narrowly defined as a search for causal relationships, the answer would be no, but humanistic and transpersonal psychologies have pushed for broader definitions. To extend Abraham Maslow’s remarks about studying the uniqueness of individuals to the uniqueness of places and their features: If what we discover does not fit a particular idea of science, “then so much the worse for that conception of science.”

What kinds of research does terrapsychology conduct?

Because current quantitative and qualitative methods tend to split self from world, we are fashioning our own blend, called Terrapsychological Inquiry, which draws on phenomenology, hermeneutics, ethnology, naturalism, geology, geography, collaborative inquiry, and various techniques from depth psychology to put the presence of place directly into the foreground.

Can you prove that matter possesses qualities of subjectivity?

Not with purely quantitative methods. They can’t even prove that we possess a subjective life. Search for it and all that appears are neurotransmitters and complex nervous networks. No hidden vital principle, no homunculus pulling the strings anywhere, and why? Because subjectivity is not a locatable thing to be detected from without. It is the felt interior of matter: the “within” of everything, as Teilhard de Chardin expressed it. The more complex or "brainy" the matter, the more differentiated the subjectivity. Looking for a source of subjectivity with such crude instrumentation is like leveling a yardstick at the symphony-ghost floating in the space between stereophonic headphones. It breaks the basic engineering rule of “the right tool for the right job.” The terrapsychological view is that the right tool is the psychological field: using the researcher’s subjectivity to explore the subjective properties of a given location.

Do you investigate things like ley lines, morphogenic forces, vibrations, etc.?

Not usually. Aside from what’s mentioned above about the limits of quantitative methods, the thesis that places and things occupy interactional fields with us makes force explanations unnecessary. If a housing development or a forest are resonant, integral parts of someone’s psychological field, then looking for lines of force or energies stretching between them and the person’s psyche is less fruitful for us than uncovering more symbolic, transferential connections. Discussions of forces and energies also tend to be what analyst Heinz Kohut referred to as "experience-distant." We don't invalidate any of that, but we try to keep within the range of what we can sense and feel.

What are some of the benefits of this kind of investigation?

All who have done it feel closer to the world, to things, to the places where we live. They have come to be like persons to us. As a result of this interior connection, we are less willing to see our surroundings wasted and destroyed, and more willing to educate each other about the losses of sanity and joy and embodiment that parallel losses of air, water, and land. Human and ecological health, wholeness, and justice can not be legitimately separated.

We also find ourselves less inclined to unknowingly repeat, become entangled with, or otherwise act out themes of local or historical wounding. It sounds paradoxical, but the very expansion of consciousness that allows reassessment of local doings as psychical facts somehow detaches us from the shadows they cast into the human psyche. The materialism of an unconscious identification with the environment, the very regression indigenous psychology has been accused of being stuck in, gives way to an intersubjective dialog. It’s rather like the difference between knowing and loving an animal well—prizing its uniqueness, respecting its needs—and babying it to death, looking down on it, or covertly reinforcing its barking or biting.

Deep ecologists, naturalists, and bioregionalists have spoken and written at length about the need to reinhabit our surroundings, to live in them consciously and caringly. Wendell Berry’s observation that we Americans still have not truly arrived in America speaks to the need for this sense of emplacement, of being still long enough to feel connected and responsible. Terrapsychology engenders this while demonstrating how the what of our surroundings also tends to approach us as a who.

Terrapsychology: Reengaging The Soul Of Place

- Spring Journal Books -

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Annual Free Seed Seconds Give-away at the Seeds of Change Research Farm

Folks - this is forward from Seeds of Change Farm -

Annual Free Seed Seconds Give-away at the Seeds of Change Research
April 13, 2007
3:00-7:00 PM

Hello All,

It is that time of year again! Time to clean out your planting
trays, make up some seedling mix and hop on over to the Seeds of
Change Research Farm to get some seeds.

Scheduled time - Friday, April 13, 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM.

This year we are adding two activities to our agenda:

3:00-4:00pm A presentation by Emily Gatch and Emily Skelton on
starting seeds, creating your own soilless seed starting mix, seed
dormancy, germination and testing. This will be a great time to get
all of your questions answered about growing from seed.

4:00-6:00 PM Free Seed Give-away from our seed seconds and un-
sellable seed.

Bring your own ziplock baggies and a sharpie pen!

6:00-7:00pm Potluck Dinner. Please bring your favourite dish to
share with your neighbours and friends.


Seeds of Change Research Farm
340 County Road 0057
San Juan Pueblo, NM 87566

See you there.

Emily Skelton
Seed Cleaning and Quality Co-ordinator

Freecycle(TM) Santa Fe

Welcome to Freecycle(TM) Santa Fe.

Tired of your toaster oven, never opened the cappucino maker, have an extra yard of gravel in your driveway.

Post and someone will find it.

Give and take freely. Your lost labelmaker is someone elses treasure.


1) NO POLITICS NO SPAM. Two strikes you're out. By spam we mean any commercial e-mail soliciting products or services.

Use these phrases:
OFFER: old couch
TAKEN: old couch
WANTED: old couch. [Please use this one sparingly]
ADMIN: new idea



5) FYI: RESPONSES GO ONLY TO OFFERER. It keeps down the sheer # of e-mails.

6) PICK UP. arrange as you like, generally, 1st responded, 1st serve, if a charity responds, you may want to give them a 1st shot.

7) PETS. It is okay to offer pets up for adoption. Please be responsible and compassionate whether you are adopting or giving up a pet. Make sure the pet is going to the right home.

8) NO sexually explicit items, alcohol, drugs or guns.

Copyright (C) 2003-2006 The Freecycle Network ( All rights reserved. Freecycle and the Freecycle logo are trademarks of The Freecycle Network in the United States and/or other countries.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Impeachment in New Mexico Defeated

Impeachment in New Mexico Defeated in Procedural Vote to Prevent Full Senate Debate. Senator John Grubesic Sends Out Beautiful Press Release.

In a move that appears to have been carefully orchestrated, New Mexico's impeachment resolution was blocked from full debate on the Senate floor by a handful of Democratic Senators, some of whom switched their votes for unknown reasons.

Here is the list of Senators who voted against the Resolution

Senator Ben Altamirano, President Pro Tem, Voted for it in Rules
Senator Pete Campos
Senator Carlos Cisneros, Signed the Bill but is on the Senate Finance Conference Committee with Smith and Jennings, strong opponents.
Senator Phil Griego
Senator Tim Jennings
Senator John Pinto
Senator John Arthur Smith
Senator James Taylor
Senator David Ulibarri, Voted for it in Public Affairs

From the media gallery, we noticed Senators Cisneros, Griego, Campos, Taylor and Smith in a huddle, but it wasn't until later that we considered its significance. Senator Altamirano, the President Pro Tem, appears to have been a strong voice on the topic, and there may have been some word from the Governor, although that is speculation. Please see Senator Grubesic's beautiful press release on the topic to go.

As I look at the way forward, I see several promising directions. There are still several important pieces of Legislation that need support, namely the No Real ID Resolutions, the Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Memorial and the Dismantle Kirtland Nuclear Weapons Permanently measure. I will need a day or so to examine the options and determine which to focus on and am interested in reader feedback on the subject.

At this point, it is also important to begin to turn once again to the national debate on the manufactured and propagandistic "War on Terror" and aggressively intervene in the ongoing lack of understanding there.

Several national marches will take place later this month, such as the March on the Pentagon on the anniversary of the Start of the Iraq War. Mother Media would like to join other citizen organizations in some sort of action here in Santa Fe on that day, and I believe there is significant effort involved in an Albuquerque event which we would like to publicize. There is also a multi-organization event this Saturday called by Dave Batcheler of the Constitution Party which may be of interest to some citizens, more information below Senator Grubesic's Press Release. I was enormously pleased recently to pick up my first Constitutionally sound Liberty Dollars in solid silver and silver certificate from Joe Thornton and his wife. I strongly support this intiative to use a currency that is backed by a commodity (any commodity would do, silver is handy and standard) and am thankful to Mr. Thornton and his wife Glorietta Miller of Carrizozo. Joe was formerly a registered Republican but one of our strongest impeachment team members. You can see his testimony in the several videos we created of the Rules and Public Affairs Committee Hearings which have had over 15,000 viewings between them. Congresswoman Liz Holtzman's videoconference testimony to Senator Ortiz y Pino is also now available online.

I very much enjoyed the opportunity to work with everyone, there were times where I felt we were all postively glowing in the Committee hearings. It is clear to me that we have a terrific team ready and willing to do what needs to be done in these dangerous, but opportune times. We must all do what we can to bring the issues that matter to the fore, and there is no better way to do so than as a candidate for office. To that end, I would like to offer my candidacy for US Senate and hope that you will let me know your thoughts on the issues that are important as well as recommendations for how I might be most effective on behalf of all of us, and Mother Earth. If you are interested in helping with such an initiative, let me know.

by Leland Lehrman h: (505) 982-3609 o: (505) 473-4458

Senate Joint Resolution 5 Killed in the Senate -- Procedure before People -- by Senator John T. L. Grubesic

Santa Fe, NM – This country was founded by rebels. This country was forged in violence, ferocity, dissent and uproar. This country is vanishing before our eyes, not because we are blind, but because we are willing participants in its destruction. Today on the Senate floor you witnessed an excellent example. The Impeachment Resolution -- Senate Joint Resolution 5 – died quietly with no debate whatsoever. The dignity of the New Mexico State Senate was maintained as we followed carefully designed rules of procedure to ensure that nothing disrupted the workings of this austere body. We did a great job of making it appear that government was working.

However, we have to ask, which government and on whose behalf? The action taken by the Senate was not the action taken by a body that protects the freedoms of a sovereign people. The action was a carefully orchestrated option designed to protect the integrity of an institution and perpetuate the well-oiled workings of government. A government that has evidently forgotten that we serve at the pleasure of those we govern.

It is clear that, from the highest levels of government in our country down to our State, very few of us want to deal with the unpleasant political mess that impeachment could become. Our actions today showed where our priorities are – we forgot that the Constitution was not designed to serve government, but to protect the people. There should have been debate, argument, uproar. Instead, we quietly gutted the sovereign power of the people with polite political procedure.

When future generations look back on our time, the shock will not be because of the violent, impolite nature of the fight that preceded the destruction of Constitutional government, but by the meekness with which we watched it die.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Urgent Alert: Republicans Mount Counterattack, Stall Impeachment Resolution in Procedural Maneuver.

Urgent Alert: Republicans Mount Counterattack, Stall Impeachment Resolution in Procedural Maneuver. Floor Vote Called Prior to Debate for Tomorrow, Thursday March 7th During Floor Session. All Citizens to the Roundhouse 9:30 AM On. Check Senate Print Media Gallery for Updates.

With shock I received word today from resolution sponsor Senator Ortiz y Pino's secretary Sharon Shaffer that the Republicans had used a procedural maneuver to stall the Impeachment Resolution and prevent a full debate on the floor. Immediately double-checking with Majority Leader Michael Sanchez's secretary Sharmaine, I realized that the impeachment resolution had been dealt a serious if not fatal blow.

During the ordinarily mundane reading of committee reports, wherein the Senate is informed of the decisions of the various Committees, the Republicans decided to block "adoption" of the Judiciary Committee report. They were successful in a voice vote largely because the Democrats, caught completely off guard, were not on hand in number to oppose the motion.

Majority Leader Michael Sanchez successfully held the roll call vote until the Democrats could be present in number, and when I spoke with him late in the day, he told me that the roll call vote would happen some time Thursday.

Therefore, it is now urgently important to call in high volume and with utmost respect to the swing vote Senators listed below under action items via the Capitol Switchboard at 986-4300. Let them know through their secretaries that the Republicans have chosen to use an unfair procedural method to require a vote on the resolution before it even gets a chance to be openly debated. Explain that there will be a Senate Floor roll call vote on the adoption of the Judiciary Committee Report with the Impeachment Resolution SJR 5 in it, and ask them to be on the floor alert to vote in favor.

This vote may be more difficult to win than the vote for final passage, because it must be taken without opportunity for debate on the merits of the resolution. Some believe that Senator Sanchez has everything under control and will successfully move adoption when he gets the opportunity. According to experienced sources, there is a remote possibility that there will be a "Call of the Senate" wherein the State Police are assigned to track down every Senator and all are required to be on hand. Regardless, this moment of truth will be a historic occasion and it is essential that maximum public scrutiny of the decision be brought to bear in order that the gravity of the decision be made clear by the citizenry. Be there. Along with the action items below, I have created two worksheets for serious citizens with the phone numbers of relevant Democratic Party Central Committee Members and County Chairs on it. Download and call away:

Basic List of All Relevant County Chairs and Vice Chairs
Complete List of All Relevant County Central Committee Members

Please lobby all media outlets aggressively to cover the floor vote.

Action Items:

Stay focused on the swing votes in order of difficulty from estimated hardest to easiest: John Arthur Smith, Shannon Robinson, Tim Jennings, Phil Griego, Lynda Lovejoy, Pete Campos, Nancy Rodriguez, John Pinto, and James Taylor. Lidio Rainaldi is a special case, having expressed exasperation with the amount of in-person activist pressure, but also appearing to be favorable. Senator Ortiz y Pino's strategy now is to leave all in-person negotiations to him, Senator Grubesic and the other favorable Senators. Some passionnate in-person testimony has disturbed undecided Senators and although understandable, it could swing the vote the wrong way.

Shannon Robinson, the respected sponsor of SJM 47 Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Production deserves special attention from Albuquerque voters, especially those in his district: 17. To find out if you are in his district, check the NM Legislature website at . We can't really understand why he's against the resolution, and he needs to hear from his constituents. They can have a significant impact on him, especially delegates of the Bernalillo Democratic Party who should immediately pass a new resolution of support and forward it on to him.

Here's the info on the Bernalillo County Democratic Party Leadership for Senator Shannon Robinson:

Bernalillo County Democratic Party Officers: Chair: Marvin Moss (505) 298-2643 Vice Chair: Cate Stetson (505) 264-1658 130 Alvarado NE Suite 400 , Albuquerque New Mexico 87108 505-256-1855 (main)

Here's the info on the Sierra, Luna and Hidalgo County Leadership, relevant to Senator John Arthur Smith (Deming):

Luna County Democratic Party Party Officers Chair: Sam Baca (505) 546-3322; Vice: Sonia Arteche (505) 546-3406 322 West Pine Street , Deming New Mexico 88030 505-544-4609 (main) 505-546-5777 (fax)

Sierra County Democratic Party Party Officers Chair: David W. Farrell (505) 895-3352, Vice: Jan Thetford (505) 894-1208, P O Box 583 , Truth Or Consequences New Mexico 87901 (505) 740-2700 (main)

Hidalgo County Democratic Party Party Officers Chair: David Escobar (505) 542-8053 Vice Chair: Rebecca Estrada (505) 542-9629 1516 Main St. , Lordsburg New Mexico 88045 (505) 542-8053 (main)

Here's the info on Chaves County, relevant to Roswell Senator Tim Jennings along with Eddy, Lincoln and Otero:

Chaves County Democratic Party Party Officers Chair: Tom Jennings (505) 625-1984 Vice Chair: Melissa Jones- Witt PO Box 1797 , Roswell New Mexico 88202 505-623-8331 (main)

All County Party Information is here.

The below information is still relevant regarding the final outcome.

When contacted, Senator John Arthur Smith D - Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra was solid against and it now appears that Senator Shannon Robinson D-Bernalillo is solid against. Please call them as well as Senator Tim Jennings, John Arthur Smith's co-chair on Senate Finance who now becomes a serious swing vote, along with Senators Phil Griego, Pete Campos, Lynda Lovejoy and the other undecideds above. Most are expected to vote with the Democratic leadership which is now solidly on our side.

Please remember decorum without feeling overly restricted.

If you have not already memorized the phone number for the Capitol Switchboard which can connect you with anyone in the Roundhouse, it's 986-4300. Click the image above right to view the Public Affairs Commitee hearing video. Judiciary Committee video coming soon.

Basic Impeachment Background Here.

by Leland Lehrman h: (505) 982-3609 o: (505) 473-4458

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

NM Impeachment Resolution in Solid 5-1 Victory

NM Impeachment Resolution in Solid 5-1 Victory in Senate Judiciary
Committee - Floor Vote Imminent

In what may be a national first, a State-initiated impeachment
resolution against the President and Vice-President of the United
States has reached the floor of a State Senate. Drawing support from
hundreds of supremely dedicated citizens willing to wait hours on both
weekends and weekdays for the opportunity to speak, the five Democrats
present on the New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee, voted in favor
without doubt or hesitation. No audience member spoke against.

Former Congresswoman Liz Holtzman's expert witness testimony appeared
via videotape and was enormously influential due to her standing as a
member of the Judiciary Committee that begain impeachment proceedings
against Richard Nixon.

Senator Rod Adair, the sole Republican willing to answer the charges
made a best effort to deny them, but was ultimately unconvincing.
Predictably citing the now suspect war powers of the Executive Branch
and claiming that the United States is the guardian of the free world
against fascism and totalitarianism, Senator Adair used the propaganda
term Islamofascists to vilify America's opponents in the Middle East
and justify the ongoing wars. No Democrat attempted to refute Senator
Adair's position, but the hour was late and their vote said it all.

The resolution now goes to the Senate floor where the vote is expected
to be close. Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, who controls the floor
schedule, voted solidly without comment for the Resolution in
Judiciary and recently stated to the press that he expects the measure
to pass in a party line vote. However, Democratic Senators John Arthur
Smith and Shannon Robinson have declared their hesitance to vote for
the measure and Senator Tim Jennings and Phil Griego remain
uncommitted. There is some question as to whether or not the vote must
pass with a majority of the Senate (22 yes votes) or a majority of
those present. Authorities on the Rules of the New Mexico Legislature
are working on the question but believe that a majority of those
present will suffice.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

All hands on deck by 1:30PM, Saturday at Capitol ready to stay into the evening.

Impeachment Still in Judiciary, Senate Floor Vote Also Possible But Uncertain. Majority Leader Michael Sanchez and Democrats were in caucus last night perhaps discussing deal with Republicans. All hands on deck by 1:30PM, Saturday at Capitol ready to stay into the evening.
The best information we currently have is that SJR 5 is on the agenda in Judiciary today, Saturday, after 2:30PM in Room 321, but that Majority Leader Michael Sanchez may make a motion to take SJR 5 out of committee and down to the floor for a full three-hour debate and vote sometime after 1:30PM. There is some kind of deal rumored, namely, that the Republicans will get to have a controversial bill heard on the floor as well: Mandatory Parental Notification for women sixteen and under seeking abortion. The Senate Democrats and Republicans met in caucus yesterday, perhaps to discuss particulars.

Senator Sanchez has told the press that he expects the impeachment resolution to pass the Senate floor in a party line vote, but we've counted the votes and it is perilously close. According to the sponsor, Ortiz y Pino, a Senate Joint Resolution, since it has so much power, must pass with twenty two votes in favor, a true majority of the Senate, rather than just a majority of those present. Looking at it the other way, we can lose only two Democrats and still win. Senator John Arthur Smith D - Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra was solid against and it now appears that Senator Shannon Robinson D-Bernalillo is solid against. Please visit or call them as well as Senator Tim Jennings, John Arthur Smith's co-chair on Senate Finance who now becomes the swing vote, along with Senators Griego, Rainaldi and the other undecideds. Most are expected to vote with the Democratic leadership which is now apparently on our side.

But there's a new wrinkle, Senator Linda Lopez's mom may have had a stroke yesterday, and Linda is in the hospital and missed yesterday's session. If we lose her vote, Senator Robinson, and John Arthur Smith, we lose. There are of course plenty of other ways this could go, but that's my concern. Absolutely all respectful, supportive testimony and documentation must be brought to bear on Senators Jennings, Robinson, Griego, Rainaldi and John Arthur Smith. Prayers for Senator Lopez and her family are in order. There will be DVDs available of former US Congresswoman Liz Holtzman's videoconference testimony in favor and a viewing station set up in the Roundhouse by around 1pm, check with impeachment headquarters in Senator Ortiz y Pino's office, Room 414.

Although there is no longer any real concern that the bill will be heard on the floor in the morning session today, the best guidance I can offer is that all citizens get to the Roundhouse by 10:30AM for the 11:00 opening of business on the floor. That half hour is the best window available for direct discussion with Senators as they come down from committee to the floor, which is open to citizens until roll is called. Today is likely to be a fateful one, and we will be metaphorically painted and in full ceremonial dress. I will be moving between the Senate Majority Leader's office and the Information Desk at the East Entrance from 10:00 or so helping people identify and pitch the Senators. Terrence McCarthy and Nancy Kenney, among others, will be set up in the Senate Media Gallery where one may also find allies. Once again, you may be able to reach me through Arwen's cell phone: (505) 603-6084. It is also possible to have the operator page me from the information desk if necessary.

Please also note decorum without feeling overly restricted. No clapping in Committee after speeches or from the gallery.

If you have not already memorized the phone number for the Capitol Switchboard which can connect you with anyone in the Roundhouse, it's 986-4300. Click the image above right to view the new Public Affairs Commitee hearing video.

Basic Impeachment Background Here.

by Leland Lehrman h: (505) 982-3609 o: (505) 473-4458

Friday, March 02, 2007

Urgent Update: Impeachment Resolution

Urgent Update: Impeachment Resolution May Bypass the Judiciary Committee and Go Straight to the Senate Floor Vote During Friday, Saturday Sessions.
There is speculation that action may happen on Friday, March 2nd to take SJR 5 out of the Judiciary Committee. Attorney Randall Cherry - Senator McSorley's staff analyst - is the source of this information as directly relayed by citizen Terrence McCarthy of Vivo Studios. Jim Williams of KUNM and Dorothy Fadiman,, co-producer of the video linked at right above provided corroborating statements.

Since both the bill sponsor and the Committee Chairman are already in favor, they can make a motion on the floor in open session that the Resolution bypass Judiciary. However, this motion must receive unanimous consent - not likely - or then win either a voice or roll-call vote. According to Charlotte Roybal, longtime Democratic Party delegate, if the Senate votes to take the resolution out of Judiciary, floor debate on the resolution will still have to wait until Saturday, perhaps around 10AM. Stay tuned via either the sponsors Ortiz y Pino and Grubesic's office, Judiciary Chairman McSorley's office or the Majority Leader Sanchez' office. Again, all can be contacted at 986-4300. Did you memorize the number yet?

It is now time to count our votes on the entire Senate floor. If all the Republicans vote together and are present (likely), we can afford to lose only three Democratic votes against or five abstentions. We know that John Arthur Smith D - Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra was solid against. Tim Jennings D - Chaves, Eddy, Lincoln and Otero may take his cue from Smith, but is on the fence, having told me personally: "You can't impeach someone for stupidity." Sen. Lidio Rainaldi is known for conservatism, and declined an information packet recently offerred saying that he already knew how he was voting, but not saying how that was. Senator Phil Griego, D-Los Alamos, Mora, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos is also well-known for skepticism and the following Senators' votes are not known: John Pinto, Lynda Lovejoy, Nancy Rodriguez, Pete Campos, James Taylor, Shannon Robinson.

Given that that the timetable for the floor vote has been accelerated, it is now time for the full-court press. Every Democratic undecided Senator, all the time, especially the swing votes: Sanchez above all, the rest of the above undecideds and some say Altamirano. Although he voted for the resolution in Rules Committee, Senators do not always vote for a bill on the floor the way they did in Committee, for various reasons.

Please also note decorum without feeling overly restricted. No clapping after speeches or votes in committee or from the gallery, in particular. Although I find the thought that decorum should have an impact on a meaningful vote abhorrent, I must admit that as a father, there have been times when my children's unruly behavior has brought my anger upon them. I'm not proud of it, and there can be one hell of a fuss when they don't get to watch a movie, but sometimes it happens and I have to end up apologizing later if I was out of order.

We won't get a second chance.

I am going to leave the number and type of speakers to the sponsor and the Chair this time. The sponsors are now suggesting that we focus on the "asking for an investigation" part and avoid rendering verdicts in our testimony. I agree there may be some merit to the cautious approach at this time. Apparently it may help us with swing voters. Take this under advisement, but it is not meant to stifle your initiative, which is the most precious of all the human qualities found on this team.

If you have not already memorized the phone number for the Capitol Switchboard which can connect you with anyone in the Roundhouse, it's 986-4300. Citizens will be onsite at the Roundhouse tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday to assist if you would like to hit any of the key offices in person. Please look for us either on the floor, outside the Majority Leader's office, or in the Media Gallery overlooking the House floor on the East Side of the Capitol Building. I can be paged at the Information Desk on the East Side. I will be also be leaving updates with Arwen Gwyneth Hubbard at (505) 603-6084 and may be reachable at that number. Click the image above right to view the Rules Commitee hearing. The Public Affairs hearing will be online shortly. Basic Impeachment Background Here.
by Leland Lehrman h: (505) 982-3609 o: (505) 473-4458

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Saturday for NM Impeachment Resolution.

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Saturday for NM Impeachment Resolution.
The Saturday hearing will probably be after the floor session, however, we do not know exactly when that will be. The best guess is after 3PM, but maybe in the morning and possibly not until 7PM, as we are at the back of the agenda. Stay in touch with Senator McSorley's office for updated time information: 986-4485. Please continue to call Senators Michael Sanchez, Lidio Rainaldi and Richard Martinez, the swing votes on the Judiciary Committee. If you have not already memorized the phone number for the Capitol Switchboard which can connect you with anyone in the Roundhouse, it's 986-4300. Click the image above right to view the Rules Commitee hearing. The Public Affairs hearing will be online shortly. Basic Impeachment Background Here.
by Leland Lehrman h: (505) 982-3609 o: (505) 473-4458

The below action items are still relevant, but I want to make a commentary on the proceedings. Senator Michael Sanchez, as the Majority Leader, is supremely important to the success of this initiative for more than just the reasons given below: swing vote on Judiciary and in charge of the Senate Floor hearing. Because he is in charge of the Senate Floor schedule, he also decides which House Bills get heard on the Senate floor, giving him enormous leverage with House members. What this means is that we will need his support not just to get the resolution onto the floor of the Senate, but to get it through the House. We will need him, for example, to recommend to House Majority Leader Ken Martinez that it receive only one committee if possible. If it must receive two committees, we will need his support asking the Chairs of those committees to schedule it quickly. As the session winds down, the competition for passage gets intense, and the question is no longer do the Legislators support the bill, but how much do they support it? Are they willing to take the chance that it will be a "showstopper," as House Majority Leader Ken Martinez worried.

Controversial bills such as this one become hot potatoes, and the horse trading gets heated over them. Republican procedural moves like boycotts and filibusters become likely. We could get pressure from allies who have other bills that are in danger because of our resolution. Absolutely the only way to make sure that we succeed in the face of such resistance will be massive citizen pressure, both on the legislators themselves as well as on the press. These two "estates" must be lobbied with equal skill and dedication in order to create the synergistic effect known as "the story," wherein the entire population suddenly becomes involved in a kind of collective consciousness event. The energy around the initiative is already moving in that direction, with television producers beginning to focus on it and radio, print and internet audiences already well-attuned.

The Rules Commitee documentary has been seen nearly 8,000 times since it was first uploaded, and is ranked five stars.