Las Vegas challenges mayor

Subject: “Recall Effort Under Way for Mayor [City of Las Vegas, New Mexico]”  Optic, NM

EXCERPT:
“….people upset at the mayor for refusing the Community Rights
Ordinance [banning drilling and fracking and asserting people’s
rights to a sustainable future and democracy in their community]
that seeks to make it unlawful for any corporation to engage in
the extraction of oil, natural gas or other hydrocarbons within
the city and its watersheds.

Ortiz, who doesn’t have veto power, has refused to sign the
controversial law, saying it’s unconstitutional because it
seeks to strip corporations of their rights.

The mayor brought up that issue Wednesday night, reiterating
that he opposes oil and gas drilling in the community but
didn’t sign the ordinance because of the language in it.”

COMMENT:
The Community Rights Ordinance that the City of Las Vegas City
Council passed into law, April 2012 by a council vote 3:1, does
not challenge the State or Federal Constitution, as Mayor Oritiz
is stating above.

The Ordinance challenges a Supreme Court’s interpretation and
ruling that in 1886 set precedent giving corporations the same
rights as people–giving “personhood” to a corporation.

In the 2013 court ruling Judge O’Dell-Seneca challenged and
denied corporation’s protection under the Constitution as
“persons,” citing sections of the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution
in support of her contention that corporations were never
intended to be constitutionally protected “persons.” She
declared that “an even more dubious proposition is that the
framers of the Constitution of 1776, given their egalitarian
sympathies, would have concerned themselves with vesting, for
the first time in history, indefeasible rights in such entities.
. . that language extends only to natural persons.”

She went on to declare that “it is axiomatic that
corporations, companies, and partnerships have no ‘spiritual
nature,’ ‘feelings,’ ‘intellect,’ ‘beliefs,’
‘thoughts,’ ‘emotions,’ or ‘sensations,’ because
they do not exist in the manner that humankind exists. . . They
cannot be ‘let alone’ by government, because businesses are
but grapes, ripe upon the vine of the law, that the people of
this Commonwealth raise, tend, and prune at their pleasure and need.”

(For the full editorial on this recent ruling, see attached pdf
“A New Civil Rights Movement:  Liberating Our Communities from
Corporate Control A Pennsylvania Judge Holds That Corporations
Are Not “Persons” Under the Pennsylvania Constitution” by
Thomas Alan Linzey, Esq., Executive Director
March 28, 2013

Drilling Mora County

http://www.lasvegasoptic.com/content/recall-effort-under-way-mayor

Recall Effort Under Way for Mayor

By Martin Salazar
April 11, 2013

A notice of intent to recall Mayor Alfonso Ortiz was filed with
the city clerk’s office late Wednesday, setting in motion a
process that could lead to an election at which voters would
decide whether to oust Ortiz before the expiration of his term.

The effort to remove Ortiz from office is led by longtime
activist Lorenzo Flores, who has been critical of the mayor’s
actions in the past.

Flores announced that he had filed the notice during the public
input portion of Wednesday evening’s City Council meeting.

“I’ve come before you like David before Goliath,” Flores
said. “… Enough is enough.”

“Let nature take its course,” Ortiz later responded, saying
that Flores has a right to circulate the recall petition.

“As mayor of the city of Las Vegas, I’m not impressed with
the title,” he said.

“There’s a lot of responsibilites. I have stretched myself
physically; I’ve stretched myself financially to do as much as
I can for the city. My interest is to be very visible, make the
city look very positive.”

Flores didn’t specifically outline why he is targeting the
mayor for recall during his remarks.

“The people have to do what they have to do,” he said in
Spanish. “It’s nothing personal.”

City Attorney Dave Romero cut Flores off when he began talking
about the mayor’s appointments and their connections to a
hotel owner who Flores alleged is exploiting members of the community.

He said people in Las Vegas are struggling to pay their bills
and getting cut-off notices. Flores said city government needs
to help the people. He, along with his Brown Berets, left the
Council chamber after speaking.

Flores didn’t immediately respond to a message left for him
Thursday morning.

But in a letter to the editor published in the Optic in
February, Flores criticized the mayor for his continued support
of City Manager Timothy Dodge.

“Apparently, the mayor will not nor cannot function without
Tim Dodge,” Flores wrote.

“We are not better off with Dodge at the helm,” Flores
wrote. “Despite the mayor’s praise for him, Tim has divided
our business community, he continues to blabber-mouth our
chamber of commerce and the Las Vegas economic development
people. He has done nothing for the over 3,000 at-risk youth in
our city. He has done nothing for infrastructure improvements on
the west side.”

The notice of intent to file a petition of recall has 30
signatures, including several people upset at the mayor for
refusing the community rights ordinance that seeks to make it
unlawful for any corporation to engage in the extraction of oil,
natural gas or other hydrocarbons within the city and its watersheds.

Ortiz, who doesn’t have veto power, has refused to sign the
controversial law, saying it’s unconstitutional because it
seeks to strip corporations of their rights.

The mayor brought up that issue Wednesday night, reiterating
that he opposes oil and gas drilling in the community but
didn’t sign the ordinance because of the language in it.

Under the new city charter, 25 signatures are required on a
notice of intent to initiate recall in order to start the process.

The first signature on the petition is that of Francisco Lorenzo
Flores, and Mayor Ortiz asked the city attorney to explain why
that’s problematic if the signature belongs to the Flores who
appeared at the council.

Romero said Flores has previously been convicted, and as such,
he isn’t a qualified elector under the city charter and
isn’t allowed to sign the petition.

If 25 valid signatures are contained on the document, then the
next step is for a recall petition to be submitted to the clerk
for her approval as to form.

Organizers of the effort would then have 60 days to gather
signatures. In order to force a recall election, organizers must
gather enough signatures to equal or surpass 25 percent of the
people who voted in the last regular city election.

If enough signatures are gathered, an election will be held,
with voters deciding by a simple majority whether to recall or
keep Ortiz.

Ortiz said he’s trying to do the best he can for the
community, noting that he’s sacrificing time with his family
to do the job.

“I’m not here for the money,” he said. “I’m not here
for the $10,000 annual salary.”

He said he has worked hard to move the city forward on a number
of issues, including trying to improve its water infrastructure.

“The reason we’re working so earnestly to help the people
with this water issue, for example, is we’re looking ahead,”
Ortiz said. “I’m really concerned about the situation with
water. I’m saying without water we’re not going to survive.”

Comment

FINAL EDITORIAL ON PA COURT RULING THAT CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PERSONS MARCH 28 2013.pdf FINAL EDITORIAL ON PA COURT RULING THAT CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PERSONS MARCH 28 2013.pdf
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One thought on “Las Vegas challenges mayor

  1. The grassroots effort to recall Ortiz is about far more than his misconduct surrounding the Community Water Rights Ordinance. It is about a general pattern of arrogance and disregard for the city charter, the rule of law, and the welfare of the city’s residents.

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