The Year of the Women: Kudos to Valerie

By: Bill Whaley
31 January, 2017


Unknown-2The March for civil rights and expression of political power by American women continues to rock Washington D.C. and Taos, New Mexico. Last night television news posted photos of four judges, all women, who temporarily blocked Donald Trump’s executive order banning Muslims from countries without Trump hotels. Then the Tweeter fired Sally Yates, the acting AG who questioned the constitutionality of the order by the increasingly neurotic President.

Here in Taos the Town Council censured Councilor Judi Cantu for being a “pest,” in a continuing culture of Unknown-1patriarchal misgivings about women who get elected and speak up to conventional males. Cantu follows in the line of other women who spoke up and were punished by humiliating gestures, including former Council Woman Erlinda Gonzales, County Commissioner Rebecca Parraz, County Finance Director Lorraine Coca-Ruiz, KCEC Trustee Luisa Mylet, and Taos Municipal Schools board member Stella Gallegos.

Sure Judi could use an editor for her public opinion pieces and more training in the arts of politics. But she’s the only voice who speaks up and disagrees with a lock step Town Council and its eminence grise Rick Bellis. The Mayor himself once revealed his “frustration” with the fairer sex, when he engaged in a diatribe and eventually terminated Attorney Barbara Martinez at the County.

(Meanwhile the Council carefully avoids censuring “procurement code violators,” “backdoor deals with developers,” while “closing the Plaza despite an ordinance forbidding same,” and going along “tacitly in the past”  with El Reyes and Los Bandidos.)

LorraineCocaRuizFor years Town of Taos Council Women Erlinda Gonzales was the only dissenter during the Father Fred and Slick Gus regime at Town Hall. Lorraine Coca-Ruiz (pictured) famously stood on her soapbox, literally, and confronted the County Commission with their financial peccadilloes at the turn of the Century. Commissioner Becky Parraz , same period,was thrown into County politics by the patron system and she got fried, often unfairly, by this reporter and others in the media. Fortunately “Lifetime Parraz” has a sense of humor and survived to fight another day.

Trustee Luisa Mylet once arrived at a Coop meeting with her father in tow in order to shame the male trustees. Now she is watching with detachment as the “Boys” self-destruct and worries about the employees having jobs.

School Board Member Stella Gallegos

School Board Member Stella Gallegos

Back when then newly elected school board member Stella Gallegos sat by herself in front of an unruly mob at the Sagebrush Convention Center and bravely absorbed the slings and arrows of an unruly mob. But then Stella, legend has it, managed gang bangers in high school resource rooms and knew her way round the backcountry if the little bangers got out of hand. Judi has yet to learn how to maneuver backstage.

While Today’s women march nationally against Trump, I have seen the color of courage demonstrated by these local Taosenas. For a woman who questions male authority on either side of the cattle guard in the greater Taos Valley risks shunning and ignominy like say,. Gladys Kozll, RISE member at Taos Pueblo, or Judi at the Town of Taos.

I don’t think Mayor Barrone likes uppity females.

Indeed, Mayor Barrone, Councilor Hahn, Councilor Fernandez, and Councilor Evans embarrassed themselves, not Judi, by presenting a “show” trial and exercise in “star chamber” inquisition. Apparently, the manager ordered up several Town Cops in a show of force and penile authority. Really, these guys looked as ridiculous as the wannabe 70s-era rocker who runs the show.

165x200-espinozaHere’s to Valerie Espinoza

While this Intervener has noted that PRC Commissioner Espinoza voted both ways with regard to KCEC’s rate increase on Dec. 7, 2016, all the Interveners congratulate her on the bench request aimed at bringing KCE to heel. Apparently, El Reyes and his courtiers forgot to follow the regs and ask for permission before committing the Coop to the Guzman financiers for a fee of $37 million in the Tri-State buy-out deal. Now the Trustees and El Jefe will beg for forgiveness or claim they don’t have to ask.

Here’s an excerpt from Valerie’s message to the “Bad Boys” who already confessed to bilking some 6500 customers by retroactively billing their own members due to an “inadvertent” error.

“The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (the “Commission”) directs Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc., (“Kit Carson”) to file a response to the following no later than Thursday, February 2, 2017:

“Please state whether or not Kit Carson filed any notice or applied with the NMPRC to obtain generation service from Guzman. And if so, provide the date the document was filed, identifying the NMPRC docket number, whether testimony was filed and wherein the testimony the information was provided.

“Please state whether or not Kit Carson filed any notice or applied with the NMPRC to obtain transmission service from Guzman. And if so, provide the date the document was filed, identifying the NMPRC docket number, whether testimony was filed and when.”

KCEC: Member of ALEC

Did you know, according to John Weckerle, an old friend of Taos, who edits ( that “The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) maintains a strong lobbying presence in Washington. Rural Electric Cooperatives (RECs) receive 80 percent of their power from coal, significantly above the national average of 50 percent.”

(Kit Carson’s power still comes from Tri-State coal and natural gas via Guzman, according to filings.)

Kit Carson is a member of NRECA and each February KCEC Trustees and El Jefe run off to New Orleans or San Diego to enjoy the company of their national collaborators. Meanwhile all the Coops, via NRECA, are members of the “American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to Weckerle.

ALEC is the Koch Brothers sponsored-plot that aims at controlling state legislatures and deregulating gun control while undermining safeguards for the environment. Many of Trump’s nominees for Cabinet Secretaries are KOCH Bros fellow travelers. Google AKEC and horrify yourself.

Luisa Valero-Mylet 2014So KCEC is no longer your father’s Cooperative. The Trustees have betrayed the members just as Donald Trump has betrayed the U.S. Constitution.

Luisa Mylet in the past, and Sally Yates today told me so.

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