Oil and gas industry revenues pay a huge share of the money that goes into the state budget. And lobbyists for big oil companies pay a huge amount of campaign contributions to New Mexico politicians. An analysis of lobbyist expense reports filed in recent days with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office shows oil companies dominate the list of the largest donors to campaigns and political committees since last October. By far the biggest contributor among lobbyists in the new batch of reports was the Austin, Texas-based Stephen Perry, Chevron USA’s state government affairs manager for Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Perry listed $183,250 in contributions.
While protesters took the streets outside to support striking Verizon workers, 10 striking employees and two union staffers went inside Hotel Albuquerque, eventually confronting the telecommunication corporation’s chief executive. As Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam wrapped up the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting inside, he finally addressed the elephant in the room. Roughly 40,000 wireline company employees across the nation are into their fourth week of striking after coming to an impasse in negotiations with Verizon management over a new contract. Related: Protesters stop traffic outside Verizon shareholder’s meeting. “While I won’t say a lot about the strike we’re experiencing today, I would like to thank the members of the union who are here today and your approach to this,” McAdam said, referring to Communication Workers of America employees in the room and picketing outside the hotel.
A demonstration outside of a Verizon shareholder’s meeting resulted in brief detainment and criminal citations for a group of union members and one New Mexico lawmaker. Executive Director of the Southwest Organizing Project Javier Benavidez, New Mexico Federation of Labor President Jon Hendry and state Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, were among those who received citations for blocking traffic near Old Town in Albuquerque. Albuquerque police confirmed 15 protesters received citations, but said police made no arrests. These were just a portion of the hundreds of protesters who set up shop outside a Verizon shareholder’s meeting. Police also said there were no injuries at the peaceful protest.
Union protesters and others gathered in Albuquerque to protest Verizon’s annual shareholders meeting on Thursday and blocked traffic while holding a banner. The meeting takes place at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town. The protests was part of a national protest, stemming back to a contract dispute between the company and workers in the company’s landline phone, cable and internet businesses; the dispute does not include workers at cell phone locations. The the Communications Workers of America represents the workers and is involved in the dispute against Verizon. NM Political Report is present at the protests and will have a full report later in the day.