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Former Code Talker was longest-serving sitting state legislator

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John Pinto's Potato Song Sen. John Pinto sings the Navajo Potato Song on the Senate Floor in Santa Fe.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Albuquerque Journal)
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“He was proud of being a Code Talker,” said Sen. Mimi Stewart,  one of Pinto’s closest friends in the Legislature. She helped him win one of his greatest legislative victories this year. Pinto for years had sought state funding for a Navajo Code Talkers Museum, but it failed to clear the Legislature during a decade of skinflint budgets. New Mexico’s 42 senators — 26 Democrats and 16 Republicans — get along well, even in this era of political gridlock. At Stewart’s suggestion, senators of both parties this year contributed a total of $550,000 from their allocations for public works projects to help fund Code Talkers museum. Then Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appropriated $500,000 from her capital construction budget to complete financing for the $1.05 million project. Pinto, always relentless in advocating for his district in the Four Corners area, had prevailed.

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the (more...)

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