DeDe Feldman, author, "Inside the New Mexico Senate: Boots, Suits, and Citizens"

Air Dates: June 7-10, 2014

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Elected to New Mexico's state senate in 1996, Dede Feldman faced the challenges that confront state legislators around the country along with some that are uniquely New Mexican. In this forthright account of the workings of New Mexico's legislature, she reveals how the work of governing is actually accomplished. Feldman retired from the Senate in 2012.


“Inside the New Mexico Senate” is a legislative history with a human face. Here maverick leaders, special interests, and earnest advocates clash in the unique arena that is the New Mexico Roundhouse. The New Mexico Senate comes alive with stories of grit and grace, honor and disgrace. For students of government, advocates and lovers of politics this book is invaluable.


This is a “how to” book for reformers everywhere who need to know how to take their cause to the “powers that be” in the legislature. Here are case studies in how to – and how not to—pass legislation to provide affordable health care, ethical government, and an end to the death penalty.




“Completely honest and highly informative. To look at a legislative body is to observe democracy in the raw—with all its diverse characters and influences and its many conflicts, compromises, and achievements. Dede Feldman, a first-rate observer and chronicler, shows us the insides of the New Mexico State Senate.”—Fred Harris, former U.S. Senator and professor emeritus of political science, University of New Mexico



“It can be stomach churning to watch a state legislature in action, but it can also be a strong motivation to push for improvements. Dede Feldman has pushed hard and effectively as a fighting reformer and former state senator in New Mexico...” Jim Hightower, populist speaker, writer and editor of the Hightower Lowdown