Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @  Comments included here represent the views of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of KRWG or New Mexico State University.

New Mexicans Protest Trump's Wall

Jun 10, 2018

Commentary: We're at the border, to protest yet another federal stupidity. 

Behind the stage is the “new and improved” wall marking New Mexico's border with Old Mexico. We need no such wall, of course. Deer, mountain lions, and javelina need no such wall. The land looks the same on both sides, except that we've messed up our side.

This wall will waste money and our scarce water, and inhibit biological diversity – without really affecting drug trafficking. Drug cartels got plenty of ladders and digging tools. Animals don't. (donald trump)

Commentary: Trump and Republicans’ health care sabotage has already led to millions more uninsured Americans, and now their policies are causing premiums to skyrocket in markets across the country.

Commentary: What is poverty and who are the poor is a moving target. Take, for example, a new study released by the United Way that claims that nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to fund a monthly budget that includes housing, food, health care, transportation and a cell phone.

Cell phone? Really, you are poor if you can’t afford a cell phone. Many reading this column will say yes, a cell phone is essential to quality of life in 21st century America; many of you, like me, will balk at this.

Money can’t buy love: Takeaways from the New Mexico primary

Jun 6, 2018
New Mexico In Depth

Commentary: New Mexico In Depth has three immediate takeaways from last night’s primary.

  • Incumbents in the general take note: voters are in the mood for newcomers.

Three Democratic state House incumbents were given the boot last night: Bealquin “Bill” Gomez in southern New Mexico, and two northern New Mexico lawmakers who found themselves in heated races, Debbie Rodella and Carl Trujillo.

Some Thoughts For The Trump Administration On Separating Immigrant Families

Jun 5, 2018

Commentary: In a tweet last week, President Donald Trump called on Democrats in Congress to reverse the immigration policy implemented by his attorney general.

“Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there (sic) parents once they cross the Border into the U.S,” he tweeted.

It seemed like a strange request. If Trump doesn’t like the policy, why doesn’t he just instruct Jeff Sessions to change it?

Commentary: All of the time I was growing up, going to school, and eventually graduating from business school, I was constantly told by mentors that a person should master a second language in order to develop a niche and to gain an advantage. Growing up in northern New Mexico, I was constantly exposed to Spanish through relatives and friends. However, Spanish in that part of the world is archaic Spanish, which is not used in modern Spanish-speaking countries. Therefore, I had to learn to speak modern Spanish.

History Will Vindicate Modern Abolitionists

Jun 3, 2018

Commentary: The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was authorize by the U.S. Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the compromise between Southern slave-holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers. The law stipulated that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to the one who purchased or inherited them and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate.

Goodman: Thoughts On Tuesday's New Mexico Primary

Jun 3, 2018
peter goodman

Commentary: I voted Friday. 

In the county sheriff primary, I wish incumbent Kiki Vigil had only one challenger. Having talked to deputies and watched the department deteriorate, I hope Kiki – for whom I voted in 2014 – loses. With name recognition and four challengers, he probably won't; but Eddie Lerma and Kim Stewart, two very different candidates, offer the best chances. Lerma has extensive local law-enforcement experience, and law-enforcement endorsements, while Stewart offers new ideas and extensive law-enforcement experience elsewhere. 

Last-minute information strengthened my preference for Steve Fischmann in the PRC race, despite annoying ads from both sides. We have a clear choice between a public-interest candidate (Fischmann) who'll fight for a fair shake from the utilities and for faster progress toward renewables at fair prices, and current PRC Chair Sandy Jones. Jones seems too close to regulated utilities. He complains that environmental groups concerned about climate change are backing Fischmann; but Jones is getting huge backing from companies that benefit from his decisions. PNM, a major utility he regulates, dropped $440,000 this month on a PAC that's been inundating us with misleading mailers against Fischmann. Officially, Jones has no connection with “New Mexicans for Progress.” But a PRC source has described seeing top PNM officials visiting with Jones in his office before meetings. Judging from Jones's mailer attacking Merrie Lee Soules the Saturday before the 2014 primary, expect a similarly misleading attack on Fischmann.

Fischmann: PNM Resources Spending Big To Elect Sandy Jones

Jun 1, 2018
Steve Fischmann

Commentary: Monopoly utilities should not be deciding who regulates them.  But that's what's happening in the current PRC election according to the latest campaign finance reports at the New Mexico Secretary of State's office.

The Swiss Have A New Idea

Jun 1, 2018

Commentary: On June 10th, the Swiss will vote on moving their economy to “Vollgeld”. This referendum asks whether the Swiss banking system will be converted from a traditional fractional reserve system to 100% reserve system and establish debt free money. Many are skeptical as Vollgeld represents a radical change, but Vollgeld is a viable alternative.

Michelle Lujan Grisham

  Commentary: Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), a candidate for governor, released and made publicly accessible her federal and state tax returns since 2013, which covers her tenure in Congress, and called on likely Republican gubernatorial nominee, Congressman Steve Pearce, to release his federal and state tax returns for the last five years as well.

“While other candidates gave their tax returns to specific news media, Congresswoman Lujan Grisham is going above what has been asked and publicly posting her returns online so that all New Mexicans have access to these documents,” said Deputy Campaign Manager Victor Reyes. “ Additionally, we are producing five years of returns dating back to her first year in Congress. Steve Pearce and all candidates for governor should follow suit and publicly release and make accessible their tax returns for the last five years so the public has a clear view into their financial dealings.”

Commentary: Today, Somos Un Pueblo Unido joined a nationwide lawsuit to block the Trump administration from adding a question regarding citizenship to the 2020 U.S. Census that could cost rural communities billions in federal funding by undercounting its growing Latino and immigrant populations.

The lawsuit was filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) in federal court on behalf of several community-based and voter's rights groups throughout the country.

New Mexico needs to use oil & gas bonanza wisely

May 30, 2018
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

Commentary: New Mexico policymakers and citizens received some good economic news recently. Thanks to the much-maligned process known as fracking, oil production in the Permian Basin in Southeast New Mexico is booming.

New Mexico recently became the 3rd-biggest oil producing state in the nation and is now producing more oil than it ever has before. This has all led to a $673 million boost in state revenues.

Commentary: SUNLAND PARK, N.M.— Conservation and human rights groups will gather Saturday to protest new border wall construction near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry, west of El Paso, Texas. The rally will feature speakers, musicians, faith leaders and a sunset vigil in the path of the border wall’s construction. Local and regional residents will join artists and organizers to decry Trump’s wall and highlight the human suffering and environmental devastation caused by border militarization.

New Mexico Fights Trump’s Attack On Contraceptive Coverage

May 30, 2018

Commentary: Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general in filing a brief strongly opposing the Trump Administration’s decision to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.

We All Should Be Concerned About A Tariff On Newsprint

May 29, 2018

Commentary: I am extremely concerned about the issue of a newsprint tariff. 

Why? Because, years ago, I took a journalism class in International Communications at NMSU taught by the late Professor Charles Eberhardt. He had started Voice of America in Italy, in the the 1940’s, and I remember him telling us that one way some governments control citizens is to withhold newsprint. Many, actually most, newspapers are barely keeping their heads above water as it is. Smaller and rural newspapers will go out of business if a tariff on newsprint forces them totally out of business.

Some Positive Developments For New Mexico Voters

May 29, 2018

  Commentary: New Mexico elections are begrudgingly becoming slightly more inclusive.

One example of that will be the inclusion of Libertarian candidates on the ballot this year in races for U.S. Senate (Aubrey Dunn); U.S. House, District 1 (Lloyd J. Patterson) and District 3 (Christopher Manning), secretary of state (Sandra D. Jeff), attorney general (A. Blair Dunn) and land commissioner (Michael G. Lucero). Bob Walsh and Robin L. Dunn will run for governor and lieutenant governor as write-in candidates.

The change is thanks to the strong showing of former governor Gary Johnson in the 2016 presidential election, and not to any enlightenment by Republican and Democratic lawmakers who want to maintain the two-party system. To earn major party status, a candidate from that party needs to earn at least 5 percent of the vote in the previous gubernatorial or presidential election. Johnson got more than 9 percent in his run for president.

peter goodman

Commentary: Let's step back from the exaggerations and insults of political campaigns and imagine we're on the selection committee to pick between finalists for a job. Say, Sandy Jones and Steve Fischmann for Public Regulation Commissioner.

Both are smart and capable. Fischmann had a business career with Levi Strauss, then was a responsive and thoughtful state senator here. I met Jones years ago. He was congenial and clearly a problem-solver; and he's now had extensive experience as a PRC commissioner.

Miracle In The Desert

May 27, 2018

Commentary: Something amazing is happening in the American Desert Southwest. Something many said could not be done. A National Hockey League team in Las Vegas, Nevada called the Vegas Golden Knights is competing for the holy grail of ice hockey, the Stanley Cup. This is happening in their very first season of existence as a new expansion team.

EPA Rollbacks Threaten Air Quality in Our Region

May 27, 2018

Commentary: Scott Pruitt has been in the news a lot recently.  The EPA Administrator is now the subject of more than a dozen federal investigations, thanks to his ethically questionable behavior and cavalier disregard for taxpayer money.  But while Pruitt’s ethical scandals are a major cause for concern, they don’t directly threaten the health of our community.  The same cannot be said for Pruitt’s systematic dismantling of key environmental safeguards.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García provided the following statement in reaction to today’s shooting at Noblesville Middle School in Noblesville, IN: 

“Our hearts are with Noblesville, Indiana, as they grapple with gun violence at Noblesville Middle School. We’re thankful that no fatalities have been reported, and NEA stands ready to provide any assistance we can offer to the Noblesville community. Our elected leaders who repeatedly choose inaction over the lives of our children must listen to the students who have been and continue to be most affected by these preventable acts. Decision makers must find the moral fortitude to pass common sense measures that keep dangerous weapons from being easily obtained by dangerous people. This simply does not happen in other countries where such laws exist. Until we take action, America will continue to add more names to the list of children taken from their families, schools, and communities. Enough is enough."

This Modigliani concerned about savings not pigments

May 25, 2018

Commentary: In the news is the sale of Modigliani for $157 million, the second highest price paid at auction for a painting. But economists, when we hear the name Modigliani, don’t think of a painter of modernist nudes named Amedeo, rather of the Nobel prize winning economist named Franco.

Modigliani—the economist not the artist—was born in Italy in 1918 and was a refugee from fascist Italy, first in Paris and later in the United States. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1946.

Border Trade Alliance Blasts Trump's Threat Of Auto Import Tariffs

May 24, 2018

Commentary: Border Trade Alliance President Britton Clarke released the following statement today regarding the Trump administration’s plans to open a section 232 investigation of automotive imports:

“The administration’s plan to begin an investigation of automotive imports on national security grounds is deeply disturbing. If this latest section 232 investigation is the prelude to imposing tariffs on auto imports, it will only hurt U.S. consumers and workers.

Commentary: Like millions of my fellow countrymen and women, I have a deep concern about the long term sustainability of our union and the basic constitutional structures that have preserved it in other times of social upheaval. Even during the campaign, Trump showed a remarkable disdain for core American principles such as due process, the separation of church and state, checks and balances, freedom of press, freedom of religion, and many others. Over a year later, it is evident that the rhetoric he spewed on the campaign trail was a prophetic declaration of his intentions to upend the status quo of our democracy. Everything is up for grabs now: the rights of citizens, the integrity and relevance of political institutions, and the inherent right for non-Americans to experience genuine freedom. In fact, for several months now, I have begun to consider the possibility that circumstances are a lot worse than anyone in the media or on the street is daring to say out loud. 

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM - Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico is calling on Attorney General Hector Balderas to investigate Representative Monica Youngblood for using her position as an elected member of the legislature to attempt to influence a police investigation after officer lapel video of her arrest for Aggravated DWI was released to the public today. In the video posted on local media outlets, Rep.

Let's Be Serious: Access To Guns Is The Problem

May 22, 2018

Commentary: Gun deaths in America is all about access to them. In Japan, with about ½ our population, they average a total of 10-gun homicides per year, whereas in the U.S. there were 15,500 in 2017. Japan has stricter gun laws than we do—but it demonstrates what can be done when the access is limited. In countries like Germany, South Korea and United Kingdom their gun deaths per 100,000 people are like Japan. Even in Canada (our neighbor to the north) the homicide rate is eight times less than in the U.S.

Trump's Go-It-Alone Policy Is Not Working

May 22, 2018

Commentary: Trump tore up the Iran nuclear deal put in place by his predecessor (Obama) despite appeals by our European allies that we ought to build on what we have and make it better. Trump said no. He now is starting from zero with few chances for success. He is great at tearing up deals like the Paris Climate agreement or trade agreements (NAFTA) with no real strategy for making them better.

Commentary: The New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens (NM LULAC) unanimously passed a resolution on May 20th, 2018 at its annual convention in Las Cruces, New Mexico, calling on Congress, including all five members of Congress representing New Mexico, to act swiftly to enact full funding for and permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). 

Before War In North Korea, A National Debate Is Essential

May 22, 2018


  Commentary: Should the United State start a war against North Korea if it’s leaders refuse to give up their nuclear weapons program? And, should that decision be made by just one man?

Those are questions that our nation’s leaders, including those in Congress, should be urgently and publicly debating. But, the fact that they are not shouldn’t be surprising.

When President Donald Trump launched missile strikes in Syria following chemical weapons attacks by the Assad government, he became the third president to take military action under the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress in the days following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Congress has completely abdicated its responsibility since then. The consequences of that were not as grave when Barrack Obama was president as they are now.

When Vices Become Legal

May 21, 2018

Commentary: The United States Supreme Court has opened the door to legalized sports betting. States now have opportunity to pass legislation to allow these activities within their borders.