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.

Commentary:  The City Council’s 7/11 minimum wage work session was mostly reasoned on all sides.   Remember, other city level statistics from groups/agencies are also available.  Special thanks to Sarah Silva, Angelica Rubio and Sara Melton for their hard work and with others stating/re-stating the good done - and the still abhorrent local problems.  City Economic Development staff displayed a starting framework of major indicators with a positive outlook for the City - with more to come in later details.

Sanchez: Congress puts politics ahead of public safety

Jul 12, 2016
New Mexico Lt. Governor John Sanchez

  Commentary:  Congress did what Congress does again. They put partisan politics ahead of good public policy.  

Heinrich Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Create Tax Credit For Energy Storage

Jul 12, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, introduced S.

Gessing: Udall and Heinrich Join Anti-Free Speech “Web of Denial” #webofdenial

Jul 12, 2016
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation


The Cost Of The Renewable Energy Standard In New Mexico

Jul 12, 2016
Dr. Timothy J. Considine

  Commentary:  In the Land of Enchantment, government mandates require that 15.7 percent of electricity must come from wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy by 2021. The state is already half way to achieving its goal.

Unfortunately, because “renewable” forms of energy are more costly and less efficient, state governments eager to be seen as “green” had to make their use by utility companies mandatory. In other words, utility companies and ratepayers have no choice but to comply with these laws, known as renewable portfolio standards or RPS.

  Commentary:  Yesterday, the Las Cruces City Council heard a presentation from Mayra De La Canal, the city’s economic development coordinator. Ms. De La Canal presented data collected from the city’s GRT, restaurant GRT, and number of business licenses from 2014 and 2015, revealing a growth in the year 2015 from 2014.  The first phase of the minimum wage, implemented on January 1, 2015, increased the city’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $8.40 an hour and increased the tipped wage from $2.13 an hour to $3.36 an hour.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the Inspector General (IG) released a detailed report substantiating numerous allegations made by Catron County regarding potentially illegal actions by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) management of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery program. 

The IG report confirms allegations of falsifications by FWS employees and their failure to properly manage the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. 

For example, the IG Report shows:

(1)    Falsified case of wolf bite (p.15-16);

Goodman: Las Cruces Needs An Honest Dialogue On Guns

Jul 10, 2016

 Commentary:  Tuesday's raucous city council meeting highlighted two problems: we need to decrease gun-deaths in the U.S. and that it's hard to have an honest dialogue.

Both sides seem dug in. One woman said that the opposition was “demonizing us gun owners,” and other speakers promptly demonized the “liberals and progressives who want to take our guns away.” Most on both sides seemed sincere. Not many recognized the sincerity of opposing speakers.

Jeff Steinborn and Bill McCamley Comment on OIG Investigation of HSD

Jul 9, 2016
Rep. Jeff Steinborn

   Commentary:  After the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published the findings of their investigation of Governor Martinez’s Human Services Department (HSD) practice of changing food assistance applications to keep benefits from New Mexico’s most vulnerable residents, New Mexico State Representatives Jeff Steinborn and Bill McCamley released the following statements.

Start small, think big. Then act.

Jul 9, 2016

Commentary:  One of my jobs is to go to Capitol Hill and speak to members of Congress. As the Director of the New Mexico Space Grant, I am one of 52 Directors. We are funded by Congress and NASA runs our program. Every year we go to Capitol Hill to report on our progress. My experiences with the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce helped me prepare. If I knew now what I knew then, would I have done things differently? Nope. I knew I was in over my head then too.

  Commentary:  LAS CRUCES, N.M. – On Monday, June 11th the Las Cruces City Council will “Review and Discuss” the minimum wage ordinance passed on December 1st, 2014. The review comes six months before the next phase of the minimum wage is scheduled to go into effect. 

NM CAFé clergy and community leaders will attend the council Work Session and will be available to give testimony and comment.  


 Commentary:  One of the few bright spots for New Mexico in this year’s recently released national KIDS COUNT Data Book―which ranked New Mexico at 49th in the nation for overall child well-being―was in child health outcomes. Improvements took us from ranking 48th in the nation in the four health indicators to 44th.

Voter ID and Suppression

Jul 7, 2016

  Commentary:  Mr. Devries (Las Cruces Sun News-6/26) is incorrect.  Voting is a constitutional right.  His stated ID examples aren't.  Also, he ignores lack of meaningful evidence of US voting fraud.  Even former NM Secretary of State (SOS) Duran couldn't find such here.  Voter ID is a solution to a non-problem; any cost related to a new "voter ID" for citizens is a poll tax.  Why do it?

Congressional Progressive Caucus Statement on Afghanistan Troop Level

Jul 7, 2016
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

 Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement after President Obama announced the Department of Defense would keep 8,400 troops in Afghanistan through 2016:

TRAP laws were never about protecting women's health

Jul 7, 2016

  My representative in Congress sent an email letter to his constituents expressing dismay over a recent Supreme Court decision. "Defense of life is the most important moral issue of our time," wrote Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico's second congressional district, "And we can never speak too strongly for those that cannot speak for themselves."


Pearce Initiates Investigation into Illegal Theft and Sale of Tribal Artifacts

Jul 5, 2016

  Commentary:   Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM), Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Chairman James Sensenbrenner, initiated a request with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine how the federal government currently investigates the theft and sale of tribal items and what reforms can be made to further prevent this practice in the future.  This letter follows Congressman Pearce’s introduction of H. Con. Res.

 Commentary:  In a spirited and energetic speech, former Secretary Hillary Clinton addressed the more than 7,500 delegates at the National Education Association’s 95th Representative Assembly (RA) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this morning. Clinton’s address was among the most rousing speeches she has given thus far in her campaign for the presidency. The presumptive Democratic nominee held no punches in articulating a clear and inspiring vision of opportunity for every student in America, regardless of ZIP code. 

Courtesy: NMFO

  Commentary:  The news coverage of President Obama’s recent trip to Carlsbad Caverns made note of the positive economic impact that protected public lands have on our communities―particularly the recently established Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks Monument near Las Cruces and the Rio Grande del Norte Monument near Taos. The economic benefits of these monuments are very real as they boost tourism.

  Commentary:  Las Cruces City Government has refused to let Heath Haussamen inspect city manager applications. Under the Inspection of Public Records Act, does it have a legal leg to stand on?

Not that I can see.

Numerous New Mexico cases stress that guaranteeing public access to public records is essential in a democracy because the integrity of elections depends on an informed public. Providing such access is “an essential function” of government entities. Courts interpret IPRA broadly, to prioritize openness in government.

Gessing: New Mexico’s Supreme Court ignores law on worker’s compensation

Jul 1, 2016
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  Commentary:  New Mexico’s Legislature had previously enacted a law that allowed employers with more than three employees to opt out of coverage for farm and ranch laborers but not other agricultural workers.

Pearce Leads Meeting Between Ranchers and Forest Service to Resolve Water Dispute

Jul 1, 2016

  Commentary:  Congressman Pearce along with State Representative Jim Townsend, representatives from the United States Forest Service, and local ranchers visited the Penasco Pens electrified fencing area Thursday in the Sacramento Ranger District to discuss potential solutions to ranchers’ concerns over grazing allotments and water access points:   

Courtesy: USDA


  Commentary:  Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the New Mexico Constitution prohibits the exclusion of farm and ranch laborers from the protections of the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act (Act). In holding for the workers who challenged the Act, the Court said that the exclusion of farm and ranch laborers “is nothing more than arbitrary discrimination and, as such, it is forbidden by our Constitution.” 

For better and worse, politics is showmanship

Jun 30, 2016

  Commentary:  Theatre has been derided as a deceptive art going back as far as Plato, so it is hardly surprising to see our rascals in Washington, DC denigrate theatre even as they avidly practice it.


  Commentary:   Common Cause New Mexico today unveiled its statewide Legislative Summary and Scorecard, recording the votes of legislators on its priority transparency, ethics and good government issues during the 2015 and 2016 sessions. The scorecard reports the votes cast by legislators on a number of crucial bills on the floor of both chambers and in committees. It reflects the fate of the bills—passage, defeat, delay or death in committee.

Pearce Blasts Supreme Court Ruling Against Texas Abortion Restrictions

Jun 27, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its final opinion in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt.  The 5-3 ruling strikes down a Texas abortion access law. 

Congressman Pearce issued the following statement:

I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision today. This decision will ultimately threaten the safety of both mothers and their unborn children. Defense of life is the most important moral issue of our time, and we can never speak too strongly for those that cannot speak for themselves. 

A young man with a trailer full of hay rams his truck into a metal barrier protecting the gas pumps at a Las Cruces Pic Quik. Doing very little damage.

Pic Quik reports the incident to the police. The young man sues Pic Quik for $10,000, claiming that the manager ran out, tried to batter him, and chased him off the property. He also sues for defamation, saying Pic Quik lied in telling police he left without providing contact information. 

Santa Fe Archbishop Saddened By Supreme Court Decision On Immigration

Jun 24, 2016

  Commentary:  Archbishop John C. Wester issued the following statement regarding the June 23, 2016 US Supreme Court's decision on President Obama’s Executive Action immigration:


  Commentary:  Today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling in a 4-4 vote on President Obama's 2014 executive actions on immigration, ensuring such programs will be continue to be on hold until case moves forward. 

U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

  Commentary:  U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce (N.M.-02), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.-03) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M.-01) are urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General to thoroughly investigate New Mexico state government’s management of food-assistance benefits, including allegations that state employees altered documents to purposely delay applications.

Pearce Praises Supreme Court Ruling Halting President's Immigration Actions

Jun 23, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement after the United States Supreme Court's 4-4 tie preventing President Obama's executive actions on immigration from moving forward: