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.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary: WASHINGTON—Despite nationwide public outcry over the nomination of Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Senate today approved the controversial pick to lead the U.S. Department of Education. Weeks’ long resistance followed by two high-profile Republican senators who announced their opposition to DeVos almost sank her chances of becoming the next education secretary.


Bonnie Benedetti

Commentary:  This past year I celebrated 80 revolutions around the sun, and am happy to report that I’m still kicking. This is at least partly due to my high-quality Medicare Advantage health plan. Being enrolled in Medicare Advantage has given me the choices and flexibility I need as far as coverage, cost, and quality of care.  

Commentary: Internal reports and other sources charge that Undersheriff Ken Roberts endangered lives by limiting a SWAT team's tactics January 18th. “That undersheriff is going to get someone killed,” one said.” Several said SWAT team members were “furious.” 

A dangerous armed fugitive, Sergio Ayala, wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, was inside a house in Vado. A judge issued a search warrant. Deputies suggested calling out the SWAT Team. 

Congressional Progressive Caucus Opposes Supreme Court Nominee

Feb 5, 2017
judge neil gorsuch

Commentary:  WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) issued the following statement after President Trump announced his nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States:

  Commentary: Two dozen outdoors, community, youth, environmental and wildlife-protection groups will join Wednesday at the Roundhouse for lobbying trainings for citizens, a protest urging Gov. Martinez to stop blocking efforts to save the endangered gray wolf and a press conference to highlight legislation to protect coyotes and stop trapping on public lands.

The event is free and open to the public, which is invited to:

Dona Ana County Leads Way with Affordable Loan Program

Feb 5, 2017
Steve Fischmann

Commentary:  Many participants at the employee benefits meetings had tears of relief in their eyes.  “You’re sure I can get a loan even with my credit score?”, one man asked.  After years of financial abuse from non-bank lenders, they were being given access to affordable loans despite troubled credit histories.  For them, the new loan program could be a financial lifeline.

Kudos to Dona Ana County for becoming the first local government in New Mexico to introduce a no fuss, no credit check, affordable loan program to its employees.

Archbishop Issues Statement On Trump's Immigration Orders

Feb 3, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary: Archbishop John C. Wester’s Statement on the Executive Orders Relating to Immigrants and Refugees


Archbishop Issues Letter To New Mexico Immigrants

Feb 3, 2017

  Commentary: Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Immigrant Community in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe:


As your archbishop, I address you today to reiterate what I have said many times: You are a blessing to our Church and to our community!


That being said, I know this has been a stressful week for many in the immigrant community. I know there is fear because of President Donald Trump's possible changes to policies on immigration and the threat of a wall being built on the US-Mexico border.


Pearce Votes To Overtrun BLM Methane Rule

Feb 3, 2017

Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce voted to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Venting and Flaring Rule, which imposes arbitrary and unenforceable methane emission standards on oil and gas production.  

Martinez Issues Statement On Veto

Feb 2, 2017
Office of the Governor

Commentary:  New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez released the following statement regarding her action on House Bill 1:

  Commentary:  SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez today handed down a funding cut to New Mexico’s court system that jeopardizes the state’s jury trials and funding for court interpreters.

The “Feed Bill” (HB1) for this year’s legislative session (the bill passed every year to pay legislative staffers and fund state expenses during the session) also included emergency funding for New Mexico’s courts. The court system is estimated to run out of money for jury trials and court interpreters by March without emergency funding.

Lujan Grisham Introduces "Build Bridges Not Walls" Act

Feb 2, 2017
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham introduced the “Build Bridges Not Walls Act,” which would prohibit the implementation of President Trump’s executive order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border

An Open Letter To Rep. Steve Pearce

Feb 2, 2017
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Commentary:  Representative Pearce:  We, the voters in CD-2, are watching you.  We saw you speak for Donald Trump during his campaign.  We are also the millions of voters across this nation who cast three million more votes for Hillary Clinton than were cast for Mr. Trump.  We watched your party nominate a terribly flawed, no-experience man as leader.  We are watching the House and the Senate and we will remember their actions during the 2018 re-election campaigns.  Your Party leadership made fun of the Marches on January 21.  Take those protests seriously.  IT IS NOT OVER.

If you Cherish Freedom, Support the Humanities

Feb 2, 2017

  Commentary: In a single day preceding his inauguration, the incoming potentate announced plans to eliminate funding for, by my count, 19 agencies and programs. Time Magazine calculated the aggregate cost of these programs per capita at less than $25 per year. By comparison, we spend $1,890 per capita on war.


Udall to Vote Against Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

Feb 2, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (r)

Commentary: WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he will vote against confirming Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as U.S. Attorney General. Udall released the following statement:

Commentary: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday during his State of the State address that he will ban so-called “sanctuary cities,” and withhold funding from those jurisdictions that decline to engage in federal immigration enforcement.

Additionally, the governor reiterated his strong support for SB 4, a proposal to impose sanctions against any jurisdictions or elected officials that refuse to honor federal immigration detainer requests, even though federal courts have ruled that such detainers exceed the government’s limited warrantless arrest authority.

Rep. Pearce Introduces Legislation Challenging BLM Oil And Gas Rules

Feb 1, 2017
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce today introduced legislation to protect thousands of jobs and federal and state revenues provided by oil and gas production on federal lands. The enforcement of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Onshore Order 3 Rule will result in job loss and reduced State funding for education, hospitals, law enforcement, and other essential services.

Commentary:  You might not have known this, but New Mexico’s taxpayers have consistently been robbed of millions of dollars a year in oil and gas revenue by a wasteful system that allowed companies to vent or flare publicly-owned resources into the atmosphere instead of capturing them or simply because of leaks from equipment and infrastructure.

This practice meant that natural gas royalties, which could have funded schools in New Mexico, went into thin air.

Stephanie Ly-AFT NM President / aft photo

Commentary: Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President, Stephanie Ly, released the following statement:

“Governor Martinez is well-practiced at proclaiming her love for New Mexico’s children and our public schools, but her actions continue to contradict her claims.  

Richard Kadzis

Commentary: New Mexico is full of interesting, if not edgy, people and places.

One of those people is Las Cruces native Todd Lawson LaTourrette, an actor of stage, film and TV who’s also the published author of two books.

His new book, Consumed, is a stand-out, because it takes mental illness out of the shadows into the clear light of day in a brutally honest manner.

Democrats: New Mexico Governor Opts for Dangerous Fiscal Footing

Feb 1, 2017
Office of the Governor

  Commentary: Santa Fe, N.M. – Governor Susana Martinez line item vetoed approximately $26 million in cuts from Senate Bill 113, one of three constitutionally required solvency bills to put New Mexico on solid financial footing for Fiscal Year 2017. The Governor’s vetoes drop New Mexico’s reserve balances to approximately 1% putting the state’s bond rating at risk of being downgraded a second time.

judge neil gorsuch

Commentary: SANTA FE, N.M. — With President Trump's announcement of Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center - a nonprofit law firm whose attorneys have worked for 30 years to protect vulnerable communities from environmental harm - urges the U.S. Senate to vote against the nomination.

NMELC staff believe that the appointment of Judge Gorsuch will create a Court that does little to stand in the way of a concerted rollback of more than 60 years of federal environmental protections.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump today announced he would nominate Neil Gorsuch as associate justice of the Supreme Court. The following statement was issued on behalf of NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

New Mexico's Behavioral Health Crisis Demands Solutions

Jan 31, 2017
Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

Commentary: A terrible tragedy that affects thousands of vulnerable children and adults in need of often life-saving mental health and substance abuse treatment continues to play out in slow motion in New Mexico. Crucial health services for residents now are withering away as the fourth of only five behavioral providers in our state, Valle del Sol of Arizona, announced last month that it will leave New Mexico. For those who are on the receiving end, it is intolerable.

Texas' opportunity to lead; Muslims, immigrants welcome

Jan 31, 2017
State Senator José Rodríguez

Commentary: Austin – Sen. José Rodríguez, Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus,  issued the following statement:

Today is Texas Muslim Capitol Day, and I for one welcome the visits. In my office, we don't see Muslims or immigrants as threats. Religious freedom is a core American principle, and to target those of a particular faith with a broad brush is antithetical to our values.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Leadership Demands a Second Hearing for Sessions

Jan 31, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (r)

Commentary:   Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter today to Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer urging them to conduct a second hearing for Attorney General nominee Senator Sessions in light of President Trump’s recent executive order which bars entry into the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

Commentary: Santa Fe, N.M. – In response to Gov. Susana Martinez’ support of repealing the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule in the Congressional Review Act, Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund Program Director Molly Sanders released the following statement:

New Mexico Memorials Denouncing Trump Orders Introduced

Jan 31, 2017 (donald trump)

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today, Senator Jacob Candelaria introduced memorials condemning both Donald Trump’s recent executive orders attempting to shut down the entry of Muslims into the United States and his foreign policy actions towards Mexico that would be detrimental to our state.

Medicaid Reform Can Save New Mexico

Jan 30, 2017

Commentary: Recently, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan-Grisham joined supporters of Obamacare in protesting the possibility that President Donald Trump will repeal or dramatically alter the law. She is not alone. Liberals are hoping to defend Obamacare, despite public-opinion polls, which continue to reflect majority opposition.  

New Mexico falling short on consumer protection

Jan 30, 2017
ona porter

COMMENTARY: Recently, the District Court in Santa Fe announced its decision requiring FastBucks, a high-cost payday and installment lender, to pay $32 million in restitution to consumers it harmed with its unconscionable business practices.

This decision was a significant victory for borrowers victimized by loans with annual interest rates in excess of 500 percent. The decision was the conclusion of a court case originally filed in 2009 and successfully prosecuted in 2012 by the consumer protection attorneys.