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 Mexico Loves Loan Sharks, Public Servants Not So Much

Sep 29, 2016
Steve Fischmann

When I first met Louis he was too deep in debt to afford a car.  He got most of his meals from local food banks.  He survived on a net monthly income of $170 after making payments on small loans from six different storefront lenders. 

His loans ranged from 80% to 240% interest.  Every few months, after he paid down some of the debt, the lenders would contact Louis urging him borrow more.  Cash strapped, he would refinance his loans - for an additional fee- and the debt would never go away.  He was paying $7,200 annual interest and fees on debt that hovered at around $4,000.

AFT New Mexico Responds to Governor’s Call for a Special Session

Sep 29, 2016


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

“Governor Martinez’s need to call for a Special Legislative Session is a direct result of her misplaced priorities and lack of meaningful job creation during her tenure as Governor of New Mexico. Time, and time again, she has ignored the real needs of New Mexico in favor of preserving what’s left of her political career, and her continued hubris is only adding to our crisis.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary:  National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García provided the following reaction to the recent U.S.

Expand New Mexico PreK

Sep 29, 2016

Commentary: New Mexico Early Childhood Development Partnership (NMECDP) launched the Expand NM PreK Tour in Las Cruces this weekOur tour included a visit to NM PreK site Alpha School and a lunch and community conversation with policymakers, providers and Head Start staff. NMECDP is focusing on a multi-year initiative to expand the state-funded, voluntary PreK program to every 3-and 4-year-old who wants it. Currently, 35,000 three and four year olds lack access to early learning opportunities. (donald trump)

Commentary:  National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García provided the following reaction to Donald Trump's 

Sierra Club NM

 Commentary: On Wednesday, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission decided on PNM’s request for an increase to electric rates. Below is the statement on the decision from Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter chair David Coss:

Today’s decision held good news and bad news for ratepayers and a healthy climate.

Pearce Applauds Override Of President's Veto

Sep 28, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement after both the House and Senate voted to override President Obama’s veto: 

  Commentary:  New Mexico has the 35th most competitive tax code in the nation according to the 13th annual 

Young Republicans React to First Presidential Debate

Sep 27, 2016 (donald trump)

  Commentary: Young Republican National Federation Chairman Dennis Cook reacts to the first Presidential Debate voicing young Americans concerns with Hillary Clinton.

As Donald Trump said tonight, “Hillary has experience. It’s bad experience. We can’t afford another four years of that experience.” The past eight years have not been kind to young Americans. Jobs are few. Wages are stagnant. Home ownership is at an all-time low. The American Dream is fading for our generation.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary:    NEA President Lily Eskelsen García swiftly praised Hillary Clinton for ably exposing Donald Trump as unfit for office during tonight’s first Presidential debate while cohesively presenting a clear, positive vision to move the country forward as tens of millions of

  Commentary:  Until last month, Governor Susana Martinez resisted calls for a special session by lawmakers. Facing a budget shortfall for the current year of $458 million following another bad budget year, Senator John Arthur Smith (who heads the Legislative Finance Committee) and other legislators called for a session to figure out how to pay the bills and contain the catastrophe.


Goodman: Some Thoughts On Two Local Races

Sep 25, 2016

Commentary: The Doña Ana County Clerk and Treasurer races each present an obvious choice – the Democrat and the Republican, respectively. 

Deputy County Clerk Scott Krahling faces Maria Rodriguez. Deputy County Treasurer Eric Rodriguez faces former treasurer's office employee Jill Johnson. 

In each race the deputy's history is adequate grounds for decision. 

Don’t Forget Small Business Contributions to Job Creation

Sep 25, 2016
USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner

  Commentary: We’ve witnessed meager economic growth and rising unemployment in New Mexico since the Great Recession.  So it comes as no surprise that New Mexicans are very excited about the new Facebook facility coming to Los Lunas, NM.


For all the attention garnered by that high-profile victory, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that a comprehensive economic recovery strategy for our state must also give strong consideration to our largest job creators in New Mexico: small businesses.


Democrats: New Mexicans Won't Be Deceived By Trump's Appointment

Sep 24, 2016

Commentary: Democratic Party of New Mexico Vice-Chair Juan Sanchez III released the following statement after the Trump campaign announced a new advisor on issues affecting Hispanic communities.

 “New Mexicans won’t be deceived by this appointment. After all, Donald Trump launched his campaign insulting our Hispanic communities and he has continued to insult them ever since. Trump is the same divisive and dangerous candidate he's always been, he's unfit to be President, and that isn’t going to change regardless of who’s on his advisory board. 

Big Step Forward for Conservation in Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Sep 22, 2016

Commentary:  Today a diverse coalition  applauded the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act (S. 3049) .  A wide variety of stakeholders successfully worked to create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and has been advocating for wilderness protection of this area for nearly a decade.  

Pearce Continues Pressure Over Wolf Recovery Program

Sep 21, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary:  Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held an oversight hearing on the status of the Federal Government’s management of wolves.  This follows a recent Inspector General report that confirmed numerous allegations of lies, falsification, mismanagement, and manipulation of data made by Catron County residents against the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) management of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.

A ‘Center for Innovation’? Seriously?

Sep 21, 2016
Spaceport America

  Commentary:  When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

It’s about as wise an aphorism as you’re likely to hear, but when it comes to “Spaceport America,” it never seems to apply.

Transit: A Wise Investment for Us All

Sep 21, 2016


Commentary: Wise communities invest in themselves, providing the public resources necessary to allow residents to live prosperous, healthy lives.  Regional transit is one of those key investments in a successful future.

 Commentary: Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo) requested Attorney General Hector Balderas conduct an independent investigation into the death of Victoria Martens. A letter, making the request, was sent to the Attorney General and is attached to this communication.

Office of the Governor

  Commentary: We, the Catholic Bishops of New Mexico, find the decision by Governor Susana Martinez to place the reinstatement of the Death Penalty on the agenda of a special legislative session to be irresponsible.  The legislature spent a decade debating the issue, ending with a bipartisan vote that ended the practice of a state-sanctioned death penalty.  This was a definitive decision and had ample discovery of evidence and debate.  That decision should remain final.


  Commentary:  The Lakota expression "Mitákuye Oyás’in" points to the connection between all forms of life. Human life exists in relationship to other living beings, who are regarded as relatives with whom we depend on ecological balance. While most of us carry on with our daily obstacles and pleasures, human history is on a disastrous course.

Commentary: Too many people treat politics and government like a football game.

My team is my team no matter what. So what if the tight end attacked a 90-year-old man? They're the 'Niners, man.

Politics oughtta be different. Local politics above all. We're neighbors. But some people see everything in black and white. Or red and blue. 

New Data Shows Spike in Citizenship Applications in New Mexico

Sep 17, 2016

 Commentary:  On Saturday, Somos Un Pueblo Unido celebrates Citizenship Day, part of a nationwide campaign to highlight the stories of immigrants who have recently become U.S. Citizens and plan to vote for the first time in the November election. Newly released data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) show a 25% increase in citizenship applications in New Mexico over the same quarter last year, corresponding to a number of efforts over the past months to help eligible immigrants become U.S. Citizens.

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

“Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera released the ‘2016 Teacher Evaluation Results,’ and once again, has done a disservice to our schools and students in New Mexico.

“By releasing scores riddled with incomplete or incorrect data, she has stubbornly continued the injurious practice of basing educator scores on standardized testing like the PARCC exam.

Nachison: New Mexico Leaders...How About A Budget For The People?

Sep 17, 2016

  Commentary:  Gov. Susana Martinez agreed to a special legislative budget session — a half-day session to finalize “pre-approved” measures without tax increases. Are participatory public budget discussions inconvenient?

Martinez prefers secrecy, cutting taxes, ripping education and other governmental services, corporate giveaways, even voter ID. She’s proven her priorities — people get as little as possible.

Pearce Continues to Pressure Social Security Administration Over Appeals Process

Sep 13, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: On August 2, 2016, Congressman Pearce sent a letter to Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner for the Social Security Administration, requesting clarification on fourteen specific questions regarding deep concerns in the current administration the disability claims process within the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).  They have yet to answer a single question: 

Third-Party Candidates Need to Stay on the Ball

Sep 13, 2016

  Commentary: Last week, two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, now running for President as the Libertarian candidate, was widely mocked after visibly drawing a blank when asked about Aleppo. Shaking my head, I walked into my bedroom and asked my wife, "What is Aleppo?" My wife, like a great many Americans, does not follow world news or politics very closely.

An informed neighbor is an asset to the neighborhood

Sep 13, 2016

Commentary: On my way to work last week at about seven forty five, I saw a missile con trail above the Organ mountains. It was in the southeast, at the time of the sighting the con trail looked about an inch long. I live near the Farm and Ranch museum. By the time I got to the NMSU campus, the contrail arched across the sky north of Picacho peak. We have gotten used to missiles flying over our community.  We know the world the world has changed since 911. The common space of the skies for civilian use is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Common Cause Urges Court to Put Measures on the Books

Sep 12, 2016

Commentary: The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Santa Fe Wednesday at 9 a.m. on whether the New Mexico Compilation Commission erred in not ordering that several constitutional amendments passed by a majority of voters in 2008, 2010 and 2014 be made a part of state law.

  Commentary; New Mexico is facing a budget crisis of historic proportions, one that must be dealt with now, not later.  The state budget crisis requires responsible cuts and reliable revenue sources.

For reasons that are difficult to fathom, the Governor and her Republican allies in the House of Representatives have been downplaying the seriousness of the budget crisis.  Both the Governor and the Legislature have an obligation to fix the problem, not to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Now is the time for democrats and republicans to come together to solve this problem.