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: Washington, D.C: A new national survey shows that strong majorities of Democrats and Republicans each oppose the elimination of prevailing wage laws, which establish local-market minimum wages for different skilled crafts on government funded construction projects. The survey of 1,000 2016 voters was conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research (ALG) from February 23-28, with a margin of error of +/-3.2%.

Trump Takes First Step Toward Dismantling 1 Billion Acres of National Monuments

Apr 26, 2017

  Commentary: WASHINGTON— President Trump today launched a new attack on 27 national monuments around the country — more than 1 billion acres of natural and cultural wonders on public lands and oceans that have been protected by presidents of both political parties.

Heinrich Slams Trump’s Executive Order Targeting National Monuments In New Mexico

Apr 26, 2017
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s executive order aimed at reviewing national monument designations made by his predecessors, including the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments in New Mexico:

Udall Questions Legality Of Trump's Monument Review

Apr 26, 2017
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary: WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and lead Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the Interior Department, released the following statement on President Trump’s executive order directing the Interior Department to review, and possibly reverse, national monument designations.

Pearce Supports Trump's Review Of National Monuments

Apr 26, 2017
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce today released the following statement after President Trump signed the “Executive Order for a Review of Designations under the Antiquities Act”:

We Must Rebuild Our Relationship With Mexico

Apr 25, 2017

Commentary: My wife and I spent a recent afternoon having lunch in Juarez, Mexico and buying odds and ends. As we ate our lunch, I talked to my wife about my first trip to Juarez as boy, when my father took my mother and me on a mini-vacation to Carlsbad Caverns and to Tularosa, where a brother of his had moved. On this trip, he made a last minute decision to drive to El Paso, park the car, and have us walk into the Juarez tourist zone.

Corporate Control Of Government Must Be Stopped

Apr 25, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary: The GOP has long been "the Party of business". They make no apologies for that and it remains one of the few things they do not dissemble to the American people about. In fact, in the last 20 years or so they have been perhaps recklessly bold about their support for the wealthy elite and about their open disdain for the welfare of their constituents. Democrats, formerly "the Party of the working man", switched teams in the 80's and have also been staunch supporters of big business ever since, while holding on to a semblance of social conscience.

Rep. Bill McCamley (D-New Mexico House District 33)

  Commentary: A few weeks ago, Susana Martinez vetoed funding for every state college and university. All of it.

Since then, neither she nor House Republican Leaders have proposed a plan to restore it. Because every public school relies on New Mexico for 30%-50% of their budgets, if not changed this decision will annihilate them.

What does this mean for you? Plenty.

Goodman: Don't Forget An Important Election On May 2

Apr 23, 2017

  Commentary: VOTE TUESDAY, MAY 2 in the Doña Ana Soil & Water Conservation District election. 


SWCDs were founded in 1935 as a response to the dust bowl. On April 2, 1935, scientist Hugh Bennett was asking the Senate Public Lands Committee for more money, and getting some opposition – until a huge dust storm swept over the Capitol. 


Jeff Sessions' Bigotry May Never Change

Apr 23, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (r)

Commentary:  I wanted to believe that Jeff Sessions is not a racist. I wanted to believe that even if he was a racist as a young man, that he has since converted to a higher plane of thinking. I wanted to believe that he is a changed man because I believe that anyone is capable of redemption. After-all, St. Paul hunted down early Christians. Tolstoy was a slaver owner. And Nelson Mandela almost blew up a school bus as a terrorist. We are all capable of undergoing unfathomable transformation if divine grace and luck have their way.

Common Sense is Urgently Needed in Korean Peninsula

Apr 23, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary: Why not trade with North Korea? Why not provide massive amounts of aid to North Korea? Why not make North Korea an ally? Why do the interests of the United States need to conflict with North Korea’s? Why can’t President Trump do what he is supposedly great at and negotiate with them? They are a nation that is literally in the dark. Why not help bring them into the light?  Does this conflict really need to descend into catastrophe?

New Mexico Democrats Energized After County Party Elections

Apr 22, 2017
New Mexico Democratic Chair Debra Haaland

Commentary: New Mexico - Over the past few weeks, thousands of New Mexico Democrats gathered to reorganize and elected 17 new county party chairs. This year’s changes in leadership reflect an energized group of New Mexico Democrats who are ready to organize and stand up for all New Mexicans no matter where they live or their background. 


Goldilocks and Three Ways to Fund Transit

Apr 22, 2017
Sharon Thomas

Commentary: The South Central Regional Transit District (SCRTD) was formed in 2006.  Three sizes of funding have been tried—the mama bear, the papa bear, and the baby bear. 

In 2014 a starter project was funded with $400,000 in membership fees plus funding from southern New Mexico legislators to buy buses.  The mama bear result was soft funding and a short existence.

Sierra Club statement on PNM energy plans to phase out coal

Apr 21, 2017
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

Commentary: In response to PNM’s proposal to eliminate coal from its energy portfolio by 2031, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman released the following statement:


“PNM’s announcement that early retirement of San Juan and Four Corners coal plants will save customers money is a clear demonstration that coal is no longer economically sustainable.


Commentary: Saturday, May 13th marks the 25th anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving— the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food drive.

Letter carriers walk through the community every day; often coming face to face with a sad reality for too many, hunger.

So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in Las Cruces who need our help.

  Editor's note:  After this column was written, the Las Cruces City Council voted to turn over management of the Rio Grande Theatre to Visit Las Cruces effective July 1.  The vote came after the Dona Ana Arts Council decided not to renew its contract, which expires June 30.

Commentary: I'm glad I'm not a city councillor deciding who should run the Rio Grande Theatre.

Instinct tells me that it should not be Philip San Filippo; so do others' observations; but I'd want to ask some hard questions of Kathleen Albers, too.

Udall Statement on Trump Refusal to Release Visitor Logs

Apr 15, 2017
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement on the Trump administration’s decision that it will not release White House visitor logs, breaking with the pro-transparency precedent set by the Obama administration. 

Questions Remain About "The Mother Of All Bombs"

Apr 15, 2017

Commentary: The “Mother of all Bombs” was designed and developed under Bush’s watch in 2003. Officially known as the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, it is the most powerful weapon in the American arsenal that can be used without violating an international war crime.

Yesterday, leading up to Holy Thursday of the Christian calendar, the bomb was detonated in a remote area of Afghanistan to cripple ISIS supply lines.

Gov. Martinez Was Right To Wield Veto Pen

Apr 13, 2017
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

Commentary: There has been a lot of criticism of Gov. Martinez in the wake of her use of the veto pen in the wake of the 2017 legislative session. Tough economic times are not fun and New Mexico (unlike most other states in the union) remains in the midst of tough times.

Democrats in the Legislature recently spoke out saying “enough is enough” referring to budget cuts and there have been increasing calls for the Legislature to override certain vetoes.

Tariffs Are Not The Solution To Bring Back Manufacturing Jobs

Apr 12, 2017 (donald trump)


Commentary: I recently had a student make a comment in a class that I was teaching that she was excited because a tax is going to be applied to all imports coming in to the U.S., and this would be forcing American companies that have moved operations to foreign countries to come back home. Her enthusiasm was so contagious that I felt like a heel when I broke down for her the many reasons why a company sets up foreign operations, and why or why not government policy becomes a driving factor in the retention or repatriation of jobs in the U.S.

Killing To Prove That Killing Is Wrong?

Apr 11, 2017
Flickr (Creative Commons)

Commentary:  When I learned that President Trump unilaterally ordered 59 missile strikes against the Al Shayrat Airfield in Syria, a quote by Mahatma Gandhi came to mind. “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

Commentary: As legislators, our job is to protect New Mexico’s people and grow our economy.  We strive to provide all our children with excellent classrooms and exceptional teachers.  Our top priorities are creating jobs and making economic development opportunities available to our homegrown New Mexico businesses.   We are committed to ensuring that our communities are safe. We must provide good roads and clean water while encouraging broadband and clean power sources. New Mexicans should feel proud to live here.


peter goodman

Commentary: Why can't local law-enforcement agencies work more closely together?


Child Advocates Express Disappointment in Several of Governor’s Vetoes

Apr 7, 2017

Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE—James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding several vetoes issued by Governor Susana Martinez:

“Governor Martinez’s outdated ‘no new taxes’ political pledge has resulted in the worst economy in our state in decades. Because of her political ideology, New Mexico has the worst unemployment rate in the country; young New Mexicans are fleeing the state in search of jobs; and schools are dangerously underfunded.

Nachison: Governor Martinez, Please Be Serious

Apr 7, 2017
Office of the Governor

  Commentary: Our governor cannot really be serious.  Vetoing the Higher Education departmental budget to force a special session because lack of hearings for her proposed appointees makes it necessary?   She must want all the publicity for solving the mess she alone created.  She says “In the coming weeks, I will call the Legislature back to Santa Fe to finish the job they were supposed to do in the first place.”   Um, they did do their job.  She did not.

Pearce Applauds Confirmation Of Gorsuch To Supreme Court

Apr 7, 2017
judge neil gorsuch

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement after the Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court:

“I applaud the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch. Neil Gorsuch is extremely qualified and epitomizes the values of a great judge as seen through his time on the United States District Court. I am confident that he will honorably preserve and defend the Constitution as Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Wirth: Martinez Playing "Political Games" With "Outrageous" Budget Action

Apr 7, 2017

Commentary: Today, Governor Martinez eliminated funding for both the legislative branch and every higher education institution across the state through line item vetoes in House Bill 2. Additionally, she vetoed House Bill 202, the bipartisan recurring revenue package that passed the senate on a vote of 34-4.

Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth issued the following response:

Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

  Commentary: The New Mexico Senate’s President Pro Tem, Mary Kay Papen, and other leading advocates for people struggling with behavioral health illnesses and challenges today condemned Governor Susana Martinez’s veto of bipartisan legislation to protect providers of behavioral health care who are falsely accused of fraud by the State.  The measure – subjected to a pocket veto – would have guaranteed that in the future, providers who stand accused of fraud will receive the opportunity to review allegations made against them, and the chance to respond in an administrative hearing and in dis

Martinez Blasts Legislature After Issuing Vetoes On Revenue Measures

Apr 7, 2017
Office of the Governor

  Commentary: The Legislature has disappointed me in the past. But I cannot recall another time where I’ve ever felt that their reckless decisions had left New Mexico hanging in the balance.

They wasted 60 days in Santa Fe on bills like official state songs and dances. And, sadly for the people of New Mexico, they left little to show – except for an unbalanced budget and one of the largest tax increases in state history.

Martinez Vetoes Bipartisan Bill To Raise Minimum Wage To $9.00

Apr 7, 2017
Senator Clemente Sanchez


  Commentary; Governor Martinez vetoed Senator Clemente Sanchez’s Senate Bill 386 which would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. Throughout the legislative process, the bill received broad support from labor unions and business groups alike with representatives from AFSCME Council 18 and the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce standing in support.