Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @ nmsu.edu  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:  Senate Majority Whip, Senator Michael Padilla (D-14 – Bernalillo) today criticized the veto of critical funding for repairs and improvements to 25 acequias across the state by Governor Susana Martinez.  Using her line-item veto authority, Martinez stripped almost $1,000,000 in total from acequia projects that had been approved and passed by the Legislature during its recent 2016 meeting.  The funds for the acequia projects were a portion of the Legislature’s annual capital outlay infrastructure spending package that was sent to the Governor.

U.S. Senate Paying for Programs with Magical Thinking

Mar 16, 2016

 Commentary: The United States Senate has accomplished something!  Sort of. 

The Republican-controlled Senate would like credit for passing a bill addressing heroin and opioid addiction in the United States. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) passed on an impressive 94-1 vote. Among its co-sponsors was our own Senator Martin Heinrich.


  Commentary: President Barack Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court today, nominating Merrick Garland. Garland is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a court whose importance is only surpassed by the Supreme Court itself. The National Education Association is urging the U.S. Senate to do its job by considering the president’s nominee, and hold a hearing and a vote on Chief Judge Garland.


Let’s appreciate what farmers, ranchers put on our plates – and into our communities

Mar 13, 2016
Jeff M. Witte-New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture

Commentary:  Milk, beef, chile, pecans…Cheese, lettuce, spinach, grapes…Alfalfa, cotton, corn, onions and more -- what's not to get excited about as spring approaches?  Agriculture is alive and well in New Mexico, and the food and crops mentioned here are just a sample of the diverse culture of production that makes New Mexico special.


  Commentary:  Responding to reports that on Monday morning the University of New Mexico Board of Regents intends to dissolve and take over the authority of the board that oversees numerous New Mexico medical facilities that serve the public, Senate Democratic leaders today called for the Regents to stand down. 

 Commentary: What sense does any of this make?

Why should state legislators who oppose abortion because they contend that a fetus is already a full-human person, and will feel pain if a woman aborts a pregnancy, object to that woman being educated about and able to obtain contraceptives that would obviate the need for either an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy? Why do folks complaining that we spend too much to feed and clothe poor women's proliferating offspring oppose making sure those poor women understand and can afford contraceptives?

  Commentary:   After the New Mexico Political Report published a story today detailing a proposal by Gov. Martinez's appointees on the UNM Board of Regents to dissolve the UNM Health Sciences Center board, ProgressNow NM Managing Director Alex Curtas released this statement:

Pearce Demands Transparency and Accountability on Carlsbad Caverns Elevators

Mar 11, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Commentary:  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the National Park Service (NPS) announced plans to hold a town hall regarding Carlsbad Caverns broken elevators:

State Senator Bill Soules

   Commentary:  Following Governor Martinez’s veto of modest legislation to require the State to publish a simple report at the end of each year identifying how many New Mexicans with disabilities are waiting for services, advocates for the disabled today expressed disappointment and sharply criticized the decision.  Senate Bill 36 (SB 36), “Developmental Disabilities Annual Reporting”, was passed in both by the Senate and the House of Representatives without a single dissenting vote.  Despite the measure’s obvious and broad support for a vulnerable group of residents, and even though it in

Heinrich Says More Resources, Personnel Needed To Strengthen Border Security

Mar 11, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is calling for more resources to ramp up security along the border in the Bootheel region in southwest New Mexico.

Governor Martinez Again Vetoes Bill to Improve Court Interpreter Services

Mar 11, 2016
Senator Mimi Stewart (D-17-Bernalillo)

  Commentary:  For the second time in as many years, Governor Susana Martinez on Wednesday vetoed an uncontroversial measure to improve court interpreter services in New Mexico, putting into focus her past efforts as a District Attorney to keep Spanish-speakers from serving on juries.

Recent New Mexico Legislative Session Casts Shadow on Sunshine Week

Mar 11, 2016

 Commentary-- Closed-door budget talks and a failed effort to create a transparent ethics commission largely shaded the recent New Mexico Legislative session from sunlight, but 2016 did see two incremental victories for transparency.

Sunshine Week is March 13-19, 2016.  The Sunshine Week campaign works nationwide to celebrate transparency and emphasize the value of open government.  

Report: NM’s State Economic Development Spending Favors Big Business

Mar 11, 2016

  Commentary:  Despite the fact that a large share of New Mexico’s workforce is employed by small businesses, 70 percent of the state’s economic development subsidies goes to large companies. That’s one of the conclusions of a report released yesterday by Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC-based think tank focused on economic development. The report, “Slicing the Budget Pie for Big Business,” examined $344 million in spending on more than 60 programs among three states—New Mexico, Florida and Missouri.

Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

Commentary:  Senate Democrats today sharply criticized Governor Susana Martinez for her veto of bipartisan-supported legislation to shore up declining revenues of New Mexico’s lottery scholarship fund that enables thousands of the state’s students to attend college.  The bill, SB 79, would have required unclaimed lottery prizes to be transferred to the scholarship fund, resulting in between $1 to $3 million additionally each year for student scholarships.  The decline of state lottery sales has lowered funds available for student tuition scholarships, and SB 79 sought to alleviate the short

Heinrich Votes To Pass Bill To Combat Opioid And Heroin Abuse Epidemic

Mar 10, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Today, U.S.

  Commentary -- Today, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an agreement to address the climate crisis, expand our clean energy economy, commit both nations to Arctic conservation, and address the need for safeguards to cut dangerous methane from both new and existing sources.


Governor Signs Bill Allowing ATVs On New Mexico's Paved Roadways

Mar 9, 2016

  Commentary:   Senate Minority Caucus Chair Steve Neville’s bill to allow  local communities  to decide whether all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and  off-highway vehicles (OHVs) can drive on their paved roads was signed by the governor.  This has a local option where local entities could opt in and determine  restrictions such as how fast, and which roads or portion of paved roads the  vehicles can use.

Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Commentary– Last week, New Mexico’s state senate democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requesting an investigation into the Martinez administration’s upheaval of behavioral health services.  The letter follows a similar request by New Mexico’s congressional democrats made last month.  Both letters cite serious concerns regarding NM’s human services department’s (HSD) suspension of funding to 15 behavioral health providers in June, 2013 amid “allegations of credible fraud” and the impact the disruption of services had on those in need of services.

  Commentary:  The TPP was signed by our President and other world leaders on 2/4/16.  Wither we now goest on trade?  The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy noted recently that our future may be corporatism, not national sovereignty. “We have entered a new era of corporate rights—where, in their quest to access natural resources around the world, multinational firms now routinely ride roughshod over governments and communities.” 


  Commentary—The National Education Association (NEA) today joined scores of other professionals who advocate for children, including pediatricians, psychologists, and social workers, in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas. The amicus brief urges the Court to vacate a preliminary injunction that blocked the implementation of executive actions announced by President Barack Obama in 2014 aimed at keeping millions of children and families together.

Federal Court Halts New Mexico’s Illegal Limits on Food Assistance

Mar 9, 2016
Office of the Governor

Commentary:  Federal District Court Judge Kenneth Gonzales and Federal Magistrate Judge Carmen Garza issued an injunction late Monday evening preventing the state from implementing a new three month time limit on food assistance.  The injunction protects 17,500 eligible New Mexicans from losing food assistance due to problems with the state’s administration of the time limit.

Sanchez: State’s Job Crisis Demanded More Attention from Governor

Mar 8, 2016
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Commentary:  While the rest of the nation and the region’s states have seen their economic prospects brighten, New Mexico has fallen further behind, losing jobs, economic activity, tax revenue and even population. It is worth noting that the cause for our revenue woes are not due solely to the fall in oil and gas prices.

The Importance of Registering Voters in Dona Ana County

Mar 8, 2016
Scott for Clerk Campaign

  Commentary:  Democracy works when people actively participate in it. Our vision at the Bureau of Elections is to create a voting culture in our community where all qualified people have access to vote, and it will take a collaborative effort between our office and the community to achieve this.

Goodman: Questions Over Hiring In Dona Ana County

Mar 7, 2016

 Commentary: I've voiced strong (and warranted) criticism of the county's Human Resources Department; but there are reasons to have HR. 

The previous sheriff hired someone with an interesting record but no law enforcement experience. Sheriff Garrison admired him. Many deputies didn't. They complained. I wrote several columns. Eventually he left, though on his way out he sued everyone in sight, including me. (A year later the nonsensical lawsuit was dismissed.)

Oh, how I hate getting somebody's name wrong

Mar 7, 2016

Commentary:  Last week, my column for the Deming Headlight twice referred to Deming city councilor Roxana Rincon as "Roxanne." The misprint seems to have occurred because my word processor prefers "Roxanne," perhaps out of an inordinate fondness for the old pop song by The Police or the charming 1987 movie starring Steve Martin. In some haste, I did not spot the error before filing my column last week. Desert Sage blew it. 

Commentary:  President Obama promised that he would make quality, affordable health care not a privilege, but a right. After nearly 100 years of talk and decades of trying by presidents of both parties, that’s exactly what he did.


Groups Blast New Mexico Law Protecting Dairy Industry

Mar 4, 2016

  Commentary: On Thursday, Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law Senate Bill 72, another effort by New Mexico’s industrial dairy industry to immunize itself from responsibility for the pollution and nuisance created by these operations.

How Career Politicians Create Family Dynasties

Mar 4, 2016


  Commentary:   The odds are better than 50/50 in favor of Hillary Clinton, if she ends up running against Donald Trump in the November general election; at least that’s what some polls are telling us.

There are myriad scenarios yet to play out in this 2016 presidential race, but now that Hillary Clinton has won a commanding share of delegates for the Democratic nomination, stop and think about another Clinton White House.

Start thinking about some, well, profound implications … historically, politically, socially or otherwise.

Beffort’s Bill to help Alleviate Medical Shortage Signed by Governor

Mar 3, 2016

  Commentary:  Senator Sue Wilson Beffort’s bill to help alleviate the shortage of licensed medical workers in the state by expediting the issuing of New Mexico licenses to out-of-state medical practitioners who want to practice here  has been signed by the governor.

Senator Wilson Beffort said presently  New Mexico has a significant shortage of licensed healthcare providers, especially in the rural areas,  and now with the expansion of Medicaid the shortage has become even more critical.

Planning For A More Diverse New Mexico Economy

Mar 3, 2016

  Commentary:  Before the past legislative session began, I wrote an article suggesting that our main focus as a legislature should be on restoring hope for all New Mexicans by developing a responsible budget, reforming our capital outlay system and addressing compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, among other things.  As with all legislative sessions, the mindset going in tends to shift a bit before it's all said and done, and so while I still remain focused on restoring hope, I have a better sense now of just how to do it.