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.

Cuba, Castro, Hemingway and the American Dream

Nov 29, 2016
Richard Kadzis

Commentary: Without knowing Fidel Castro had just died, I watched the film “Papa” on an airline flight that very same day.

The movie focused on the life and times of Ernest Hemingway, especially the time he spent living in Cuba in the 1950’s.

Papa showed how Hemingway was quietly supporting the arming of the Cuban revolution that would eventually topple the repressive regime of Juan Batista, and how he barely escaped arms smuggling charges and the wrath of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Hoover was hell-bent on stopping Castro and the movement he spearheaded.

Goodman: Eyes On The Future For New Mexico

Nov 27, 2016
Merrie Lee Soules

Commentary:  I had lunch with Merrie Lee Soules recently.

She wasn't wallowing in whatever pain she felt over losing a hard-fought Congressional Race to the oil-and-gas funded incumbent. 

Rep. Beto O'Rourke: I Am Supporting Tim Ryan for Minority Leader

Nov 26, 2016

 Commentary: I am supporting Tim Ryan for minority leader. The best way forward for the Democratic Caucus is to ensure that we are capitalizing on the intellect, passion, talent and experience of every single member. I know that Tim Ryan will listen to and take from all members from every part of the country, to ensure that we incorporate their unique voices, and those of their constituents, as we chart the course ahead. Not only will this help us win more elections, but it will ensure that we better reflect and represent the great country we serve.

Democrats: Governor Martinez's Line on Permanent Fund Shortsighted

Nov 24, 2016

Commentary: The Democratic Party of New Mexico slammed Governor Martinez after she ruled out using the permanent fund to invest in New Mexico's economy. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Removes Another Mexican Gray Wolf From Wild

Nov 23, 2016

  Commentary: Shrouded in secrecy in mid-November, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured alive and removed another Mexican gray wolf from the wild in response to the killing of cattle on national forest and state lands in east-central Arizona.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary: The Trump administration announced today its plan to nominate Betsy DeVos, best known for her anti-public education campaigns, for the position of Secretary of Education. 

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

Our public lands must reflect the diversity of our people

Nov 22, 2016

Commentary: My father and mother raised my four siblings and me to appreciate the beauty of our environment by hiking, mountain climbing, and visiting parks and other natural sites. At the time I didn’t think much about it but when I reflect back on those outings I realize that there weren’t that many people who looked like us visiting or working in the parks. One of the reasons was that the Hispanic population in Oregon was pretty small back then, but another reason was likely that Hispanics didn’t feel the same connection to our public lands that my family did.

New Mexico Democrats Call For Justice For Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Nov 22, 2016
New Mexico Democratic Chair Debra Haaland

  Commentary:  The Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) took a stand to support the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their water resources and sacred sites and to ensure tribal consultation is a priority. At a meeting in late October, the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s State Central Committee unanimously voted to send a letter of commitment to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman, Dave Archambault. 

How Will Trump Plans Affect Las Cruces And Southern New Mexico?

Nov 22, 2016 (donald trump)

Commentary: If you have read my column regularly, you know it’s focused on science and technology. Most of the people I spend my days with are involved in federally funded programs that require some degree of technical, scientific and administrative know-how.

While I work in technical fields, I still think most of us can read a plan and go a couple of levels deep to gain understanding. See if you can give the president-elect the benefit of the doubt.

Goodman: Being Grateful Can Change The World

Nov 20, 2016

Commentary: What I think changes the world, for each of us, is being grateful.

We are so often not. We are so often focused on what we've lost, or think we've lost; or what others have that we suppose might make us happier; or on people we suppose to be enemies. There is a lot of pain to be had, in a huge, indifferent universe that barely notices us, with time and technology speeding far beyond what we can comprehend. We are insignificant creatures clinging briefly to this planet.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García released the following statement on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as attorney general in the presidential administration of Donald Trump:

Congressional Progressive Caucus Condemns Trump’s Cabinet of Intolerance

Nov 20, 2016

Commentary: The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and CPC First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statement today after President-elect Trump announced Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) as top-level officials in his administration.

Office of the Governor

Commentary: Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez made clear that health coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act must be protected. According to the Associated Press, the Governor “has offered assurances that people won't be left without health insurance as President-elect Donald

Outrage Over Trump Surrogate’s Comments on Japanese-American Internment Camps

Nov 17, 2016

Commentary: The Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), CPC Vice Chair Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), and CPC Vice Chair Rep.

Fischmann: Much Work To Be Done In New Mexico

Nov 16, 2016
Steve Fischmann

Commentary: The election is over, and odds are you’ve figured out that our political parties have been far more concerned with bashing one another than taking care of us. 

Big corporate and financial interests have been funding the battle, and lawmakers have returned the favor by enacting policies that make fat cat donors fatter.  Meanwhile, most of us watch our long term economic prospects fade. New Mexico poverty is up; growth is down and we suffer the greatest income inequality in the country.

Trump's Victory is a call to engage in politics

Nov 16, 2016 (donald trump)

  Commentary:  Where is a Thomas Paine who can galvanize the common people, as Paine himself roused nervous colonists in 1776 to wage a revolution against a king and empire? In plain language, unburdened by flourish or jargon, Paine's pamphlets told a compelling story and inspired ordinary people busy with other things to fight and sacrifice for the project of a United States, as a parent who says, "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."

Heinrich: Trump Appointment Is "Sickening" Use Of Taxpayer Funds

Nov 15, 2016
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on Donald Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon, the former leader of the far-right website Breitbart News, as White House chief strategist and senior adviser:

Udall Blasts Appointment of Steve Bannon, Former Leader Of Far-Right Website

Nov 15, 2016
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary:  U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on Donald Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon, former leader of the extreme right-wing Breitbart website, as White House chief strategist and senior adviser: "As far as I’m concerned, appointing as chief strategist and adviser a man who has dedicated the last several years to running a far-right website that demonizes women and spreads hate-filled lies about Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, Jews and others shows Donald Trump has already forgotten his pledge for unity.

Pearce: Time For Republicans To Come Together As A Party

Nov 15, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary:  Today, the House Republican Conference voted unanimously to reelect Paul Ryan Speaker of the House, as well as reelect Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The unanimous reelection of Speaker Ryan shows Republicans in the House are united and committed to hitting the ground running with the Trump Administration in January.

  Commentary: U.S. Term Limits (USTL), the leader in the movement to limit terms for elected officials, today called on President-Elect Trump to keep his promise to the American people and work to get term limits on Congress. Congressional term limits require a constitutional amendment, a process the president can impact with advocacy.

Texas Bills to Reduce Marijuana Penalties Introduced

Nov 15, 2016

Commentary:  AUSTIN — A bill to reduce penalties for simple marijuana possession was introduced in the Texas House of Representatives today. HB 81, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso, would remove the current criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and replace them with a civil citation and a fine.

Commentary: Austin, Texas—Today, the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus (SHC) once again urges the State Board of Education to keep a seriously flawed textbook out of Texas schools.

Richard Kadzis

Commentary: The 2016 campaign is over, and it turns out, if you voted, you took part in one of the most historic presidential elections ever held.

There are all kinds of ways to break down the post-election analysis, so I referred back to my series of KRWG Viewpoints commenting on various dimensions of the campaign.

For example, I benchmarked how the 2016 election was a mirror image of the 1976 election. (donald trump)

Commentary:  We're in deep manure.

Fortunately, I live in Doña Ana County. Trump's snake oil didn't sell here. We elected good people to the statehouse: Nathan Small, Angelica Rubio, Jeff Steinborn, Rudy Martinez; and, finally, Joanne Ferrary beat the Doctor! We defied oil companies and banks. 

But millions of voters were sufficiently angry or distressed to toss the U.S. Government in the toilet. They had reasons. (Had Clinton won, I'd still be urging both parties to take seriously the disaffection expressed in votes for Bernie and Trump.) 

2016 Elections Denied Voters Foreign Policy Substance

Nov 8, 2016

  Commentary: Amid the euphoria of Chicago's World Series victory last week, one comment I heard repeated over and again was that this jubilation - when even rock-ribbed New Yorkers could give it up for the Cubs for a minute (maybe not a full 60 seconds, but at least a New York minute) - was something the country needed. Is it not striking that this exuberance is not something we associate with our elections?

Commentary: We're hearing coyotes again, howling furiously before dawn and after sunset. Fewer hummingbirds are wintering over this year. The golden eagle visited with us for an hour Saturday. None care about the election; many humanoids don't either, for understandable reasons; but it will affect all of us.

New Mexico Democrats: Trump Disrespects Tribes, Veterans

Nov 4, 2016 (donald trump)

  Commentary: Farmington, ​N.M. - Democrats railed on Donald Trump’s harmful attitudes toward tribes at a press conference ahead of Donald Trump Jr.’s stops in San Juan County.

Heinrich Fights For Consumers Slapped With Hidden Exorbitant Rental Car Fees

Nov 4, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is concerned about hidden fees currently being charged by rental car companies for the use of toll paying technology, which can often exceed 500 percent of the toll itself. In a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Senator Heinrich called on the agency to determine whether rental car companies using these fee structures are unnecessarily price gouging consumers and engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices.

Medicaid Co-Pays Are A Poor Tax

Nov 4, 2016

Commentary: Last Wednesday, Human Services Secretary Brent Earnest informed lawmakers the state is seeking federal authority to charge co-payments along with other fees to patients who rely on Medicaid for access to health care. Medicaid is funded jointly by state and federal governments.

The Patriot Within: Understanding The Struggles Of Veterans

Nov 4, 2016

Commentary: It was a cold autumn morning at Fort Knox as we were brought off of the cattle cars and led into the training area under the cover of darkness. Angry men made of stone and hate commanded us into position with all the magniloquence of rabid pitbulls. The air was cool, heavy, and humid smothering us with a heart chilling loneliness. Anxiety and fear was palatable, we never knew where we were going or what we would do. The only thing that we knew for sure was that the drill sergeants, the men of stone and hate, would punish us for crimes we have not yet committed.