Local Viewpoints

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D'Ammassa: Dianna Duran Did Well in Stepping Down

Oct 27, 2015

  Commentary: We turn this week to the sad story of New Mexico's Secretary of State, Dianna Duran.

The case of Secretary Duran is not just a lurid story of the downfall of a public official, one who vowed to confront corruption in her state's politics only to be accused of corruption charges herself. Duran's story is also a good case to examine the question of when a public official should resign her position in the presence of criminal allegations.

Breaking The Rules: The New Norm In New Mexico?

Oct 27, 2015

  "I want it to be completely clear to all New Mexicans that at no time did I ever do anything in my official capacity as Secretary of State that would jeopardize the integrity of the office."

Commentary:  So said Dianna Duran on Friday at a post-court hearing news conference.

Hynes: Martians For Las Cruces

Oct 27, 2015

  Of course I saw the movie Martian. It was a way to for my students and staff to celebrate our accomplishments after a long year of preparation and execution of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Space (ISPCS).  I will get back to the movie, which we all recommend. It has a lot more technical accuracy than the movie Gravity. It got 3.5 stars from our group.

Deason: Greg Smith Should Be Re-Elected

Oct 26, 2015
Las Cruces City Councilor Greg Smith

  Commentary:   I would like to take this opportunity to throw my weight behind the re-election bid of Greg Smith for Las Cruces City Council, District Two, “The Gateway of Las Cruces”.

Gessing: Forbes Dings New Mexico Business Climate

Oct 26, 2015
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  New Mexico’s business climate received negative reviews from Forbes Magazine in the publication’s latest ranking of business climate. According to the magazine, New Mexico came in a disappointing 47th. According to the report, “New Mexico ranks in the bottom six overall for a third straight year largely due to a weak labor supply and lousy current economic climate. New Mexico has the worst employment growth in the U.S. over the past five years.

Goodman: An Absorbing Medoff Debut In Las Cruces

Oct 25, 2015
Mark Medoff

  The stage is dominated by a big white bed and by a huge, selection of bright-colored clothing hanging high up all the way along the back of the stage. Those clothes and a long shelf of books fairly loom above you, at least from the fifth row, suggesting not only their owner's glamour and wealth but also her ability (need!) to shift rapidly among roles and moods. The big bed – just a white sheet on it, no blankets, ready for action – also tells you a little about its owner.

  Commentary:  The following is a statement issued by State Sen. José Rodríguez, Chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, following the OIG’s raid at several Planned Parenthood health centers today:

Planned Parenthood has been repeatedly targeted by the state's leadership, and today's raid by the Texas Office of Inspector General on Planned Parenthood health centers in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, with reporters in tow, represents another attack on women's health providers.

facebook.com (bnsf)


Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be As Crazy As We Are?

Oct 21, 2015


Several weeks into this academic year, we have already had a number of stories leap from classrooms into news headlines. It doesn't take an advanced degree to see why these stories arouse so much interest. They involve our children and our friends' children. They also show us how the classroom becomes a forum where society engages in ideological battles and displays its fears and repulsions.

Revie: A Response To The Defense Of Planned Parenthood

Oct 19, 2015


I respond to Algernon D’Ammassa’s diatribe of 12 October.  Only someone delusional would defend Planned Parenthood’s inhumane practices after it was exposed for trafficking aborted human baby body parts.  In a partisan shot, D’Ammassa slanders Congressman Pearce who opposes taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Unmasked by its top officials like Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who graphically detailed how she crushes certain organs to harvest more marketable parts, Planned Parenthood does not deserve taxpayer dollars.


Making Las Cruces “business friendly” and eliminating “red-tape” are catchy slogans, but could mean things most voters wouldn't agree with.

If business-friendly means encouraging businesses, particularly small and local ones, that's great; but if it means surrendering decision-making to business or eliminating health and safety requirements, it'd be unwise.

Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce 2015 Candidate Endorsements

Oct 15, 2015

  As we work to fulfill our mission to “enhance and sustain the economy, promote the community and serve as the leading voice and public policy advocate for business in the Greater Las Cruces region” we are actively supporting pro-business candidates in all upcoming elections.

Report: Gila River Diversion is Expensive, Unnecessary Boondoggle

Oct 15, 2015

  The state’s current plan to spend up to $1 billion to divert water from the Gila River through a pipeline is ill conceived, particularly since the state has significant problems that would be more effectively addressed with such a significant level of funding. That’s the main conclusion of a report released on October 15 by New Mexico Voices for Children.

Gessing: Another Reason to Yell “Cut” on New Mexico’s Film Subsidies

Oct 15, 2015
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  The results of yet another report on New Mexico’s film subsidy program were recently released. This study was commissioned by the New Mexico Film Office and conducted by the Canadian accounting firm MNP. It included payroll data, industry interviews, and financial reports filed with the Film Office.

The report further casts doubt on the idea that New Mexico’s generous film subsidy program will ever lead to a permanent, sustainable film industry presence in the Land of Enchantment.

  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released stats on use-of-force incidents for fiscal year 2015, claiming a reduction in incidents, yet falling short of providing stats on all officer-civilian interactions involving force.  Most conspicuously, CBP defines force narrowly to exclude incidents that are captured by the Department of Justice’s standards. Beyond CBP’s three, chosen categories—a physical restraint, the use of an alternative device or the application of lethal force—the stats fail to provide all incidents of use of force.

Nachison: Don't Dismantle Las Cruces City Government

Oct 13, 2015

  Thanks NAACP, for hosting a 2015 election forum, 10/6/15.   Where will we be 11/3/15?

One unusual matter of which I took note emerged among other verbiage.  Mr. Van Veen and Ms. Ortega raised the idea of a "more responsive city government.”  We all agree that this is always a reasonable goal in and of itself.  But, eliminating the City Manager form of government?  Amend the City Charter to something pre-1985?

Brown: Attorney-Client Privilege Prevents Release Of Some Information

Oct 13, 2015

  In his Sept. 20 op-ed contribution, columnist Peter Goodman questioned why County Attorney Nelson Goodin and I are not releasing certain documents from investigators looking into various allegations regarding policies and personnel at the Doña Ana County Detention Center. The reason is quite simple: The documents we’ve identified are attorney-client privileged and should not be divulged.  The attorney-client privilege encourages clients to disclose to their attorneys all pertinent information in legal matters by protecting such disclosures from discovery.

D'Ammassa: The "Acorning" of Planned Parenthood is a Disgrace

Oct 13, 2015

  The Republican strategy against Planned Parenthood is not a secret. Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah stated it plainly in an interview for Fox News in September: "Planned Parenthood is the new ACORN."


The Space Economy And Its People In Southern New Mexico

Oct 13, 2015

  It’s better to create the positive than try to deconstruct the negative. I heard this at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) which concluded last Thursday, October 8th.  Creating a new commercial space industry has been a collaboration across many sectors of the economy which is now producing new launch vehicles, new human spaceflight vehicles, new spaceports, and new satellite systems.

  In November's municipal election, voters will choose between two views of Las Cruces: a place we invest in, to improve quality-of-life for all, and the “shrink government, cut taxes to an absolute minimum” litany of the Tea Party and the local Chamber of Commerce.

At the recent Domenici Conference, named for our long-time Republican U.S. Senator, the experts were unanimous: you want to grow your economy? You gotta invest, particularly in infrastructure and education. 

Pearce Applauds Temporary Halt Of EPA Water Protection Effort

Oct 10, 2015

  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following a federal appellate court order in Ohio to grant a preliminary injunction that will temporarily block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) so-called Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS):

Pearce: End The Oil Export Ban

Oct 9, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement on H.R. 702, a Bill to Adapt to Changing Crude Oil Market Conditions, which passed the House today by a vote of 261-159:

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

  Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez was a member of the opening plenary panel of the Summit on Worker Voice held today, October 7, 2015 at the White House. The Summit, hosted by President Barak Obama, examined how working Americans can more fully share in our country’s growing economic prosperity. Most working men and women know what the latest data shows, the recession might be over but prosperity is not trickling down to the middle class. This is leading to widening income inequality and workers believing they have no voice at their workplace.

Heinrich: Include Key New Mexico Provisions In Defense Bill, Eliminate Sequester Cuts

Oct 7, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted to pass the conference report for the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. Senator Heinrich worked to secure key provisions for New Mexico's men and women in uniform, military installations, private industry, national laboratories, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The NDAA conference report passed the Senate with a vote of 70 to 27.

  Carmella Salinas, a longtime early childhood educator in Española, New Mexico, is joining President Obama and working people from around the country at the White House today for the Summit on Worker Voice.

Salinas, president of PEOPLE for the Kids and a member of New Mexico Early Educators United, an AFT affiliate, came to Washington to talk about how she has helped to create an innovative partnership between educators, parents and early learning center owners to address New Mexico’s crisis in early childhood education.

  Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released revised “standards governing transport, escort, search and detention”—commonly known as TEDS. These standards create minimum requirements for U.S. Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations, the two components of CBP, both of which may choose to supplement these standards with their own guidance.

  As the ancient joke says, you know politicians are lying when their lips move.


  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement following the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Blast Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Oct 5, 2015

  WASHINGTON—Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after the U.S. Trade Representative announced that the United States has reached a deal with 11 other nations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.