Local Viewpoints

Local Viewpoints
8:58 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Getting Pushed Over To The Side Of The Road

  Have you ever owned a jalopy and had to push it over to the side of the road? Remember what it’s like, drivers side door open, traffic stopped and you huffing and puffing to get it out of everyone’s way. When I was young my parents did not  give me a car when I came to NMSU.  Most students did not have cars at NMSU in the sixties. It was kind of like it must be now in Cuba. Those students who had cars had some real clunkers. They stalled plenty of times, at the worst times naturally. On my way to a meeting this week I saw a student pushing his car off to the side of the road.

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Local Viewpoints
6:47 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Krahling: Online Voter Registration Helps Voters And Administrators

  In 2014, the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration released a report with best practices to improve voter experience and promote confidence in the administration of elections.

Many of the recommendations have been implemented in Doña Ana County, and we have been engaged with the Legislature to implement others, including online voter registration. This year the Legislature unanimously passed a bill that directs the Secretary of State to implement online voter registration statewide by 2017.

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Local Viewpoints
6:43 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Rodriguez Blasts Texas Bill Denying In-State Tuition To Immigrants

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  AUSTIN – Today, the Senate Subcommittee on Border Security is discussing SB 185 and SB 1819, bills that, respectively, target students and hurt proven police strategies to reduce crimes in our communities. Senator José Rodríguez issued the following statement:

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Local Viewpoints
11:48 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Goodman: Could Litigation Be Next In The Las Cruces Recall Election Effort?

Gill Sorg

  Local business interests who hired people to collect signatures to recall City Councilor Gill Sorg failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election; but the recall proponents may file suit.

 

The bar was low. They needed only 10% of the district's registered voters. Their cause was so unpopular they had to lie about what the petition was for. Voters in District 5 seem quite content with Councilor Sorg. (We'll learn next week whether they got enough signatures for a recall vote on Olga Pedroza.)

 

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Local Viewpoints
3:57 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Udall Leads Fight Against Dark Money In Politics

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

WASHINGTON – Today, on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision that further eroded the nation’s campaign finance laws, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sent a letter asking the Obama administration to implement an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose political spending. The letter was also signed by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

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Local Viewpoints
9:56 am
Wed April 1, 2015

New Mexico Senate Democrats Want Special Session If Capital Outlay Agreement Is Possible

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

  Santa Fe, NM – Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo and Valencia) today said he and Senate Democrats may be willing to support calling a special session of the Legislature following Governor Susana Martinez’s reported comments this week. Sen. Sanchez has sent out the following statement:

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Local Viewpoints
11:38 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Martinez Signs Legislation Aimed At Protecting Families

Credit Office of the Governor

  Today, Governor Susana Martinez signed a series of bills to help protect New Mexico’s families. Among other things, the legislation cracks down on child prostitution, provides additional funding to help victims of violent crimes, and requires all cell phone and pager companies to issue Amber Alerts via text to their customers.

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Local Viewpoints
8:29 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Las Cruces Green Chamber Launches "No More Walmarts" Campaign

  LAS CRUCES---The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce (LCGCC) Board of Directors announced this week they are launching a "No More Walmarts" campaign   in response to the recent approval in February by the Las Cruces Planning and Zoning Commission for the rezoning of 7.31 acres of land at the corner of Tashiro Drive and Valley Road. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved an application for the construction of a grocery store, drive-through pharmacy, and a 12 bay self-serve gas station.   

 

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Local Viewpoints
10:31 am
Mon March 30, 2015

What Really Happened To Capital Outlay During New Mexico's 2015 Legislative Session?

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

  Santa Fe, NM – Following the Governor’s press conference at the end of the 2015 Legislative Session, residents of New Mexico may be excused for being confused about what actually happened to spending on infrastructure projects across the state.  Governor Susana Martinez did not help matters when she levelled false accusations against Senate Democrats.

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Local Viewpoints
1:05 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Goodman: Enjoying The Theater In Las Cruces

  May I take a break from drought and recall and be playful?

Last Saturday evening we saw “Recreational Living” at the Las Cruces Community Theater.

David Spence's play won a contest among former students of Mark Medoff. The prize was this production at LCCT directed by Mark.

I expected a good evening, because I know and respect Mark; but the performance was more fun that we'd anticipated.

Let's admit first that I'm an old curmudgeon who often leaves the theater growling.

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Local Viewpoints
12:13 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Udall Leads Effort To Keep Dark Money Out Of Elections

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  With the Senate debating amendments to this year’s proposed budget resolution, Republicans voted against an amendment offered by Sens.

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Local Viewpoints
12:08 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Heinrich Pushes Bill To Prevent Public Lands From Being Sold

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced an amendment to the Senate's budget resolution that would protect America's parks and public lands, including national forests, wildlife refuges, and conservation lands, from being sold off as a deficit reduction tactic. The amendment is cosponsored by U.S.

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Local Viewpoints
11:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

NMPIRG: President's Plan Does Not Adequately Address The Antibiotic Threat

Today the National Task Force for Combatting Resistant Bacteria released a five-year action plan to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.  While the plan takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

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Local Viewpoints
2:41 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Stratton: Civil Asset Forfeiture Bill Worth Signing

For those New Mexicans who believe in bipartisan government, reaching across the aisle and the political spectrum--there is good news. The New Mexico legislature has just unanimously passed HB 560, without a single dissenting vote in either house. HB 560 revises the procedure involved in the forfeiting of citizens’ assets by government agencies, a practice referred to as “asset forfeiture.”  

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Local Viewpoints
5:56 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Recapping The New Mexico Legislative Session

  During the past two months, New Mexicans from every corner of the state sent 6,258 emails through Think New Mexico's website, and legislators listened. As a result, when the 2015 legislative session wrapped up on Saturday, Think New Mexico had successfully achieved 4 of the 5 goals we worked toward during the session:
Health Care Transparency Passed

As we reported to you on Friday, the bill to create a public website with health care cost and quality information has reached the Governor's desk and we are optimistic that she will sign it. 

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Local Viewpoints
4:54 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Hansen: Let's Get The Real Story About The PARCC Test In New Mexico

  I was both reassured and somewhat disturbed to read Secretary of Education Hannah Skandera’s recent guest column on the PARCC test.  On one hand, she soothingly explained what a boon this multi-million dollar corporately-produced assessment will be for our schools.  On the other hand, so much of what she said was just plain wrong.

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Local Viewpoints
4:54 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Heinrich Blasts Republican Plan To Gut The Affordable Care Act

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) highlighted the need to continue making health care coverage available for families across New Mexico through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and opposes efforts by Republicans to dismantle the law in the budget resolution.

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Local Viewpoints
10:26 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Goodman: What Can We Do About A Tragedy In Mexico?

  Bianca is a farmer and a mother. Her son Jorge is a carefree young man, full of laughter. He plays his guitar and sings to her – when he's not fixing a neighbor's recalcitrant computer. He loves children, and attends a small teachers' college.

But he has disappeared.

Estanislao grows corn and beans and trades in food. Today, wearing a bright red cap reading, “Union Pacific – Building America,” he could be some NMSU student's visiting uncle.

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Local Viewpoints
4:12 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Senate Democrats Blast House Committee Move to Blow Up Capital Outlay Projects

Senate Chairman John Arthur Smith (D-35- Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna & Sierra).
Credit Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Sierra-35), Chair, Legislative Finance Committee

  Santa Fe, NM – Without any warning, the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee today took action – with no historical precedent – to strip $80 million worth of infrastructure projects from the capital outlay bill earlier approved by bipartisan consensus in the New Mexico Senate.  The House Committee’s action on Senate Bill 159 (SB

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Local Viewpoints
4:47 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Rodríguez: Gun Proliferation Bills Pass Texas Senate

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  AUSTIN – Senator José Rodríguez issued the following statement regarding Senate Bill 17, the "open carry" bill that passed the full Senate yesterday, and Senate Bill 11, the "campus carry" bill, which passed today:

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Local Viewpoints
3:18 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

McSorley: Hemp Industrialization Equals Jobs for New Mexico

  Santa Fe, NM – I am pleased that my bill, Senate Bill 94 (SB 94), designed to help New Mexico lay the foundation for hemp industrialization, has passed the Senate and the first committee in the House of Representatives.

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Local Viewpoints
3:12 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Report: Minority Families In New Mexico, U.S. Falling Behind

  ALBUQUERQUE— A sharp racial/ethnic divide has emerged within the world of low-income working families, posing a critical equity and economic challenge to New Mexico and the nation, a new study concludes.

Hispanics and African-Americans, who will continue to emerge as a larger segment of the workforce, will remain under-prepared and underpaid unless lawmakers in New Mexico are willing to pursue policies that would improve conditions. 

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Local Viewpoints
9:11 am
Tue March 17, 2015

ACI: Let's Move Forward With Bipartisan Procurement Proposal

  Santa Fe: Last Thursday, Senate Bill 537, the transparency bill which the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry helped to draft, passed the Senate on a unanimous 39-0 bipartisan vote.  But with less than a week remaining in the 2015 legislative session, this broadly supported bill has yet to be heard in its first House committee. 

 

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Local Viewpoints
10:01 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Rodriguez: Anti-Immigrant Bill Is Bad For Texas

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  AUSTIN – Senate Bill 185, which was heard in the Senate Subcommittee on Border Security today, would outlaw so-called “sanctuary cities” — a term that has not been defined — by prohibiting Texas governmental entities from passing laws to restrict police from asking about immigration status.

The bill affects cities, counties, special districts, and districts attorneys. It exempts school districts and hospital districts, but includes peace officers employed or commissioned by school districts and hospital districts.

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Local Viewpoints
4:47 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Goodman: Deception In Efforts To Recall Las Cruces City Councilors

  Recently I visited with eighteen voters who'd signed the recall petition against Olga Pedroza.

   Each voter asked to take his or her name off the petition.  All but one described election fraud, whether or not s/he used that term.

   The lies varied. 

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Local Viewpoints
11:28 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Greg Lennes: Recall Campaign Is A "Curse To Our Community"

  It is time to slam the door in the faces of the recall gang and their canvassers, who are paid $11 per hour to spread lies and misinformation in our community!  Let's stop this corruption of our political process.  Illinois Tea Party agitator and campaign leader Jeffrey Isbell,  Pam Wolfe, who is Field Coordinator for the Americans for Prosperity New Mexico and trainer of the canvassers and their  wealthy supporters are undermining our community. It is disgraceful. They have no evidence against the City Councilors in the recall.

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Local Viewpoints
5:17 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

NMFOG: Sunshine Lights the Way for Good Government

  Elected officials and candidates love to proclaim themselves to be "pro-open government."  That's a little like being "pro-education" or "pro-family."  The sentiment is nice, and sounds great in a speech, but can mean little in reality.

 

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Local Viewpoints
3:44 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Senate Democrats Proud to Defeat Matt Chandler’s UNM Regents Appointment

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

  Santa Fe, NM – Senate Democrats today defeated the controversial nomination of Matt Chandler to the University of New Mexico (UNM) Board of Regents by Governor Susana Martinez by a vote of 23 to 17.  Senators pointed to the strong opposition expressed by many UNM students and faculty, and numerous attorneys from Curry County where Chandler served as District Attorney, as key factors in rejecting the appointment. Chandler’s high-profile record of divisive, unfair partisanship also ruled him out from being getting the Senate’s appointment to the Board of Regents.

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Local Viewpoints
12:19 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Texas State Lawmakers Introduce Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

AUSTIN – Texas state lawmakers introduced legislation Friday that would allow patients with cancer, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. 

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Local Viewpoints
12:16 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Campos: All New Mexicans Receive Dividends from Judiciary Investments

  Properly funding government requires a delicate balancing act to meet the public’s needs. We in the Legislature are allocating more than $6 billion in taxpayer money to ensure New Mexicans receive critical services. A majority of those dollars go to educate our children and provide health care for the needy.

Often overshadowed in the budget debate are the courts and their core mission of delivering fair and timely justice for individuals and businesses.

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