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.

Democrats: New Mexico Governor Opts for Dangerous Fiscal Footing

Feb 1, 2017
Office of the Governor

  Commentary: Santa Fe, N.M. – Governor Susana Martinez line item vetoed approximately $26 million in cuts from Senate Bill 113, one of three constitutionally required solvency bills to put New Mexico on solid financial footing for Fiscal Year 2017. The Governor’s vetoes drop New Mexico’s reserve balances to approximately 1% putting the state’s bond rating at risk of being downgraded a second time.

judge neil gorsuch

Commentary: SANTA FE, N.M. — With President Trump's announcement of Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center - a nonprofit law firm whose attorneys have worked for 30 years to protect vulnerable communities from environmental harm - urges the U.S. Senate to vote against the nomination.

NMELC staff believe that the appointment of Judge Gorsuch will create a Court that does little to stand in the way of a concerted rollback of more than 60 years of federal environmental protections.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump today announced he would nominate Neil Gorsuch as associate justice of the Supreme Court. The following statement was issued on behalf of NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

New Mexico's Behavioral Health Crisis Demands Solutions

Jan 31, 2017
Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

Commentary: A terrible tragedy that affects thousands of vulnerable children and adults in need of often life-saving mental health and substance abuse treatment continues to play out in slow motion in New Mexico. Crucial health services for residents now are withering away as the fourth of only five behavioral providers in our state, Valle del Sol of Arizona, announced last month that it will leave New Mexico. For those who are on the receiving end, it is intolerable.

Texas' opportunity to lead; Muslims, immigrants welcome

Jan 31, 2017
State Senator José Rodríguez

Commentary: Austin – Sen. José Rodríguez, Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus,  issued the following statement:

Today is Texas Muslim Capitol Day, and I for one welcome the visits. In my office, we don't see Muslims or immigrants as threats. Religious freedom is a core American principle, and to target those of a particular faith with a broad brush is antithetical to our values.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Leadership Demands a Second Hearing for Sessions

Jan 31, 2017
senator jeff sessions (r)

Commentary:   Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter today to Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer urging them to conduct a second hearing for Attorney General nominee Senator Sessions in light of President Trump’s recent executive order which bars entry into the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

Commentary: Santa Fe, N.M. – In response to Gov. Susana Martinez’ support of repealing the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule in the Congressional Review Act, Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund Program Director Molly Sanders released the following statement:

New Mexico Memorials Denouncing Trump Orders Introduced

Jan 31, 2017 (donald trump)

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today, Senator Jacob Candelaria introduced memorials condemning both Donald Trump’s recent executive orders attempting to shut down the entry of Muslims into the United States and his foreign policy actions towards Mexico that would be detrimental to our state.

Medicaid Reform Can Save New Mexico

Jan 30, 2017

Commentary: Recently, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan-Grisham joined supporters of Obamacare in protesting the possibility that President Donald Trump will repeal or dramatically alter the law. She is not alone. Liberals are hoping to defend Obamacare, despite public-opinion polls, which continue to reflect majority opposition.  

New Mexico falling short on consumer protection

Jan 30, 2017
ona porter

COMMENTARY: Recently, the District Court in Santa Fe announced its decision requiring FastBucks, a high-cost payday and installment lender, to pay $32 million in restitution to consumers it harmed with its unconscionable business practices.

This decision was a significant victory for borrowers victimized by loans with annual interest rates in excess of 500 percent. The decision was the conclusion of a court case originally filed in 2009 and successfully prosecuted in 2012 by the consumer protection attorneys.

Letter to Trump: End U.S. War in Afghanistan

Jan 30, 2017

  Commentary: Prominent Americans, peace activists, and organizations have created an open letter to President Donald Trump asking him to end U.S. war in Afghanistan. It reads:

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is well into its 16th year. In 2014 President Obama declared it over, but it will remain a political, financial, security, legal, and moral problem unless you actually end it.

"One New Mexico" Releases A Plan For The State

Jan 29, 2017
Alan Webber

Commentary: One New Mexico, a state-based non-profit committed to creating a better future for all New Mexicans, released “a plan for a better New Mexico.” The booklet contains specific recommendations for job creation, critical investments in New Mexico’s people and strategic upgrades in the state’s infrastructure as the way to respond to the budget and jobs crises currently holding the state back.

Opening New Mexico to the Industrial Hemp Marketplace

Jan 29, 2017
Rep. Bealquin “Bill” Gomez (D-La Mesa)

  Commentary:  Santa Fe, NM – Rep. Bealquin “Bill” Gomez (D-La Mesa) wants to open up New Mexico to the industrial hemp market with the creation of the New Mexico Industrial Hemp Research and Development Fund.


A Plea For Partnership In Las Cruces

Jan 29, 2017

Commentary: I address this email to you as a constituent living in Las Cruces’ District 6, as a professional artist, former board member and president of the Dona Ana Arts Council, and strong advocate for a vibrant arts and cultural community in Las Cruces.  It addresses my concerns regarding a proposed change by the City in management of the Rio Grande Theatre, which has been operated by the Arts Council for the past 11 years.

New Mexico Legislature must do more for working families

Jan 29, 2017

  Commentary: Years ago, I had a conversation with a friend about tensions in his relationship. My friend eventually shrugged and said “I don’t know, that’s just the way it is,” resigning himself to accepting the tension rather than find a solution.

For a very long time, New Mexicans have been expected to just shrug our shoulders and accept the problems in our state as “that’s just the way it is.”

Commentary:  Democratic members of the New Mexico Senate and House announced their priority package of bills to create jobs and spur economic activity, following  passage of an urgent $216 million solvency package to address the state’s budget shortfall.  The six bills that the legislators vowed to pass expeditiously include capital outlay infrastructure, a minimum wage increase, broadband expansion, reform of local economic development funds, adjustments to job training programs, and green-lighting industrial hemp research in the state.  Democratic legislators said the state’s second-worst

Commentary: Is Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office a disaster waiting to be exposed as such? [Three columns will explore that question.] 

Sheriff Enrique Vigil lacks relevant experience. He was a long-time U.S. Marshal; but he hasn't dealt with state laws or the variety of situations a cop faces. He's not a state-certified law-enforcement officer. 

Vigil wisely compensated for that inexperience by naming Eddie Lerma as Undersheriff. Lerma had served two other sheriffs as undersheriff, had many years of experience with DASO, and seems generally respected. 

Commentary: Citing EPA nominee Scott Pruitt’s conflicts of interest and opposition to protecting the environment, 58 current and former New Mexico elected officials signed a letter Wednesday asking our congressional delegation to oppose the nomination.


Why We Started Grow New Mexico

Jan 29, 2017
Terry Brunner

Commentary: New Mexico is already one of the best places to live in our country.  But if you’ve read a newspaper, tuned into the news or have listened to what people are saying in the coffee shop, you know things aren’t going well for all our neighbors.  Poverty is on the rise, the economy is crawling along, there aren’t enough good paying jobs to keep young New Mexicans here, and the quality of life in many of our communities falls short of expectations.

laura paskus

Commentary:   Laura Paskus, president of the Board of Directors of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter, spoke on behalf of the board Thursday morning in opposition to legislation, as it’s currently written, to create a state public accountability board. The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, and Rep.

  Commentary: Washington—The National Education Association today issued its Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress, which assesses votes and other relevant legislative actions from January 2015 through December 2016.  The Report Card tracks individual members of Congress overall support for public education, students a

El Paso State Legislative Delegation on Trump's proposed tariffs, war on the border

Jan 27, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary: Austin - Another day, another foolishly destructive action by the new administration. Wednesday, it was to target immigrants and border communities. Now, in order to do that, the President targets consumers by proposing a trade war with Texas' biggest trading partner, Mexico. Texas will pay the price, and El Paso will be on the front lines.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary:  Washington—The public outcry over Donald Trump’s pick to head the federal department of education reached an unprecedented milestone.  Educators, parents, students and public education advocates have emailed more than 1 million letters to the U.S

secretary of state MAGGIE TOULOUSE OLIVER

Commentary: SANTA FE – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver issued the following statement today in response to President Donald Trump’s continued false allegations that at least three million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 General Election:

 Commentary: As we move into our 60 day legislative session, we have a mess to fix.  Unreality is high on columnists' lists so far on the budget.  What will the legislature do?  Between Paul Gessing and Dr. Swickard we sometimes wonder what’s next - just except more general cutting and no new revenue.  That is not the way to a sane NM economy.  That’s tried and true failure.  NM’s best interests lie in fixing the economy.  Cutting spending in general, no.  Try revenue. (donald trump)

Commentary: The best-selling book on Amazon, as of mid-week, was published in 1949. 

Before I discuss it, please take a just moment. Contemplate our times for a second, read over in your mind a few dominant headlines from recent days and months, and identify the 68-year-old book.  (Gee, it's nearly as old as I am!)  It's a mental task you ought to be able to perform without further assistance, if you just blank your mind and try.

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today, the Senate voted to appropriate funding needed to prevent judicial court closures and to ensure that New Mexico court system can meet its constitutional obligations.

Early Education And Child Care Critical For New Mexico

Jan 25, 2017

Commentary: Early childhood care and education is central to any discussion about improving child wellbeing in New Mexico. Decades of research have shown that the early years of a child’s life are a special time when the brain is developing rapidly, and that providing enriching, stable environments for young children is one of the best investments a society can make.

Terry Brunner

Commentary: A new initiative, Grow New Mexico, launched today in collaboration with The Grants Collective.  Grow New Mexico’s mission is to help New Mexico communities develop projects that improve the quality of life of their citizens.  This effort complements The  Grants Collective’s existing Talent Academy work to train community grant writers and its Cooperative Network to better help organizations collaborate and share resources.

Commentary: PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Watersheds Project, a nonprofit environmental group, has launched a legal challenge to a management plan for five National Wildlife Refuges in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California. The lawsuit, filed last week in Oregon, cites failures by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect sage grouse and rare native fishes from commercial livestock grazing in the refuges.