Local Viewpoints

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Martinez And Republican Governors Slam Plan To Expand Overtime Eligibility

May 20, 2016
Office of the Governor

  Commentary:  In response to this week’s announcement that the Department of Labor published its final rule regarding overtime exemption regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Republican governors slammed the Obama administration for pushing this job-killing rule that circumvents the states, raises costs, decreases jobs, and hurts small businesses:

facebook.com (donald trump)

  Commentary:  Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico released the following statement after presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump announced a rally in Albuquerque.

  Commentary:  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) met with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

DC Can't Stop Honoring Legacy of a War Criminal

May 19, 2016

  Commentary:  Last week, this column posed a question: have we lost our conscience over war crimes? As that column went to press, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter answered on behalf of the Obama Administration by presenting the Department of Defense's Distinguished Public Service Award to Henry Kissinger, the 92-year old former Secretary of State.

Graduates Should Consider New Mexico in their Future Plans

May 19, 2016
USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner

  Commentary:  It is the season for New Mexico college graduations.  Graduates across our state will hear commencement speeches inspiring them to pursue their dreams, find a great job and put their new degrees to good use.  Too often graduates will imagine that achieving their dreams is only possible if they move to Austin, Phoenix or Denver.  To secure a better future for our state, we must change that perception. 

Accidental Criminals: Why New Mexico Needs Mens Rea (criminal intent) Reform

May 19, 2016
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

Commentary:  New Mexico could make significant improvements to its criminal justice system by embracing a common-law principle called mens rea.

For The First Time, Doña Ana County Voters May Cast Ballots On Memorial Day

May 19, 2016

 Commentary: For the first time, this year the Bureau of Elections will open our doors and offer you a chance to vote on Memorial Day.

Exercising our right to vote demonstrates our gratitude for those who fought for our freedom, some making the ultimate sacrifice with their life. The act of voting may seem like a small act, but it carries incredible weight and power.  

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Commentary:  Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement after Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Thomas Perez and President Obama announced the publication of the final rule to raise the overtime threshold to $47,476. The previous threshold was $23,660. According to DOL, the new rule makes 4.2 million more American workers eligible for overtime pay.

Twitter.com/NEAMedia

  Commentary:  Nine civics, history, and social studies teachers went to Washington today. They demanded that Senators do their job and provide a hearing and vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Merrick Garland. They joined a White House roundtable discussion with senior Obama administration officials to discuss the confirmation process and how educators teach their students about the Supreme Court and its role in our national government.

Commentary:  CEO pay for major companies in New Mexico continues to soar as income inequality and outsourcing of good-paying American jobs increases. Outsourcing has become a hot presidential election topic with candidates calling out corporations who say they need to save money by sending jobs overseas.

Ortiz y Pino Calls for New Mexico HSD Secretary’s Resignation

May 18, 2016
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino

  Commentary:  The chair of the legislative interim Health and Human Services Committee (LHHSC), New Mexico State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-12th – Bernalillo) today called on Secretary of Human Services Department (HSD) Brent Earnest to resign from his appointed position.  This is in response to his agency’s failure to come clean on the scandal in which Martinez administration officials refused to answer questions under oath in federal court about whether they were directed to falsify food stamp applications in order to deny help to children, families and seniors.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins

  Commentary:  Thanks to funding by the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office and the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office, voter information statewide is now exponentially more secure than ever before.

   Employees of county clerks’ offices in each of New Mexico’s 33 counties now require formal access permissions to view sensitive voter information – including dates of birth and Social Security numbers – from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website.

A Real Dilemma For The GOP

May 17, 2016

 Commentary: The dilemma the Republicans find themselves in reminds me of  a children's story by Hans Christian Anderson, The Emperor's New Clothes.  In the story, the Emperor is so obsessed with buying himself the finest garments that the kingdom begins to suffer.  He ignores the laments of his people and falls prey to two hucksters who profess to offer him the most magnificent clothing ever created.     

Heinrich, Gardner Celebrate U.S. Reaching One Million Solar Installations

May 16, 2016

 

 

Goodman: Sheriff's Free Speech Lawsuit Dismissed

May 16, 2016

 

   Commentary:  Friday the 13th proved unlucky for Doña Ana County Sheriff Kiki Vigil, when the U.S. District dismissed in its entirety his “free speech” lawsuit against County Commissioners Billy Garrison and Wayne Hancock.

   U.S. District Judge Kenneth Gonzales dismissed the suit on a Motion to Dismiss, which amounts to saying that even if he assumed the truth of everything the Sheriff alleged in his complaint, there was no viable lawsuit here.

   A key issue was the Complaint's failure to allege a “clearly established” constitutional right.

There are better ways to ‘pull together’ for New Mexico’s impoverished kids

May 15, 2016

Commentary:  Back in 2013 when New Mexico fell to 50th in the nation for child well-being, advocates hoped that the state’s policy-makers and administrators would finally rally together and take up the cause of improving child well-being in a concerted manner. We hoped the state would launch a comprehensive plan to ensure that our impoverished children have all of the opportunities, supports and protections that middle- and upper-income children have and that give them the best shot at becoming successful adults.

Goodman: A Turning Point In U.S. Politics

May 15, 2016

Commentary:  What we're experiencing this year is a wave of righteous anger at the perversion of our democracy.

But let's focus on why we're angry, rather than on where that anger takes us. 

Yes, it takes us to fervid support of a 75 year-old socialist and a narcissistic reality-TV figure who'd be comical in any other context. (I don't equate them: Sanders has a clue, while Trump cares only about Trump.)

Pearce Helps Lead Field Hearing on Border Security

May 13, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  This week, Congressman Steve Pearce helped lead a Congressional Field Hearing to gain a local perspective from law enforcement, elected officials, and residents about border security challenges.

rio grande foundation

  Commentary:  People sometimes refer to New Mexico as the “thank God for Mississippi state.” Mississippi usually ranks at the bottom on most lists, with New Mexico close behind. Now, New Mexico isn’t even second to last anymore—we’re dead last, when it comes to overall prosperity, according to a new study by the Family Prosperity Initiative.

Commentary:  GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, today thanked the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice for issuing guidance to school districts across the country regarding how to accommodate transgender and gender nonconforming students, as required by Title IX.

  The U.S.

Twitter.com/NEAMedia

  Commentary:  Today, the National Education Association, the nation’s largest professional association representing three million educators, enthusiastically welcomed the Obama administration’s guidance for school districts to help ens

  Commentary:  Today, in a disappointing blow to equal educational opportunity, the Texas Supreme Court reversed a 2014 trial court ruling that declared the current state school finance system constitutionally inadequate, unsuitable, and inequitable for Texas school children.

  Commentary:  The Southwest Environmental Center blasted the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) for trying to block releases of endangered Mexican wolves into the state. NMDGF announced today that it was seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from releasing more wolves.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

Commentary:  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced provisions he secured in the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that benefit New Mexico's men and women in uniform, military installations, national laboratories, border security, and job creation throughout the state.

Obama Administration Finalizes Safeguards for Methane Pollution

May 12, 2016
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

  Commentary: Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized standards for methane pollution, a component of natural gas, from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector.

Pearce Applauds Judge's Ruling To Eliminate Federal Subsidies For Health Insurance

May 12, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement after a federal district judge ruled that the Administration improperly funded parts of Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies:

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima-City of Las Cruces photo

  Commentary:  Today, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales joined 68 mayors and county commissioners, 7 from New Mexico, to send a letter to President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Gina McCarthy urgi

facebook.com (donald trump)

 Commentary: As Donald Trump prepares to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan this morning in Washington, D.C., the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) pointed to the fact that both Ryan and Trump are pushing the same divisive and dangerous agenda — not unlike Governor Martinez’s, which has already hurt thousands and thousands of New Mexicans. 

Chaos is the Republican party has even the most influential Republicans distancing themselves from their presumptive nominee. 

fws.gov

  Commentary:  Western Energy Alliance, along with the North Dakota Petroleum Council, today filed a lawsuit challenging Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S.

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