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.

Listen To The Florida Teens...Then Vote

Feb 24, 2018

Commentary: I watched the Florida students on CNN’s town hall last week.

What I recognized in the faces of those courageous teenagers was that of my own granddaughter standing at that microphone, and the girl with the thick brown hair, also mine.

The confident kid who stepped up to debate the senator, he's my son 30 years ago.

And the teacher who taught them to sing, she is my daughter.

They are all our children. Listen to them.

Take up their fight against gun violence.  Vote.

Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

Commentary: Washington, DC -- Last night, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California rejected the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) suspension of a key safeguard that would limit methane pollution from oil and gas drilling operations on public lands.


Government debt means more influence by foreigners

Feb 23, 2018

Commentary: The United States set a new record last month, which is the largest trade deficit excluding oil on record. And the trade deficit is likely to get larger. This is due to a phenomenon known as the twin deficit, so named because trade deficits tend to mimic government budget deficits.

Of course, any number of factors affect the trade deficit. Among these are the exchange rate, the disposable income of our selves and our trade partners, and tariffs, all things that are influx. But the government budget deficit has an important influence.

23 AGs Commence Lawsuit to Block Illegal Rollback of Net Neutrality

Feb 22, 2018
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Attorney General Hector Balderas and a coalition of 23 attorneys general filed a petition today to formally commence their lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission’s illegal rollback of net neutrality. The coalition filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after the FCC published the final rule rolling back net neutrality in today’s Federal Register.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima-City of Las Cruces photo

Commentary: Today, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima joined more than 200 mayors from across the U.S. to express his support for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) – an essential public health protection and climate change solution that sets the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and helps cities transition to a clean energy economy.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: In a listening session at the White House today, Donald Trump proposed to arm teachers and school staff in an attempt to prevent mass shootings.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued this statement:

Proposed cuts to Medicaid in Trump budget would have devastating impact on New Mexico

Feb 21, 2018

Commentary: The proposed cuts to Medicaid in the Trump administration’s budget for fiscal year 2019 would prevent hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans from accessing healthcare. The budget, if approved by Congress, would cut Medicaid by $1.4 trillion dollars between 2019-2028; eliminate critical funding for Medicaid expansion, which provides over 250,000 New Mexicans with healthcare coverage; and end subsidies that help individuals and families when buying insurance through the marketplace.

What Janus v. AFSCME means for New Mexico

Feb 20, 2018

Commentary: It’s as if the New Mexico Legislature were an appetizer or side show. Multiple tax hikes are being considered by local governments while “right to work” is also moving forward across New Mexico.

Debra Hicks

Note: The following letter was addressed to New Mexico state legislators who expressed concern about a decision by the NMSU Board of Regents to only permit interim executive appointments until a new Chancellor takes office at New Mexico State University this summer.

Commentary: This letter shall acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated February 14, 2018 referencing action taken by the Board of Regents on February 12, 2018 regarding Senior Management Positions.

Commentary: Business leaders, educators and policy leaders share the belief that one of the best ways to build a productive and prosperous society is to start early in building children’s foundation for learning, health and positive behavior. The science underlying this belief is solid: Evidence at the intersection of neurobiology, developmental science and economics converges on preschool education as the single most promising strategy for ensuring that this foundation is sturdy, inclusive and cost-effective.

Pearce, Las Cruces Area CEO Discuss Recent GOP Tax Legislation

Feb 19, 2018
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement after holding a press conference with Gary Coppedge, CEO of Haciendas at Grace Village (HGV), discussing the local impact the recently passed federal tax changes on businesses and the New Mexico workforce:

A Message From 1961 That Resonates Today

Feb 18, 2018
National Archives: Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. at 1963 March on Washington / Public Domain

Commentary: “Too often, we find ourselves living in monologue rather than dialogue.”

Las Cruces City Councilors: Rollback Of Methane Rule Is An Insult To New Mexico And The Nation

Feb 17, 2018
Las Cruces City Councilor Gill Sorg

Commentary: The latest proposed recall of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) methane waste prevention rule is a huge step back toward responsible energy development in New Mexico and across the country.

Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Trump administration have proposed to gut this commonsense rule that reduces natural gas wastecurbs air pollution and protects taxpayers, seemingly under the radar of most New Mexicans.

Markets happy to pay lower wages for more flexibility

Feb 16, 2018

Commentary: Why do women earn less than men? A recent study by Matthew Wiswall and Basit Zafar has made progress on this topic. They presented a group high achieving college students attending elite schools with a set of hypothetical job choices.

The hypothetical jobs varied in their pay and work requirements. Some had higher pay but offered less flexibility and required long work hours. Other jobs had lower pay but offered a better work-life balance.

Pacheco: Extreme Caution Needed In Negotiating A New NAFTA

Feb 15, 2018

Commentary: Agriculture, automobiles, and railroads. These iconic industries have played a major part in making the U.S. a global, economic superpower. Each of these sectors is carefully following the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations that just completed a sixth round in Toronto, Canada, and each has become more and more vocal about the value of NAFTA to their future welfare.

JEC Dems Report: Retirement Security in Peril

Feb 15, 2018

Commentary:  Joint Economic Committee Democrats released today a report on the state of retirement in America. American workers are facing a crisis, the inability to retire with dignity after a life of hard work. Half of all American families near retirement have $12,000 or less in formal retirement savings. Congress should now focus on policies that broaden access to low cost, high-yield retirement savings options, strengthen Social Security, secure pension plans, and restore access to a stable and adequate retirement for an aging population.


Commentary: The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty condemns President Trump’s 2019 budget proposal that slashes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by $213 billion. The proposal would replace SNAP food dollars for households receiving over $90 a month in benefits with a shelf stable box of foods. With the proposed 30 percent cut to the program over the next ten years, New Mexico would also stand to lose $207.9 million to the state economy.

Education Spending Boosts New Mexico Economy

Feb 15, 2018

Commentary: Statement from NEA-NM President Betty Patterson on the legislative budget agreement just arrived at by the "Conference Committee" of three Senators (Smith, Cisneros, Neville) and three Representatives (Lundstrom, Larranga, Dodge):

"The 4.1% overall increase for public schools is most welcome, as are the small raises for school employees. Our focus remains on the students, and so we must keep fighting for the state to meet its obligations to sufficiently fund the schools so that all the supports students need for success are in place."


North Korea Wins The Propaganda Gold

Feb 15, 2018
James S. Robbins

Commentary: Whatever other awards North Korean athletes earn at the Winter Olympics now underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, their country has made a championship level effort at manipulating the international press. 

New Mexico's Citizen Legislature Retirement Plan

Feb 15, 2018

Commentary: I want to take a moment to clear up a few issues concerning New Mexico's legislative retirement plan.  Our retirement plan is unique because New Mexico is unique.  We are a citizen legislature — the only one in the nation that does not pay members some kind of salary.  New Mexico legislators spend days and weeks away from their families, loved ones and jobs during legislative sessions and during the interim.  While we legislators do receive per diem and mileage reimbursement, this tends to barely cover gasoline, hotels and meals, and it does not account for wear and tear to veh

DACA "Compromise" Bills With Border Militarization Are Not A Dream But A Nightmare For Immigrants

Feb 15, 2018

Commentary: LAS CRUCES – On Wednesday, February 14, a bipartisan group of senators, led by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), clinched an agreement that would protect immigrants brought into the country as children.

Congress Should Not Trade One Injustice For Another: Approve A Clean DREAM Act, Reject Trump's Wall

Feb 14, 2018

Commentary: President Trump created a crisis over DACA by rescinding the directive that protected from deportation thousands of undocumented immigrants brought here as children. Now he is holding them hostage, demanding that Congress give him $25 billion for border security, including his “beautiful” wall, in exchange for not rounding up Dreamers and sending them into exile.

That’s a deal that Congress should not only reject, but condemn in the strongest possible terms for the sinister choice that it is.

Trump and Zinke Propose Gutting Commonsense Pollution Safeguard

Feb 13, 2018
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

Commentary: Washington, DC -- Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a proposal to gut a key safeguard that would limit methane pollution from oil and gas drilling operations.

Bureau of Land Management

Commentary: WASHINGTON – As part of President Trump’s Executive Order 13783 promoting energy independence [Section 7 (6)(iv)] from March 28, 2017, to review and modify federal regulations that unnecessarily hinder economic growth and energy development, the Bureau of Land Management today announced a proposal to revise the 2016 final Waste Prevention Rule (also known as the venting and flaring rule).  The proposed rule would eliminate duplicative regulatory requirements and re-establish long-standing requirements that the 2016 final rule sought to replace.  The proposal includes a 60-day opportunity for public comment.

Stephanie Ly-AFT NM President / aft photo

Commentary: Santa Fe – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly and Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein released the following statement:

“Our union has filed a motion for summary judgment in the litigation in our continuing effort to make teacher evaluations beneficial and accurate in New Mexico.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: WASHINGTON—NEA President Lily Eskelsen García today released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.


“It’s déjà vu all over again in America. Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are at it again. They are playing politics with the lives of millions of students and working families with their latest reckless and misguided budget proposal, which is nearly identical to what Congress rejected last year.

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Commentary: Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and CPC Member Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), responded to the newly released White House outline for infrastructure. The CPC supports the adoption of a bold plan that invests in American families, not billionaires.

Christopher Ruszkowski

Commentary: Neither the Governor’s Office nor Christopher Ruszkowski, the cabinet-secretary designate of the State Public Education Department, has submitted the essential paperwork for official State Senate confirmation, Senator Linda M. Lopez, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, said on Monday.

Commentary: DENVER—The Trump administration released its long-awaited infrastructure plan, as well as its proposed budget for FY2019. In response, the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“The Trump administration just landed a one-two punch on our national parks and public lands. The president’s infrastructure plan would facilitate the privatization of entire national parks, opening the door to an outright sell-off of America’s public lands.

“At the same time, President Trump and Secretary Zinke want to cut the Interior Department to the bone, slashing the budget by 16 percent. It’s clear Secretary Zinke has no interest in managing our public lands for future generations, just an interest in being a rubber stamp for drilling and mining.”

Giving Business A Bad Name

Feb 11, 2018
peter goodman

Commentary: Carla Sonntag's recent op-ed (New Mexico Business Coalition) alleged that “lawsuits funded by deep-pocketed special interest groups [were] aimed at ending the [oil-and-gas] industry altogether.”


Dictionaries define “special-interest group” as “a body of persons, corporation, or industry that seeks or receives benefits or privileged treatment, especially through legislation.” Like the industry-funded lobbying outfit Ms. Sonntag runs, which has opposed raising the minimum wage and tried to weaken unions.