Local Viewpoints

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  Albuquerque – U.S. PIRG joined 11 other leading government reform organizations today to release a comprehensive policy agenda to curb the impact of big money and amplify the voices of everyday Americans in our democracy. Under the reform agenda, the Citizens United decision would be overturned, more candidates could rely on small donors instead of Super PACs and mega-donors to fund their campaigns, political donations and spending would become more transparent, and candidates would no longer be able to skirt contribution limits through coordination with outside groups.

Arson Guilty On All Counts

Jul 23, 2015
Third Judicial District Attorney

Jeremy Lukas Sanchez, 33, has been found guilty on charges of Aggravated Assault upon a Peace Officer (Deadly Weapon), Arson and Criminal Damage to Property. Including enhancements under the Habitual Offender Act, Mr. Sanchez is facing 30 years incarceration.


On May 15, 2014, Mr. Sanchez was arrested and taken into custody after a standoff with Las Cruces Police at the Motel 6 on La Posada Ln. 


Albuquerque, NM—Equality New Mexico (EQNM), Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM), ACLU of New Mexico (ACLU-NM), Southwest Women’s Law Center (SWLC), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applaud the introduction of the federal Equality Act, legislation introduced today in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Heinrich: Reauthorization For LWCF Included In Senate Energy Committee Package

Jul 23, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, applauded the inclusion of permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015. Authorization for LWCF, which was established in 1965, is set to expire on September 30.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, by a bipartisan vote of 275-150. This bill provides clarity and uniformity for the labeling of food products containing genetically engineered plants or ingredients (GMO’s), helping consumers make informed choices.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:


Democratic Chair: Change In New Mexico Food Stamp Rules Is A Bad Idea

Jul 23, 2015
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  In the nationally recognized Kids Count Data Book Report, just released, New Mexico is again near the bottom nationally when it comes to the economic well-being of our children. New Mexico ranked 49th for the second consecutive year and has ranked in the bottom five for most of the past decade.

GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued the following statement on the introduction of the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, public education, employment, housing, federal funding, jury service, legal protections and credit. The act was introduced today by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in the Senate and by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) in the House of Representatives.

Heinrich: New Mexico 49th Ranking For Child Well-Being Is Unacceptable

Jul 21, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement today after the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranked New Mexico as 49th in the nation for child well-being. The report ranked all 50 states on 16 indicators that fall into the categories of economic well-being, education, health, family, and community.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement as the United States and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic relations after 54 years: "The re-opening of the embassies in Havana and Washington marks a turning point in a relationship fraught with mistrust and Cold War antagonism.

  Many are saddened by the First Baptist Church's recent decision to close a daycare center so old that many parents taking their children there this year were taken to the same place during their own childhoods.  

   “We're devastated,” said parent Theresa Westbrock.  “It was a special place.”

   Many also express concern, mixed with anger and disgust, that the Church might have closed the center because of distaste for gay folks and fears that gay workers or gay parents might be forced on the center if it continued to accept federal funds.  

Haaland: President Obama Continues To Make History In Indian Country

Jul 17, 2015
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for 875 Native American youth, recently, when they were invited by the White House for the inaugural Tribal Youth Gathering in collaboration with United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) and the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. Young people representing 230 tribes from 42 states were welcomed by First Lady Michelle Obama, cabinet officials, the White House Council on Indian Affairs and non-federal partners.

Protest At Rep. Pearce's Las Cruces Office Over Gray Wolf Protection

Jul 15, 2015

  LAS CRUCES, N.M.— More than 100 people showed up today at U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce’s Las Cruces office to protest the New Mexico Republican’s sponsorship of a bill to strip protections away from Mexican gray wolves — and to show support for the lobo and the Endangered Species Act, which has saved the animals from extinction.

  WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to rein in conflicts of interest and revolving door abuses within financial regulatory agencies, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) today introduced the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act – a desperately needed package of ethics reforms for those who regulate Wall Street.

Pro-Wolf Rally Planned At Rep. Steve Pearce's Las Cruces Office Wednesday

Jul 14, 2015

  LAS CRUCES, N.M.— Constituents of U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce will rally at noon on Wednesday at the congressman’s Las Cruces office to protest the New Mexico Republican’s sponsorship of a bill to strip protections away from Mexican gray wolves — and to show support for the lobo and the Endangered Species Act, which has saved the animals from extinction.

  Recently I noticed a puff piece on the Chamber of Commerce's political plans. The piece looked at first as if it were a newspaper article, an appearance which may or may not have been intentional, but it was pure rah-rah Chamber stuff. Headline: “Why it is imperative to support pro-business candidates, policies.”


“What's good for business is good for the country.” That phrase is most deeply associated with Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge and the 1920's speculative stock-market madness that brought us the 1929 Crash and the Depression that followed.

Pearce: Miltary Cuts Threaten National Security

Jul 11, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Washington, D.C. -- In response to the United States Army’s announced reduction of overall troop levels yesterday, Congressman Pearce issued the following statement:

“The Department of the Army’s (Army) announcement reducing its active duty forces by 40,000 troops is truly disturbing. The world is dangerous and we are responding by cutting the number of our soldiers,” said Pearce. “Since 2012, the Army has been forced to reduce its overall forces by over 20%, due to the White House’s priorities.”

New Mexico Democratic Chair Calls For Taxation And Revenue Secretary To Resign

Jul 10, 2015
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  ALBUQUERQUE - Today, Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) Secretary Demesia Padilla was named in a document detailing alleged abuses of her position. The Secretary was appointed by Governor Martinez in 2011 and is entrusted to administer New Mexico’s tax laws fairly and impartially. 

NEA: Evaluation System Short-Changes New Mexico Students

Jul 10, 2015
Betty Patterson-President, NEA New Mexico

  Every New Mexico student deserves the opportunity for an education led by high quality teachers, no matter their zip code.  The system brought in when the PED threw out the old one is doing the opposite – driving great teachers away and limiting the time available for the teachers who remain to provide a high quality, well-rounded education as they sacrifice that to a test-driven standardized curriculum.  

Attorney General Balderas Urges Congress to Preserve Authority to Enforce Data Security

Jul 7, 2015
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Las Cruces, NM – Joining a bipartisan effort to ensure that New Mexico keeps its authority to enforce and enact data breach and data security laws, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas today signed onto a letter to the U.S. Congress that emphasized maintaining states’ rights and rejecting any efforts to allow federal preemption of state legislation.

  Public Citizen enthusiastically endorses the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, reintroduced (PDF) today by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). Banks that use deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation would be restricted to basic financial services such as loan-making and forbidden from investment activities, including derivatives speculation.

Office of the Governor

  Albuquerque, NM - Community groups are organizing a Town Hall on July 8th, 2015, as a forum to voice opposition to Governor Martinez’s plans to limit food assistance to parents, teenagers, and adults over 50 who cannot find employment. On May 29th, the State released a proposed regulation requiring work activities as a condition for many New Mexicans to receive food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, uses federal funds to provide food assistance to families who qualify.

Lopez: Focus On Young Workers To Grow The Economy

Jul 6, 2015
MVEDA's Davin Lopez

  Earlier this month a monumental event took place in my life. I celebrated a birthday. Now it wasn't the birthday that most people might equate to as a major milestone, like turning 21 or 50. But it was a birthday which the economist in me found to be much more transformative. I officially became a "mature worker." Why should this matter to you? Because it means that starting now I will be less of a contributor to the overall economy.

  Thinking about El Paso Electric, it helps to step back and contemplate the situation of electrical utilities generally.


These utilities are granted a monopoly on a valuable commodity, they're regulated by the states. Most function under somewhat backward laws that enable them to profit only by buying or building things, which often pressures them to solve problems in otherwise unnecessarily inefficient and (for us) expensive ways.


Local Viewpoints: Councilor Smith Announces Intention To Run For Re-Election

Jul 1, 2015
Las Cruces City Councilor Greg Smith

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day and our strong democracy, it seems totally appropriate that I announce my intention to run for the District 2 seat on the Las Cruces City Council.  I have held that seat for nearly four years, and those years have included some very important progress for District 2 and for the City of Las Cruces.  I plan for the next four years to bring even more to the district and to the city that my wife and I, and various members of our families, call “home.”

The Latino Community Has Spoken, Trump Is Out!

Jun 29, 2015

Today, hundreds of thousands of Latinos and non-Latinos cheer NBC Universal and its parent company Comcast for severing their relationship with Donald Trump for his bigoted, racist, anti-Latino rant. NBC Universal/Comcast, to its credit, moved to disassociate itself from a man who has either failed to realize or to accept that hate speech against any and all communities will no longer be tolerated. 



  Austin - State Sen. José Rodríguez today issued the following statement regarding Texas Attorney General Greg Paxton's contention that elected officials in Texas are not bound by the U.S. Constitution:

  Prince Myshkin, protagonist of Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, is an “idiot” because he takes the words of Jesus quite literally, not realizing (as the mature adults around them do) that such sentiments are all very well in their place but not to be acted upon. 


Pope Francis seems a little that way. In a traditional situation where the Pope displays his humility, Pope Francis chose to do so with juvenile delinquents in a jail; and rather than any ceremonial washing, he chose to kneel down and give their feet a good washing. Clearly he didn’t get it at all!

The Garrity Rule & Public Release of Firefighters’ Compelled Statements

Jun 25, 2015
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  When emergencies suddenly occur in our lives, no one is more important to us than the firefighters and paramedics who rush to our aid without hesitation.  When fires break out at structures in Albuquerque or occur in our national forests, when there is an automobile accident on I-40, or when someone is having a heart attack, we count on these dedicated public employees of city and county governments whose work may mean the difference between life or death.

New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  Albuquerque, NM – Today, New Mexico Democratic Chairwoman Deb Haaland released the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell:

Pearce Blasts Supreme Court Affordable Care Act Verdict

Jun 25, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in the case King v. Burwell:

“Needless to say, I am disappointed by today’s ruling.  This is a bad decision upholding a failed law.  Worse yet, the majority opinion fails to justify its continuation. As Justice Scalia wrote in the dissenting opinion, ‘Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by a State.’  What logic is this?”