Local Viewpoints

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Heinrich Urges Republicans To Reconsider Plan To Let Security Personnel Go Unpaid

Feb 28, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted to approve a spending bill that funds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year and does not include additional anti-immigrant provisions or unfairly target DREAMers. He urged House Republicans to reconsider their risky plan to let our nation's security personnel to go unpaid.

Pearce Votes Against Homeland Security Budget

Feb 27, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Washington, D.C. - Today, the House voted on a pair of bills relating to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security.  The first, in accordance with the regular legislative process, called on the House and the Senate to debate the difference between the two chambers’ bills (a formal Conference).  The other was the House suggestion to provide an additional three weeks of funding to allow the Conference to go forward.  U.S. Representative Steve Pearce (N.M.-02) issued the following statement:

Senator Howie Morales

  Santa Fe – Written communications from school district superintendents containing numerous false statements of fact about the upcoming PARCC standardized examinations today drew the ire of Democratic Senators.

Lopez: Common Core Fails Children

Feb 27, 2015

  Santa Fe, NM – Pointing to broad bipartisan support for repeal of Common Core academic standards across the nation, Senator Linda Lopez (D-11-Bernalillio) today pushed for passage of Senate Bill 196 (SB 196) in the Senate Education Committee (SEC). Sen.

Coyote Killing Contest Ban Tabled; Wildlife Advocates Vow To Continue Fight

Feb 27, 2015
Courtesy: State of Texas

  Santa Fe, NM – Wildlife advocates will not give up efforts to ban wildlife killing contests in New Mexico despite today’s 8-2 vote to table SB253 by the House Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee. The measure, sponsored by Senator Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque) and Representative Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces), prohibits coyote killing contests. The bill passed the full state Senate by a decisive 27-13 bipartisan vote.

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

  Santa Fe, NM – Responding to parents and students who are concerned about the over-use of standardized tests, Senate Majority Leader Michael S.

National Hispanic Media Coalition Commends FCC For Net Neutrality Rules

Feb 26, 2015

  WASHINGTON - The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) commended the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) historic vote today to adopt strong Net Neutrality rules that use the FCC's authority under Title II to prohibit blocking, throttling and paid prioritization online. In a standing-room-only open meeting, the FCC adopted the strongest Open Internet rules that it has ever put forth, implementing the light-touch regulations that more than 4 million people and countless civil rights leaders have advocated. 


Udall Lauds FCC Adoption Of Net Neutrality Rules

Feb 26, 2015
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall welcomed a vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve updated open Internet rules. The new rules prevent broadband providers from blocking or throttling lawful online content and ban agreements between broadband providers and online companies that create Internet “toll lanes.” 

New Mexico Democratic Party Chair Sam Bregman

  Governor Martinez and NM House Republicans continued their attack on working men and women by passing a ‘right to work for less’ bill through the state house last night.  This bill, championed by business and wealthy interests does nothing to create jobs or improve the economy for New Mexicans.

The sole intent of the legislation is to weaken and destroy unions and working class New Mexicans as well as the strong support that labor unions offer to the poor and middle class.

Pearce Blasts President's Veto Of Keystone Pipeline

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

  Washington, D.C – Today, U.S. Representative Steve Pearce (N.M.-02) issued a formal response to the President’s veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.  Approved by both the House and Senate with bipartisan support, the legislation would put an end to the lengthy and unnecessary delay of the Keystone project that has spanned over six years.  Congressman Pearce issued the following reaction to the veto: 

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he has joined several of his Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation that would ensure Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees are paid if congressional Republicans refuse to fund DHS by the end of this week. Out of anger at President Obama's immigration policies, Republicans have proposed legislation with harsh anti-immigrant penalties and threatened to block DHS funding — including programs that are critical for New Mexico — if their proposals are not passed into law. 

Flawed EPA Report Funded By Fossil Fuel Interests

Feb 24, 2015

A series of flawed reports attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants was published by the Beacon Hill Institute and funded through fossil fuel-funded front groups managed by Richard Berman. The Rio Grande Foundation published BHI’s report on New Mexico, claiming the EPA’s climate reduction plan would have a huge negative impact on jobs and the economy. 

Goodman: We Can Disagree And Still Work Together

Feb 24, 2015

  I attended Mayor Miyagashima's State of the City address Wednesday for the first time. 

   The speech, available on the City's website, was thoughtful, forward-looking, and – at least in intent – healing.  He dealt straightforwardly with the minimum wage brouhaha, praised both CAFé and certain business owners, and said the City was better off for the experience. 

   Above all he characterized city government as something we're building together. 

Senator Howie Morales

  Santa Fe, NM – There is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the upcoming Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test (PARCC) that will be administered to students from grades 3-11 this spring. I want to clarify the options parents have in deciding to opt their children out of taking this test.

Smith: New Mexico Needs Jobs, Highway Repairs...But Not More Debt

Feb 23, 2015
Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Sierra-35), Chair, Legislative Finance Committee

  New Mexico needs more jobs, and we need them now. That is what we hear from folks in the cafes and diners in Deming and across our state.

It was confirmed in a recent study by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research: We are ranked one of the worst in the nation when it comes to economic and job growth – 48th of 50 states. That is a tough situation for families.

So what can we do to jump-start jobs and get the economy growing again? One simple way is to address New Mexico’s huge, unmet highway and road needs.

Gessing: Bill Would End Policing For Profit In New Mexico

Feb 20, 2015
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

   Republican Representative Zachary J. Cook introduced a bill designed to end civil asset forfeiture—also known as “policing for profit”—in New Mexico. This unfair practice allows police to seize and keep property of citizens who haven’t even been charged with a crime, never mind convicted. Rep. Cook’s legislation would end the legal fiction of civil forfeiture—that property can be responsible for a crime—and replaces it with criminal forfeiture. Criminal forfeiture requires a conviction of a person as a prerequisite to losing property tied to the crime.

Soules: Democrats Introduce "Ready To Work" Plan

Feb 20, 2015
State Senator Bill Soules

  Santa Fe, NM – This week at the Capitol Building in Santa Fe, something really exciting happened.  The Senate Democrats unveiled an economic development plan for New Mexico that they call ‘Ready-to-Work.’  The Ready-to-Work plan would capitalize on the strengths of New Mexico and New Mexicans, and create over 73,000 jobs.

Along The Way: Jesse Gomez Making A Difference In Bluewater, New Mexco

Feb 20, 2015

    Jesse Gomez of Bluewater, NM is seldom seen these days without a dapper looking fedora.  I strongly suspect he is the sharpest dresser in the entire Bluewater area.  The truth is, Jesse Gomez has been wearing many hats throughout his life.

Senate Democrats Reveal 35 State Employees Work At Spaceport America

Feb 19, 2015

  Santa Fe, NM –A Senate bill to sell the Spaceport America facility moved on to the Senate Finance (SFC) with a bipartisan no-recommendation on Thursday.

Outrage Over Roswell Record Cartoon

Feb 18, 2015

While most eyes are focused on the Roundhouse, we're still keeping watch over the rest of New Mexico.  Here's a story you need to see:

Remember this? : "I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures."   

Someone should remind the Roswell Daily Record what it means to be New Mexican.

The newspaper made famous for publishing the story of a purported UFO crash in 1947 is now becoming infamous for publishing the most racist editorial cartoon of the week - again.

Muñoz: New Mexico Needs An Accurate Balance Sheet

Feb 17, 2015

  Santa Fe, NM – Just like leaves turn color every autumn, it is becoming an annual occurrence every Legislative Session that officials from the state Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) tell us in the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) and the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) that they really can’t provide accurate balances of the state’s finances.

Most Senate Democrats Vote Against Skandera Confirmation

Feb 17, 2015
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – Over the wishes of the majority of Senate Democrats who voted against her appointment, Hanna Skandera today was confirmed as the Secretary of the Public Education Department NMPED) in a vote by the full New Mexico Senate.  Earlier in the day the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Senator Linda Lopez (D-11-Bernalillo), agreed to forward the controversial appointment of Sec. Skandera to the Senate floor following four years of being the Secretary-designate.  The final Senate vote was 22-19, with all Republicans voting Yes.

Ortiz y Pino: Martinez Policies Are Not Child Friendly

Feb 16, 2015
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino

  Santa Fe, NM -As a politician, I can state unequivocally that “I love all children.” They are our future; they are our most vulnerable citizens, needing the greatest attention; history will judge us by how we’ve treated them, and (never forget) they make for great photo ops.

Bishop Oscar Cantu
archdiocesesantafe.org / New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops

  Congress should urge the government of Israel to halt unnecessary confiscation of Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, a move that would help address the plight of Christian Palestinians in the Cremisan Valley and “renew hope for a just resolution to the conflict,” said the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Goodman: Sometimes People Do The Right Thing

Feb 15, 2015

Lawyers and politicians aren't always popular figures, but sometimes things work out fairly, without wrangling and rancor.  Here are three recent examples.

   Twice recently I've represented plaintiffs in potential First Amendment litigation.

   First, two students who peacefully criticized the National Security Agency at an NMSU job fair were arrested and charged with crimes – unconstitutionally, we thought.

Bishop: "Fifty Shades Of Grey" Is A Sin

Feb 13, 2015
facebook.com (fifty shades of grey)

  I’m not going to tell you that you may not go to see the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey.  I’m just going to tell you to do so would be a sin. To sin is to deliberately go against God’s plan and His will for us; to expose ourselves to something that denigrates sexuality and glorifies the abuse of this gift.  All sins appear good and even pleasant from the outside or people would not choose to commit them. Take for example, the fruit on the tree in the Garden of Eden.

Rodríguez Leads Opposition To Gun Proliferation

Feb 12, 2015

  Austin -- Senator José Rodríguez, Chairman of the Senate Hispanic Caucus, issued the following statement regarding the "campus carry" (Senate Bill 11) and "open carry" (Senate Bill 17) legislation heard in the Senate Committee on State Affairs:

Martinez Supports Domestic Violence Victim Protection Legislation

Feb 11, 2015
Office of the Governor

  Albuquerque — Today Governor Susana Martinez, Representative Kelly Fajardo (R-Belen), and victim advocates joined together to highlight the Start by Believing campaign to support victims of rape and sexual assault. Governor Martinez and Representative Fajardo also discussed proposed legislation to further protect victims of domestic violence and abuse by clarifying New Mexico law regarding domestic violence arrests.

Balderas: Lawsuit Is Trying To Stop Texas Theft Of New Mexico Water

Feb 11, 2015
Hector Balderas

  Santa Fe, NM – Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas appeared before the Senate Finance Committee to give an update on Texas v New Mexico and Colorado – a critical case to protect New Mexico water rights from the federal government and Texas. Please see below for excerpts from Attorney General Balderas’ testimony:

·        New Mexico water lawsuit is about fighting federal overreach & the theft of New Mexico water by Texas.

Hynes: Let's Talk About Success

Feb 10, 2015

  The Whole Enchilada Fiesta will be without the enchilada. Bummer! I remember going to the Hillsboro Appleless Festival one year. There were no apples, they had a freeze. It was the first year I brought my parents to Hillsboro. I bribed my Dad with a promise of apple pie. They had good pies, he really didn’t care where the apples came from. Our Fiesta will continue to be reason to celebrate our community. Doing good is good for business. Our community thrives on this practice of doing good because it is good for business throughout the community and rewarding for the volunteers.