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.

Pearce: I Continue To Seek Answers From Albuquerque VA

Jun 30, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Congressman Steve Pearce met for the second time with administrators of the Albuquerque VA Medical Center Friday to discuss the ongoing concerns about the VA Health Care system and veterans services. He announced plans for a pilot program in Southeast New Mexico for veterans to see local doctors for specialty care. Congressman Pearce also again engaged with VA administrators, asking them for transparency in answers to patient lists.

Heinrich Calls On GOP To Pass Immigration Reform

Jun 27, 2014
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement calling on House Republicans to act on the Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate one year ago.

"After a vigorous public debate last year, the Senate passed a common-sense proposal to reform our country's immigration policies. The bill would modernize our immigration system to meet the needs of our economy, provide an accountable pathway to earned citizenship for the undocumented workers currently living in the shadows, and dramatically strengthen security at our borders.

Udall To Meet With FCC Chair And Tribal Leaders Monday

Jun 27, 2014
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

   On Monday, U.S. Senator Tom Udall and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler will visit the Pueblo of Acoma to discuss the importance of expanding broadband services on tribal lands for economic development and to expand education opportunities. Udall, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FCC, is a longtime champion of expanding broadband to all communities, rural and urban.

Heinrich Presses Obama For More Transparency On Drone Policy

Jun 26, 2014
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico


  U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) pressed the Obama administration today for additional transparency on U.S. drone policy, including its interpretations of when it can take lethal action outside of declared war zones and against Americans. The senators - all members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - also said the American people have a right to know the "limits and boundaries" of the president's power to take lethal action against them.

Voter Advocates: Open The New Mexico Primary System

Jun 25, 2014

  On June 3rd voters went to the polls to vote for nominees for the General Election – that is if they were registered Democrats or Republicans.

The Secretary of State reports only one in five voters participated in this year’s primary election. These anemic numbers reflect that nearly a quarter-million registered voters could NOT vote in the primary. Why? Because they declined to identify as Republican or Democrat when they registered.

New Initiative Launched To Increase Latino Inclusion In News Coverage

Jun 25, 2014

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) today launched the Latino Experts Program, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and created to increase the visibility of Latino experts in local news coverage.  


Over a two-year span, NHMC trained more than 100 Latino leaders, representing various fields of expertise and based in 12 television markets, to speak in media.


DHS Writes Open Letter To Parents Of Children Crossing The Border

Jun 24, 2014

The following op-ed from Secretary Johnson ran in Spanish-language outlets over the weekend. Please see the English translation below.

An open letter to the parents of children crossing our Southwest border

Pearce: Questions Remain About Detention Of Immigrants In New Mexico

Jun 23, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) plan to use the Federal Law Enforcement and Training Centers (FLETC) facility in Artesia, New Mexico as a holding and processing facility for women and children who have recently crossed the border illegally.

Heinrich Co-sponsors Net Neutrality Legislation

Jun 23, 2014
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

   In an effort to ensure an open Internet, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) co-sponsored S. 2476, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, a bill that would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish rules that prohibit preferential treatment or prioritization of Internet traffic. The legislation would ensure that start-ups and entrepreneurs have access to the marketplace and consumers can access all content on the Internet equally.

Advocacy Group: New Mexico Needs Workplace Policies To Protect New Parents

Jun 19, 2014

A new state-by-state analysis shows how little the nation supports and protects working mothers and fathers when a new child arrives – and New Mexico is nearly failing its new parents. The study, Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents, is the most comprehensive analysis to date of state laws and regulations governing paid leave and workplace rights for new parents in the United States.

Pearce: New Survey Shows Variations In VA Wait Times

Jun 18, 2014

  Congressman Steve Pearce has released a survey of New Mexico veterans that shows differences in reported wait times at VA Health Care facilities, when compared to data released last week by the Veterans Administration. In an ongoing effort to shed light on the problem facing veterans in New Mexico and continue the dialogue, Pearce released this statement.

Pearce: New Mexico Will Get Increase In Federal Payments In Lieu Of Taxes

Jun 17, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Congressman Steve Pearce is proud to see that New Mexico will be issued $37,677,905 in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) today. Pearce pushed for the payments to be included in the Agriculture Act of 2014 to fully compensate counties for federal land within their borders. New Mexico will receive nearly $3 million more in funding this fiscal year.

Groups File Lawsuit To Protect Lesser Prairie Chicken

Jun 17, 2014
State of Colorado

  Three conservation groups filed a legal challenge today over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to adequately protect thousands of imperiled lesser prairie chickens from being killed or harmed by oil and gas drilling, grazing and other human activities. Although the bird’s population declined an estimated 50 percent last year, in April the Service designated the bird as “threatened” rather than “endangered,” a distinction that allowed the agency to authorize ongoing “incidental take” of prairie chickens under a series of unproven, voluntary conservation agreements.

Heinrich Pleased With Support For Tribal Communities

Jun 15, 2014
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced plans to improve tribal education and support economic housing development for Native communities. Part of the initiative HUD announced includes assistance for tribes that are implementing the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act -- a bill Senator Heinrich successfully passed through Congress, which was signed into law in 2012.

Rodriguez: Border Needs Help, Not Militarization

Jun 12, 2014


  State Sen. José Rodríguez issued the following statement regarding the calls by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and others who call for more law enforcement in response to a humanitarian crisis spurred by violence in Central America:

What we are dealing with is an influx of children fleeing from Central American violence; imagine a situation so dire that you allow your children to travel a dangerous journey -- thousands of miles -- to a foreign land.

Udall: Republicans Block Bill To Help Ease Student Debt

Jun 11, 2014
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall expressed his disappointment after Republicans blocked debate on a bill to help students struggling with out-of-control college loan debt. The filibuster of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which Udall cosponsored, prevented the Senate from beginning consideration of a measure to allow students and graduates with existing loans to refinance at the same lower interest rates offered to new borrowers.  

Pearce: Obama's Decision To Negotiate With Terrorists Was A Mistake

Jun 11, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Today, Congressman Steve Pearce released this statement in response to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, on the transfer of five Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar.


  The Gila National Forest’s new travel-management plan, developed in response to rules limiting off-road vehicles, will continue to allow ORVs on 3,000 miles of roads, including in sensitive riparian areas and critical habitat for endangered fish.

Pearce: Mouse Endangered Species Listing Threatens Jobs

Jun 10, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced it had listed the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse as an endangered species. FWS included grazing and wildfires as primary reasons for the listing. Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement in response.

New Mexico Counties Join Lawsuit Over Protection Of Lesser Prairie Chicken

Jun 10, 2014
State of Colorado

  The Permian Basin Petroleum Association and four New Mexico counties sued the federal government, alleging the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated federal law in listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

New Mexico Jumping Meadow Mouse Gains Endangered Species Protection

Jun 9, 2014

   As part of an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized protection today for the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse. The mouse only lives along streams; it was once found from southern Colorado to central New Mexico and eastern Arizona, but has been lost from the vast majority of its range due to loss and degradation of streamside habitat. 

Pearce: Chaves County Takes A Stand Against Prairie Chicken Ruling

Jun 7, 2014
State of Colorado

  Chaves County Commissioners became the latest local leaders to stand up against the federal government in the fight against the Obama administration’s increasing agenda to target New Mexico ranchers, oil and gas producers, industry and jobs.

The county commission has decided to join in an effort by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, and others, to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior to overturn the recent disastrous prairie chicken listing as a threatened species.

Pearce: Honor The 70th Anniversary Of D-Day

Jun 6, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

   Today, we remember and honor the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when more than 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the crusade one in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” (SOMOS UN PUEBLO UNIDO)

 Editorial note: The office of Rep. Steve Pearce has been invited to provide a response to the following Local Viewpoints article.

  Over fifty immigrant families, activists, and allies staged a protest today at Congressman Pearce's Roswell office, an action that coincides with a series of protests targeting 27 other House Republicans across the country. Protesters rallied with a unified message: the future of the Republican party hinges on its ability to ignore extremist anti-immigrant views and get a workable immigration reform done this year.


Healthcare advocates lead by the Southwest Women’s Law Center are looking for ways to improve the healthcare enrollment process for the next enrollment period slated to run from November 15, 2014 through  February 15, 2015.

  Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a report on the agency’s use of force policies and practices completed over a year ago by a respected independent think tank, the Police Executive Research Forum, along with a revised Use of Force Policies Handbook that incorporates the report’s recommendations. The release comes after public pressure from border communities and on the heels of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the ACLU.

Pearce Invites Community To Thursday Job Fair

May 28, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Congressman Steve Pearce invites all job seekers to attend a second job fair of the year at Sunland Park Race Track Thursday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.The address is 1200 Futurity Drive in Sunland Park, located off Interstate 10 on Exit 13.

“The participating companies promise to provide excellent job prospects, and I hope that those searching for work will come prepared for the many opportunities available,” said Congressman Steve Pearce. “Jobs remain our primary focus, and we continue to participate in any way we can to help promote these job fairs in communities.”

Report: Clean Energy Jobs Fall; New Mexico And Texas Among Top 10 States

May 23, 2014

  Congressional inaction on key clean energy tax policies, coupled with attacks on state renewable energy programs, led to a dramatic decline in clean energy job announcements in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

About 5,600 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in the first three months of this year, down from 12,000 such jobs reported in the comparable period in 2013.

Report: New Mexico K-12 Funding Below Pre-Recession Levels

May 23, 2014

Funding levels for New Mexico’s K-12 public school system have still not recovered from budget cuts made during the peak of the recession. The education operating budget was 10 percent lower in the 2013-14 school year than it was before the recession, when adjusted for inflation.

The picture is even worse when accounting for growth in student enrollment. The operating budget on a per-pupil, inflation-adjusted rate was 14 percent lower in 2012-13 than it was before the recession. These are among the findings in a new report by New Mexico Voices for Children.

Allen Weh (R) U.S. Senate candidate

New Mexico's Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Allen Weh issued the following statement on the Organ Mountains Monument:

"New Mexico has some of the most beautiful land in the country. While we absolutely need to preserve and protect this land, we are obligated to find a responsible balance between necessary conservation efforts and the welfare of human beings struggling to make a living in a state that is largely rural. This is especially true in a county where only 15 percent of the land is privately owned.