Local Viewpoints

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Conservationists Ask Lawmakers to Scrutinize New Mexico Game Commission Actions

Feb 10, 2016

  Commentary:   New Mexico conservation groups are calling on state lawmakers to look into recent actions taken by the New Mexico Game Commission.

In a letter [attached] sent to members of the Senate Rules Committee, the Sierra Club and Southwest Environmental Center said they were concerned that actions taken by the Game Commission over the past year “do not appear to be fiscally sound, responsive to the public, based on good science or in the best interests of New Mexicans.”

  Commentary:   The list of citizens, commerce organizations, lawmakers and some of the governor’s most staunch supporters is growing for the State Senate’s bipartisan solution to become compliant with federal Real ID regulations. Governor Susana Martinez’s steadfast refusal to put this issue behind us and accept a proposal that can satisfy the citizens of New Mexico must come to an end.

Attorney General Balderas Urges U.S. Senate to Pass the HANGUP Act

Feb 10, 2016
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Commentary:   Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas is urging the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to pass the ‘‘Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone calls Act of 2015’’ or ‘‘HANGUP” Act.  In the letter, Attorney General Balderas and 24 state attorneys general, called on the committee to pass the Act, which repeals a recent amendment to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to allow debt-collection robocalls to consumers’ cell phones.

New Mexico Senate Bill: Don't Like The Smell Of Cow Manure? Too Bad

Feb 10, 2016
Senator Stuart Ingle - (R)

  Commentary:  To folks in rural areas, the smell of cow manure is the smell of money. To new neighbors, the smell might be objectionable and deemed a nuisance.

Those smells, along with other sights and sound of the ag industry like crop dusters flying overhead, slow moving tractors on roads and spraying crops would be protected against nuisance claims under SB 72a, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Stuart Ingle (R), who is identified as a farmer on the New Mexico legislative website.

Udall On Supreme Court Action: "No One Is Putting A Stay On Climate Change"

Feb 10, 2016
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary:  U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to block the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change:

Richard Kadzis

  Commentary:  They are different yet so much alike.

When comparing the politics of New Hampshire to South Carolina in this presidential election year, timing and tendencies make for a compelling scenario. I can make that comparison from first-hand observation, having worked on the ground either covering or shaping outcomes in both states.


Commentary:  President Barack Obama today released the final budget of his administration for fiscal year 2017. The president’s budget is the first since the congressional passage of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement.


“President Barack Obama’s budget rightly shines a spotlight on education and students for the eighth year in a row. Educators appreciate and welcome the additional investments in public education.


Cotter Pushes Ethics Bill

Feb 9, 2016
Senator Lee Cotter

  Commentary:   Senator Lee Cotter (R-Las Cruces) is committed to ensuring candidates be honest when they run for office.

He is sponsoring a bill he believes will encourage candidates for public office to be more honest in how their campaign dollars are spent by knowing the auditors of their campaign reports have an effective tool that they currently don’t have easy access to.

  Commentary:  New analysis of campaign finance reports has found that five weeks before Republicans seized control of New Mexico’s House of Representatives in November 2014, a Florida-based private prison company – Geo Group Inc. – donated over $30,000 to a Republican Super-PAC which launched a series of high-profile, factually inaccurate negative ads smearing two incumbent Democratic representatives in the tightest races that election season.

Vision without execution is hallucination

Feb 9, 2016

  Commentary:   Vision without execution is hallucination.

Senator Howie Morales

  Commentary:  Senate Democrats today spoke out strongly in response to Attorney General Hector Balderas’s finding that there was no pattern of fraud by ten behavioral health providers that were accused of it by Gov.

Presidential Politics Gets Interesting. A little. Maybe.

Feb 8, 2016

Commentary:  It is probably taboo for a news columnist to state this: presidential politics can be rather dull.


Goodman: Updates On Some Recent Columns

Feb 7, 2016

Commentary:  This column is an update on several past columns about matters as to which there have been recent developments worth mentioning.

Rep. Bill McCamley (D-New Mexico House District 33)

  Commentary:    Today, Republicans in the House Ways and Means Committee voted against the Working Families Tax Credit and Capital Gains Act on a party line vote 6-5. The Working Families Tax Credit and Capital Gains Act, sponsored by Representative Bill McCamley (D-Mesilla), is the state equivalent of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit that provides a tax credit for hard working families and also repeals the capital gains deduction. 


Sen. Ivey Soto Pushes for Better Pay for Critical School Employees

Feb 5, 2016
Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto

  Commentary: Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-15-Bernalilo) has introduced legislation to increase the pay of some low paid school district employees to improve their economic circumstances. Currently, the minimum pay rate for school district cafeteria staff, school bus drivers, and all non-certified school personnel and educational assistants is $6.00 per hour. The Ivey-Soto bill, SB 152, will increase wages for these employees to $15.00 per hour and will be heard in Senate Education Committee tomorrow.

‘Direct Care Workforce Act’ Introduced In New Mexico Legislature

Feb 5, 2016

 Commentary: Every eight seconds, someone in the United States turns 65 years old-that’s 10,800 Americans a day. Here in New Mexico the senior population is growing. The goal of this legislation is to create a permanent Direct Care Workforce Subcommittee that would provide assistance with quality of life for those 65 years of age and older, as well as those with disabilities.

POLL: Food tax extremely unpopular with New Mexicans

Feb 5, 2016

  Commentary:  A recently released poll conducted by Third Eye Strategies for the Center for Civic Policy shows that while New Mexicans are divided on many issues, they come together in opposition to imposing a new sales tax on food.

Data from the poll shows that four-fifths (80%) of registered voters oppose taxing food and just 15% support it. When couched as part of a broader effort to lower the sales tax on all goods, opposition stays strong (62%) while support comes in at just 29%. Voters in all income groups oppose it similarly.

Child Advocates Caution against Reinstating Food Tax

Feb 4, 2016

 Commentary:  Dr. Veronica C. García, Ed.D., executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding legislation (SB 281) that would reinstate the gross receipts tax on the purchase of food for consumption at home:


Udall, Heinrich Urge Extended Hours of Operation at Santa Teresa Port of Entry

Feb 3, 2016
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary:   Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich wrote to the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) urging him to extend the hours of operation for northbound commercial traffic at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry (POE) and publicize recently extended southbound hours. 

Medicaid Expansion Resulting in Job Growth and New Mexico Savings

Feb 3, 2016

  Commentary:  A new report finds that the Medicaid Expansion has significantly increased jobs and revenues in New Mexico, generating a surplus that covers the cost of expansion itself. The report by Dr. Lee Reynis, economist at University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, updates prior research from 2012 and details the economic and fiscal impact of Medicaid expansion.

Steinborn Pushes For More Solar Power At New Mexico State-Owned Buildings

Feb 3, 2016
Rep. Jeff Steinborn

  Commentary:  Representative Jeff Steinborn has teamed up with a bi-partisan group of legislators to introduce legislation exploring the idea of putting solar power on more state buildings.  House Memorial 51 directs the General Services Department (GSD) to work with the state Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and the solar industry to “evaluate the potential energy and cost savings for expanding the use of solar power in state facilities.”

Don't Kid Yourself, Solitary Confinement is Torture

Feb 3, 2016

  Commentary:   "We do not torture," said President George W. Bush. Recently President Obama stated again: "The United States does not torture." Actually, we have and we do. Not just in war, but in our federal and state prisons. In government prisons and prisons run by for-profit corporations, we torture prisoners. Tens of thousands of them. Solitary confinement is torture.


Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  Commentary:  Tamara Kay and Gorden Lafer re-hashed many of their arguments against the Rio Grande Foundation and its work in support of “right to work” in New Mexico.

Public Domain Photo (U.S. Government)

  Commentary:  On Jan. 18, I helped celebrate Martin Luther King Day by reading a proclamation at First United Methodist Church, with my gratitude to event organizers R.C. Johnson, James Simmons and Nurieh Glasgow. I had decided beforehand not to introduce this proclamation with any personal remarks.

The thinking was that government is the people’s business, not about individuals or personalities. We need look no further than the presidential campaign to see how personalities can detract from substantive issues.

  Commentary:  Open Primaries, a national leader on election reform, today announced the launch of a campaign to build support in the state House Judiciary Committee to approve HJR 12, the Open Primary Elections Constitutional Amendment. This bill will give all voters in New Mexico equal participation and say in their elections, bring competition back to electoral races and offer New Mexico’s citizens the functioning government they so desperately want.

Congressman Pearce Lauds Bill That Claims To Improve Federal Housing Program

Feb 2, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016:


President's Proposal To Dedicate $1.1 Billion To Address Prescription Opioid And Heroin Epidemic

Feb 2, 2016
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall today welcomed President Obama's proposal to dedicate $1.1 billion to fight the heroin use and prescription opioid abuse epidemic in New Mexico and across the country. Udall has long fought to increase support to help communities treat and prevent both problems, particularly prescription opioid drug abuse, which is too often a gateway to heroin use.

In 2014, New Mexico had the second-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The return of ‘Kindergarten math’ in battle over right-to-work

Feb 1, 2016

 Commentary: Despite being dealt a death blow in the state Senate at the final hour during the last legislative session, proponents of right-to-work laws are at it again. What was most alarming about last year’s debate was how lobbyists manipulated facts to propel their pet bills through the legislature.

Richard Kadzis


  Commentary:  Any journalist who’s covered a crowded presidential primary field knows it’s a wild ride. Just read the book “The Boys on the Bus,” and you’ll get an authentic, inside account.

Take the 1976 election year as an example, then, fast forward to 2016. Four decades separate these elections. Yet they reveal similar, early patterns.

Then, with Gerald Ford as the incumbent who succeeded Richard Nixon in the aftermath of Watergate, only Ronald Reagan challenged for the GOP nomination.