Local Viewpoints

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Pearce Votes To Speed Up Natural Gas Permitting

Jan 22, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 161, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act with a bipartisan vote of 253-169. This bill would accelerate the approval of much needed energy infrastructure projects across the country. U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02) released the following statement on his support for and passage of the bill:

Group Blasts Pearce Commentary On Wolf Policy

Jan 22, 2015

  As demonstrated yet again by his recent commentary, “Latest Wolf Rule Puts New Mexicans in Danger,” the facts and Rep. Steve Pearce don’t have a very close relationship.

Despite Rep. Pearce’s fear-mongering, expanding the small Mexican gray wolf population of about 100 wolves will hardly put people or their livelihoods in danger, something the congressman could have learned from the hundreds of his constituents who attended a public hearing last August in Truth or Consequences to voice their support for the wolves.


  Austin -- Senator José Rodríguez issued the following statement upon adjournment of the Texas Senate, which voted today to change its rules in a way that limits minority power, dismissing over 60 years of tradition meant to protect the minority and encourage debate and compromise.

  Santa Fe — NMPIRG, joined today by Common Cause, and Environment New Mexico, gathered at the Roundhouse to mark the fifth anniversary of Citizens United, the infamous decision that birthed Super PACs and opened the floodgates for special interest money in our elections.  The groups called out the flood of big money in elections and put forward solutions to amplify the voice of average Americans. 

Pearce Blasts State Of The Union Address

Jan 21, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  President Obama delivered his seventh State of the Union (SOTU) since taking office.  In response, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) issued the following statement:

“Hard-working Americans yearn for concrete solutions to our nation’s challenges.  Yet tonight, we heard more out-of-touch rhetoric that neither soothes concerns, nor gives reason for hope,” said Pearce

Heinrich: President Obama Laid Out A Clear Vision To Help The Middle Class

Jan 20, 2015
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after President Obama's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress:

"Tonight, the president laid out a clear vision to increase opportunities for all Americans and strengthen our middle class. While our nation's economy is progressing, my priority is to build on that momentum so that New Mexicans working hard to get ahead feel those gains.

Democrats Respond To The Martinez "State Of The State"

Jan 20, 2015
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo & Valencia) today delivered a Democratic response to Gov.

Pearce: Latest Wolf Rule Puts New Mexicans In Danger

Jan 20, 2015

  Washington, D.C – Last week, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Mexican Wolf as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and quadrupled its recovery zone in New Mexico.

  Santa Fe, NM--The following is a statement from Somos Un Pueblo Unido regarding the Governor's sixth introduction of a proposal to take away driver's licenses from immigrant residents of New Mexico:


"Right To Work" Is Wrong For New Mexico

Jan 20, 2015

  In 2015, with Republican Susana Martinez re-elected to a second term as New Mexico’s Governor and Republicans in control of the State House of Representatives for the first time since the Eisenhower 1950s, so-called “right to work” legislation has emerged as one of the highest priorities for the legislative session.

Goodman: Each Age Has Its Own Contradictions

Jan 20, 2015

Edward Bellamy wrote Looking Backward 2000-1887.  A utopian socialist novel, it envisioned a world in which social ills like poverty and illiteracy no longer existed because humankind had outgrown competition as a guiding principle. 

   By 1900 only Uncle Tom's Cabin had outsold Looking Backward among books published in the U.S.  Folks so loved it as an alternative to the abuses of the Gilded Age that around the country 500 Nationalist Clubs sprang up to disseminate Bellamy's ideas.

In Depth: New Mexico Makes Little Progress On Child Well-Being

Jan 20, 2015

  ALBUQUERQUE—While New Mexico ranking rose slightly from 50th in 2013 to 49th in 2014 in the national KIDS COUNT rankings of child well-being, state policy makers not have managed to make much progress toward improving how well the state cares for its kids. The KIDS COUNT program measures 16 indicators of child well-being, and New Mexico saw improvement in just five of those. Worse, child poverty—a main factor in poor outcomes—actually increased (from 28 percent to 31 percent) even as it decreased in most of the rest of the nation.

One Year Later, Santa Fe Plastic Bag Ban Is Not Working

Jan 19, 2015

  Santa Fe’s ban on plastic bags isn’t making the city greener.

Less than a year after formally implemented the ban, the City Council is now looking for a more effective solution. As recent studies have shown, instead of bringing reusable bags on their shopping trips, Santa Fe citizens have simply traded plastic for paper – nullifying the law’s sustainability objectives.

More Loan Shark Outlets Than Fast Food Chain Restaurants In New Mexico

Jan 14, 2015

There are currently 684 New Mexico small loan licensees* charging 80 to 3,000 percent interest registered with the New Mexico Department of Regulation.  There are only 405 New Mexico fast food locations operated by all the major and minor chains combined.** 

This is the first of many astounding facts about high cost lending that the New Mexico Fair Lending Coalition (NMFLC) will publish daily beginning Wednesday, January 14, and continuing through the close of the 2015 legislative session on March 21. 

Pearce Votes To End President's Immigration Relief

Jan 14, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (DHS), to aggressively tighten national security, combat terrorism, and block President Obama’s executive order granting legal status to over 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

In voting for the measure, Congressman Steve Pearce (R.-N.M.) released the following statement:

Pat Hynes: I Won't Take No For An Answer

Jan 13, 2015

  In January we set personal goals for the year, make resolutions in some cases, throw a Hail Mary pass at a difficult problem.  Lose weight, find your new relationship or solve both and join the gym, a Hail Mary pass for sure. Making realistic, specific, measurable goals requires a plan. The plan can create change; take us from our current state to a more desirable future. That’s the purpose of a financial plan for a family, or a strategic plan for a company.

Conservationists Take Aim At New Rule On Mexican Gray Wolf Management

Jan 12, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservationists say they’ll fight provisions in a new federal rule that caps the population of endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest at numbers too low for recovery, bans them from needed recovery habitat, and makes it easier for them to be killed. While the U.S.

Goodman: We Are Blessed With A Secular Democracy

Jan 11, 2015

Jim Harbison is a fine gentleman, but his recent hit-piece on CAFé relied too much on name-calling and not enough on facts and analysis.

As you likely know, CAFé led the local campaign for a minimum-wage hike. Mr. Harbison writes, “CAFé is a community organizer group (think ACORN).” He alleges no relationship between the two; but ACORN's a code-word in Right-Wing-Speak. It's like saying “Joe is a cop (think Ferguson)."

Pearce Votes To Approve Keystone XL Pipeline

Jan 9, 2015

  Washington, D.C – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The measure passed decisively, 266 to 153, with bipartisan support.  H.R. 3 would put an end to the lengthy and unnecessary delay of the Keystone project that has gone on for over six years.  In voting for the measure, Congressman Steve Pearce (R.-N.M.) released the following statement

Pearce Votes To Approve 40-Hour Work Week For Mandatory Employer Health Insurance

Jan 9, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act of 2015 with a bipartisan vote of 252-172.  The bill repeals the 30-hour definition of full-time employee in the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restores the common sense 40-hour definition.  In voting for the measure, Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

Groups Support Rejection Of Fracking Near New Mexico's Chaco Canyon

Jan 6, 2015

  Santa Fe, NM – A coalition of local and regional watchdog groups supports the Bureau of Land Management’s recent decision to defer leasing five Navajo allotment parcels (2,802.56 acres) for fracking near Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Udall Offers Rules Reform To Fix The Broken Senate

Jan 6, 2015
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor on a proposal he offered with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to increase transparency, restore accountability and foster debate in the Senate by reforming the Senate's often-abused rules. The centerpiece of their proposal requires a "talking filibuster," meaning senators wishing to block legislation would have to do so by speaking on the Senate floor. Udall has been a leader in the effort to reform the Senate rules since he was elected in 2009.

    (This column is an open letter to Jeffrey Isbell, Pamela Wolfe, and their Recall-pushing associates requesting them to either substantiate or retract their apparently defamatory false statements.) 

You have repeatedly stated in writing that three city councilors have "grievous conflicts of interest" in that "they continue to serve on the city council while also being employed by radical organizations . . ."   You you are free to opine that these unidentified organizations are "radical"; but knowingly making false factual statements can constitute defamation.

Goodman: Thoughts At The New Year

Jan 2, 2015

This morning, New Year's morning, a magnificent roadrunner visited us.  He didn't do much, just stood on top of the wooden fence at the far side of the old wooden deck, strode along it, then hopped down to the ground near the small bowls of water.  We were glad we'd poured boiling water on them earlier, when they were pretty well frozen from the cold night, to accommodate him.  The other birds had prudently gone elsewhere to make way for him.



  ALBUQUERQUE - On Friday, the New Mexico Attorney General's office released a portion of the behavioral health audit report to the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government after being ordered to do so by a Santa Fe district court judge.  


     In releasing the Presbyterian Medical Services portion of the audit, the Attorney General has waived its right to appeal the judge's decision in regard to PMS.  NMFOG, which initially sued for the report, has not yet determined whether it will appeal the order that keeps the remainder of the HSD audit secret.


Group Pushes For New Mexico Economic Reforms

Dec 30, 2014
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  New Mexico's Senate majority leader – arguably the most powerful elected Democrat in the State – recently laid out some of his views on the upcoming legislative session. He claimed to support "compromise," but it is clear that what he really means is that he has no plans to support reforms that will boost New Mexico's struggling private-sector economy.

Endangered Gray Wolf Shot And Killed In Utah

Dec 29, 2014

  BEAVER, Utah — A federally protected radio-collared female gray wolf, possibly the same wolf photographed this fall on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, was shot and killed Sunday in Utah after reportedly being mistaken for a coyote. The identity of the wolf is likely to be determined in the coming days or weeks.

Goodman: Looking For A True Leader

Dec 29, 2014

This time of year all the sales and advertising make you wish someone would show up with a better message for humanity than commercialism – and say it well enough that people would listen.

   Someone who'd remind us that we're all in this together.  Gold may glitter, but it ain't the path to happiness.  (Odds are against it, anyway – like getting a camel through the eye of a needle.)  Loving our neighbors isn't just nice, it's part of how a complex and over-crowded society might manage to survive. 

Pat Hynes: State Must Make Long-Term Investment In The Spaceport

Dec 23, 2014
Spaceport America

  Have a healthy disregard for the impossible.


  Santa Fe, NM –On Tuesday, December 22, Governor Susana Martinez appointed current Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Monique Jacobson, as her choice to be the next secretary of the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD).  Senator Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo), who grew up in foster care and who is a strong advocate of CYFD reform, stated, “The Governor’s pick to lead CYFD has no experience in this critical area.  CYFD demands a leader that has specific training in social work, early education, and assisting families in crisis.”