Local Viewpoints

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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.

Today, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court erred in refusing to allow a wage-and-hour lawsuit, Roach v. T.L. Cannon Corp., to proceed as a class action. The Second Circuit said that the lower court improperly interpreted a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding what is needed to satisfy the criteria for certifying a case as a class action.

Soules: Clarity And Truth Needed In Dialogue On School Fee Legislation

Feb 9, 2015
State Senator Bill Soules

  Santa Fe, NM – In his disingenuous letter to the editor that ran on Sunday, February 8 in the Las Cruces Sun News, Sen. Lee Cotter states that because I voted against Senate Bill 207 (SB 207), I do not support a free, public education, and that I support “illegal” collection of fees by public schools.  As anyone who knows me can attest, this characterization cannot be further from the truth.  Some clarity and truth-telling about this bill is clearly needed:  this legislation would prevent public schools from charging and collecting any fees for elective courses.

New Mexico's House And Senate Leaders Take Stand Against "Right To Work"

Feb 9, 2015

As the national economy shows signs of real improvement, New Mexico’s recovery has been challenging and slow. Working families want to know when we will see more jobs, higher salaries and access to quality education at every level. The state Legislature has an opportunity to put New Mexico in a position to provide that economic security and rebuild the middle class.

"Moral Monday" In New Mexico

Feb 9, 2015

  ALBUQUERQUE—New Mexico’s second Moral Monday rally begins at noon on February 9, will focus on the state budget as a moral document, and is being organized by New Mexico Voices for Children.

  Santa Fe, NM – Senate Democrats today, came out strongly against Governor Martinez’s plan to borrow $300 million or more for road and highway repair, and said the funds must be obtained more responsibly. Borrowing the funds leaves a future generation of New Mexicans to pay off the debt.  The Governor’s proposal would finance current highway projects by issuing new debt that would be paid off over many years using revenue from the state’s severance tax on oil and gas production.


   Note: The column below, written Wednesday, appeared in the Las Cruces Sun-News this morning, Sunday, 8 February.   On Friday the Recallers turned in petitions seeking to recall City Councilors Olga Pedroza, Nathan Smart, and Gill Sorg.  By my count, the legal deadline for the Sorg and Pedroza petitions passed Monday. There's good evidence they collected their first signatures the weekend of November 28-29.  .

Pearce Welcomes Proposed Rules To Expand Home Loan Access

Feb 7, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Washington, D.C.  – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced several proposed changes to its mortgage rules that would expand access to home loans for many underserved buyers living in rural areas and small towns in New Mexico and across the country.  In response to the announcement, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (N.M.-02) issued the following statement.

“The CFPB’s actions last week to alter its mortgage rules are a welcome step in balancing consumer protection and over-regulation.

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

  Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo & Valencia) issued the following statement regarding the Joint Session of the Legislature for American Indian Day held earlier today:

Martinez: Let's Stick To The Facts About "Right To Work"

Feb 4, 2015

  As I watch this year’s legislative session, I am concerned with the misinformed claims made by Republican Governor Martinez that have made right-to-work/anti-worker legislation her top priority.  When I think of all the issues we face here in our state in building a healthy economy I am appalled that the Governor will be attacking our working families.