Arnold-Jones: Budget Deficit Could Be $700 Million

Janice Arnold-Jones
Current New Mexico House of Representatives member and former gubernatorial candidate Janice-Arnold Jones suggested that the projected budget deficit for the state is way off. Recent reports from Santa Fe have pegged the shortfall at around $450 million. Arnold-Jones, who did not seek re-election said on News New Mexico this morning that she believes the estimates are way short and the actual figure is closer to $700 million.


McMillan Leans Towards Coalition

Dr. Terry McMillan
Dr. Terry McMillan, who was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives for District # 37 in November, suggested on News New Mexico today, that while he had serious disagreements on many issues with Joseph Cervantes, also a member of the House of Representatives, that he believes it is in the state's best interest for House Republicans to put their votes behind Cervantes in his efforts to bring an end to the ten year reign of current House Speaker Ben Lujan.
Joseph Cervantes
Donna Irwin, Mary Helen Garcia, and Andy Nunez, all Democrats in the House have already indicated their interest in seeking an end to Lujan's tenure as speaker. Former NM Governor Garrey Carruthers, in a separate interview on News New Mexico indicated that he believes there are probably sufficient numbers of Democrats and Republicans in the New Mexico House of Representatives to form a coalition that would make Cervantes the new speaker. Janice Arnold-Jones an outgoing member of the N.M. House also said on Neews New Mexico that she believes it is in the best interests of the state for Republicans to back Cervantes.


Carruthers: EIB Should Be ABOLISHED

Garrey Carruthers
Former New Mexico Governor Garrey Carruthers (1986-1990) had strong words for the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board on News New Mexico this morning. Carruthers who is currently the New Mexico State University College of Business Dean said the board should be abolished and any rulemaking authority it might have should be returned to the governor's cabinet. Carruthers was appointed chairman of a Government Efficiency Task Force by Governor Susana Martinez in late November.


Boehner is New Speaker (Pelosi Out)

John Boehner
Washington Times - Rep. John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, was elected speaker of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, marking the return of the chamber to GOP control for the first time in four years. Since late in the 2010 campaign, Mr. Boehner has promised that if Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, he would shake up the way the chamber works. On Wednesday he told his colleagues that the House makeover, GOP-style, is beginning. "We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process 'less efficient' than our forefathers intended," Mr. Boehner said in a speech after he officially was elected speaker. The election puts Mr. Boehner in the line of presidential succession, just behind the vice president, and instantly makes him the most powerful Republican in Washington, at a time when partisanship is running high — or what he called "a great deal of scar tissue" that he said "has built up on both sides of the aisle." Read full story here:

True or False?

Walter Williams
Townhall - So many statements we accept as true, plausible or beyond question; but are they? Let's look at a couple of important ones: global warming and U.S. manufacturing decline. In 2000, Dr. David Viner of University of East Anglia's disgraced Climatic Research Unit advised, "Within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event." "Children just aren't going to know what snow is." Britain's Meteorological Office said this December was "almost certain" to become the coldest since records began in 1910. Paul Michaelwaite, forecaster for, said, "It is looking like this winter could be in the top 20 cold winters in the last 100 years."
In reference to the last decade of the Earth's cooling, geologist Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, emeritus professor at Western Washington University, says, "Recent solar changes suggest that it could be fairly severe, perhaps more like the 1880 to 1915 cool cycle than the more moderate 1945-1977 cool cycle. A more drastic cooling, similar to that during the Dalton and Maunder minimums, could plunge the Earth into another Little Ice Age, but only time will tell if that is likely." Global warming hype is nothing less than a gambit for more government control over our lives. Read full column here:


Exodus: Gibbs Announces His Departure

Robert Gibbs
Washington Times - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs will step down from the podium next month and take on the role of an outside adviser to President Obama, according to multiple media reports Wednesday morning. Mr. Gibbs, a longtime Obama aide, became familiar to millions for his daily briefings from the White House press room. News of the spokesman's departure comes amid an ongoing shakeup at the White House in the wake of Democrats' major losses at the polls in November and ahead of Mr. Obama's own re-election campaign. Mr. Gibbs, known for his pastel ties and eagerness to go toe-to-toe with White House reporters, has been with Mr. Obama since his 2004 Senate campaign. His future had become the subject of widespread speculation in recent months as a string of high-profile staffers left the West Wing even before the midterm elections, including several members of Mr. Obama's economic team and his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who quit to run for mayor in Chicago. Read full story here:

Harbison: Where do we go from here?

Jim Harbison
Now that the Governor Martinez administration has begun we can only hope that the future of New Mexico becomes brighter. I am confident that she will surround herself with competent capable advisors to help overcome the significant problems that confront this state.
We know she has discovered some of the issues not disclosed prior to the elections including the much understated budget shortfalls. The budget imbalance is the most difficult problem for her administration. Finding solutions that will be acceptable to everyone will be impossible and there will have to be significant program and staff reductions, and necessary tax increases to meet the mandated balanced budget requirements. Her biggest test will be can she demonstrate real leadership and convince the legislature and the general public to make the required spending cuts and focus on the essential requirements of government. At this point in the current economic environment it will be necessary to forego the “nice to have” programs and focus on the “must have” programs. Read full column here:


EIB Board Gets Pink Slips from Martinez

Governor Martinez
Capitol Report New Mexico - On her second business day in office, Gov. Susana Martinez – who forcefully opposed the decisions by the state’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) instituting a cap and trade program — fired all seven members of the board Tuesday (Jan. 4). The governor’s office announced that the EIB members received an e-mail Tuesday that will be followed by this letter: Dear (Member): Thank you for your service to the State of New Mexico by serving on the Environmental Improvement Board. This letter is to inform you that I am removing you as a member of the Environmental Improvement Board. Your removal is effective immediately. Again, thank you for your service to our state. Read full story here:

Universities Creating Retirement Incentives

Bloomberg - Darrell Fasching planned to keep teaching religious studies at the University of South Florida until he was offered a year’s salary of about $90,000 to retire and give up tenure rights earned over almost three decades at the school. Fasching, 66, took the cash and left the Tampa campus Dec. 21, joining hundreds of professors at flagship universities from Illinois to Nebraska and Texas who have been coaxed into retirement with offers of as much as two years of pay to reduce operating costs. Tenured teacher pay averages $117,000 a year at the top 200 U.S. public universities, according to figures from the Washington-based American Association of University Professors. Annual contracts for replacement instructors cost an average of $52,500, the group said an April report.
With the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities in Washington forecasting U.S. states will face fiscal 2012 deficits totaling $140 billion, “these buyouts will become more common,” said Roger Meiners, who teaches economics at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Most states have horrific budget problems and they haven’t dealt with the kinds of cuts in higher education that are going to be necessary,” he said in a telephone interview. Read full story here: