Roll Call Says Sanchez Likely In Senate Race

John Sanchez
Roll Call - New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez is poised to join former Rep. Heather Wilson in the Republican primary for the Land of Enchantment's open Senate seat, according to GOP sources. The move sets up the likelihood of heated GOP primary that could test the loyalties of newly elected Gov. Susana Martinez (R). Sanchez, who is putting together a campaign team and plans a trip to Washington, D.C., later this month, ran on a ticket with Martinez in their successful 2010 campaign. Wilson, who lost the 2008 GOP Senate primary to Rep. Steve Pearce, served as chairwoman of the governor's transition committee following her election on Nov. 2. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Haussamen: Governor on Slippery Slope

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics - Though the secretary of state says it’s legal for Gov. Susana Martinez to blur the line between lobbying the Legislature and campaigning, the situation has me questioning whether Martinez’s actions match with her campaign rhetoric about ethical behavior. Early in the current legislative session, Martinez started webcasting legislative committee hearings on her bills and using the video to promote her views. She angered many lawmakers by showing selective parts of some hearings and including commentary about how committee members voted. Taxpayers paid for that lobbying. The webcasting is being done by the webmaster in the governor’s office.
Governor Martinez
The video is being published on Martinez’s official government website. But another aspect of Martinez’s lobbying effort was paid for with campaign dollars. As part of her push to pass a bill that would repeal the law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, Martinez ran radio ads urging people to call their lawmakers and tell them to stop blocking the bill. A couple of nonprofits complained that such use of campaign money violates the state’s Campaign Reporting Act. Secretary of State Dianna Duran says the expense is legal. I’ve already written that the blurring of the line between campaigning and lobbying exposes a potential gray area in the law and may indicate the need to tighten language in the Campaign Reporting Act. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Juarez Safe Corridors Aren't

Ciudad Juarez
Las Cruces Sun-News JUAREZ - A highly touted project to bring a little peace back to this violence-wracked border city with "safe corridors" along main streets has largely collapsed with a change in policing, residents and officials said. Crime initially plummeted along the two boulevards in Ciudad Juarez after federal troops began intensive patrols there in February 2010 as part of the "We are All Juarez" program, aimed at improving living conditions in what has become one of the world's most murderous cities. But federal police handed the duty off to state police, which in November turned the job over to the city. Residents say patrols have almost vanished. Shootouts, killings and kidnappings have returned. "Crime is up fivefold in those zones," said Gustavo de la Rosa, head of the Ciudad Juarez office of Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights, on Saturday. "We are, for the moment, abandoned." The "safe corridor" designation - along the boulevards Gomez Morin and Tomas Fernandez - was meant to revive business in these important commercial zones lined with local businesses, nightclubs and chains including Starbucks and Chili's. On Friday, a professor of anthropology at Northern Arizona University was briefly kidnapped along one of the corridors, Gomez Morin, and was forced to withdraw money from automatic teller machines. A man was shot do death in his car the same day. Witnesses told local reporters police were slow to appear. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Public Union Realities

Terry Paulson
Townhall - In the private sector, when a union strikes, customers can find a competitor. With public employees, there is a virtual monopoly. Yes, rich parents can send their children to a private school, but the only affordable, “free” choice is a public school. As a result, collective bargaining is an invitation to disaster for state budgets. Allowing public unions to use union funds to support the campaign of politicians and expecting those same politicians to protect taxpayer interests in collective bargaining, is unrealistic. When you are beholden to unions and you’re using someone else’s money, it’s easy to be extravagant. Read full column here: News New Mexico

One More Try

Capitol Report New Mexico - A bill that aims to establish a requirement that voters show photo ID when they come to the polls was heard for about an hour and a half Saturday (March 12) but since not all members of the House Voters and Elections Committee were able to ask questions of the bill’s sponsor — Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad) — before going to a scheduled House floor session, a vote was put off until Tuesday (March 15).
Dianna Duran
House Bill 577 is a priority of Secretary of State Dianna Duran – who sat next to Brown Saturday before the committee — and is supported by Gov. Susana Martinez. A similar bill was turned away earlier this session (click here for that story) when a number of Democrats on the committee said they had a numbe of concerns, including how to handle absentee ballotting. Read rest of the story here: News New Mexico


Hispanics Are Prime Demographic

Star Parker
Townhall - New Census data show that Hispanics in California, our most populous state, are now a minority in name only. Of California’s 37 million residents, 38% are Hispanic and 40% are white. Nationwide, the median Hispanic age is 27 compared to a national median of 36 and a median white age of 41. So Hispanics are not just our most rapidly growing demographic, they are our youngest. Projections show Hispanics reaching 30% of our population by 2050 from about 15% today. The absence of real reforms coming out of Washington should be of particular concern to these youthful Hispanic Americans. All our growing big government failures, now being institutionalized instead of being reformed, will be dumped disproportionately into their laps. Take health care. A central pillar of Obamacare is the government mandate that everyone buy health insurance. This was sold as some great act of compassion to get everyone insured, but there is nothing compassionate about government forcing someone to buy what they don’t need. Of the 50 million Americans without health insurance, about 65% are under 35. Although it might be tempting to view these uninsured youth as irresponsible, they are often making sensible choices. It’s because of the ridiculous way we define health insurance. The point of insurance is to protect against catastrophes. Car insurance covers accidents, not tune-ups and oil changes. Home insurance covers fires and floods, not paint jobs and plumbing. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Doan: Makers versus Takers

Lurita Doan
Townhall - Ideological budget battles between GOP and Dems in congress mask the real battle erupting across America-- the battle between the makers and the takers. Entrepreneurs and other working Americans, the makers, are growing tired of government's rapacious hand in their financial pocket and they are becoming more aggressive and more outspoken in their protests. Dems should expect this trend to continue. The recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report citing systemic high unemployment for the past two years shows that of the approximately 300 million Americans, only 47% of adults have full-time jobs. It's a mind-boggling statistic: 53%-- or a majority -- of American adults do not work. The repercussions for our country are dire, despite the White House proclaiming the recent Labor report as good news. Meanwhile Dems in Congress are relying on an elaborate Ponzi-scheme of increased taxes and hide-the-budget-pickle to justify spending increases on a bevy of social re-engineering programs while the White House continues to champion an expansion of the regulatory straight jacket hobbling entrepreneurs. Read more here: News New Mexico