Otero Mesa - A False Dichotomy of Choices

Jim Burleson
NMPolitics - Compromise has gotten a bad name. Nowadays everyone seems to think it means one side selling out, or both sides selling out. But true compromise involves each side prioritizing their objectives, trying to see the merits of the other side’s argument, and being willing to give a little so that both sides can be happy with an approximation of their desires instead of utter disappointment. Nowadays we seem to be presented with nothing but Hobson’s choices: this bad option or nothing at all, this bad option or something even worse.
Otero Mesa
This seems to be especially true of issues involving the environment and the development of natural resources. We’re continually presented with a choice between the preservation of pristine natural beauty and the reckless exploitation of the landscape leading to total desecration. This is a false dichotomy. There are many other options, ones that lie between the two extremes, and we could find an acceptable solution if we were willing to be reasonable and realistic. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Line Item Veto?

Bloomberg  - Businessweek - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is looking at a maneuver once used by her predecessor, Democrat Bill Richardson, to end run the Legislature and selectively reject a tax increase that lawmakers approved. Martinez is considering using her line-item veto powers to eliminate a $128 million tax increase on businesses in a measure the Legislature passed to keep the state's unemployment compensation program from running out of money next year, Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said.
Taking that approach would allow the governor to stop the tax increase, which she's already promised to do, but preserve nearly $80 million in cost savings and benefit reductions that could improve the solvency of the unemployment fund. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Martinez Has 284 Bills to Review

Susana Martinez
Capitol Report New Mexico - For Dwight Eisenhower, D-Day was June 6. For Susana Martinez, decision day for the bills from the 2011 legislative session is April 8. By that day, the Governor has to decide whether she’ll sign, veto or pocket veto the bills that managed to get through both houses of the state legislature. Here are some facts, figures, questions and answers leading up to that date:
Total number of bills on the Governor’s desk: 284
Total she has already signed (as of 10:53 a.m. Thursday, March 31): 15
Total she has already vetoed (as of 10:53 a.m. Thursday, March 31): 1
Read full story here: News New Mexico

News New Mexico 9 Months Old

April Fools Day fittingly marks the nine month anniversary of the launching of News New Mexico. We are grateful for the contributions of our staff, our strategic partners, our affiliates, our guests, and our contributors. Most of all we appreciate everyone who visits our site every day and listens to our show around the state and country.
Speaking of foolishness.......on the first day of each month we visit usdebtclock.org. It is a painful practice that continues to sharpen our sense of mission. Since we took the airwaves and launched our website nine months ago the Federal Government has borrowed $19,328 for every taxpaying married couple in America. If you are unmarried, the government has borrowed $9,664 since then. That is $1,078.78 per month in borrowing for each taxpayer in the nation. The New Mexico congressional delegation in Washington includes four elected officials who think is is "extremist" to try to stop the borrowing binge through spending cuts. This group includes Jeff Bingaman, Tom Udall, Ben Ray Lujan, and Martin Heinrich. These four men purportedly oppose borrowing. If spending cannot be cut without being extreme, clearly these four men must favor raising taxes to eliminate the borrowing insanity. On the other side of the borrowing question is Congressman Steve Pearce. Pearce says he wants to cut spending to reduce borrowing. Taxpaying New Mexicans should be thinking about these positions and decide whether or not they want 1) their elected officials to continue to allow the government to borrow $1,078 per month on their behalf, cut spending, or increase federal income taxes. We will check back on this next month. Before April 15th, the amount borrowed on behalf of every married couple since we took the air last July will soar above $20,000. Can I opt out and get a new car?


Grand Jury Probing Bribe Allegations

Bill Richardson
NMPolitics - NMPolitics.net is reporting that a Las Cruces Grand jury will consider allegations that Mike Murphy paid a bribe in exchange for Bill Richardson naming him to the bench, and that he may have solicited bribes for Richardson from other judicial applicants. Third Judicial District Judge Mike Murphy has been notified that a grand jury meeting next week may charge him with paying a bribe in exchange for then-Gov. Bill Richardson appointing him to the bench in 2006. The grand jury is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Las Cruces to consider charges against Murphy, a source with knowledge of the case confirmed. In addition to the allegation that he paid a bribe for his appointment, investigators have been looking into allegations that Murphy may have solicited bribes for Richardson from applicants for other judgeships. The bribe or bribes were allegedly paid as political contributions, the source said. No one besides Murphy, including Richardson, has received notification that they may be indicted, the source said. The investigation is ongoing. Murphy said he could not comment on the situation. “I can’t discuss that at all Heath, and one better be careful about that. Those are sequestered, sealed proceedings,” he said. “I’m not either confirming or denying that.” Richardson’s executive assistant had not gotten back to NMPolitics.net with comment by the time this story was published. Read full story at NMPolitics.net.

Martinez Signs Public Safety Bills in Farmington

Governor Martinez
FARMINGTON – Governor Susana Martinez visited the Boys and Girls Club in Farmington yesterday to sign two key public safety measures into law. Joined by Sen. Sander Rue, Mayor Tommy Roberts of Farmington, Mayor Sally Burbridge of Aztec, Farmington city councilors, San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen, police chiefs from Farmington, Aztec, and Bloomfield, San Juan County legislators and other state and local officials, Governor Martinez signed Senate Bill 102, requiring palm prints from individuals arrested for a crime and Senate Bill 134, banning the possession and sale of synthetic marijuana. “One of the most basic duties of state government is providing for the safety of all New Mexicans,” said Governor Martinez. “I have made it a top priority to protect and promote communities in which our children can feel safe and New Mexico’s families can thrive. These two important pieces of public safety legislation will help us to further create a positive environment for our citizens and I’m thankful to Sen. Rue and Sen. Wilson Beffort for their leadership.” SB 102, sponsored by Sen. Rue, requires a palm print to be taken from anyone arrested for a crime, just as law enforcement officers take finger prints. Last month, the FBI began using new technology to compile a palm print database and several other states, including California, Rhode Island, and Connecticut also use palm prints to identify criminals.
Sander Rue
“Requiring palm prints from anyone who is arrested is a common-sense measure that is already being used by the FBI,” Governor Martinez remarked. “This law will require a palm print to be collected in the same manner that we collect finger prints – and it can be equally effective. When finger prints are smudged or non-existent, palm prints can be used to identify and convict criminals. This is an important tool that the law enforcement community needs to put criminals behind bars.” SB 134 outlaws synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice, K2, Blaze, and Red X Dawn, substances that were easily available online and at smoke shops in New Mexico. The substances typically consist of plant material coated with chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. In January, Farmington became the first city in the state to ban them.
Regarding SB 134, the Governor stated, “I’m proud to take statewide what Farmington started. These drugs are no less harmful just because they are known by catchy names and are chemically different than the substances they are supposed to replicate. They can pack a powerful punch and can hold devastating consequences for anyone who uses them. New Mexico now joins the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and a number of other states in recognizing that ‘synthetic’ does not mean "harmless."