Gallup Couple Miffed By Traffic Stop

NewsNM (Swickard) Wikipedia: The smartass (Equus genius) is a type of donkey known for its very high intelligence, From - GRANTS, N.M. -- A Gallup woman accused a Department of Public Safety (DPS) officer of being rude and calling her husband a derogatory name. Sarah Terrell said she is angry at the way a motor transportation officer treated her husband Tuesday. Terrell said the officer pulled them over for passing him on the freeway. Justin Terrell, Sarah Terrell's husband, said his wife had been following the officer for more than 20 miles while she was driving in the left lane. "I had decided enough was enough because there were cars piling up behind me," Sarah Terrell said. Sarah Terrell said when they passed him, the officer pulled her over and wrote her a citation for following too closely and passing in the right lane. Sarah Terrell said she was wrongfully pulled over and cited, and it's all caught on video. When her husband was asking the officer for clarifications, the officer was caught on camera saying, "You're just trying to be a smartass is what you're doing." "There was no mistake that he meant to call my husband a smartass to his face. It was just very disrespectful," Sarah Terrell said. Terrell said the officer even wrote the wrong statute on her ticket, and a DPS spokesperson said the officer did write the wrong number. Read more

Trying to curb “tax pyramiding”

From Capitol Report New - Gov. Susana Martinez held a news conference Wednesday (Jan. 25) to promote legislation in the current 30-day legislative session aimed at helping New Mexico’s construction industry by curbing the practice of ”tax pyramiding” in which companies get taxed multiple times. Rep. David Doyle (R-Albuquerque) has introduced legislation aimed at lessening the effects of pyramiding and the governor’s news conference comes two days after Senate Democrats held their own media event in which they touted 11 of their bills aimed at boosting businesses across the state. Read more

Mourners Pay Respect to Archbishop Sanchez

From - Nearly two decades after he resigned in scandal, Archbishop Robert Sanchez's body returned to the cathedral where he was high priest of New Mexico's largest Catholic diocese for 19 years. Sanchez, who died last Friday at age 77, was appointed to the post of Archbishop of Santa Fe in 1974, the nation's first Hispanic archbishop. He was criticized for failing to stop pedophile priests who abused children in several parishes and resigned in scandal in 1993 after it was revealed he had had affairs with several women.  That past was not forgotten by Sanchez's successor, Archbishop Michael Sheehan.  "We ask God to forgive him his failings his sins and to comfort those loved ones he leaves behind and we also ask God to comfort those who have been harmed and hurt in any way during his time here," said Archbishop Sheehan.  More News New Mexico

Navajo Nation President Under Fire for Comment to Governor

From -Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly is facing criticism for remarks he made about the governors of Arizona and New Mexico. Some in the audience gasped and others laughed when Shelly said in a speech at the Arizona Legislature last week that Gov. Jan Brewer "turns me on." He also said he loved his family, the lawmakers and Brewer's straight-forward style. A day later, Shelly told New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez that it appeared she had gained weight. Neither governor was offended by the comments, their spokesmen said this week. But Navajo Nation Council Delegate Joshua Lavar Butler told Shelly the comments were inappropriate coming from the leader of one of the country's largest American Indian tribes.  Shelly didn't back down, saying the comments weren't out of line but could be misconstrued when taken out of context. The president, who is a year into his four-year term, has been known to speak off the cuff.  More News New Mexico

Are NM’s pensions heading for the Intensive Care Unit?

From Capitol Report New - Members of the Senate Finance Committee who thought New Mexico’s two state-sponsored pension plans are doing pretty well and just need some tweaking to stay financially secure received a splash of ice-cold water on Monday (Jan. 23) when two financial analysts said just the opposite. “The numbers are actually worse than they appear,” said Sean McShea, a fixed-income portfolio manager for Ryan Labs Asset Management out of New York City. And Brad Day, a retired Albuquerque business owner who specialized in retirement pension plans, urged committee members to “get off the road we’re on now, which is a road to nowhere.” The Educational Retirement Board (ERB) and the Public Employees Retirement Assocation (PERA) comprise two state-supported pensions. In recent committee meeting hearings in the Roundhouse, leaders from the ERB and PERA acknowledged to lawmakers that adjustments need to be made to keep their plans solvent into the future as more and more baby boomers retire and say their respective boards and members are willing to make refine their plans. But McShea and Day painted a much bleaker picture Monday, saying changes on the margins are not enough. “We all know there’s going to be a retirement crisis in 2020,” McShea said adding, ”I think one day we’ll look at municipal debt and everything is fine but the next day we’ll have an epiphany and everything has changed for the worse.” Both McShea and Day also called into question the expected return on investments for the state pension plans, posted at 7.75 percent per year — a number they say is way too high. Day — who is actually a trustee at the ERB – said unless fundamental changes are made, “It’s going to raise unfunded liabilities to a level that is catastrophic.” Day told the committee he recommends eliminating the cost of living adjustment to the ERB plan and raising the minimum retirement age at the ERB to 62. Day said he’s made these recommendations to the ERB but “I’m the only private sector person on the ERB … I get out-voted virtually every time … The recommendation of the ERB [board] in my opinion was like spitting in the ocean … it will have practically no effect.” Read more

Immigration reform more than just driver’s licenses

From NM - Commentary by State Senator Steve Fischmann, District 37 - We can continue the political soap opera over driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants or comprehensively tackle immigration issues impacting our daily lives. I’m sponsoring legislation that attempts to do the latter. I invite others to help me improve it. I have introduced guest worker legislation (SB 14) that addresses immigration issues in a manner that can significantly improve our security, our economy, and our quality of life; and that addresses driver’s license issues to boot. SB 14 creates a predictable immigration policy for New Mexico in partnership with the federal government. It ends policies that make lawbreakers out of employers and workers who serve the economic interests of our state, while protecting jobs for legal citizens, and increasing accountability for unscrupulous employers. It also creates a funding mechanism that requires no new taxes and will actually add money to our state coffers. Read more

AP: NM driver's license data points to fraud

From - By: BARRY MASSEY Associated Press - SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - An Associated Press investigation has found that addresses of dozens of the same businesses and homes across New Mexico were used over and over again by people to get driver's licenses in a pattern that suggests potential fraud by immigrants trying to game the system. In one instance, 48 foreign nationals claimed to live at a smoke shop in Albuquerque to get a license. In another case, more than a dozen claimed to live at an automotive repair shop over a one-year period. The scenario has been repeated at other addresses since New Mexico changed its law in 2003 to allow illegal immigrants to get the same driver's license as a U.S. citizen - one of just two states allowing that. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is pressing the Legislature to scrap the law because of public safety concerns about widespread fraud. She contends New Mexico has become a magnet for out-of-state immigrants seeking a license, which can be used to board airplanes, conduct financial transactions or get another license in some other state. The governor's proposal will be considered by a legislative committee on Thursday. Having an address in New Mexico is a critical part of getting a license. Applicants without a Social Security number must prove their identity with multiple documents such as a passport or notarized English translation of a foreign birth certificate. They also must show New Mexico residency with other documents, including property lease agreements, utility bills and bank statements. Of the more than 90,000 licenses issued so far to foreign nationals, it's impossible to know how many are illegal immigrants because the state doesn't ask a person's immigration status. Read more

Compassion or Enslavement?

Jim Harbison
The recent Republican presidential debates have largely focused on media-generated folklore intended less to edify than to attract attention and sell air time. One such issue is the claim that mean-spirited Republicans want to totally eliminate welfare, unemployment, food stamps and all other social safety net benefit programs. It is true that conservatives oppose these programs, at least as they exist in their current forms. Conservative objections have never been about the need for assistance to the unfortunate; but rather on how to develop programs that create the climate for long term opportunity for employment, job security, independence, economic growth, and self reliance.
What is missing from meaningful public discussions are accurate portrayals of the alternatives conservatives advocate to replace this unfortunate and growing dependence on well meaning but singularly misguided and spectacularly failed government programs. There are more Americans dependent on food stamps today than at any time in our history. The inescapable truth is that after nearly 50 years of the "Great Society" programs and over $40 trillion of well-intentioned assistance, generations of Americans still live in ignorance, poverty, crime, and government dependency. These programs offer transient relief but no viable path out of dependency; and, as a practical matter, represent little more than a 21st century form of government sanctioned economic and social slavery.  Read rest of column here: News New Mexico

Savers Will Continue to Subsidize Government Borrowing - Interest Rates Likely on Hold Until 2014

Ben Bernanke
NewsNM note (Spence) - Are you hoping you might be able to get a higher rate on a CD sometime soon because the economy is improving? THINK AGAIN
The bond market has already shifted expectations that there will be no changes in interest rates by the Federal Reserve until 2014. The market reacted to this excerpt on the Fed's statement regarding its January meeting:
To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions–including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.
Don't believe what any politician tells you about economic recovery. Watch the Fed for signs that we are returning to a stronger economy.


Martinez to Scale Back Scope of Session

Susana Martinez
NMPolitics - After receiving criticism from some Democratic legislative leaders that she had put too much on their plate for the 30-day session that’s in progress, Gov. Susana Martinez plans to scale back the scope of the session later today. Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said a final list of messages allowing the consideration of various topics should be published today on the governor’s website, and it will include the rescinding of most of the more than 40 messages the governor sent to the House last week. He gave no clues about what would be cut. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Heather Wilson to Appear on News New Mexico

Heather Wilson
Former U.S. Congresswoman Heather Wilson will appear on News New Mexico on Tuesday morning at 7:30am. We will be talking to Wilson about her plans to run for the U.S. Senate Seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman in 2012. Wilson served in Congress from 1998 to 2009. She is the second female veteran to have been elected to Congress. Wilson opted not to run for re-election to the House in 2008 and sought the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Senator Pete Domenici, but finished second in the Republican primary to Congressman Steve Pearce, who then lost the general election to Democrat Tom Udall. Please email your questions for Heather Wilson to


"Decline of the Union Address"


Man receives $22 mil. for inhumane treatment in Dona Ana Co. solitary confinement

From - By: Marissa Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - It is one of the largest prisoner civil rights settlements in the history of this country. On Tuesday, a federal jury awarded Stephen Slevin $22 million for inhumane treatment while in solitary confinement at the Dona Ana County Jail. Slevin was arrested in August of 2005 for a DWI then tossed in jail and completely forgotten about for two years. Slevin said he made countless requests to see a doctor and get medication for his depression, but that was denied until just a few weeks before he was released. He also said during the two years, he was forced to pull his own tooth because they would not let him see a dentist. During his time in confinement, Slevin never saw a judge and was released when the DWI charges were dropped. Slevin said taking Dona Ana County to court was never about money, it was to make sure this never happened to anyone else. Read more

Social media takes off when rumors fly about Depp's visit to Farmington

From the Farminston Daily Times - By Kurt Madar - FARMINGTON — Johnny Depp might have visited the Four Corners over the weekend, but he definitely was not at Arby's, Target, Three Rivers Brewery or buying a mutton-and-green chile sandwich on fry bread in Shiprock. If the star was here, it was entirely on his own and not in any official capacity for the film "The Lone Ranger," said a publicist for Jerry Bruckheimer Films. What did happen over the weekend and could have fueled the rumors was members from the production company scouting shooting locations, an inside source said Monday. What is almost as interesting as the star himself is how quickly the rumors of Depp's appearance spread, and how nearly everyone heard of him visiting the same places. People who have never met, let alone talked, were reporting the same information, and after reading it on Facebook or hearing it from somebody who had read it on Facebook. Gas station attendant Emerson Napoleon was told by a customer that Depp had been seen at Arby's, Target and Three Rivers Brewery. Arby's Manager Molina Begay got a phone call from the Farmington Chamber of Commerce asking if Depp had developed a craving for a roast beef sandwich. "The rumor was that he came in on Sunday," Begay said. "I worked all day Sunday, and he definitely wasn't here. It would have been nice, though." A search of Facebook showed that the most repeated Depp sightings were Walmart, Arby's, Three Rivers Brewery and Olive Garden. Read more

Beauty Health and Science Innovations could bring 350 jobs to Clovis

From the Clovis News J0urnal - Clovis’ newest industry has plenty of work to do in the run-up, but officials are confident Beauty Health and Science Innovations could be moving products out of Clovis by the end of April.Brian Sperber, owner and CEO of BHSI — a product of merging Minnesota-based Z. Bigatti and California-based COBE Chem Labs — will start hiring maintenance crews in February to do a few weeks of refurbishing on the former FrozFruit facility. Sperber said while the cleanup is taking place, supplies and five production lines will be shipped to the plant. Production test runs could take place in March, while the company goes through a few weeks of inspections from the state. About half a dozen chemists will be coming from outside of the area, but most of the hiring will be of eastern New Mexico residents with numerous skill sets. The first-year estimate is 120 to 150 jobs, with a three-year goal of 350.
The Clovis City Commission agreed to provide up to $3 million in forgivable economic development loans, and $1 million of that is tied to BHSI employing 300 people for a 12-month period. The target products coming from the Clovis plant, Sperber said, will be skin care products and energy drinks, but future endeavors could include Prestige soaps and candles.
Sperber said BHSI will not do animal testing for its products. The only possible exception, he said, would be if BHSI produces dog shampoo on-site and then washes a dog with the shampoo to test its effectiveness. Read more

Committee shelves term limits for state legislators

From the Alamogordo Daily News - SANTA FE -- By Milan Simonich Texas-New Mexico Newspapers - A proposal to limit state legislators to 12 years in office failed Tuesday in a committee of the House of Representatives. Members of the Voters and Elections Committee voted 6-5 to block the proposal by Rep. Dennis Kintigh, R-Roswell. Every Republican voted to keep the Kintigh's resolution alive, and every Democrat voted to block it. But the issue was not so simple as that. Rep. Thomas Anderson, R-Albuquerque, actually agreed with the Democrats. He said he opposed term limits because that system would give more power to lobbyists and legislative staff members. Anderson told of one of his bills being changed, without his knowledge, by a legislative staff member. The bill failed, but Anderson said he was upset that an employee meddled with a proposed law. That experience, he said, taught him that unelected people could seize power if term limits were enacted. Even so, Anderson voted with the unsuccessful minority in trying to keep Kintigh's proposal alive. Anderson said term limits deserved more discussion than a hearing in a single committee. Read more