N.M. Senator Mark Boitano Announces Retirement

N.M. Sen. Mark Boitano
From nmpolitics. - Sen. Mark Boitano, a champion of the movement to webcast legislative proceedings, announced tonight that he won’t seek re-election, making him the fifth senator thus far to announce that he’s retiring this year. “I have always believed in term limits, and after four terms in the Senate, it is time to move on and allow others to continue the fight in the Senate to improve New Mexico,” the Albuquerque Republican said in a news release. “I have a real estate business to run, a wife and children I love and want to spend more time with, and I will begin looking for new opportunities to serve my community and state.”  More News New Mexico

N.M.-Texas Border Drug Smugglers Getting Younger

From star-telegram.com -Border drug smuggling operations have turned to small packs of young, aggressive men who are increasing using the remote Texas-New Mexico desert, federal agents say.
Agents said some of the illegal immigrants carry 50 pounds of drugs for several days, travel in groups of two to five, and evade capture by heading quickly to mountain canyons along the Texas-New Mexico border. The area includes a cavernous maze where the stone ground makes it harder to follow tracks and rocky terrain blocks smugglers from view.  More News New Mexico

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/27/3765709/feds-nm-texas-border-smuggle-packs.html#storylink=cpy


Hall Draws New District Boundaries

Judge James Hall
Nola  — The longest-serving member of the New Mexico House will be paired with a fellow Democratic incumbent in a newly consolidated north-central New Mexico district under a redistricting plan ordered Monday by a state district court.
The latest map ordered by retired State District Judge James Hall meets a deadline set by the state Supreme Court for revamping a redistricting plan he developed last month but that was overturned by the justices.
Redistricting is necessary to adjust the boundaries of political districts for population changes during the past decade. The goal is equalize district populations as much as possible to meet the legal doctrine of one-person, one vote. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Andy Nunez: Roundhouse Cowboy

Santa Fe Reporter - On Jan. 17, the opening day of New Mexico’s 2012 legislative session, longtime state House of Representatives Speaker Ben Luján, D-Santa Fe, stood before a hushed chamber. Luján, a diminutive man in his 70s who for years had controlled much of what happened at the capitol, had just announced that he had lung cancer and planned to retire from politics. The 2012 session would be his last. It was the end of an era.
Andy Nunez
While many House members wept openly during Luján’s emotional speech, one politician sat quietly in his assigned seat in the back row of the chamber. A year ago, Andy Nuñez, an outspoken, drawling rancher from southern New Mexico who wears a large cowboy hat and can often be seen with a childlike smirk on his face, was the most vocal backer of a southern coalition united to replace Luján as speaker.
Now, Luján’s poor health overshadowed any intraparty turmoil in the Roundhouse. But it couldn’t halt a political shift already underway across the state. Luján’s coming retirement marks the declining dominance of northern Democrats in state politics; conservatives from agricultural, oil-and-gas-dominated southern New Mexico are positioning themselves for greater influence. As a former Democrat turned independent and the champion of an effort to repeal the state law allowing foreign nationals to obtain driver’s licenses, Nuñez has become the unlikely poster child for a rising right. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Wilson’s poll has her leading Sowards by 71 points

Heather Wilson
NMPoliticsThe first poll of the GOP U.S. Senate primary to be released since John Sanchez dropped out of the race has Heather Wilson leading Greg Sowards by 71 points. The survey, an internal poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Wilson campaign, has her leading Sowards 81 percent to 10 percent. The survey of 500 likely Republican primary voters was conducted Feb. 13-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percentage points. Read More News New Mexico



Fossil fuel’s triple “A” rating

Marita Noon
“I'm trying to write a paper on why fossil fuels are good. I was wondering if you could help me out with some information? I couldn't find much information on the Internet because most people seem to think that fossil fuels are evil.” The aforementioned is from an e-mail a young man named Cooper sent me the day before his paper was due. His father had heard me on the radio and suggested that Cooper contact me. I spent 45 minutes talking with him. Everything I said was a fresh new idea to Cooper. Obviously he was not being taught the complete picture. If Cooper had questions, others probably do, too. Here are the three things I told him that, like Cooper, you may not know, may have forgotten, or just haven’t thought about in a while.
With rising gas prices bringing energy into the debate, and President Obama setting his energy priorities out in his budget, it is important to be aware of some energy realities. Otherwise you may think fossil fuels are “evil,” when, in fact, they provide us with the freedom to come and go, to be and do.
With gas prices in the news, reporters are interviewing people in gas stations and getting their thoughts on the situation. One had a man proclaiming that oil is a precious resource. He stated that we needed the price to go up so people used less of it. I agree that oil is precious—as in valuable and important, but not as in scarce or rare.
Decades ago, it was thought that we were about to run out of oil. True, production in America did decline. But new privately developed technologies have both found more oil and natural gas and allowed us to use it more efficiently. Read rest of the column here: News New Mexico


Gutierrez seeks DNC post, not running for re-election

Joni Guitterez
NMPolitics - The Democrat from Mesilla joins a growing list of lawmakers who are retiring from public office this year or running for other positions instead of seeking re-election. N.M. Democratic National Committeewoman Mary Gail Gwaltney announced Friday evening that she’s stepping down from that post; State Rep. Joni Gutierrez said she will seek to replace Gwaltney rather than running for re-election this year.Both women made their announcements at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Las Cruces. Neither could immediately be reached for comment, but NMPolitics.net confirmed their announcements with multiple sources who were present. Many considered both announcements to be surprises. Gutierrez, D-Mesilla, will finish her current term as the representative for House District 33 but will leave the position at the end of the year. She has held the seat since 2005. Read More News New Mexico


Permit Requirement Bothers Occupiers

KOB TV - Police cuffed and hauled away some UnOccupy protesters Sunday at UNM’s Yale Park – and weren't happy about it. The demonstration had been advertised all week - but when protesters showed up Sunday, police stepped in.
Our Eddie Garcia was at Yale Park as the demonstration and arrests unfolded. UNM officials told him that none of this would have happened if the group would have gotten a permit. Four people were arrested for trespassing as UNM police moved in to Yale Park to kick everyone out. The University actually shut down the park to force demonstrators onto the sidewalk. “I don't think anyone has ever heard of a beautiful Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock closing down a public park. That's when it should be most open and most available to the public,” said protester Jeffrey Haas. Read full story here: News New Mexico