Gary Johnson Helps Narrow Obama’s Lead in NM

Gary Johnson
National ReviewFormer New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the 2012 election — he can’t get any respect. Either as a Republican or as the Libertarian party nominee for president he has now become. First, the mountain climber and triathlete was muscled out of the gold medal he thought he had a lock on. Ron Paul’s decision to run in the GOP primaries at age 77 guaranteed the Texas congressman would be the top-dog libertarian in the race. Johnson participated in two cable-news debates, but was mostly excluded from them because of low polling numbers. That created a Catch 22 for his candidacy. Without TV exposure he couldn’t raise money for ads to tell people about his fairly successful two terms as New Mexico’s chief executive. Without money, he couldn’t possibly compete with Ron Paul’s direct mail and Internet machine. Things haven’t been much better for him as the Libertarian nominee. He shows up as a trace element in national polls, with most supporters of Ron Paul deciding to go with Mitt Romney in order to eject President Obama from the White House. Even in New Mexico, the latest Public Policy Polling survey finds him at 13 percent of the vote, down from 25 percent earlier this year. As Johnson’s vote shrinks, it turns out it appears to have drawn from a more Democratic-leaning voter base that may be attracted to his stands against the PATRIOT Act and for legalizing drugs. He gets 24 percent of the independent vote in the Silver State, with much of it coming from Democratic-leaning independents. His strong showing with that group has helped narrow Obama’s lead in the state to only five points, way down from his previous lead of 15 points. Read More News New Mexico


Add Another Federally Subsidized Solar Bankruptcy to the Enormous List

Las Vegas Review-Journal - The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility about a year after it opened.
Officials at Amonix headquarters in Seal Beach, Calif., have not responded to repeated calls for comment this week, but the company began selling equipment, from automated tooling systems to robotic welding cells, in an online auction Wednesday.
Harry Reid with Amonix officials
A designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits for the North Las Vegas plant and a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2007 for research and development. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Sunland Park City Council Votes to Double Property Tax

KOB - Lawmakers in a troubled New Mexico border city have doubled the property tax and are looking into layoffs, and closing a senior citizens center and library. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Sunland Park is facing a nearly $2 million budget deficit.
Some City Council members have attributed it to past financial mismanagement that led the state to take over Sunland Park's financial operations. Councilors voted Wednesday to increase the property taxes from 3.775 per $1,000 valuation to 7.65. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Race Baiting Industry Alive and Well in NM

KOB - Civil rights groups and an immigrant advocacy organization have released a report that faults most law enforcement agencies in New Mexico on racial profiling.
The report unveiled Thursday says less than a quarter of agencies surveyed are in compliance with a 2009 state law banning bias policing. The report also says around 20 percent of agencies have no written policies against bias policing and about 24 percent refused to provide their policies, a violation of state law. Read full story here: News New Mexico

More Dollars Thrown at Another "Study"

Blue skies above San Juan River near Four Corners
KOB - The federal government says it will study the environmental impacts of a northwestern New Mexico power plant and the coal mine that feeds it.
Environmental groups had pushed the U.S. Department of Interior to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that the study announced this week is expected to take years to complete. Read full story here: New New Mexico

How the Denunciatory Ethic Replaces American Exceptionalism Part III

Jeremiah Wright
The noble motive of seeking the “greater good” seems to be at the heart of the denouncer’s philosophical approach. However, in the world view of Americans who embrace the "Denunciatory Ethic," (Reverend Jeremiah Wright) economic solutions to America’s problems cannot simply be confined to championing the causes of those who truly require a social safety net. Instead, the denouncer begins the viewpoint with openly advocating a divide of the country into two groups of citizens….. “haves and have-nots.” Included in the have-nots is everyone but the top 1% of income earners in the U.S.
John Wooden
    Denouncers routinely ignore the teaching of John Wooden who once asked, “Why is it so hard to realize that winners are usually the ones who work harder, work longer, and as a result, perform better?”
    Denouncers demand equal “results” not just equal opportunities. Their world view of haves and have-nots extends to nations. In the end, the earnings of a nation’s achievers or even nations themselves, are coveted and targeted for redistribution by denouncer’s.
    Denouncer’s only see America as “just” when the rate of government confiscation of private income is increased. And those that oppose the increased seizing of individual earnings and assets are universally denounced as “selfish” or racist now that President Obama is in the White House.
    Simplistic rationalizations of the denouncer’s approach are offered. Here again denouncers ignore the teachings of John Wooden, who once said, “Why can’t we realize that it only weakens those we want to help when we do things for them that they should do for themselves?” History is littered with the unintended consequences of the denouncer’s redistribution schemes. Denouncers adopt individuals that make poor life decisions and nations that make poor choices. Cast as “victims of society or victims of international bullies” Denouncers routinely blame America and America’s achievers for the troubles of all have-nots. There is considerable passion involved in their denigration of the more industrious members of society. Frequently denouncers categorize achievers efforts and accomplishments as undeserved ill-gotten gains. Their view is the greater good is best served when America’s achievers are typecast as successful because they are “greedy.”
Contrary to those that embrace the Denunciatory Ethic, most Americans continue to hold the basic belief that despite all its obvious flaws, America is a generous and worthy global citizen. Most Americans still want to live in a place where hard work and effort are fundamental virtues that pay off. It is the embracer of the Denunciation Ethic that views self-reliance as an inoperative cliché that should be traded for the European Union style of entitlement-driven public policy. Hence the denouncer is comfortable piling on while in the company of those who openly criticize America.


Do You Think All Politicians Release Their Tax Returns? Not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid

Nancy Pelosi has refused to release her tax records
Newsmax - Democrats shouting the loudest about Mitt Romney’s reluctance to release his tax returns do not apply the same standards to themselves, according to a McClatchy News Service report. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the two Democratic leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, are among hundreds of elected officials from both parties who refused to release their tax records, McClatchy reported. Pelosi said Romney was unfit to serve as President or even in the Cabinet because of his refusal so far to release all of his returns and Reid said Romney wasn’t even fit to be dogcatcher. But just 17 out of the 535 members of Congress released their most recent tax forms or provided some similar documentation of their tax liabilities in response to requests from McClatchy over the last three months, the news service reported, indicating a double standard. Another 19 members flat out refused and the rest didn’t even bother to respond to McClatchy’s request. Pelosi aides flat out said no, saying she’s disclosed all that Congress requires. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Does Obama's Economy Put New Mexico in Play?

New Mexico Watchdog - The national polling organization Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a survey Wednesday (July 18) showing that Obama’s lead on Mitt Romney has gone down from 14 and 15 points in earlier surveys in the state by PPP to 5. PPP, which is associated with the Democratic Party, reports that Obama leads Romney 49-44 in the poll of 724 voters who took part in a phone survey between July 13-16. Obama’s net approval has dropped 9 points since PPP’s last poll in April while Romney’s has improved 13 points, although his unfavorable rating in New Mexico is at -9 (with 41 percent seeing him favorably while 50 percent see him unfavorably).
And in an interesting wrinkle in the new poll, PPP asked if Romney selected New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez as his vice-presidential pick how that would affect the race in the state and Obama’s numbers drop all the way down to 48-47, well within the margin of error. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Carney: Fundraising Events Crowding Out Obama Schedule, No Time for Job Council Meetings

Obama and John Corzine
A number of news outlets have reported that President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election and fresh news of rising jobless claims are plaguing the economy. When asked why there had been no meetings, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "There’s no specific reason, except the president has obviously got a lot on his plate."
Presumably Carney meant large dollar per "plate" fundraising events which have dominated the vast majority of the president's schedule for many months. The president is pictured at left with John Corzine former Goldman Sachs CEO and more recently the CEO of bankrupt MF Global. They were at a $5,000 per plate fundraiser.

Jobless Claims Rise Again

CNBC - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rebounded last week, pushing them back to levels consistent with modest job growth after a seasonal quirk caused a sharp drop the prior period.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised up to 352,000 from the previously reported 350,000.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 365,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 1,500 to 375,500. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Outside Law Firm Won't Investigate How Audit of NMFA Was Faked

KOB - New Mexico's top security regulator says potential fraud within a state financing authority extends beyond a faked financial audit that has national credit rating agencies considering whether to downgrade the agency's bond ratings.
The disclosure by Securities Division Director Daniel Tanaka came Wednesday as the New Mexico Finance Authority's governing board scrapped a plan for an outside law firm to investigate how the audit was faked. The board instead wants a similar legal and accounting probe to be handled through the state auditor's office to ensure the independence of the review. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Martinez: Child Support Division Most Improved in the Nation, Achieves Record Collections

Susana Martinez
Governor Susana Martinez announced today that the New Mexico Human Services Department’s Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) has, for the second consecutive fiscal year, set a record for the amount of collections in support of New Mexico’s children. For State Fiscal Year 2012, the division collected a record $129.6million, five percent higher than last year’s record of $123.5 million. This also marks the fifth straight fiscal year in which the division has collected higher levels of child support payments. The record collections set for the most recent fiscal year were also 16.75 percent higher than the goal set by the Legislative Finance Committee of $111 million.
In a press release the governor's office said, "This achievement comes on the heels of another outstanding accomplishment announced earlier in July in which the NMCSED was named the Most Improved Program in the country by the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA). The award is in recognition of a child support program that has shown exceptional improvement in key child support enforcement performance areas over the past three years. In the past year alone, CSED has improved its national ranking from 45th in the nation to 40th in the nation, a major improvement in the course of only one year."
Sidonie Squier
Last year, Governor Martinez and HSD successfully implemented a statewide Child Support Bench Warrant Roundup project. The effort resulted in a dramatic increase in child support collections from individuals having bench warrants issued due to their failure to comply with their child support obligations. For the period September 2011 through June 2012,collections from individuals having outstanding arrest warrants doubled to over $70,000 per month, resulting in an increase of $350,000 in support collections from the prior year.
“We are very proud of CSED and its accomplishments to date,” commented Sidonie Squier, Secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department. “I offer my congratulations to our child support team members as we continue to improve the child support program in New Mexico and ensure that the children of New Mexico receive the support that is due to them.”



Duran Wants Data to Protect Legal Votes

Dianna Duran
KRQE - Secretary of State Dianna Duran's office says it plans to seek access to a federal immigration database for use in checking whether noncitizens have improperly registered to vote in New Mexico.
Duran's chief of staff Ken Ortiz said Tuesday the office will ask the Department of Homeland Security for access to the database, which has information on immigrants who are legally living in the country. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Teacher Union Activists Protested No Child Left Behind, Now the New Evaluation System in Their Sights

KOB - A public hearing about teacher evaluations drew a lot of attention at the state capitol on Wednesday. Hundreds of teachers, community leaders and parents protested outside the hearing, saying they do not agree with the proposed changes in a new system to evaluate teachers.
The changes are, however, required with New Mexico's "No Child Left Behind" waiver.
Kathy Sandoval, principal of Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science, said her school has implemented the changes. The outcome has been positive.
I've had not one teacher leave the school because of evaluation," Sandoval said. "I've had nobody leave for money - I've had nobody quit or be fired. I've been able to reward highly effective teachers."
The New Mexico Public Education Department explains that with New Mexico ranking so poorly on a national level, New Mexican's deserve to know who the greatest teachers are in the state.
Some teachers, including Ellen Bernstein with the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, feel like it just puts too much emphasis on the state tests.
"It's going to create a bunch of test prep dummies instead of rich thinking, problem solving students," Bernstein explained.
The PED said it will consider public comments before implementing a new evaluation system. There is no time frame as to how long that will take. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Rio Rancho Man "Bites Dog"

KOAT - Police said a man bit a dog in Rio Rancho, leading to a bizarre series of events. Three roommates in their 20's were hanging out last week when one of them went after another's dog, according to Rio Rancho police. "An individual went to the lengths of biting an animal for whatever reason," said Sgt. Nic Onken.
Onken said the dog biting prompted a brawl between the three men, with two of them beating the accused dog biter so badly he was left knocked out and bloodied at the end of a driveway.
Neighbors were stunned to watch it all unfold.
"It's pretty backward, man biting dog," said a neighbor named Ashley.
"Officers on scene don't believe it amounted to animal cruelty. It was just a bizarre beginning to a very bizarre case," Onken said. Read full story here: News New Mexico