Governor pushes for job creation

From - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Governor Susana Martinez has a one word priority for this year's sixty day legislative session that starts in less than two weeks: jobs. Martinez laid out her proposals for economic development for business leaders at a luncheon with the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce today. The big question is: How much can she get the legislature to pass?
The equation is pretty simple. Republican Governor, Democratic-controlled legislature. Gridlock? Both sides say no way, that's for Washington DC, not Santa Fe. The governor's plan is a mix of tax breaks and incentives aimed at attracting companies to move to New Mexico and hire people. The package includes money to help companies train workers, money to help local governments invest in infrastructure and land to close deals with employers, and small business tax credits for hiring and retaining new employees.
The Martinez plan also includes a reduction in New Mexico's corporate income tax from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent. Right now it's the highest among our neighboring states. In fact, Texas has no corporate income tax at all. "I want those companies that are leaving California, I want them to stop right here in New Mexico," Martinez said. "I don't want them going over to Texas. I want to keep making those phone calls to the governor of Texas and letting him know that they're stopping here because we're competitive. We're in competition with Texas and Arizona." Democratic legislative leaders told KOB Eyewitness News 4 they don't have much trouble with most of the Governor's proposals, but the corporate income tax cut could be in jeopardy, unless she can show how the state would make up for any loss of revenues. They say they'll be unveiling their own economic development agenda near the start of the session. Best bet? Some kind of compromise. Both sides like jobs. Nobody wants gridlock on these issues. Read more


Local shop offering to buy guns

From - By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - An Albuquerque gun store is offering anyone wanting to get rid of their guns to bring them to sell instead of bringing them to the City's gun disposal program.
The City of Albuquerque's program starts Saturday, January 5. It is completely voluntary and anonymous, but they are not buying the guns.
The owner of ABQ Guns, Belinda Gallegos, said she wants to give people the opportunity to recover some of their money and it would boost her inventory.
"We are willing to try and put them on consignment for customers that want to try to sell them, or if it's something that we can afford to outright purchase from them, we can do that," Gallegos said.
Gallegos is also offering to dispose of any unwanted guns or ammo at their Paseo del Norte and Golf Course store, no questions asked.
The City's program runs every Saturday in January from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the APD Crime Lab at 2nd Street and Montano. Albuquerque Police said they have already received six handguns, two semi-automatic rifles, and a lot of ammunition before the program even started Read more

Advocates want to expand DWI ignition interlocks

Advocates of ignition interlock devices to combat drunken driving want to expand the requirement so that convicted offenders have to install devices in their home to detect whether they're using alcohol.

 Richard Roth of the Santa Fe-based advocacy group Impact DWI says the proposed requirement would apply to offenders who claim they don't have a vehicle and are not driving. 
The expanded interlock requirement would be the centerpiece of the group's legislative agenda for the 2013 legislative session that begins Jan. 15. 
New Mexico is among states that require an ignition interlock after a driver's first offense, but Roth says half of offenders are not installing them.


Smith arrested again for stalking

Gary Smith
Former congressional candidate Gary Smith was arrested again Wednesday afternoon this time on felony stalking charges. 

The arrest comes days after Smith was arrested for allegedly slashing the tires belonging to his former political rival, Janice Arnold-Jones. Smith was an announced candidate for the Republican nomination to the U.S. House.  He lost to Arnold-Jones, a former state legislator, in the June primary, and she was defeated by Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in the November election. 
When Smith was released on bond Saturday, the judge told him to stay away from Arnold-Jones' home. But he showed up again. Smith doesn't deny he was there.  Garcia says the APD’s crisis-intervention team will likely be doing a mental health evaluation on Smith. 
In a strange twist, a police officer also visited Smith's house earlier in the day -- after he'd called them -- claiming he'd been ripped off while selling electronic equipment on Craigslist.   


GOP reps bail on voter ID bill

NewsNM Swickard: So how about a fingerprint scanner for everyone who does not have a photo ID? They just need to bring their fingers and that will assure we know who voted? I suspect that idea is dead on arrival, eh? The political leaders in New Mexico  intentionally are creating a system that fosters fraud. Why? Because it favors their political party. From the Alamogordo Daily News - By Milan Simonich, Texas-New Mexico, Newspapers - SANTA FE -- Two New Mexico legislators are dropping their attempts to require photo identification or a Social Security number to vote.
Republican Reps. Dianne Hamilton and Cathrynn Brown said it would be futile to introduce any voter identification bills because Democrats have strengthened their hold on the state House of Representatives.
"We don't have the votes to pass anything," said Brown, a second-term lawmaker from Carlsbad. She introduced bills in each of the last two years that would have required government-issued photo identification to vote. Both failed.
Hamilton, of Silver City, sponsored voter identification bills for four consecutive years, only to see each one killed by Democrats. Last year Democrats controlled the House 36-33-1. Now, after the fall election, their advantage has increased to 38-32 -- too large a difference to bother with another bill this year, Hamilton said.
"It's never passed before. It wouldn't pass this time," she said in an interview. Perhaps no issue is more partisan in New Mexico than this one.
Republicans lined up behind the Brown and Hamilton bills, saying photo ID is necessary to cash a check so it should be required to make sure elections are honest. In turn, Democrats closed ranks to block the bills. They said identification requirements would rob otherwise qualified electors of their right to vote. Read more