Andy Nunez thinks about switching parties

From Capitol Report New Mexico - Rep. Andy Nuñez (D-Hatch) fresh from failing in a bid to oust Speaker of the House Ben Luján and then losing his chairmanship of a key committee says he’s considering switching from the Democratic to the Republican Party. “I’m really debating it,” Nuñez said while talking on his cellphone on his way back to his home in Hatch Thursday afternoon. “I’m going to let the dust settle a little for a week or so. Whatever I decide [Lujan]‘s not going to have much of my support on the floor for anything.” Should Nuñez decide to jump to the GOP, the Democrats’ advantage in the House of Representatives would slip from its current 37-33 margin to just 36-34. Would the Republicans welcome Nuñez? “Oh absolutely,” Rep. Don Bratton (R-Hobbs) said before leaving his office Thursday. “We’ve worked with Andy over the years and he’s always worked well with us … He comes from a district [District 36 in Doña Ana County] where he could make that switch … Hopefully, he could convince one more of his colleagues to come over and we could be tied.” Nuñez often spoke about how much he enjoyed chairing the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee but after leading the failed effort to replace Luján with Rep. Joe Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) and then voting “present” instead of joining the rest of the Democratic bloc in re-electing Luján, many wondered if Andy’s days as chairman were numbered. Read more

This Day in New Mexico History - January 21

This day in New Mexico History: January 21, 1890, This was the very first day of classes for the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts in Las Cruces. In 1960 the name changed to NMSU. First president was Hiram Hadley. There is a strange part to this story.

March 10, 1890 the college held its formal opening ceremonies. Graduation in May 1900 saw four students and the ten year celebration. The 25th celebration was May 1915 honoring Hiram Hadley. May 1930 saw the 40th anniversary celebration. Then the 50th celebration was held in 1939. The celebration was a year early because the University of New Mexico, which actually held its first classes in June 1892 decided to amend their history to claim starting when the legislative authorization was passed by the Rodey Bill of 1889 which authorized what is now UNM, NMSU, The school of Mines in Socorro, and some other institutions. So for both UNM and NMSU the start became 1889.
Then in 1962, according to legend, UNM with new coach Bob King beat NMSU in basketball and the UNM players “waggled” their fingers at NMSU fans which caused then president Roger Corbett to order the NMSU history department to, “Get us a year ahead of UNM.” So NMSU quietly started claiming 1888. This came to light in 1988 when I (Michael Swickard) was writing a history of the NMSU Centennial celebration. I pointed it out to then NMSU president Jim Halligan who asked me, “The Centennial Celebration phone is 646-1988, the PO Box is 1988, what does that tell you?” I replied, “That we are Aggies.” I stick by that statement.
Finding no one willing to correct the history I wrote then that if NMSU goes back two years every century, by the year 8,588, NMSU will say they started in 1776.


Joseph Cervantes to Appear on NewsNM

Joseph Cervantes
Joseph Cervantes holds an unofficial record. No news making person in the entire State of New Mexico, has been spoken of more often on the NewsNM radio show, or written about more often on the website, without a single appearance on the radio program than Cervantes. Just a week ago Joseph Cervantes appeared to have a solid chance of displacing controversial Speaker of the House, Ben Lujan. Friday morning Representative Cervantes will join the hosts in the News New Mexico studio to share his own observations on the events of the last ten days in New Mexico politics. He will appear at 7:30am.


Influence of Tea Parties in Santa Fe

Jim Harbison
I had the opportunity to participate in the Tea Parties rally prior to the opening session of the New Mexico legislature on Tuesday. It was well organized and well attended. Represented were the nine largest Tea Parties in the State including Las Cruces, East Mountain, Santa Fe (yes even Santa Fe has a Tea Party), Albuquerque, Otero County, Silver City, Lincoln County, Hobbs, and Deming. There were also some smaller grass roots Tea Parties from other areas in the State. As the discontent grows with the disregard for the will of the people, the rise of Tea Party supporters and influence will continue to grow.
Apparently, Democrats still believe in the Nancy Pelosi theory that Tea Parties are only Astroturf and are insignificant. After the 2010 elections it is difficult for me to believe that there are still politicians on both sides of the aisle who discount the impact of the perceived scattered, unorganized, disconnected, and locally independent Tea Parties. They still fail to see the nature and passion of the Tea Party movement – people who are joined together by their passion for a limited and fiscally responsible government. Joseph Cervantes was no friend of the Tea Party and he consistently opposed many of their core principles or conservative positions. Read full column here:

Luján strips Nuñez of committee chairmanship

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - House Speaker Ben Luján has stripped Rep. Andy Nuñez of his committee assignments, including removing him from the position of chairman of the Agriculture and Water Resources Committee. Nuñez, D-Hatch, confirmed that Luján informed him of the changes earlier today. He said the speaker gave him no reason for the changes, but Nuñez views it as retaliation. Nuñez was the most vocal Democrat who backed the unsuccessful, bipartisan effort to replace Luján with Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces. “What other reason would he have to do it?” Nuñez asked. Luján could not immediately be reached for comment. Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Jemez Pueblo, will replace Nuñez as chair of the agriculture committee. Read more

BLM Sale in NM Nets 5 Million

From - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's quarterly oil and gas lease sale has netted more than $18.6 million. The BLM says 31 federal leases were sold Wednesday in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma during a Santa Fe auction. The total includes bonus bids, administrative fees and first-year rentals. The agency says bids for 14 parcels in New Mexico brought in more than $5 million, bids for 12 parcels in Texas brought in more than $11.2 million and bids for five parcels in Oklahoma netted more than $2.2 million. Leases are awarded for 10 years, then for as long afterward as there is paying production. Fifty-two percent of the revenue from lease sales goes to the federal government, while 48 percent goes to the state where the mineral lease occurs.

NM Legislature to Cost $139,000 a Day

From -New Mexico taxpayers are shelling out nearly $139,600 a day for the Legislature's 60-day session. A bill providing about $8.4 million for legislative session expenses unanimously passed the House on Wednesday and was sent to the Senate. The measure also allocates about $16 million for the Legislature's year-round operations in the next budget year and one-time costs such as demographic and legal consultants on redistricting. The Legislature expects to meet in a special session in the fall to draw new boundaries for legislative, congressional and other districts using new population figures from the 2010 census. The budget for the legislative session is up less than 1 percent from what was appropriated two years ago for the last 60-day session, but it's almost 21 percent more than actual session expenditures in 2009.   More here

Lujan and Heinrich Stick with Pelosi on Obamacare

Martin Heinrich
NewsNM note -Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan now part of a shrunken Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives joined Nancy Pelosi in voting against the repeal of Obamacare yesterday in Washington. GOP Congressman Steve Pearce voted with the majority to repeal. It was a much larger majority that the one that passed Obamacare last year.

Ben Ray Lujan
Washington Times - House Republicans on Wednesday scored their first victory in their long-shot bid to scrap President Obama's health care overhaul, delivering a repeal bill to the Senate and a stiff rebuke of White House policy that will help shape the political landscape over the weeks, months and years to come. In one of its first acts since winning the House, the new Republican majority passed the repeal bill on a mostly party-line vote, fulfilling a campaign promise many of them made to voters last year, but now the effort moves on to the more substantive task of writing an alternative to the law Mr. Obama signed in March. "Repeal means paving the way for better solutions that will lower the costs without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government," House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said.
Steve Pearce
"Let's work together to put into place reforms that lower the costs without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government. Let's challenge ourselves to do better." The vote was 245 to 189, with three Democrats joining all Republicans. The Democrats who voted for repeal were Reps. Mike Ross of Arkansas, Dan Boren of Oklahoma and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina. Read full story here: