Bill Would Stop Racial Profiling, Senator Says

From - A state senator from EspaƱola said he wants to make sure law enforcement officers are not racially profiling Hispanics. He is introducing a proposal that would prevent police from arresting someone solely for being an illegal immigrant. "It's a bill that protects people's civil rights. I wouldn't want to be charged and stopped and detained because I look Hispanic," Sen. Richard Martinez, D- EspaƱola, said. Martinez said New Mexico needs a law to make sure that police don't racially profile anyone. Senator Martinez said a similar bill passed both houses a few years ago but was never signed by former Gov. Bill Richardson. With a new administration in Santa Fe, Martinez said he wants to send a message to Gov. Susana Martinez. "Then (Richardson) issued an executive order on it. We decided we are going to run it again since (Martinez) is getting rid of the executive order," Martinez said. A spokesman for Gov. Martinez said she has not had a chance to look at the bill, but the governor opposes sanctuary laws for criminals: "The governor believes that any person who is arrested for a crime, regardless of race, should have their immigration status checked and those here illegally should be reported to ICE." Sen. Martinez said he thinks he has the votes to pass the bill. "If the individual is breaking the law, then you stop to investigate. If they are breaking the law, you stop him and cite him. But this is just so they won’t use it as probable cause because of the color of their skin." Read more

How to adjust your car mirrors

ADJUSTING CAR MIRRORS - ater so many years of driving, I NEVER thought of doing it this way. I always thought I needed to see just a little of my own car on each side, but I'll readjust the mirror on my car today.

Watch this -video here - and I'll bet you'll do the same.

Canadian Firm Agreed to Buy New Mexico American Water

From -About 106,000 water customers in Arizona essentially will make monthly payments to the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, if a $470 million deal announced Monday is approved by regulators. Edmonton-based Epcor Water Services Inc. agreed to buy Arizona American Water and New Mexico American Water. The Arizona company has about 106,000 water meters and 51,000 wastewater customers, representing about 350,000 people, mostly in the Phoenix area. Epcor is a subsidiary of Epcor Utilities Inc., a unique utility that is entirely owned by the city of Edmonton, although it is run independent of the city. More here

Nine Texas Democrats Switch to the GOP

From -The not at all slow death of the Texas Democratic Party continues. I’ve just gotten word via press release that nine local Democrats up in northeast Texas just switched parties to become Republicans. From the release: In what is believed to be one of the largest number of officeholders to change party affiliation in Texas, Lamar County GOP Chairman John Kruntorad and State Representative Erwin Cain announced today that 9 local elected Democrats have joined the Republican Party. This announcement follows unprecedented election gains by the GOP in 2008 and 2010 as Northeast Texans increasingly identify with the conservative platform of the Republican Party. More here

This day in New Mexico History - January 26

On this day in New Mexico History - In 1880, there was a gunfight in Las Vegas, New Mexico which featured a Deputy Town Marshall by the name of "Mysterious" Dave Mather. The details of the gunfight are less important than this "shootist" is part of the lore of New Mexico. The short of it was that some bad guys were asked by the City Marshall to check their guns but instead they pulled them and in the gunfight the Marshall was killed and Mather was able to drop one and wound the other two. They were later found and while on the way to be "strung up" the widow of the Marshall intruded and shot them both dead. No charges were filed. Mather was appointed as the Las Vegas Marshal. However, Mather soon moved on again after being accused of "promiscuous shooting” in his capacity as marshal. Next he was known to have served for a short time as Assistant Marshal in El Paso, Texas. However, after an altercation in a brothel in which Mather was slightly wounded, he returned to Dodge City where he was hired as Assistant City Marshal. Later, Mysterious Dave moved on San Francisco, where he took a ship to Vancouver. There is some dispute as to what happened to him and he just sort of faded off the pages of history. Why was he called, Mysterious? He was not talkative and did not disclose anything of his past. Some old west shootists talked a lot, Mather talked rarely, if that.

Sowell: Old Heroes vs. New Heroes, John D. Rockefeller

Thomas Sowell
Townhall - When I mention that my family used kerosene lamps when I was a small child in the South during the 1930s, that is usually taken as a sign of our poverty, though I never thought of us as poor at the time. What is ironic is that kerosene lamps were a luxury of the rich in the 19th century, before John D. Rockefeller came along. At the high price of kerosene at that time, an ordinary working man could not afford to stay up at night, burning this expensive fuel for hours at a time. 
John D. Rockefeller
Rockefeller did not begin his life as rich, by any means. He made a fortune by revolutionizing the petroleum industry. Although we still measure petroleum in barrels, it is actually shipped in railroad tank cars, in ocean-going tankers and in tanker trucks. That is a legacy of John D. Rockefeller, who saw that shipping oil in barrels was not as economical as shipping whole railroad tank cars full of oil, eliminating all the labor that had to go into shipping the same amount of oil in numerous individual barrels. Read full column here:

Williams: Are You a Victim of State Pensions?

Armstrong Williams
Townhall - When I go over my personal budget, I have to make sacrifices. Perhaps I don’t eat out as often, or I turn my thermostat down, or even limit my purchasing of non-necessity items. We all do this because we know we can’t live in the red for long with out collection agencies and banks taking our possessions away. Yet, for federal and state governments, over spending and not balancing their checkbooks is a way of life. We all know about the federal deficit, but one thing that has gone unnoticed that could sink the federal budget more than the banking meltdown of late ’08 is the state budget deficits stemming from overreaching state employee pension and benefits programs. Nationwide, it’s estimated that state and local governments are short on paying future claims to the tune of $1-3 trillion! If current trends continue (which, of course they won’t) and if we assume an 8% return on investment rate for the pension funds (which we can’t) states will begin running out of money by 2018, with Illinois being the first, and 20 by 2025. Of course, government being what it is, we can expect states to spend too much in boom cycles, and well, spend too much in bust cycles too, so 2018 might actually be 2013 unless politicians radically change there ways. Read full column here:

Errol Chavez Dies

From krwg LAS CRUCES (krwg) - Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle asked the New Mexico State Senate for a moment of silence this morning in respect of former Republican Auditor candidate Errol Chavez who passed away last night with his family at his side. According to the Santa Fe Federated Republican Women (SFFRW), Chavez was diagnosed with mostly inoperable brain cancer in October while he was on the campaign trail in the State Auditor race. Back in January of 2010 when GOP Chairman Harvey Yates, Jr. announced his recruitment of Errol Chavez to run for New Mexico State Auditor he said, "While Errol's talents and commitment to New Mexico would be well utilized in many areas of public service, I believe that his extensive investigative and administrative experience uniquely qualify him to serve as the state's next auditor." During his thirty-one-year tenure at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Chavez conducted money laundering investigations; directed the administration's policy implementation in Europe, Latin America and the United States; and supervised several hundred agents in various assignments. More here


Mountain West Will Not Expand At This Time

The Mountain West Board of Directors released this statement this afternoon: "Over the past two days, the Board of Directors has engaged in a very thorough discussion of several key topics pertinent to the future of the Mountain West Conference. This has included, but not been limited to, issues related to television, the Bowl Championship Series and membership. The Board feels strongly the membership configuration already established going forward creates outstanding prospects for future success. In addition, we are continuing with our strategic initiatives related to our television partnerships and the MWC's efforts to effect change in the BCS structure. The Board is excited about what is undoubtedly a bright future for the Conference."


Harbison: Education in New Mexico

Jim Harbison
At a recent constituent meeting in Las Cruces State Senator Steve Fischmann stated that the Federal and State funds all the K-12 education at a level of $350,000 per classroom per year. This is a staggering number and would cause any clear thinking individual to wonder why, with that level of funding, we are ranked 49th in education. As someone said at the meeting “Thank God for Mississippi” because without them New Mexico would be last in this embarrassing and shameful ranking.
In order to understand the magnitude of this problem the public needs to know what constitutes a “classroom” and what are all the inherent costs associated with and included in the $350,000 per classroom figure. We know that teacher salaries are not at a level consistent with a $350,000 per class budget. Many of our classrooms are short on textbooks, classroom materials and equipment. So where is all this funding going? Government mandates absorb many of the education dollars to provide a multitude of educational, special needs, bi-lingual and social services. Read rest of column here:


Russell: On Liberty, Civility, and the Lessons of History

Brigette Russell
NewsNM note - Brigette Russell will be our guest Wednesday morning at 7:00am.
Capitol Report New Mexico - There is a vast difference between politics and policy. As a columnist, blogger, party activist and candidate for state house, I have been deeply involved in politics. Now, as an analyst, I am just as deeply involved in policy. I pore over education bills written in tedious legalese, along with an army of other analysts. The analyses we produce inflame few passions. Not so my columns. In September 2009, long before I contemplated running for office on a platform of education reform modeled on Florida’s, or had heard of Susana Martinez, who plans to implement that same program here, I wrote a column for the New Mexico Independent praising the Florida reforms. While at the site, I glanced at a few of my old columns, and the comments posted by readers, and was reminded of why at one point I actually stopped reading the comments. Some of them were so insulting, so filled with vicious ad hominem attacks that they were distracting me from concentrating on substantive issues. The insults came from readers on the left, who made up the majority of NMI’s readership and who profoundly disagreed with my conservative positions. Read full column here:

Blueprint: Tracking the Agenda of Susana Martinez

Martinez - Inaugural Address
NewsNM has condensed the "State of the State" address by Governor Martinez. Her message can be reduced to several key points of emphasis. These points provide a reference guide for measuring success in the current 60-day session of the legislature. Below are the points of emphasis in the Governor's address: New Mexico is in a state of financial crisis. State Budget Mess - "We face an historic budget deficit that will require candor to address and courage to resolve. No more shell games. No more rosy projections. We must tell New Mexicans the truth: our financial house is a mess and it's time we clean it up."
Business Friendly - "When a small business needs to get a permit from one state agency, they must abide by one process. And when that same small business needs a permit from another state agency, the process is completely different and they have to jump through a whole new set of hoops. So, I propose standardizing these administrative practices by passing the Red Tape Reduction Act."
Educational Reform - "When it comes to educating our children, we can no longer throw more and more money at the same system and expect different results. Our 'Kids First, New Mexico Wins’ plan is comprised of four key initiatives. First, we will get money out of the bureaucracy and into the classroom. Second, we will adopt an easy-to-understand, easy-to-implement system of grading. Schools will be assigned letter grades of A, B, C, D or F, and these grades will be posted to the web. Third, we will end social promotion. Finally, we will reward New Mexico's best teachers."
Public Safety - "Expand Katies Law. Reinstate the death penalty." Culture of Corruption in State Government - "First, we must institute criminal penalties for public officials who know about, but fail to report, pay-to-play activity.
Second, when public officials are found guilty of corruption they should be immediately removed from office, receive mandatory prison time and be forced to surrender their pension. Third, it is imperative that we formally adopt legislation that prohibits the State Investment Council or any state investment agency from paying finder's fees to those who help direct state investments. And fourth, it is time to establish a Public Corruption Unit in the Department of Public Safety." In the days and weeks ahead we will monitor the progress of the three branches of state government in taking action to meet these goals.


Stewart: "Retirement is Just That"

Mimi Stewart
Capitol Report New Mexico - One of the more liberal members of the New Mexico legislature says she’s in favor or establishing a minimum age requirement and tying all cost of living adjustments to the Consumer Price Index in order to put the state’s two largest pension plans on firmer financial footing. Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque) told the House Education Committee on Monday (Jan. 24) that “retirement is just that — retirement, not a way to get out of work very early” and in order to shore up the finances of the Educational Retirement Board (ERB) and the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), she plans to introduce a bill that would establish a minimum retirement age of 55 and see that retirees in the PERA system have cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments that are more consistent with those of the ERB. Read full story here: