Grubesic column: How to get true transparency in NM, and why it will never happen

From Capitol Report New Mexico - Commentary by John Grubesic -

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.P. J. O’Rourke

In a political dictionary the last seven words of Mr. O’Rourke’s quote is the definition of politician. Run a search for corrupt politician and you get pages of results. Charles Rangel, William J. Jefferson, Larry Craig, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, Mark Foley, this is just the national level…rest assured, just as much happening on your school board. The definition of politics is summed up in the final words, “greed and love of power.” The basis of politics is the incestuous relationship between lobbyists and the politicians they own. Regulating the politician is difficult. As I wrote in a previous post, politicians are reluctant to design their own noose. Read more


Lessons learned in aftermath of natural-gas crisis

From the Santa Fe New - The snowstorm that blew through New Mexico with an arctic blast in the first week of February, leaving an estimated 32,000 homes and businesses without natural gas for several days, tested the ability of an interstate utility system — and found it wanting. Frozen gas well heads, ruptured waterlines and freezing homes stretched 2,000 miles across at least 16 states from New Mexico and Texas northeast to Connecticut and Illinois. The storm took down power utility companies in Texas and disrupted production, ultimately affecting the ability of natural-gas processing plants to pack enough of the hydrocarbon into interstate pipelines for the thousands of people who needed it. The temperatures stayed below freezing for 80 to 90 hours straight from Feb. 1 to Feb. 4 in Northern New Mexico, according to the National Weather Service. New Mexicans finally have heat and hot water again. But they still have a lot of questions about what happened and, more importantly, why it took so long to fix. Why, in one of the largest natural-gas-producing states in the nation, where customers use less than a 10th of the gas produced, were so many people cut off from the resource for so long? Read more

New NM Education Secretary Criticized

Hanna Skandera
From -New Mexico school administrators and a teachers union are upset over a decision by the state's new education secretary-designate to hire out-of-state consultants.  The eight consultants for Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera will be paid a total of $152,000 to advise Skandera on such things as tracking student achievement and handling public relations. The contracts expire at the end of March or end of April.  At least six have careers tied to either of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or former President George W. Bush, according to a copyright story Sunday by The Albuquerque Journal. Skandera worked for Jeb Bush. "You can't copy and paste an education agenda for New Mexico's kids that outside consultants have used elsewhere," Christine Trujillo, president of New Mexico's chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said. "Our students and teachers need education leaders who come from New Mexico and understand the unique needs of our state's children — not folks with connections to the failed education policies of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and to former President George W. Bush's botched No Child Left Behind program."  More here

Andrew Brietbart Sued by Shirley Sherrod

Shirley Sherrod
From -  It is no coincidence that this lawsuit was filed one day after I held a press conference revealing audio proof of orchestrated and systemic Pigford fraud. I can promise you this: neither I, nor my journalistic websites, will or can be silenced by the institutional Left, which is obviously funding this lawsuit. I welcome the judicial discovery process, including finding out which groups are doing so.” On Thursday, February 10, 2011, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., Mr. Breitbart held a national press conference at which he, Huffington Post blogger Lee Stranahan, and black farmer Eddie Slaughter presented compelling evidence for, and Representatives Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Steve King (R-IA) specifically called for, Congressional investigation into the Pigford case. At the press conference, Mr. Breitbart revealed two hours of audio of Thomas Burrell, the head of the Black Farmers & Agriculturalist Association, Inc., teaching non-farmers in the South how to commit fraud in the Pigford “back-door” reparations case. This audio conclusively demonstrates how people have conspired to grow the class of Pigford claimants to 94,000, when in fact, there were only about 18,000 black farmers in the entire country during the relevant time period, and when there were never anticipated to be more than a few thousand potential claimants among those 18,000. The numbers just do not and cannot add up.  More here

Napolitano Goes on Offense

From - We have a big problem the country needs to understand, free of Napolitano's spin and political hackery.  Her argument includes two key points -- the positive crime numbers coming from Southwest border towns and the plunging arrests of illegals. Both true. But let's complete the picture.  The border towns are safe because that's where the feds have poured in money and agents, and built better fencing. In places like Nogales, as elsewhere, that has pushed the traffic into the back-country. Out of sight, out of mind is part of the strategy, says Brandon Judd, president of the Tucson chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, the agents' union.  He says the feds are deliberately under-staffing remote areas, cutting arrests and allowing Napolitano to claim the border is more secure. This is a prelude to Obama's real goal of comprehensive immigration reform. As for the mountains and deserts, Judd says, "The border in those areas is as wide open as it has ever been."  More here