7 Candlelight Vigils to be Held in Opposition to HB78

From therepublic.com - Faith and community groups plan to hold simultaneous candlelight vigils in seven New Mexico cities to voice their support of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. The vigils are in response to a House vote Friday in which lawmakers voted 42-28 for legislation to stop the state from issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. The vigils will be held at 6 p.m. Monday in Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Hatch, Anthony, Lovington, Roswell and Farmington.  The community group Somos Un Pueblo Unido says they want to "decry the inflammatory and divisive rhetoric surrounding the immigrant driver's license debate."  Eight Democrats broke party ranks in voting for the legislation. They are: Reps. Ray Begaye, Joseph Cervantes, Dona Irwin, Sandra Jeff, Rhonda King, Patricia Lundstrom, Al Park and Debbie Rodella.

Heather Wilson to Appear on NewsNM

Heather Wilson
Former U.S. Congresswoman Heather Wilson will appear on News New Mexico on Tuesday morning at 8:00am. We will be talking to Wilson about her plans to run for the U.S. Senate Seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman in 2012. Wilson served in Congress from 1998 to 2009. She is the second female veteran to have been elected to Congress. Wilson opted not to run for re-election to the House in 2008 and sought the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Senator Pete Domenici, but finished second in the Republican primary to Congressman Steve Pearce, who then lost the general election to Democrat Tom Udall.
 Please email your questions for Heather Wilson to jim@newsnm.com


Sanchez Considering a Senate Run

John Sanchez
NMPolitics - Lt. Gov. John Sanchez is seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Jeff Bingaman, but don’t expect him to make a decision anytime soon. “The lieutenant governor is seriously considering it,” the Republican Sanchez’s spokesman, Mark Van Dyke, told NMPolitics.net. But he added that Sanchez is currently focused on the legislative session. And following the session, Sanchez has promised to travel the state to report to communities on the Legislature’s work, Van Dyke said. Then, there’s the coming special session on redistricting that will most likely be held in the fall. So, Van Dyke said, Sanchez isn’t likely to make a decision on the Senate race anytime soon. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Promises That Can't Be Kept

Erskin Bowles (left) Alan Simpson (right)
One of President Obama’s debt commissioners, Erskine Bowles, boldly declared recently, “The era of deficit denial is over.” You wish. Never have more naive words ever been spoken. There seems to be two path choices for America’s financial future. One can be described as “pathetic” and the other can be described as completely “inadequate.” Many veteran observers rolled their eyes when Obama announced his “Debt Commission.” It was as if President Obama thought well-informed Americans did not already know its elected officials were gutless. We hear so much about the never-ending political posturing process known as, “You go first,” on reforming entitlement programs.
Everyone in Washington is afraid to touch the third rails of politics…..Social Security, Medicare, and to a lesser extent, Medicaid. Political scientists reached a consensus long ago that the smartest governing technique in American politics is to ignore the basic laws of finance. And for the time being, the world financial markets are allowing Americans to get away with chronic recklessness.
When Medicare was passed decades ago politicians chose to ignore the effects on demand for products and services that would occur as a result of making health care virtually FREE to anyone 65 and older, once they paid a small deductible. Politicians also ignored the future age demographics in the country. As a result, the amount of national treasure gobbled up by Medicare recipients in 2011 reflects the unintended consequences of creating incentives for seniors and those who market to them, to consume to their heart’s content regardless of the cost to the country, or their personal means.
Medicare product and service hucksters have proliferated, opening up shop on every street corner and advertising things that are "FREE" virtually 24 hours a day. Nothing is free. People taking all their healthcare bills to Medicare should be told the people they elected made promises that were going to be IMPOSSIBLE to keep. And young people paying Medicare taxes into a system that has grossly over-promised should demand that those promises be modified now before the entire country goes bankrupt.


Harbison: Would E-Verify Improve NM?

Jim Harbison
E-Verify is an internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, (Employment Eligibility Verification form), to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. Its purpose is to stop unauthorized employment and according to the Homeland Security’s own website “employment eligibility verification is good business and it’s the law.”
The program was authorized by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). All employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and non-citizens. It is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) who is tasked with determining whether the information matches government records and whether the new hire is authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify claims to facilitate federal agency and employer compliance with U.S. Immigration law. There are more than 225,000 employers, large and small, across the United States that use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of their employees and more than 1000 new businesses sign up each week to use it. While participation is voluntary for most businesses, some companies may be required by state law or federal regulation to use E-Verify. Some states like Mississippi and Arizona have passed legislation to require all employers to use E-Verify and it is mandatory for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.
The Federal government provided more than $100 million to continue, expand and improve E-Verify in 2009. New Mexico participates in many government programs and complies with numerous federal policies. E-Verify is a tool that allows a participating employer to check photos on Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) or Permanent Resident Cards (green cards) against images stored in the USCIS databases. The goal of the photo tool is to detect and deter identity fraud by helping employers determine whether the document presented is the same document issued by USCIS (e.g., that it is not a forgery involving photo-substitution). It seems to me that the State of New Mexico should use this free service for the benefit of its citizens and validate the eligibility for New Mexican jobs, benefits and assistance and insuring they go to those legally entitled to them.
Couldn’t this same system be useful in preserving the sanctity of our election process by issuing driver’s licenses, voter identification cards, or other state issued I.D cards? If this system is so useful and has been used to validate eligibility for more than 10 million employment verifications since 2007 why isn’t it a standard system for our state like it is in other more prosperous states? Could it be that this is a truly politically transparent system that attempts to insure illegal immigrants are not given jobs that should go to our citizens but its implementation would negatively impact the voter base of Democrat Party of New Mexico? The process will never improve as long as we continue to re-elect those individuals who have kept the state and its citizens dependent upon them. When we allow New Mexico jobs to be filled by those who are not legally entitled to work in the US it adversely impacts all of us. Here is an opportunity to make New Mexico a prosperous State and bring us out of the cycle of poverty. Let’s implement E-Verify to insure that New Mexicans have the priority on jobs in New Mexico and quit giving them away to those who are not legally authorized to work in the United States.


Parker: A Symptom of What Ails Us

Star Parker
Townhall - Unionized government workers who have taken to the streets to protest moves in Wisconsin and Ohio to limit their power are doing us all a favor. How? Our great nation today is sick and badly in need of therapy. The screams and protests of these government union workers should help all Americans identify these public unions as a major symptom of the sickness that is dragging us down and what we need to do to fix it. America is about freedom – political freedom and economic freedom. Our nation has been a human laboratory which has shown, for all the world to see, that the moral truths that underlie our freedom produce bounty and prosperity. It has been those moments when we have departed from the blueprint for freedom laid out so clearly in our Declaration of Independence – that our Creator endowed us with certain rights and that men form government to secure and protect those rights – when we have had pain.
The willingness of the founders to tolerate slavery in a country designed to be free produced a legacy of pain which haunts us still today. Today’s departure is the extent to which we have allowed a culture of force to take hold, limiting our freedom and the natural bounty it produces. The two fronts of this culture of force is the growth of government, where the institution there to protect us is now telling us what to do, and with union power, which goes hand in hand with government power. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Gas Prices Skyrocketing

Newsnm note - (Spence) With an energy policy DESIGNED to create shortages in America, the U.S. is on the edge of destroying the fledgling recovery underway, thanks to a self-inflicted economic wound. (CNN) -- U.S. gasoline prices increased nearly 33 cents in two weeks, the second-biggest two-week jump in the history of the gasoline market, according to a new survey of filling stations. The latest Lundberg Survey of cities in the continental United States was conducted Friday. It showed the national average for a price of self-serve unleaded gasoline at $3.51, an increase of 32.7 cents from the last survey two weeks earlier, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said. The jump was the biggest since a 38-cent hike between August and September 2005. At the time, the price increase was driven by damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Read full story here: News New Mexico

The Third Rail?

NewsNM note - (Spence) In the wake of the President's toothless Debt Commission we will do a week long series on tackling entitlements. Washington’s management of the Social Security retirement system is no different than the way Bernie Madoff managed his client’s money. Instead of depositing participant’s contributions into a sacred fiduciary account and making long term investments in a diversified portfolio of assets, the government has absconded with the money and left I.O.U.’s in a mythical “lock box.” If any private management company handled Social Security retirement funds the way elected officials in Washington have over the last four decades, they would be villainized in the media and minds of the public, convicted in courts of law, and thrown in jail for life. To watch hacks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decry Bernie Madoff while denying there is a problem with Social Security is nauseating.
Bernie Madoff
To be fair to Madoff investors, there is a huge difference between what Bernie Madoff clients got and what future senior citizens on Social Security will get. No investors actually knew what Madoff was doing. On the other hand, anyone who is even the least bit informed, has known EXACTLY how government was behaving as the sole fiduciary of the Social Security system. How is it with government deeming it legal to abscond with Social Security deposits, did the system become off limits for reform?
Harry Reid
Apparently political scientists and advisers still maintain that it is unthinkable that either Democrats or Republicans ever actually look voters in the eyes and tell them the very people they have elected for decades, stole their retirement reserves and spent them on something else. The Congressional /budget Office estimates Social Security is $50 billion in the hole for 2011. Maybe it is time we all admit the facts, fire those responsible and get on with solving the problem. Oops, it's too late Harry Reid just won another six year term.