Badgering Facts Regarding a "Coup de Etat"

Brett McMahon
NewsNM note - (Spence) Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote a talking points memo a few days ago that we find is being used all around the country by progressives. We even heard hints of it from NM Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales on News New Mexico this morning. In the column Reich called what happened in Wisconsin a Coup de Etat.  Knowing what a coup is and isn't we found this perfect response by Brett McMahon in Townhall - Merriam-Webster defines “coup d’etat” as: “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially: the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.” Most definitions also note the overthrow is accomplished through illegal or unconstitutional means. Forget for the moment the Wisconsin Democrats who fled the state in an effort to monkey wrench the legislative process. Forget the bussed-in union activists and the protesters who occupied the capitol building. Focus instead on the band of Midwestern guerrillas, as Reich must imagine them, who toppled the Wisconsin government. Here are the facts behind that “violent overthrow”:
1) The legislature and Governor of Wisconsin were freely and fairly elected.  2) The legislation was passed within the rules of both bodies of legislature.  3) Only about 5 percent of the state's population is directly affected by the legislation. That percentage is from the U.S. Census Bureau, which listed 284,963 full-time equivalent state and local employees in its most recent 2009 data. The total population of Wisconsin in 2009 was 5,654,774. 4) That minority is paid by the overwhelming majority of the state's population.  5) That minority has accrued significant debt obligations for which the balance of the state's population is directly financially responsible. Wisconsin’s unfunded pension obligations equal a 32 percent share of its GDP. 
6) That financial responsibility is the direct result of the negotiations conducted for the small minority's benefit.  7) Those negotiations were conducted between that minority and prior elected officials. 8) Those prior elected officials received millions of dollars in campaign contributions and “volunteer” work on their behalf from that minority. Unions contributed millions of dollars directly and indirectly to Wisconsin Democrats. The Wisconsin Education Association Council PAC alone spent almost $1.6 million supporting Democrat candidates during the 2010 elections.  9) Those contributions were collected from a small minority by the state as a withholding from their paychecks.  10) Those paychecks are only possible from the taxes extracted from the majority of the population. Read full column here: News New Mexico


House Sends a Message to Bill Richardson

David Doyle
Santa Fe – House Bill 368 passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 67-0 on Tuesday. The bill was introduced by House GOP members Rep. Nate Gentry (Albuquerque, Dist. 30) and Rep. David Doyle (Albuquerque, Dist. 23.) The bill would make sure an elected official can’t seal public records after their term in office is over. “This bill closes a loophole that prevents New Mexicans from knowing what goes on in their government,” said Rep. Gentry. “These records are public and the public should be entitled to inspect them at any time,” Rep. Doyle added. Before Tuesday’s vote, HB 368 passed through the committee process in House without a single vote against it. The bill now heads to the Senate.


Will of Legitimate Voters Crushed, Democrats Kill Latest Version of Voter I.D. Bill ......Again

Santa Fe – The voice of New Mexicans is clear, over 8 out of 10 want photo-voter ID at the polls. Yet members of the Majority Party that sit on the House Voters and Elections Committee turned a deaf ear. In a 7-5 vote, the committee voted to table House Bill 577 which would have required a photo ID in order to cast a ballot in person or absentee. All Republican members on the committee voted in favor of the bill sponsored by Rep. Cathrynn Brown (Carlsbad, Dist. 55.) During the hearing, members of the committee heard from the Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who is cross-checking New Mexico’s voter rolls with drivers’ license records. While they are still very early in the process, the Secretary of State told the committee they have evidence of foreign nationals who have obtained drivers’ licenses, registered to vote and cast a ballot.  Despite these findings, House Democrats Party continued to vote against HB 577. All 33 members of the House Republicans have previously said they would unanimously support the measure. Because of Tuesday’s vote, it’s unlikely most of them will get that chance.

State Selling Public Information Exclusively

NMPolitics - Public information belongs to the public, and it shouldn’t be sold for profit by the government. But that’s exactly what the state is doing with its electronic database of driver’s records. That information is sold exclusively to a Kansas company, which has a monopoly on selling the information to everyone else. Former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration thought this was a good idea, and it entered into a contract that turns public records into a profit-making venture. A bill that would have undone that outrageous deal was tabled Monday by the House Appropriations and Finance Committee because – surprise, surprise – the state is now dependent on the $6 million the records generate every year, and the Motor Vehicle Division doesn’t know how to live without that cash.
Though House Bill 406, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, had previously passed two committees unanimously, it appears to be dead this session. The appropriation committee’s vote to table was 9-5, with four members absent. While her taxation and revenue secretary opposed the bill during Monday’s hearing, Gov. Susana Martinez wasn’t quite as clear on her position in a statement from spokesman Scott Darnell to “The governor is supportive of the intention in HB 406; however, she is also very concerned by what appears to be a significant fiscal impact to the state budget – which would need to be resolved in the overall construct of the state budget,” Darnell said. Boo. Read full story here: News New Mexico

EIB Damage Being Preserved

Capitol Report New Mexico - While both gubernatorial candidates came out against instituting cap and trade regulations — as well as a number of lawmakers (click here for an example) — bills looking to curb or reverse the effects of rules adopted by the previous members of the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) have gone nowhere in the current 60-day legislative session. And with just five days left in the session, it looks like none will. On Monday (March 14), another bill was sent into legislative oblivion when House Bill 579, sponsored by Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Farmington), failed to get a “do pass” motion in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee when all six Democrats voted against the bill and all six Republicans voted for it.
It takes a majority of a committee to move legislation along. HB579 would prevent the EIB from making rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico. Instead, the federal government’s Air Quality Act would govern the state’s regulations. “My reading of this bill is that it would equate to a repeal of what the EIB did,” committee chairman Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) said. “We talk a lot and hear a lot in this chamber about states’ rights and how the federal government’s reach needs to be reduced but in this one area we don’t want any state control and this bill, as I read it, takes state control away.” Read full story here: News New Mexico


Kick That Can!

Mimi Stewart
Capitol Report New Mexico - In the past few months, we’ve written about concerns over the state’s pension plans. Some say the state is ripe for a major financial crisis while others say the situation is not dire but needs to be addressed soon. So it’s depressing to see the the state legislature turn back an effort from a true-blue Democrat like Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque) to make adjustments ensuring the state’s Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) and Educational Retirement Board (ERB) funds get on firmer financial footing.
Sunday night (March 13), Stewart’s House Bill 644 went down to defeat on a 38-28 vote on the House floor. Stewart’s bill called for increasing the age and time of service for PERA and ERB employees — but only for those who are not about to retire. It also called for a cost of living adjustment for PERA employees (again, only for non-vested workers who are not on the verge of retirement). Currently, PERA grants a 3 percent raise — pretty generous considering that inflation has been well below 3 percent for years now. Most of those voting against the bill were Democrats but 11 Republicans voted against the bill too. Read more here: News New Mexico

Buchanan: Can Japan Recover?

Pat Buchanan
Townhall - In 1988, eight of the 10 largest companies in the world were Japanese. Today, Japan does not have one company in the top 20 and only six in the top 100. Her national debt is 200 percent of gross domestic product. Can Japan come back from this earthquake and 20 years of economic stagnation and political malaise to recover the dynamism she exhibited in the decades after World War II? To do so will require a far greater miracle. The reason for such pessimism may be summed up in a single word: demography. Japan has 127 million people, her highest population ever. Yet, the United Nations projects that 25 million Japanese will vanish by 2050. Why? 
Sendai From the Air

Japan is the oldest country on earth, with a median age of 45 and a fertility rate below zero population growth for 40 years. To sustain a population, the fertility rate of its women must be 2.1 children. Japan's rate, 1.27 children per woman, is not two-thirds of what is required to replace her present population. In 1960, when Japan was striding to overtake West Germany as the No. 2 economy, 49 percent of her people were under 25 years of age. Less than 8 percent was over 60. Today, only 23 percent of Japan's population is under 25, more than 30 percent of all Japanese are over 60, and Japan's median age has shot up to 45. Japan is projected to lose 3 million people this decade, and nearly 6 million in the 2020s. To put it starkly, Japan is aging, shrinking and dying. Read full column here: News New Mexico


"Climate Change" May Cause More Tsunamis

From - know headlines like that might just make most folks roll their eyes at this point -- I mean, what doesn't climate change cause these days, am I right? And I realize that people are skeptical of news-cycle tie-ins, like this very story appears to be. But just because it's sort of depressing to keep tabs on all of the myriad impacts of ol' climate change occurring the world over, doesn't mean we should be glossing over facts like this: Some geologists believe that global warming may already be causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. After all, screwing with the world's ornery climate system to the extent which we have is bound to have far-reaching effects -- effects like, it's been suggested, huge amounts of melting ice causing the earth's crust to "bounce" up, potentially triggering earthquakes.  If you ask me, now is a perfectly reasonable time to be analyzing such possible causal relationships, like the one between climate change and earthquake.  More News New Mexico

Mexican Female Police Chief Seeks Asylum in US

Marisol Valles Garcia
From -Garcia admits, there is a considerable amount of fear that has come with her new title, but the young, energetic and possibly naive woman believes her special brand of community policing which arms itself with principles and values and focuses on prevention will slowly heal the community from the inside out.  Garcia, who has two bodyguards, will not carry any weapons and wants to hire more women in addition to the three already on her staff of 13 officers. She also wants these officers to be unarmed in order to assume a non-violent role.  Although Garcia claims she welcomed her new role, there are many people who are not as enthused about having a woman – especially a non-violent one – at the helm of the war on drugs. It looks like those non-violent techniques did not work out so well for Marisol.  She fled to the US earlier this month and is seeking asylum. She is being held in a detention centre for migrants in El Paso, just across the Rio Bravo from Ciudad Ju├írez.  More News New Mexico

NUGENT: Racism Lives at Department of Injustice

Ted Nugent
From - Flunking is the new norm at racist Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Department of Injustice. In yet another ugly, blatant and defining racist move, Mr. Holder is forcing the city ofDayton, Ohio, to lower the passing threshhold on the test for those wanting to be police officers because not enough black recruits passed the exam. Instead of attracting the best and brightest to serve the public, racist Mr. Holder will now ensure that the good residents of Dayton will be protected by dunce cops who score the equivalent of a D or F on the entrance exam. Entrance exam scores may also be lowered for firefighters so that more black applicants can be accepted.  More News New Mexico

Bond Hearings Today for Columbus Leaders

From -Bond hearings are being held at 9:30 this morning for three Columbus, NM leaders accused of smuggling guns into Mexico. Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Trustee Blas Gutierrez, and Police Chief Angelo Vega are set to appear in Las Cruces Federal Court. Federal agents arrested the trio, along with eight others, during a raid in Columbus last week.

NM Senate Panel Approves $240 Million Capital Project

From -Lawmakers are proposing to finance $240 million in capital improvements across New Mexico, including $15 million for projects needed for Native American water rights settlements. The Senate Finance Committee approved the measure on Monday, sending it to the full Senate for consideration. Although lawmakers are cutting spending this year on the state's operating budget, the Legislature is able to finance capital improvements using $238 million in bonds backed by severance tax revenues. Other financing comes from earmarked revenues such as Game and Fish Department funds.  More News New Mexico

Swickard Column: Those things that are far worse than a radiation leak

by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - While the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, many political aftershocks are being felt strongly in our country. Much debate involves nuclear energy being used for domestic power generation. Sadly, so much being said about nuclear energy generation just is not so. When it comes to nuclear power generation, we Americans are standing on a whale fishing for minnows. We have no vision. It all starts with our national energy policy. Shuckins, that is right, we do not have one. When Americans talk about energy policy, we are blind. Worse than blind, stupid. Worse than blind and stupid, intentionally so. While leaking radiation is bad, having no power at all is far much worse because in our world today no power equals humans who cannot survive. Power is life, lack of power is death. A month without any energy in New Mexico and most of the population would be dead. Not suffering, dead. All that sustains our lives starts with energy. And we, as a nation, have no coherent energy policy. Read column News New Mexico