Foreign Nationals Voted In NM Elections

Dianna Duran
From -New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran said she has proof that foreign nationals and possibly illegal immigrants have cast ballots in elections in the state.  There’s long been speculation that foreign nationals have voted illegally in New Mexico elections. On Tuesday, Duran told Action 7 News that they have.  After comparing the state’s voter registration list with the MVD’s list of foreign nationals with New Mexico driver’s licenses, she said she discovered 117 foreign nationals who are registered to vote. Duran said some of them cast ballots between 2003 and 2010. “We’ve just begun the process, and within 24 hours found 37 that we believe are not eligible voters, and are registered voters and did already vote,” Duran said. The implications are huge. The secretary of state said the votes cast by foreign nationals are not only illegal, but they may have changed the outcomes of some of our close elections,” Duran said.  More News New Mexico

Representatives: You Have Some Splaining To Do!

One thing we have noticed, particularly in the NM House of Representatives during this 60-day session is the continuation of a reprehensible practice that has gone on for as long as politicians have realized they could disguise and manipulate the perceptions of various constituents. Take the recent vote on a House Bill 644 designed to address the $5 billion unfunded pension liability in this state regarding public employees. While there is certainly room for debate on the best way for our elected officials to eliminate the widening gap between actuarial reality and what has been promised on behalf of taxpayers, there are eleven House members who owe every single New Mexican taxpayer an immediate explanation.
At issue are the curious voting patterns of Representatives: Alphonso Baldonado, Carolynn Brown, David Chavez, Dennis Doyle, Nate Gentry, Tim Lewis, Ricky Little, Bill O’Neil and Danice Picraux. After weeks of spirited public and private debate these Representatives voted NO on House Bill 644 on Sunday night. Fair enough, even though their votes continued to leave taxpayers on the hook for ballooning public employee pension liabilities. While those votes were dubious, they were NOT curious. What was curious was that less than 48 hours later, each of these Representatives listed above FLIPPED their votes and voted in favor of making changes to shore up the pension plans. Bill sponsor Mimi Stewart explained the "changes of votes" on a video in this Capitol Report New Mexico post.
Equally curious are the votes of House Speaker Ben Lujan and Representative Moe Maestas. These two men also FLIPPED their votes. However, their curious votes flipped from being in favor of shoring up the pension funds, to further delaying this partial solution to the problem of soaring unfunded New Mexico taxpayer liabilities. What are we New Mexico taxpayers to infer when confronted with these vote-flipping tactics? What should we think of those employing them? Without very detailed explanations from each of these Representatives one has to conclude that their actions are brazen and duplicitous and were taken only with the intent to manipulate and disguise their true positions. Perhaps there was hope that nobody with a bullhorn would notice. Unfortunately for taxpayers, far too many times these types of cynical shell games are effective in enabling a clever politician to say one thing to one group of constituents and then say another thing to another group. Above all else this practice is the essence of self-deception. Instead of an elected official thinking this allows them to not actually "lie" to either group, all politicians should realize they will actually be lying to both groups.
Let’s set aside the voter I.D. debate for a minute. Can we have some elected official I.D.? Can we get it consistently, say, 24-7 and 365 days each year? What say the ladies and gentleman members of the 45 hour - 180 degree reversal club? Why did each of you flip a politically charged vote? Inquiring minds want to know!


Census Shows Rio Rancho on Fire with Growth

Santa Fe New Mexican - Santa Fe's growth during the last decade was outpaced by that of most New Mexico metropolitan areas, according to the 2010 Census. "The big story is that Santa Fe didn't grow as quickly as you would have thought," said Jack Baker, a demographer for The University of New Mexico's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The April 1, 2010, count put Santa Fe city's population at 67,947 — up 9.2 percent from 2000 — Santa Fe County at 144,170 — up 11.5 percent. New Mexico's 2010 population is just over 2 million — up 13.2 percent from 2000. Rio Rancho topped the list of the state's fastest-growing cities, with an increase of 69.1 percent bringing its population to 87,521. Its home county, Sandoval, grew to 131,561, an increase of 46.3 percent. Albuquerque grew by 21.7 percent to 662,564. In Las Cruces, an increase of 31.4 percent brought the population to 97,618. Roswell's population increased to 48,366 — at 6.8 percent growth, the only New Mexico metropolitan area to grow more slowly than Santa Fe.  Read full story here: News New Mexico

Blacks and Republicans

Thomas Sowell
Townhall - San Francisco's irrepressible former mayor, Willie Brown, was walking along one of the city's streets when he happened to run into another former city official that he knew, James McCray. McCray's greeting to him was "You're 10." "What are you talking about?" Willie Brown asked. McCray replied: "I just walked from Civic Center to Third Street and you're only the 10th black person I've seen." That is hardly surprising. The black population of San Francisco is less than half of what it was in 1970, and it fell another 19 percent in the past decade. A few years ago, I had a similar experience in one of the other communities further down the San Francisco peninsula. As I was bicycling down the street, I saw a black man waiting at a bus stop. As I approached him, he said, "You're the first black man I have seen around here in months!" "It will be months more before you see another one," I replied, and we both laughed. Actually, it was no laughing matter. Blacks are being forced out of San Francisco, and out of other communities on the San Francisco peninsula, by high housing prices. At one time, housing prices in San Francisco were much like housing prices elsewhere in the country.
But the building restrictions-- and outright bans-- resulting from the political crusades of environmentalist zealots sent housing prices skyrocketing in San Francisco, San Jose and most of the communities in between. Housing prices in these communities soared to about three times the national average. The black population in three adjacent counties on the San Francisco peninsula is just under 3 percent of the total population in the 39 communities in those counties. It so happens that these are counties where the voters and the officials they elect are virtually all liberal Democrats.
You might be hard pressed to find similarly one-sided conservative Republican communities where blacks are such small percentages of the population. Certainly that would be hard to find in states with a substantial total population of blacks. In California, a substantial black population has simply been forced by economics to vacate many communities near the coast and move farther inland, where the environmental zealots are not yet as strong politically, and where housing prices are therefore not yet as unaffordable. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Williams: Continuing Stubborn Ignorance

Walter Williams
Townhall - Within the past decade, I've written three columns titled "Deception 101," "Stubborn Ignorance," and "Exploiting Public Ignorance," all explaining which branch of the federal government has taxing and spending authority. How can academics, politicians, news media people and ordinary citizens get away with statements such as "Reagan's budget deficits," "Clinton's budget surplus," "Bush's budget deficits and tax cuts" or "Obama's tax increases"? Which branch of government has taxing and spending authority is not a matter of rocket science, but people continue to make these statements. The only explanation that I come up with is incurable ignorance, willful deception or just plain stupidity; if there's another answer, I would like to hear it.

Let's look at the facts. Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution reads: "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills." Our Constitution grants the president absolutely no authority to raise or lower taxes. The president is permitted to propose tax measures or veto them. Congress can ignore proposals and override vetoes.
The Constitution grants Congress the final and ultimate say on taxes. The same principle applies to spending. A president cannot spend one dime that Congress does not first appropriate.
Therefore, statements such as "Under Barack Obama, government spending has increased 21 percent," and "Under Barack Obama, welfare spending has increased 54 percent" are just plain nonsense, if they are suggesting that Obama has increased spending. Credit or blame, whether it's a balance budget, budget surplus, budget deficit or national debt, lies with the U.S. Congress. Knowing where constitutional authority for taxing and spending is vital to our nation. No matter how we feel about President Obama, if we buy into the notion that it's he who's doing the taxing and spending, adding to our debt and deficits, we will focus our attention on trying to restrain the president. That will leave Congress less politically culpable for our deepening quagmire. Of course, if you're a congressman, not being held accountable is what you want. Read full column: News New Mexico

Pearce Has Had Enough

Steve Pearce
Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2011) Today, Congressman Steve Pearce voted against H.J. Res. 48, the Continuing Resolution proposed in the House. Congressman Pearce, who has emerged as a leading advocate for debt reduction, rejected the proposal as insufficient to address the federal government’s out-of-control spending. The resolution was the latest in a series of proposals to fund the federal government in short increments until a long-term budget agreement can be reached. The resolution passed 271-158.

Pearce has received numerous communications from constituents in recent weeks saying that the cuts so far have not been enough, and that the federal deficit must be eliminated. “Today’s proposal is unacceptable,” said Pearce. “As a former small business owner, I know that you can’t run any organization week-to-week. As an American, I know legislation is needed that takes seriously the looming debt crisis, and the economic problems faced in homes across the country.
Continuing Resolution
The people have said that they want Washington to stop spending money we don’t have for programs we don’t need. The people have had to tighten their belts, and the federal government must do the same. We were sent to Washington to act on the will of the people, not to control the lives of the people. It is time that Washington begins to listen.” Constituents have also contacted Rep. Pearce to express concerns over ObamaCare, for which today’s Continuing Resolution includes long-term mandatory funding. Small-business owners have complained that the law increases costs and kills jobs. Other constituents find themselves struggling to keep up with rising healthcare and insurance costs because of the new law.
In addition to voting against today’s Continuing Resolution, Mr. Pearce also signed a letter to House leadership asking that no funding to ObamaCare be included in the next Continuing Resolution. Constituents have also expressed concerns over federal funding for abortion through Planned Parenthood, and for abortions in the District of Columbia. Since being elected last November, Pearce has spoken out for job creation as the best way to restore the economy. In addition to advocating necessary cuts, he has argued for a regulatory balance to increase job growth in industries burdened by overregulation. He plans to introduce several pieces of legislation for job creation this week.


Film Bill On It's Way to Martinez

Governor Matinez
Santa Fe, NM- The big question is this, will Governor sign it or veto it? What youask? A film tracking and accountability measure sponsored by Albuquerque Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17), that is on its way to the Governor for her signature. Senate Bill 44 (SB 44) was passed 44-1 by the New Mexico House of Representatives Tuesday, March 15. Sen. Keller says his bill "Would make a clear assessment of the impact of New Mexico's Film Production Tax Credit and put to rest the ongoing debate over whether the film incentives are a strong benefit to the state." Sen. Keller said SB44 requires increased film industry responsibility, transparency and accountability in order to be rewarded with the state tax credit. "With passage of SB44 we'll be able to see actual, not estimated results," Keller said, and to "know for sure exactly how beneficial this program is to our state."


Driver's Licenses Political Ping Pong Continues

Santa Fe – On Tuesday night, members of the House GOP joined with 7 Democrats, and one Independent, to make sure New Mexicans finally get what they want. On a procedural move, the House voted to deny watered-down changes to House Bill 78 added by the Senate. When HB 78 passed out of the House, it required a social security number for any New Mexican to get a driver’s license. While in the Senate, changes to HB 78 took away the social security requirement, continuing the practice of giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. A published poll shows over 70% of New Mexicans want the version of HB 78 that was passed out of the House. A message will now be sent to the Senate to agree to the House version of HB 78. If the Senate declines, a conference committee will determine the final version of the bill.


Chasey: Why I Support Current Driver's License Law

Rep. Gail Chasey
NMPolitics - During the heated 2010 election, the Albuquerque Journal published results of a survey that showed a large majority of voters in favor of ending the practice of allowing “illegal immigrants” to get drivers’ licenses in the state. What if the question had been: Should foreign nationals pay the same car registration fees and be required to carry the same car insurance as N.M. residents? I believe the majority of New Mexicans would have answered “yes.” But the debate was framed to play on people’s fears rather than focusing on reasonable differences and possible solutions. Our governor calls the law dangerous, but it isn’t the law that’s dangerous – it’s the rhetoric. It divides us as a society. Read full column here: News New Mexico

House Reverses Itself Passes ERB Changes

Mimi Stewart
NMPolitics - (Full disclosure: My wife is an ERB member, and I authored a column earlier this week opposing this bill.) The House approved today a bill that would change retirement plans for future public employees and current workers with less than five years of service – though it would exclude law enforcement officers from the changes. House Bill 644, sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, passed the House on a vote of 37-32. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. This is the second time the House considered the bill, which it rejected on a vote of 38-28 on Sunday. Since then, apparently, a number of members changed their minds. The bill would set at 55 the minimum age that PERA and ERB members can begin drawing retirement. It would reduce the annual cost of living adjustment for PERA workers. And it would require many current employees in both retirement systems – those with less than five years of service as of July 1 – to work more years before they retire than they would have had to work under the retirement plan in place when they were hired. Read full story here: News New Mexico