Unions protest governor's firing of labor board

From the Santa Fe New Mexican.com - by Kate Nash - Labor unions on Wednesday asked the state's highest court to rule that Gov. Susana Martinez overstepped her authority when she dismissed the members of the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board. Without a board in place, grievances are going unheard, a union attorney said. The Martinez administration forced out the board's executive director, Pam Gentry, on Feb. 5. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 18 in late February filed an emergency motion with the labor board, asking that it hire a new director. On March 1, the governor fired the three-member board. The New Mexico Federation of Labor AFL-CIO and affiliates on Wednesday filed a request for a writ of mandamus seeking to have the board reinstated and asking that the governor not meddle in the board's hiring of an executive director. But the Governor's Office said Martinez legally can remove the members and did so as part of an ongoing review of state boards and commissions. Spokesman Scott Darnell said the administration agrees that the board should hire the executive director. NMFL AFL-CIO President Christine Trujillo compared Martinez's decision to actions by another Republican governor: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Read story - News New Mexico

Thoughts from John

(Swickard) Sent by my friend John... don't know where he got it but I hope lots of people get it. No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay.While politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense. Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?
35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government, Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention. For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform... in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is one proposal that really should be passed around. Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."


SEIU Blasts Obama Admin for Immigration Enforcement

From politico.com -Impatient immigration advocates typically view the Obama Administration as an ally, but a key force in the debate, the Service Employees International Union, is openly criticizing the Department of Homeland Security's shift in enforcement efforts for the first time. The Obama Administration has shifted the emphasis of enforcement away from workplace raids -- which immigrant advocates had long described as punishing immigrant workers instead of their employers -- and toward so-called "I-9 audits," in which federal agents ask companies to verify their employees' legal status. Groups pushing to legalize most immigrant workers are broadly uncomfortable with the audits, which often cost workers their jobs, but have largely avoided criticizing the Administration publicly. But SEIU has seen hundreds of members lose their jobs after I-9 audits: According to the union, 1,200 SEIU janitors in Minneapolis were fired following an I-9 audit last December, and just this week, 250 SEIU janitors in Minneapolis were fired after an I-9 audit, adding to 500 in the area who were fired from Chipotle after the company was examined by the feds.  More News New Mexico

With Stroke of a Pen, Obama Gives Terrorists an Edge

From usatoday.com -Under the guise of "reaffirming America's commitment to humane treatment of detainees," the Obama administration announced last week a revolution in the rules governing how the United States protects itself from al-Qaeda and other terrorists.  From now on, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. will comply with part of a treaty known as Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions "out of a sense of legal obligation." These are code words, which mean that the U.S. acknowledges this particular provision, Article 75, which extends "fundamental guarantees" to any detainee, as a binding form of international law — even though the Senate has never consented to its formal ratification. Today, the Geneva Conventions include four treaties: governing the treatment of wounded soldiers on land, those wounded or shipwrecked at sea, prisoners of war and civilians in occupied territory. These agreements date to 1949 and have been ratified by more than 190 countries, including the United States.  More News New Mexico

2 Dems Forged Paperwork to Get Fake Tea Partiers on Ballot

From gatewaypundit.com -Two former leaders of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing a total of nine felonies for allegedly forging election paperwork to get fake Tea Party candidates on November’s ballot. “It is not a partisan statement, and we need to make that very clear,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper. Former Oakland County Democratic Chair Mike McGuinness and former Democratic Operations Director Jason Bauer face up to 14 years in prison if convicted. “Some of the people didn’t even know they were on the ballot till they began receiving delinquency notices of filings that were required as a candidate,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.  The sheriff says 23 statewide races had questionable Tea Party candidates on the ballot and the investigation may go beyond Oakland County.  More News New Mexico

8 Out of 10 Illegals Apprehended in 2010 Not Prosecuted

From cnsnews.com -An illegal alien apprehended by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency during the last fiscal year had an estimated 84 percent chance of never being prosecuted, according to figures compiled by the office of Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas).  Culberson submitted the figures for the record during a hearing Wednesday of the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security. Of 447,731 illegal aliens apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol during fiscal year 2010 (which ended last September), only 73,263 (16.4 percent) were prosecuted, according to the submitted data. That means that 374,468 illegal aliens that were taken into custody (83.6 percent) were never prosecuted.  More News New Mexico

Budget Still $111 Million Out of Balance

NMPolitics -  If lawmakers don’t balance the budget before the session ends at noon on Saturday, Gov. Susana Martinez will be left to veto about $111 million from the appropriations bill. The late night/early morning House debate on whether to concur with Senate versions of the budget bills began with consideration of House Bill 2, the primary appropriations bill. Hearing the appropriations bill first set off debate, with Republican lawmakers arguing that the other bills – which would help pay for the appropriations in HB2 – should have been voted on first to ensure lawmakers sent a balanced budget to the governor. The concern about not sending the governor a balanced budget became reality when the House rejected the Senate version of the pension bill. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Union Shows No Class in Wisconsin

Jesse Jackson
Townhall - by Robert Knight - “I’m not going to lie to you, this is going to get ugly.” So predicts “Goldfish,” a Daily Kos blogger who boasts of spending two weekends in Madison, Wisconsin “on the Front Lines of the Class War.” Now, “Goldfish” is predicting a general strike, like the ones in Greece whenever the bankrupt government tries to cut ruinous spending. A bigger fish, film director Michael Moore, announced on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on March 9 that, “This is war. This is class war,” and that a national walkout of public school students would happen March 11. Well, the nation’s schools apparently were untroubled, except for some schools in Wisconsin, mostly around Madison. The kids were taking a cue from their teachers, 40 percent of whom called in sick on Feb. 16 so they could join the union mobs at the Capitol. Jesse Jackson told Fox News that public unions will retain collective bargaining or “you’re going to have it through the streets.
Jimmy Hoffa
People here will fight back because they think their cause is moral.” Moral? Public employee unions are bankrupting local and state governments, including Wisconsin’s. They have it cushier than the folks who are taxed to pay for it all. A Spectrum Research Group report found that public employees make up 15 percent of the workforce but lay claim to more than a third of the nation’s $9.3 trillion in pension assets. Many retire in their 50s and then double-dip with new jobs. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Japanese Earthquake Looters?

Larry Elder
Townhall - "Why no video of looters in Japan?" Japan's prime minister calls the 9.0 earthquake and the following tsunami the greatest crisis in Japan since World War II. Ten thousand people are feared dead. Millions are without power, and millions sleep outdoors in cold weather. But we haven't seen looting. So I posted this question on Facebook and Twitter. "Race is not an issue," Mike replied. "Third World countries like Haiti loot due to poverty. Japan is like America, an economic superpower. Plain and simple." "Poverty equals crime" is the standard "plain and simple" explanation, especially to the left.
The analysis contains holes big enough to drive a Hummer through. In the "economic superpower" called America, we see widespread looting following natural disasters, as well as during power blackouts, "civil unrest" and basketball team victory celebrations. If we attribute this to American poverty, what about Japanese poverty? "Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem," read the headline of a 2010 New York Times article. Here are excerpts: "After years of economic stagnation and widening income disparities, this once proudly egalitarian nation is belatedly waking up to the fact that it has a large and growing number of poor people.
The Labor Ministry's disclosure in October that almost one in six Japanese, or 20 million people, lived in poverty in 2007 stunned the nation and ignited a debate over possible remedies that has raged ever since. "Many Japanese, who cling to the popular myth that their nation is uniformly middle class, were further shocked to see that Japan's poverty rate, at 15.7 percent, was close to the ... 17.1 percent in the United States, whose glaring social inequalities have long been viewed with scorn and pity here. ...Read full column here: News New Mexico


Harbison: Sustainability Part IV

Jim Harbison
For the last few weeks I have written about the environmental activist’s efforts driven by the United Nations Agenda 21, under the guise of “sustainability”, to fundamentally change the nature of American society. It became very obvious that the general public has very little knowledge of the impacts of this UN agenda. Furthermore, few people, including our own City Council, have taken either the time or effort to understand the ultimate objectives of this program. Instead they see “sustainability” as a method of obtaining Federal dollars to achieve their own social agendas.
Sustainability is one of the UN’s environmentalist programs that advocate “social equity” which is another term for wealth redistribution. An underlying philosophy of UN’s Agenda 21 is that “Land … cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore, contributes to social injustice.” Social equity is a remedy for the poor and minorities to reclaim lands that the middle and upper classes have allegedly stolen from them through economic means.
There are serious private property implications that are imposed by these theoretically beneficial sustainability initiatives. Cities across America have become willing participants in the attempt through the sustainability movement to fundamentally change the American concepts of private property rights. Cities belong to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and yet appear to be unaware of the major tenets of the organization or are deliberately concealing those objectives from the public.
The City of Las Cruces is complicit in this effort. It adopted the sustainability plan, stated it was well done and commended it for its “social equity” components. The plan requires the City to comply with the UN’s International Energy Conservation Code which is based on questionable global warming theory even though the United States government has refused to be regulated by this code. Unfortunately the City Sustainability Plan contained more than 22 policies that have not been brought before the Council or the public for comment. The Mayor told the Council that is was just a plan and would not have the impact of an ordinance. We all know how bureaucracy works and it won’t be long before we will be held accountable to the policies created by this Sustainability Plan. It becomes alarming when our elected officials summarily discount the unintended consequences of any plan which will drive the policies of the city for the next twenty years, or worse yet, deliberately attempt to deceive the public about them.
While I support efforts to improve our society I am deeply concerned when any government entity fails to disclose the true intent of any initiative that clandestinely attempts to destroy American private property rights no matter how noble the primary cause may seem to be. The old expression of it being “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” seems to be more than appropriate when it comes to adopting international sustainability initiatives. Developing local government policies and ordinances based on standards developed by the United Nations but not adopted by the United States government are inappropriate and unacceptable. I am not willing to forfeit US sovereignty for some perceived “higher” good which leads to a “One World” government that is permeated by those envious of the success and quality of life experienced by the American people. I would encourage everyone to go to: http://www.freedomadvocates.org to learn about the ‘good, bad, and ugly” implications of sustainability and let your local government know your opinions.


ACLU-NM Files Public Info Request Regarding Voter Fraud Allegations

from aclu.org-  Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) filed public records requests with the Office of Governor Susana Martinez and the NM Secretary of State seeking all records and correspondence related to Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s announcement yesterday that her office had uncovered possible instances of voter fraud by foreign nationals. Through the requests, the ACLU-NM seeks to ensure the transparency and objectivity of the investigation. “We want to know the motivations behind this investigation and the validity of any assertions that the New Mexico law allowing drivers licenses for all immigrants contributed to voter fraud,” said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson. “We take claims of voter fraud seriously because they undermine voter confidence in our electoral system and tend to discourage participation in elections. We also wish to ensure that any exchange of records in this investigation did not violate voter privacy guarantees that are written into state law.” In 2008, the ACLU-NM sued the Republican Party of New Mexico and the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office for illegally releasing confidential voter registration information to the public in an attempt to prove voter fraud.  More News New Mexico

House GOP: Budget Assumptions Wishful Thinking

Tom Taylor
Santa Fe – As the 2011 legislative session winds down it is becoming clearer and clearer to some political observers exactly how the majority of House and Senate members are going to balance the state budget. They are going to continue their spending habits and "assume" aggressively when it comes to economic performance. This will be the approach despite the Environmental Improvement Board and the Richardson Administration delivering a series of crippling blows to the industries that form the foundation for their cheery "assumptions."
Don Bratton
Just before midnight on Wednesday all House GOP Caucus members present voted against what they say is an unbalanced state budget supported by Democrats for the second year in a row. Many Republicans point to the last three budgets passed out of the New Mexico House of Representatives and asserted that this year’s version of the budget once again "assumes" New Mexico’s economy will perform at an unrealistic level.
“This budget, once again, plans for the best and assumes the best,” said Rep. Tom Taylor (Farmington, Dist. 1.) “Instead the budget should hope for the best, and plan for the worst,” he continued. “This budget puts our financial house on a foundation of sand,” added Rep. Don Bratton (Hobbs, Dist. 62.) No doubt Democrats feel comfortable acting as if Santa Fe can continue to assume the role of Santa while leaving all the tough lines to be said by the "Grinch" to Governor Susana Martinez. How aggressively with the new governor use the veto in a sea of denial? Stay tuned.