State payroll shrinks by nearly 600 workers

From the Santa Fe New - by Kate Nash - Gov. Susana Martinez didn't fulfill all of her campaign promises this legislative session. She has, however, held true to her pledge to shrink the size of state government. According to information provided by the State Personnel Office, the size of the state payroll has dropped by 498 classified employees and 99 exempt employees since Dec. 30, 2010, when former Gov. Bill Richardson left office. Of the 504 exempt employees currently on the state payroll, about 180 work directly for the governor, her office has said. Since a November 2008 hiring freeze implemented by Richardson, the overall state payroll has dropped from 25,500 employees to 18,931. More News New Mexico

Strangley Mixed Impact of Teachers Union in NM

From Burlington Free Press- In an article in the Yale Law Journal, Benjamin Lindy finds that collective bargaining had the effect of raising SAT scores and lowering graduation rates. The “results suggest,” he writes, “that mandatory collective bargaining shifts the focus of schools away from lower-performing students toward higher-performing ones.”  Why might that be? His best guess is that higher-quality teachers used their transfer rights, under their contracts, to move into schools with higher-quality students, leaving the less-experienced, less successful teachers preponderantly in the schools with low-achieving students. Then in the years without collective bargaining, when transfer rights went out the window, better teachers were more likely to be assigned to the high-poverty, low-achieving schools.  In other words, by Lindy’s reckoning, collective bargaining favored the high achievers and made matters worse for the low achievers.  More News New Mexico

A Fitting End: Filibusters in Both Houses

Capitol Report New Mexico - The 2011 New Mexico legislative session ended on a note of sound and fury signifying nothing as both the Senate and the House ended their final day of lawmaking with filibusters in the vain hope of getting selected bills to the floor. In the Senate, when Republicans learned that Senate majority leader Michael Sanchez (D-Belen) was not going to allow a bill near and dear to the heart of Gov. Susana Martinez – House Bills 21 and 100, aimed at ending ”social promotion” for elementary school kids who can’t read proficiently — to be heard, Sen. John Ryan (R-Albuquerque) stood up during debate of a bill backed by Democrat Peter Wirth and started talking. And talking. And talking. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Capital Outlay Bill Among Others, Die

Michael Sanchez
NMPolitics - Two behind-the-scenes battles exploded in public view and consumed the final hour of the 2011 legislative session today, causing the $240 million capital outlay bill to die as time expired. A bill that would have ended so-called “social promotion” in schools died as well. But instead of going quietly, both bills went down in flames. In the House, Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, D-Gallup, prolonged debate on the capital outlay bill in the session’s final hour with a lengthy series of questions. Meanwhile, there were intense, behind-the-scenes negotiations between House and Senate members over which projects would be funded.
In the Senate, Republicans John Ryan of Albuquerque and Rod Adair of Roswell hijacked a bill that would have amended the Fraud Against Taxpayer’s Act, talking about topics ranging from the various St. Piuses to the sounds Ryan made while he spoke because his mouth was dry.Their filibuster was an attempt to force Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, to hear the social promotion bill, which was being pushed heavily by Gov. Susana Martinez. Sanchez didn’t back down, and after being on the Senate calendar for days, the bill died without a floor hearing. As the delays played out in the House and Senate, other lawmakers watched the death of bills they were hoping to pass. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Let's Play....."Find the War Mongers"

Once upon a time there was state-sponsored hostage-taking of people serving in the American Embassy in Iran. A response was required. Eventually the military was brought in. Was this response war mongering? Maybe we should round up a few partisans and ask them to help us play FIND THE WAR MONGERS.
Once upon a time there were brutal nightclub bombings and other acts of state-sponsored terrorism going on in Europe. Many of these actions targeted Americans there. This aggression had to be stopped. A response was required.Was the response war mongering? Let's ask some of the partisans.

Once upon a time there was a horrific practice of systematic mass murder called “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia. It was unrelenting genocide. The butchering had to be stopped. A response was required by civilization. Was the response war mongering? Maybe we should ask the partisans.

Once upon a time there was an attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. A fourth plane was downed in Pennsylvania by citizens on board because a response was required. Were their actions war mongering? When it became clear the masterminds of these mass murders were living in Afghanistan a response was required. Was the response war mongering? Let's ask the partisans.

Once upon a time there were mass murders of thousands of Kurdish people in Iraq. Poison gas was used on the citizens and the genocide was so widespread bodies were dumped into mass graves. Eventually the same perpetrator defied U.N. resolutions calling for weapons inspections to verify the absence of weapons of mass destruction. He had to be stopped. A response was required. Was the response war mongering? Let's ask the partisans.
In recent years two different U.S. Commanders in Chief acted on their plans for troop surges. One surge was in Iraq and the other was in Afghanistan. Were those responsible for ordering the implementation of these surge plans war mongers? Let's ask the partisans.

Once upon a time not long ago (yesterday) there was an aging dictator in Libya. When facing armed rebellion he resorted to brutal atrocities against his own people. Something had to be done. Air strikes and Tomahawk missiles were fired. Was the response war mongering? Should we ask the partisans? Some of these U.S. Commanders in Chief who responded with military action were terribly immoral war mongers. And of course some of the others were just making difficult decisions and doing the right thing. How can we tell which of these individuals were war mongers and which ones had motivations that were pure?  It is pretty simple really.
Thank goodness we have partisans and the media to help us. All we have to do is check the level of each Commander in Chief's commitment to anti-business practices and pro-socialism practices. If the Commander in Chief in question was (or is) inclined to be in favor of policies supporting free markets and slowing the growth of government intrusion in our lives, it is obvious....these types are war mongers. However, if some of these Commanders was (or is) in favor of increasing the population's dependency on government while supporting greater confiscation of private sector freedoms, these types are NOT war mongers. In fact, they may well be so embracing of "peace" in their hearts they were actually awarded Nobel Peace Prizes. For you see, that those on the Nobel committees prefer to identify with a U.S. Commander in Chief's views on things besides, well, um, uh, "peace." Hopefully this clears everything up on the war monger question. Now we can all sit back and enjoy the peace, hope, and change and be better prepared the next time somebody wants to get out the board game and play: "FIND THE WAR MONGERS."