Border Agents Unwittingly Freed Suspects With Weapons From Sting

From -On Jan. 14, 2010, federal border patrol agents stopped two men driving a car through the border-crossing town of Columbus, New Mexico. Inside the vehicle was a cache of assault weapons, including AK-47s, Ruger .45-caliber handguns and pistols called "cop killers" because their ammunition can penetrate armor. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers ran the guns' serial numbers in a nationwide database and waited. None of the eight came back flagged as stolen or suspect, so the agents let the men go — just a few short miles from the Mexican border, where gun trafficking is fueling a violent and deadly drug war. The two men in the car turned out to be Blas Gutierrez and Miguel Carrillo, who earlier this month were indicted as part of a Mexican cartel gun trafficking operation that also involved Columbus' mayor and police chief, court records show.  And one of the Ruger pistols from the vehicle turned up at a murder scene directly across the border in Puerto Palomas, Mexico, on Feb. 8 of this year, according to court records and a lawyer for one of the defendants.  More News New Mexico

Martinez to VETO 56% Tax Increase

Bloomberg - New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is sticking with her plan to veto a bill raising employer taxes and isn't reconsidering despite business groups urging her to sign the legislation to shore up the unemployment compensation program, a spokesman for the governor said Thursday. However, the question of how to fix the ailing unemployment program could be back before the Legislature later this year in a special session if the state's economy doesn't improve, according to Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell. The Legislature passed a bill that will raise taxes on businesses by $128 million next year -- a 56 percent increase -- and reduce benefits to prevent the unemployment trust fund from running out of money. If nothing is done, the fund is projected to become insolvent in March 2012 and the state might need to borrow from the federal government to pay jobless benefits. "This bill just isn't the prudent response right now," said Darnell. Read full story here: News New Mexico

McCain: Don't Pull Guard OFF the Border

John McCain
Azstarnet - Arizona's stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border is still not secure despite improvements, and ending the National Guard mission there is ill-advised, Sen. John McCain said Thursday. "The work that the National Guard has been doing is vital and it needs to be increased rather than decreased," McCain said in a news conference in Tucson. "When the secretary of Homeland Security withdraws the National Guard from the border after they've been doing such a good job, we don't know if they are really serious about securing our border." The National Guard border mission began in August and has all along been scheduled to end in June. That plan remains in place. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Grubesic: NM Still Playing Catchup

John Grubesic
Capitol Report New Mexico - I just got back from Phoenix, Arizona and Sacramento, California — two cities in differing states of economic turmoil. As bad as it looked, they still seemed to be light years ahead of New Mexico, economically, educationally and fiscally. They are facing severe financial problems like New Mexico, but they have more to lose. The amount of money that has been invested by Arizona and California in developing infrastructure and an economy is massive. New Mexico’s debt isn’t as great because we haven’t taken any real risk to improve this place. We have not invested enough in anything to make New Mexico competitive with our neighbors, the nation or the world. We had record revenues just a few years ago that we squandered or let Richardson’s pals steal. I am not sure how many highway interchanges Phoenix had, but it was more than one. Ours is such a big deal that we found it necessary to name it. How did Arizona get to be where it is and why does New Mexico still languish behind it, and every state around us?
Jerry Brown
At last count there were about 49 ahead of us — unless you care to count teen pregnancy, the drop out rate and teen suicide. We’ve got them all beat there. We are still tops in all the bad stuff and rock bottom in all the good. Why? Albuquerque has a better climate than both of these cities. I drove more getting from one place to another in Phoenix than I have in the last two months. In summer you have to use oven mitts to touch the steering wheel. It rained and rained and rained and rained some more in Sacramento. All the reservoirs were near or at capacity. And the rivers? Well, the Rio Grande would hardly qualify as a Rio, much less Grande and none of them were staying within their banks. Sacramento was teeming with people. The legislature was in session — I think it goes year-round there — and people were upbeat, enthusiastic and seemed undaunted, even though they are soggy, their basketball team was leaving, they had survived eight years of termination governing and had just re-elected Governor Moonbeam. Read full column here: News New Mexico

ABC Talks to Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson
Capitol Report New Mexico - Here’s an interview from ABC News with Heather Wilson. She deflects a question about John Sanchez’ comments that Wilson is too moderate to win the Republican primary for the US Senate seat that Jeff Bingaman is stepping down from. And she criticizes President Obama for going to the Arab League and the United Nations before going to Capitol Hill to explain the administration’s strategy regarding Libya. Go to Capitol Report New Mexico here: News New Mexico

Sowards: The True Conservative

Greg Sowards
NMPolitics - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Greg Sowards visited Washington, D.C. earlier this week in an attempt to establish himself as the true conservative in the race. “There will be no one to my right, and I believe the other candidates are more conglomerated around the moderate area,” Sowards said in an interview with Politico. “I don’t see how anyone would get between me and conservative principles. They can go to the loon right, which is, as far as I’m concerned, like coming back around on the left.” From Politico: “Sowards is in D.C. this week to meet with an array of conservative touchstone groups like the Club for Growth, the National Rifle Association, FreedomWorks, Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, the Tea Party Express and the National Republican Trust. Representatives with The Prosper Group, which handled fundraising for several high-profile tea party candidates like Sharron Angle and Rep. Allen West, flew into meet with Sowards recently, according to an adviser.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Sanchez Says Wilson's Time Has Passed

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics - During a Thursday visit to Washington, D.C., Lt. Gov. John Sanchez sounded very much like a candidate for U.S. Senate. In fact, in an interview with The Hill, he called Republican U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson a “moderate-type” leader as he sought to portray himself as the conservative alternative. “I think Heather served honorably,” The Hill quoted Sanchez as saying about the former congresswoman. “But if we consider the choices that were made by former establishment candidates, I think it’s clear the choices will be very easy for the people of New Mexico. “Do they want a return back to the days of moderate-type leaders (whose) conservative compasses (weren’t) pointed in the right direction?” he asked.
John Sanchez
“Or are they looking for somebody who doesn’t have to reinvent himself? I think the choice for U.S. Senate is abundantly clear.” Sanchez is considered by many to be the toughest potential GOP primary challenger to Wilson if U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce stays out of the race. Sanchez, who was in Washington for a meeting of the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association, was quoted by The Hill as saying he will make a decision on whether to run for Senate “in the spring.” In an interview with the Washington Post, Sanchez was quoted as saying he is “very close” to entering the race. Read full analysis on here: News New Mexico


O'Reilly: The Triumph of Evil

Bill O'Reilly
Townhall - The opposition to military action in Libya is fascinating. President Obama is taking incoming fire from both the left and the right as various agendas collide against neutralizing Moammar Gadhafi. The dissent is all over the place, so let's try to simplify the situation. We begin with a quote from Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." That's true. We have seen it time and again throughout history. When evil is not confronted, it can win, often with devastating results. There is no question that Gadhafi was on the verge of slaughtering his opposition. His mercenaries and highly paid military were closing in on rebel strongholds, and amnesty would not be forthcoming, as the colonel himself publicly proclaimed. Finally, the U.N. acted, and a no-fly zone was approved. After waffling for weeks, Obama swung into action, ordering U.S. planes and missiles into the skies. Then he went to Brazil. Immediately, the far left erupted. Ralph Nader is calling for impeachment. Michael Moore has suggested that Obama give back the Nobel Peace Prize. Congressman Dennis Kucinich wants to cut off funding for any military action against Libya. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Walker's Legislation Has Unions Caving Already

Scott Walker
Townhall - by Kyle Olson - Apparently Gov. Scott Walker knew exactly what he was doing. Before he signed the bill limiting collective bargaining privileges, teachers unions throughout the state were slow to respond to calls for salary and benefit concessions. They believed their members should be held harmless during a period of necessary cost-cutting. They didn't seem to care that Wisconsin schools were operating with multi-million dollar deficits that were forcing the layoffs of younger teachers and the cancellation of student programs. Their only answer was to raise taxes at a time when few people could afford it. They didn’t want to sacrifice anything, despite the fact that schools spend about 80 percent of their budgets on labor costs. But now, with Walker's legislation set to become law once it clears legal hurdles, the unions are suddenly coming to their senses. They are jumping at the chance to extend their collective bargaining agreements, in exchange for meaningful concessions that will help schools survive the financial crisis. Read full column here: News New Mexico