Martinez to Sign Public School Transparency Law

Santa Fe New Mexican - ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez plans to sign into law legislation aimed at improving transparency among New Mexico's public school districts and charter schools. A signing ceremony is planned Wednesday afternoon at Sandia High School in Albuquerque.
Among the legislation is a measure that would require financial information about school districts and charter schools to be posted on a government website known as the "sunshine portal." Schools will be required to provide data to the Public Education Department for online publication, including a yearly operating budget, monthly spending as well as a directory of school employees by name, title and salary. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Sowell: Measuring Force

Thomas Sowell
Townhall - You don't just walk up to the local bully and slap him across the face. If you are determined to confront him, then you try to knock the living daylights out of him. Otherwise, you are better off to leave him alone. Anyone who grew up in my old neighborhood in Harlem could have told you that. But Barack Obama didn't grow up in my old neighborhood. He had a much more genteel upbringing, including a fancy private school, in Hawaii. Maybe that is why he thinks he can launch military operations against Moammar Qaddafi, while promising not to kill him and promising that no American ground troops will be used.
It is the old liberal illusion that you can measure out force with a teaspoon, not only in military operations micro-managed by civilians in Washington, like the Vietnam war, but also in domestic confrontations when the police are trying to control a rioting mob, and are being restrained by politicians, while the mob is restrained by nobody. We went that route in the 1960s, and the results were not inspiring, either domestically or internationally. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Williams: Department of Injustice

Walter Williams
Townhall - One of the requirements to become a Dayton, Ohio police officer is to successfully pass the city's two-part written examination. Applicants must correctly answer 57 of 86 questions on the first part (66 percent) and 73 of 102 (72 percent) on the second part. Dayton's Civil Service Board reported that 490 candidates passed the November 2010 written test, 57 of whom were black. About 231 of the roughly 1,100 test takers were black. The U.S. Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, rejected the results of Dayton's Civil Service examination because not enough blacks passed.
Eric Holder
The DOJ has ordered the city to lower the passing score. The lowered passing grade requires candidates to answer 50 of 86 (58 percent) questions correctly on the first part and 64 of 102 (63 percent) of questions on the second. The DOJ-approved scoring policy requires potential police officers to earn the equivalent of an "F" on the first part and a "D" on the second. Based on the DOJ-imposed passing scores, a total of 748 people, 258 more than before, were reported passing the exam. Unreported was just how many of the 258 are black. Keith Lander, chairman of the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Dayton NAACP president Derrick Foward condemned the DOJ actions. Mr. Lander said, "Lowering the test score is insulting to black people," adding, "The DOJ is creating the perception that black people are dumb by lowering the score. It's not accomplishing anything." Read full column here: News New Mexico


Williams: Embarking on a New Age of Freedom

Armstrong Williams
Townhall - There’s a relatively new collection of essays making its way around Washington circles asking a provocative question that, I’m sure, many have acted out in their own personal lives yet never really pondered what it meant — a book entitled, "Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?" Gathered and compiled by editor John Brockman, publisher of, the myriad scholarly contributors examine just how the Internet has altered the course of an individual’s thinking. "A new invention has emerged, a code for collective consciousness that requires a new way of thinking," Mr. Brockman writes. "The Internet is the infinite oscillation of our collective consciousness interacting with itself. It’s not about computers It’s about thinking." Indeed, perhaps the single greatest invention of our time has changed the way we collect, process, analyze and share information; from the most meaningless such as a casserole recipe, to state secrets pilfered by rogue military personnel and scattered like ashes to the four winds. Not since the telegraph in the early 19th century has information moved so rapidly and efficiently. Read more here: News New Mexico

Conrad James - 1st Year Lawmaker

Conrad James
Capitol Report New Mexico -  Editor’s Note: Now that the 2011 60-day legislative session is over, we thought it would ask Rep. Conrad James for some of his thoughts. James is a political newbie — a Republican, he took over Janice Arnold-Jones’ seat in District 24 in Albuquerque at the first of the year. An engineer at Sandia Labs, the 36-year-old had no prior political experience. So what’s it like for a freshman at the Roundhouse? Here are some of Rep. James’ thoughts: The 50th legislature was quite an experience for a political novice such as me. Although I have always been an avid consumer of public policy and political debate, navigating the actual machinery of state government as a first-time elected public official was something I knew would be a significant challenge. But with the assistance of hard-working legislative staffers/aides/analysts ( ), I was able to join the legislature at full-speed and learn quite a lot about our state in the process. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Heath: Don't Dismiss Johnson

Gary Johnson
NMPolitics - Former NM governor shares the tea party’s ideology but has actually had to balance that ideology with governing in a practical way; his candidacy may present a moment for the tea party to decide its future. Conventional wisdom might suggest that former N.M. Gov. Gary Johnson has no chance of winning the GOP presidential nomination next year, but I believe people would be foolish to dismiss his candidacy at this point.
Heath Haussamen

Remember that many dismissed then-District Attorney Susana Martinez as a “regional candidate” when she entered the gubernatorial race in 2009. As it turned out, she was, in fact, the “game changer” a headline on this site called her. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Keller: Calls on Martinez to Advance SIC Reform

Tim Keller
NMPolitics - In the recently completed 2011 legislative session, Senate Bill 17 (Keller, D-Albuquerque and Neville, R-Aztec), a bill designed to complete State Investment Council reforms by removing the governor as chairperson, passed with wide bipartisan support. It now sits on the governor’s desk waiting to be signed. Senate Bill 17 was carefully crafted in the interim by the bipartisan Investment Oversight Committee, long before the recent gubernatorial election. It is composed of original sections from the 2010 bill, including sections to ensure minority party legislative appointments. It now also includes an amendment that allows the governor to serve for two more years in the chairperson role before being removed from the board. Signing SB 17 provides our new governor with an appropriate chance to oversee a transition and recovery of lost funds and then turn over the reins at the SIC. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Malkin: Project Gunrunner

Michelle Malkin
Townhall - Buried in Barack Obama's failed trillion-dollar stimulus program was a $10 million bloody border racket that has now cost American lives. This goes far beyond the usual waste, fraud and abuse underwritten by progressive profligacy. It's bloodstained government malfeasance overseen by anti-gun ideologues -- and now anti-gun ideologue Attorney General Eric Holder will "investigate." Welcome to Project Gunrunner. Prepare for another Justice Department whitewash. First, some background. Like so many border programs run amok, Project Gunrunner was the spawn of Beltway bipartisanship. It was established in 2005 as a pilot project under the Bush administration and run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The intended goal of the program's sting operations: stop illicit firearms trafficking along the Southwest border through close surveillance of undercover gun purchases and coordinated intervention with Mexico. The deadly result: federally sanctioned gunwalking of high-powered weapons from U.S. officials right into the hands of drug cartel killers. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Bingaman and Udall Push for New Conservation Areas

Jeff Bingaman
From - Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are continuing to push for the designation of conservation and wilderness areas in Taos and Rio Arriba counties. U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would preserve about 236,000 acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management by designating a combination of conservation and wilderness areas. Much of the land - 214,600 acres - would be managed as a conservation area. Two other parcels would be managed as wilderness.  Fellow New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall is cosponsoring the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act.  Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Martin Heinrich have introduced a similar bill in the U.S. House.