NM Among Nation's Most Competitive Senate Races

From newmexicoindependent.com - New Mexico is the site of one of the country’s most competitive Senate races, according to Politico. The site’s monthly ranking shows New Mexico as the eighth most competitive race because of the candidacies of Democrat Rep. Martin Heinrich and Republican former Rep. Heather Wilson. Politico says of next year’s New Mexico Senate race: With the exception of Tim Kaine, Rep. Martin Heinrich’s vault into the open seat Senate contest marked the biggest recruiting victory for Democrats over the past month. With former Rep. Heather Wilson also in, both parties have formidable forces to replace Sen. Jeff Bingaman. But primaries loom: Lt. Gov. John Sanchez has done the D.C. rounds and Rep. Steve Pearce hasn’t ruled out a tea party-fueled campaign and clearly wants to be a resonant voice in the nominating process. More News New Mexico

Oil Is Now Up $82 a Barrell During Obama Presidency

While new barriers to production of domestic energy are erected every day by the White House, citizens are increasingly taking note of their bills at the gas pumps. Crude oil was trading at $30 a barrel on the day President Obama took the oath of office. Today Brent North Sea crude Brent topped $126 in hectic trading. Gas prices have also skyrocketed. Apparently President Obama's policy of choking domestic production isn't the only problem. His latest decision to make a military incursion into Libya poses a real threat to international supplies. Strikes on Libyan fields by forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi seem increasingly likely to create new global shortages. On a related note, the U.S. dollar fell to the lowest level in more than a year against the euro. The bottom line is markets are signalling that the "Green Agenda" of the Obama administration has a steep cost and the American consumer is going to be paying up. While the travel plans and carbon fuel consumption patterns of the climate change titans like President Obama and former Vice President Al Gore have not changed (both Nobel Prize winners) no doubt the vacation plans of many working Americans may be re-worked very soon.
On deck for America are uneconomical wind and solar plants made possible only by billions in taxpayer dollar subsidies. Many estimates peg the price of electricity tripling in some markets as the administration's traditional energy hating regulators at the EPA effectively shut down coal-fired plants in places like Farmington, New Mexico. The enemy according Obama EPA appointees? The gases plants cannot live without (CO2). What can New Mexicans do as their energy costs skyrocket and their discretionary income plunges? Keep digging into their wallets and purses and cutting back on their purchases. And come 2012 they should realize they will get another chance to think more carefully about who the reigns of government get handed to. Others have big plans for this weekend. They will be clearing away hundreds of pounds of dead native plants in their yards that died thanks to record cold temperatures in February.  Do not despair! As you refill your gas tank on the way home from the landfill, at least you can take great comfort in knowing that as you pay up for gas and electricity that you will be saving all of us from the horrible threat of........global warming.  Madness?


More State Regulation of Healthcare on Way

Dede Feldman
Capitol Report New Mexico - New Mexico Democrats have been grumbling about Gov. Susana Martinez vetoing a number bills they sponsored in the last legislative session (click here to read some caustic comments from one state rep) but on Thursday (April 7th), they were elated to see Gov. Martinez sign a bill that strengthens regulations on rate increases that health insurance companies charge. “I’m delighted,” Sen. Dede Feldman (D-Albuquerque) said after Gov. Martinez signed Senate Bill 208/499 which requires rate hike requests be based on actuarial evidence, that supporting documents be made public on the Internet and that Public Regulation Commission (PRC) members have the authority to remand a rate hike back to the state’s Insurance Superintendent. “Consumers need to know if insurance rates are fair and reasonable.” Feldman and other liberals were worried the conservative Governor would veto the measure but Martinez said in a statement that it’s essential that “the rate review process is as thorough and transparent as possible, especially during these difficult times when many families are cutting costs to make ends meet.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Why Paul Ryan Did Us All a Favor

John Grubesic
Capitol Report New Mexico - I know two things about Rep. Paul Ryan: He has good hair and Benito Lujan hates him, or at least his proposed budget. Let’s run the guy for president! Granted the widow’s peak makes him look a tad ghoulish and his proposed budget is going to keep the wealthy, well, wealthy and the poor … poorer. Ryan’s budget takes on two of the three entitlements that are part of the holy trinity of American politics. Let me correct the statement above: I know three things about Ryan — he also has guts. He acts like a guy who doesn’t care if he gets re-elected or is really good at faking it. That makes him dangerous to stuffed shirts of every political stripe and exactly what Washington needs. I haven’t looked closely at Ryan’s “path to prosperity.” I know Nancy Pelosi started squawking before Ryan finished his press conference, Palin couldn’t stop gushing about it and Obama has yet to make a forceful finger-point denouncing Ryan’s proposal. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Molitor: Johnson Has It Right on Marijuana

Thomas Molitor
NMPolitics - The “war on drugs” is a losing battle. Our former governor touched a third-rail when he took a stance in favor of the legalization of marijuana back in the 90s. Now it appears he is to run in the presidential Republican primary in 2012 (by the way, why not for Bigaman’s vacated senatorial seat, Gary?). After $1 trillion spent on the “War on Drugs,” even the United States drug czar Gil Kerlikowske concedes that, “in the grand scheme, it has not been successful.” Meanwhile, with 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States now has 25 percent of the world’s prison population. In a recent report, the Associated Press assembled some pretty grim statistics. Here are just a few. The federal government has evidently spent $33 billion in various antidrug messages and prevention programs. But high-school students continue to use illegal drugs at the same rate as in 1970, and drug overdoses have risen steadily since then. 
Gary Johnson

Some 37 million nonviolent drug offenders – about 10 million of them using marijuana – have been arrested, at a cost of $121 billion; jail time, research shows, tends to increase drug abuse. Another $450 billion has been spent on locking these people up in federal prisons alone. At some point, it becomes impossible to pretend any longer that government and its law enforcement arm can solve a problem of this nature. This is a job for families and local institutions, not a paramilitary police state spearheaded by the DEA. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Harbison: Political Polarization

Jim Harbison
Our current political polarization prevents any significant progress throughout all levels of government. Nationally, we have not been able to pass a budget. It was supposed to be passed more than nine months ago and should have been a simple process for the Democrats because they controlled the Congress and the White House. Unfortunately, with the pending elections they chose not to make the hard budget decisions because they might adversely impact Democrat elections.
Here we are now trying to pass another “continuing resolution” to fund the government for the remainder of the current budget year instead of working on critical policy issues. Neither political party is willing to actually sit down and seriously discuss what is important and necessary for the benefit of the American people. They have become so politically rigid that they have lost track of their purpose and the ability to work together.
This polarization exists at state and local levels. New Mexicans overwhelmingly wanted to eliminate driver’s licenses for illegals and a bi-partisan bill was passed by the House but died in the Senate on partisan lines. It wasn’t defeated on its merit but by the Democrat Party trying to send a strong message to the newly elected Republican governor that partisan politics would continue to rule New Mexico.
Even Las Cruces is plagued with the partisan divide between common sense legislation and political polarization and the issue doesn’t seem to matter. At the last City Council meeting members of the public wanted to challenge the City Council on its support of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). This United Nations sanctioned organization has been the source of much recent discussion and is opposed by many people. A member from the Dona Ana Democrat Party sent out an email alert urging Democrats to attend the Council meeting. According to the email they (the well-educated, literate, critically thinking) would be the “sane majority” to counter the “Tea Party Crackpots” that would be there supporting the “claptrap, nonsense and bizarre beliefs” and the “conspiracy theorists” who oppose Agenda 21. They fear that public opinion might actually defeat or eliminate the ICLEI suggested sustainability programs like those being eliminated in increasing numbers of cities and counties across the nation.
Rather than discuss the issue on its merits the Democrats chose to resort to name calling to attempt to discredit those opposing Agenda 21. Using this tactic they never have to defend their position on the merits of any issue. This has been their pattern for a long time and in my opinion is the primary reason our nation is in the situation we now find ourselves. Civil discussion is paramount to a democratic society. Constitutionally, we have freedom of speech but unfortunately, when it comes to political discussions, we have lost the ability to talk to and respect each other. It is no longer fashionable, or politically acceptable, to be the “friendly opposition” where we can agree to disagree and still respect each other.
I am reminded of an old admonition that should be applied in all discussions: “Those who hold different opinions entertain them as honestly as you do and you have no right to deny or doubt their sincerity and never harshly denounce an opinion that more experience or investigation may someday compel you to adopt, and therefore always treat your opponents as if their opinions may at some time become your own”.
Adoption of this philosophy would certainly improve the civility of our discussions and enhance the respect we show to each other and facilitate social and legislative progress.


NM Job Creators Face $128 Million Shakedown

The Republic - SANTA FE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez is up against a deadline for dealing with measures passed by the Legislature, including a $5.4 billion budget and a bill to increase taxes on businesses. The governor must complete action on bills Friday, deciding whether to sign or veto them. Martinez has the option with the budget of using line-item veto powers to eliminate individual allocations of money. The governor previously has said she plans to veto a bill raising taxes on businesses by $128 million to prevent the unemployment compensation program from becoming insolvent. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Obama Veto Threat Forces Cancellation

Steve Pearce
President Obama's veto threat of the bill that would keep the government open forced Congressman Steve Pearce to cancel a “Congressional Coffee” meeting scheduled for this Saturday, April 9th, at 8:30am. The event was to be held at La Iguana Restaurant, 139 N. Main, in Las Cruces (575-523-8550). Members of the public had been encouraged to attend and visit with Congressman Pearce on any issue, concern, or idea. NewsNM Note - Steve Pearce will appear on News New Mexico Monday morning April 11th at 7:00am, however he may be on the phone instead of in studio.


Welfare Funded, Troops?......Nope

Taking a few steps back from the hysteria of the looming government shutdown, a few points seem noteworthy. First, the budget deal Congress is arguing about right now should have been passed prior to July of 2010. This fiscal year is almost over. Why are we discussing the budget for it? President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi had more than twelve months to pass the current budget. And they could do it with huge majorities. Now they blame the budget impasse on their opponents. The truth is Obama, Reid, and Pelosi preferred the so-called “Continuing Resolution” (C.R.) method of spending because with a “C.R.” they did not have to actually go on the record as having voted for a plan that involved a $1.5 trillion budget deficit in 2010.
Perhaps an even more compelling point is the implication of Obama’s sudden veto threat of yet another continuing resolution. Welfare recipients in the U.S. appear to be fully funded until the fall of 2011. However, military personnel, those in harm’s way in Afghanistan, and in the new war with Libya, as well as in the old war in Iraq, will NOT be paid. It seems that welfare recipients are a higher funding priority than combat troops. What else do New Mexico voters need to know about these three policymaking leaders. The message to voters, be careful who you send to Washington to caucus with Reid and Pelosi.