Another Day in Paradise South of the Border

Newsnm note - (Spence) Borrowing of more money to address the plight of the Libyans might be a noble thought, but it should not be our priority. On our southern border, neighbors we care deeply about are facing atrocities every single day. In the meantime, the majority in Washington is actually cutting funding for border security as it blindly sinks deeper into the tribal conflict in Libya. In the wake of widespread violence against law enfocement officials on both sides of the border including the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agents, the lack of attention to this deplorable situation is inexcusable. Where is the leadership? Fox News - Ciudad Juarez – A prosecutor who oversaw investigations in this violent Mexican border city was gunned down Friday outside his home, the Chihuahua state Attorney General's Office said. Mario Ramon Gonzalez was attacked at 8:20 a.m. while he was on his way to the Ciudad Juarez branch of the state AG's office.
Agent Brian Terry (1970 - 2010)
According to the initial investigation, Gonzalez was shot at by gunmen wielding rifles who had arrived at his home in three black vehicles. Gonzalez's body was found next to his car in the driveway and the area was subsequently cordoned off by dozens of state, municipal and federal police while forensics experts and homicide detectives gathered evidence. Also in Juarez, three children under the age of 5 were killed when their home caught fire Thursday following a Molotov cocktail attack. The mother of the three children, who was inside the home at the time of the attack, suffered burns, officials said, adding that dozens of rescue workers were rushed to the scene in a vain attempt to save the youths. More than 8,500 people have been killed in Ciudad Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, and dubbed Mexico's murder capital, in the past four years. Read full story here: News New Mexico

What Would Jackie Robinson Say?

Jackie Robinson
Last night every major league baseballl player wore # 42 paying fitting tribute to one of America's greatest citizens, Jackie Roosevelt Robinson. In watching the games we were reminded of an expereince shared with us by a New Mexico-based money management firm attending an "emerging manager" conference in Chicago last year. Upon arrival in the Windy City they soon learned they were legally barred from doing business with the State of Illinois. Believe it or not, Illinois actually has a law regarding emerging money managers that requires emerging money managers hired by the state to NOT be white men. Below is a portion of the applicable legal language: Goals for Utilization of Minority-Owned Businesses, Female-Owned Businesses, and Businesses Owned by Persons with a Disability - ........1 Effective April 3, 2009, Public Act 96-0006 revised the definition of “emerging investment manager.” As a result, the current definition applicable to ISBI is found in 40 ILCS 5/1-109(4) and is defined as “a qualified investment adviser that manages an investment portfolio of at least $10,000,000 but less than $10,000,000,000 and is a “minority owned business,” female owned business or business owned by a person with a disability as those terms are defined in the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act.”
Stunned, a firm representative tracked down a local expert and asked for an interpretation. The local consultant shrugged when questioned about the meaning of the language in the statute and said, it simply means so long as a firm is NOT majority owned by "white males" it can compete for state business in the emerging manager space.
The good news for the New Mexico firm was its white male owners were not denied rooms, water, or food service at the hotel where the conference was being held. The bad news was it found itself paying a tidy sum to co-sponsor an event in a state where it was statutorily BARRED from winning contracts to manage public money due to the color of the skin and gender of the majority of owners. One of the principals mused after the return to New Mexico that the overt discrimination built into the Illinois statute had managed to make the subtle non-merit-based culture of corruption that has been part of  New Mexico's pay-to-play system seem almost fair. But the big question remains, "What would Jackie Robinson say?"


Lujan and Heinrich Vote NO on Spending Cuts Still Have No Plans of Their Own, Just Criticism

Martin Henrich
Newsnm note - (Spence) With the federal government borrowing more than $2,000 each and every month for every taxpaying couple in the country, it is easy for every elected official sent to Washington to "SAY" they are for fixing the borrowing insanity. Talk is cheap and there are no elected officials who are more generous with cheap talk than U.S. House members Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico. These men consistently offer nothing but NO votes on spending cuts and hypocritical criticism of all efforts to reign in the insanity. We know of no proposal from either one of these Congressmen that would actually stop the federal government from continuing to borrow insanely on our behalf. Yet both of these men hold themselves up as the "defenders" of working families and seniors.
The Nation - The House on Friday approved a fiscal year 2012 budget resolution from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that seeks to drastically limit government spending next year and in years to follow. But the vote on the measure — which imposes $5.8 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade — came after a clear sign that at least half of the Republican Caucus supports even tougher spending cuts. The final tally was 235-193, with four Republicans opposing it.
Ben Ray Lujan
They were Reps. Ron Paul (Texas), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and David McKinley (W.Va.). Rehberg, the appropriator in charge of health spending, is running for Montana's Senate seat. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said listening sessions with Republican members made it the strongest vote of the year. "This is the process we should follow on all votes," he said. Every Democrat voted "no." Read full story here: News New Mexico


Getting Ready to Rumble for Dem Chair Spot

Steve Terrell
Roundhouse Roundup - When I asked Sam Bregman yesterday about Sen. Jeff Bingaman's endorsement of Javier Gonzales in the state chairman's race, Bregman said Gonzales was publicizing the endorsement to counteract a recent poll Gonzales commissioned of state Democratic Central Committee members showing Bregman winning the contest. "They're losing," Bregman said. "The train has left the station." But today, Gonzales' spokesman shot me an e-mail saying that there indeed was a poll, but it showed Gonzales doing better than 54 percent. Bregman was pulling just over 37 percent, while Letitia Montoya had about 8.5 percent. According to spokesman Matt Ross the call, which went out to all 400-plus Central Committee members, went as follows: Read full story here: News New Mexico

Skandera Warns Districts About "Gaming the System"

Hanna Skandera
KRQE - Governor Susana Martinez was serious about her threat to look into the audit records of school districts. The New Mexico public education department sent letters to 34 of the 89 school districts, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, and Las Cruces to let them know they are being audited. The department said its initial audit found nearly $18 million in funding claims that are considered suspect. Education Secretary Hanna Skandera said she wants to make sure no one's “gaming” the system to get extra funding. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Martinez Talks Taxes on TAX DAY

Susana Martinez
LAS CRUCES – Governor Susana Martinez today made the following statement on Tax Day, the day that typically marks the deadline that American taxpayers must have their tax returns submitted to the federal government. “Today is a reminder of the burden that New Mexico taxpayers face each and every year,” said Governor Martinez. “Unfortunately, while Tax Day is filled with symbolism, New Mexico’s families and small businesses feel the financial drain and uncertainty caused year-round when the federal government attempts to take more and more money out of their pockets to fund out-of-control spending. Both our state and federal tax system should encourage small businesses to grow and hire, allow families to prosper, and permit New Mexicans to keep more of their hard-earned money. “That’s why I’m fighting hard against big government and excessive taxes. The budget that I just signed is a symbol of our priorities – it cuts spending, preserves classroom funding and healthcare for the most vulnerable, and it does not raise taxes on a single New Mexican. And, as promised, I vetoed every tax increase sent to my desk. New Mexico’s economy simply cannot turn the corner when families and employers face the uncertainty and financial hardship caused by high taxes and runaway spending. I will continue to fight against government excess as we work to cut spending, put our state back on sound fiscal footing, and create a business-friendly environment that allows for economic growth and job creation.”

65 NM National Guard Members Head to Afghanistan

KOB - TV - SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A yellow ribbon ceremony is planned Wednesday for about 65 members of the New Mexico National Guard who are being deployed to Afghanistan. The ceremony for the members of Company C, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment will be held at 10 a.m. at the regional training institute at National Guard headquarters in Santa Fe. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Entire State Under Fire Restrictions

KOB - TV SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - State officials are imposing fire restrictions across much of New Mexico because dry conditions and high winds have resulted in extreme fire danger. The restrictions in all but four northern New Mexico counties will go into effect Saturday at 8 a.m. The restrictions apply to fireworks, smoking, campfires and open fires in 29 out of the 33 counties. The secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, John Bemis, says some areas of the state have not seen appreciable moisture in as many as 150 days. Bemis is urging people to follow the restrictions to protect lives and property in their communities. Read full story here: News New Mexico

From DC to NM, tough decisions don’t get made — just delayed

John Grubesic
Capitol Report New Mexico - We still have a federal government. No furlough of nonessential employees. I doubt that we would have missed them, but thank goodness the brain trust in Washington avoided adding an additional layer to our fiscal fiasco. These things can get expensive, ask Newt Gingrich. Of course all the drama could have been easily avoided had Congress decided to deal with this back before the expiration of the federal fiscal year in October of 2010. You know, back when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress? Unfortunately, they were frozen with fear. With the election looming in November there was no chance that a budget would pass. Congress was scared to death of taking any action that might have cost them a vote. This is a common affliction in public service, rarely diagnosed, not often fatal, but a slow growing, insidious disease that has infected politics and is slowly killing real leadership in this country. The disease has infected state legislatures. Look at Wisconsin, Texas — I am sure there are more. I saw guys get up and walk out of committees in New Mexico along party lines several times. You can’t win if you don’t have the votes and you can’t have a vote if nobody’s there. Once you lose a quorum in a committee the only thing left to do is eat all the free food the lobbyists bought for dinner. A two-party system doesn’t work when one side decides to walk out. Running and hiding is not an acceptable response. This country was forged by people who stood and fought — not by those who cut and run. Read full column here: News New Mexico