New Mexico: Wide-open state of no rules

From - (AP) - The arrest of Albuquerque's chief criminal judge on charges he raped a prostitute is just the latest example of a seemingly Wild West-no-rules-attitude permeating numerous levels of authority in New Mexico. Just this year, the mayor, police chief and a trustee of the small border town of Columbus were accused of helping smuggle hundreds of guns into the Mexico. A judge in Las Cruces was charged in a bribery scandal with alleged ties to former Gov. Bill Richardson. The Albuquerque police department has been under increased scrutiny for an escalation in questionable police shootings of unarmed civilians. One of its officers is facing charges that he killed his wife to hide his involvement in a car theft ring. And the city's public safety director just quit amidst a probe of his handling of a car accident involving his wife. Additionally, one of the state's most distinguished professors was recently accused of helping run a sophisticated online prostitution ring. The former Santa Fe sheriff last week pleaded guilty to embezzlement. And several pay-to-play investigations continue into dealings of former Richardson administration officials and others close to the Democrat who ran the state for eight years. This just to cite several recent, prominent examples. Read more

NM Fire Chief Under Attack

FC James Breen
From  -The fallout continues after Darren White's retirement as Albuquerque public safety director. Fire Chief James Breen is under attack for not standing up to White after the former public safety director claimed paramedics weren't equipped to take his wife to the hospital after a car accident.  Breen, who faces a no-confidence vote next week, wrote a memo to all firefighters, saying that there "seems to be blood in the water," following White's comments.  More News New Mexico

ERB Continues to Shoot Itself in Proverbial "Foot"

Jan Goodwin
KOAT - TV - The ERB ended a contract early that cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the board had assumed. This miscalculation comes after Target 7 exposed that the ERB overpaid some of its members by millions. The ERB is entrusted to manage the money of nearly 100,000 current and former public school employees. It’s a lesson you learn in business 101, if you sign a contract, you better know what’s in it. But a state agency made up of people with lifetimes worth of business experience did not. “Well, I’m thinking someone did not project the cost correctly,” ERB Executive Director Jan Goodwin said.
Target 7 has uncovered that the ERB terminated a contract last July with Rothschild, a New York-based asset management company, 19 days into the quarter and nine weeks before the contract would expire. The ERB said Rothschild wasn’t making enough money compared to other asset managers. The agency estimated the termination would cost $88,000, but it actually cost $724,000. If the ERB let the contract run out, it would have cost hundreds of thousands less. In an email obtained by Target 7, the ERB’s chief financial officer said, “We got an invoice for over $700,000 when we estimated 88” and we “should have known,”… “had we read our own contract.” Later in message he asked what the board is doing to “ensure we do not make errors of this magnitude in the future.” Goodwin was one of four people who made the recommendation to cut the contract early. “We thought it was a greater risk to keep them on rather than lose more money,” Goodwin said. Goodwin said she believes the fund would have lost $7 million over the remaining nine weeks if the ERB stayed with Rothschild. Up until the point when the ERB severed ties, Rothschild had made the fund millions in profit. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Bok: Illustrating the President's Negotiating Position

Cartoonist Chip Bok illustrates the president's negotiating position. It has not changed since last week. - more of his here


Tom Udall and Social Security

Tom Udall
At a time when families are already dealing with extremely tight budgets, a default would mean increased costs for just about everything - from food and gas to housing and sending the kids to college. It would also jeopardize critical federal benefits that veterans, seniors and others depend on to pay the bills and stay healthy. For example, more than 360,000 people in New Mexico receive Social Security - for retirement, survivors benefits or disability. If the debt ceiling is not raised by the deadline, the more than 360,000 Social Security recipients in New Mexico would be in danger of their benefits being disrupted. It is time to put partisan politics aside and stop looking at this crisis as a political opportunity to score rhetorical points. It is time to do what is right for New Mexicans. We must increase the debt ceiling, and we must do it by Aug. 2. Go to Udall's Website here: News New Mexico

Bingaman Lumps Social Security in With Everything

Jeff Bingaman
We looked over Senator Jeff Bingaman's website and found these comments which lump social security in with all other expenditures:
"President Obama is working very hard to make sure the debt ceiling is raised so that Social Security checks are disbursed on time. The president recently said that, without raising the debt ceiling, he could not guarantee that Social Security checks would go out on August 3. Without an agreement in place by August 3 to raise the debt ceiling, the nation's financial obligations would outstrip the nation's incoming revenue, and we would not be able to meet our financial obligations. In August alone, we would face a $134 billion shortfall.
The president would have to choose which financial obligations to pay, deciding between paying the interest on U.S. Treasury bonds or benefits for our seniors, paying troops or providing veterans benefits, disbursing student loans or providing loans to small businesses to make payroll, and many other difficult choices between obligations. Not paying all of our bills could hurt the United States' credit rating, just like what would happen to a person's credit rating if he paid his mortgage but not his car payment. Not paying all of our bills could be equivalent to defaulting on our debts. Picking and choosing which bills to pay is not a realistic option." Go to Bingaman website here: News New Mexico


Rasmussen Poll: Voters More Worried About Higher Taxes Than Spending Cuts

While Washington wrangles over how to avoid defaulting on the government’s massive debt load, voters are worried the final deal will raise taxes too much but won't cut spending enough. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters are worried more that Congress and President Obama will raise taxes too much rather than too little in any deal to end the debt ceiling debate. Just 26% fear they’ll raise taxes too little. Read full story here: News New Mexico