Occupy Wall Street protest hits ABQ

From KRQE-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE - A nationwide demonstration against corporate America hit the city of Albuquerque as protestors lined the streets. Demonstrators claim the average American has been ignored in the nation's economic crisis. The "Occupy Wall Street" movement has stretched across the country this weekend. Many in the group say one percent of Americans are running the country, which would be corporate America. They say the majority of America is not being heard. “I’m out here because I’m losing a home, we've been unemployed for months, we cannot get food stamps we cannot get unemployment,” Michaela Maestas said. Read more

Councilor Files Ethics Complaint Against Red Light Camera Committee

From KOAT-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Only four days until Election Day and the future of the city's Red Light Camera committee is quickly becoming the biggest ballot item. Redflex, the camera operator, has donated $52,000 in the past week to keep their multimillion dollar investment from going dark. Their total contribution has already reached more than $140,000. In the countdown to Tuesday's election, the big question looms if voters will decide to keep them or get rid of them. "They went through the red light. They committed the violation, and then they backed out and said, 'Well, we corrected things,'" said Councilor Dan Lewis, of the Albuquerque City Council. Lewis filed two ethics complaints earlier in the week, saying the committee failed to properly file campaign materials, and the other saying because of all those donations, the committee's name is legally misleading. "Every piece of mail Safe Roads Albuquerque has sent out says 'Safe Roads ABQ', when they were required by law to have Redflex on those pieces of mail," Lewis said. The complaints were discussed at a city ethics board meeting Friday afternoon. No final decision or hearing was decided but council members said it is likely that it won't happen before Tuesday. Read more

Indigenous Mexican communities boycott elections

From Rio Grande Digital - Two indigenous communities in the violence-torn Mexican state of Michoacan will not participate in the state elections set for Nov. 13. Representatives of the Nahua community of Osutla and the Purepecha community of Cheran reiterated this week their intentions of boycotting the vote. In a communiqué, representatives of Osutla declared they will not permit the installation of polling stations and instead choose their leaders based on traditional customs. Situated in a coastal zone dominated by organized crime, Ostula is embroiled in a land ownership conflict that’s resulted in the deaths or disappearances of at least 16 community members this year alone, according to Professor Maria del Carmen Ventura Patino, a researcher with the Colegio de Michoacan. Landlocked Cheran is immersed in a similar conflict with organized crime groups, though the immediate point of contention is the illegal logging that’s left the community’s forests devastated, according to town leaders. Since April, the 18,000-member community has been in a state of resistance. In a popular uprising, townspeople sacked a mayor from the PRI political party, dismissed the police force, barricaded the entrances and exits to the community and imposed a midnight curfew for security purposes. Read more


"Bill Maher Wins"


Maher Mocks GOP's Belief in Bible

Bill Maher
Comedian Bill Maher was at it again Friday night. The cable TV show host and widely admired progressive icon for political analysis was trying to make sense of the sudden loss of Jewish support for President Obama. He chalked it up, not to Jewish voters paying attention to the Obama administration rebukes of Israel, but instead, to Republican theft. “Somehow the Republicans stole the Jews,” Maher lamented.

Maher’s discussions of ownership of the Jewish vote came in the wake of the Democrat’s shattering defeat in New York special election that replaced disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner. In a profanity-laced explanation, Maher seemed particularly miffed at the religious implications. Wondering out loud with his guests in a startlingly mocking tone, Maher suggested that perhaps Jewish voters are starting to abandon Obama because they know GOP leaders favor Israel and want, “Israel in the hands of the Jews.”
Maher went further, “They (Republicans) think the Bible is real and before you know who (Jesus) comes back, the place has to be in Jewish hands.”
One can only wonder what would be Maher’s fate if he questioned the teachings of Islam with the same mocking tones. Chances are he would soon get a real life lesson in the differences in levels of tolerance. You can watch this remarkable video here, but we offer a word of caution, it does contain profanity.


O'Reilly: Colossal Waste of Money

Bill O'Reilly
Townhall - Nobody likes buying oil from OPEC. Nobody likes coal dust dropping from the sky. We all know that pollution is bad, and greedy oil sheiks are not looking out for us. The problem is, we don't have a realistic alternative fuel option. So we have to live with a bad situation. President Obama has fast-tracked green energy projects, and the results, thus far, have been awful. The Solyndra scandal is the best example. The feds provided this solar panel company $528 million in loans. Shortly after that, the company declared bankruptcy. See you later, a half-billion taxpayer dollars. Many Americans were upset by this colossal waste of money, but not The New York Times editorial page. It headlined: "One company's failure should not deter robust public investments in clean energy." Now we know why the nation is more than $14 trillion in debt. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Think Tank: PRC Needs Major Reforms

THINK NEW MEXICO - New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission (PRC) touches the lives of every New Mexican who pays a gas, electric, or water bill, or buys home, auto, or health insurance, yet the agency has been in an almost constant state of turmoil since it was created in the late 1990s as a merger of the former State Corporation Commission and Public Utility Commission.
The PRC suffers from two fundamental problems. First, it has a broader jurisdiction than any state utility regulatory agency in the nation. The PRC is responsible not only for regulating the rates and service of electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities, as well as telecommunications, but also for appointing the Superintendent of Insurance, who approves rates and policies of health, life, property, auto, and title insurance; controlling the market entry and rates of buses, shuttles, taxis, ambulances, and moving companies; registering for-profit and not-for-profit corporations and LLCs; regulating the safety of oil, gas, and hazardous liquid pipelines; regulating underground excavations that may affect buried pipes or cables; ensuring the safety of railroad crossings; and appointing the State Fire Marshal. The second problem is that the only qualifications required for PRC commissioners are that they must be (1) at least 18 years old, (2) residents of New Mexico for at least a year, and (3) not convicted felons. As a result, New Mexico's PRC commissioners have tended to be less qualified than their peers in other states. For example, while only 11% of utility commissioners nationwide have less than a college degree, a full 44% of New Mexico's PRC commissioners had not completed college when they were elected. Read full report here: News New Mexico


Turmoil in the City of Sunland Park

Mary Helen Garcia
Capitol Report New Mexico - We’ve written about the controversies and turmoil in the state’s Public Regulation Commission (PRC) but compared to what’s been going at the city council in Sunland Park, the PRC is about as staid as the House of Lords. Even by the wild standards of New Mexico politics, the little town south of Las Cruces along the borders of Texas and Mexico is causing a big commotion. So big that a member of the New Mexico state legislature in that district — Rep. Mary Helen Garcia (D-Doña Ana County) — is calling for the state to take over Sunland Park’s city government. “This is a fiasco down here,” Rep. Garcia said to Capitol Report New Mexico by phone Friday (Sept. 30). Just how wild and crazy has it gotten? Well, as we posted back on Aug. 4, the mayor of Sunland Park drew national attention (and ridicule) when he swore in a deposition he was drunk when he signed nine contracts with a California firm that is now suing the town. Then there’s the city council, which has gained a reputation for backbiting and in-fighting. Into this political maelstrom stepped Rep. Garcia, who appeared at the city council meeting this past Monday night (Sept. 26). Garcia planned on addressing the council regarding issues surrounding a regional utility company and a couple other constituent issues but, in the words of a Las Cruces Sun-News editorial, “the Jerry Springer show broke out.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

White House: Fast and Furious Document Release Showing Extensive Staffer Involvement

ATF Agent - William Newell
CBS - WASHINGTON - Late Friday, the White House turned over new documents in the Congressional investigation into the ATF "Fast and Furious" gunwalking scandal. The documents show extensive communications between then-ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office Bill Newell - who led Fast and Furious - and then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O'Reilly. Emails indicate the two also spoke on the phone. Such detailed, direct communications between a local ATF manager in Phoenix and a White House national security staffer has raised interest among Congressional investigators looking into Fast and Furious. Newell has said he and O'Reilly are long time friends. ATF agents say that in Fast and Furious, their agency allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to be sold to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels. At least two of the guns turned up at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December. The email exchanges span a little over a month last summer. They discuss ATF's gun trafficking efforts along the border including the controversial Fast and Furious case, though not by name. The emails to and from O'Reilly indicate more than just a passing interest in the Phoenix office's gun trafficking cases. Read full story here: News New Mexico