South Valley woman mistakenly detained by deputies

NewsNM Swickard: This woman was overwhelmed with the show of force by the police who were pointing their guns at her. Shuckins, wrong woman. Still they got her on resisting arrest because of how freaked out they made her. Just another person that the "shock and awe" police approach harmed. I predict all charges will be dismissed. Hopefully, they will also say they are sorry, but do not hold your breath. From - Rosa Long said the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office confused her for a murder suspect. Long was on her way to work when deputies began chasing her. “Everybody was pointing their guns at me,” long said. “I said please God, please don’t kill me, I didn’t do anything wrong.” Minutes after a murder in the South Valley, deputies got information that the suspect may be in a light colored Ford Mustang. When Long drove by in her yellow Ford Mustang, deputies said they wanted to check out who was inside. “I felt like I was a criminal,” she said. “They made me feel terrible.” Deputies began the chase at the intersection of Rio Bravo Boulevard and Broadway Avenue until spike strips stopped Long at Alameda and I-25. Deputies detained Long for a period of time before releasing her. “It was a lot of commotion and had she stopped when police tried to pull her over, all of this could have been avoided,” said Jennifer Vega-Brown, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s spokesperson. KOB Eyewitness News 4 asked Long why she didn’t stop for deputies. “I was in shock,” answered Long. “I was nervous. I was scared.”While Long was cleared from any involvement in the murder, BCSO did cite her a misdemeanor charge for resisting and evading police.

Rail Runner weekend schedule shortened

From - By: Shaun Griswold, - The New Mexico Rail Runner will now offer limited service on Saturdays. Starting this weekend, the commuter train will only make two northbound and two southbound trips. The schedule changes will go through April 2012.
The Rail Runner made the changes after some federal funding was cut.

Whew! Sheriff's office recovers stolen speed trailer

From the Santa Fe New - A speed-display trailer reported missing Saturday morning was recovered by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. The 7-year-old trailer was located off Santa Fe National Forest Road 79 in the CaƱada de Los Alamos area and appears to be relatively undamaged. "There is some minor damage to the frame, but nothing substantial," Lt. Joe McLaughlin said. "There is a bar (used to lock the wheels of the trailer in place) that was cut off when it was taken that was not with the trailer and we'll need to replace that." The lieutenant added that the radar gun itself and electronic display were both still functional. There are no suspects and the sheriff's office was informed of the location by a citizen who said he saw it in the forest over the weekend while hiking. McLaughlin said recovering the trailer required four-wheel drive vehicles because it was not in an easily accessible location. Read more

Cleaning up our campaign finance system

From NM - by Senator Tom Udall - As we head into another election year, New Mexicans are about to be bombarded with negative attack ads paid for by anonymous, third-party organizations that dominate our TVs and radios in growing numbers each election cycle. We will see an unprecedented amount of money in our elections, and more than ever it will be coming from corporations and outside special interests. We cannot stand idly by and watch our elections be fundamentally degraded by a flood of unaccountable money into the system. That is why I have introduced an amendment to the United States Constitution to address our country’s broken campaign finance system. Read Commentary

DISGRACE: Over 900 Days Since Dems Passed a Budget

From National Review Online - By US Representative Jeff Sessions & Paul RyanAmerica is greatly in need of strong, competent leadership. Our nation’s total debt is now larger than our entire economy. Unemployment is painfully high and growth is painfully slow. Since taking office, the president has accelerated Washington’s reckless spending spree, has added trillions of dollars to the debt, and has refused to present a credible plan to put Washington’s fiscal house in order. This is the second consecutive year that Senate Democrats have disregarded the legally mandated budget process. In fact, this Sunday will mark the 900th day since Senate Democrats last adopted a formal budget plan as outlined in the Congressional Budget Act. It is a national disgrace. As we encourage our colleagues to fulfill their basic duties of governance, we will continue to advance proposals aimed at strengthening the budget process. It is time Washington played by the rules. Elected leaders have a legal — and moral — obligation to prioritize taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars with an honest budget. We’re approaching 900 days since Senate Democrats last took that obligation seriously. Read more

A country of too many laws and rules

From NM - Commentary by Michael Swickard - We are a country of too many laws and rules. There are millions of laws and rules that apply to the citizens of our country. The IRS rules alone can fill a medium-sized room with paper. No one person has read all of the laws and rules of our country, or could read them. These billions of words apply to each of us but there is not enough time to read them all. Many are selectively applied to citizens, often for political reasons. How did we get so many laws and rules? Lawmakers pass new laws each session on top of the thousands upon thousands of laws already on the books. The media talks about the laws that get passed as if passing more laws was the sole function of the legislators. They must add lots of new laws every session. Additionally, bureaucrats come up with new rules on top of the multitudes of rules already governing our every action. The number and complexity of these are multiplied by our court’s interpretations. Read column

Reality Setting in on Zero Percent Interest Rate Policy

Santa Fe New Mexican - Educational employees across the state can weigh in during the coming weeks on a half-dozen proposals that would change retirement benefits for teachers and professors. The Educational Retirement Board will hear public input in Santa Fe on Nov. 14, ahead of a Nov. 21 meeting to vote on the proposals. The meetings come as the retirement board is working to reduce an unfunded liability of about $6 billion, benefits it has promised to current and upcoming retirees. The pension plan has a funded ratio of about 62 percent, which it hopes to boost to about 80 percent by 2030. "The longer we wait to make the changes, the more drastic the changes will be in the future," board Director Jan Goodwin said Wednesday. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Occupiers in Las Cruces told to LEAVE

Protestor tents at Albert Johnson Park in Las Cruces
KOB - TV - Members of "Occupy Las Cruces" face a deadline to leave city park after complaints from the public. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the Las Cruces Police Department gave protesters until 11 p.m. Thursday to leave the park. LCPD spokesman Dan Trujillo said those who don't leave could be cited for trespassing. Trujillo said those who refuse to leave after a citation will be arrested. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Colorado Electorate: Throwing More Money at the Public Education Monopoly is NOT the Answer

Washington Times - Coloradans overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 103, a statewide ballot measure that would have increased the sales and income taxes to fund education. The lopsided outcome — the initiative lost by a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent — upended predictions that the measure probably would lose but that the vote would be close. While they were at it, voters shot down anything that could pick their pocketbooks or cost them jobs, including school bond measures and a Denver proposal requiring businesses to give employees sick leave. The Denver Post called the Election Day results “a killing field for tax measures.” The implications were not lost on most political analysts, who noted that a tight-fisted electorate, still feeling pinched by the economy in 2011, could spell trouble for Democrats in 2012. That includes the biggest Democrat of them all, Mr. Obama, whose campaign has made winning Colorado a crucial piece of its re-election patchwork. Read full story here: News New Mexico

King Owes Haussamen an Apology

Jim Spence
Most members of the News New Mexico team read the news stories on every day. And we also carefully consider Heath Haussamen’s commentaries whenever he decides to express an opinion. When independent thinkers congregate and talk policy, eventually there are disagreements. It is fair to say we share a few viewpoints with Haussamen. However, it is also fair to say we disagree with him quite often. He will appear again as a guest on our show Friday morning.
Heath Haussamen
The trick for a great journalist is to stay as true to the facts as possible and significantly diminish the effects of personal biases. We make no claims of being journalists at News New Mexico, though we will be adding a news person to our team shortly. However, we are very active as news “aggregators.” As the dawn of the digital age presses forward, we feel strongly that there is a need for this service. Accordingly, we know we drive plenty of online traffic to and other news websites every day.
Gary King
As connoisseurs of the output of professional journalists, we have the opportunity to evaluate the professional skills of many reporters many times each day. And over the years we have found no other journalist with a more professional approach to his craft than Heath Haussamen. It is for this reason that we feel compelled to suggest it is high time for a sincere public apology from New Mexico Attorney General Gary King to Heath Haussamen.
King is now well on his way to establishing one of the most dubious records as the chief law enforcement officer, in the history of our state. And King did his reputation no favors when he smeared Haussamen in a letter to the Secretary of State’s office recently.
Here is an excerpt of King’s poorly chosen language:
“I am concerned that a response to a press question in the normal course of business has been blown up into an allegation of ethical misbehavior and would like to know whether this allegation was first posited by Mr. Haussamen, by your office or by some third party.”
Dianna Duran
The real issue behind King’s inquiry is the outrageous conduct by the Attorney General himself, particularly as it pertains to his fundraising activities. While has been on the leading edge of reporting King’s ethically challenged conduct, Haussamen has by no means been the sole reporter of the startlingly erratic behaviors of King.
Ironically, Haussamen has also taken the Secretary of State’s office to the proverbial woodshed over its own failures, namely not coming forward and clarifying the state police’s involvement or lack thereof, in voter fraud charges launched by Dianna Duran during her testimony before a legislative committee during the 60-day session earlier this year.
It is becoming clear that not only does Gary King feel that campaign contribution limit rules are pretty flexible when they are applied to him, he also has no problem at all playing the role of 1st Amendment ‘bully.” There is bad news for King. Criticism of him will continue as long as he accepts campaign contributions beyond the legal limits. If he appears to mishandle another lawsuit as it appears he did in the one involving the sharing of water between Texas and New Mexico, he will be the object of scorn. When his office ignores the Inspection of Public Records Act, he can expect to feel the heat. If he engages in questionable plea bargain agreements with other high profile public figures in his own party, like he did with Jerome Block Jr., King can expect to be taken to the media woodshed. If he puts forth lackluster efforts in pursuing corruption cases against other Democrats, as he has with Rebecca Vigil-Giron, he can anticipate being repeatedly jostled by reporters. If he continues to try to bully non-profit organizations into registering as “political committees,” he will be scrutinized. In fact, anytime Gary King conducts himself in a way that overwhelmingly suggests he’s a shameless partisan playing politics with his job, he can forecast a firestorm of bad press.
For King to behave as he has in recent years, and then attempt to shift the attention by smearing and intimidating a journalist, is the essence of arrogance. If King can’t or won’t do his own job, the tactic of going on the offense against the most reputable members of the free press will not work. There are too many eyes watching every move the Attorney General makes these days, especially Heath Haussamen at A free and vigilant press is a very good thing for the citizens of New Mexico. A bully in the A.G.'s office isn't.


Harbison: Denigration is Not Productive

Jim Harbison
The Occupy Wall Street protests are just another example of the divisions that plague our nation. We have a segment of society that is unwilling to accept any responsibility for their personal lack of success. They find it necessary and convenient to blame others, demand social justice, and engage in the political denigration of the “greedy capitalists”. I find it very interesting that many are students and graduates that went to college so they could get better jobs and achieve greater economic success. Jobs from the very greedy capitalist corporations they are now protesting.
We are again involved in an election campaign cycle at National and local levels to change our society. Unfortunately, political groups are using these protests as an opportunity to continue the constant bitter political, social and economic mudslinging to divide, rather than unite, our nation. As soon as someone learns that they do not have economic, social or political equality, the volley of nasty bitter partisan attacks begin. They start using terms such as racist, tea-bagger, socialist, Christian zealot, greedy capitalist, or some other term intended to divide society. We continue to see examples of these derogatory and slanderous character assassinations with an ever increasing volume and viciousness.
Seldom is a contemporary political race without negative campaigning. Negative attacks are normally launched by some political action group that has no direct or traceable link to the candidate or their organization. This is a deliberate opposition tactic to derail the candidate’s campaign strategy, cast doubt on their character or integrity, and avoid any meaningful discussions on the actual issues that separate them from their opponent. Read rest of column here: News New Mexico


Rep. Espinoza: APS Superintendent Winston Brooks is Covering Corruption

From - ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks is coming under fire for changing a rule to let a state lawmaker who works for the district keep collecting paychecks while she's at the Roundhouse. Under previous rules, veteran Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, who takes home a hefty salary for overseeing vocational programs at APS, was prohibited to collect paychecks when she took off for Santa Fe. Only APS teachers who are also lawmakers were able to receive their salaries, according to their union contracts. But a recent Larry Barker investigation found Stapleton deliberately didn't take political leave from APS, cheating taxpayers out of more than $167,000 in pay over the years. Stapleton also accepted more than $100,000 in per diem from the state while serving in the legislature. But when Superintendent Brooks found out, he didn't punish her or make her pay it back. Instead, he changed the rules. But under state constitution, lawmakers are not supposed to get a salary from the state for legislating. They are only allowed to receive per diem for reimbursement for food, travel and lodging. But the move is drawing some major criticism. Republican Rep. Nora Espinoza from Roswell has called for an investigation into Brooks' actions. "He's covering corruption," said Espinoza. "Here he is, the superintendent, asking us for money every time he comes up (to Santa Fe) and yet he doesn't take care of his employees." Read more

King’s red-herring allegation won’t silence me

NewsNM Swickard: an attack upon one of us is an attack upon all of us. If Attorney General King silences Heath and his blog on politics, we all are injured. I support Heath completely. Shame on you Gary King!
From NM - by Heath Haussamen - Attorney General Gary King attempted to damage my credibility and intimidate me into silence last week by suggesting that I colluded with Republicans to deflect criticism away from the governor and onto him. I don’t collude with politicians, and I won’t be silenced. Read story

"Oh, the Stain on Cain"