Las Cruces Mayor Miyagishima Wins in a Landslide

Ken Miyagishima
Incumbent Mayor Ken Miyagishima was re-elected in a landslide yesterday capturing 62% of the votes in a three way race against challengers Dolores Connor and Michael Huerta. Connor finished a distant second with just 28% of the vote and Huerta garnered just 11% of the total. Only 10,000 votes were cast in the mayoral race.

Albuquerque's red light cameras are out, speed vans too

From - By: Heather Mills, KOB Eyewitness News 4; Danielle Flores, - Albuquerque red light cameras will be gone in 60 days, but the mayor is not ready to give up on the cameras altogether. City councilors voted Monday night to remote all photo enforcement. The end of the red light cameras also means the end of photo enforcement speed vans in school and construction zones. Mayor Richard Berry said there is a difference between the red light cameras and the photo enforcement vans. Berry said he is happy councilors upheld the voters' decision to get rid of the cameras, but said he wants to talk about keeping the vans. KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke with parents on Tuesday who said they were unaware the red light camera vote included the photo vans. Read more


Feds Issue $54M Loan Guarantee to NM Biofuel Project

From -The federal government is issuing a loan guarantee to a company that plans to build a $135 million plant in southern New Mexico to produce biofuel from algae. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the guarantee Monday. It has been in the making since December 2009, when the agency first issued a conditional commitment for an 80 percent guarantee on a $54.5 million loan.  More News New Mexico

DOJ "Still Deciding" on NM Police Probe

From -Justice investigators also have been inundated with telephone calls and video-taped stories from the families and friends of some of the 20 men Albuquerque Police Department officers have shot since January 2010. Fourteen of them have died. The majority have been Hispanic men in their 20s and 30s.  But the Justice Department still hasn't decided whether to launch a full-scale "pattern or practice" investigation into APD, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hoses told a meeting of community groups at the Don Newton Taylor Ranch Community Center on Monday evening. "I know you want to hear answers, but the decision (whether to investigate) is made by DOJ in Washington,"  More News New Mexico

What is "Fair"

The idea of economic "fairness" is a relative concept. The occupy Wall Street crowds points to the so-called “rich” and says they do not pay their “fair share” of income taxes.  However, recent tax data shows that more than 50% of all U.S. households pay no federal income taxes. How "fair" is it for half of all American households to pay nothing towards the cost of their government?
U.S. poverty is best understood when it is put into the context of all living human beings. There are now more than seven billion people living on the planet. In 2009 the federal poverty line for annual income in America was $11,161 for a single individual. Being at the poverty line in America does not suggest “middle class” status. The poverty line is a level considered to just short of “destitution.”
Compare and contrast America’s poverty line with the median income of all 7 billion people on planet earth. To be part of the global middle class one must earn about $7,000 per year. This means a person of average means throughout the world takes in $4,000 less per year than Americans considered to be eligible for all government benefits due to their deeply “impoverished” circumstances.
We can infer, when the status of ALL human beings is taken into account, that the 99% of Americans who are glibly referred to as the “downtrodden,” by the Occupy Wall Street crowd, are far better off than the world’s middle class. And most of America’s 99% actually qualify as the wealthiest 1% of all people living on planet earth.
A few questions seem appropriate. Are these "occupy" protestors ignorant of their relatively lofty position in the world of living standards? Are they truly interested in their fellow man? Or are they spoiled class warfare zealots who live in a country where the poorest of the poor live far better than average people all around the world? Some people point to income data in the U.S. Census and try to make the case for economic “unfairness” in America. Forget the U.S. census. Americans live in a global economy. The global census data regarding living conditions and income levels is the only survey that is relevant. A quick survey of the world proves to anyone paying attention that if more taxing of the "rich" was such a great idea, or even a more “fair” economic plan, then all the countless nations with higher tax rates and lower living standards than the U.S. have some serious explaining to do. Margaret Thatcher said the problem with socialism is simple......pretty soon you run out of other people’s money. And those who try in one breath to say capitalism works, but then suggest more socialism is the key to improving living standards, are socialists trying to cloak themselves as capitalists. Fair is fair.


Natural Resource Committee Debates the "Lizard"

Alamogordo Daily News - The region's most controversial reptile lost a vote Monday at the Capitol, but the decision by New Mexico legislators may not carry any weight. Ten members of the natural resources committee voted to publicly oppose listing the dunes sagebrush lizard as an endangered species. They will send a letter expressing their sentiment to Daniel Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Four Democrats on the committee dissented. They included two from southern New Mexico, Rep. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces and Sen. Mary Jane Garcia of Dona Ana.
Their objection will be added to the end of the letter. Ashe is to decide by Dec. 14 whether the dunes sagebrush lizard should be designated as an endangered species. State Rep. Paul Bandy, R-Aztec, led the opposition to federal protection for the reptile. He said such a move could hurt businesses, especially ranchers and oil and gas producers. The dunes sagebrush lizard is found in a total of eight counties in the oil-producing Permian Basin. Four are in southeastern New Mexico and the others are in west Texas. Bandy's letter, endorsed by a mix of Republicans, Democrats and an independent, asks that the decision on the lizard be delayed for a year. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Governor Appoints Doug Howe to PRC

Doug Howe
SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has appointed Doug Howe of Santa Fe to represent District Three on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. Howe is a professional in the energy sector who currently serves as a consultant to Cambridge Energy Research Associates (IHS CERA), a research and consulting company focused on regulatory, policy, environmental, and conservation issues. He will fill the seat vacated by former Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr., who resigned from his position on October 7.
“Northern and Central New Mexicans deserve a commissioner who is competent, trustworthy, and focused on the numerous issues in front of the PRC,” said Governor Martinez. “As an accomplished professional who is well-versed in energy, environmental, and regulatory issues, Dr. Howe has demonstrated the knowledge and experience required to serve capably on behalf of the people of New Mexico. I am confident that he is the right pick to serve on the PRC and will approach his position thoughtfully and professionally.”
Since 2010, Howe has served as an independent consultant to IHS CERA, working on issues relating to regulations, environmental policy, renewable energy, and conservation for companies in the global energy sector. From 2002 to 2010, Howe was employed by IHS CERA as a senior director and consultant. He has also worked as Vice President for Regulatory Policy for General Public Utilities Service Corporation and acted as a consultant to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has consulted on a number of energy issues and development projects in the United States and abroad. Howe holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Kansas State University and earned his M.S. and PhD in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a registered Decline-to-State voter. The Governor’s appointment of Howe is effective immediately.


Bernalillo County Assessor Under Fire

Karen Montoya
KRQE — Claims of wrong-doing by a high-ranking county official are coming to light again. Allegations that Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya has been misusing Bernalillo county employees and county equipment are all contained in a recently-released investigative report. And the findings have captured the attention of the county commission. “The morale in the assessor’s office is really low and the employees are intimidated by the assessor and her deputies,” Helena Baca said. A commission meeting in August became a platform for frustrated employees of county assessor Karen Montoya. Those complaints sparked the investigation that led to a report, outlining a total of 19 allegations. The outside firm found some to be true. Among the findings, they found that Montoya allowed unauthorized people to log onto county computers containing confidential tax information. They also found that one of her employees was raking in thousands of dollars in incentive pay he wasn't entitled to. Among the claims still raising questions is that county employees and county equipment were allegedly used for Montoya’s political and personal gain. Leora Perez made her claims of misconduct in August. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Rick Newton Tackles Social Security

Rick Newton
Capitol Report New Mexico - Rick Newton is new to this political campaigning thing. Maybe that’s why he’s not afraid to talk about an issue most politicians avoid as electoral poison — reforming Social Security. “I’m proud to say that I’ve never run for office,” the 64-year-old from Taos told Capitol Report New Mexico during an interview, adding, ”I’ll agree to be a congressman here for six years but that’s about it.” So whether it’s out of conviction or political naïvete, the retired engineer, physicist and small businessman who has officially tossed his hat into the ring to run as a Republican in Congressional District 3 for the seat in the US House of Representatives currently held by Democrat Ben Ray Luján offers a dramatic proposal when it comes to Social Security and the national debt. “I have a lot of experience in business and a lot of different disciplines like oil and gas and mining and defense,” Newton said, “and I felt that this is a time where my background matches up perfectly with the problems that we are facing today or that we may be facing just around the corner.” So what’s Newton’s plan? Read full story here: News New Mexico

Gary Smith Enters C.D. # 1 Race

Gary Smith
KOB TV - Retired Army veteran Gary Smith of Albuquerque is running for the Republican nomination in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District. Smith, 65, announced his candidacy during the weekend and said he supports repeal of a health care law championed by President Barack Obama. Smith described himself as a fiscal conservative and said he would back a balanced budget constitutional amendment. He retired from the Army in 1991 as a sergeant first class. Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis and former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones also are seeking the GOP nomination. Read full story here: News New Mexico