Sowards: Independence From Tyranny

Greg Sowards
Declaring independence from tyranny is, ultimately, the American people’s defining characteristic. Whether the tyrant was the English Crown, the Third Reich or Islamic Supremacy, the American people have always united to deliver the blessings of liberty to their children. Today, the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to the culture that has gripped Washington. An unresponsive Congress and an Administration intent on “fundamentally transforming America" have led to obvious violations of the public trust.
From the bailouts of TARP to job killing bureaucratic regulations to the failed stimulus, out of control spending, unconstitutional power grabs and a lack of Executive leadership these last four years have caused a colossal shift in the attitudes of thinking people from all political persuasions.
Meeting the people of New Mexico these past months, the shift in attitudes is remarkable. On my campaign trail I have spoken with registered Republicans, Independents and Democrats; all hard-working men and women who voice their frustrations with Washington and its lack of basic economic and social principles. The conversation often starts with “Yes, I am a registered Independent, but lately I have voted Republican” or with “Well, I'm a Democrat, but I vote the man not the party.” As a candidate for U.S. Senate determined to restore the promise of prosperity to America, leading with the consent of the governed will require a shift in culture in DC. That shift can begin right here in our home state.
The New Mexico GOP, has a golden opportunity to capitalize on voter frustrations and increase its registered base by as much as 10% in 2012.
The state Senate in Santa Fe shows a nearly 2 to 1 advantage for Democrats. This ratio does not reflect the consensus of the people. The leadership is determined to live on the welfare of the federal government rather than spur economic growth in the private sector. People of New Mexico are tired of being part of Washington's spending problem and are ready for leadership that focuses on creating an environment that encourages new businesses to start and grow while creating jobs for our children.
The narrowing gap in the House, the election of Governor Susana Martinez, Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez as well as the sudden groundswell of active conservatism in places like Quay and Curry County are proof that the good people of New Mexico are searching for leaders with the resolve to declare independence from the European-styled socialism being forced upon us by career politicians in Washington D.C. and Santa Fe.
In short, it is time for optimism in the Republican Party. Our message of limited government, lower taxes and personal responsibility is winning. The advances of information technology and social media are revealing the Democratic and progressive agendas for what they are – the loss of generational opportunity and welfare checks rather than paychecks.
I look forward to working with county and state GOP leaders along the campaign trail to increase GOP voter registrations in New Mexico. The largest change in party affiliation to the Republican base in the next months will originate from registered independents, eager to exercise their vote in determining the direction of the present political movement at their first opportunity - the primary elections.
Greg Sowards is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.


Governor Tackles Workforce Solutions Mess

Susana Martinez
Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has signed an executive order to activate an unemployment fund advisory council in order to formulate policies that will help to ensure the long-term stability and solvency of the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund. The council, which was created by law in 1959, has been inactive for roughly 30 years as the management of the state’s unemployment insurance fund – including the setting and changing of contribution rates paid by businesses - has been dictated solely through the legislative process. In particular, decisions by the Legislature and Governor in 2004 and 2007 to create artificially low contribution rates and expand benefits beyond what is offered in other states quickly depleted what had been a robust, $500 million fund. Currently, the unemployment insurance fund is projected to be solvent through March of 2013.
“A sound unemployment insurance fund should be operated with two long-term goals in mind – to provide adequately for those who lose a job through no fault of their own, and to keep contribution rates by businesses stable and predictable over time,” said Governor Martinez. “The management of this fund, including the changing of rate schedules, should be driven by actuarial and economic data – not by politicians in Santa Fe. A panel of experts charged with recommending reforms and enacting changes to the fund over time will allow us to better support unemployed workers and New Mexico job creators at the same time.”
The unemployment fund advisory council will be tasked with formulating regulatory and statutory changes that will present a long-term solution to provide for the solvency and stability of the unemployment fund, including examining certain reforms such as:
  • Implementing a floor and ceiling for the fund to prevent it both from nearing insolvency and growing too large
  • Overhauling the contribution rate structure and potentially adding schedules and experience rating bands to ensure more gradual, equitable and predictable rate changes.
  • Setting a target fund balance or ratio.
  • Enacting measures to prevent fraudulent claims and overpayments.


Larry Barker: Lightning art strikes taxpayers' money

From - by Larry Barker - PIE TOWN, N.M. - It’s a bizarre government project, a quiet back-room deal that’s costing taxpayers a ton of money. A project, so obscure it sailed through a legislative spending bill four years ago, unnoticed, sandwiched between rural water systems and school construction. Five hundred thousand dollars set aside for an art preservation project in Catron County. Welcome to the Lightning Field, or as it’s technically called, the Quemado Basin Conservation Easement which covers 5,400 acres north of Pie Town. The avant-garde art project created 34 years ago by New York sculptor Walter De Maria displays 400 stainless steel poles evenly spaced in a grid pattern a mile wide. This unique sculpture is located on the western New Mexico prairie, some 15 miles from civilization, but it’s not for everybody. State Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson tells News 13 that the field is not something the department promotes. “We have so many treasures here in New Mexico and this is not one that we have actively chosen to promote,” Jacobson said. Still, promoted or not, for most tourists, the privately funded Lightning Field is off limits. The artistic creation is owned by the New York based DIA Art Foundation and access is by reservation only and limited to just 1100 visitors a year. And if you’re one of the lucky ones, be ready to shell out $250 for admission. Thinking of snapping a few photos as keepsakes? Forget it. The foundation prohibits all photography. Visitors enjoy a 24 hour overnight stay in a rustic cabin and from here art connoisseurs enjoy the vast forest of stainless steel poles set against a backdrop of clear blue sky. So just how does the New York art foundation guarantee an unspoiled view of its stainless steel rods? They found a partner with deep pockets, and in this case that partner is the taxpayers of New Mexico. Just how does this work? A Pie Town rancher owns the cattle range adjacent to the Lightning Field and in order to protect the view, state legislators handed the cattle baron $500,000 in exchange for his agreement not to develop the land. A stipulation of the deal? No public access. So thanks to the foundation’s partners, New Mexico taxpayers, a handful of private art patrons can be assured of an artistic experience that includes stainless steel poles against a backdrop of nothing more than blue sky.  Read more

Commentary: Restoring the public’s trust

From NM - by - I think many folks recognize that career politicians are at the root of the distrust in government, and the most common solution is to impose term limits on our legislators at both the state and federal levels. I would agree and support this idea, but I also believe there other ways to approach this issue. This is what I would do:
* First, I propose eliminating any and all retirement plans for our elected officials at all levels of government. This would include eliminating any form of public payroll contribution matches and completely doing away with any sort of seniority buy-ins for government retirement plans. Of course, our elected officials would be free to pursue private retirement plans of their own with their earned wages.
* Next, I propose that we restructure the health-care plans for our legislators by establishing a baseline of care through a local military hospital, VA hospital or a local public clinic. These should be the only three health-care options available for our elected officials if they choose a government-subsidized health-care plan. Again, elected officials would be free to pursue any health-care plan of their own with no government assistance if they decided either of these options weren’t up to par to their health-care needs.
* My third idea would be to add a signed contractual agreement for a lifetime ban on government lobbying for anyone who is elected to public office through all levels of government.
* Finally, at the state level, I propose that any legislator who legally receives any form of a publicly funded taxpayer salary while performing his or her duties during the legislative session or while fulfilling legislative duties outside of the session should be required to choose between receiving his or her normal working salary or the legislator daily per-diem rate. At no time should a legislator concurrently receive both a publicly funded taxpayer salary and the legislator daily per-diem rate. Read Commentary

Occupy movement targets Black Friday

From Security Info - BY GEOFF KOHL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - They’ve occupied parks, bank entrances and Wall Street. Now they’re occupying Black Friday. Messages on a website called are encouraging the group best known for Occupy Wall Street to turn their attention this Friday toward major retailers. The website encourages occupation or simple boycotting of retailers. The group cites a connection between fourth quarter profits for retailers, credit card usage and the stock market as being the source for the protests on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Read more

14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines In The USA

From the Blog - There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers, the blight on people’s lives of noise and the flicker factor and the countless numbers of birds that are killed each year by these blots on the landscape. The symbol of Green renewable energy, our saviour from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it’s too cold or the wind speed is too high. The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms. Read more

Show Welcome Bachmann With Song 'Lyin' As* B*tch'

From the Huffington Post - It's usually the host delivering the political snark, but last night on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," it was the house band that provided the pointed message. As US Representative and presidential candidate. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) made her way across the stage, The Roots, who back Fallon each night, played a coded message of a song for her introduction music. Astute ears -- or Twitter followers of drummer Questlove -- could identify the song: "Lyin' As* B*tch" by Fishbone. Read more