Fitch Affirms NMSU Revs at 'AA'

From -Fitch Ratings has affirmed its 'AA' rating on approximately $143,420,000 of revenue bonds and revenue and improvement bonds issued by the Regents of New Mexico State University (NMSU, or the university). The Rating Outlook is Stable.  More News New Mexico

N.M. Sixth Largest Recipient of Federal Funds

From -New Mexico’s dependence on federal government spending increased in FY10. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, federal government spending during the year grew to $28 billion, up from $27.5 billion in FY09.  New Mexico ranks sixth among the states in terms of per capita federal spending. In FY10, the federal government spent $13,577 per capita for every New Mexican.  More News New Mexico

Bachman, Santorum & Huntsman Fail to Make VA. Ballot

From -That’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that Perry and Gingrich, either one of whom could still become the Great Grassroots Hope against Romney, might not have qualified either. You need 10,000 signatures to make the ballot but 15,000 are recommended since a bunch are bound to be thrown out as false or duplicative as the petitions are scrutinized. You also need at least 600 signatures from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. Romney submitted 16,026 and Ron Paul submitted 14,361. Perry’s total: 11,911. Gingrich’s: 11,050. If they end up getting bounced, the Republican primary ballot for one of America’s key swing states will consist exclusively of … Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. You know who that benefits?  More News New Mexico

Alb. Rolls Back Energy Code

From -Albuquerque city councilors have narrowly agreed to roll back the city's strict energy code, which was intended to make the city a leader in energy conservation. The council voted 5-4 along party lines Monday night to abandon the code in favor of the less strict -- and less costly -- state code. Republicans supported the rollback, saying it will make Albuquerque more builder-friendly. Some developers and environmentalists said Tuesday the city has taken a step backward by adopting the new code, which is based on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, a collection of standards that have been vetted by architects, engineers and builders from across the country.  More News New Mexico

Latest in N.M.'s Largest Ponzi Scheme

Douglas Vaughan
From -Last year, we first told you about the activities of Douglas F. Vaughan, a New Mexico real estate broker who authorities said orchestrated that rural desert state’s biggest-ever Ponzi scheme. Since the early 1990′s the popular Albuquerque businessman sold to his fellow New Mexicans promissory notes touting high annual returns–averaging 17.5%–and no risk.Vaughan, 64, pleaded guilty in a Santa Fe federal courtroom to two of those counts, mail fraud and wire fraud. He formally admitted to running the state-record Ponzi, which was put at $75 million.  More News New Mexico

Curtis: "Not Being a Politician, I Don't Understand"

Capitol Report New Mexico - We’ve written how it looks like Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has no choice but to seat a Democrat and president of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, Lisa Curtis, to serve out the final year of the term of state Sen. Kent Cravens (R-Albuquerque). Cravens resigned his post to become a lobbyist for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and while the district he represents is largely a GOP stronghold, the Bernalillo and Sandoval county comissions on a party-line vote nominated Curtis to replace Cravens. In an interview with Capitol Report New Mexico earlier this month, Gov. Martinez said, “The people in that district elected Kent Cravens as a Republican and wanted a Republican representing them and the commissions have played politics instead and have submitted a Democrat and only one name. It looks like that’s the only option we have [to select Curtis to fill the seat] and if it is, I will do what I have to do but it’s a shame that politics has to play a part in this when, in fact, what the people want should be first and foremost.”
Lisa Curtis
Recently, Curtis sent an e-mail to reporter Milan Simonich of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership claiming she’s apolitical:
“Not being a politician, I don’t understand why anyone would be appointed based on party,” Curtis said. “Right now I represent one New Mexico family at a time … All this talk about parties divides us and is completely unproductive.”
But a quick review of records by Capitol Report New Mexico shows Curtis has made $9,200 in personal political contributions in just the last two years and all of them went to Democrats. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Carter Offers Kim Jong-Un "Condolences"

Kim Jong Un
Washington Times - Former President Jimmy Carter has sent North Korea a message of condolence over the death of Kim Jong-il and wished "every success" to the man expected to take over as dictator, according to the communist country's state-run news agency. A dispatch from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Mr. Carter sent the message to Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent. "In the message Jimmy Carter extended condolences to Kim Jong Un and the Korean people over the demise of leader Kim Jong Il.
Jimmy Carter
He wished Kim Jong Un every success as he assumes his new responsibility of leadership, looking forward to another visit to [North Korea] in the future," the KCNA dispatch read. When contacted by The Washington Times for comment, the Carter Center provided an email contact to a spokeswoman who is out of the office until the New Year.
North Korea is routinely labeled as one of the world's most oppressive governments under an eccentric personality cult surrounding the Kim family. Harrowing reports from defectors describe North Korea as a dirt-poor nation filled with concentration camps and Communist propaganda. Kim Jong-il ran the reclusive country according to a "military first" policy since the mid-1990s, after a famine that may have killed as many as 2 million people. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Pearce: "A two month tax cut extension will not work"

Steve Pearce
NewsNM - Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement, reiterating his insistence that the Senate and President Obama work with the House of Representatives to ensure year long tax cuts for Americans. “The Senate voted to decrease the length of tax cuts for Americans and then promptly went on vacation, attempting to tie the hands of House Members and force us to increase taxes on hard working Americans,” said Pearce. “Their plan did not work. The House recognizes what the public knows and what experts have affirmed—a two month tax cut extension will not work. Specialists have declared the 60 day extension by the Senate unworkable. It will increase economic instability and disable job creators from hiring additional workers, growing their businesses, and spurring economic growth.” Read full statement here: News New Mexico


Border Patrol Enforcement Actions Non-Stop

NewsNM - Business has been brisk at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ports of entry in the El Paso section in the week leading up to Christmas. Officers working at El Paso area ports of entry identified more than 125 violations during the past seven days. CBP officers seized drugs, arrested illegal immigrants, captured fugitives and stopped prohibited agricultural items from entering the U.S. at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas, and New Mexico. During the past seven days CBP officers recorded a total of 20 drug busts. They seized 1,405 pounds of marijuana in 18 incidents and five pounds of methamphetamine and 1.3 pounds of cocaine in two additional enforcement actions.


UNM Will Announce Schmidly's Successor on Jan. 4th

KOB - TV - The University of New Mexico is planning to name a new president on Jan. 4. The agenda for a special board of regents meeting on Jan. 4 that calls for both an executive session as well as “final action regarding decision and announcement of UNM’s 21st president. The university selection process involved interviewing five finalists for the presidency that is being vacated by President David Schmidly in the spring of 2012.

Bell DWI Conviction Overturned

Ron Bell
Albuquerque Journal - The DWI conviction against attorney Ron Bell has been reversed. Bell, a prominent lawyer whose catchy “I sue drunk drivers” advertising campaign won him a quasi-celebrity status in Albuquerque, was convicted of DWI in Metropolitan Court on March 8. On Tuesday, State District Court Judge Neil Candelaria sided with Bell in his appeal, ruling that the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy who pulled Bell over lacked reasonable suspicion to question him about irrelevant things and then proceeded to conduct an unwarranted DWI investigation.  Read full story here (subscription required) : News New Mexico

Bo Knows Photo Ops

White House Dossier - Bo Obama was supposed to be in Hawaii. Instead, he showed up at President Obama’s side Wednesday shopping for treats at PetSmart. According to Michelle Obama’s press office, the first dog was planning to go to Hawaii with the first lady and the Obama daughters. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that he in fact had gone there. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser quoted an eyewitness who said he had seen the Portuguese Water Dog having his walk. So what is Bo doing back in Washington shopping at PetSmart? Either these reports are mistaken, or Bo was told his vacation was over and that he had to return to the White House to keep a lonely president company – and participate in a silly photo op presenting Obama as an average guy who likes to head out to the PetSmart. Read full story here: News New Mexico

No Soup for You!

KOAT - LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A man has been arrested after he allegedly threw hot soup on his wife during an argument over dinner. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports New Mexico State University police were called to a residence Tuesday night after two neighbors reported hearing a woman screaming for help. A 33-year-old Pakistani man, identified only as Zeeshan, told police the argument had started when his wife made dinner "and it was not to his liking." Read full story here: News New Mexico

#OWS Movement Distracted Americans From Real Crisis: White Collar Crime

From -I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for many of the people working on Wall Street these days, but the Occupy movement’s decision to solely target the private sector for financial corruption only distracted Americans from the real financial crisis – white collar crime. According to recent Securities Exchange enforcement actions and news reports, financial corruption is also coming from government sponsored agencies and even Congress As of Sept. 30, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a record 735 enforcement actions for the fiscal year, and of those 146 were related to investment advisers and companies – a 30 percent increase from last year. Broker-dealers also made up 112 of the actions, a 60 percent increase from before. The fact of the matter is that white-collar crime, insider trading and unethical financial practices are rampant not only on Wall Street, but in government sponsored agencies and even Congress.  More News New Mexico

Another Snowy Storm Headed For New Mexico

From - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Only a few days after a major winter storm swept through New Mexico, another snowy blast is expected to hit. The entire northern two-thirds of New Mexico will be on a winter storm watch late Wednesday night into Friday afternoon. The next storm will be colder, with snow over a broader area and be followed by bitter temperatures. Snow will develop into far northern portions of the state on Thursday morning. By Thursday evening, the storm will start to hit Albuquerque, Santa Fe and the East Mountains. East winds will hamper snow in heart of Albuquerque, but should it be snowing Sedillo, Edgewood, Las Vegas, Grants and perhaps Rio Rancho. By Friday morning, expect difficult travel around the state from overnight snow and sub-freezing temps. This is a much colder storm, meaning more roads will be icy. Read more

Shale Gas Deposit Front and Center at Energy Plex Conference in Hobbs Next Month

New Mexico Business Weekly - Development of shale gas deposits in Pennsylvania and southeastern New Mexico will be front and center at the 2012 EnergyPlex Conference in Hobbs Jan. 12-13. The Lea County Economic Development Corp. and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro are organizing the event, which will address long-term planning strategies, and the state and national economic implications of shale and conventional oil development.
Industry experts and government officials are scheduled to participate in panel discussions. Keynote speakers include U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-NM; Republican Pennsylvania state Rep. Tina Pickett; and New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, also a Republican.
Red full story here: News New Mexico

Bingaman Trumpets Transit Grants

Jeff Bingaman
WASHINGTON – The United States continues to borrow $4 billion every day and U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman was pleased to announce that several New Mexico communities will share more than $774,796 in federal transit grants from the proceeds of those borrowings. The funds come through the U.S. Department of Transportation. the funds will be used to support bus and other transit services throughout the state. "This federal grant funding will allow our state to invest in the transit systems that so many New Mexicans have come to rely upon," Bingaman said.
The senator also trumpeted the announcement of housing grants totalling nearly $10 million dollars yesterday to cover shelters in the state.