Commission Considers Shortening State Fair

From -Closing the New Mexico State Fair on Mondays and Tuesdays over the past few years hasn't saved as much money as hoped, so the commission that runs the annual event might shorten the fair from 17 days to 12. "The dark days obviously were a failure," interim general manager Dan Mourning told State Fair commissioners Monday during their first meeting of 2012.  More News New Mexico

N.M. Ranks 35th on National Education Report Card

From - New Mexico’s education system ranks 35th in the nation, according to a new report by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC’s 17th Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform is a comprehensive report that ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to data from national test scores, state education policy, charter school regulation, and other benchmarks of quality. New Mexico improved from 48th in 2010 based on student performance and progress on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exams.  More News New Mexico

Activists Protest End to Drivers License for Illegals

From -About 400 immigrant-rights activists surrounded the capital Tuesday morning to protest what they said was a controversial push by the governor to do away with driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. With the exception of one counter-protester, all were in favor of letting illegal immigrants continue to have driver's licenses, which they said improves the driving standards on our streets. "We can't tell people that they can't have a driver's license. This is a safety issue. They need it to get to work. What is going on?" protester Sharon Argenbright said.  More News New Mexico

Martinez Proposes Stiffer Penalties for Child Abuse

Susana Martinez
Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez announced a major legislative proposal that will change New Mexico’s Criminal Code to help better protect New Mexico children from child abuse and predators.
The Governor's bi-partisan bill beefs up prison time for child abusers, increases penalties for drunk drivers who kill kids, and defines new crimes where certain behavior toward children is predatory.
Martinez wants to increase penalties for first-time and repeat child abusers, allowing for additional prison time in child abuse cases even those that do not result in great bodily harm or the death of the child.
The proposed legislation will increase jail time for first-time child abusers from three years to nine years. Repeat offenders would face up to 18 years in jail, instead of only nine years.


Obama's Keystone Debacle Has One Winner: Burlington Northern, Warren Buffett's Railroad

NewsNM note (Spence) - I originally found this story on Bloomberg. Strangely, the story was quickly taken down as President Obama makes plans to play the "envy" politcal card and Warren Buffett's secretary serves as his designated prop in the upcoming State of the Union address tonight. Fortunately, the story is now all over the internet, so the effect of Bloomberg pulling what if thinks might be damaging to Obama, has no real effect on the flow of information.
News Room America - A railroad largely owned by billionaire Warren Buffett stands to benefit financially from a decision by the Obama administration to reject a major oil pipeline project that would have stretched 1,700 miles south from Canada to refineries in Texas.
Warren Buffett
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to gain from the U.S. State Department's rejection last week of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Buffett is a long-time political and financial supporter of Obama.
"Whatever people bring to us, we’re ready to haul," Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern, a unit of Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., investment house, told Bloomberg. If the pipeline deal falls through, she added, "we’re here to haul." Read full story here: News New Mexico

The Case for Newt Gingrich

Jim Spence
As one of tens of thousands of “Decline-to-State” independents, the state of New Mexico denies me the right to vote in any primary election. But the state cannot deny me the right to speak my mind about Newt Gingrich. On a personal level, I find the former Speaker more than wanting. Coming from a broken home where our father ran off with another woman, I most certainly disagree with those who quote Dorothy Sayers, “As I grow older and older, and totter toward the tomb, I find that I care less and less, about who goes to bed with whom.” No ladies and gentlemen, everyone should care about who goes to bed with whom, under certain circumstances where children are concerned.
Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich
There is however, from a governing standpoint, much to admire about Newt Gingrich. And nobody owes a greater debt of gratitude to Gingrich than the legacy of William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States.
A little irony of history is in order. Clinton began to aggressively pursue the idea of higher taxes on the job creators and Hillary-Care right after his inauguration. The public was horrified that the man who ran as someone with common sense could propose such a massive government takeover of our health care and punishment of the business community.
Tom Foley
In the off election year of 1994, Clinton presided over the biggest wipeout of Democrats in Congress since the Civil War. Even Clinton supporter and the sitting Speaker of the House, Tom Foley of Washington was ejected from his House seat.
While Clinton retreated to lick his massive political wounds and contemplate the meaning of such of a severe beating, none other than Newt Gingrich took over the House of Representatives. And with Gingrich at the helm, a unique new era of pro-growth, pro job creation policymaking took hold.
In the end, the four year period when Gingrich served as House Speaker was one of the most remarkable eras in U.S. history. The House and Senate passed legislation and President Clinton, often over the vociferous objections of hardcore partisan Democrats occupying politically safe seats, signed the Gingrich bills into law. During the Gingrich – Clinton era the federal budget deficit was wiped out, welfare was reformed, and wealth and job creating trade agreements were ratified.
Despite an astounding wave of prosperity the hardcore partisan Democrats were furious. They trumped up ethics charges against Speaker Gingrich and eventually he grew tired of the perniciously toxic environment in Washington and walked away to teach history and write books.
History suggests that two things led to the mini wave of temporary budgetary sanity of 1994-98. First, the complete repudiation of Clinton’s grandiose big government schemes of 1992-93. And second, the way Newt Gingrich politically dragged Clinton, often kicking and screaming, to presiding over an era of U.S. prosperity.
For those still daring to harbor some hope for the U.S. when polls suggest an overwhelming majority of citizens think we are headed in the wrong direction,…..this is the case for giving Newt Gingrich the chance to once again clean up the terrible mess we see going on in Washington D.C. every single day.


Governor Urges State Business Leaders to "Hold State Legislators Accountable"

Susana Martinez
NM Business Weekly - On Monday Governor Susana Martinez exhorted the state’s business leaders and their employees to hold their state legislators accountable for creating a more business-friendly climate in the state. Speaking before an audience of 500 in Albuquerque, Martinez told businesspeople they should track specific pieces of legislation, call and email their lawmakers and show up to committee meetings at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. “The easiest way to kill a bill is to not hear it,” Martinez said. “Your voice has to be heard. Don’t assume that what is going on in the Roundhouse is in the best interests of small businesses.” Read full story here: News New Mexico ------- Find contact information for your legislator here: News New Mexico

League of Women Voters Turning Partisan?

A number of Republican Senators boycotted a stacked panel discussion on Voter ID that the League of Women Voters sponsored last night.  The panel selected by the "league" was asking the dubious question, “Is Photo ID Essential?” And the panel discussion entitled, “Voter Verification: Facts and Fallacies” was dominated by people with a bias against the basic tenets of election fraud prevention contained in Voter ID.
“The League of Women Voters clearly has not included any top supporters of requiring photo identification when voting in New Mexico,” State Senator John Ryan said. “I suspect the forum will be supplying biased information that is not useful because of it being so partial.”
Senator Ryan is one of many elected officials supporting legislation requiring New Mexicans to show a photo ID when voting in New Mexico elections. Ryan said that while Republican Senators were invited to the event, most of the panelists selected have expressed opposition to voter ID. The panelists include members from the ACLU and the UNM Political Science Department.


"Another Vacation"


Last Code Talker Turns 92

KOB TV - The last surviving member of the original Navajo Code Talkers turned 92 years old Monday. The City of Albuquerque recognized Chester Nez for his contributions in World War II. Nez was one of 29 original code talkers who developed a code based on their native language to help the United States fight Japan during the war. Nez said he was happy to represent such an important part of U.S. history. Read full story here: News New Mexico