Juarez Police Hide While Eric Holder Hides Documents on the DOJ Arming of Cartels

Yesterday Mayor Hector Muguia of Ciudad Juarez instructed all police officers to stay away from their personal residences. Drug cartel members just across the border have already killed five police officers in recent days, all near their homes.
Ironically, yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder was playing word games with Congress, as they investigated Operation Fast and Furious, which helped arm the cartels. In previous testimony, Holder has intentionally misled Congress giving dishonest answers regarding what he knew about arming Mexican drug cartels and when he knew it. Holder is currently withholding thousands of pages of documents on Operation Fast and Furious.
Eric Holder
Under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed weapons to enter Mexico. Multiple ATF agents have testified that they were ordered to let the weapons go, even though they requested permission to seize them. In November, one New Mexico Congressman, Steve Pearce, called for Holder’s resignation. Thus far Pearce's colleagues, Representatives Ben Ray Lujan and Martin Heinrich both Democrats as is Holder, have made no statements regarding Holder’s conduct.
Holder has been given until next Thursday, February 9th to turn over all documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, or Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa will hold him in contempt of Congress.


Smith: Gross Receipts Tax Rules Like Swiss Cheese

John Arthur Smith
Santa Fe New Mexican - Deming Democratic Sen. John Arthur Smith often compares New Mexico's gross-receipts tax to Swiss cheese. He is referring to all the tax breaks -- exemptions, deductions and credits -- that make the statewide levy as holey as, well, Swiss cheese.
In the decades since New Mexico's gross-receipts tax was created, the average rate statewide has risen to more than 7 cents on every dollar, up from 4 cents. The rate is currently just more than 8 cents in Santa Fe. The increase is, in part, due to all the tax breaks added over time that siphon away revenue, putting upward pressure on the tax rate, Smith says. Take enough revenue out of a broad-based tax, and the only way to raise the same amount of money is to raise the rate, he says. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Interview points to Sanchez quitting U.S. Senate race

Lt. Gov. John Sanchez
From NM Politics.net - by  - UPDATE, Feb. 2, 11:50 p.m. In response to this article, campaign spokesman Corbin Casteel said Sanchez “has made no plans to exit the Senate race.” He said any source stating otherwise is “simply uninformed.” NMPolitics.net stands by this article.
NMPolitics.net - Republican John Sanchez has decided to drop out of the race to replace the retiring Jeff Bingaman in the U.S. Senate, NMPolitics.net has learned.  And while a spokesman said today that Sanchez has “no interest” in running for the First Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat Martin Heinrich, who is running instead for Bingaman’s Senate seat, Sanchez was less clear in an interview with NMPolitics.net. Sanchez didn’t confirm that he’s dropping out of the Senate race during the interview, but a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that Sanchez has made that decision.  During his interview with NMPolitics.net, Sanchez sounded at times as though he intends to stay in the Senate race. For example, he said his campaign team is “preparing for the conventions and then obviously the final stretch in the spring.” But instead of directly answering when asked if he would “swear” that he’s “not dropping out of the Senate race,” Sanchez, the state’s lieutenant governor, said this: “I can tell you as of today I am a candidate for the United States Senate.” “That sounds evasive,” NMPolitics.net replied. Sanchez went on: “And I can tell you that I am not a candidate, though, for CD1.” Read more

Teacher Under Investigation Fires Back At APS

From KOAT-TV.com -  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A middle school teacher fires back after Albuquerque Public Schools suddenly put him on paid leave this week.  Tony Hillerman Middle School teacher Steve Buford sent Action 7 News a strongly worded statement on Wednesday. In it, Buford said he's angry, hurt and has no idea why he's being tried in the court of public opinion.  Buford's sudden departure from his middle school classroom and the word that he'd been placed on administrative leave left parents and students wondering what happened.  "Actually he's a really good teacher, and we really don't know what's going on. This is crazy," parent Julie Rose said.  Even Buford said he doesn't know why he was put on leave.  "Today is Wednesday and I still have no idea what I'm being accused of," Buford wrote to Action 7 News. "I was presumed guilty and treated like a criminal from the beginning without due process."  An APS spokeswoman called the issue a personnel matter and said Buford was sent a letter explaining his rights and the action taken against him. She also said Buford had a "lengthy conversation with an employee relations specialist where he was told why he's been placed on leave."  Buford said he got the letter, but never had a conversation with an employee relations specialist. Read more


Controversial education secretary may be at crossroads

Hanna Skandera
From the Alamogordo Daily News - By Milan Simonich, Texas-New Mexico Newspapers - SANTA FE -- One powerful state senator hinted Thursday that Gov. Susana Martinez's choice to head the Public Education Department could be in trouble. But another senator, often at odds with the administration over education policy, said the governor is entitled to select the management team she wants. The next couple of days may bring discussion over Hanna Skandera's fitness to be secretary of public education, said Sen. Michael Sanchez. Skandera has been running the department for a year, never having gone through a Senate confirmation hearing. "I'm not sure she meets the criteria" to hold the job, said Sanchez, of Belen, the floor leader of majority Democrats.But Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, said Skandera had his support as a matter of fundamental fairness. Morales, who has a doctorate in education, said he probably had disagreed with Skandera on policy issues as much as anyone. But, he said, the people elected Martinez as governor and she put her confidence in Skandera. "She has the right to choose her team," Morales said.  Read more


Skandera: It’s time to embrace education reforms

From NM Pollitics.net - by Hanna Skandera, secretary-designate for the N.M. Public Education Department. - The passion for truly educating our children in New Mexico goes without question. I know this is true, despite our current ranking (48th in the nation). So it’s now time to take notice of our failing school system, examine the opportunities for positive change and give our public education system the chance to live up to its potential. And it’s time for our parents, our communities and our legislators to embrace the reforms necessary to make it so. In the past year I have visited nearly 50 of our 89 school districts. I have heard the resounding voices of adults and children – all eager to see our schools and students succeed. With each visit to every school, and in every classroom, I have witnessed the optimism, desire and hope on the faces of every student across the state. Our students, educators and parents deserve to be recognized for their continued trust in our public school system and deserve to realize true progress as a result of their faith. There is no magic solution to our current status, but there are a few key initiatives that will have a lasting impact on our students’ futures. Two bills before the Legislature right now will, when passed, dramatically and positively impact our students. Read more