NM Green Party and NM Constitution Party File Lawsuit

From Ballot Access -On March 29, the Green Party and the Constitution Party jointly filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that the New Mexico deadline for petitions to qualify a party is too early. That deadline is the first Tuesday of April, which this year is April 3. Here is the complaint. The case is Constitution Party of New Mexico v Duran. In New Mexico, newly-qualifying parties nominate by convention, not by primary, so there seems to be no election-administration reason for the deadline to be so early. In the past, the deadline for a new party to qualify in New Mexico has been in October, then September, and then July. In 1995 it was moved to April, apparently because the majority party in the legislature, the Democratic Party, was angry that in the 1994 gubernatorial election, the Green Party gubernatorial candidate had polled 10.3% and apparently caused the defeat of the Democratic Party nominee. So, in 1995, the legislature made several hostile changes to the election law relating to minor parties, including moving the petition deadline from July to April, and also doubling the number of signatures needed for non-presidential minor party nominees to get on the November ballot.

Donald Rumsfeld Endorses Rick Newton

From capitolreportnewmexico.com - Donald Rumsfeld has kept a relatively low profile since he stepped down as Secretary of Defense during the George W. Bush administration but campaign officials for congressional candidate Rick Newton announced on Thursday (March 29) that Rumsfeld has endorsed Newton and given the Republican candidate the maximum contribution allowed by the Federal Election Commission. “I am proud to have his support,” Newton said in a news release that said Rumsfeld met with congressional candidate two weeks ago and talked about job creation, federal over-regulation and education. A Newton campaign spokesman said the 79-year-old Rumsfeld and his wife Joyce donated $5,000 to the Newton campaign.  Read more

Sunland Park's Mayor Elect Seeks Help of Supreme Court

Daniel Salinas
The mayor-elect of a troubled New Mexico border town is turning to the state Supreme Court to help get him into office. The high court scheduled arguments Tuesday on the request by Daniel Salinas, who has been barred from taking office in Sunland Park by the terms of his release from jail. He faces charges that he tried to force an opponent out of the mayoral race with a secretly taped video of the other man getting a topless lap dance. Salinas' attorney asked the court on Wednesday to direct the 3rd Judicial District Court to revise an order that prevents him from going to City Hall or having any contact with any Sunland Park workers. Under state law, Salinas must be sworn in by April 5 or forfeit the seat. But the city clerk must administer the oath. Salinas' attorney argued the court order violates his constitutional rights and amounts to the court indirectly interfering with an election.  Read more

NM Town Requires $100k Insurance Policy for Pit Bulls

From liveinsurancenews.com -Elephant Butte, a town in New Mexico is now requiring the owners of certain dog breeds – including Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds – to purchase a special form of liability insurance policy. Regardless of the training and past behavior of the animals, as of March 1, 2012, the dogs in those breeds were considered by the city to be potentially dangerous, and their owners had been given 90 days in which to take out a personal property liability policy, worth a minimum of $100,000, to cover them. Alan Briley, the City Manager, explained that this requirement is a response by the city to an occurrence last year in the neighboring town of Truth or Consequences, where there was a fatal mauling by a Pit Bull.  More News New Mexico

Albuquerque police union to end shooting payments

From KOB-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Albuquerque Police Officers Association is ending its controversial practice of giving money to police officers who have been involved in shootings. The union, along with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and Police Chief Ray Schultz, made the announcement Thursday after the union named Sgt. Greg Weber as interim president and Sgt. Tom Henderson as interim vice president. The Albuquerque Journal reported last week the union gave 20 officers involved in shootings in 2010 and 2011 $300 or $500 each to help them get out of town and decompress. Read more


Affordable Care Act bad for NM, worse for US

Dr. Deane Waldman
From NMPolitics.net - By Dr. Deane Waldman- Very clearly, the forced passage of the Affordable Care Act had much more to do with partisan domestic politics than the health of either health care or We The Patients.  The U.S. Supreme Court is discussing the ACA, the latest abbreviation for the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, pejoratively named Obamacare. Defenders of the law like State Senator Dede Feldman say the law is good for both New Mexico and the United States. They argue that it brings lots of money into our state, creates new jobs, increases insurance coverage, and eliminates the exclusion for pre-existing condition. ACA may bring large buckets of federal dollars into New Mexico, but that money will be spent on bureaucracy, not on patients. ACA is likely to increase jobs – 38,000 to 47,000 new bureaucrats, regulators, insurance adjusters, IRS investigators, and compliance officers, but not one new nurse or doctor.Read column


Obamacare Increased Insurance Premiums

From investors.com -Leaving ObamaCare in place while striking its individual mandate isn't good enough. The full plan must be scrapped before it drives health premiums even higher. ObamaCare is wildly unpopular with Americans. Even a new CBS-New York Times poll finds two-thirds want it shot down. ...The cost of an average family premium shot up 9.5% in 2011 — the highest rate in seven years and three times the rate of overall inflation, finds a major new survey of employer plans by Kaiser Family Foundation.  Just before Obama signed his health overhaul, he vowed it would "bring down the cost of health care for families, for businesses and for the federal government." In December, he told CBS' "60 Minutes" he was "putting in place a system that's going to lower health care costs." In fact, there's evidence ObamaCare is fanning medical inflation. Kaiser attributes the premium spike to "changes from the new health reform law." The 200-page study explains: "Significant percentages of firms made changes in their preventive care benefits and enrolled adult children in their benefits plans in response to provisions in the new health reform law."  More News New Mexico

Spaceport Board Approves $7M Runway

From washingtonpost.com -The nearly two-mile-long runway at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico will have to be extended to accommodate Virgin Galactic’s sleek rocket-powered spacecraft, spaceport officials confirmed Thursday.  New Mexico Spaceport Authority board members voted during a regular meeting Wednesday to extend the runway by another 2,000 feet. Spaceport America is the world’s first terminal, hangar and runway built specifically for commercial space travel.  More News New Mexico

If We Just Gave a Little More Power to Gov't

Jim Spence
Our government’s takeover of our health care system began the day government started with Medicaid and Medicare and completely mislead citizens about its ability to generate forecasts of costs intelligently. Quickly, layer after layer of government bureaucracy was put in place. As service providers in the private sector attempted to continuously adapt to a series of mandates, hapless bureaucracies constantly increased the number of rules and regulations to cover their own ineptitude. Each time government attempted to correct the ills caused by previous rules and regulations our health care system has had to absorb the costs. It did not take long for government to pervert America's entitlement mentality and the health care system.
Now that it is clear that government should have never gotten deeply involved in health care, big government proponents seem to have access to an inexhaustible supply of excuses for its colossal failure. The favorite excuse of big government types is to demonize insurance companies and health service providers. “Rich” doctors have also become a favorite target of the big government proponents.
What played itself out in front of the Supreme Court this week was a charade. As the Church of Big Government faithfuls have continued to participate in a cycle of failure, regulate more, fail more, regulate more, they have finally concluded that what they really need now is to suspend all basic liberties associated with health care in order to succeed in their utopic dreams of a better life for all.
Elena Kagan
Government lawyers appointed by President Obama, with a straight face, argued that Washington somehow has the right to force every citizen to buy health insurance. And if all citizens don’t do it these lawyers said, they should be fined for not doing so. Their argument can be summarized as follows: Since government has completely ruined the basic structure of health care by regulating until costs soar into the stratosphere, government now needs more resources from more insured patients, or alternatively more revenue that will come from fines collected from the uninsured. Multiple ironies played out in front of the Supreme Court.
The entire fight took place under the direction of lawyers and lawyer judges. And not a single person in the entire building had ever lifted a finger to get the sinister influence of malpractice parasites out of our health care system.
One justice, who had actively participated in the government’s legal defense of the law before being appointed, (Justice Elena Kagan) could not summon the basic decency to recuse herself from the case. Apparently, when making government bigger and freedom smaller is at stake, even the most obvious conflict of interest can be ignored. When will we realize that government is not the solution it is a big part of the problem? Maybe never?


Irrigation Season Starts in Southern N.M.

Elephant Butte Dam
Albuquerque JournalCABALLO (AP) — The Bureau of Reclamation says water will begin flowing from Caballo Reservoir into the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico early Sunday. The Rio Grande below the reservoir has been dry for several months, and the agency wants to warn anyone working or recreating in the area in the coming days about the change in the river’s state. The agency says it began moving water from Elephant Butte to Caballo Reservoir a few days ago to prepare for the first release. Federal water managers say this is shaping up to be a lower-than-average year for snowpack in all of the basins that feed the Rio Grande. The result is the Elephant Butte Irrigation District in southern New Mexico and irrigators in the El Paso area and Mexico have only 20 percent of their full allocation. Read More News New Mexico


SIC financial adviser under fire for Earthstone/Growstone investments

Leonard Lee Rawson
Capitol Report New Mexico - State Investment Council (SIC) board member Leonard Lee Rawson is ticked off at the manager of an investment firm and next month the company may see its contract with the SIC terminated. “In my eyes, [Brian Birk] has lost all credibility with the council,” Rawson told Capitol Report New Mexico by phone Tuesday afternoon (March 28). Birk is the managing partner of Sun Mountain Capital, an investment firm based in Santa Fe that acts as the SIC’s in-state venture capital adviser. Rawson and other council members brought up concerns about Sun Mountain investing $2.5 million in state venture capital money in Growstone, a company that’s a spinoff of Earthstone International, a company that received some $11 million in SIC money during the administration of then-Gov. Bill Richardson. New Mexico Watchdog has investigated the company, raising sharp questions about its financial stability, political connections and whether the state has much chance of recovering any of that money.Rawson made a motion to terminate the contract between Sun Mountain and the SIC during Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the council, which was attended by Gov. Susana Martinez. Read More News New Mexico


Parents of Murdered Students Criticize President Obama

From Gateway Pundit -  Today the parents of two British students murdered in Florida slammed President Barack Obama for his lack of compassion over their son’s deaths. The Telegraph reported: His failure to respond to three letters sent to the White House was because there was no “political value” and not worthy of a few minutes of his time.  They spoke out as teenager Shawn Tyson began a life sentence after being found guilty of the murder of James Cooper and James Kouzaris last April.  The 17 year old, who shot the men as they begged for their lives, will die in prison. His conviction of first degree murder carries an mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole. Later speaking after Tyson was jailed Davies and Hallett lashed out at Mr Obama saying the deaths of their friends was “not worthy of ten minutes of his time.” Davies said: “We would like to publicly express our dissatisfaction at the lack of any public or private message of support or condolence from any American governing body or indeed, President Obama himself. Mr Kouzaris has written to President Obama on three separate occasions and is yet to even receive the courtesy of a reply. “It would perhaps appear that Mr Obama sees no political value in facilitating such a request or that the lives of two British tourists are not worthy of ten minutes of his time.” The rebuke follows Mr Obama’s personal intervention into the shooting in Florida of a young black teenager by a white neighbourhood watch captain.  More News New Mexico