Centennial Duck waddles in for 33rd annual duck race

From the Deming Headlight - New Mexico celebrates its 100th year as the 47th state of the Union and what better way to honor the state's 100th birthday than with a "Centennial Duck." The Great American Duck Race Committee has unveiled the logo for the 33rd edition of the "World's Richest Duck Race," designed by Deming High School Art Teacher Jesse Kriegel. This is the fourth year Kriegel has taken on the prestigious assignment." Centennial Duck" is featured on a replica of a New Mexico commemorative license plate. The duck is dressed in period attire from the turn of the 20th century - complete with walking cane, overcoat, spats and a moniker -and is carrying a state flag. Above the duck is the time span, "Centennial 1912-2012" and the spot for the registration sticker denotes the GADR's annual race number: "33rd." The Luna County Courthouse Park is transformed into McKinley Duck Downs, in memory of former GADR Artist Bill McKinley who designed most of the 33 logos. Read more


Federal Agents seize horses at track

Federal officials escort seized horses allegedly owned
 by the Los Zetas drug cartel. (Mike Curran/photo)
From the Ruidoso News - by Chris Roberts -  Federal agents seized dozens of racehorses at Ruidoso Downs Race Track early Tuesday after alleging they were part of a money-laundering scheme involving millions of dollars in Mexican-cartel drug profits. Locations in three other states were also raided as part of a Justice Department crackdown on the Los Zetas organization. At 3 a.m. more than 15 vehicles loaded with armed personnel, including members of the FBI and U.S. Border Patrol, poured through the gates to the backside of Ruidoso Downs Race Track. They seized valuable quarter horse stock from a private barn and two horses from two rented barns. The seizures were based on a federal search warrant. The raid resulted from an indictment issued by the U.S. District Court's Western District of Texas, Austin Division. The indictment charges 14 people with money laundering. Officials with the IRS, New Mexico police, the New Mexico Racing Commission, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were also involved in the pre-dawn raid, according to sources who asked to remain anonymous. By 12:45 p.m., they had secured dozens of horses in two large horse trailers and were reportedly transporting them to Arizona. The indictment named 14 people and numerous racing entities, including Tremor Enterprises and Bonanza Racing.  Read more

Local fire crews waiting to fight Little Bear fire

Dion Reynolds
From KOB-TV.com - As the Little Bear fire devastation continues to be tallied up, KOB 4 On Your Side has learned that New Mexico fire crews that are just minutes away from the fire lines have not been allowed to help. Dion Reynolds with a Ruidoso fire crew have been watching this fire burn for about a week and said they have been ready to battle the blaze since day one. He and his crew are certified government contractors with red cards that allow them to fight fires, and they were told they are on rotation to be called to the fire. Now, fire crews as far away as Idaho are being mobilized in the area, and the Ruidoso fire crew has yet to be called in. "We've laid down, we've let it happen, we've let it go, we're not doing it no more…if it ruins my fire career, so what?" Reynolds said. "We live here, we're watching our families' houses burn, we're watching people we know houses burn." The incident commander said he is looking into why the crew was not called in. Meanwhile, 4 On Your Side was told other certified crews from places such as Alamogordo are in town, staying at hotels, and waiting to be called in as well. Last year, a 4 On Your Side investigation found National Guard Blackhawk helicopters, sitting 15 minutes away from the Las Conchas fire, were never called to fight the fire. Forest Service officials said the Blackhawks were ordered by the state for MedEvac, but were not officially listed as a MedEvac air asset for the Las Conchas Fire, and therefore were grounded. Read more


Wilson says liberal group’s lobbyist claim is false

Heather Wilson
NMPoliticsThe left-leaning group ProgressNow New Mexico recently accused Republican U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson of serving as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. after she left the U.S. House in 2008. On its Wilson Watch website, the group has a section aimed at highlighting Wilson’s Washington ties. It states she was a lobbyist and, until Monday, linked to these documents showing that someone named Heather Wilson was a registered lobbyist for North Eastern Aeronautical in 2009 and 2010. Wilson’s campaign spokesman, Christopher Sanchez, said it’s not the same Heather Wilson. “Heather Wilson does not now, nor has she ever, had any employment, contract or affiliation of any kind with North Eastern Aeronautical,” Sanchez said. ProgressNow’s Pat Davis took the lobbying documents off the Wilson Watch website on Monday after being contacted by NMPolitics.net for comment, and said the organization will double check Wilson’s claim. Read More News New Mexico


Governor Martinez Declares State of Emergency in Lincoln County

Susana Martinez
Ruidoso - Today, Governor Susana Martinez signed an Executive Order formally declaring a State of Emergency in Lincoln County due to the Little Bear Fire, which has prompted numerous evacuations and has destroyed dozens of homes and structures near Ruidoso. The declaration makes emergency funding and additional resources from the state available in order to assist with the response to the fire and community needs. “While fire crews are working around the clock to protect lives and property, the Little Bear Fire has already taken an enormous toll on Lincoln County,” said Governor Martinez. “This emergency declaration will ensure that we are allocating every available resource to help prevent further damage. We are fully committed to fighting this fire and doing everything we can to keep Lincoln County residents safe.” Governor Martinez will hold a press briefing in Ruidoso today at 11 a.m. to provide an update on the Little Bear Fire. Read More News New Mexico


Florida Trying to Curb Voter Fraud, Eric Holder Trying to Maintain Fraud Favorable Conditions

The Hill - Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he will sue the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to move forward with his controversial attempt to purge the voter rolls in his state of ineligible voters.

“I have a job to do to defend the right of legitimate voters,” Scott told Fox News on Monday. “We’ve been asking for the Department of Homeland Security’s database, SAVE, for months, and they haven’t given it to us. So this afternoon, we will be filing a lawsuit, the secretary of State of Florida, against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database. We want to have fair, honest elections in our state and we have been put in a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Crony Capitalism and President Obama: How the System Really Works

Marita Noon
Townhall -  President Obama’s attacks on Romney’s record while at Bain Capital have opened the window on what is being called “Obama’s public equity record”—with Romney’s surprise news conference in front of failed solar manufacturer Solyndra and new campaign ads bringing the Obama administration’s record into the spotlight. Suddenly the “green jobs” record is being carefully examined and “giving taxpayer money to big donors, and then watching them lose it” is back in the newsIn his book, Throw Them All Out, Peter Schweizer says: “These programs might be the greatest—and most expensive—example of crony capitalism in American history. Tens of billions of dollars went to firms controlled or owned by fundraisers, bundlers, and political allies, many of whom—surprise!—are now raising money for Obama again.” We understand that “crony capitalism” involves helping those who have helped you; “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” But the simple term crony capitalism belies the evil, corrupt nature associated with the actual process. Crony capitalism goes way beyond helping your friends, your cronies. It is a twisted, orchestrated plan that rewards the cronies and costs the taxpayer, while punishing the average citizen. Read More News New Mexico


Repeat DWI Offenders Fatal for NM

KOAT - A new study shows nearly 60 percent of all fatal driving-while-intoxicated crashes are caused by repeat offenders -- a statistic the governor said should be a wake-up call to New Mexico. Gov. Susana Martinez said the numbers from the state's Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Bureau show a dramatic shift and that tougher laws need to be in place, as repeat drunk drivers are not getting the message and innocent lives are being lost.
In 2011, 154 people were killed by drunk drivers in New Mexico, according to the bureau's study. More than half of those drivers were repeat offenders. "We're asking for tougher penalties for DWI offenders and those who kill people because they're under the influence of alcohol or drugs," Martinez said.
So far, Martinez said, tougher laws, like longer prison terms for repeat offenders, aren't on the books. She'll appeal to the Legislature again next year. "People are always asking, 'What are those people doing out on the street?'" she said. "Exactly. This person should not be out on the street."
In 2006, 70 percent of DWI crashes were caused by first-time offenders and 30 percent by repeaters, according to the Traffic Safety Bureau. The bureau's recent study revealed a shift, which is also reflected at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving office in Albuquerque, where they've reported seeing more cases involving repeat drunk drivers. Read full story here: News New Mexico


White House June Swoon Continues

Washington Post - It has been a Junius Horribilis for President Obama. Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a “cascade” of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the “private sector is doing fine.”
Could it get any worse?
Early Monday morning, Obama learned that it could. His aides delivered the news to him that his commerce secretary had been cited for a felony hit-and-run after allegedly crashing his car three times over the weekend. In one incident, the previously obscure Cabinet officer apparently rear-ended a Buick, spoke to the car’s occupants, then hit the vehicle again as he left.
Thus did Jay Carney, the oft-besieged White House press secretary, have another briefing carjacked by bad news. And Carney, who either didn’t know the details of the bizarre episode or wasn’t at liberty to divulge them, had to execute a full range of defensive maneuvers. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Oil Revenues Might End Property Tax in N.D.

NY Times - BISMARCK, N.D. — Since Californians shrank their property taxes more than three decades ago by passing Proposition 13, people around the nation have echoed their dismay over such levies, putting forth plans to even them, simplify them, cap them, slash them. In an election here on Tuesday, residents of North Dakota will consider a measure that reaches far beyond any of that — one that abolishes the property tax entirely.
A group of Edgeley residents, including Nicole Gibson, who held a “Vote No on Measure 2” sign, gathered after the debate. “I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I can’t pay a tax,” said Susan Beehler, one in a group of North Dakotans who have pressed for an amendment to the state’s Constitution to end the property tax. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Little Bear 30% Contained

KOB TV - A fast-moving wildfire in southern New Mexico now is 30 percent contained after air and ground crews took advantage of a break in the weather. The blaze has charred tens of thousands of acres in just three days and forced hundreds of residents to leave their homes in southern New Mexico.
But winds subsided Monday and the almost 950 firefighters were able to build fire lines on the east side of the blaze. They now are concentrating on constructing additional lines on the south side, which is nearest to the mountain community of Ruidoso. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Swickard: Time to fire the political fire managers

Commentary by Michael Swickard - In an interview by Deborah Voorhees Jack Rabbit Flats volunteer fire department Chief Tom Parker relates that he saw the lightening strike up on the Ruidoso Mountainside west of the Ski Apache area. It was called in within minutes of smoke being seen when it was less than an acre in size.  Parker talks about the political decision to let it burn despite the danger to the rest of the mountain. Five firefighters called for water to put out the fire but were denied because politically the desire was to use it as a controlled burn even though the conditions for a controlled burn were not met. It could have been put out any time in the three days, Tuesday through Thursday, and then Friday it became too late. But the damage was done earlier. Porter says the politics that stops effective forest management is to blame. “Forestry goes out and tries to thin. You’ve got a judge in Texas telling us what we can do in the Lincoln National Forest because some group in another state petitions because there might be an owl in the area. Yes we have to protect endangered species but we also have to protect ourselves.” And this is the nut of the problem: politics trumps effective forest management. Tom Parker points out what effective management looks like, “If you drive through Mescalero and you look at their forests, their ladder fuels are gone, their ground clutter is gone and the healthy trees are still standing. They have gone through their forest and so if a tree gets hit by lightning, it is out of there. Also thinned are if a tree has a sign of bark beetles, mistletoe or clipper beetles since those are the three big problems we have in this state. They go in there and get that pocket of diseased trees out before they affect the rest of the forest.” See interview on YouTube We are not talking clear-cutting where all trees are taking down, rather, a wise management of the forest done outside of the politics. Letting diseased trees stand ruins miles of good forest and endangers everyone. Even the owls do not want a mismanaged forest. They do not survive the catastrophic fires. Only the political entities who feed upon our society, entities made up of many lawyers who are paid by us to sue us which then forces us to create a forest that is weakened by disease and overgrowth. That is the problem. Read column


New Mexico agency compiled email list for governor's PAC

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Steve Terrell  - An email obtained by a Democratic political action committee indicates state employees and computers at the Public Education Department were used to compile lists of nonunion teachers and their email addresses for Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's political director. According to the email, sent May 2 by department spokesman Larry Behrens to political director Jay McCleskey and several government officials, the department's Information Technology Division compiled a list of all teachers and their emails. Behrens also said the department's budget staff compiled a list of which school districts have union contracts, and created a list of nonunion teachers' emails.  Behrens on Monday denied that he was doing work for McCleskey or Martinez's political operation. He said compiling the lists was in partial response to a public records request from McCleskey.  But the spokesman used a personal email account for the response, which was sent to nongovernment email accounts for all the state officials he forwarded it to. Behrens said that was an "oversight."  "I should have responded to the request on my state email address because responding to a request for public information is state business," Behrens told a reporter Monday.  The email was unearthed by Independent Source PAC, an organization headed by private detective Michael Corwin, who has worked as an "opposition research" man for former Gov. Bill Richardson and other Democrats. The group has been highly critical of both Martinez and Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera over the past year.  Read more