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  • Measures must account for both sides of ledger

    Albuquerque Journal|Jul 15, 2020

    If only it were that simple. There is no question Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s tough measures to combat COVID-19 have kept New Mexico’s death toll relatively low — although we collectively mourn the tragedy of more than 500 lives lost to the virus. There is no question the measures have helped keep the state’s hospitals operating well within their capacity for treating COVID patients. That was a key goal of measures taken since March to “flatten the curve.” And there is no question that continuing an aggressive lockdown in which bars and se...

  • Control of public square by social media troubling

    Albuquerque Journal|May 15, 2019

    Most rational people could quickly stipulate Alex Jones is a conspiracy nut, Milo Yianopolous is a provocateur who solicited neo-Nazi and white supremacist figures for feedback and story ideas and Louis Farrakhan has a history of anti-Semitism as a minister who heads the religious group Nation of Islam. And rational people could also quickly agree banning them on social media sites really doesn’t damage public discourse one bit. As private entities, Facebook and Twitter can make the case they have the right to decide who can and can’t be on...

  • NMAA within rights to shut down contest

    Albuquerque Journal|Apr 24, 2019

    Any parent whose child competes at anything knows the feeling: the stomach-clenching anxiety, the blood-boiling righteous indignation when you feel your kid was robbed — likely outstripping the level of emotion of the actual competitor. They might clench a fist, say a prayer, mutter an expletive (hopefully under their breath). But there’s a line. At least, there oughtta be. And some New Mexico cheer and dance students, parents and coaches have clearly crossed it. According to an April 14 Albuquerque Journal article, the New Mexico Activities As...

  • Enforcement major issue with gun law

    Albuquerque Journal|Apr 17, 2019

    An informed observer could have spotted this showdown a mile away. Democrats took the New Mexico House of Representatives and the Governor’s Office, bolstering the majority they already had in the state Senate. As one mass shooting after another dominated the news, Democrats rolled out gun control measures, ultimately passing a measure that requires background checks for nearly all gun buys. In response, at least 26 New Mexico counties passed “Second Amendment sanctuary” ordinances. A number of sheriffs declared they flat-out wouldn’t enforce t...

  • Udall's presence in delegation will be missed

    Albuquerque Journal|Apr 3, 2019

    It’s hard to imagine New Mexico without Tom Udall in elected office. Nearly 30 years have passed since the now-70-year-old was first voted in as New Mexico’s attorney general. He went on to win a seat in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District in 1998, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 and is currently the most senior member of the state’s Congressional delegation. Udall’s announcement last week he will leave the Senate in 2020 at the end of his current term puts a period on government service for the “Kennedys of the West” — Udall is the...

  • Prescription drug promise needs keeping

    Albuquerque Journal|Jan 16, 2019

    The partial federal government shutdown has been the main focus in Washington over the past few weeks. President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats have struggled to reach an agreement over the president’s campaign promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Too bad more of the focus isn’t on a campaign promise made by Trump and members of both parties in Congress — to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Trump and Democrats agree people in the U.S. shouldn’t have to pay more for their medications than those in other economi...

  • US needs to act, not pontificate, on immigration

    Albuquerque Journal|Jan 9, 2019

    As the stalemate and partial government shutdown over $5 billion for a border wall/fence/barrier grinds on, the tragedies associated with illegal immigration continue to mount. Unfortunately, both sides are focused on photo ops and talking points for political leverage rather than dealing with the facts. That’s unfortunate, because in addition to the human tragedy there is the question of whether the United States can defend its borders — even in cases that tear at the heartstrings. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus descended on Lor...

  • New government has plenty of work in 2019

    Albuquerque Journal|Jan 2, 2019

    Out with the old, in with the new is the theme each New Year’s. Nowhere is that more true than in New Mexico as 2018 ends and 2019 begins. With the beginning of the new year, New Mexico will be getting a new government, fresh with a new governor, new state office holders and new legislators. Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham took office on Tuesday, taking over for Republican Susana Martinez, who completed her second term on New Year’s Eve. New Mexico could see more change in the coming year than it has in the past eight years. That may or may...

  • Crime bill must be balanced, thought out

    Albuquerque Journal|Dec 19, 2018

    The 60-day legislative session in Santa Fe is still a few weeks away, but lawmakers are already crafting laws New Mexico residents will need to keep an eye on. Among the proposed bills is a massive “omnibus” crime package being crafted by Democratic state Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas and Republican Sen. Sander Rue. Their proposal would touch on a host of crime initiatives. The bills are still in development and, as with all legislation, the devil will be in the details. And it bears noting that although pieces passed both chambers last session, t...

  • Time to work on fix for partisan judiciary election

    Albuquerque Journal|Nov 14, 2018

    Toxic politics have been around forever, and there certainly is no shortage today. But for the last two decades, the New Mexico judiciary has been mostly free of this scourge, thanks to a constitutional amendment that set up a system of merit selection and retention elections, and to strong rules promulgated by the Supreme Court limiting judges’ participation in political activities. Unfortunately, that amendment contained a provision that required judges appointed through the process to stand for one partisan election before the retention s...

  • Pearce's dollars for 2018 need judge's ruling

    Albuquerque Journal|Aug 30, 2017

    We thought a federal court settled it in 1996. Or that the N.M. Secretary of State’s Office did last year. So why is it taking so long to get an answer in 2017? U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, a Republican, has filed a federal lawsuit against New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, over whether Pearce can transfer all of his roughly $1 million federal war chest to his campaign for New Mexico governor. Toulouse Oliver’s office has imposed state campaign contribution limits — $5,500 per contributor for both primary and gener...

  • Editorial: Country's leaders playing dangerous game

    Albuquerque Journal|Oct 30, 2012

    One thing all sides appear to agree on is that sequestration, like the use of nuclear weapons, was never supposed to happen. The word sequestration entered today's popular lexicon during the summer of 2011 in the midst of budget battles between Congress and the White House. A so-called congressional supercommittee that couldn't agree on a deficit-reducing budget instead voted on a package of $1.2 trillion in "across the board" cuts that will go into effect next year unless Congress can reach a new deal by Nov. 23. Social Security and some... Full story

  • Spaceport investment not paying off

    Albuquerque Journal|Oct 2, 2012

    It's located in the southern New Mexico desert, far from most New Mexicans' homes, but its $209 million taxpayer-funded price tag should keep it close to the front of voters' and legislators' minds. Because so far the investment isn't paying off when it comes to launching a competitive product in the exploding market of commercial space travel. Spaceport America is still trying to get other ancillary companies to join Virgin Galactic and two rocket companies that send vertical payloads into space. Until that happens, is it any wonder the only...

  • Editorial: New technology will aid cancer treatments

    Albuquerque Journal|Sep 11, 2012

    The University of New Mexico Cancer Center is adding a new tool to its kit to diagnose and fight cancer. This fall the center will be among the first of a small number of sites worldwide to acquire a technology that can sequence an entire human genome in half a day for about $1,000. Whole genome sequencing now costs UNM about $10,000 per patient and takes an out-of-state company at least two weeks. To get a sense of how much of a giant leap forward this is, consider that the human genome consists of about 3 billion DNA rungs in a ladder-like st...

  • Editorial: DWI laws need to be enforced, not increased

    Albuquerque Journal|Aug 28, 2012

    What happened to Aileen Smith as she drove through New Mexico on one of the happiest journeys in a woman's life is a mind-numbing tragedy. But adding to the state's DWI laws in the name of getting tough on repeat offenders won't prevent the same tragedy from happening to someone else — unless and until New Mexico enforces laws already on its books. Smith was seven months pregnant on that day in June, and driving from her home in Colorado Springs with her husband, Zach Smith, to a baby shower in San Diego. She and her unborn son, Dimitri, w...

  • Editorial: Tenth Circuit model of fiscal responsibility

    Albuquerque Journal|Aug 21, 2012

    Shame on the Department of Veterans Affairs for drawing a cloud of suspicion over what should be an honored organization that serves our military men and women. And kudos to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals for restoring a fiscal measure of confidence in the judiciary. The VA is under investigation for possibly squandering $9 million on exorbitant human-resources training conferences last year and violating ethics rules by taking booze, concert tickets and spa treatments from vendors. Contrast that with the Tenth Circuit — including New M... Full story

  • Editorial: State needs better oversight over agencies

    Albuquerque Journal|Aug 7, 2012

    A potential financial quagmire at the New Mexico Finance Authority, brought to light by a fraudulent 2011 audit report, has spurred concern about oversight of quasi-governmental agencies. Discovery of the fake audit last month has wreaked havoc with the authority's ability to make loans and issue bonds for capital projects for school districts and municipalities. It has postponed a $40 million bond sale. Two national credit rating agencies have placed the NMFA's bond ratings on a watch list for possible downgrading due to concerns over lax...

  • Editorial: N.M. scientists' work should be applauded

    Albuquerque Journal|Jul 31, 2012

    If you needed further proof that New Mexico is a hotbed for scientific research, here it is. This week six researchers with New Mexico ties will be among 96 U.S. researchers to receive the 2011 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers in the early stages of their research careers. Among the six is 29-year-old Francis McCubbin, a geochemist and a senior research scientist whose work at the University of New Mexico's Institute of Meteoritics...

  • Editorial: Quick sale may not be in state's best interest

    Albuquerque Journal|Jul 17, 2012

    At first blush, it might sound like a good idea to unload the state's supercomputer, Encanto, as a symbol of Gov. Bill Richardson-era excess, a la the state jet. After all, it supposedly can't pay its bills, and its once lofty ranking of third-fastest in the world has slipped out of the top 100. But just as Gov. Susana Martinez found an experienced broker with the right connections to get the best possible deal for the jet — $2.5 million six years after it had been purchased for $5.5 million, and saving the state almost $500k annually in o...

  • Editorial: Security leaks should be investigated

    The Albuquerque Journal|Jun 19, 2012

    The White House is a busy place, what with compiling that "kill list" for terrorists and developing a cyberweapons strategy against Iran. So is the Justice Department, what with flirting with being held in contempt of Congress over withheld information on the bungled Fast and Furious weapons operation. So President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should clear a little time on their BlackBerry schedules and consider having an independent special counsel investigate recent national security leaks. It is ludicrous to entrust a... Full story