Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @  Comments included here represent the views of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of KRWG or New Mexico State University.

Goodman: Reason For Hope In Election 2018

Nov 11, 2018
peter goodman


Commentary: This election was an intense experience. I'm delighted by the state and local results, impressed by the strong efforts of both sides, but sad for some of the losing candidates. 

I felt a certain camaraderie with others working hard (or just rooting) for the election of progressive candidates, including Congresswoman-elect Xochitl Torres Small; there were inspiring moments; but I empathize with folks like Ben Rawson and Yvette Herrell who busted their tails, invested great energy and emotion into campaigning, and probably believed (as fervently as Xochi or Steve or Shannon or Kim) that they were fighting for the best interests of our community and country. I can't help but respect their efforts. 

Election Night, David Brooks commented, “This is a great night for humility.” Republicans, he noted, were riding a great economy (albeit a recovery initiated during Obama's tenure), and still couldn't do better. Democrats were opposing a much-disliked president with low approval ratings who struck even supporters as a buffoon, but couldn't do better.

Reinstate White House Credentials For CNN Reporter Jim Acosta

Nov 11, 2018

Commentary: The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has joined the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) in condemning the White House for suspending CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press credentials and is demanding that it be restored immediately.

Dr. Chris Erickson

Commentary: A recent headline in Bloomberg stated that New Mexico was the top performing state economy since the inauguration of Trump. What is obscured by the Bloomberg headline is what is taking place in the Southwest corner of the state—in Lea and Eddy Counties. Underlying these two counties is the Permian Basin, currently the largest oil play not just nationally, globally.  

Ten years ago, production was in decline. The region had been abandoned by the large players and was primarily worked by smaller producers reworking older sites. Fracking changed all this, transforming the Permian for a dying region to the boom play.

While the oil patch is booming, the rest of the state’s economy is moribund. We face significant structural problems. New Mexico counties (except Lea and Eddy) grew only 0.2 percent.

The Chinese Effect On Dollar Tree

Nov 11, 2018

Commentary: Major retailers such as WalMart, and grocery stores such as Albertson’s, are at least five miles from my house. However, there is a Dollar General and a Family Dollar store each within a mile of me, and I find it convenient to pop into these discount retailers to buy items such as cleaning products, storage containers, and disposable items. Even though the selection can be limited, the prices are almost always low. Above all, it is the convenience factor that drives me to these stores.

United States Of The World

Nov 11, 2018

Commentary: As with any other nation, the making of America has been about the amalgamation of innumerable social beliefs and practices from somewhere else. For starters then, any conversation about American nationalism must begin with the story of human migration itself. That started in Africa: the one place where all humanity can declare a shared genesis story. Beyond religion. Beyond politics. Beyond culture. Beyond current affairs. We are from Africa. That's a genetic fact.

Xochitl Torres-Small

Commentary:  Water attorney and Democratic candidate Xochitl Torres Small declared victory in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District winning 50.70% of the vote after just over 8,250 additional ballots were tallied in Doña Ana County today. Torres Small’s historic victory makes her the first Latina to represent this seat in Congress and the first Democrat to represent this seat since 2010.


“We said every vote would count and today the hard work, persistence and dedication of our people-powered campaign achieved what so many said was impossible,” said Torres Small. “Thank you to the people of southern New Mexico for putting your trust in me. I am humbled by the support I’ve seen since day one of this campaign. For the past eleven months, I have traveled across the district, listening to people from all walks of life. Now more than ever, I’m grateful for the opportunity to take those voices to Washington. You have also inspired me to believe that when we work together, we can overcome any challenge if we work together. It will be the honor of a lifetime to represent you in Congress.


“I’m proud of the issues-based campaign we ran: one focused on improving access to rural healthcare, protecting our water and public lands, standing up to special interests who have too much power in Washington, and making sure government works for all of southern New Mexicans. Today, I ask just one thing from all of the constituents of New Mexico’s second congressional district: that you hold me accountable to deliver for you.”

Commentary: DNC Chair Tom Perez issued the following statement after Democrats took back the House:

“The Democratic Party is back.

“Nothing is more powerful than the voice of the American people, and they spoke out loud and clear: Donald Trump does not stand for our values, the Republican Party has failed to hold him accountable, and it’s time for bold Democratic leadership in Washington.

“We won back the House because our candidates had a clear message for working families and refused to let Trump and the GOP distract us from the issues that matter most. Democrats believe that health care is a right for all. We believe that the economy should work for everyone, not just those at the top. We believe in protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not tearing holes in the safety net in order to enrich those already at the top. We believe that diversity is our strength, and that there is no justification for the brutality of separating immigrant children from their parents. And we believe that facts matter.

Migrants from Central America are Today's Freedom Riders

Nov 4, 2018

  Commentary: James Lawson, a leading theoretician of nonviolence within the Civil Rights Movement, was instrumental in helping to develop the strategy for Freedom Riders in 1961. Lawson once remarked: "Through nonviolence, courage displaces fear; love transforms hate. Acceptance dissipates prejudice; hope ends despair. Peace dominates war; faith reconciles doubt. Mutual regard cancels enmity. Justice for all overthrows injustice. The redemptive community supersedes systems of gross social immorality.”


Put less amorously, another Freedom Rider, Charles Person, recounted: "You didn't know what you were going to encounter. You had night riders. You had hoodlums . . . You could be antagonized at any point in your journey.”


Diane Nash added: "Traveling in the segregated South for black people was humiliating. The very fact that there were separate facilities was to say to black people and white people that blacks were so subhuman and so inferior that we could not even use public facilities that white people used.”

Fast forward to the year 2018. Over 7,000 migrants are making their way north from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. President Trump has labeled this mass exodus a "caravan," calling them "hardened criminals," "bad people," "very bad thugs and gang members," and pawns of Democrats hoping to use them against Republicans heading into the midterms.

Goodman: Please Vote On Tuesday

Nov 4, 2018
peter goodman


Commentary: Please vote Tuesday. 

This election is important. Mr. Trump is so dangerous in so many ways, his Republican enablers are so deferential, and there's so much at stake, that a Democratic majority in the House is essential. 

Rubel: Some Thoughts For After This Midterm Election

Oct 31, 2018

El Paso Joins National Response to Sessions Threat to Keep Asylum Seekers Indefinitely Detained

Oct 29, 2018 (donald trump)

Commentary: As a caravan of thousands of people seeking asylum approaches the United States, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing to make a move that would allow him to keep any asylum seeker detained indefinitely. On Monday, October 29th, immigrant rights advocates and community organizations around the country, including in El Paso, will file a “People’s Amicus Brief” to condemn Jeff Sessions’ latest power grab to further constrict the power of judges to make decisions on whether immigrants should remain in immigration detention centers or be allowed to have a hearing to pay bond.

New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops Object to Use of Letters for Political Advertising

Oct 28, 2018

Commentary:  We, the Bishops of New Mexico want to notify the public we do not approve of today’s advertisement published in the Albuquerque Journal entitled, “Are You A Catholic Voter?”.


We were not aware of plans to publish our statement, On The Dignity of Human Life, issued on March 6, 2017, as part of a political advertisement. We did not coordinate or pay for this advertisement. Our statement was written a year and half ago and was never intended to be used for political advertising.


We encourage all citizens to vote. The Catholic Church does not endorse any candidate. The New Mexico Conference of Bishops complies with the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ official statement, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Catholics need to study the issues and make their decisions for the common good in accordance with Catholic teaching. 

Goodman: Make No Mistake- Free Speech Is Under Attack

Oct 28, 2018
peter goodman

Commentary: Freedom of speech is endangered, but not only because of Mr. Trump. 

He attacks journalists verbally.  He encourages folks to body-slam reporters. When CNN gets a pipe bomb, Trump blames CNN. 

Divisiveness, discord and incivility are encouraged and utilized by politicians – on both sides of the aisle, though most dangerously from one. We got angry when ISIS beheaded a journalist; but now it's acceptable if the killers buy weapons from us. And murder a mere Muslim. 

Championing Nationalism Dishonors American Soldiers

Oct 28, 2018

Commentary: During a recent event in Houston, President Trump said: "You know, they have a word-it's sort of became old-fashioned-it's called a nationalist. And I say, really, we're not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I'm a nationalist, okay? I'm a nationalist. Nationalist. Nothing wrong. Use that word. Use that word."

 Sorry, Mr. President but I will not use that word. I will not embrace that word. I will not condone my elected officials using that word either. For along with racism and religious fanaticism, nationalism has infected the world with the most perverse forms of violence. In the words of Einstein, "nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind." 

Senator Rodríguez statement regarding proposed "misuse" of military by President

Oct 26, 2018

Commentary: El Paso - State Sen. José Rodríguez released the following statement regarding reports that the administration is proposing to send active duty military to the border:

The reports indicate that this is because of a migrant caravan that is 1,000 miles away in Mexico heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border. The migrants say they want to raise awareness of the dangerous conditions in their home countries in Central America. The administration is claiming they are a national security threat. This is a ridiculous assertion. How in the world can our great country be so afraid of a few thousand desperate people that we would send the military to greet them?

Founder of climate change economics wins Economic Nobel

Oct 26, 2018

Commentary: Local boy makes good, who can resist such as story. I’m referring, of course, to William Nordhaus, who won the Nobel in economics for “integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis.” Nordhaus is a New Mexico native, who travels to New Mexico every summer to visit family and friends.

Nordhaus has had a long career as an economist, beginning in the 1970s. Back then, there was considerable concern about running out of natural resources. Oil was most prominent in this regard as the United States, which then as now was the largest producer of oil in the world, suffered peak oil in 1970. Could global peak oil be far behind?

What Nordhaus pointed out is that as resources become scarcer, they become more valuable, leading to discovery and innovation. And as he pointed out, even modest technological progress can result in substantial increases in reserves.

Retired NM Supreme Court Judge Supports Constitutional Admendment 1 On Ballot

Oct 25, 2018

Commentary: New Mexico voters can lay the groundwork for the speedier resolution of certain legal matters and save taxpayer money by adopting Constitutional Amendment No. 1 on the general election ballot.

The proposed amendment would authorize the Legislature to adjust or streamline the appeals process by enacting a statute – passing a bill and having it signed by the governor -- rather than changing the state constitution.

By itself, approval of the constitutional amendment will not alter which court hears an appeal. Those decisions would be left to legislators to decide after careful study in the future.

Currently, the New Mexico Constitution is very restrictive. All decisions of probate, magistrate and metropolitan courts must be appealed initially to a district court. Further appeals could be made to the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court.

Proposed Public Charge rule would increase hunger and poverty in New Mexico

Oct 24, 2018

Commentary: New Mexico organizations are fighting the Trump administration's reckless new attack on our families: a greatly expanded “Public Charge” rule that essentially turns the U.S. immigration system into a pay-to-play game that unfairly favors the wealthy. If the proposed rule were to go into effect, it would allow the government to deny green cards and visa renewals to lawfully present immigrants who participate in programs that help with basic needs like medical care, food, and housing.   

In New Mexico, immigrants make up a large part of our communities. Nearly one in 10 New Mexicans is an immigrant, and one in nine have immigrant parents. New Mexico stands to lose as many as 2,700 jobs and nearly $400 million in economic activity because eligible New Mexicans will forego federal benefits that flow directly into our local economy.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

  Commentary: Today, Michelle Lujan Grisham released her plan to increase our state’s support for veterans and their families. The plan calls for the state to play a greater role in helping New Mexico veterans access services and benefits.

“New Mexico’s veterans face unique challenges when it comes to healthcare access, education assistance, housing, and employment,” said Michelle Lujan Grisham.  “I’m proud of my record of serving veterans throughout my career. I took on the VA to demand better treatment of our service members and introduced legislation that would make it easier for veterans to receive the services they are entitled to. It’s time for the state to lead in serving and protecting those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and way of life. As governor, I’ll ensure that our veterans have the financial, housing, and healthcare resources they deserve.”

Rubel: No Answers To Complaints In PRC Race Show Need For Ethics Commission

Oct 24, 2018

O'Rourke To Participate In MSNBC Town Hall

Oct 23, 2018

Commentary: Beto O'Rourke will participate in a Houston town hall hosted by MSNBC during the second week of early voting for the 2018 U.S. Senate election. The forum -- part of the Hardball College Tour -- will occur on Oct. 30 and will be 60 minutes in length.

MSNBC Town Hall With Beto O'Rourke 
Moderated by Chris Matthews
Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 6:00 p.m. CT
University of Houston's Cullen Performance Hall

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Commentary: Today, Michelle Lujan Grisham released her plan to build a Healthcare System that Works for all New Mexicans. The action plan details the nine steps she will immediately take as governor to make healthcare more accessible to New Mexico families.

“Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege,” said Michelle Lujan Grisham. “Too many New Mexicans suffer from a healthcare system that is understaffed, hard to understand, and not affordable. As governor, I will immediately take action to bring stakeholders from around the state and country to the table to build a healthcare system that delivers accessible, high-quality, and affordable healthcare to all New Mexicans.”


Child advocates offer voters information on candidate positions for New Mexico races

Oct 23, 2018
James Jimenez

Commentary: Democracy is “a system of government by the whole population.” By that definition, everyone’s participation is needed in order to keep a democracy alive and well. There is no act of democracy more foundational than voting. Casting a vote is more than exercising your right as a citizen. It’s about accepting the responsibility of citizenship. It’s about affirming that you are a part of something larger than yourself.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) and Senator Tom Udall (D)

Commentary: U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) urged U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to provide information on the operations and conditions of the temporary tent facility in Tornillo, Texas housing detained unaccompanied migrant children. In a letter to Azar, the lawmakers demanded answers regarding the expansion of the Tornillo facility, and new administration policies that are seemingly prolonging detention of children and deterring sponsors from coming forward to take custody of the detained children.

Chaco Canyon Area

Commentary: This morning, BLM and Secretary Zinke opened their condensed protest period on their sale notice of 114 parcels covering 89,162 acres of public lands in New Mexico, including lands in northwestern New Mexico where local tribal communities have raised concerns about the impacts of drilling. 




The BLM is moving forward with these shortened time periods for public comment on these lease sales despite an Idaho court decision last month which determined that the BLM cannot circumvent the public input requirements of NEPA and FLPMA (two bedrock environmental laws) on sage grouse habitat, but apparently can on land long-inhabited by Native Americans.


Let's Encourage Collaboration With Talent From Mexico

Oct 22, 2018

Commentary: In the last month, my team attended two major trade shows in Juarez, Mexico. The Juarez Border Market Tech, in its inaugural version, was held on September 20 and 21. It featured high-tech companies, entrepreneurs, and conference presenters specializing in various high-tech and cyberspace fields. The Expo MRO show, now in its eighth year, has grown from a handful of companies to more than 230 exhibitors and thousands of attendees. Both shows were held in the Cuatro Siglos convention center in northeast Juarez.

peter goodman

Commentary: Our choice between Steve Fischmann and Ben Hall for the Public Regulation Commission is clear.

Fischmann is a smart former state senator who's spent years working for the public good on regulatory matters and fighting usurious interest charged by payday loan companies.


Hall, 82, has “good ol' boy” charm and a welcome bluntness. 


Fischmann understands our desperate need to use more renewables and for a functioning utility system that's fair to both the public and businesses – and considers environmental consequences.


U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce

Commentary: Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor, announced today his vision to make New Mexico an international trade hub between the United States, Latin America, and Canada. In a speech to the Economic Forum of Albuquerque, Pearce laid out a roadmap for taking advantage of New Mexico’s strategic advantages.

Commentary: A new study released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) finds that the lowest-income New Mexicans pay a state and local tax rate that is almost double what the state’s wealthiest residents pay as a share of their income.