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.

Office of the Governor

Commentary:  On Jan. 5, a large group of New Mexico residents and community groups submitted comments to the New Mexico Environment Department laying out our concerns about its proposal for weaker construction-permit requirements for oil and gas facilities. The draft rule removed a requirement for a .25-mile setback requirement for oil and gas wells from schools and homes.

 The Environment Department has apparently disregarded those concerns, revealing on Friday afternoon its final rule, which constitutes some of the weakest oil and gas air-quality regulations in the country.  "What kind of environmental agency eliminates a quarter-mile setback from schools? As the parent of a 2-year-old, I find this action to be the latest evidence that the Martinez administration will cater to the oil and gas industry at any cost to New Mexicans' health and well-being," said Camilla Feibelman, director of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Finding Humor In A Hack

Apr 29, 2018

Commentary: I’ve been hacked…again.

Me and 150 million of my fellow calorie counting-OCD friends were notified that the app we use was hacked and our data might have compromised. Fortunately, little personally sensitive data is housed on that website, but now some Bulgarian hacker knows my body-mass index and is laughing his Bulgarian butt off about overweight Americans.

“Made in China 2025” justifies Trump trade actions

Apr 27, 2018

Commentary: “Made in China 2025” is Beijing’s strategy for transforming China into a hi-tech giant that dominates industries like robotics, avionics and electric vehicles. It is also a step back from the market forms, relying instead on a top down decision-making.

North Korean Summit Calls For A Hard Line From Trump

Apr 25, 2018

Commentary: With more freedom to maneuver on foreign than domestic affairs, and with their eyes focused squarely on their legacies, all modern U.S. presidents have sought to craft the elusive deal that will solve a protracted global conflict. So, with dismal prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, we shouldn't be surprised that President Trump is now pursuing a deal to end North Korea's nuclear program. 

Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

Commentary: As of yesterday at midnight over 400,000 people registered overwhelming opposition to the Trump Administration's evisceration of the BLM methane rules that would have drastically cut oil and gas waste and pollution.  New Mexicans first participated in national listening sessions in support of this rule, then in public hearings on the rule and then commented in support of the final rule.

Will Newspaper Endorsements Come To An End?

Apr 24, 2018

Commentary: A story by Business Insider in the days before the 2016 election reported that more than 240 newspapers in the country had endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, while only 19 endorsed Donald Trump. Several newspapers that had been solidly Republican every year since their founding broke from the party for the first time in history.

None of which mattered on election day.

United States Of Anger

Apr 23, 2018

Commentary: Do you notice it? Do you feel it? Have you become used to it? There are so many angry people. Our nation is becoming united in one thing: Anger. So many seem to be mad at someone or something else.

China Makes Its Move In Latin America

Apr 23, 2018

Commentary: When I was in graduate school, I had a professor in my Latin American Economics class who used to always say that when a void is left in a particular economic sector, a new element would step in to ‘sop up the gravy.’ I often think of this phrase when I see the reversal of the long-standing U.S. position of promoting free trade. While the U.S. has reversed course in fomenting trade ties in with the rest of the world, other nations are stepping in to fill the void.

peter goodman

Commentary: "When I stand at last before the face of God, God will say to me, 'show me your wounds.'  And I will say, 'I have no wounds.' And God will ask, 'Was nothing worth fighting for?’"     

I could write a column containing just that phrase, repeated 16 times.

South African writer Alan Paton put it into the mouth of a fictional character decades ago.

Ancient Roman roads have lessons for New Mexico

Apr 19, 2018

Commentary: Economists long argued that infrastructure is critical to economic development. A new study of Roman road networks makes this point in a new way. It finds that proximity to ancient roads correspond to increased economic development today.

The Roman Empire, of course, was a political entity that encompassed much of southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The traces of Roman roads are found everywhere within this region. Indeed, it can be argued that to be part of the Roman empire was to be connected by road to the City of Rome.

Commentary: Our children need nature. To grow up healthy, kids need a clean, beautiful, and accessible outdoors where they can play and discover the amazing world around them. Spending time with family while connecting with nature brings tremendous health and educational benefits to children. Fortunately, New Mexico has numerous spectacular and historically and socially significant outdoor areas and we must do all that we can to protect them.

Biden And Booker In 2020?

Apr 19, 2018

Commentary:  I recently came across a survey on, a website that claims to be the "oldest community of progressive activists, with over 3 million supporters." After clicking on potential candidates for president that I would vote for in 2020, the survey's results popped up on the next screen. Here was the breakdown:

Joe Biden-14.8%

Bernie Sanders-11.44%

Elizabeth Warren-12.81%

Cory Booker-10.16%

Kamala Harris-9.48%

Kirsten Gillibrand-6.7%

Andrew Cuomo-4.57%

Eric Holder-5.6%

Julian Castro-4.31%

Commentary: EL PASO, TX -Record numbers of women are running for office in Texas this year. And Annie’s List, a political action group that helps elect progressive women in our state, wants to help them get there!

Pearce Issues Tax Day Statement Celebrating Republican Tax Law

Apr 17, 2018
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce today released the following statement on Tax Day 2018:

“Today is the deadline for all Americans to file their federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lower- and middle-income families in New Mexico are already seeing and feeling the benefits of tax reform. It’s providing needed tax relief for the 120,000 small businesses in New Mexico. Across the nation, over 400 corporations are raising wages, providing bonuses, and increasing retirement contributions for their workers. That’s because businesses know our nation’s old and broken tax code is on its way out, and they want to pass on the relief they will receive to you, employees, and consumers. Come next year, families and businesses will feel this relief once again on Tax Day when they no longer have to file under the old, antiquated tax code. I will continue to promote pro-growth policies that provide relief for small businesses while improving New Mexico’s and the nation’s economy.”

Much Work Ahead For The New Mexico Legislature

Apr 17, 2018

Commentary:  From time to time, as I travel around my district and to other areas of the state, I hear criticism that the Legislature has not done enough to solve one problem or another.  Take your pick:  our economy, capital outlay, education, crime.  The list goes on.

Commentary: Today’s Tax Day and if you’re feeling frustrated by Trump and Republicans’ approach to taxes, you’re not alone. Trump and Republicans promised their signature tax bill would be for the middle class, that it would create jobs, spur investment and wage growth, and that it would pay for itself. Those were all lies.

The Attorney General Visits Las Cruces. Why?

Apr 17, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R)


  Commentary: I’m not sure why U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Las Cruces on Wednesday, or what he believes he accomplished with his visit.

The original agenda for the convention of border sheriffs taking place at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center called for Associate Deputy U.S. Attorney General Steve Cook to speak in the afternoon time slot. Cook called days before the convention to let them know that Sessions would be coming in his place.

Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Danger

Apr 16, 2018

Commentary: For many Americans, recent days may seem pretty normal in the course of their lives. We are going to work or school, trying to pay our bills, and looking for ways to sneak in some fun time along the way. For the President of the United States, he’s been busy getting America into a trade war with a huge nation to whom we owe a fortune of money, risking a new dangerous war with a big nuclear power, denying charges of a relationship with someone from his past, and having a schoolyard-style spat with a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Trump/GOP Tax Law Threatens Funding For Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security And More

Apr 16, 2018

Commentary: This week in communities across the country advocates are holding events to educate the public about the harmful effects of the new tax law. Advocates at the events are releasing a new report from Americans for Tax Fairness and Health Care for America Now that shows how much the tax cuts in each state favor the wealthy and prescription drug companies and health insurers, and how the $1.5 trillion hole the Trump-GOP tax law blows in the national debt jeopardizes funding for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, education and more in each state. The national report is here and state reports are here.

Bombing Syria Was Wrought With Uncertainties

Apr 16, 2018 (donald trump)

Commentary: The use of chemical weapons by any nation is intolerable and must be met with swift and forceful condemnation. Admonishing the Russians and Iranians who may have once again condoned their use in Syria, President Trump stated: “No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting brutal tyrants and murderers dictators.”

All good intentions aside, the fact remains that the multilateral coordinated military action against Bashar al-Assad was wrought with strategic and tactical uncertainty from the onset

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

Commentary: Joint Economic Committee Democrats today released a fact sheet on the “Economic State of Millennials in America.” The fact sheet outlines the latest statistics on the economic well-being of millennials in America, including population and demographics, education, homeownership, and other key indicators.


The millennial community is extremely diverse, with significant economic power. This generation accounts for more than $1 trillion in direct economic spending. People of color represent almost half the generation, and blacks and Hispanics comprise 35 percent. However, millennials are still recovering from the financial crisis, which has put a permanent dent on their long-term economic security. The millennial generation is less likely to outearn their parents than any previous generation in American history, or to own a home.

Commentary: This week, federal investigators, pursuant to a warrant sought by U.S. prosecutors in New York, raided the office of Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, and confiscated files and his computer.

Why is that so significant? The attorney-client privilege matters to lawyers. It hides all sorts of chicanery. Judges and opposing lawyers just sigh at the phrase, and don't try to breach the privilege. It’s a foundation of our legal system.  

For a prosecutor to seek, and a judge to grant, such a warrant, both had to have seen damned strong evidence of serious misconduct.

This isn't a congressperson getting a subpoena to embarrass a political opponent. It's career participants in the legal system acting within that system. 

Commentary: The House Farm Bill proposes significant cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by cutting eligibility for families, penalizing unemployed adults, and other changes. The cuts would make it difficult for millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans to access enough groceries and healthy food. The bill would have a particularly harmful impact on New Mexico, where one in four people rely on SNAP to eat, including 40 percent of the state’s young children.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: Legislators in Frankfort, Kentucky voted to override Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of both their budget and revenue bills. While neither bill was perfect for the citizens of the Commonwealth, these overrides end the uncertainty around funding for Kentucky schools and ensure that critical education programs throughout the Commonwealth will remain funded and available for students. 

There’s More Value for Voters with Consolidation and Ranked Choice Voting

Apr 13, 2018

Commentary: This year, the legislature made significant election reforms to improve how we elect city councilors, school board members and special district boards. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed it into law.

State Representative Blasts Trump’s Plan to Deploy National Guard to Border

Apr 13, 2018

Commentary: Last week, the Trump administration planned to deploy thousands of members of the National Guard to the Southern Border. According to recent reports by the Los Angeles Times, Secretary of Defense James Mattis has signed an order to send up to 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S-Mexico border. Since the announcement, Governor Susanna Martinez has openly supported the effort. The orders have been met with resistance from activists and government officials alike, and Rep.

Voters are right to wonder about the role of campaign contributions in New Mexico politics

Apr 13, 2018

  Commentary: New Mexico voters need more information about how money is working through the political process, if a recent poll commissioned by Common Cause New Mexico is any measu

Turmoil At The VA May Reveal Desire To Increase Private Medical Providers

Apr 11, 2018

Commentary: If the guiding principle of modern-day conservative political philosophy is a smaller federal government, Donald Trump may be the most effective president ever to hold the office. For better or worse.

That gets lost, I think, in all the craziness and reality show schtick that constantly surrounds Trump.

Philosophers-for-hire, or modern day courtiers?

Apr 11, 2018


  Commentary: Thus, just as the physician's aim ought to be men's health, so the Courtier's ought to be his prince's virtue. – Castiglione, Fourth Book of the Courtier

A campus of the University of Wisconsin announced in March that it would eliminate 13 majors in the humanities and social sciences – including majors like English, history, and philosophy. Instead, the school would expand majors and programs associated with “high-demand career paths.”

Do What Works to Provide Student Success Resources

Apr 10, 2018

Commentary: Teachers and other educators across the nation say “enough” to chronic underfunding of public education. 

Here in New Mexico, educators await a positive outcome to the lawsuit against the State for failing to provide public schools the supports necessary for statewide student success.   The National Education Association-New Mexico applauds every parent, school district Board of Education and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund who bring the lawsuit.