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.

Politics of Fear and Hatred

5 hours ago

Commentary: Talk about hypocrisy. Trump and Republicans are calling those who disapproved of Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court a crazy mob who have no right to regain power.

When the Tea Party came along in 2010 shouting obscenities against Obama and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at their many meetings across the country—that was all right.

The reason Trump and his supporters call political opponents names like Pocahontas, Little Marco and Lock-her-up is because they have few policies that resonate with thinking voters. Their appeal is to fear and hatred.

They have no honest alternative to the ACA—but say they want to protect people with pre- conditions. However, we all know that insurance against any calamity doesn’t work unless the majority involved pays into the system e.g. car insurance where the state requires we have it.

They don’t want to support effective public education for all because their super rich supporters like the Koch brothers don’t want masses informed about serious policy debates. 

They don’t want to talk about the real impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017—which will double the annual debt in 2018 (and even more in the future) and that 80% of the benefits goes to the top 1.0%--etc. etc.

   Commentary: Beto O’Rourke announced that his grassroots campaign raised more than $38,100,000 in the third quarter of 2018. Powered by 802,836 individual contributions and without a dime from PACs, corporations or special interests, his people-powered campaign has just set a new record for the largest fundraising quarter ever in a U.S. Senate race.

Minor Changes Expected From NAFTA Replacement

11 hours ago

Commentary: Certainly is a lot of border news lately. Most importantly is the completion of the re-negotiation of the NAFTA, replacing it with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, also called USMCA.

Rubel: Higher Education Funding Should Be Restored With Plan For Entire System

Oct 11, 2018

Former NMSU Chancellor Dr. Garrey Carruthers

Commentary: New Mexico voters have an unprecedented chance to send an important message this November that New Mexico takes corruption seriously and will hold government officials, candidates, and contractors accountable when they cross ethical boundaries and violate the law.  As former statewide elected officials, we wince every time we see the state tarnished by poor national rankings for good government and ethics, and worry that the perception of corruption is costing us business and opportunities, discouraging civic participation and decreasing voter turnout.  New Mexico is one of only six states that does not have a statewide ethics commission.

Las Cruces Should Adopt Electric Vehicles, Part II

Oct 9, 2018

Commentary: The 2018 National Drive Electric Week (#NDEW2018) took place during September 8-16, 2018. There were 322 events in various cities in the USA and Canada. Las Cruces was on the map of events, with a workshop held at the Southwest Environmental Center. September 8, 2018, was the day chosen for that event, because it coincided with nationwide actions in preparation for the Global Climate Action Summit (#GCAS2018) on September 12-14, 2018 in San Francisco, CA.

Examining The Replacement For NAFTA

Oct 8, 2018

Commentary: And then there were three again. On September 30, Canada and the U.S. announced that they had come to an agreement on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On August 27, the U.S. and Mexico announced that they had come to terms on their end of the renegotiations, and it was feared that Canada would not join, thereby rendering NAFTA a two-nation agreement. The U.S. and Mexico agreed on a renewable 16-year agreement that will be reviewed in six-year increments. North American content in vehicles produced in the NAFTA region was raised from 62.5 percent to 75 percent. The agreed-upon points also include a provision that 45 percent of the content of pickup trucks and 40 percent of the content of light trucks would be built by employees earning more than $16 per hour.

Commentary:  In 1946, after 14 years of Democratic control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government, Republicans campaigned on the two-word slogan “had enough?”  Over seventy years later, the slogan seems odd because it came after Democratic government led the recovery from the Republican-induced Great Depression and achieved victory on two fronts, Europe and Asia, in the Second World War.  But the Greatest Generation got tired of sacrifices for the good of the country.  Republicans succeeded in winning control of Congress for the next two years, 1947-1949.

Commentary: Nominations to the United States Supreme Court used to be fairly tame and mundane administrative business. A nominee was either quickly judged to possess the professional background and temperament to sit on the nation’s highest court, or not. But those more civilized days, like so many other manifestations of past civilized public behavior, now seem to be long gone and things of the past.

peter goodman

Commentary: A new AARP article reminded me of the day I said farewell to a delightful, courageous Japanese lady named Kise. 

A year earlier, her stepson approached me in the market and asked me to help free his Japanese stepmother. She was “like a second mother.” When he first went to Japan at 14, she not only welcomed him but effected a reconciliation with his father. 

She'd moved to the U.S. with her husband, who died in 1993. She loved her garden and her cat, but she was aging, and her stepson lived in California. They'd discussed her moving there when living alone got too hard. He'd arranged home-help for her here, but she fired the help.

It was a shock when a neighbor called: authorities had put her somewhere -- for her own safety.

He and his wife came to Las Cruces. They wanted to take her to California. They couldn't. The guardians and their lawyer vilified him.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary:  By a razor-thin margin, the U.S. Senate today confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings ended with gripping testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who shared under oath heart-wrenching and vivid memories of her sexual assault at the hands of Kavanaugh when they were high school students.

The following is a statement from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

“From the outset, it was clear that Judge Kavanaugh would not be the fair-minded jurist needed on the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmation process has only further demonstrated that he lacks the qualifications and temperament to hold one of the most powerful positions in our government. Judge Kavanaugh is simply unfit to serve on the highest court of the land. We must now hope that he can find the impartiality and necessary disposition needed to serve the nation as a Supreme Court justice.”

“The message sent by Senate Republicans to the nation, and in particular to our children, was loud and clear: It is acceptable to appoint a hyper-partisan justice who is beholden to the White House. It is acceptable to disregard the stories of sexual assault survivors. It is acceptable to disregard dishonesty under oath. Well, educators know that these things are never acceptable. There is only one thing left to do for those of us who share disappointment in this moment: vote.”

Commentary: DNC Chair Tom Perez and DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford released the following statements after the Senate voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court:

“If you are angry that Republicans put someone on the Supreme Court who intentionally deceived the American people under oath, vote. If you are angry that Republicans refused to do their jobs and held a Supreme Court seat hostage, vote. If you are angry that President Trump mocked Dr. Ford and insulted survivors of sexual assault, vote. If you are angry that our leaders have thrown away honesty, decency, and fairness for their own partisan gain, vote.

“The American people are raising their voices to a deafening roar today. We will not stop marching, we will not stop fighting, and we will vote on Election Day for leaders who share our values.”

– DNC Chair Tom Perez

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that we channel our anger into action and fight for our values by organizing to elect Democrats this November. There is no question that Brett Kavanaugh is a threat to women, and that he is unfit to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. With his confirmation, our most fundamental rights are at stake.

“Today is a dark day, but our fight is far from over. We know that when women succeed, America succeeds, and we will never stop fighting for them.”


– DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford

Where was Kavanaugh’s Legal Expertise?

Oct 4, 2018

Commentary: Recently I had an interchange with a female Ivy League graduate from the 1980's.  As an astute observer of the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing, she remarked, "I cannot speak to the veracity of their comments or the protocol of airing dirty laundry at a confirmation hearing. I do know what I saw, which was a man who was crying like a baby, throwing a tantrum, dodging questions, and generally openly defiant to senators questioning him. He was inarticulate at best, rude, reactive, evasive and just not all that impressive for a Supreme Court Justice candidate."

Rio Grande Foundation applauds Gov. Martinez’s executive order on licensing reform

Oct 4, 2018

Commentary: New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez issued an executive order that instructs the state’s boards, commissions and agencies to implement reforms that will make it easier for New Mexicans to become licensed and find jobs, reduce the burden of occupational licensing on military families and job-seekers who move to New Mexico and aid those with a criminal records in finding gainful employment.

Las Cruces Faring Poorly In Preserving Middle Class

Oct 4, 2018

Commentary: Las Cruces’s liberals sure are consistent. They press forward with their agenda of unlimited government, regardless of results.

Report: New Mexico’s Cuts to Higher Education Second Worst in Nation

Oct 4, 2018

Commentary: New Mexico’s inadequate public investment in higher education over the last decade has contributed to rising tuition often leaving students with little choice but to take on more debt or give up on their dreams of going to college. The problem is especially serious for Black, Hispanic, and low-income students.

New Mexico is one of nine states that cut higher education spending dramatically (by more than 30 percent per student) between the 2008 and 2018 school years according to Unkept Promises: State Cuts to Higher Education Threaten Access and Equity, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

A Time Of Hope For New Mexico

Oct 3, 2018

Commentary: As a younger man, I used to view this time of year with great hope.  As leaves start to fall, days get shorter and nights colder, and it's time to plan for new opportunities.   As an educator, I learned to see the promise that late September holds — classrooms full of new faces beginning to grasp new lessons and concepts.  As a state senator, I view this time of year through hopeful eyes — elections will soon give way to new faces and a chance to make good on the promise that we as elected officials make to the people — that their values will be reflected through our actions and that their voices will be projected through us.

Commentary: U.S. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke announced the launch of a college and university tour across the state to discuss his vision for the future of Texas with students. The “Fight for our Future” campus tour continues O’Rourke’s commitment to showing up everywhere, for everyone, every single day. His people-powered campaign for the U.S. Senate has already traveled to universities and colleges throughout Texas. He has held town halls and rallies at dozens of campuses, centered around the issues that are important to young people.

Commentary:  New Mexico voters will have an opportunity in November to weigh in on whether New Mexico ought to create an independent ethics commission to hold government officials, candidates and contractors accountable when they violate the law.  New Mexico is one of only six states that currently does not have an ethics commission.

A measure to amend Article 5 of the New Mexico Constitution to create a commission will appear on the Nov. ballot as Constitutional Amendment #2. It proposes to amend Article 5 of the Constitution of New Mexico to “create an independent state ethics commission with jurisdiction to investigate, adjudicate and issue advisory opinions concerning violation of laws governing ethics, standards of conduct and reporting requirements as provided by law.”


City of Albuquerque supports ‘Medicaid Buy-in’

Oct 3, 2018

  Commentary: The Albuquerque City Council, after hearing from NM Together for Healthcare leaders from Albuquerque, passed a resolution that supports the state’s commitment to exploring a proposal that would allow anyone to buy into a low-cost healthcare plan through Medicaid—including the uninsured who don’t qualify for Medicaid now.

“I support the Medicaid Buy-in because we all have the right to good health, and access to low-cost options will help many people,” said Evelyn Ramos, a Partnership for Community Action healthcare advocate and Albuquerque resident. “Since I am uninsured, I know how difficult it is to find healthcare coverage. When I do find services, I am given appointments months away. 
I have daughters who get sick often, so it has helped my family to have them covered by Medicaid. But not everyone is eligible for Medicaid. We should open it up for everyone to access good healthcare.”

Las Cruces Should Adopt Electric Vehicles

Oct 3, 2018

Commentary: In early September at an electric car presentation we gave at the SWEC, the CLC Sustainability Officer, Lisa Larocque, spoke about the resistance the city had to purchasing electric vehicles. The vehicle service department expressed concerns they were unprepared to service electric vehicles.

These concerns, while understandable, are mostly without merit. Electric Vehicles (EV’s) are a class of automobile technology that is fundamentally simpler than the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). The IC engine along with the automatic transmission for delivering torque to the wheels is composed of some two thousand moving parts.

A Sad Ending For The Border Servant Corps

Sep 30, 2018
peter goodman

Commentary: Imagine you're a young, idealistic, religious college grad who's traveled cross-country to the Borderlands to work as a fellow with Border Servant Corps.

You'll work with and learn from a local nonprofit, live in a house with others like yourself, and make enough to cover expenses. For 21 years, BSC has been a great program. You're excited. 

One night, when you and the others planned to discuss your spiritual paths, BSC's board chair and Pastor Jared Carson from Peace Lutheran show up at the house. They announce they're canceling the program. Your year of service won't happen, and you have to be out in a week. You'll receive $500 toward travel expenses... if you sign something right now. No time to consult anyone.

Commentary: FARMINGTON, NM--On Tuesday, as the Trump administration continues to redirect funds from critical federal agencies in order to ramp up its detention and deportations efforts, local immigrant families, educators, faith and other community leaders spoke out during a press conference against a new federal immigration enforcement operation in Farmington and announced a series of community efforts to ensure workers and their families know their rights.

Trump trade war with China is beginning to hit home

Sep 28, 2018
Dr. Chris Erickson

Commentary: Trump’s trade policies are starting to affect me directly, so now are much more important than previously. I refer to the outbreak of an all-out trade war with China, a dispute that threatens to disrupt transpacific trade.

Here is the problem, my family exports logs to China. Our operations are located about 10 miles from the Port of Longview, which is one of the largest log shipping ports in the United States. And those logs go to China.

Commentary:  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford today voluntarily, credibly, and courageously appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and, under oath, told heart-wrenching and vivid memories of her sexual assault at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh when they were high school students. She is the first of several women who have come forward with disturbing allegations.

The Trade Deficit Is A Complex Issue

Sep 24, 2018

Commentary: In economic terms, a country’s balance of trade compares what it exports to the world to what it imports. If a country exports more than it imports, it is said to have a trade surplus. If it imports more than it exports, it has a trade deficit. Such is the case in the U.S., which has not had a trade surplus since 1975, when it exported $12.4 million more than it imported. During the 1980s, the U.S. trade deficit ballooned, tapered off somewhat in the early 1990s, and then rapidly rose at the end of that decade. It has been rising ever since, growing to $566 billion in 2017.

Tax Dollars for Tinseltown Toadying in Las Cruces

Sep 24, 2018

Commentary: The City of the Crosses has an inferiority complex.

New Mexico’s generous — and as an economic-development tool, deeply ineffective — freebies for Hollywood are skipping Las Cruces. That’s why the city’s pols, educrats, and media figures have pressed, for years, to build film-and-television-related infrastructure in their region.