Local Viewpoints

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Last week, New Mexico State Legislators met with the Attorney General’s (AG) Office and the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) to speak about the ongoing investigation of an audit performed earlier this year alleging fraud amongst 15 non-profit behavioral health providers throughout the state.


  On Friday November 15, eleven sportsmen groups representing 20,000 New Mexicans will send a letter to Governor Susana Martinez asking her to oppose the controversial Gila River diversion project in favor of long-term solutions that protect rivers.  Protected and flowing rivers are essential for New Mexico’s world-class elk habitat and gold medal fisheries, which support a $2.89 billion river-related recreation economy. "The Gila region is truly unique, in large part due to the presence of this amazing, living river,” said Jeff Arterburn, President, Gila/Rio Grande Chapter of Trout Unlimit

Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce commented on the ongoing Farm Bill Conference, where the House and Senate are working to resolve differences between their respective versions of the Farm Bill.  Earlier this year, Pearce submitted an amendment which was attached to the Farm Bill which protects jobs by requiring a study of the economic impact and effectiveness of existing programs to protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken.

Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham commended the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to allow ranchers to return cattle to grazing leases on one allotment in the state, and to partner with the New Mexico Range Improvement Task Force to review data to make a decision on the remaining allotments.


  The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce that The Most Rev. Oscar Cantú, Bishop of Las Cruces, will be celebrating his first Las Cruces International Mariachi Mass

Las Cruces, November 7, 2013: The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces Foundation is pleased to announce the Twentieth Anniversary, International Mariachi Conference Mass.  The Mass will take place on November 24, 2013 at 8:45 a.m. at the Pan American Center, New Mexico State University.  

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance ● The Wilderness Society ● Sierra Club: Rio Grande Chapter ● Southwest Environmental Center ● National Wildlife Federation ● Audubon New Mexico ● New Mexico Wildlife Federation ● Southwest Consolidated Sportsmen ● Dona Ana County Associated Sportsmen ● Environment New Mexico ● Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Coalition

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  In a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) was one of four senators to vote against the FISA Improvements Act citing that the bill did not go far enough in curbing the bulk collection of law-abiding Americans' private records:

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) and the ACLU of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) have released a report, “Inside The Box: The Real Costs of Solitary Confinement in New Mexico’s Prisons and Jails,” detailing the findings of a year-long investigation of the use of solitary confinement in New Mexico’s prisons and jails. Their study found that solitary confinement is widely used in prisons and jails in New Mexico. While it costs more money to detain prisoners in isolation than in the general population, it does not improve public safety or reduce prison violence.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce joined Congressman James Sensenbrenner as an original cosponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act.  The legislation would overhaul and restore the USA PATRIOT Act to its original intent by implementing major reforms to significantly rein in the NSA and other agencies from spying on Americans.

  JPMorgan Chase is preparing to pay a record $13 billion settlement with the federal government for questionable mortgage lending practices which helped burst the housing bubble and led to the financial crisis of late 2008. Congressional candidate Leslie Endean-Singh pledges to not accept money from the banking industry and to be an ally for Main Street when she is elected to Congress.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Continuing their push for legislation to set a threshold for renewable electricity production, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Udall (D-CO) today introduced a bill to establish a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that would create jobs, reduce pollution and save consumers money.

Udall Urges Rejection Of Food Stamp Cuts

Oct 28, 2013
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Ahead of the first public meeting of the Senate and House 2013 Farm Bill conference committee, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined a coalition of 38 of his colleagues in urging the conferees to fight against harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Heinrich: New Mexicans Want Government To Function Again

Oct 15, 2013
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor to underline the devastating impacts of the government shutdown on New Mexico's economy and middle-class families. 

Below are Senator Heinrich's remarks as prepared for delivery:

Mr. President, in the midst of the current crises there have been some who have questioned the relevance of the federal government to our overall economy.  Some have even called the current shutdown a "slimdown."

Richardson Joins Governors Fiscal Leadership Council

Oct 10, 2013

  Today, the Campaign to Fix the Debt announced the creation of the Governors Fiscal Leadership Council (GFLC), a bipartisan group of 41 former governors – 20 Republicans and 21 Democrats – from across the country united in the belief that our mounting national debt must be addressed to preserve America’s long-term fiscal health and prosperity. Included in the GFLC is former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

New Mexico Coalition For Literacy Responds To International Report

Oct 8, 2013

Santa Fe, NM - According to a new International report, low basic skills in literacy and numeracy are more common in the US than on average across participating countries.  One in six adults in the US have low literacy skills and nearly one third have weak numeracy skills.  Adults in the US fared less well with “problem-solving in technology-rich environments” than the cross-country average.

Heinrich: This Is Not How Our Democracy Works

Oct 4, 2013
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor calling on House Republicans to pass a clean continuing resolution and end the government shutdown. His remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Mr. President, we are here today with our government's doors shuttered because of a failure of leadership. 

Frankly, this "my way or the highway" brinksmanship has been building for so long here in Washington, that I won't be surprised if the American people just say "a pox on both your houses."

National Hispanic Media Coalition Demands Apology From Fox News

Oct 2, 2013

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has issued an open letter to Fox News Channel Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes, following a recent segment that demonized Latino and immigrant children.  The letter highlighted that this incident is one example of Fox News' long history of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant rhetoric, which, studies have shown, may breed hate and negatively impact one's health. The following is the text of the open letter to Roger Ailes from NHMC President & CEO Alex Nogales,

Wolf Supporters To Hold Rally Friday

Oct 2, 2013

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— In the wake of the shutdown of federal offices, citizens will hold their own public hearing Friday on changes to management of Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest, and removal of all Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves across the rest of the contiguous United States. Organizers of the “citizens’ online hearing” will set up laptop computers for participants to submit comments directly to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 6 p.m. hearing in Albuquerque will be preceded by a 5 p.m. “Save the Lobo rally.

Before Anthony Bourdain stepped into his “Frito-pie minefield,” FUZE.SW, the upcoming food+folklore conference at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, was already scheduled to address New Mexicans’ passion for all things chile and the now unjustly maligned Frito-pie.

We bet that if Bourdain’s show was taped after he had heard a few of these folks speak at FUZE.SW, he would have avoided his paso en falso:

Diocese of Santa Fe Pushes Anti-Abortion Ballot Measure

Sep 27, 2013

  ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan has issued the following statement:



The Archdiocese of Santa Fe congratulates the grass root efforts of so many to place a late term abortion ban on the ballot of the City of Albuquerque. This achievement demonstrates the people’s will to defend life.


As Archbishop of Santa Fe, I encourage all the people of Albuquerque to support the proposed ordinance to ban late term abortion after the 20th week. These children are able to feel pain and suffer greatly when aborted.


Senate Leader Calls For Resignation Of Human Services Secretary

Sep 25, 2013

Santa Fe—Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Valencia, Bernalillo) today called for the resignation of Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier.  This follows a report of an email written by Secretary Squier on September 17, 2013 stating, “…[T]here has never been and is not now any significant evidence of hunger in New Mexico….”

It is incomprehensible that the Eastern District of Louisiana district court today accepted a plea deal calling for a $14 billion company to pay just $200,000 for intentionally destroying evidence related to the worst offshore oil spill in our country’s history.

What a travesty.

Pearce: End Federal Funding Of Health Insurance For Congress And Congressional Staff

Sep 18, 2013
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Responding to overwhelming opposition from New Mexicans to loopholes that exempt members of Congress from Obamacare, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce today offered an amendment to the Continuing Resolution (CR) that prohibits federal funding from being used to subsidize healthcare plans for Members of Congress or their staffs.

El Paso State Senator Calls For Federal Investigation Of Texas Schools

Sep 18, 2013
Senator José Rodríguez

  Senator José Rodríguez has asked the U.S. Department of Education to open a statewide investigation of all Texas school districts to determine how many other districts have implemented policies similar to those used at the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) to circumvent the federal accountability system.



WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops continue to study the legal and moral implications of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and to “develop avenues of response that would both preserve our strong unity and protect our consciences,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said in a September 17 letter to bishops. His letter followed the September 10-11 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Administrative Committee, the top ranking USCCB body outside a plenary session.

Department Of Health Advises New Mexicans: Avoid Standing Water

Sep 16, 2013

The New Mexico Department of Health advises New Mexicans to be aware of the hazards of standing water. 

Flood water and standing water pose various risks, including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries. Be aware flood water may contain sewage.

Flood waters may also contain sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments, that can cause injury and lead to infection. 

The heavy rain has left large amounts of standing water throughout the state, and with rain forecasted to continue this week, excess water is expected to be slow to evaporate.

Pearce Votes To Limit Fraud

Sep 12, 2013
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce voted for H.R. 2775, the No Subsidies Without Verification Act.  If the Administration goes forward with the implementation of Obamacare, H.R. 2775 demands that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) verify the eligibility of subsidy applicants.

Department Of Health Urges New Mexicans To Pledge To Prepare

Sep 12, 2013

With heavy rains causing flooding in parts of the state, the New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are urging residents to remember emergencies, whether natural disasters or man-made, can happen suddenly in any community.

Almost any type of emergency can have an impact on health.

Pearce Sponsors Bill To Prevent Funding Of Syria Intervention

Sep 10, 2013
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Washington, DC (September 10, 2013) - Responding to an overwhelming outcry from New Mexicans against action in Syria, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce today cosponsored H.J. Res. 58.  The resolution prohibits  the use of funds available to any United States Government department or agency for the use of force in, or directed at, Syria by the United States Armed Forces.