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.  Submissions must adhere to these guidelines.

Time is Right to Reform New Mexico’s Tax Code

Jul 16, 2019

Commentary: New Mexico has a golden opportunity right now. The discovery of incredible oil riches in the Southeastern part of our State is not just a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Rather, it is the kind of thing that happens only rarely in the history of any state or nation. It is the kind of opportunity that we simply cannot let slip through our fingers.

Thanks to new discoveries in the Permian Basin New Mexico has seen oil production triple since 2012. It will likely double again by 2021. That is great news and it has boosted New Mexico’s sluggish economy. In May, for the first time since 2013, the State’s job growth exceeded the national average.

Luján Calls on Nexstar and AT&T/DIRECTTV to End Blackout of New Mexico Stations

Jul 15, 2019

Commentary:  Today, Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, and Representatives Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) called on Nexstar and AT&T/DIRECTTV to restore access to critical news programs in New Mexico as the two companies continue negotiations.

In the letter to Nexstar Chief Executive Officer Perry Sook and AT&T/DIRECTTV Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, Luján, Haaland, and Torres Small criticized that ongoing negotiations have put their constituents at risk because of a loss of access to KRQE and Fox New Mexico – news programs that report on weather conditions, local safety issues, and alerts. This blackout has impacted an estimated 150,000 New Mexico households over the two weeks it has occurred.

Commentary: From 1991 to 1994, I worked in Mexico City as the Director of New Mexico’s Mexico commercial/tourism office. This was the period when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was negotiated and formally enacted by all three countries on January 1, 1994. American ex-patriots such as myself formed an ad hoc group to lobby the Mexican government and U.S. policymakers in favor of passing NAFTA. I remember being at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, with other compatriots, eating snacks and drinking beer while watching the U.S. House of Representatives debate and then vote in favor of the agreement. It was an exciting time to be involved in the international trade arena, and I was grateful to witness first-hand the creation of NAFTA.

The Day A New Mexico Event Changed The World Forever

Jul 15, 2019
Trinity test marker

Commentary: On July 16, we should take a moment to reflect upon one of history’s key events – an ominous one as well for all of mankind.  It happened in America on this date in 1945, at 5:29AM, just up the road not far from Socorro. It was the detonation of the first nuclear weapon, known then as an “atomic bomb”.

Returning To A Sanctuary Of Silence In New Mexico

Jul 14, 2019
Peter Goodman

Commentary: I own land up by Derry only because I visited Cruces just when my friend, Bud (Professor Orville Joseph Wanzer, Jr.) was retiring from NMSU. Somewhat deaf, and much preferring nature to people, he wanted to live out his days in solitude. I saw an ad for 50 acres, a half-mile of riverfront. Cheap. We drove up there. Much to Bud's surprise, it was “the place.” 

It felt isolated. After a few miles on a dirt road, we turned up a gentle slope. Alone on the river's west side, we could see farms and distant mountains to the east. With two friends to split the cost, we bought it. That was in 1984.

D'Ammassa: History Of Impeachment Examined In New Book

Jul 12, 2019


Commentary: Loose talk about removing presidents from office has been routine for decades, perhaps since the unsuccessful impeachment of President Clinton in 1998-99.

The irregular election of George W. Bush in 2000 cast a pall of illegitimacy over his administration, and widespread revulsion over the invasion of Iraq, treatment of detainees and domestic surveillance, led to some limited debates over impeachment.

Talk of impeaching Barack Obama began before he took office, following years of lies about his citizenship augmented most prominently by the man who succeeded him to the presidency, Donald Trump.

Warning: New Mexico Families would lose big if ACA struck down

Jul 10, 2019

  Commentary: New Mexico Together for Healthcare sounded an alarm about the number of families that would lose coverage in New Mexico as the U.S. House Oversight Committee on Wednesday heard testimony on the potential impact of the ACA being overturned. The Congressional committee meeting comes just one day after oral arguments before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas v. United States, a court case seeking to invalidate the ACA. 

“The danger is real,” said Abuko D. Estrada, supervising attorney for Healthcare at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, a member of New Mexico Together for Healthcare. “Overturning the ACA would eliminate Medicaid expansion, prevent adult children from staying on their parents’ insurance and shutdown the exchanges—kicking over a quarter-of-a-million New Mexicans off their insurance and leaving them on their own to find healthcare. New Mexico families have benefited from the ACA and need it to stay in place to ensure that they have continued access to the care that they need.”

Haaland Calls For Climate Change Emergency Declaration

Jul 9, 2019

Commentary: Today, Congresswoman Deb Haaland called for a climate change an emergency declaration signing on to the Democratic resolution that acknowledges climate change as an existential emergency. The Climate Emergency Resolution, introduced by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for the United States to join 740 local governments and sixteen countries in declaring a climate emergency.

Commentary: Today, on the first day of oral arguments in the Texas v. United States litigation supported by the Trump administration and Republicans to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined Senate and House Democrats on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to highlight the stories of New Mexico families who would be hurt if the Trump administration and Republicans succeed in their effort to overturn the ACA and strip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. 


Commentary: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today heard oral arguments in a lawsuit that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) all together, leaving millions of Americans without access to health insurance. 

 After failing to repeal the ACA in Congress, President Trump and the Republican Party are arguing in court for the law to be overturned completely. The Trump administration has abandoned precedent and refused to defend the law, and nearly every Republican in Congress voted in support of this lawsuit.  If Republicans succeed in invalidating the ACA, tens of millions of Americans could lose their insurance coverage. The uninsured rate would skyrocket by 65%, as millions of Americans lose access to Medicaid, and people with pre-existing conditions are no longer protected. In New Mexico, overturning the ACA could cause turmoil in our insurance system that would increase costs and hold back critical funds for rural hospitals.  

Doña Ana County Commission approves controversial wildlife contract

Jul 9, 2019
Courtesy: State of Texas

  Commentary: Today, the Doña Ana County commissioners voted to adopt a new contract with Wildlife Services, a federal program under the Department of Agriculture that uses indiscriminate and cruel methods to “control” what they consider to be nuisance wildlife. The new contract imposed some new reporting requirements, but failed to include important measures supported by many county residents, including bans on cruel and indiscriminate leghold traps and M-44 sodium cyanide bombs. The new contract includes an amendment proposed by Commissioner Manuel Sanchez and supported by wildlife advocates that requires the agency to attempt non-lethal control twice before resorting to lethal. The amendment passed 3:2 with Commissioners Lynn Ellins and Isabella Solis opposing.


  Commentary: What should happen when a person living in our country seeking asylum has their case heard by the court, is found not to be eligible for asylum and is ordered to be removed from the country?

That question, posed by José Díaz-Balart during the recent Democratic debate, deserves a discussion longer than what was allowed for in the debate format. After all, every case is different.

What if the person has been a productive member of the community for a decade or longer? What if he or she is the sole provider for American-born children? What about the Dreamers who were brought here by their parents when they were young children? What if the person is a member of the military or a first responder serving their hometown?


Peter Goodman

Commentary: Doña Ana County Commission's renewal of the U.S. Wildlife Services contract has been a case history in listening.

Each year we pay the agency to “deal” with “nuisance” wild animals: coyotes eating calves, skunks in your garage, rattlesnakes. No one pays much attention.

This year folks, including Southwest Environmental Center, sensibly said, “Wait a minute!” And started asking questions. Wanton coyote-killing ain't cool. 

So the County passed a resolution getting us out of the coyote-killing business, requiring certain funds go only to non-lethal methods. This resolution sparked a storm of protest from ranchers and Wildlife Services, who made some good points about what's actually happening on the ground. They say the killing isn't wanton or extensive. 

Robots are slowly replacing us

Jul 7, 2019

Commentary: The robots are here. A new study shows that firms that adopt robots see large increases in productivity and displace less innovative firms.

But there is a problem. Robots are different from other types of capital investments. They perform tasks without direct or constant human interaction. Thus, robots can replace humans in the production process. Some studies suggest that as much as 47% of total U.S. employment could be automated. The question is this good or bad for workers.

Let's Have Some Real Debates In The Presidential Race

Jul 7, 2019

Commentary: The Democratic Party’s campaign for the presidency began in earnest recently with a sort of political catwalk, as 20 candidates over two nights took turns giving 60-second answers to questions about matters of life and death.

American politicians and news producers do not hold debates; they produce events called debates that serve mainly as forums for miniature stump speeches, heckles and complaints about the event’s format.

Commentary: This week, ProPublica released disturbing screenshots depicting a private Facebook group, created and made up of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, some including high ranking officials. These screenshots contain incredibly horrific and disturbing images, in addition to very degrading comments about migrants.

Peter Goodman

Commentary: Heartfelt Gratitude to Doña Ana County Municipalities

Jun 28, 2019


Commentary: I grew up with parents who were not only active voters, but also talked about issues, policies, and various decisions made by leaders. The moment I turned 18 and could vote, my mom drove me to the post office to complete my voter registration.  Beyond being encouraged, voting was actually expected by my parents.

D'Ammassa: Our Online Behavior Is Impacting Our Freedom

Jun 28, 2019


Goodman: Truths and Choices

Jun 26, 2019
Peter Goodman

Commentary: It's a beautiful, cool desert morning, and the garden is thriving.

Many families in Doña Ana County live in poverty. Half our nation's citizens own less than what the 400 wealthiest do, largely because of inherited wealth.


It's Well Past Time To Address The National Debt

Jun 21, 2019

Commentary: I love this country. I always have. And you don’t quit on those you love. I’d say that entitles me to get real good and mad when our leaders in Washington – Presidents and Congresses –continue to get us into deep trouble with an exploding national debt. The national debt is what we’ve borrowed from many sources – China for example, and we have to repay with interest.

Commentary: During much of the last 100 years, the New York Stock exchange enjoyed near monopoly on the public trading of U.S. stocks and bonds. And while we are trained to think that monopolies are bad things, the near monopoly of the NYSE was in fact a good thing. The reason for this was NYSE need to maintain its good reputation for fairness.

Haaland: Holtec Facility Poses Too Great a Risk to the Health & Safety of New Mexicans

Jun 21, 2019

Commentary: Congresswoman Deb Haaland announced her opposition to storing high level nuclear waste in New Mexico in a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Haaland’s letter comes after Holtec International submitted an application for a license to construct an interim high-level radioactive waste storage facility in Lea County, New Mexico. In her letter, she cited operational and logistical risks that pose a risk to the state.

“I believe such a facility poses too great a risk to the health and safety of New Mexicans, our economy and our environment,” Congresswoman Deb Haaland wrote.

How fake equality disguises oppression

Jun 20, 2019


  Commentary: On Aug. 9, 2007, six Democratic presidential candidates participated in a forum on LGBTQ rights. A distinct memory from watching the event was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson being asked by one of the moderators: Is being gay natural or a choice?

Richardson arrived at that debate touting his support for civil unions (as long as they weren't called "marriages"). This was, at the time, about as far as leading Democratic politicians went.  

On this question, Richardson fumbled, first stating that being gay was a choice and immediately backpedaling when the room reacted. He spent the next day clarifying his position (and improbably claiming he hadn’t understood the question).

Misusing the Kids Count Report

Jun 20, 2019

Commentary: The Rio Grande Foundation supports free market policies. New Mexico Voices for Children is on the left of the political spectrum and usually support more government. There are vast areas of disagreement but I believe that in the end New Mexicans across the political spectrum ALL want New Mexico’s children to do better.

That’s why it is so disappointing that Voices for Children is using the annual “Kids Count” report it publishes with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation to sharpen political axes rather than working to ensure that New Mexico does the best it can for its children.

Serious Safety Concerns for Proposed Nuclear Storage Facility in New Mexico

Jun 19, 2019

  Commentary: Today Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard sent a letter to Holtec International President and CEO, Krishna Singh. The letter outlines a number of concerns regarding Holtec’s proposal for a nuclear storage facility in Lea County - specifically safety concerns that have not been addressed and misrepresentations made by the company in its filings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The surface and mineral estate are split in ownership at the proposed location, with the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, LLC owning the surface land and the State Land Office owning the mineral estate.


Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that the Senate agreement on border humanitarian assistance includes $30 million in reimbursement funds for localities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in New Mexico and elsewhere that are providing much-needed humanitarian relief to asylum seekers. In May, the full New Mexico delegation – Udall and Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Xochitl Torres Small, and Deb Haaland – wrote to the leadership of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees requesting reimbursement in light of the release of thousands of asylum seekers into New Mexico, and the subsequent strain on local resources.


 Commentary: The National Education Association-Las Cruces Board of Directors voted unanimously to oppose the recall of school board members Terrie Dallman, Maria Flores and Ray Jaramillo on June 12th. NEA-LC stands in strong support of the school board and voted unanimously to endorse School Board President Ed Frank in his bid for re-election. 

Udall Statement on Trump Administration’s Repeal of Clean Power Plan

Jun 19, 2019
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary:   Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget, issued the following statement after EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with a new rule that will lead to hundreds more premature deaths and hospitalizations from increased toxic air pollution:


“Yet again, the Trump administration has prioritized polluters over people by repealing the Clean Power Plan in an egregious giveaway to big corporations. This is all part of a large-scale effort by this administration to systematically dismantle our nation’s best efforts to combat climate change, curb pollution, and embrace a clean energy economy. Now, with this latest move, the administration has turned its back on the American public, jeopardizing our health, safety, and way of life – all in service of padding the pockets of big polluters.