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.

When will the next economic downturn occur?

Jun 28, 2018

Commentary: The causes of the great depression were greedy Wall Street operators encouraging people to buy stocks on margins, trade wars, unregulated banks that went bankrupt and lack of demand coming from low wages and unemployment approaching 30%.

Commentary: DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement:

“If there was ever any question whether the November elections would be the most important of our lifetime, Justice Kennedy’s retirement should remove all doubt. Democrats and Republicans should reject any nominee who won't uphold our constitution and our basic human rights, and who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. We must make our voices heard at the ballot box for the millions of American families who are counting on us.

supreme court judge neil gorsuch (Trump nominee)

Commentary: The Rio Grande Foundation, New Mexico’s free-market think tank, applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The decision, handed down this morning, secures the right to work for all local- and state-government employees.

Commentary: Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), issued the following statement on today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision undermining the effectiveness and strength of public sector labor unions:


The Consequences Of Separating Children From Their Parents

Jun 26, 2018


  Commentary: We live in a video era.

On Feb. 15, 2014, then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked out his girlfriend in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino. The incident was extensively reported in print, online and broadcast outlets. And the nation gave a collective shrug.

Then, in September, 2014 video was released showing Rice doing what we already knew he had done. And the nation gave a collective roar.

Video changes everything.

For the past several weeks, our government has been taking immigrant children of all ages away from their parents and warehousing them in federal facilities all across the country.

We can only imagine what that must be like for the kids ... literally. None of us are allowed to see inside these shelters.

Commentary: GALLUP--The McKinley County Commission, after hearing powerful community testimony, on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution in support of the state’s work to develop and implement an innovative plan to allow New Mexicans the opportunity to buy-in to the proven, trusted Medicaid healthcare system.

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Commentary: Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement condemning the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Trump v. Hawaii which upheld President Trump’s controversial “Muslim ban” policy:

“Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of government-sanctioned discrimination against Muslim communities, refugees, and individuals from predominantly Muslim nations. This ruling will be remembered as one of the greatest failures of jurisprudence in modern history.

The Chorus Line

Jun 25, 2018


I remember
when I held my mama’s hand
and we walked together
down dirt roads
listened to our stomachs rumble
and walked on

I remember
when my brother was shot
and mama said it was time to leave
and I held my mama’s hand
so tightly
my legs so entwined with hers
that she could barely walk
as we fled down dirt roads
towards an uncertain future
fear our constant companion

New Mexico Republican Promotes Tax Reform Plan

Jun 25, 2018
Senator William E. Sharer - (R)

Commentary: Santa Fe--The much anticipated final report on New Mexico’s Tax System is in. State Senator Bill Sharer (R-Farmington) said it now gives legislators a credible model or so-called computerized “tool” to evaluate potential tax reduction scenarios. Sharer said the study researched tax numbers for the computer program that will be more broadly accepted as being credible and not created by someone with an agenda in order to keep their favored tax credit, deduction or exemption.

peter goodman

Commentary: The proposal to store all the nation's spent nuclear fuel rods in New Mexico raises more questions than I can fit into a column. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's public comment period ends July 30th.


It's “temporary” (thus will be buried just 30 feet deep) but given the history, it'll probably be here forever. New Mexico would likely become a de facto permanent dump site for the most dangerous radioactive waste, at a site designed only for temporary storage. With aging canisters, it is unlikely the waste would move again. Storage casks, canisters and the site itself are not necessarily designed for permanent disposal. Leaks, cracks, and contamination may result. Opponents say that most low-level radioactive-waste dumps have leaked, and remediation costs have been over a billion dollars.


Visit El Paso

  Commentary: El Paso- Paso del Sur announces the launch of a new citizens initiative petitioning the City Council of El Paso to pass an ordinance so that voters can decide on proposed changes to Proposition 2 of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Election. These changes represent a viable solution for the problems that the City is facing in fulfilling its promises to the people of El Paso.


Commentary: New Mexico State Senator Linda Lopez (D-Bernalillo) today called on Governor Susana Martinez to withdraw the state’s National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border. In her letter, Senator Lopez questions the governor’s support of President Trump’s policy that has led to the separation of more than 2000 children from their parents. Lopez goes on to state that these recent actions run counter to the mission of the National Guard, and they should therefore be pulled from deployment.

Can Forgiving Debt Address Income Inequality?

Jun 22, 2018
Dr. Chris Erickson

Commentary: Increasing income and wealth inequality is a major social concern. In many ancient societies, the tendency toward inequality was countered with debt-cancellation Jubilees. These occurred regularly in the ancient middle east as is documented, for example, in the Bible.

Pearce Votes For Farm Bill Requiring Work Or Job Training For Food Assistance

Jun 21, 2018
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Today, Congressman Steve Pearce voted in favor of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, which passed the House by a final vote of 213 to 211. More commonly known as the Farm Bill, this is the second time that House has voted on this critically important legislation for the nation. It was first brought to the House floor on May 18, 2018 and failed to pass.

Congressman Pearce voted for the bill both times it was considered before the House. His stance on the bill has not changed.

Report: Black Children in New Mexico Suffer Significant Disparities

Jun 21, 2018

Commentary: A new KIDS COUNT report out today shows that New Mexico’s Black child population faces more barriers to success than does its White and Asian child populations. New Mexico’s Black children are more likely to be born at a low birthweight and to die in infancy, and Black youth are disproportionately suspended and expelled from school and incarcerated.

Separating Families Has Lasting Consequences

Jun 21, 2018

  Commentary: When provided the opportunity, refugees become key contributors to the nation’s economic vitality. International research has shown that refugees enter the workforce, boost native-born workers’ wages, and increase job opportunities. Instead of welcoming these new American families into the social and economic fabric of our nation, the Trump administration is tearing them apart.


From May 5 to June 9, 2018, the Trump administration forcibly removed 2,342 children from their parents as part of its new zero-tolerance policy. That policy classifies all immigrants who enter without inspection as criminal violators. The administration may view separating children and families as a short-term negotiating tactic, but these actions will have lasting consequences for children. We know that traumatic experiences like these harm children’s future health, education, and economic outcomes.


GOP Farm Bill Endangers Food Assistance Program

Jun 21, 2018

Commentary: The 2018 House Farm Bill, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today, significantly cuts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—formerly known as food stamps—by more than $20 billion over the next ten years by shrinking eligibility for families, penalizing unemployed older adults, and other changes.

Commentary:  Joint Economic Committee Democrats today released a new report that examines the current state of the rural economy, and proposes policies that could revitalize rural communities and help them thrive in the 21st century. The report, “Investing in Rural America,” looks at several aspects of the rural economy including infrastructure, family financial security, housing, clean energy and public lands, health care, and agriculture.


“Far too many rural communities have been held back from the economic growth others have enjoyed since the recovery from the Great Recession,” said U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee. “We owe it to all Americans to enact smart, forward-looking policies that will help rural communities reap the benefits from a growing economy. I hope this report serves as a roadmap for this progress. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to improve the lives of the millions of Americans who live in rural communities.” (donald trump)

Commentary: Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order putting and end to family separation for migrant families crossing the southern border while seeking asylum.

The move comes after a constant demand and outrage from the public, faith communities, and immigrants’ rights organization who called the separation of children from their parents cruel, inhumane, and immoral.

New Mexico House Speaker: Trump Order Is "Half Measure;" Immigration Reform Needed Now

Jun 20, 2018

Commentary: Today, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) issued the following statement:

"Like many New Mexicans and Americans, I have watched in horror as the Trump Administration has implemented a new policy that forces cruel separations of children from their families at our southern border.  There is simply no excuse for this policy, and there is no excuse for the flood of lies that has come from the highest positions in our federal government.


Gessing: Holtec nuclear storage proposal sensible

Jun 19, 2018
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

Commentary: New Mexico’s elected leaders and many citizens often claim to be interested in “diversifying the economy” and the attraction of good-paying new jobs to our state. When push comes to shove, however, schizophrenia reigns.

Policymakers often outdo themselves throwing subsidies and tax exemptions at businesses while on the other they enact policies or restrictions that make doing business in New Mexico unattractive.

Outrage At Family Separation Policy

Jun 19, 2018

Commentary: Few policies of our federal government have drawn as much outrage as the recent decision to separate parents and children who come to the United States border with Mexico seeking asylum.  Reports of children screaming in terror as they are torn from their parents’ arms strike at the heart of every citizen who has put their trust in the United States as a humane nation.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas called on United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to end the cruel and illegal attacks on children and families lawfully seeking asylum in the United States as they seek protection from domestic, sexual and gang violence. In recent weeks, the federal government has separated thousands of asylum-seeking children from their parents, and reclassified the protective status of international domestic violence survivors.

Commentary: The New Mexico Psychological Association (NMPA) calls on the federal government to keep immigrant children with their families. Psychological science has long-warned against the serious negative consequences of separating children from their primary caregivers. As both the American Psychological Association and theAmerican Medical Association affirm, doing so threatens the physical and mental health of the children and their families.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R)


Commentary: Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), released the following statement today on the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” immigration stance that has led to forced separation of families and horrific accounts of children being taken from their parents:

“Our nation’s soul is at stake. 

Rubel: Las Cruces Voter Initiative Process Needs Fixing

Jun 19, 2018

Commentary: The city is finally starting to address the weaknesses in city charter that led to the minimum wage debacle of 2014, but they are only fixing part of the problem.

That year, the faith-based advocacy group NM Comunidades en Accion y de Fe (CAFé) launched a petition drive seeking to use the citizens’ initiative process to force an increase in the minimum wage.

For several weeks, volunteers fanned out throughout the city every day , diligently knocking on doors or stopping people at public events to ask them to sign their petition. By the time they were done, they had far more signatures than needed.

That seemingly left the City Council with two choices. They could accept the proposal by CAFé, or they could put the wage issue on the ballot and let the voters decide.

Finding neither of those choices desirable, the city legal staff at that time invented a third option. The city charter says the City Council has to accept the proposal, they conceded. But, there is nothing that prevents them from then immediately voting to change it.

Hundreds at Father’s Day Vigil in Texas Demand End to Family Separation

Jun 18, 2018

Commentary:  In continued opposition to the Trump administration’s inhumane practice of separating children from their parents, community members and advocates of local and national organizations held a vigil this Father’s Day in front of the Ursula Border Patrol Processing Center to say #FamiliesBelongTogether, and announced a plan for large-scale mobilization to the Rio Grande Valley on June 28 to demand an end to this cruel policy and humanitarian crisis.

Grave Concerns About Trump's Tariffs

Jun 18, 2018

Commentary: On June 5, 2018, Mexico, in retaliation for the Trump administration slapping tariffs on Mexican and other countries’ steel and aluminum imports to the U.S., announced its own tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports. The tariffs will range between 15 and 25 percent. On June 6, this is how my day unfolded. Phone call to me from one of my associates: “What's going on with Mexico's imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum. Can you find out if this affects companies participating in Mexico's maquila industry?”

Goodman: The U.S. Should Provide Asylum To Refugees

Jun 17, 2018
peter goodman

Commentary: We always say Nazis and East German Communists should have said “No!” to commands from the armies of their dictatorships. But how do we treat someone who has sufficient conviction and guts to say “No!” to a dictator we abhor?

Venezuela descended into a crazy dictatorship. We've imposed sanctions; The OAS accuses the Maduro regime of “crimes against humanity,” and the International Criminal Court is investigating human rights abuses. The U.S. calls the dictatorship “a failed state,” and our Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, is talking about “regime change.”

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement responding to published reports about House Republican plans to move two immigration bills through Congress.

“Once again, House Republican leaders are standing in the way of what a majority of Americans and the Congress support: the Dream Act. Instead, they are putting forward two inhumane bills crafted from Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant playbook – as the world watches in shock while crying babies are maliciously separated from their parents.