Our viewpoint: Sunshine laws aren’t just for media

The great jurist Louis Brandeis once declared, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." And what did the sunlight cleanse? According to the late U.S. Supreme Court justice, appointed to the high court in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, sunlight purges government of secrecy and potentially nefarious behavior that could act against the public interest. Thus, in […]

Our viewpoint: Regarding panhandlers and bureaucracy, just say no

Panhandlers clogging traffic on Portales' streets should stop their aggressive behavior. They might get hurt. Plus, they're often seeking handouts from hard-working residents who don't have a dollar to spare. But enacting a new city ordinance, as the Portales City Council is considering, is not necessary. The best way to make these people go away […]

Senate needs to pass interlock change

When suspected drunken drivers are released pending trial, conditions of release mandate they can't drink alcohol. When convicted drunken drivers are sentenced, conditions of probation mandate they not drink alcohol. So why, then, should they be able to buy it? House Bill 87 would prohibit drunken drivers who have interlock licenses from purchasing alcohol. Sponsored […]

Sequester problems rooted in bad priorities

As many federal employees brace for furloughs that will deliver a 20 percent pay cut, and New Mexico prepares for reductions in federal funding for everything from education to job search assistance to anti-pollution efforts, rest easy in knowing your tax dollars have saved 68 imperiled Gila trout that have found temporary shelter in an […]

Efforts at combating bullying go down for a 3 count

Rio Grande High School wrestler Nick Chavez has a state championship while the justice system, some South Valley political power brokers and the anti-bullying efforts of Albuquerque Public Schools all have a black eye. A state senator, a Bernalillo County commissioner and an APS Board member all saw fit to use their official clout and […]

Our viewpoint: Washington needs more solutions, less bickering

An age-old political game is taking the United States to the brink of fiscal calamity once again. This time, with "sequestration" set to take effect Friday, the objective once more appears not to be to find a political solution, but only to lay blame at the feet of the other side. Here's an idea for […]

Editorial: Governor’s proposals warrant further study

Gov. Susana Martinez has laid the ugly truth on the line. "We must diversify our economy and not have such a heavy reliance on federal jobs," she told about 700 people attending a luncheon hosted by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and other business groups. "We can no longer rely on government as a […]

Editorial: FDA should help businesses comply with new rules

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one in six Americans will have a food-borne illness every year. Of those, nearly 130,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Since last summer there have been outbreaks of salmonella in peanut butter produced in New Mexico, as well as salmonella in mangoes and cantaloupes and listeria in […]

Editorial: 2012 full of unnecessary regulations

2012 was a boom for new government regulations. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren't likely to do anyone any good, except perhaps as employment insurance for those bureaucrats already employed or hired to enforce them. The biggest regulation offenders on a Top 10 worst list, compiled by the conservative Heritage Foundation, range from a simplification […]

Editorial: Schwarzkopf epitome of US military general

For the entire first Gulf War, U.S. Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf was the face of a valiant and successful U.S. military. Schwarzkopf, who died Thursday at 78 from complications from pneumonia, commanded Operation Desert Storm, the U.S.-led coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991. Despite his postwar popularity, Schwarzkopf resisted efforts […]

Editorial: Real ID Act step down slippery slope

You wait in line, oftentimes for hours, at the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles office to obtain a driver's license. After all, it's the state's exclusive business to ensure that you meet the requirements set down to qualify for a license, right? Not so fast, according to an intrusive federal law called the Real […]

Editorial: Ruling victory for advocates of open records

N ew Mexicans have friends in the state's judicial system who understand a fundamental truth about how best to serve the public trust. Those friends sit on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, which has upheld a lower-court ruling that lays out a broad — and welcome — definition of which documents the public is […]

Editorial: Education best way to curb teen birth rates

On paper, New Mexico has a serious teen pregnancy problem. The state has the second-highest teen birthrate in the nation, at 53 per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19. (The national average is 34.2.) And on paper, reducing that birthrate involves clear steps: Male involvement, comprehensive sex education, confidential clinic services, service learning programs and […]

Editorial: Limiting liberty not an answer to shooting

Our nation is reeling from another unfathomable shooting tragedy and is searching for ways to prevent it from happening again. "It," of course, is the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last Friday in Newtown, Conn. Twenty precious children, all ages 6 and 7, and six teachers were gunned down by a madman who then turned […]

Editorial: State campaign finance law must be fixed

I t gives new meaning to ineffectual governance. Last session, the New Mexico Legislature knew a major provision in the state's public financing campaign law had been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. And it did nothing. The Supreme Court said in 2011 that privately funded candidates might be reluctant to spend money on […]

Editorial: Empty pockets help fill stockings

This Christmas season of giving is exemplified by God's gift to mankind, his son Jesus. Like many readers, we too enjoy learning of many worthy opportunities around the region for you to emulate His generosity. One such opportunity we ask you to consider donating money to is the Empty Stocking Fund. The Salvation Army conducts […]

Editorial: Unemployment benefit reforms save money

The state has cut the rate of improper unemployment payments by more than half, saving $36 million. Reducing the percentage of payments considered improper from 24 percent to 11 percent between 2011 and 2012 was the biggest drop in the country. Not only is the effort saving taxpayers money, it also is saving employers money. […]

Plant closure isn’t peanuts to Portales

Two months is a long time to watch millions of pounds of a crop sit in barns, to be out of a job in a tough economy, to have a business shuttered with no clue as to when it can re-open. But that's the position the federal government has put Portales farmers and workers in […]

Editorial: PRC member lucky voters missing facts

Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya, the newest member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, is arguably one of the luckiest candidates to come out ahead in the Nov. 6 election. Because if voters knew then what they know now, it's questionable they would be entrusting her with setting their utility rates, overseeing their insurance […]

Ranking paints distorted picture of NMSU crime

We never give a second thought to the notion that the New Mexico State University campus may not be safe. And so, when The Business Insider website recently ran a story claiming NMSU was the second-most dangerous college campus in America, it simply didn't ring true with the students, faculty and community members who know […]