Government needs Sunshine Portal

By Sarah Welsh: Guest columnist Information is power, and right now the public has none. Legislators and the public are rightfully outraged at Gov. Bill Richardson’s ongoing refusal to release information about his exempt state employees, including 59 positions that were supposedly cut last month. What little information has emerged isn’t good — employees who […]

Wal-Mart donates truck to fire department

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By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer Wal-Mart donated a truck to the Portales Fire Department Friday for hauling a water tanker. The truck is a 2004 Peterbuilt semi and valued at $30,000 by Wal-Mart. Public Affairs and Government Relations Senior Manager Delia Garcia said Interim Fire Chief Gary Nuckols contacted the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in […]

Bills seek to rein in exempt jobs

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican The issue of exempt employees on state government’s payroll hasn’t gone away this session, despite layoffs of 59 of the governor’s political appointees in January. Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, again is pushing a measure that would limit the number of exempt state employees to about 400. “The number of […]

Measure would make information accessible online

By Kate Nash: The Santa Fe New Mexican Residents who want to know more about state government’s pocketbook, its power players and public meetings would have an easier time accessing information online under a series of measures introduced so far this session. Ideas advancing their way through the process include expanding webcasting in the House […]

Loss of leaders leaves void to be filled

Freedom New Mexico This decade brought the loss of four iconic friends of liberty whose ideas helped change the course of history. We will certainly miss President Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr. and Milton and Rose Friedman. Few American presidents have demonstrated the principled discipline of Ronald Reagan. His political career started in California […]

Pressuring banks to lend more initial problem

Freedom New Mexico Those of us who had anticipated the possibility of a de facto nationalization of the banking and finance sector of the economy after the meltdown last fall and the government’s bailout reaction, may have to rethink our scenarios and happily so. With the announcement that Citigroup will pay back $20 billion in […]

Support grows for advocates of immigrants

Freedom New Mexico As we allow government to cast ever-widening nets over all aspects of our lives, real life-and-death issues — health care, crime and drug use, to name just a few — become little more than political playthings tossed about inside the Washington beltway and state capitals across the country. So forgive us for […]

China proves federal Internet regulations fail

Freedom New Mexico Why is it important to condemn government regulation of the Internet? You don’t have to look much further for an answer than China’s latest battle to preside over the “World of Warcraft” computer game. In a power struggle of galactic proportions, two bureaucratic Chinese government agencies are squabbling as to which is […]

Ethics issues surface for TRICARE

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Aetna Government Health Plans of Hartford, Conn., appears to have gained an unfair advantage in competing for TRICARE’s North Region support contract, valued at $16.7 billion, by hiring a former chief of staff at TRICARE headquarters to help the company draft its winning proposal. The Government Accountability Office, auditing arm […]

Cannon partners with communities in water project

27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron Groundwater is a precious commodity in many parts of the world, including the High Plains of eastern New Mexico. The Federal government recognized the importance of this resource for the long-term sustainability of this region and earlier this year President Obama authorized the Bureau of Reclamation to spend up […]

Dairy attrition continues

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer Ten dairies in Roosevelt and Curry counties have gone out of business since wholesale milk prices began dropping more than a year ago, a Dairy Farmers of America spokesman confirms. Walter Bradley, government and business affairs director for the DFA in Clovis, said five of the dairies were participants […]

Government only here to serve justice

By Tibor Machan: Freedom New Mexico columnist Most of the time, those of us who write columns address fairly specific issues and have only a little space to call upon general principles. But it is such general principles that guide the thinking behind the comments on special topics. Even the most pragmatic among us, who […]

Fed decision to allow trade long overdue

Freedom New Mexico The federal government has prompted yet another delay in the implementation of a NAFTA provision that allows Mexican truckers to bring cargo from that country to U.S. markets. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, that provision should have gone into effect on Jan. 1, 1995 — more than 14 years ago. […]

U.S. no longer has active role in Iraq

Freedom New Mexico Two large bomb blasts in Baghdad, one aimed at the Foreign and Finance Ministries, killed at least 100 people and injured about 600, putting something of an exclamation point on a month of escalating insurgent violence and calling into question the capacity of the Iraqi government to provide effective security. There will […]

Tyranny marked by silenced dissent

By Tibor Machan: FNM columnist When people voice fear of the American government, they are often accused of being irrational or paranoid. But there are good reasons not to dismiss such concerns under current circumstances. When society is considered a collective, those who see themselves as its leaders can quite easily slip into a mode […]

Government ‘help’ comes from taxpayers’ pockets

The government has an insidious way of helping. First it hurts you. Then it benevolently rushes in to relieve a little of the pain. Then, it takes credit for being so nice. Taxpayers experience this every payday when the government takes money from their earnings. Later, the government may deign to return some of your […]

Protests delay provider transition

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Transition to new managed-care support contractors for 6 million TRICARE beneficiaries across 30 states has been halted while the Government Accountability Office reviews protests filed by losing bidders. TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) announced last month that Aetna Government Health Plans of Hartford, Conn., won the contract competition and would be […]

Investment protection not government’s concern

Freedom New Mexico Victims of Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme at least have the satisfaction of knowing the man who ruined their lives will die in prison. In June, he received a 150-year sentence at the age of 71. You may remember U.S. District Judge Denny Chin sent a strong message to investment consultants […]

Scrapbooking garners Cannon employee award

USAF photo: Airman 1st Class James R. Bell Debbie Baldwin, 27th Special Operations Medical Dental Group, was recognized by the Society of American Indian Government Employees for her efforts in documenting Native American cultural events. By La Dona Beevers: 27th SOW Public Affairs A scrapbook highlighting Native American heritage was pivotal in earning an employee […]

Government flex of power going too far

Freedom New Mexico Even though there’s a certain amount of populist pandering involved, you can understand the impulse behind a government move to limit the pay of top executives at companies that have taken bailout money from the taxpayers. He who pays the piper and all that. There may be some danger of losing talented […]