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Employers' concerns matter

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Business has too many fair-weather friends

By Sherry Robinson

If opening day of the legislature is any indication, business – especially small business – sure has a lot of friends. But some of those friendships are fleeting.
This was evident in an unlikely context. Former Gov. Gary Johnson spoke to a spirited Tea Party rally outside the Roundhouse.
They cheered enthusiastically as Johnson talked about cutting government by 43 percent, balancing the federal budget and reducing taxes.
But as he talked, the crowd cooled, and it wasn’t just the temperature.
There was a puzzled silence as he described the border fence and use of National Guard troops as “a lot of money spent with little benefit.” It should be easy for to get work visas, he said.
Tea partiers had cheered his comments on the free market and his call for eliminating corporate income taxes, but they stop short of the business position on immigration reform held by Johnson and the Association of Commerce and Industry of New Mexico, whose members are also chafing at conservatives’ threats to penalize employers for hiring illegals.
Then there was former Rep. Janice Arnold Jones, who spoke before Johnson.


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