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Local News

  • Merilee Dannemann: Advertising hits legislature

    The campaign for the Legislature reached a point this season I hoped I would never see.

    Four years ago I saw a billboard on I-25 in Albuquerque, advertising for a candidate for the state Senate. I thought this was way over the top. 

    Billboard advertising for legislative seats might make sense in more rural, geographically larger districts, where it will reach primarily district residents and where the cost is appropriately lower. But not on the freeway in Albuquerque. It’s a waste of money, unless the candidate has a brother-in-law in the billboard business or has raised enough money to waste a lot of it.     

  • Sherry Robinson: Park would recognize nuclear beginnings

    In October, the President announced that the home of labor leader Cesar Chavez would be a national monument. A month before, the House defeated Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s measure to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

    The political gods smiled on Chavez’s California farmhouse and 187 surrounding acres because both parties need to show some love to the nation’s Hispanic people, and creating a monument is a lot easier than passing immigration reform.

    The A-bomb park, as it was dubbed in headlines, didn’t enjoy that kind of momentum. Co-sponsor Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Washington, promised to try again before year end. I hope he and Sen. Tom Udall take the baton after Bingaman bows out. Although the bill mustered 237 votes in favor to 180 against, it needed a bigger majority.

  • New Storm Hitting Sandy-Battered NYC, NJ, CT
  • Today in History for November 8th
  • 10 things to know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about on Thursday:

    1. HOW OBAMA WON

    Among other things, the president and his team mobilized a masterful registration and get-out-the-vote operation.

    2. WHERE THE GOP GOES FROM HERE

    Improving relations with America's fast-growing Hispanic population may be the party's biggest challenge.

    3. JUST WHAT THE EAST DOESN'T NEED: MORE ROUGH WEATHER

    As another nor'easter lumbers ashore, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sums things up: "I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next."

    4. BRITAIN CALLS ON WEST TO DO MORE TO END SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

    Obama's re-election prompts a call for America and its allies to shape opponents of Assad into a coherent force.

  • Colorado Gov. to Pot Advocates: Not So Fast

    Colorado's governor is warning residents of his state against marijuana use, noting that it remains illegal under federal law, despite voters approving its use under state law.

  • 7.4-magnitude Earthquake Strikes Guatemala
  • Given 2nd term, Obama now facing new urgent task

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama faces a new urgent task now that he has a second term, working with a status-quo Congress to address an impending financial crisis that economists say could send the country back into recession.
    “You made your voice heard,” Obama said in his acceptance speech, signaling that he believes the bulk of the country is behind his policies. It’s a sticking point for House Republicans, sure to balk at that.
    The same voters who gave Obama four more years in office also elected a divided Congress, sticking with the dynamic that has made it so hard for the president to advance his agenda. Democrats retained control of the Senate; Republicans kept their House majority.
    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, spoke of a dual mandate. “If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs,” he said.
    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had a more harsh assessment.
    “The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term,” McConnell said. “They have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together” with a balanced Congress.

  • Voters approve bonds

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico voters on Tuesday approved more than $140 million in bonds to support libraries, higher education and senior centers, and they approved at least one constitutional amendment aimed at revamping the powerful, scandal-plagued Public Regulation Commission.
    The amendment allows the state Legislature to establish minimum qualifications for PRC candidates. Currently, a candidate needs only to be 18, a New Mexico resident for at least one year and have no felony convictions.
    Two other proposed amendments that would streamline the duties of the regulatory agency had yet to be decided but were leading as ballots continued to be counted.
    Critics had argued that increasing the qualifications would narrow the pool of PRC candidates. However, supporters contend the changes will make the commission more efficient and ensure that elected regulators are better prepared for the complex utility and telecommunications issues they must decide.
    The five-member panel regulates utilities, insurance companies, transportation companies, and transmission and pipeline companies.

  • Heinrich wins Senate seat

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Democrat Martin Heinrich won New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, defeating Republican Heather Wilson with strong support from Hispanic and female voters.
    Heinrich carried the vote-rich Albuquerque area, which is home to a third of the state’s electorate, and he picked up solid margins in heavily Democratic and Hispanic areas in northern New Mexico, according to incomplete, unofficial returns.
    Wilson outpaced Heinrich in traditional GOP strongholds of eastern and southern New Mexico, but it wasn’t enough to win in a state that also favored Democratic President Barack Obama for a second term.
    New Mexico filled an open U.S. Senate seat for the second time in four years in a race that saw the candidates relentlessly punch away at one another over jobs, health care and taxes. Each spent more than $6 million on their campaign.
    Heinrich’s victory ensures Democrats will hang on to the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring after 30 years.
    In his victory speech, Heinrich applauded Bingaman as “an example of how the Senate ought to work,” saying he worked for results, not credit.