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Columns

  • Richardson mulls gentleman rancher role

    “I want to remain in New Mexico and become a gentleman rancher.” That is Gov. Bill Richardson’s latest life-after-governor pronouncement.
    It occurred recently as part of remarks the governor made thanking the Governor’s Mansion Foundation for its efforts in furnishing the public areas of our governor’s mansion.
    First Lady Barbara Richardson also expressed thanks  and ended her remarks saying the couple plans to remain our neighbors, perhaps within a few blocks of the mansion.

  • A billion here, a billion there

    When discussing the difficulty of defining pornography, Potter  Stewart, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said, “I know it  when I see it.”  
    Pornography comes in all forms these days and we  are graced with its ubiquitous presence on television, the internet  and in lyrics of hit songs.  But is it really all that easy to  recognize?

  • Cancer survivor’s Christmas

    Yes it’s that time of year again. It’s the holidays and ‘tis the season to be stressed! Crowded malls, last minute shopping, endless lines, 200 cards to write….what? You mean it’s only me who does that? Bummer! No wonder I never get many back.
    For the average person, there’s enough stress. Add cancer, or illness, into the equation and this season can be the Everest of anxiety.

  • Tread carefully on film incentives

    A new study argues that New Mexico and 42 other states are wasting their money on film incentives.  
    “In the harsh light of reality, film subsidies offer little bang for the buck,” writes Robert Tannenwald, of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
    I give the study a thumbs-down for its biases and mistaken assumptions, but it’s another reminder that the incentive program isn’t well understood.

  • Bingaman ponders reelection bid

    We have become such a rancorous lot, we Americans.
    Perhaps that’s why many New Mexicans had a moment’s pause when Jeff Bingaman recently let it be known that he is thinking about not seeking another term in the U.S. Senate come 2012.
    Bingaman is that rare political figure who rarely blows his cool, an isle of balance and sanity in a sea of roiling political waters.

  • Whatever the shortfall, service cuts are looming

    A crowd appeared for the Dec. 2 Legislative Finance Committee meeting. The topic was a new consensus General Fund Revenue Projection. All 16 LFC members were there.
    Eight other legislators had a chair at the front of Room 307 in the Capitol in Santa Fe. House Speaker Ben Lujan sat in a dark corner, almost hidden. Room 307 wasn’t full, as in wall-to-wall full. The audience, scattered around the room, included lobbyists, state staff, and business types.

  • Santa Claus & Mr. Scrooge

    Isn’t it wonderful to have a brief season of good will that even extends into the political world this year? With a new administration headed into Santa Fe, a period of high hopes reigns at least for a few weeks.
    Our major state newspaper feels hearts are so light that it can feature a front page article on our governor-elect’s pajamas. The inference is that readers have little reason to consider anything more important than Susana Martinez’s “sleepy pants” at this time of year.

  • GOP majority = less government

    A Republican renewal in Congress and in statehouses across the nation changes the political dynamic in favor of more limited government.
    But along with restraining runaway spending and checking bureaucratic expansion, there is a real chance to shift the balance of power in education policy from Washington, D.C. back to the states where it belongs
    At least four-dozen new Republicans will enter the House of Representatives and five new Republican senators will take office with a mandate not merely to slow or contain the expansion of federal power, but to roll it back.

  • Same story, second verse

    Are New Mexicans about to get the same story: second verse? During Susana Martinez’s year-long quest for the governor’s office, no one talked publicly about the possibility of her being the GOP vice-presidential nominee two years hence.
    Late in the primary campaign, it became very obvious that state and national GOP leaders had pegged her as their favorite.
    Those of us not in the party structure were very surprised to see her crush four other candidates badly at the Republican pre-primary nominating convention in March.

  • Building a more sustainable town