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Today's Opinions

  • Pancho Villa: an occasion well worth remembering

    BY BOB HAGAN
    Special to the Monitor

  • Promises made, promises kept

    BY REP. NATE GENTRY
    House Dist. 30, House Majority Leader

  • Despite skepticism, Syrian truce may have a chance

    BY ZEINA KARARM & DAN PERRY
    Associated Press News Analysis

  • LANS’ fund gives Native American businesses traction for growth

    BY KATHY KEITH
    Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Relations and Partnerships Office

  • Ethics reform runs aground on politically motivated complaints

    This was the year we were supposed to see real ethics reform in Santa Fe, and it seemed that the stars had lined up.
    Secretary of State Dianna Duran and Sen. Phil Griego delivered scandals that were still fresh in mind. The public was more than ready – a poll for Common Cause New Mexico found that 85 percent of respondents supported creating an independent ethics commission. Another poll found 82 percent of New Mexico business leaders liked the idea.
    A Republican freshman, Rep. Jim Dines of Albuquerque, and a Democrat, Rep. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces, joined to carry a bipartisan bill.
    House Joint Resolution 5 would have created a nine-member ethics commission whose members would be appointed by the Legislature, judiciary and administration. The commission could initiate or receive complaints and investigate alleged violations by state officials, lobbyists, state employees, contractors, or would-be contractors. It could look into possible breaches of state ethics, campaign finance and procurement laws and hold public hearings to resolve complaints. Those making the complaints could not be anonymous.

  • Bipartisan good intentions of Senate Bill 9 did not pass

    Evaluation of bills introduced in the Legislature would have become more thorough if Senate Bill 9 had passed in the just completed 2016 legislative session. Because it often takes several years to pass a bill, this one could return.
    The bill had to do with state budgets and what it calls “evidence-based, research-based and promising sub-programs.”
    It had bipartisan sponsorship, but with a double minority. The Senate sponsor was a Republican, Sander Rue of Albuquerque. In the House it was Gail Chasey, a Democrat from Albuquerque. In their respective chambers, Chasey and Rue are in the minority.
    SB 9 would not apply to all of state government, though that isn’t clear from the bill’s text. Chasey told New Mexico In Depth, a news website, (nmindepth.com) that the bill built on the present application to early childhood education and some adult criminal justice programs of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. Working with the Pew Charitable Trusts (pewtrusts.org), starting in 2011, the Legislative Finance Committee did the research and put the program in place.

  • Council must exercise oversight

    BY CHRIS CHANDLER
    Los Alamos

    Guest Columnist

  • Accion teams with national craft brewer to coach local entrepreneurs

    BY JUSTIN HYDE
    New Mexico Market Manager, Accion