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Today's Opinions

  • Single-payer is not the answer

    BY LISA SHIN
    Candidate for NM House of Representatives, Dist. 43

    Obamacare had thousands of pages of job-killing mandates, regulations, and taxes. Why should we be surprised at rising costs and skyrocketing premiums?  We should have learned that more government regulation over health care is disastrous. Instead, we have Councilors Sheehey and Chandler falling all over themselves to be the louder voice for single-payer: the most control government can have over health care.

    Be wary of old politicians who tout the merits of socialized medicine.  They love to talk about access to preventative, primary, and specialty care, but avoid the crucial questions:  “How are we going to pay for it?” and “Who will be the providers for it?” Briefly, these are the reasons why a single-payer system would not work for New Mexico. 

  • Letters to the Editor 3-23-17

    Chandler is superbly
    qualified for state
    representative

    Dear Editor,
    I urge all Democrats in District 43 to vote for Christine Chandler in the June 5 primary. She is superbly qualified through temperament, knowledge and experience.
    I have known Chris almost from her first day at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in late 1986. At that time, I was a lab associate director responsible for the nuclear weapons program. Chris and I worked together on numerous issues and problems facing the lab. She was always professional in the face of serious challenges. I remember one case early in her career when she was selected by the legal office to brief a University of California Regents subcommittee on some legal issue. I have forgotten the specifics, but Chris was selected either to win their approval for the lab’s actions or to be eaten alive. I attended the briefing. It started out with the visitors being very hostile and ended up with them eating out of her hand.  I was very impressed.
    As an attorney, she has extensive experience across the laboratory. She understands the lab contract process and how Los Alamos interacts with local, state, and federal governments.  She is unique with this experience that will be a great asset to District 43 and all of our neighbors in northern New Mexico.

  • Business needs, transparency rules find balance at spaceport

    The spaceport finally caught a break after years of flak. Three breaks, in fact.

    Even so, Spaceport America was in the crosshairs of a sustained transparency debate in the recent legislative session.

    As media and watchdog organizations like to remind you, transparency and open records in government are vital to a healthy democracy. But as an old business reporter, I also understand how cautious and downright paranoid high tech companies are about their internal information. They’re secretive for a reason.

    So when headline writers at the New Mexican exclaim, “Transparency takes hit,” after the passage of a bill protecting customer information at the spaceport, I’m afraid I can’t agree.

    The bipartisan Senate Bill 98, called the Commercial Aerospace Protection Act, started out exempting Spaceport client information from the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act  unless the company waives confidentiality. IPRA is the sacred cow of New Mexico journalists.

  • Letters to the Editor 3-14-18

    A case of legislative error on gun rights

    Dear Editor,

    Legislators have been known to do ridiculous things, and a majority of Florida’s legislators have done so along with their governor. They have assumed that acts of violence using a firearm are age related or cynically a trick to weaken the Second Amendment is in their sights.

    They have forbidden sales of firearms to persons ages 18 to 20 purely on the basis of age.

    This denies them their rights under the Second Amendment, placing them with a class of persons forbidden the right to bear arms for cause. The forbidden class is that which consists of the insane, idiots, statutorily immature, ajudicatedly forbidden or criminal.

    How now will this class of 18 to 20-year-old citizens feel about enlisting in the armed forces with their constitutional rights removed legislatively, a process denying right, that a person other than this newly created class, has with the individual right secured for others. These 18 to 20 year olds can die for their country but cannot be a fully covered by citizen rights under the constitution. Seventeen-year-olds can also serve their country and a case can be made for them regarding firearms.

  • Workshop points small businesses toward government contracts

    FINANCE NEW MEXICO

    The federal government is the world’s biggest customer and a major driver in New Mexico’s economy.

    While only a fraction of the $8.2 billion that Uncle Sam spent in New Mexico in fiscal year 2017 benefitted local companies, advisers at the state’s four Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) work to increase the flow of federal dollars to small businesses that offer products or services the government wants.

    To that end, the Clovis PTAC is hosting a workshop March 20 at Clovis Community College for entrepreneurs who want to learn more about becoming a government contractor.

    “The workshop is to educate business owners on how to do business with Cannon Air Force Base and other government agencies,” said Jonnie Loadwick, procurement technical adviser at the Clovis PTAC and a certified VA verification counselor. “Cannon has been growing the last few years, and there is a lot of opportunity for government contracting in this area.”

    Obtaining government contracts can be just as onerous as securing contracts in the private sector: Businesses must aggressively market themselves, because competition is fierce.

  • Lujan Grisham wins Dem preprimary vote, land commissioner proxy battle set

    Joseph Cervantes (joe4nm.com ) offered substantive ideas to the Democratic Party preprimary convention March 10 in Albuquerque and got 10 percent of the votes.

    Jeff Apodaca (apo18.com), with his promise of 225,000 new jobs, attracted 21 percent of the votes.

    Peter DeBenedittis (peterd4gov.com) had the truth, drew 1.9 percent of the votes and endorsed Apodaca.

    Michelle Lujan Grisham (newmexicansformichelle.com) won the audience sign waving battle and 67 percent of the votes.

    The four candidates for governor and candidates for other offices spoke to a full house in a hall on the top floor of Albuquerque’s convention center. The show-biz part might have swayed one or two delegates. As the candidates pitched, delegates completed ballots in small voting booths in an adjacent room.

    The convention was about candidates getting enough delegate votes—20 percent—to be on the primary ballot.

    Candidates not making the delegate vote cut can get more petition signatures to get on the ballot. The six contested races attracted 21 candidates.

    It was show biz with a ritual of a video and supporters packing the stage and waving signs. DeBenedittis did it differently. His fiancé, Tracy Juechter, introduced him and was the only person on stage as he spoke.

  • Sheehey: Advocating for the GRT

    BY PETE SHEEHEY
    Los Alamos County Councilor, candidate for District 43

    As a member of the County Council’s Regional and State Subcommittee, I helped develop our state legislative agenda, which was approved by the whole Council last December.  One priority was to address the concern that if a non-profit organization won the new LANL contract, state and local government could lose a total of  $50 million per year in gross receipts tax (GRT).

    Working with our State Senators Cisneros and Martinez and Representative Garcia Richard, we developed a bill, SB17, to close the loophole that lets non-profit organizations avoid GRT payment as prime contractors for national laboratories (SB17 preserves the GRT exemption for all other non-profit businesses and contracts). The bill passed both Houses: 31-4 in the Senate and 48-19 in the House.  It still needs the signature of Governor Martinez to become law.

    Why SB17?

  • Letters to the Editor 3-7-17

    More laws won’t control the nut cases in today’s world

    Dear Editor,
    I would like to respond to Mr. Robert Visel’s editorial letter in the  February 28th Monitor. Well said, ir! Your comments were concise, accurate and you hit the nail on the head. It is pathetic how our children are being raised today by parents who want to be their friends, not assuming any responsibility in their parental role. Heaven forbid they harm their child’s self esteem by telling him or her “NO” once in a while. Let them grow up with a sense of entitlement. Makes it pretty clear why so many of these nut cases feel entitled to go on to a campus and shoot it up.
    And yes, we have a plethora of gun laws through out the country but what we don’t have is a judicial system that is capable of enforcing them. Look at Chicago, New York, and even Washington, D.C. They have some of the toughest gun laws in the country and also the highest crime rates in the country.
    You can pass all the laws you want regarding gun control but you can’t control those nut cases that seem to be more and more common in today’s world.