Editorial: Firing jail boss step in right direction

The first question for new Curry County Commissioners Tim Ashley and Ben McDaniel is why did it take two hours into their first board meeting before they fired jail administrator Gerry Billy. The question is tongue in cheek, of course. They joined holdover Commissioners Bobby Sandoval and Frank Blackburn in a 4-1 vote Tuesday morning […]

Editorial: 2012 full of unnecessary regulations

2012 was a boom for new government regulations. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren't likely to do anyone any good, except perhaps as employment insurance for those bureaucrats already employed or hired to enforce them. The biggest regulation offenders on a Top 10 worst list, compiled by the conservative Heritage Foundation, range from a simplification […]

Editorial: Incarcerating inmates longer costs taxpayers

What's the better value? $400 a month for one month or more than $100 a day for that same month? The $400 is about what an indigent prisoner who is eligible for parole has needed to come up with to be released from prison into a transitional living facility. Depending on the month, it's been […]

Editorial: Schwarzkopf epitome of US military general

For the entire first Gulf War, U.S. Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf was the face of a valiant and successful U.S. military. Schwarzkopf, who died Thursday at 78 from complications from pneumonia, commanded Operation Desert Storm, the U.S.-led coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991. Despite his postwar popularity, Schwarzkopf resisted efforts […]

Editorial: Real ID Act step down slippery slope

You wait in line, oftentimes for hours, at the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles office to obtain a driver's license. After all, it's the state's exclusive business to ensure that you meet the requirements set down to qualify for a license, right? Not so fast, according to an intrusive federal law called the Real […]

Editorial: Obama hasn’t fulfilled promise of transparency

D o as I say, not as I do. That apparently is the way too many members of the Obama administration think the game is played — not by pledges set out by the president and not by open government laws on the books. Almost two-thirds of President Barack Obama's Cabinet agencies — nine of […]

Editorial: Christmas symbolizes gift of salvation

C hristmas is for children. Indeed, it is about the birth of a child some 2,000- plus years ago who Scripture tells us was the son of God and who came to Earth to teach us how to love one another. But this Christmas, we turn our thoughts to children in a sadder and different […]

Editorial: Ruling victory for advocates of open records

N ew Mexicans have friends in the state's judicial system who understand a fundamental truth about how best to serve the public trust. Those friends sit on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, which has upheld a lower-court ruling that lays out a broad — and welcome — definition of which documents the public is […]

Editorial: Education best way to curb teen birth rates

On paper, New Mexico has a serious teen pregnancy problem. The state has the second-highest teen birthrate in the nation, at 53 per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19. (The national average is 34.2.) And on paper, reducing that birthrate involves clear steps: Male involvement, comprehensive sex education, confidential clinic services, service learning programs and […]

Editorial: Capital outlay system can be made better

As part of what is being billed a "New Century Economy Jobs Agenda" for the upcoming legislative session, Gov. Susana Martinez will attempt to reform New Mexico's inefficient capital outlay system. We wish her luck. Martinez is following in the well-worn path of previous governors who attempted without success to reform the way New Mexico […]

Editorial: Limiting liberty not an answer to shooting

Our nation is reeling from another unfathomable shooting tragedy and is searching for ways to prevent it from happening again. "It," of course, is the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last Friday in Newtown, Conn. Twenty precious children, all ages 6 and 7, and six teachers were gunned down by a madman who then turned […]

Editorial: Prison system must employ efficiency

There's a reason the old TV theme song does not go "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time — plus two weeks." It's because in the American system of jurisprudence, when you have served your debt to society, you have served your debt to society. And government inefficiency should not serve as […]

Editorial: State campaign finance law must be fixed

I t gives new meaning to ineffectual governance. Last session, the New Mexico Legislature knew a major provision in the state's public financing campaign law had been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. And it did nothing. The Supreme Court said in 2011 that privately funded candidates might be reluctant to spend money on […]

Editorial: Empty pockets help fill stockings

This Christmas season of giving is exemplified by God's gift to mankind, his son Jesus. Like many readers, we too enjoy learning of many worthy opportunities around the region for you to emulate His generosity. One such opportunity we ask you to consider donating money to is the Empty Stocking Fund. The Salvation Army conducts […]

Editorial: Unemployment benefit reforms save money

The state has cut the rate of improper unemployment payments by more than half, saving $36 million. Reducing the percentage of payments considered improper from 24 percent to 11 percent between 2011 and 2012 was the biggest drop in the country. Not only is the effort saving taxpayers money, it also is saving employers money. […]

Editorial: Plant closure isn’t peanuts to Portales

Two months is a long time to watch millions of pounds of a crop sit in barns, to be out of a job in a tough economy, to have a business shuttered with no clue as to when it can re-open. But that's the position the federal government has put Portales farmers and workers in […]

Small schools make big statement

Like "The Little Engine That Could," a coalition of small school districts pulled together to make it into the last leg of the federal Race to the Top. The consortium of small, rural school districts from New Mexico, Washington and Arkansas put together an entry in the competition that has them in the final running […]

State needs to avoid another MVD computer failure

Did you hear the one about the Motor Vehicle Department computer? Taxpayers shelled out $5 million and are still in line two years later. It would be funny if it weren't true. The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department pulled the plug on Milagro, the Gov. Bill Richardson computer miracle that never was, after it stalled […]

Editorial: PRC member lucky voters missing facts

Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya, the newest member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, is arguably one of the luckiest candidates to come out ahead in the Nov. 6 election. Because if voters knew then what they know now, it's questionable they would be entrusting her with setting their utility rates, overseeing their insurance […]

Ranking paints distorted picture of NMSU crime

We never give a second thought to the notion that the New Mexico State University campus may not be safe. And so, when The Business Insider website recently ran a story claiming NMSU was the second-most dangerous college campus in America, it simply didn't ring true with the students, faculty and community members who know […]