Gov. Bill Richardson and former Gov. Toney Anaya, who's heading up the state "recovery" office,

they want people's ideas on how to spend the federal stimulus. The

set up for this very purpose is already up and running, so I thought I'd take their word for it.

Here is my plea:

And the text:

America's Founders recognized the importance of a free and independent press. Why, old Ben Franklin loved newspapers so much, he even published his own!

Unfortunately, rising newsprint costs, new media competition and decades of corporate consolidation have brought the Fourth Estate to a sorry state. Metro dailies are dropping like flies. Thousands upon thousands of journalists have been laid off. And as a result, the public is less informed.

(Granted, some people might like it that way. But trust me, no news is bad news.)

New Mexico's newspapers are by no means immune to this trend. Ask the Albuquerque Tribune. So why not take a measly $50 million or so out of this stimulus package and float the print media industry for a while? After all, it's only fair. How many hundreds of billions did the banks get? And for what? Anyway, it's worth a shot.