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Morning Word: New Mexico Truth Ads Irk Tourism Officials

Nonprofit campaign puts focus on state's dismal child well-being ranking

January 14, 2016, 7:35 am
Parody Ads Irk Tourism Officials
A powerful ad campaign focused on child poverty issues rolled out across the state on Wednesday, but CHI Health Initiatives St. Joseph’s “New Mexico Truth” parody spots seem to have really irked tourism department officials, who sent Allen Sanchez, the group’s CEO, a cease-and-desist letter.
If you don't like the campaign, you can change the (child poverty) numbers. ... Poor child outcomes has been the subject politicians have been talking about for decades. My question is what is it going to take to come together as a community to solve the problem? This campaign seeks to raise awareness and I hope drive important conversation. It is important to celebrate the good in our state but we also cannot ignore our challenges,” says Sanchez.
‘Low Expectations’
Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera told economic development leaders she blames “low expectations” for the state’s poor education rankings.
While many applauded the efforts presented, some in the business community, like Dale Dekker — founder and principal at Dekker/Perich/Sabatini — wondered how the Department of Education reconciles being 25th in the country for education spending while New Mexico is consistently ranked near the bottom for education quality. Skandera said changing that is a matter of changing expectations.
Ethics a Priority
It looks like calls for new ethics laws have prompted Governor Susanna Martinez to add a few bills to her legislative agenda, including one that would require lawmakers to disclose outside sources of income to protect against conflicts of interest. Another would establish an independent ethics commission. New Mexico is one of eight states that doesn't have one.

Martinez Savaged in Reader Poll
The governor didn't fare well in an Albuquerque Free Press reader poll.
Last month’s “pizz-zah” incident appears to have triggered an avalanche of pent-up frustration over lack of economic development and anger over the governor’s stubbornness on education, the environment and the free ride they believe she has received from certain segments of the news media.

Nine in 10 readers said they wouldn’t vote for her again if she sought higher office.
Vigil Plans New Campaign
Rebecca Vigil (formerly Vigil-Giron) told political blogger Joe Monahan that she is circulating petitions and plans to enter the race for secretary of state if she collects enough signatures to compete in the Democratic Party of New Mexico's pre-primary nominating convention in March.

City Bank
A feasibility study shows Santa Fe could save millions by creating its own public bank and “the money saved from avoiding debt payments to private lenders — which will increase as interest rates rise — could be used not just for basic public services such as police and fire, but also for innovative projects that can make Santa Fe a better place to live, such as helping early childhood initiatives and startup businesses.” 

Film Commission Gets Greenlight
Daniel J Chacón reports the Santa Fe City Council has “unanimously approved creation of a 16-member Santa Fe Film Commission, despite questions about what it would do or how it would spend $50,000 in taxpayer money.”

Stinkin’ Taxes
Smokers could be paying more taxes soon. Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, is proposing taxes on all tobacco products be increased $1 a package.
Morales said the higher tax rate would save lives. He and supporters of his bill estimate that 8,100 children in New Mexico would never start to smoke, and more than 10,000 adult smokers could be expected to quit because of the prohibitive cost. Another 5,100 people would avoid premature deaths, the advocates say.
Justice Project
The journalists at New Mexico In Depth have launched an ambitious new yearlong reporting project dealing with the justice system.

Dixon Apple Orchard
Staci Matlock reports, “The State Land Commission has agreed to turn over the site of a historic family apple orchard, as well as 9,000 acres of state trust land surrounding it, to Cochiti Pueblo in exchange for motel property in downtown Santa Fe that the pueblo plans to purchase.” 

 

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