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Morning Word

Morning Word, 10-11-12

The New Mexico news recap

October 11, 2012, 1:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
The U.S. Senate debate between Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson airs tonight. Wilson needs to hit it out of the park and hope that Heinrich lays an egg. And then it has to happen again in another debate.

The Santa Fe New Mexican has a primer of the debate that will air before tonight's Vice Presidential debate between VP Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. The Las Cruces Sun-News too.

Also, NM Telegram looked at the key legislative races in both the state House and Senate.

On to the Word:
  • Voting is going on in county clerks’ offices and absentee ballots are being sent out. Eight days until wider early voting starts. Twenty-seven days until election day.
  • There have already been some debates. And thanks to the staff at KNME, here is the 1st Congressional District debate between the Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Janice Arnold-Jones.:



    And the 3rd Congressional District debate between Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and Republican Jefferson Byrd:

  • Susana Martinez proved that her wish to deny drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants means she will embrace even the controversial federal government's continuously delayed REAL ID proposal. Rob Nikolewski thinks it is because Martinez is putting pressure on Democrats in tough election races.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico referred to the move by Martinez as a "scare tactic" in a written statement.
    Just as we saw in 2008, 2009, and then 2011—all previous deadlines for compliance—the Department of Homeland Security will almost surely kick the can further down the road and extend the deadline again. The government cannot afford to ban 20 percent of the total population from entering a federal building or boarding a plane back home from winter holidays.

    Today’s statement from the Governor is a scare tactic meant to advance her agenda of dismantling New Mexico’s drivers’ license law. The Governor should not use the practically defunct REAL ID law to make baseless accusations about a drivers’ license law our legislature passed to improve public safety.
    If REAL ID is to be implemented, it will be over the objection of a large amount of states; the ACLU notes that 25 states have passed legislation that denounces or would bar the implementation of REAL ID.
  • The confusion over voter laws seems to be widespread.
    "State statutes have not changed," on what is required to identify a voter, Burrows said. "A voter simply is required to state their name, their address as registered and their date of birth. As a matter of convenience, they may provide their voter information card or another form of identification. Many of the voter information cards we mailed out have bar codes on them, which speeds up the process."
  • Heather Wilson received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. The reason? The NRA scored the vote on holding Attorney General in contempt of Congress for not turning over documents related to the controversial "Fast and Furious" project.

    In 2010, the NRA endorsed Heinrich. In fact, the NRA endorsed all three congressional Democrats in 2010. Heinrich and Lujan won, while Rep. Steve Pearce knocked off Harry Teague.
  • Two looks at politics from the pulpit with a New Mexico angle -- one from the Weekly Alibi from Washington D.C. and another from Dave Weigel at Slate.com.
  • Manuel T. Pacheco will take the helm of New Mexico State University. This is the second time that Pacheco has taken the interim position. It is lucrative.
    It's the second time in three years that Pacheco has been called on to take NMSU's helm on an interim basis. His annual compensation will be capped at $360,000 and prorated based on the length of time he serves, officials said. Specifics must still be set into a contract that regents will vote upon next week.
  • Martinez will campaign in Nevada for Mitt Romney.
  • Steve Terrell looks at the latest campaign finance reports in Santa Fe area races.
  • State Sen. John Arthur Smith faced off against his opponent Russell Allen in a debate on Tuesday evening.
  • The Daily Lobo looks at the candidates in Senate Districts 10, 17 and 21.
  • Leslie Linthicum's travels around the state continue and she finds that Southeast New Mexico doesn't like Obama.
    “I vote according to the Bible,” he told me. “My top issue is Obama, that he’s taken God out of the picture.” He told me we need a Christian in the White House.

    “President Obama isn't a Christian?” I asked.

    “No,” he said. “Obama is a Muslim.”
    And apparently divorced from reality.
  • The Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston and his office is being sued by a former spokeswoman who says Houston discriminated against and sexually harassed Hispanic women in the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.
  • The Economist looks at the Latino vote and why Republicans can't seem to get traction with the increasingly-important voting bloc. Gov. Martinez warrants a mention, of course.
  • KUNM has the "Voices Behind the Vote." In Part 1, Sarah Gustavus speaks to a couple from Placitas.
    Ted Berthelote and Marcia Hoeman live in Placitas, about a half hour north of Albuquerque. They’re both retired. Ted was a dentist in Washington State. Marcia raised her kids in the Midwest and later worked as an office manager. They met in a yoga class in Scottsdale Arizona 15 years ago.
    Part 2:
    If it’s a school day, chances are you’ll find crossing guard Tony Orosco manning his post on the corner of Lomas and Edith, keeping a keen eye out for school zone speeders. Armed with a small stop sign, a day-glow orange vest and one very loud whistle. Tony does his best to remind drivers to slow down when passing Longfellow Elementary School.
  • The Weekly Alibi looks at business efforts to stop a $1 minimum wage increase.
  • There may be a lawsuit in New Mexico over a sign ordinance as an owner says that pieces of the legislation are directly aimed at him and his business.
  • The Albuquerque Journal covers state college officials pushing for bonds to improve infrastructure on college campuses throughout the state.
    Higher education Bond C would provide more than $119 million to New Mexico universities and colleges for capital improvement projects in 21 counties. The bonds would pay for upgrades to 29 projects, 27 of which involve renovations to existing buildings.
  • Steve Pearce doesn't like renewable energy companies. So much so that he makes up things about how companies that got federal money fare afterward.
  • RailRunner officials never turned on an irrigation system that was supposed to water trees that would shield Santa Fe residents backyards from view from the trains.
  • Is construction picking up in Albuquerque?

 

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