Morning Word: Albuquerque voters reject abortion ban
Dems take control of ABQ city council and more NM news...
November 20, 2013, 8:00 am
- Albuquerque voters rejected a 20-week abortion ban that put New Mexico in the center of a national debate on abortion.
- Pollster Brian Sanderoff has some analysis:
“Albuquerque is truly voting more like a real urban area,” he said.
Opponents of the ban pooled their money together and “hired very competent people who developed highly effective direct mail and television ads that were coordinated and targeted,” Sanderoff said. “I think they went a long way toward inspiring their base.”
- The New York Times was in town and brings the national perspective on the abortion ban's failure.
The referendum gave conservative religious groups a chance to test their strategy of bringing the abortion fight from states to municipalities. They have successfully pushed for changes in zoning and for other rules that close abortion clinics or keep them from opening. Virginia’s busiest clinic, in Fairfax, closed in July after the city denied it a permit, citing inadequate parking under a recently amended ordinance.
Here, the groups used churches and neighborhood organizations to drum up support among voters. On Tuesday, a group prayed outside Bibles Plus, a Christian bookstore, and carried signs with pictures of aborted fetuses outside the Albuquerque Museum, a polling site, startling children on a field trip.
- Here's the take from the Associated Press.
A leader of the initiative, Tara Shaver, said her group gathered signatures to put the issue to city voters after failing to make headway in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.
Asked if other cities with late-term abortion clinics might be targeted in the future, Shaver said, "We are encouraging people to see what can be done at the city level. ... We are starting to get calls from people asking us how to do what we have done."
- KOB spoke to the disappointed supporters of the ban and the joyful opponents of the ban.
- A district court judge will decide on how much of the behavioral health audit should be released.
- Legislators will take a crack at the tax code, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
- The Santa Fe municipal election ballots are set and the Santa Fe Reporter has the full report.
- A judge opened up the corruption case against the Torrance County manager.
- Sen. Martin Heinrich signed an amicus brief in a case opposing the NSA collection of domestic phone numbers.
- School unions are planning a protest by wearing all black tomorrow. They are protesting the education policies of the Martinez administration.
The union-led protests are called “Take It Back Day.” Betty Patterson, right, president of the National Education Association-New Mexico, said the slogan means teachers want to "take back the joy of learning, time for teaching and professionalism in public education."
“We are not afraid of tests — we invented them. But the imposed teacher evaluation system is about using tests to punish educators, rather than help students.” Patterson said.
- Clovis has a graduation waiver pending with the state.
- Gov. Susana Martinez is proposing a $112 million water proposal.
- KOAT looks at the growing number of parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children.
- KRQE looks at the scandalous shooting of Lone Survivor.
- Quay County members of a Ute Water commission may look for alternate ways to have a study on a proposed Ute Water Project after the commission at large rejected the need for a new study.
The Quay delegation and Lansford argued that the current 12-year-old drought is likely to have affected the lake’s ability to yield 24,000 acre-feet a year to serve URWC member communities.
Curry and Roosevelt County members agree, however, they say the Whipple Report adequately covers contingencies like the drought. They are also members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority, which is building the $14-million intake structure on Ute lake’s south shore as a prelude to a $500-million pipeline to be constructed over the next 20 years.
- Magdalena businesses are suing the village over damages from when the city was without water when the village's lone well went dry.
- The Portales city council will seek an opinion on if they can recoup economic development money given to Sunland, Inc. while Sunland, Inc. was considering bankruptcy.
- The University of New Mexico and PNM are partnering on a project to help businesses.
The grant will enable the students to set up and monitor the Distributed Energy Resource — Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) equipment in several New Mexico businesses. The model was developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, and is designed to optimize energy management at businesses that generate their own power while connected to the public utility grid. Using solar panels, fossil fuel plants or other resources to produce power for individual homes or businesses while connected to the grid is referred to as “distributed generation.”
- The Mayor pro-tem of Alamogordo abruptly resigned his position citing "personal reasons." Al Hernandez will stay on as a city councilor.
- The city of Tucumcari will have a special election to recall two city councilors while a recall of a third is being postponed.
- The city of Bloomfield is looking at a possible annexation.
"Were going to kill about five birds with one stone," City Manager David Fuqua said of possible property annexations. "This has to do with our master plan, our parks, our flood control, our growth and partially to do with the debate about Mancos Shale."
In the last census, Bloomfield was the fastest growing city in New Mexico, surging approximately 26 percent. But population growth could outpace the city's ability to provide infrastructure and resources if it doesn't plan its growth.
- Rio Rancho legislators will hold a forum to discuss the upcoming legislative session.
- Gas rates will go up in Las Vegas.
- A study finds that New Mexico would benefit from liquefied natural gas exports.
- Lincoln County Commissioners voted to withdraw from the former Lincoln County Solid Waste Authority.
For the past couple of years, the county and the authority, now called Greentree, experienced a rocky relationship because of disagreements on several issues, including the quality of service to county residents, lack of responsiveness to county needs and a refusal to recognize the county's legal right to adequate representation on the authority board, County Manager Nita Taylor said. The commission contends the county should have two voting members, but other member-entities of the authority insist each government involved in the coalition should have only one voting member.
- The Town of Taos Municipal Judge is seeking reelection.
- The Central Consolidated School District refused to hear a grievance over a fired teacher.
- A proposal to ban e-cigarettes from public and private buildings in Clovis failed.
- No holidays at Carlsbad Caverns National Park this year. It just isn't economically feasible to stay open on those days, the park found according to the Associated Press.