BREAKING: NM to Receive New National Monument Designation

In March of last year, President Obama created the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, near Taos, using his executive authority under the Antiquities Act. Past presidents have used the Act to create New Mexico’s treasured national monuments which contribute over $54 million in annual tourist spending and which support over 1,000 New Mexico jobs. Now the President is poised to protect more historically, geographically, and culturally significant land in Southern New Mexico.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan to travel district & highlight STEM education

Representative Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) embarked today on a tour of his Third Congressional district to highlight the importance of STEM education in New Mexico. “STEM” stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics” and has become a major focus of education in the 21st-Century.

NM GOP Copy-Pastes from Koch Playbook. Literally.

The latest RPNM email blast is a straight copy-paste of Koch’s opinion piece, illustrating how closely aligned the Republican Party (both national and state) is with the Koch Brothers’ ideals of unimpeded government de-regulation, the promotion of pseudo-science to justify continued dependence on dirty energy, and a maniacal obsession on gutting health care reforms (using lies and half-truths).

Taxpayers have paid Gov $27,000+ in salary to attend out-of-state political fundraisers & events

Santa Fe –  Governor Susana Martinez is on track to be one of New Mexico’s most traveled governors, a new report from ProgressNow New Mexico finds. Though the governor’s administration has notoriously refused to provide travel records  (stories here, here, here, here and here) the chief executive or her security detail, a review of news reports, campaign event notices, and meeting announcements from across the country provide a look at the busy flying schedule for Martinez and the cost to taxpayers for that travel. Earlier this week, Governor Martinez’s administration went to court to say she is exempt from public records requests for her taxpayer-funded travel, including her contentious national fundraising trips. According to Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican:
The Martinez administration contends court enforcement of the state Inspection of Public Records Act to make the governor and state agencies turn over travel records would violate the U.S. Constitution. Legal documents filed Monday in state District Court by lawyers representing Gov. Susana Martinez and some state agencies say the public records law is “pre-empted” by the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution — and that the records being sought by The Associated Press would require a warrant under federal law.

Sen. Udall Touts NM’s Renewable Energy Potential in All-Night Climate Change Session

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) participated in an all-night session — last night and into early this morning — with his colleagues from the Senate Climate Action Task Force to raise awareness about climate change and urge Congress to act on this critical issue. Senator Udall noted that New Mexico and the Southwest are “at the bull’s-eye when it comes to climate change” but also pointed to the fact that New Mexico is already focusing on solutions and is poised to be a major player in renewable energy development.

Valentine’s Event to Benefit NM AIDS Services a Great Success

Last Friday night PROGRESSNOWNM & ArtBar teamed up for a different kind of Valentine’s Day event. We organized an art and singles auction at ArtBar’s downtown Albuquerque space and donated the proceeds to New Mexico AIDS Services, a wonderful organization that provides education and support services for people and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. A dozen singles — each paired with a piece of art from a local artist — were auctioned off over the course of the evening. We had a great turnout at the event and were able to raise over $2,700 for NM AIDS Services. PNNM’s own Nate and Rachael brought in $250 of that total all by themselves!