Recent Stories

The elephant in the room: Pat Rogers and the democrats who back him

Yesterday, we introduced you to Pat Rogers, the itinerant Republican lawyer who seems committed to stopping progress at every turn in and around Albuquerque. We started our series with a synopsis of Rogers’ peculiar schemes to kill ABQ Democracy Dollars at the Bernalillo County Commision. But the bigger story is that just about every time community organizers in Albuquerque fight to return some agency to the people over corporate interests, or to boost the well-being of workers over big business profits, Pat Rogers is on hand like the grim reaper. Only a lot more smug. But his ability to swing citizen initiatives isn’t done in a vacuum. The voting members of the county commission and city council are culpable, even some Democrats.

The elephant in the room: Who is GOP operative Pat Rogers?

“Why I only got a problem when you in the hood?” -Kanye West, The Good Life
That was the theme of last week’s Bernalillo County Commission meeting when several commissioners threw a bizarre curveball at what should have been an otherwise homerun for democracy in Albuquerque and eventually statewide. In the preceding months, over 28,000 Burqueños had signed a petition to put the ABQ Democracy Dollars initiative on the November ballot and organizers had followed the process “to a T.” Excitement about the campaign was buzzing and on the night of the hearing, supporters packed the commission chambers. Only one individual showed up to oppose the measure – attorney Pat Rogers. But that’s when Commissioners Steven Michael Quezada and Jim Smith, along with the help of County Attorney Kenny Martinez (formerly NM State House Speaker), performed a charade of question and answer about the initiative’s content (kinda like the mailman debating whether to deliver the shirt you ordered because it’s not his style) – and ultimately blocked the initiative (2-2). So who is Pat Roger’s and how did his presence relate?

Securitization: What it means for Farmington, PNM, and New Mexico

This is the second in a series focusing on the long-term economic and social issues facing Farmington, New Mexico, and surrounding areas. As a region that has rich and diverse opportunities but generally relies on extractive industries economically, the whole area is facing uncertainty as the coal-burning San Juan Coal Generating Station closes its doors and oil jobs are moving to the southeast part of the state to capitalize on the Permian boom happening right now. Last week we looked at how Farmington and surrounding areas are facing real-time issues when it comes to their future. The San Juan Generating Plant is scheduled to close in just the next few years, which will likely mean a loss of jobs for many workers there. That, of course, will impact the economy of the whole region.

Pearce hypocrisy: Toll roads good, methane controls bad

This week, Rep. Steve Pearce proposed toll roads as the answer to the massive amounts of traffic on Southeastern New Mexico highways due to the boom in oil production and the corresponding increase in oil traffic. The increased congestion along highway 285 outside of Lovington has given it the dubious nickname “highway of death.” The idea is that new and improved roads be paid for by the oil and gas companies who so heavily utilize the roads. 
But Congressman Pearce is fighting tooth and nail to overturn methane waste rules that ask these some companies to pay for the millions of tons of New Mexico’s natural gas they waste every year – rules that would mean millions in additional state revenue for things like these very roads. everyone would have to pay the tolls. 
Residents in New Mexico’s oil patch already pay a high price because of where they live and the associated oil and gas industry impacts. Increased pollution leading to higher rates of asthma and other respiratory issues and the associated healthcare costs that accompany that.

As Farmington goes, so goes New Mexico: A look at the changing landscape of our state

This is the first in a series focusing on the long-term economic and social issues facing Farmington New Mexico and surrounding areas. As a region that has rich and diverse opportunities but generally relies on extractive industries economically, the whole area is facing uncertainty as the coal-burning San Juan Coal Generating Station closes its doors and oil jobs are moving to the southeast part of the state to capitalize on the Permian boom happening right now. Farmington has always been a crossroads of sorts, situated uniquely at the confluence of three rivers and in modern times, highways and railroads. But as we move into the third decade of the twenty-first century, Farmington and other cities in the tri-county area of northwest New Mexico will be facing major changes as coal is phased out. No matter what the Trump administration says, or any campaign stumps from politicians like Steve Pearce promise, coal has seen its heyday and it’s never going to be a reliable commodity to build an industry on again.

10 Reasons why Gary Johnson Is Wrong for New Mexico

Wait… What!? Gary Johnson is back in NM?! *facepalm*

Perrinial “outsider” and self-proclaimed “dumbest guy you’ve ever met in your whole life” Gary Johnson is officially back in New Mexico once again trying to stay relevant. Johnson filed paperwork with the Secretary of State Tuesday to run as a Libertarian, taking the place of current Commissioner of Public Lands, Aubrey Dunn. 

But before we get all hung up on the spectacle of another semi-celebrity running for office, we thought it’d be important to remind people where old Gary really stands on the issues.

Nationwide primary trends show Blue Wave is gathering. Oh, and Missouri voters REJECT RTW outright

Yesterday was Election Day in Washington, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, and Missouri and while not every progressive candidate won major landslide victories, across the country gains were made.  More women and people of color were running than ever before and their continued successes means that, while our federal system was created to take time to change, change is coming! One of the races progressive poll watchers are most excited for is Sharice Davids, who is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and an out lesbian. After winning her primary yesterday, she will face off against Representative Kevin Yoder (R) in Kansas’s Third Congressional District in November.  In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer won a three-way primary that included two men of color.

Justice for NM students! Gov. Martinez loses education funding lawsuit, forced to sufficiently fund schools [UPDATED]

 

[UPDATE: Gov. Martinez’s Public Education Department has said they will appeal the judge’s decision that the state is required to provide more funding to students in NM. Gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she will halt any appeal of the decision Gov. Martinez makes if she’s elected Governor. Steve Pearce has yet to make a similar determination. Read about it at NM In Depth.]

In a devastating rebuke to the failed education and funding policies of Gov. Susana Martinez (along with her conservative allies like the Rio Grande Foundation and conservative Democrats like Sen. John Arthur Smith), First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah Singleton handed down a huge win for New Mexico’s students Friday. You can’t put it more succinctly than the first line of the ABQ Journal’s article: “New Mexico is violating the constitutional rights of at-risk students by failing to provide them with a sufficient education.”