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RGF President Paul Gessing to Decry Obama Administration IRS Abuses at 2014 Tea Party Protests

Errors of Enchantment Blog Postings - Tue, 2014-04-15 11:01

Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing will speak at the 2014 “Tax Day” protest sponsored by the Albuquerque Tea Party. The rally is being held from 4 to 7pm at the intersection of Louisiana and Menaul on Tuesday, April 15. Speakers including Gessing will begin around 5pm.

In his remarks, Gessing plans to note that it has been just over 100 years since the federal income tax in its current form was created (in 1913). The IRS itself has been around for just over 60 years. As Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, noted in Marbury v. Madison, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” When it comes to the IRS, there is no government agency with as much power, as much access to the intimate details of Americans’ lives (with the possible exception now of the NSA), and as much power to destroy the lives of the very same Americans this government “Of, by and for the people” is supposed to protect.

Unfortunately, President Obama is not the first President to abuse this agency which has been called the “American Gestapo” for his own political benefit. In Obama’s case, this has involved using the IRS to attack conservative organizations and those who have criticized his Administration in ways that resemble disgraced former President Richard Nixon.

The Albuquerque Tea Party has faced some of the most direct attacks at the hands of the IRS, but conservative organizations all over the nation are being attacked for the mere act of engaging in the political process:

  • Groups like the Albuquerque Tea Party were specifically targeted and denied tax exempt status simply for being conservative. Lois Lerner, a former top official at the IRS, recently “invoked the 5th Amendment” protection against self-incrimination in Congressional testimony in relation to her agency’s attacks on the Tea Party and other conservative groups;
  • April 15 is the day Americans come face-to-face with the Internal Revenue Service. But nonprofits find themselves face-to-face with the IRS more and more often as burdensome regulations are proposed. Instead of focusing on educating the public and serving public needs, nonprofits are spending more time defending their freedom to do their work.
  • What if a local citizen organization wants to register voters at the state fair, or hold a candidate forum on an issue they care about? The IRS is considering stopping this!
  • Or what if an organization like ours wants to let citizens know how their elected officials are voting on issues? That’s an important role we fill—as watchdogs—and the IRS has considered severely regulating it.
  • Tax Day reminds us that an added bonus for charitable giving is the tax deductions. Those who give help their communities while reducing their tax bills. It’s a win-win!

John F. Kennedy once said, “The raising of extraordinarily large sums of money, given voluntarily and freely by millions of our fellow Americans, is a unique American tradition… Philanthropy, charity, giving voluntarily and freely… call it what you like, but it is truly a jewel of an American tradition.”

Man jailed in Asheville on New Mexico fugitive warrants - Asheville Citizen-Times

New Mexico News from Google ... - Tue, 2014-04-15 10:08

Man jailed in Asheville on New Mexico fugitive warrants
Asheville Citizen-Times
SHARECONNECTTWEETCOMMENTEMAILMORE. ASHEVILLE – Buncombe sheriff's officers Monday arrested a man on a fugitive warrant from New Mexico who is wanted on child sexual exploitation charges. Nathan J. Copage, who listed a Mooresville, ...

Categories: News

New Mexico water issues to be hammered out at town hall - Santa Fe New Mexican.com

New Mexico News from Google ... - Tue, 2014-04-15 06:45

New Mexico water issues to be hammered out at town hall
Santa Fe New Mexican.com
ALBUQUERQUE — State officials, business leaders and others from around New Mexico are gathering for a two-day town hall to hammer out a series of recommendations on water use and policy. The meeting starts Tuesday in Albuquerque. Participants are ...

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April 15 First News: Google Acquires New Mexico-based Titan Aerospace Drone ... - KSFR

New Mexico News from Google ... - Tue, 2014-04-15 06:41

April 15 First News: Google Acquires New Mexico-based Titan Aerospace Drone ...
KSFR
Google—not Facebook— has closed a deal to buy New Mexico's Titan Aerospace. Last month, Facebook originally showed interest in the drone-making company, and planned to spend 60- million dollars on the company. KRQE-TV reports the social media ...

Categories: News

New Mexico losing ground to nearby states - Albuquerque Business First (blog)

New Mexico News from Google ... - Tue, 2014-04-15 06:32

New Mexico Watchdog

New Mexico losing ground to nearby states
Albuquerque Business First (blog)
New Mexico's ranking in terms of economic and business competitiveness slipped in 2014, according to the annual Rich States, Poor States study by the American Legislative Exchange Council. New Mexico slipped to 37th place from 34th in 2013, according ...
New Mexico a little bit poorer in this year's 'Rich States, Poor States' surveyNew Mexico Watchdog

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National forecast for Tuesday, April 15

New Mexico News from FoxNews.com ... - Tue, 2014-04-15 06:03
Maria Molina has your FoxCast
Categories: News

New Mexico 44th in new “State Competitiveness Index”

Errors of Enchantment Blog Postings - Mon, 2014-04-14 22:48

The Beacon Hill Institute is an economic research think tank attached to Suffolk University in Boston. They do an annual “State Competitiveness Index” in which they rank all 50 states based on several public policy areas. Those areas include: Government & Fiscal Policy, Security, Infrastructure, Human Resources, Technology, Business Incubation, Openness, and Environmental Policy.

According to the index, New Mexico performed best (8th) in Openness and Environmental Policy. New Mexico’s worst scores were in Fiscal Policy and Business Incubation.

There are a number of indexes out there which purport to measure a state’s overall economic competitiveness. Given New Mexico’s frequent appearance at the bottom of such lists and our generally-poor economic performance, our state’s appearance at 44th on Beacon Hill’s list leads me to believe the data is fairly accurate.    

 

Obama cuts prison sentence with typo, plans more clemency

New Mexico News from FoxNews.com ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 22:00
President Barack Obama on Tuesday cut prison time for a drug convict sentenced to more than three extra years because of a typographical error in a court order.
Categories: News

Luxury pet business booms in Mexico with strong growth of middle class, smaller families

New Mexico News from FoxNews.com ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 22:00
The growth of Mexico's middle class is creating a new market for fancy goods and services for dogs.
Categories: News

How prepaid smart-phone plans stack up

New Mexico News from FoxNews.com ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 22:00
Those smart phones we love so much eat up our data allowances—and our budgets.
Categories: News

One Dead, Four Injured in New Mexico Wreck - KOSA

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 20:58

One Dead, Four Injured in New Mexico Wreck
KOSA
One woman is dead and four were sent to the hospital after an early morning wreck on Highway 285 between Carlsbad and Loving, New Mexico. According to Eddy County Sheriff's Office, 50-year-old Oralia Lara was driving a 2011 Honda passenger car ...
New Mexico wreck victims airlifted to Lubbock hospitalMYfoxLUBBOCK.COM

all 3 news articles »
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New Mexico high court orders Fort Sill Apache tribal recognition - KOAT Albuquerque

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 20:23

New Mexico Telegram

New Mexico high court orders Fort Sill Apache tribal recognition
KOAT Albuquerque
Tribal chairman Jeff Haozous told reporters after the ruling that state recognition will give the Apaches a "seat at the table" with New Mexico's other 22 tribes and pueblos. The governor must invite the tribe to a yearly tribal-state summit. The ...
New Mexico high court orders tribal recognitionMiamiHerald.com
New Mexico to receive new veterans cemeteriesKOB.com
New Mexico Supreme Court rules state must recognize Fort Sill Apache tribeJURIST
Albuquerque Journal
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On tape: Did Alan Webber break a campaign promise? UPDATE: Money numbers on gubernatorial candidates

Capital Report New Mexico Blog Postings - Mon, 2014-04-14 17:05

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE – Campaign filings released Monday show that Alan Webber, one of five contenders for the Democratic nomination for governor, has so far committed $450,000 of his own money on his campaign.

Nothing wrong with that but last October, in an interview with New Mexico Watchdog, he said he wasn’t a fan of candidates who use gobs of their own money to pay for their campaigns.

“I don’t believe in self-financing campaigns. I don’t think it’s good for democracy,” Webber said, but added, “I think people should not buy their way into public office. I’m going to put some of my own money in the game. I think candidates should put their own skin in the game.”

Here’s the entire question and answer, on video:

According to documents filed Monday with the Secretary of State’s Office, Webber and his wife Frances Diemoz have spent $300,000 of their own money in his campaign and Webber loaned himself $150,000. That makes up more than half of the $811,613 Webber reported in funding for the first filing period.

“Critics are going to say what they’re going to say,” Webber campaign manager Neri Holguin said to New Mexico Watchdog. “At the end of the day … he’s raised a substantial amount of money. He is not self-financed. It’s not quite perfectly half and half but it’s pretty close.”

Webber, who lives in Santa Fe and has never run for office in New Mexico, made a name for himself when he co-founded Fast Company magazine in 1993. Seven years later the magazine was sold for $365 million, which Webber says is the second-largest sale price for any magazine in U.S. history.

Webber has never held public office, although he has worked for political candidates and office-holders in the past.

In the Democratic Party’s pre-primary convention in March, Webber qualified for the ballot by finishing second with 21.58 percent of the delegates. State Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, came in first with 29.28 percent of the vote.

As for the other four Democrats running for governor, the documents are due Monday but as of 4:25 p.m., much of the data had not been posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

We’ll up date the numbers for Morales, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez and Gary King as they become available.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has no primary challenger. The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday afternoon that the Martinez campaign released a summary showing $2.1 million has been raised in the last six months, giving her a cash balance of nearly $3.3 million as of Oct. 7.

We’ll update as the numbers get posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

Update 9:02 p.m.: According to the New Mexico Telegram, here are the financial figures for the gubernatorial candidates through the first reporting period (in addition to Webber):

*Howie Morales raised  $172,916.31 between last October and April 8 of this year. At the end of the fundraising period Morales had $46,624.61 in hand. Morales also loaned his campaign $25,000 of his own money.

*State Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, raised just $28,570 and spent $25,973.23. She has $19,289.07 cash on hand. Lopez has not used any personal money in her campaign.

*Lawrence Rael raised $322,693.60 and that included three loans he made out to himself that totaled $176,950.60. Rael has $228,767.50 cash on hand as of April 7.

*Attorney General Gary King raised $229,479.00 and of that, King has donated $100,000 of his own money during the reporting period. King’s total campaign debt is a little more than $143,000 and he has $89,177.60 cash on hand.

So judging from these numbers, Webber appears to have raised more money from outside contributors than the other Democrats in the field.

As for Martinez, the governor raised $1,396,169.51 in the fundraising period. That means her campaign has $4,212,263.47 cash on hand — and that doesn’t include money raised by her political action committee, SusanaPAC.

That’s a big lead in money for Martinez but the campaign is still early.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

New Mexico congressman hosts prairie chicken meetings - Santa Fe New Mexican.com

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 14:44

New Mexico congressman hosts prairie chicken meetings
Santa Fe New Mexican.com
LOVINGTON — U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is hosting a series of town halls to discuss the effects of the federal government's decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. Pearce says officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ...

Categories: News

This ain’t your grandpa’s PD: Hobbs commercial raises eyebrows

Capital Report New Mexico Blog Postings - Mon, 2014-04-14 14:31

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE — It’s a commercial that’s been playing across New Mexico for weeks now: A 30-second spot encouraging people to apply to the Hobbs Police Department, offering high pay and good benefits.

But the images in the commercial — of cops shooting guns, helmeted officers bursting into a home, an armored vehicle turning a corner and a canine straining on a leash — has some wondering what kind of image the booming oil patch town of 43,000 is actually showcasing.

“It’s kind of disturbing, the way they play up these militaristic tactics,” said Tim Lynch, director of the Project on Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. “It seemed more like they were looking for people who wanted to join the Army instead of a police department.”

Here’s the commercial:

SHOCK AND AWE: This photo from the police department website in Hobbs, N.M., reflects the image a 30-second commercial the department is airing to lure recruits.

Hobbs Chief of Police Chris McCall told New Mexico Watchdog the images in the commercial were not intended to send out an overly aggressive image of the department.

“I think that was the production company that came in and wanted to look and see what kind of equipment we had to offer,” McCall said in a telephone interview. “It’s a representation of an aspect of the Police Department that is there, what we do every day, the tools that we use and work with.”

But Lynch, who has been a critic of what’s been called an over-militarization of police forces across the country, says the commercial sends the wrong signals to potential recruits.

“The message seems to be, we’re looking for aggressive, confrontational interactions with the public and that is not what the police should be looking for,” Lynch said. “We should be looking for officers that are just fine with a peaceful day at work … But this is all about a very aggressive and confrontational type of policing that most communities don’t want or need.”

The commercial includes a shot of the Hobbs PD’s armored personnel vehicle, which is also featured on the department’s website.

McCall said the vehicle is used “any time we have a call-out involving a high-risk incident where we’re concerned about the safety of our officers or the safety of the citizens in our area.” McCall said it also provides cover because it’s armor-plated.

ON PATROL: A photo from the Hobbs PD website features the department’s armored personnel carrier and its 14-member SWAT team.

Hobbs also has a 14-member SWAT team, which in addition to being featured in the commercial has a page on the department’s website dedicated to it with a video attached to the page. The video opens with a man’s voice, intoning, “The rules of engagement of SWAT are simple: Defeat the enemy … any way you can,” and is accompanied with heavy metal music and shots of Hobbs SWAT team members going through exercises with guns blazing.

The commercial is running as New Mexico law enforcement authorities try to cope with at least two incidents that have drawn negative attention to the state.

The first was a $1.6 million settlement in the case of a man in southwestern New Mexico who was forced to undergo anal cavity searches and a colonoscopy after he was suspected of possessing narcotics. No drugs were found.

“This case took my breath away,” said Jonathan Turley, a nationally recognized legal scholar and professor at the George Washington University Law School.

The second and most recent story that made national news was the shooting death of a homeless man in the Albuquerque foothills. The incident was caught on tape and marked the 23rd fatality at the hands of the Albuquerque Police Department in the past three years, prompting protests, including one that turned into a near-riot. Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice declared that APD has engaged in a pattern of excessive force and called for an overhaul of the department.

“By coming on the heels of the findings about the city of Albuquerque, this is another indication that one of the problems seems to be this culture of the style of policing that’s become all to common — of disregarding rules, confronting people and taking them down as the military does,” Lynch said. “That’s exactly the type of culture that leads to problems.”

McCall said that wasn’t what the ad tried to convey.

“Really, what we’re doing (in the commercial) is demonstrating some of the equipment and things that we have available,” he said. “We’ve never really put it into that context. It’s meant to protect the public.”

Spurred by a bursting energy sector, Hobbs has gone through a boom cycle. According to U.S. Census figures from 2012, Hobbs is the nation’s eighth-fastest growing community of between 10,000-50,000 people.

Just three murders were reported in 2012, but overall statistics show the crime rate in Hobbs is higher than the national average in just about every major category, including violent crimes.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

See how New Mexico businesses are giving back - Albuquerque Business First (blog)

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 14:11

See how New Mexico businesses are giving back
Albuquerque Business First (blog)
See April's edition of Giving Back in the accompanying slideshow, where you'll learn about corporate giving efforts by and for the United Way of Central New Mexico, Wells Fargo & Co., reCARnation, Smith's Food and Drug Stores, PulteGroup and more.

Categories: News

New Mexico high court to hear Fort Sill Apache tribal-state dispute - Las Cruces Sun-News

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 14:06

New Mexico high court to hear Fort Sill Apache tribal-state dispute
Las Cruces Sun-News
SANTA FE - The New Mexico Supreme Court is being asked to referee a dispute between Gov. Susana Martinez's administration and the Fort Sill Apache tribe. The state's highest court holds a hearing Monday on the tribe's request to force the governor to ...

Categories: News

Federal Investigators Search for Cause of New Mexico Medical Helicopter Crash - JEMS.com

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 12:24

Federal Investigators Search for Cause of New Mexico Medical Helicopter Crash
JEMS.com
In this photo provided by the University of New Mexico Hospital, a medical helicopter is removed from the roof of University of New Mexico Hospital on Saturday, April 12, 2014 in Albuquerque, N.M. UNM spokesman Billy Sparks says the hospital remained ...

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Categories: News

New Mexico high court orders tribal recognition - Washington Times

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 12:18

New Mexico Telegram

New Mexico high court orders tribal recognition
Washington Times
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico's highest court on Monday ordered Gov. Susana Martinez to recognize the Fort Sill Apache as a New Mexico tribe. The federal government designated a 30-acre parcel in southern New Mexico as the tribe's reservation in ...
New Mexico high court orders Fort Sill Apache tribal recognitionKOAT Albuquerque
New Mexico Supreme Court rules state must recognize Fort Sill Apache tribeJURIST
New Mexico high court to hear tribal-state disputeAlbuquerque Journal

all 95 news articles »
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New Mexico Supreme Court orders tribal recognition - Santa Fe New Mexican.com

New Mexico News from Google ... - Mon, 2014-04-14 11:59

New Mexico Supreme Court orders tribal recognition
Santa Fe New Mexican.com
Jeff Haozous, the Fort Sill Apache tribal chairman, is shown in November 2012 at the Apache Homelands Entertainment Center on the tribe's reservation in Southern New Mexico. The Fort Sill Apache are mired in a dispute over their efforts to transform ...

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