Inside the Capitol

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2-27 Political follies

22713 follies

SANTA FE – If there is anything that can make the New Mexico Legislature look good, it is the follies going on in Washington, D.C.
Both groups share one commonality. There's a lot of talk but not much is going to get done.
In Santa Fe, House Democrats can stop Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's meager agenda. Senate Democrats also are the majority party but some of those Democrats have joined with a united Republican party and it appears that coalition is going to be able to stop anything Democrats want to get to the governor's desk.
To demonstrate that politics is equal opportunity, the situation in Washington is reversed but the partisanship is unchanged. A Republican House and a Democratic Senate that requires a 60 percent vote instead of 51 percent means little can be accomplished in that body.
Congress came back to do a little work this week but will spend most of its time fighting. By Friday it has to figure out how to avoid the big boulder it put in its road, called sequestering. They won't let it happen because that cuts everything equally, which means too many pet projects get hurt.
Congress will waltz around that boulder, somehow, only to run into the expiration of a continuing resolution that runs the government out of money.
They already have artfully dodged a fiscal cliff. They won't try completely shutting down government. Newt Gingrich tried doing that to President Bill Clinton and got badly burned.
Furloughs are being discussed. New Mexico state employees know about those. Gov. Bill Richardson imposed furloughs and ended up badly bruised.
Gun control isn't likely to see much action. People feel strongly about it but those feelings go both ways. Government buy backs see people bringing in boxes of guns and telling authorities they don't want any money. They just want to get rid of them.
On the other hand you hear just as many say the only way they will give up their gun is for someone to pry it out of their cold, dead hand. How do you get people with such differing beliefs to agree on anything?
Bill Richardson is saying on national shows that he thinks the stars now are in alignment to allow a comprehensive immigration act to pass Congress.
He reasons that with illegal immigration now going down instead of up, Americans are less fearful of them eventually taking over.
And Republicans have determined that if they are going to win any more national elections, they are going to have to start addressing Hispanic needs.
Richardson thinks Congress can craft a plan to address a path to citizenship, border security, the DREAM Act and a guest worker plan.
Gov. Susana Martinez also has a comprehensive immigration plan that she has voiced, but not often. She has let Florida's U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio take the spotlight on immigration.
Being from a border state Martinez is well positioned to take the lead on immigration if she wants some more time on the national stage.
Back in 2007, when comprehensive immigration was last tried during the George W. Bush administration, Sen. John McCain took the lead and almost got it passed.
Then when McCain decided to seriously run for president, he had to do an about face on immigration in order to win the GOP primary. His trademark saying became "Build the dang fence."
Currently McCain is concentrating his efforts on fighting President Obama's nominees for top cabinet positions and doesn't seem especially interested in immigration.
But immigrations was the subject that got him in trouble at a town hall meeting during the most recent congressional recess, according to news coverage. And McCain sounded like the McCain of old defending the need for a comprehensive immigration solution.
As those of you who are longtime readers know, McCain is one of my longtime heroes but there are few people who have disappointed me at times as much as he has.
Guess he figures he has to do it. And it gives people in my business plenty material.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2-22 Tying some loose ends

22213 etc

SANTA FE -- I have written on several occasions about the misdirected wrath aimed at the National Rifle Association for enriching itself as a result of the introduction of gun control legislation in Congress and probably every state legislature.
The NRA was created to be the lobbying and political action arm of the gun manufacturing industry. Everything it does is perfectly legal and it includes gun safety courses an other public service projects.
Many industries have such organizations. Years ago when I was representing school employees, I was standing in line at the Secretary of State's office to register our organization when a good friend ahead of me registered New Mexicans for Better Roads.
I mentioned to him that I never had heard of that organization. He replied that since the state had some surplus money that year, the word was that road improvements would be a likely recipient.
So highway contractors had hired him to help channel as much money as possible into the state road fund. And why not improve your image by calling the entity New Mexicans for Better Roads? It doesn't really have any members, he said. It's just an old trick.
The National Rifle Association does exist and has many loyal members. And it sounds much better than the National Gun Manufacturers Association. It is taking the heat and that is according to plan.
Likely, there will be somewhat less heat if people think of their friends instead of gun makers when they hear of the NRA. It is difficult to make your friends the bad guys.
In this case, it is Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA who is the bad guy. His job is to take the heat and get dragged before Congress as the auto execs had to do.
The moguls of the gun industry have handled it well. The NRA is seen as the most powerful lobby in Washington because it has mobilized millions of Americans to feel more strongly about their right to have a gun than any of the many other freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution,
The power of the NRA was represented most cogently during the days following the Newtown massacre. Members of Congress were incessantly asked for their comments. Those who were big supporters of the NRA said they would be waiting until Friday before making a comment. That was the day the NRA announced its official response to the shootings.

This column has talked about solutions to our poor education performance internationally. Most of the solutions tried in this country have failed, mainly because they are too weak-kneed.
The countries that have succeeded most are those which have stiff penalties on parents. Most of those countries also publish the academic rankings of every student. In our country we worry about that ruining self-confidence and self-concept.
One idea currently gaining favor in some legislatures is suspending or revoking the driver's licenses of kids caught ditching school. That, of course, means more trouble makers in class. But if it helps test scores, let's try it.

It seems ridiculous to oppose the use of drones to kill American citizens in foreign countries who have joined Al Qaeda and are now the enemy. They no longer deserve the protection of our court system.
Drones are the face of modern warfare. They are efficient and they save the lives of our own pilots.
I did receive an email this week; however that makes me wonder if maybe we could do without them.
It is easy to tell when the opposition thinks Hillary Clinton is a big threat for the presidency again. The anti-Hillary stories are starting to roll in again.
The latest one is the old story telling of the 47 people whose assassinations Hillary has arranged.
If that is true, why are we spending so much money on drones? Hillary could have wiped out al Qaeda by herself.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2-20 Richardson Express Speeds Along

22013 Richardson

SANTA FE – What's Bill Richardson doing these days? The answer is lots. And recently it is the sort of thing that gets you in the Washington Post and on weekend talk shows.
Last month Richardson took another trip to North Korea. I'm not sure what the link is between New Mexico and North Korea. Richardson has taken several trips there. A top North Korean delegation was Richardson's first visitors when he took office January 1, 2003. The North Koreans arrived on the 6th, as I remember.
Former Gov. Dave Cargo was a good friend of the North Koreans, too. After his two, two-year terms, he says he made several private visits to North Korea. I'm not sure we ever knew exactly why but the first time Richardson was dispatched to Korea, Gov. Cargo offered to tag along and introduce him around.
Maybe the North Koreans are interested in New Mexico because of our nuclear history. Richardson says when he asked them what sights he would like to see, they pointed toward Los Alamos. Maybe they were scouting out the entire area so that they could familiarize future spies. That reportedly is what the Russians have long done.
Back in Richardson's congressional days, he started traveling to rogue countries as a sort of special envoy with somewhat informal White House approval. This time, the White House did not approve. But Richardson countered that this time he was traveling as a private citizen.
Richardson was heading a delegation composed mostly of top executives from Google. The North Koreans are very interested in high-tech communication devices. And Google is interested in selling them.
Richardson also wanted to see what he could do about freeing an American who has been held for several months, He doesn't seem to have accomplished anything on that count – probably because he was traveling as a private citizen and had nothing to bargain with.
But Richardson came back with a message of hope that the new North Korean dictator is interested in moving along from nuclear and missile development to economic development. Richardson felt so confident about the message he received from government officials near the top that he came home and wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post.
At just about the same time North Korea successfully fired a missile it claimed was capable of reaching the United States. The poor timing made Richardson a hot commodity on talk shows beginning last Saturday.
Richardson still thinks this would be a good time for top U.S. or U.N. officials to initiate some form of communication with the new dictator, himself. North Korea now has proved it can make a nuclear device and can fire a missile a long way. The next thing it needs to start developing economically is to get the many sanctions against itself lifted.
It is possible for the United States to get along with communist countries. We don't get along well with Cuba. China practically owns us. It can't let anything bad happen to us that would make all those U.S. Treasury notes it owns worthless.
Vietnam is proud of its good relations with our country despite the "American War" as it calls it. And that according to the people in Vietnam we visited last fall is the total of communist countries left in the world.
And what else has Bill Richardson been doing lately other than appearing in major newspapers and on national TV? He has an international relations firm of his own. He serves on volunteer boards of many other international relations agencies. He serves on boards of many profit-making firms pulling in lots of bucks and stock shares. And he is the featured speaker at many high-profile conferences and at many top universities.
Richardson didn't start out particularly fast as an ex-governor. His website was rather bare for a while. But once he got going, it has been the typical Richardson Express charging down the track again.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2-18 Session smooth at midpoint

21813 midpoint

The Legislature is now in full swing. Committees are hearing many bills. Some now are reaching the floor and sessions are getting longer. But it will still be almost a month before the pace gets frantic in the final week of the session.
The first bill to reach the governor's office for a signature always is the "feed bill," which finances the session. No one gets paid until that is signed.
An early bill to reach Gov. Susana Martinez's desk may be the informed consent bill that controls the liability of suppliers. The present tenant, Virgin Galactic already is covered but the two year delay in getting coverage for others has meant that Virgin Galactic still is our only tenant, and an unhappy one. It expected a bustling scene with many other space companies flying out of there.
In order to try to keep Virgin from alleging breach of contract, the bill it wants was introduced the first day of the session and may be to the governor's desk by the time you read this.
Trial lawyers are taking a big hit for the two year delay. They don't like to see liability limited. Gov. Martinez has to shoulder her share of blame for not keeping the project going at the same break-neck speed of the previous governor. Chalk that up to a steep learning curve.
Gov. Martinez's steep learning curve may also have been a factor with the film business. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Moviemaker Magazine ranked Albuquerque as the best location in the nation to make movies back in 2010, former Gov. Bill Richardson's last year in office. Since then, the city has fallen to second, third and now 8th best city to make movies.
The magazine reports that financial incentives have been the major factor in the change of rankings. New Mexico has dropped its incentives while other states have raised theirs. Of even more harm to our state is that we have talked of lowering our incentives even further.
State leaders are warming to the film business but the slide is likely to continue while the governor and Legislature continue to study whether the incentives are worth the cost.
Another problem is that this governor doesn't have the hustle of our previous governor. Film lobbyists report that studio executives can't get in to see the governor when they come to New Mexico. Gov. Richardson not only saw them, he invited them to the governor's residence and did some arm twisting.
President Obama has been criticized recently for being too much of a homebody. He prefers to spend evenings with his family rather than inviting people he can influence over to the house to enjoy the many entertainment activities the White House offers. It may be the same problem is occurring in New Mexico
Chief executives are free to do anything they want with their residence but it can be used as a ticket to private, informal conversations that might help move an agenda.
Also on the governor's agenda again are bills to hold back 3rd graders who can't pass a standardized reading test and not issuing driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants. Reportedly, Democratic leaders are agreeable to compromises that will give the governor everything she says she wants. For two years now, she has insisted on getting everything exactly as she proposes.
Ironically, the Illinois Legislature recently passed legislation allowing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. Illinois sees it as a public safety issue. Gov. Martinez believes just the opposite.
Recently however, Gov. Martinez has given some indication that she might be willing to do a little compromising. What does that mean? Is she getting practical? Is she tired of losing? Or does she want to appear to be having some real successes this year that she can brag about next year when she runs for reelection?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2-15 Contest to Name Pluto's Newest Moons

21513 Pluto moons

SANTA FE – Many New Mexicans were more than a little pushed out of shape when Pluto was demoted from being our solar system's ninth planet.
The vote happened late in an International Astronomical Union meeting when many members already had left for home. Pluto just didn't act enough like a planet many scientists argued.
One way Pluto does act like a planet is that it has moons – quite a few of them as it turns out. In the last two years, the Hubble Space Telescope has found two new moons, bringing Pluto's total to five.
The reason many New Mexicans were upset about Pluto's demotion is that it was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, who spent most of his life in New Mexico. For many years he headed the astronomy department at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Besides Pluto was the only planet discovered in the United States. Tombaugh worked as an assistant at Lowell Observatory near Flagstaff, Arizona.
The scientists who discovered Pluto have decided to conduct a contest to recommend a name for Pluto's two newest moons. It only seems proper that the names come from New Mexico. Astronomers often ask to have heavenly bodies named after them, so this is a nice gesture.
The rules for the naming contest can be found at
The contest is a brief one. It ends at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 25. The astronomers have picked some names from Greek Mythology. You can vote for one of them or come up with a name of your own. The two names with the most votes will win their contest.
While picking a name of one of Pluto's friends from the Mickey Mouse comic strip would be fun it likely wouldn't be a winner because it doesn't fit with the theme of Pluto and its first three moons.
The contest rules list the possible names and where they fit into the Greek Mythology of the underworld. Pluto was the Greek King of the underworld. Greek mythology is so rich in stories and characters that many choices are available.
Walt Disney hadn't invented Pluto yet when it was named by an 11 year old girl in Oxford, England, who was interested in Greek Mythology. She thought the name was appropriate because of the cold and darkness of the distant planet.
The name, Pluto, especially appealed to astronomers at Lowell Observatory because its first two letters are the initials of the observatory's founder Perceval Lowell.
Walt Disney certainly helped popularize the name, Pluto, as did Glenn Seaborg, who named the element Plutonium. At that time, it was popular to name newly discovered elements after planets, e.g. uranium and neptunium.
The first three of Pluto's moons are Charon, Nix and Hydra. The two latter moons got their names because the initials, "N" and "H" are the initials of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft now headed toward Pluto. The New Horizons project already was off the ground before Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet.

This column is shorter because of my haste to get it out as soon as possible because of contest deadline

Monday, February 11, 2013

21313 VALUES

SANTA FE – Last week a girl was shot on her way home from a Chicago public school. It was a bigger deal than usual because the week before she had been a majorette in the inaugural parade.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked the usual question about what could be done about guns and violence. His answer was anything but the usual diatribe about violent movies and video-games.
Mayor Emanuel said, "We need to teach these kids values in high school." What? The interviewer didn't have time for a follow up.
Teachers used to sneak in some values education in school but then in the 1960s the U.S. Supreme Court said that sounded too much like religion so they drew some pretty sharp lines between church and state.
In my opinion we had quite good morals back then, even in Silver City, NM, where much of the student body was either children of miners or cowboys. Maybe they feared that we listened to too much Buddy Holly, Big Bopper. Roy Orbison or Elvis Presley.
My father was president of the National Education Association in 1951-2. The book he carried along with him every time he made a speech was "Moral and Spiritual Values in Education. He quoted from throughout the book.
The first sentence of the massive statement of the Educational Policies Commission of the National Education Association states that the purpose of education is the development of moral and spiritual values.
How far we have come from that belief system.
Twenty years ago, U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, Tom Udall, the Roswell School District and many other New Mexicans were part of a new movement called Character Counts which aimed at avoiding the divide between church and state created by the Supreme Court.
I wrote a lot about it and Domenici had a staffer assigned to get together with me to promote it more in New Mexico. It never happened but the organization still exists and could be a good answer to Mayor Emanuel's cry for help.
We've already talked about some proposed solutions that won't work. The first is registering guns. If 99 percent of all guns are registered, just as many shootings will occur.
If 99 percent of all people judged mentally incompetent to own a gun, in fact have no gun, just as many shootings will be carried out by the quiet guy next door, whom neighbors never thought would do such a thing.
If no criminals own a gun, according to records, just as many people will be shot.
If records show no on in the nation owns a gun, people still will be shot.
We must realize we live in a country where people love guns and believe that might makes right. Television would not broadcast 10 minutes of murder and mayhem before they tell us what else is happening in the world unless polls and focus groups indicated that violence is what people like to watch the best.
Behavior modifications such as Character Counts will help change this but it will take generations. Face it. Our entire country is still Wild West. Ask a foreigner. They've noticed. But they often admit to liking it also. Wild West trips, novels and movies are popular internationally. It is said; Hitler kept a Wild West novel on his bedside table.
Finally, why do so many people turn in guns when a city has such a program? Sometimes gun returners do so without receiving anything for their guns. They just say take them. I don't want them anymore. Gun dealers often will buy people's guns, especially if they don't have the particular gun in stock.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

NM Likes its Permanent Funds


SANTA FE – New Mexico is very fortunate to have two large permanent funds socked away for a rainy day. In the eastern states most land is privately held. By the time the Western states were settled, the government was keeping large chunks for federal, state, county and municipal purposes.
Much is desert land but much is good for grazing or has oil and minerals under it.The revenue from those lands goes into what is sommonly called the State Land Grant Permanent Fund. Each entity gets its share. Public schools get the revenue from sections 2 and 32 of each 36-acre township. Part of that money is then transferred to the aappropriation amounts for the various governmental units.
These funds were helpful in getting schools started as the School for the Visually Handicapped and the Deaf Shool.
Back in the early 1970s, New Mexico was experiencing a very healthy economic boom. Severance taxes from oil and gas companies were flowing in at record rates. The mines near towns such as Santa Rita, Carlsbad and Questa also were doing well.
So the Legislature and Gov. Bruce King created a second permanent fund, which they named the Severance Tax Permanent Fund. Previously severance taxes were used to finance the budget. That fund began growing to a size approaching the original Land Grant Permanent Fund.
As the economy started leveling off in the early 1980s, legislators decided they would begin diverting some of the yearly severance tax receipts into a fund to improve roads, bridges, buildings and other capital needs. The fund still grew from part of the yearly income plus interest on the fund.
The money from this severance tax revenue stream, combined with money from state budget surpluses (which we haven't had much of recently) is then used for what many of us lovingly call pork. Gov. Susana Martinez hasn't been very willing to spend much pork money since the beginning of her term because of the state's poor financial condition.
It appears some state surplus money may be available this year, if revenue projections are correct, strong pressure is expected to be exerted on her to fund projects around the state, partly because it means jobs, especially in the construction industry which has been hit hard since early 1988.
New Mexico apparently likes permanent funds. We created a third permanent fund with the tobacco settlement money we received several years ago. It is used for ongoing cancer research.
New Mexico State University also recently created what it calls a water permanent fund for future use in areas with critical water shortage.
The only problem with permanent funds is how permanent are they? To some, they are similar to an endowment, from which only the interest is drawn. To others, they are a savings account for use only when there is a critical need.
The only way to settle the dichotomy is to specifically spell out the terms in the state constitution.
The state Land Grant Permanent Fund was established through revenue obtained from leasing 13.5 million acres of minerals and 8.8 million acres of surface land.
Why does the state own more mineral rights than surface land? There is an old custom in the West that when people sell land, they retain the mineral rights in case there is a huge pool of oil underneath that can put them on easy street forever.
My father's family were farmers. His father and grandfather owned land in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. Gradually the family sold the land. They always retained the mineral rights. The Texas property was near enough to producing land that oil companies have always been interested enough to occasionally lease it.
They've never hit anything but possibly because of the current interest in energy independence, my cousins and I leased it again today.
Maybe someday I no longer will be an ink-stained wretch.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

2-8 Should rany day funds be used for education?

20813 permanent fund

SANTA FE – The more things change, the more they stay the same. I was about to write that same introduction for my previous column about simplifying the state's tax structure because it was a repeat of something I had tried to do 20 years earlier.
This time the subject is a piece of the land grant permanent fund a group wants to use to improve New Mexico's education system.
Many of you remember that little ditty that took place soon after Gov. Bill Richardson took office.
It was 10 years ago and Gov. Richardson had a huge amount of political capital. He had a big, bold legislative initiative and nearly all of it passed – much even on a bipartisan basis.
Two of those items were constitutional amendments which required a public vote at the next November's election
One of the bills was to take money out of the permanent to assist in improving public education. The other was to bring the state Department under the governor. It seemed logical since education is about half the state's budget. And thus, the governor should have control of it.
Gov. Richardson barnstormed the state campaigning for the two items. The transfer of the state Board of Education passed easily. Voters weren't accustomed to spending their permanent fund monies. But with Richardson's help. It passed too
The victory was a big deal. New Mexicans knew public education needed vast improvements. One of Richardson's big targets was parents. He knew that if parents took a big interest in their children's education, tremendous improvement could be made.
But he never seemed to reach them. I know from experience that even parents who are well off financially sometimes don't care. I had one father tell me it was his job to be successful in business. It was my job to see he got a good education. One visit to parents' night at school shows how few parents are truly interested.
Another Richardson initiative was dropout and graduation rates. Another was test scores. Neither did well.
Gov. Richardson's education effort had many organizations supporting his effort. A number of educational, business, religious, labor and social advocacy groups were in there fighting for the governor's proposal.
Can it pass again 10 years later? In 2003, we had a booming economy. It was enough to finance a commuter train, a spaceport, highway construction and tax cuts for everyone. We were rolling in dough. Now we're witnessing long lines of the jobless, willing to work for just about anything.
But we still know that better schools are a big answer to many of our problems. So many of the types of organizations mentioned above are banding together again to push for another increase in the permanent fund to pursue a different educational model. Recent research has shown the extreme importance of getting them while they're young.
This means concentrating on the children under five. That's before what we used to consider as school age. This means activities such as home visits, parent coaching, a fully funded 4-year-old pre-kindergarten, early childhood training centers and quality early childhood teacher training.
It can be done but it will be expensive. Backers of the proposal note that by using a tiny portion of our $11 billion permanent fund, all this can be done without any money out of taxpayers' pockets.
If Senate Joint Resolution 3 does pass the Legislature, it will go directly to the November 2014 ballot. Gov. Susana Martinez has stated her support for education, in general. She reads to many classes. But if this constitutional amendment is to pass, it will take her support and that of business groups that will be helped by the hiring features in this proposal.
Using some of the money in the state permanent fund is risky. It is a rainy-day fund. The question is whether it currently is raining.

2-6 column

20613 flat tax

SANTA FE – It sometimes takes a while for a good idea to catch on. Two Farmington Republicans, Rep Tom Taylor and Sen. William Sharer, have introduced companion bills to greatly simplify New Mexico's complicated tax code.
Nearly all taxes would be eliminated except property tax, gasoline tax and severance taxes paid by companies that sever minerals from our land.
In return, a 2-percent tax would be levied on anything that is purchased, sold or rented. For you Sherlock Holmes fans, the New Mexico Watchdog newsletter has dubbed it the 2% solution.
Would a two-percent tax on just about everything support the state's needs? The sponsors think so because it would eliminate all the exceptions, exemptions, credits and deductions that every special interest in the state has managed to get through the Legislature.
And, of course, we can expect every special interest in the state to be at the Legislature trying to carve out just one little exception for itself.
Senate Bill 368 and House Bill 369 don't stand a chance because every lobbyist in Santa Fe will be out to shoot it down. Evidently there will be others too. The New Mexico Watchdog quotes Santa Fe's longtime tax authority, Rep. Luciano Varela as saying "This is the worst bill I have ever seen in my life."
Varela's concern is that it is a regressive tax that will hurt the poor. Evidently he hasn't read the part of the bill providing tax refunds of up to 100 percent.
I can't claim to have read all 200-plus pages of the bill either but it looks very much like a concept I advanced at one of New Mexico First's early statewide symposiums some 20 years ago.
The subject at the time was the difficulty posed by sales tax pyramiding in which every company involved in the production of a product has to pay the entire state sales tax. Other semi-solutions have been enacted since that time but my idea, based on the evidence presented, was to tax everything along the line at one percent
New Mexico First gathers New Mexico leaders to examine various problems facing the state each year. Participants are divided into groups of about 15 for the discussions. My suggestion of a low broad-based tax affecting everything didn't get far. Rep. Max Coll, Varela's predecessor as the Legislature's financial guru, wasn't moved.
About the only help I received was from Karen Bayless from the natural gas industry in Farmington and Mike Boling who is in the oil business in Roswell. I assume the current proposal also addresses the pyramiding problem.
Regardless, the bills will not get far this year. The Senate Bill received four committee referrals, which means certain death. The House bill has six referrals, which is unheard of in my 50 years around the capitol.
The bills' sponsors are trying to put a happy face on this absolute rejection by predicting the 10 referrals will give the concept maximum exposure. The only problem is that neither bill likely will be heard in even its first committee.
Maybe the idea is lame-brained. Maybe the sponsors have secret data that shows this will amount to a huge tax cut. Maybe Democrats know this will lead to a huge reduction in services. Maybe Democratic leaders want to show Republican lawmakers and the governor who has the upper hand now.
Maybe it secretly is a bonanza for a particular industry. Maybe it is true, as some have charged, that New Mexico has the worst tax system in the United States and it is driving out business.
But it seemed logical to me many years ago when I had a folder of numbers in front of me. And it seems like an idea that deserves airing now.
Here is 2-6 column. I was having internet connection difficulties at the time. That must be why it didn't gety through. My apologies. I'm working on 2-8 right now

Monday, February 04, 2013

2-6 New Tax Proposal Won't Get Far