Steak dinners at fancy restaurants, breakfast burritos brought to committee meetings, lift tickets at ski resorts. Every year lobbyists spend big bucks on entertaining, many with the hope that they will get some time to talk with lawmakers about the issues they’re working on.
It’s been five years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which lifted restrictions on expenditures and gave rise to groups known as Super Political Action Committees that have pumped millions of dollars of special interest money into the political system.
Difficult Conditions Reported On Some New Mexico Highways – The Associated Press
Snowplows have been working to clear northern New Mexico highways of snow and ice from a major winter storm.
Difficult driving conditions are reported in much of northeast New Mexico and along I-40 east to the Texas line. Severe driving conditions are reported in the southeast. See NMRoads.com or call 5-1-1 for the latest information.
While reporting this series, it's really easy to end up with more voices and moments than can ever be plopped into the four-minute feature stories that air on KUNM. That's why over the course of this project, I'll be sharing some of those moments with you online.
Governor Susana Martinez has made education central to her agenda for this year’s legislative session.
Martinez said Tuesday in her State of the State address that she wants to increase teachers’ starting salaries by $2,000 a year and provide each teacher with a debit card pre-loaded with $100 to cover the cost of their classroom supplies.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:48 pm
Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.
Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.
Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:09 am
In so many ways, Jan. 20, 2009, was a frightful day to be taking the oath of office.
The U.S. economy was in free fall as Barack Obama rose to deliver his inaugural address. "We are in the midst of crisis," he said. "Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered."
Exactly six years later, Obama is returning to Capitol Hill to deliver a State of the Union address at 9 p.m. EST. He is expected to highlight the economic progress that has been made since that frigid Day One — and call for more changes.
New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission heard testimony for the 10th day on Friday about how the state’s largest utility wants to move forward. Two of the coal-burning units at the San Juan Generating Station are going to be shut down. Now the PRC hearings will be extended.
On Thursday night, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management hosted a crowded—and sometimes heated—public meeting in Santa Fe. Currently, the agency is considering a pipeline that would carry crude oil from northwestern New Mexico to rail lines along Interstate 40.
As it’s currently proposed, the 140-mile long pipeline would run across federal, private, state and Navajo Nation lands. After local residents and activists complained, the agency agreed to extend the public comment period and hold three additional meetings.
College President Warns Budget Problems May Force Cuts – The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal
The president of the community college serving the Albuquerque area says fiscal belt-tightening might have to include cuts of low-enrollment classes.
Central New Mexico Community College President Kathie Winograd told employees and staff that she believes proposed increases in state funding are optimistic and that higher education could actually face funding cuts.
As part of KUNM's commitment to ongoing coverage of the oil and gas industry in New Mexico, we included a short series of stories on the regulation of this industry from reporter Mónica Ortiz Uribe who reports from El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, for the Fronteras Desk.
UPDATE 1/15: The U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Albuquerque told KUNM Wednesday that they were planning on telling the court which candidate they had selected for the job of independent monitor.
A federal judge has to approve their choice before the information is made public. That announcement is expected early next week.
Sarah Jane White’s walking to the top of a sandy hill near the eastern edge of the Navajo reservation. Along the way, she points to footprints in the sand. Her 4-year-old grandson, Albino, crouches to look. She shows him the prints of a horse, then a cow. Each time, he’s delighted.
It’s sunny and warm, though just a few days before the official start of winter. We walk past juniper trees, an old sweat lodge. Albino powers across the sandstone arroyo and on up the hill. The sky’s a deep blue. And depending on the breeze, the air smells like either sage or pine.
Activists gathered on the steps of Albuquerque police headquarters Wednesday after police fatally shot a man Tuesday night. They’re demanding transparency in the investigation of this latest officer involved shooting.
The streets in Albuquerque were slushy when about two dozen activists showed up with picket signs. One was painted blood red with the words “This revolution will not be privatized.”
Police: Another Albuquerque Officer Involved In Shooting - The Associated Press
Police say an Albuquerque officer has fatally shot a man who had just fired at officers.
Tuesday's shooting marks the department's third this year and comes a day after Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced she was seeking murder charges against two officers for the March shooting of a homeless man.
UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: This case will be presented during an open preliminary hearing, the date of which has not been determined.
Comment from Mayor Richard Berry's office: “We trust the judicial system will provide the family, our community and the officers a fair, transparent and unbiased opportunity to explore and present the facts as they relate to this tragic event. It is important for all of us to allow the process to progress without prejudice in order for our community to move forward.”