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New Mexico Telegram » Morning Word » Morning Word, 4-18-12

Morning Word, 4-18-12

Back again with another day of the Morning Word.

Social Science Research Solutions came out with an interesting and detailed poll (warning, PDF) on the thoughts of Hispanics on LGBT issues. But the toplines of the poll are very interesting, digging into the thoughts of Hispanics on a huge number of issues, from how often they think Hispanics and other minorities are discriminated against to whether or not they believe that children should live in their parents house until they are married.

The two biggest parts of the study are on religion and thoughts on LGBT issues.

One note — 49 percent of Hispanics believe that gay people should be allowed to be married, while 43 percent disagree, and 59 percent believe gay couples should be able to enter into an arrangement with all the rights of marriage but it is called something else, while 34 percent disagree.

And 52 percent believe that homosexuality is not a sin.

An interesting read if you have the time.

Anyway, on the the Word:

  • KOB profiled the 1st congressional district race which is a “fight” between Democrats while Republican Janice Arnold-Jones has a free pass to the general election.
  • Longtime Santa Fe city councilor Patti Bushee is being investigated for failing to recuse herself from votes on a potential conflict of interest.
    Earlier today, City Manager Robert Romero signed a contract with law firm Stelzner, Winter, Warburton, Flores, Sanchez and Dawes to investigate claims that Bushee owes money to developer Steve Duran for unfinished work from 2005. That year, Bushee hired Duran’s brother to do plumbing work at her home, she says.

    The usual solid work from Joey Peters up north.

  • U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman weighed in on the issue of U.S.-Cuba relations. The veteran Senator said the United States is “out of step with our policy with Cuba. It is past time to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and end the embargo,”
  • Winthrop Quigley is tired of hearing that oil speculation is to blame for high gas prices. Quigley links to a piece by Ezra Klein of the Washington Post.
    In essence, says energy analyst Stephen Schork, a lot of oil speculation works like insurance. Countries and companies that need oil are willing to pay a “risk premium” now in order to ensure that they’ll have oil at a reasonable price in the future, even if shortages erupt. Schork adds that oil speculators are typically piggybacking on fundamentals — like the fact that global supplies are tight. By contrast, in the natural gas market, speculators are actually pushing prices down to decade-low levels. “That’s because the fundamentals in that market are the polar opposite,” Schork says.

  • Scott Krahling, vice-chairman of the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners and member of the board of directors of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, says the Spaceport needs help from Santa Fe to succeed.
    The financial constraints imposed in 2007 were well-intentioned at the time, but here we are in 2012 and we’re effectively telling the small towns whose hopes are pinned on this experiment’s success that they will have to take whatever can be tossed their way.

    I don’t think it’s right. With oil and gas prices rising and the state’s economic picture improving, southern New Mexico’s legislators and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez should immediately support an effort to allocate the necessary funding to build Spaceport America right.

  • Valencia County residents are wondering why Gov. Martinez vetoed funds for a road filled with potholes. The Gov’s office says they didn’t receive the information on how the money would be spent, something a Peralta town councilor denies.
  • Tea Party-backed candidates in Rio Rancho won run-off elections, giving conservatives a majority on the city council. While the Tea Party has not been able to get the most conservative candidates into office at higher levels, it could be working at a local level in conservative-leaning areas like Rio Rancho.
  • The environmental planning commission approved an amendment that would allow Nob Hill breweries to sell growlers. The city council will take up the issue in June. Already, breweries in other parts of the city (and state) are allowed to sell the take-home beer.
  • ACLU-New Mexico writes about a controversial Supreme Court ruling that many say opens the door for strip searches of those taken to jail.
    Far-reaching as this ruling may appear, jail officials in New Mexico should not rush to assume that the Court’s ruling grants them carte blanche to begin blanket strip searches of all detainees. The New Mexico Constitution also prohibits unwarranted searches, and our state courts have shown greater enthusiasm for safeguarding that right than what the Supreme Court evidenced in its recent ruling. For example, New Mexico courts have consistently rejected the federal precedent that motorists lower their expectation of privacy, and are more subject to search, when they enter an automobile.

  • Thanks to the Durbin Amendment, gas stations are paying less for fees on debit card transactions — but those savings aren’t being passed on to consumers. At issue are the fees charged for debit card swipes and credit card swipes.
  • The FCC chairman went after local TV stations who don’t want to put information on political spending online. He made the remarks at a keynote speech Monday afternoon at the National Association of Broadcasters convention.
    Another objection is that the disclosed information is “proprietary,” particularly the rates broadcasters charge for political advertising. But, one, Congress explicitly requires broadcasters to disclose this information, and, two, broadcasters already do.

    In other words, the argument against moving the public file online is that required broadcaster disclosures shouldn’t be too public. But in a world where everything is going digital, why have a special exemption for broadcasters’ political disclosure obligation?

    The fight between the FCC and local broadcasters won’t be ending any time soon. And you won’t be seeing these remarks reported on by local TV stations who have a direct stake in the FCC’s decision.

Anything that I missed? Any thoughts on the stories? Email them to or add in the comments below.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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