Yes, the end of calendar year 2012 is near and like the Mayan calendar most New Mexicans will live to see the beginning of 2013. I guess this is as good a time as any to look back over the top political stories of the year and what impact they will have for the future.
The Top story would have to be the passing of New Mexico Speaker of the House Ben Luján. Speaker Luján had a profound effect on this state. He was a strong fighter for the people of New Mexico. He was a very gentle soft spoken man. I remember holding hands with him during one political event. We were speaking about our children and how proud we were to be their parents. Life gives you many things but family is the best of all. Speaker Luján was proud of his family and especially his son U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján. He was also very active until the end in helping other people take care of their families.
Number two would have to be the retirement of U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. Senator Bingaman has worked hard for our state. His values have been to help our children and our environment over his long career. He has faced many different combinations of political influence during his career in the senate. Perhaps the most difficult has been in the last few years where senators no longer work together for the benefit of the American people. Senator Bingaman has always been a strong supporter for the “Rule of Law.”
Number three would be the reelection of President Obama. With the reelection of a democratic president women do not have to fear republicans rolling back the rights of women in this country. President Obama is not going to put corporations before people in Washington. The Fiscal Cliff is all about him fighting to protect Middle Class Americans from the greed of the very rich. It is a pity that the House of Representatives has to be controlled by republicans who are unwilling to see sensible reason when it comes to the budget.
Number four would be the issue of gun control and the safety of our children in this state’s schools. With the killings of twenty children on the East Coast we are now forced to look at our own schools both K-12 and college level. New Mexico schools were built to be open with many points of entry. Our colleges are completely open to entry at any point. Security for these institutions are at best a joke.
The local community college allows entry to anyone including convicted killers, the mentally ill, sex offenders and common thieves. Ankle bracelet devices are a common sight in the classrooms. Our children could be sitting along side the next mass murder in any of their college classes. There is no plan in the event of a mass shooting on these campuses. Security is unarmed and untrained. They have limited access to most of the buildings. Employees and students don’t even know what to do in case of a fire. Top School Administration is too busy putting funding into their own paychecks to bother with funding for school security. The boards have no control over spending when it comes to Administration.
Number five would be the republicans total lack of ability at job creation in this state. Governor Martinez has not just failed at private job creation but has managed to drive away jobs with her short sighted views on the movie industry and the space industry. Mayor Berry is no better will his lack of control of his police force, which only drives away potential businesses. No business owner is going to want to relocate to a city where they see heavily armed police pouring out of large buildings during the middle of the day on the local news even if it is only to arrest a copper thief. Mayor Berry needs to get his act together and hire a real police chief before something major happens in the City of Albuquerque.
These are the top five news events of the year and how they will affect 2013. The next year, and yes there will be a next year, will be most interesting for our state. The governor and the mayor of Albuquerque are both facing reelection in the next two years, so will we keep them or will we replace them? Only the voting public knows for sure.