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A4 Sunday, October 5, 2014 OPINION Roswell Daily Record

Americans now face behead-


ings, gang warfare, Ebola, ISIS
and a new war in Syria. Its nat-
ural to assume that the world
has gotten more dangerous. But
it hasnt.
People believe that crime has
gotten worse. But over the past
two decades, murder and rob-
bery in the U.S. are down by
more than half, and rape by a
third, even as complaints about
rape culture grow louder.
Terrorism is a threat. But
deaths from war are a fraction
of what they were half a century
ago, when we fought World War
II and the Korean War, and
Chairman Mao murdered mil-
lions. Despite todays wars in
Iraq, Syria, etc., last decade saw
the fewest deaths from war
since record keeping began.
Last week s beheading in
Oklahoma and other despicable
acts of terrorism are frightening,
but Americans are unlikely to
be killed. Terrorists killed
18,000 people last year, but
only 16 were American. Every
death is tragic but even if ter-
rorists pulled off a World Trade
Center attack every few years,
President Obama would still be
correct when he said, If you
had to choose any moment to
be born in human history,
you d choose this time. The
world is less violent than it has
ever been. It is healthier than it
has ever been.
He was mocked for saying
that and much of what our
president says is deceitful and
should be mocked but that
statement was true.
Thanks to miraculous inno-
vation created by free markets,
fewer people languish in pover-
ty, and we live longer than ever.
The average American now lives
79 years. (Much of that innova-
tion happened despite attacks
on markets by Obama and his
cronies, but that s another
story.) For most people, and
most Americans, life is better.
Of course, as big problems
such as Nazis and the Soviet
empire fade, the media find new
things to scare us about. CBSs
Bob Schieffer proclaimed, We
are in a very dangerous time
right now, even more so, per-
haps, than at the height of the
Cold War! More danger than
when thousands of Soviet
nuclear missiles were aimed at
us? Give me a break.
Since crime is down, the
media find the few cities, such
as Indianapolis and Bismarck,
North Dakota, where crime is
up. If they cant find increased
crime, they focus on rare, lurid
cases like mass shootings and
serial killers. Even as life gets
safer, people get the impression
that the world is falling apart.
Then rule-makers overreact.
Bureaucrats pass zero toler-
ance policies toward guns in
schools so strict that a 7-year-
old boy in Maryland was sus-
pended for chewing his Pop-
Tart into the shape of a gun.
In New Jersey, a 13-year-old
was suspended for twirling his
pencil in a way that reminded
another student of a gun. He
was ordered to undergo a psy-
chological evaluation and strip-
searched by the New Jersey
Department of Children and
Family.
Captain Gem is an Army
buddy I became acquainted
with 15 years ago. My guess
i s Gem was a sel f -gi ven
name as he tired of trying to
get the Americans to properly
pronounce hi s real name.
Gem i s a Turk. He and I
worked in the White House, a
former Yugoslavian Air Force
bui l di ng at the Tuzl a Ai r
Field. Tuzla was headquarters
of Multi- National Division
(North). MND (N) was com-
prised of American, Turkish,
Polish, Russian, Norwegian,
Swedish and Danish troops.
We were both deployed as
members of SFOR (Stabiliza-
ti on Force) the NATO-l ed
multinational peacekeeping
force deployed to Bosnia and
Herzegovina after the Bosnian
war.
One of our first casual con-
versations was an inquiry of
the movie Midnight Express.
I was aware of the film but
had not seen it. The movie is
about an American hashish
smuggl er who was thrown
into a hellhole of a Turkish
prison and tortured for five
years.
I real i zed that the poi nt
Gem was trying to make in
discussing Midnight Express
was that the movie is not rep-
resentative of all of Turkey.
Apparently, the movie made a
large impact in Turkey con-
sidering this conversation was
20 years af ter the movi e s
release.
Over the course of the
deployment I visited Gem and
his colleagues several times a
week. Gem expl ai ned that
Turkey has been i n NATO
since 1952. I quickly conclud-
ed that Gem wanted to show
the positives of Turkey and of
how his country wants to be
part of the modern world and
in particular to be admitted to
the European Union.
I asked him who was the
man profiled on his comput-
ers screen saver. Gem said,
That is Ataturk, the George
Washington of my country.
He proudl y tol d me of
Mustaf a Kemal , a Turki sh
Army of ficer, reformist and
statesman. In 1927, Kemal
became the first President of
modern Turkey following the
demi se of the Isl ami c
Caliphate and the Ottoman
Empire. Kemal was named
Ataturk or f ather of the
Turks. Ataturk believed Islam
to be a religion, not a form of
government. He l aunched
numerous dramatic secular
reforms such as outlawing
the f ez and hi j ab, openi ng
uni versi ti es to women and
replacing the Persian script
wi th the Roman typeset of
Europe. Gem added that the
Turkish Constitution com-
mands the military to invoke
a coup should the Islamists
regain power.
In the tomb, Ataturks feet
face Mecca. In 2004, I was in
Mosul, Iraq, which is near the
Turkish border. Incredibly, I
ran into one of Captain Gems
cohorts. I learned that Mosul
at a poi nt i n hi story was
under control of Turkey. The
tri bes of Turkoman and
Kurds have a prominent pres-
ence i n Mosul ; theref ore,
awareness of acti ves i n
Turkey was relevant to cur-
rent operations.
I regularly logged on to the
BBC Worl d Servi ce. To my
surprise, a report indicated
that a f emal e Turki sh MP
(Member of Parliament) who
wore a hijab in her of ficial
photo al so was advocati ng
reducing the legal punish-
ment of men guilty of honor
killings. I recalled that Gem
had told me that parliamen-
tary rules demanded censure
to women MPs who wear the
See HECK, Page A5
I am a staunch supporter of the
First Amendment. There is an
obvious reason I hold this partic-
ular constitutional amendment so
close to my heart. I am a journal-
ist and believe in free speech and
assembly. The second reason I
am a die-hard supporter of the
First Amendment is its separation
of church and state.
I do not want the government
tel l i ng me what to bel i eve or
which church to attend, as was
the practice in Europe before our
great nation was established. I
woul d l i ke to share wi th you
some notes I saved from a pres-
entation by a United Methodist
pastor who also happened to be
very erudite on the history of reli-
gion in America.
His name is Rev. Charles Weav-
er, and at the time he was assis-
tant to the bishop of the United
Methodist Churchs Florida Con-
ference. He recently retired from
the Florida Conference.
I heard him during a presenta-
tion he made to the Daughters of
the Ameri can Revol uti on i n
Brooksville, Fla., where I used to
work.
Weaver presented an interest-
ing paradox. According to his
research, colonial America was
actually quite secular, and that is
the big part of why the United
States is one of the most religious
nations in the world today. It is
because government kept its big,
fat nose out of religion early on
that churches are able to flourish
today.
He contends that religious free-
dom in the United States was
never planned by the colonial set-
tlers; it was something that hap-
pened more or less serendipitous-
ly.
Hi s presentati on was ti tl ed
Religion in Colonial America.
Weaver began his presentation
poi nti ng out that the Fi rst
Amendment states Congress
shall make no law respecting the
establishment of religion, he
said. We as Americans take this
for granted because that s the
way its always been.
Weaver said freedom of religion
was a revolutionary concept in
colonial times as it is now.
Other governments, unless
influenced by the American con-
cept, tend to support one religion
or have an established church,
he said.
Weaver wasn t referri ng to
countri es l i ke Saudi Arabi a,
which has Islam as the state reli-
gi on he was tal ki ng about
Europe.
Engl and has the Angl i can
church, Scotland the Presbyteri-
an church and Sweden the
Lutheran church as tax-support-
ed churches, he said.
The plus side to a tax-support-
ed church might be not having to
hold a bake sale when the water
heater needs to be replaced, but
there is a trade-off.
Governments that give money
to churches expect some degree
of control, Weaver said. Ameri-
cans are more religious (than
Europeans) does that tell you
something? We basically have a
free-market approach.
Weaver said colonial Americans
were overwhelmingly British, but
were unchurched.
Most of the people in early
America were not religious, he
said. They were not anti-reli-
gious or anti-church. They didnt
come to America seeking religious
freedom. Most came for a better
life.
However, Weaver did point out
there were settlers who did cross
the Atlantic specifically for reli-
gi ous freedom l i ke Wi l l i am
Penn and his fellow Quakers who
settled Pennsylvania, and the Pil-
grims who set foot at Plymouth
Rock.
But for the most part, Weaver
said, the American colonies were
commercial ventures; they need-
ed settlers regardless of religion.
The original plan was for the
colonies to be no more tolerant of
rel i gi on than Engl and. When
Jamestown was established in
1607, the Church of England was
intended to be the established
church i n Vi rgi ni a; but earl y
attempts to enforce i t were
unsuccessful.
During the 175 years of the
colonial period, toleration policies
Dont take religious freedom for granted
Turkish Republics Ottoman resurgence
Newspaper supports these
candidates
The editorial staff of the Roswell Daily
Record is endorsing the following state and
national candidates in the Nov. 4 General
Election.
Weh for Senate
In the race for U.S. Senate, the Daily
Record endorses Republican challenger
Allen Weh.
Weh is a relative political unknown hav-
ing never held office; however, his oppo-
nent, incumbent Democrat Tom Udall, is a
known candi date with a voti ng record
inconsistent with southeastern New Mexico
values.
While Udall says he is an all-the-above
energy candidate, his voting record says
otherwise. Udall voted for cap-and-trade
carbon emission legislation, to delay the
Keystone XL pipeline and said he supported
President Barack Obamas unilateral emis-
sion standards executive order.
Renewable energy sources are great, but
Udall has been a part of the Washington,
D.C. crowd that has been forcing alterna-
tive energies down our throats, when they
are not yet capable of meeting our countrys
energy needs.
Udalls all-the-above energy stance does
not include nuclear power, permitting more
oil refineries, new coal-fired power plants or
anything that emits carbon pollution.
Udall has also said hes very proud of his
vote on Obamacare. He said he wished the
federal health insurance program had gone
further, as many other left-wing Democrats
said at the time of its passage. Thanks for
nothing, Mr. Udall.
While he doesnt talk about it much on
the campaign trail, Udalls positions on
abortion are as radical as those of Obamas.
Udall voted against a partial-birth abor-
tion ban on multiple occasions while serv-
ing in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As recently as July, Udall voted to man-
date that private companies offer abortion
pills to employees under Obamacare.
Udall has boasted about having a 94 per-
cent pro-Obama voting record. That voting
record may appeal to voters in northern
New Mexico, but is contrary to the views of
voters in southeastern New Mexico.
In addition, a vote for Udall is the equiva-
lent of a vote to keep Nevada Sen. Harry
Reid as the Senate majority leader. Reid
has steadfastly blocked Republican bills
passed by the U.S. House of Representa-
tives, and Reids consistently mean-spirited
rhetoric is a disgrace for the U.S. Senate.
Udall voted for Reid as majority leader
three times.
Udall has served in Washington, D.C. for
16 years. Thats long enough. Its time for a
change.
Weh, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel
who started as an enlisted Marine, will
bring a much-needed breath of fresh air to
the U.S. Senate.
Weh has said he would oppose Obamas
abuses of power, federal overreach, and a
staggering and ever-increasing $18 trillion
national debt that is crushing the expected
standards of living of our children and
grandchildren, who will ultimately be bur-
dened with our governments excesses.
Weh also is unlikely to turn a blind eye to
the IRS, Veterans Af fairs and Benghazi
scandals and he is far more likely to exer-
cise his congressional oversight authority
than Udall, who has consistently forsaken
his oversight responsibilities and instead
stood behind Obama time and time again.
Weh has been endorsed by the National
Rifle Association, the National Right to Life
Committee, the National Federation of Inde-
pendent Businesses and Citizens Against
Government Waste. Enough said.
Pearce for U.S. Congress 2nd District
In the race between the Republ i can
incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce and his
Democratic challenger Roxanne Lara of
Carlsbad, the Roswell Daily Record endors-
es the incumbent, Congressman Pearce.
Pearce, a Hobbs resident, worked to bring
EDITORIAL
Its better now then its ever been before
JERRY
HECK
DIGESTING THE ELEPHANT
JOHN
STOSSEL
SYNDICATED COLUMNIST
See STOSSEL, Page A6
See ENDORSEMENTS, Page A5
TIMOTHY
HOWSARE
RIPCORD INTO REALITY
See HOWSARE, Page A6
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Roswell Daily Record OPINION II Sunday, October 5, 2014 A5
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head scarf.
In 2012, Al gemei ner
On line reporter Lakkana
Nnanayakkara wrote,
Modern Turkey bears lit-
tl e resembl ance to the
secular republic created
by Mustaf a Kemal
Ataturk. Over the past
decade, Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogans
Justice and Development
Party ( AKP) has been
transforming Turkey into
an Isl ami c state. The
most recent example of
this has been the arrest
of an i nternati onal l y
acclaimed Turkish classi-
cal pianist for insulting
Islam. Fazil Say said the
Koran says there are
rivers of drinks in heav-
en. That makes it sound
l i ke a pub, whi l e the
beautiful women avail-
able there make it sound
like a brothel. He could
receive a jail sentence of
up to 18 months.
Meanwhi l e, Turki sh
prisons are filling up with
political prisoners who
have been charged with
crimes such as treason
and terrorism. The Turk-
ish military used to see
themsel ves as the
guardians of the secular
republic. Now dozens of
senior military officers,
including former generals
are facing trials for hav-
ing acted against previ-
ous Isl ami st govern-
ments.
The Justice and Devel-
opment Party (AKP) was
f ormed i n 2001. The
party i s descri bed as
Isl ami st wi th a Neo-
Ottoman foreign policy by
its opponents. Abdullah
Gul was elected President
i n 2007 and was suc-
ceeded i n August by
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Both men are cl ose
allies and have deep AKP
party ti es as wel l as
tenure in numerous sen-
ior government posts.
Seems Ataturk had it
right. Moreover, we can
onl y pray that Gem i s
safely retired and does
not end up on the Mid-
night Express.
Jerry Heck has had a
part-time military career
as a Citizen Solider in the
Fl ori da Ar my Nati onal
and Army Reserve span-
ni ng 28 years that has
taken hi m to 26 states
and 13 countries includ-
i ng depl oyments to
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq
and Afghanistan. He cur-
rently resides in Roswell,
NM where he buys, reno-
vates, rents and sel l s
houses. He can be con-
tacted at j erry. heck
ltc@gmail.com.
Heck
Continued from Page A4
Less of her, more of our community
In ti me i t happens to
each of us. We live our lives
and then we are gone. No
one reading this will escape
passing on from this plan-
et. That doesn t make i t
any easier when a special
person journeys on from
here.
Our lives are not impor-
tant except for the impact
we make on others (from
Jackie Robinson s tomb-
stone). Roswell lost a com-
muni ty team member
whose life was and remains
i mportant. Important
because of what her l i fe
was about and important
because of the impact she
had on our community; one
who truly lived her life as a
public servant.
Roswell has lost a very
special lady, Jane Batson.
She has changed her
address from Roswell, New
Mexico, to a home in heav-
en. Although she may not
have hung the moon, she
knew the one who did and
she is with Him today.
In a time when heroes
are few and far between,
she is one of my heroes.
Jane Batson is a former
Dean of Health at Eastern
New Mexi co Uni versi ty-
Roswel l . She oversaw
numerous university pro-
grams including the Com-
munity Dental Clinic, the
Student Health Center, the
Community Pharmacy, La
Puerta Abierta, the Smok-
ing Cessation Program, and
the Community Transfor-
mation Grant.
Jane was instrumental in
guiding the development of
servi ces and systems
addressing health dispari-
ti es i n Chaves County,
emphasi zi ng i ssues of
women and chi l dren
i ncl udi ng devel opi ng a
framework that i nsured
prenatal care access
regardless of ability to pay
and the Community Dental
Program that provides serv-
ices to low-income children
regardless of ability to pay.
Her life and its emphasis
reminds me of the life and
emphasis of Mother There-
sa. Jane contri buted so
much to so many people
across our communi ty.
Although she has received
many recognitions from our
community, her life was
not about being recognized.
Let me reveal for you the
heart of this precious lady.
In the Roswell Chamber
of Commerces Leadership
Roswell program there is a
l eadershi p trai ni ng seg-
ment entitled Lightning
Round Leadership. A long-
time leader in the Roswell
communi ty i s asked 18
questions and then given
only 90 seconds to respond
to each one. What this for-
mat does is it causes the
leader interviewed to focus
on his or her response, get
to the heart of it, and then
we move on to the next
question.
Over the course of the
year-long program, Leader-
ship Roswell presents six
different leaders. It is inter-
esting to compare and con-
trast how different leaders
lead in our community and
what the heart is of each
one.
I had the opportunity to
sit down next to Jane Bat-
son on Dec. 14, 2012, and
ask her the 18 questions. I
was very impressed with
Jane from my relationship
with her and knowledge of
her ef forts over the
decades. I was even more
impressed after listening to
how she answered the
questions asked. I looked
back at her responses in
l i ght of her unexpected
death and feel that we can
all learn from her respons-
es.
To understand the heart
of Jane Batson, l et me
share with you what she
shared with us that day.
I asked her how she
defined success and she
told the class that success
is measured one life at a
time and results from mak-
ing a positive impact on
each life we touch. I asked
Jane what she has done to
grow her leadership skills
over her lifetime and she
told me that in her life she
focuses hard on listening.
She sees the core of growth
in her life to be communi-
cation. She added that we
should always ignore the
naysayers and just move
right on past them.
I asked her if she could
use just one word for lead-
ership, what would it be?
She said her word would be
we. Jane told us that it
takes a group to accom-
plish anything great. Great
things begin with we.
When I asked her to tell
us about one person who
has made a major impact
on her ability to lead, she
responded Jesus Christ.
She elaborated by saying
that all we do should be for
His glory.
I asked Jane what has
been her greatest leader-
ship accomplishment and
she said the Community
Dental Clinic program. I
asked her what has been
the biggest setback of her
life and she referred to the
combining of the two local
hospitals and the impact
thi s had on her l i fe. Yet
even i n expl ai ni ng thi s
down point in her life she
found posi ti ves and
remi nded the cl ass that
God had a plan all along.
I asked her about the
most powerful leadership
experience she has had and
she referred to her involve-
ment with the sliding scale
clinic. I asked her about
how she overcomes nega-
tive or critical people and
she sai d she l i stens to
them, but then she tries to
diffuse them. She seeks to
infiltrate them and then to
change their negativity.
I asked about how she
has overcome failure and
the fear of fai l ure to
become an effective leader.
She referred to posi ti ve
teachers in her life when
she was a teenager and the
professi on she chose of
nursing.
When asked what is the
most important personality
characteristic for a leader
to possess, she said empa-
thy. She continued, We
must learn to walk in oth-
ers shoes. We must have a
sincere interest in people.
We must speak for those
who cannot speak.
When asked if she could
choose only one book on
leadership for the class to
read, Jane referred to the
Bible and then focused in
on one scripture. She quot-
ed words spoken by John
the Baptist found at John
3:30 where John poi nts
those l ooki ng to hi m to
Jesus and says there
should be less of me and
more of Him.
I asked her if she could
choose only one deceased
role model whom she looks
up to, she responded Fritz
Harburg. She said he was
her second dad and he
taught her to change the
worl d one l i fe at a ti me.
When I asked her about a
living hero or role model
that she looked up to she
sai d Steve Gonzal es; he
lives in the triangle of our
ci ty and i s hel pi ng our
Roswell community.
When I asked her about
what rol e her fai th has
played in her leadership,
Jane referred to a mission
tri p she took to South
Africa and the mission field
that exists here in Roswell.
She said her faith is key in
her desire to give back to
the community.
I asked her about how
she found a healthy bal-
ance between work and
family. She responded that
she took her family every-
where with her and that
she focused on maki ng
sure she had quality time
with them.
I asked Jane if she wrote
a book on leadership, what
woul d i ts ti tl e be. She
shared, The Power of Com-
munity. We should make a
difference in our communi-
ty wherever we work, wher-
ever we are placed.
When asked If you could
do it all over again, how
would you do it different-
l y? She sai d she woul d
spend even more time with
her family.
I asked Jane what she
i ntended to accompl i sh
with her leadership skills in
the years ahead. She
responded, Train the next
generati on and to fi nd
committed people and help
them be successful in their
efforts.
There you have it. The
heart of Jane Batson.
Another hero who is gone,
but one who leaves a legacy
for our community and for
us to fol l ow. A person
whose life leaves the world
a better place than the one
she was born i nto. One
whose life was not about
hersel f, but was about
helping others.
My chal l enge to you
today is to learn from the
life of Jane Batson. Her life
was her message. She was
a servant to our communi-
ty. Her focus was right. Her
life was not about her, but
what she could do for oth-
ers. She changed our com-
munity for the better.
Although her earthly life
has ended, Jane Batson
l i ves on i n each of us
whose life she poured her-
self into. And that is a lot of
us in this great community
of Roswell.
Just a thought.
Rick Kraft is a local attor-
ney and the executive direc-
tor of the Leadershi p
Roswell Program. To sub-
mi t comments, contri bu-
ti ons, or i deas, e-mai l to
rkraft@kraftandhunter.com
or wri te to P.O. Box 850,
Roswell, NM, 88202-0850.
RICK
KRAFT
JUST A THOUGHT
a Veterans Administration
pi l ot program provi di ng
transitional support to the
rural veterans of New Mexi-
co.
Pearce, a veteran of the
Air Force, was instrumental
i n getti ng New Mexi co
included in the new pilot
program to assist veterans
and their families living in
rural or underserved com-
munities transition from
military service to civilian
life.
Pearce began his career
in the U.S. House of Repre-
sentatives in 2002, after
serving two terms in the
state House, giving him a
plethora of experience in
the political arena.
Rocky Lara is a family
law attorney in Eddy Coun-
ty. Her political experience
is limited to serving on the
Eddy County Commission.
Lara has also been involved
with the Energy Communi-
ties Alliance, the Carlsbad
Chamber of Commerce,
and the Eddy County DWI
Council.
On launching her cam-
pai gn, Lara cri ti ci zed
Pearces stance on immi-
grati on reform and
described him as unwilling
to work for solutions, yet
Lara was silent when the
Roswel l Dai l y Record
attempted to contact her
when the i ni ti al wave of
immigrants arrived in Arte-
si a. In fact, Lara has
refused to communicate
with the newspaper, which
leads us to question how
responsive she would be to
the publ i c as an el ected
official.
On the other hand,
Pearce is frequently in con-
tact with the media and the
publ i c, and i s wi l l i ng to
reach out to hi s con-
sti tuents. Based on hi s
availability to the public
and his wealth of experi-
ence as an elected official,
the Roswell Daily Record
endorses Pearce for Con-
gress.
Martinez for governor
In the race between the
Republican incumbent Gov.
Susana Martinez and chal-
lenger, Democrat and state
Attorney General Gary
Ki ng, the Roswel l Dai l y
Record has chosen to
endorse Gov. Martinez for
re-election in the Nov. 4
General Election.
Si nce taki ng of fi ce i n
2010, Gov. Martinez has
worked to improve educa-
ti on i n New Mexi co and
bring jobs to the state, with
limited success in both are-
nas. Yet she has mai n-
tained a high approval rat-
ing throughout her term
and has been courted by
presidential hopeful Gov.
Chris Christie of New Jer-
sey.
Martinez has had several
legislative victories, includ-
ing placing a cap on film
tax credits, passing a bill
that exempted locomotive
fuel from the states gross
receipts tax; and expanding
Katies Law, requiring law
enforcement of fi ci al s to
obtain DNA samples from
al l suspects booked on
felony charges.
Martinez also supported
the school s grades bi l l ,
which ranks state public
schools on an A to F scale
based on student achieve-
ment and other factors,
such as high-school gradu-
ation rates.
King, who has served as
attorney general si nce
2006, has been sl ow to
present a platform demon-
strati ng what he woul d
stand for as governor, and
he has been conspicuously
absent from Chaves County
duri ng the campai gn,
showing up for the Eastern
New Mexi co Fai r parade
and the grand opening of
the county Democrati c
Party office, but otherwise
being absent.
Marti nez was i n town
Wednesday for an
announcement of 50 new
jobs at Aersale and then
celebrating the winning of a
Nati onal Bl ue Ri bbon
School title by Berrendo
Middle School.
Based on her record, and
her frequent vi si ts to
Chaves County and demon-
strated interest in south-
eastern New Mexico, the
Roswel l Dai l y Record
chooses to endorse Gov.
Martinez.
Oliver for secretary
of state
Di anne Duran, the
Republican incumbent sec-
retary of state, and her
Democrat opponent Maggie
Toul ouse Ol i ver, county
clerk of Bernalillo County,
are both qualified for the
job and have proven track
records for moderni zi ng
election processes in their
respective offices.
That being said, the Daily
Record endorses Oliver.
The secretary of state
oversees al l el ecti ons i n
New Mexico. County clerks
such as Oliver work under
the umbrella of the secre-
tary of state to supervise
elections in their counties.
Wi th a popul ati on of
around 600,000, more than
a quarter of the states pop-
ulation lives in Bernalillo
County.
Duran has been in the
news lately for her rejection
of al l owi ng counti es to
place advisory questions on
their November ballots.
The New Mexico Supreme
Court ruled unanimously
against Duran, allowing
Bernal i l l o and Santa Fe
counties to proceed with
their plans to place on their
ballots non-binding adviso-
ry questions on whether to
decriminalize possession of
small amounts of marijua-
na.
Duran al so deni ed
Chaves Countys request to
place several non-binding
questions on its ballots,
i ncl udi ng a proposed
union-related right-to-work
ordinance and a proposed
concealed weapons ordi-
nance.
County Commi ssi oner
Greg Nibert initiated the
non-binding ballot ques-
tions, stating that if leaders
of politically liberal coun-
ties can include advisory
questions on election bal-
lots, leaders of conservative
counties should be able to
do the same.
Oliver is in favor of allow-
ing local officials to decide
for themselves what goes
on their ballots. She has
pl edged throughout her
campaign to take politics
out of the secretary of state
office, an office that many
in the state believe should
be nonpartisan.
Oliver is intelligent and
ambitious and should be
afforded the opportunity to
make good on her promise.
We also believe Oliver will
bring a good political bal-
ance to state government.
Voters should be wary of
too much power concen-
trated in one party. Repub-
licans Gov. Susana Mar-
tinez and Lt. Gov. John A.
Sanchez will most likely be
reelected, and that will be
good for New Mexico. Oliv-
er, a Democrat, has the
spunk to keep both of them
on their toes in a good way.
Endorsements
Continued from Page A1
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