jerry ortiz y pino


V.20 No.6 | 2/10/2011

Ortiz y Pino

The Guv Who Cried Fiscal Calamity

Gov. Susana Martinez’ administration got started on the wrong foot.

She’s tried to create the image of a state in near-total collapse—one facing a “financial crisis” of historic proportions that requires a stern and steady leader. That diagnosis is wrong, and therefore the prescription (cut, slash, burn) is also sadly off the mark.

I have to chalk up her first state of the state address as a missed opportunity, a rehash of campaign stump speeches and standard-issue GOP sound bites. It was as short on substance as it was chilling—and not inspirational—in tone.

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V.20 No.2 | 1/13/2011

Ortiz y Pino

Adios, Big Bill

Eight years ago this month, Bill Richardson launched what will go down as the most exhilarating roller-coaster ride of an administration in this pokey state’s century-long history.

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V.19 No.47 | 11/25/2010

Ortiz y Pino

Hard Lessons

In the end, what did 2010’s election mean?

Ten days after the election, I took our collies for their regular morning romp at one of Albuquerque’s dog parks. I pulled up alongside an ancient vehicle. In the window was a declaration: “If Obama is too stupid to understand what the voters said this year, we need to repeat the message in 2012.”

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V.19 No.42 | 10/21/2010

Ortiz y Pino

Heroin, Our Ignored Plague

Bruce Trigg is retiring from the state's Department of Health this year. The soft-spoken, scholarly and intensely committed public health physician has one last policy campaign he’s waging. It's a sort of farewell gift to us. He wants to wake New Mexico up to the silent plague that for at least 20 years has been mowing down hundreds of our young people. It kills them in the prime of their lives—and incredibly, draws scarcely any attention.

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V.19 No.36 | 9/9/2010

Ortiz y Pino

Clash of the Governators

Or so the Martinez camp would have us believe

Watching Susana Martinez' gubernatorial campaign ads, I've been struck by how much they seem to be in sync with many of this summer's big-budget flicks. I suppose both her politics and our taste in fantasy are reflections of our national mood in 2010.

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V.19 No.31 | 8/5/2010

Ortiz y Pino

Sleight of Mouth

When professional magicians make coins, cards or pigeons disappear, we call it “sleight of hand.”

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V.19 No.23 | 6/10/2010

Ortiz y Pino

Missed It by This Much

I just spent a year campaigning for lieutenant governor. Looking at the experience through the lens of some of the many numbers involved gives a peek inside electoral politics. It also offers a glimpse of how much work it will take to recapture democracy in New Mexico. Consider these digits:

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V.19 No.22 | 6/3/2010
Bill Moyers

Ortiz y Pino

To Salvage Democracy

Bill Moyers’ last ever episode of “Journal” ran on PBS a few weeks back. I missed it but heard so many comments that I found it online and spent an hour and a half watching it.

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V.19 No.16 | 4/22/2010

Ortiz y Pino

Hunting Elusive Budgetary Fat

Gov. Bill Richardson’s veto pen struck down the food tax and blew a giant hole in the state budget. So the need to destroy a mythical “budgetary fat” monster is sitting heavy on the shoulders of New Mexico lawmakers. Take it from me, a senator on the Senate Finance Committee.

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V.19 No.12 | 3/25/2010

Ortiz y Pino

Whose Waterloo Was It?

If I’ve been critical of President Obama and congressional Democrats for watering down legislation during the health reform debate (and I certainly have, on many occasions these last months), then why did I feel such a sense of elation over the bill’s passage Sunday night?

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V.19 No.10 | 3/11/2010

Ortiz y Pino

An Unhappy Compromise

The special session of the Legislature accomplished in four days what was impossible in 30: reaching an agreement on how to plug a $600 million gap in next year's budget. Legislators did it because the pressure was on—and because a lot of preliminary work was done the week before. That work at least provided a starting point for heavy negotiations.

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V.15 No.17 | 4/27/2006

Ortiz y Pino

Battleship APS

Charter schools can offer innovative ideas, but only if APS pays attention

I recently visited one of the five original Albuquerque charter high schools, the Public Academy for the Performing Arts (PAPA). Together with Amy Biehl, Southwest Secondary Learning, South Valley Academy and Twenty First Century Charter High School, PAPA was granted a charter eight years ago and greeted its first students a year later.

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V.15 No.13 | 3/30/2006

Ortiz y Pino

And Counting

Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.

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