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LaDonna Harris American Indian Activist, NM Campaign Finance Laws & Hanna Skandera Testimony

Over the new three weeks (March 1, 8, & 15), NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS speaks with three special women in NEW MEXICO MAKERS – Judy Chicago, LaDonna Harris & Gov. Susana Martinez. These New Mexico stories tie-in with the national PBS special, MAKERS: WOMEN WHO MAKE AMERICA, the first film to tell comprehensive story of how women have transformed America over the last half-century. These interviews focus on what led these women to be groundbreakers in their fields. What makes a “MAKER?”

This week: LaDonna Harris, American Indian activist and founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity. Among her many accomplishments is being instrumental in the return of the Taos Blue Lake to the people of Taos Pueblo.

This week on NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS, time is winding down in Santa Fe as lawmakers have a little more than a week to finish work in the 2013 legislative session. High-profile pieces of legislation such as driver’s license laws and social promotion bills have fallen by the wayside, but The Line opinion panel looks at a bipartisan effort to reform New Mexico’s campaign finance laws in a post-Citizens United era.

After waiting more than two years for a confirmation hearing, Hanna Skandera, the secretary-designate at the state education department, finally got her day – or days – in the Senate Rules Committee. But after two days of controversial testimony, the committee recessed without taking a vote. Will Skandera continue to work in limbo? Will it matter? The Line takes a look.

The Plan in the office of Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry was to beautify the Bosque and add to the river trail system using city bonds. But two Republican city councilors successfully booted The Plan items from the bond issue, to free up money for other projects. The mayor still has options to fund his projects, but The Line looks at what’s behind the vote.

The American Graduate series returns with a visit to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. “Bigs” as they’re called have filled a valuable role in helping students re-engage with school and keeping them on track to graduate.

Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, Senate Minority Leader
Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, Senate Majority Leader
Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming
Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe

Lonna Atkeson, UNM Political Science Professor
Dede Feldman, Former State Senator

Dan Foley, Former House Republican Whip
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group

Matt Grubs, NMiF Producer
Sarah Gustavus, Executive Producer, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation


The Producer of NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS is Matt Grubs. Associate Producer is Kathy Wimmer. Funding for this program was provided in part by the McCune Foundation. Subscribe to the New Mexico in Focus Podcast on iTunes.

Episode 636 for air March 8, 2013