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NMPolitics.net is shutting down; here are my final two cents

Heath Haussamen

Heath Haussamen

I’ve not found a suitable buyer for NMPolitics.net, so I’m shutting down the site. Before I go, I want to leave you with some parting thoughts about the importance of finding common ground.

When I started looking for someone to purchase NMPolitics.net, I wasn’t sure what I was seeking. I knew I wanted my successor to continue the site’s journalistic integrity and its nonpartisan focus. Other than that, I was open to ideas.

Some journalists considered it but passed for various reasons. Two newspapers thought about it but decided the site’s identity was too closely tied to mine. In other words, they think NMPolitics.net and me are inseparable.

While I think otherwise, the decision was theirs to make.

In short, I’ve not found a suitable buyer for this site. Regrettably, that leaves me with one option: to shut down NMPolitics.net. I’ll leave the site up for archive purposes. Nearly seven years of work by me and others exists here. I believe it’s important to continue to provide access to those archives.

So consider this my farewell column. I want to thank you, NMPolitics.net’s readers, donors, advertisers, and others who helped make this site a success for 6.5 years. I could not and would not have done it without you.

I want to leave you with some parting thoughts:

This country works when people come together

We’re in the heat of yet another divisive election season. Countless dollars are being spent on messages that point out how different we are instead of reminding us of what we have in common. Politicians are working to divide us. Other groups are doing it. Many in the media are doing it.

In the power struggle that is the game of politics, they exaggerate our differences and ignore one key fact: What we have in common is greater than our differences.

I’m not downplaying our disputes, which are many. But at the end of the day, even our Republican governor and the GOP U.S. Senate candidate, like most on the right, believe in a government safety net, even if they think it should be smaller than it currently is. And most on the left agree that we need thriving companies, and that winning their business sometimes involves giving concessions, even if they think our government currently gives too much.


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Who doesn’t want to live in a society in which we can make enough money to take care of ourselves and our families, get a good education and medical care, and have freedoms including the right to influence how our society operates? And who among us doesn’t want the same for others?

The details are where our differences lie. But when it comes down to it, we inhabit the same planet. We’re all human beings, though we may sometimes think otherwise about those with whom we disagree.

I’ve written on this topic frequently for NMPolitics.net. In my mind, one of the most notable posts came when I covered former Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s speech at the 2008 Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces.

Dodd traveled all the way from Washington to honor his retiring friend – the legendary Republican from New Mexico – and to talk about the civility and respect that once existed in Washington that today is sorely lacking.

“It’s important to know that this country works when people of different ideas can come together to make a difference,” Dodd said.

I firmly believe that. I believe 100 senators honestly debating a policy and looking for compromise can come to a better solution to our problems than me or any other individual can alone.

We can be better than this

But we spend too much of our time instead playing the game and ramping up the rhetoric as we jockey for power. As a result, we live in one of the most divided and dysfunctional times in our nation’s history.

I say to all of you – Democrats, Republicans and others – that we can do better than this. We can be better than this. I challenge you to be better than this.

If we spent our time focusing on common ground instead of fighting, our society would have fewer problems. I really believe it’s that simple.

I’m heading off to focus on New Mexico In Depth – a project I hope will help cut through the rhetoric and focus on what’s most important, and, in doing so, help us understand each other on a deeper level.

Understanding is the key to respect and civility, and to addressing our problems and creating a better society.

If we value our society and our future, developing a deeper understanding of each other is not optional. I hope NMPolitics.net helped some of you develop a deeper understanding of each other. It certainly did that for me.

Onward.

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14 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.

  1. Once again everyone, thanks for the kind words. Be sure to check out my new project – http://www.nmindepth.com. Expect good things… I am.

  2. Heath Haussamen:

    I hope that your further endeavors do much to change the culture of corruption that currently limits the success and prosperity of the people of New Mexico. Few are focusing on this problem, although many offer lip service.

    It took quite a while, but after you recognized the veracity of my factual assertions, I believe that your approval of my posts indicated a certain unspoken understanding of a common goal. In my estimation, you are a driven man and deserve every opportunity to create a better world through your investigative reporting. My only wish is that you stay strong and stay true.

    In the words of the recently departed Alexander Cockburn: “The weapon of the advocate is the sword of the soldier, not the dagger of the assassin.”   

    Best of luck, Heath.       

  3. Heath:  it pains me to see your site inactive.  You inspired me with your passionate integrity and your powerful journalistic skills.  I always considered it a privilege and a compliment when you posted one of my commentaries.  There is something deeply wrong when some of the best journalism in the state cannot be sustained financially, and your absence creates a hole in our understanding of our political system and of ourselves as New Mexicans.  Vaya con Dios.
    Jose Z. Garcia

  4. Good bye Heath.  It has been really fun.  I hope our paths will cross again out there in the blogs.  I will miss this site as it was more than just an echo chamber for either side.  We are just looking for some truth.
    This is how I feel…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFNqj3RGUuM
     

  5. Thanks Dr. J! Give us a chance to do good work. I’m confident we’ll win you over. :-)

  6. Thank you Heath, I do trust that will be the case, but the Kellogg group’s reputation precedes it, that is why I worry.  Also, excellent essay here, a great parting gift to your loyal readers, best of luck.

  7. Good Luck with your new venture, Heath, I wish you well. Thank you for publishing my essays and letting me in on the conversation it gave me a healthy shove in the right direction.
    In a perfect world we would all be pursuing the same or similar goals. This is, as you well know, not a perfect world but one defined by motives on both sides of every issue. It is, of course, those motives which define the narrative and which are not always made plain and sometimes purposefully obscured. Good journalism and good editorial commentary is how we penetrate the surface and uncover motives and hidden agendas exposing them to public view. I’m looking forward to New Mexico In Depth digging into the issues and shining a bright light on what is behind the news and behind the rhetoric. I’m certain you will do that. Good luck. Emanuele

  8. Dr. J, the funders of New Mexico In Depth have no control over editorial content. I would not have undertaken such a project under such conditions.

  9. Yes, very unfortunate, no telling what the new Kellogg sponsored site will be like, I am not optimistic, will it be real journalism, or influenced?

  10. Leaves me with a heavy heart to see this site go away.  I am sure we will see much more of you at the state and national levels.

  11. Heath – sad to see the blog disappear. Please keep the blog’s archives alive. There is so much valuable information on the blog. Thanks

  12. Heath, I am sorry to see you go, I always appreciated your in depth reporting
    and fairness in any topic you covered.  The best to you and your family, take
    care.  Ken Miyagishima

  13. Thanks for the service. This is a big loss for our state. The KOB/KOAT/Journal/NM Mexican etc. don’t give us news about what is happening politically here. I hope someone can step in and fill the void..

  14.     Heath. I hate to see you go, but it’s the right move. I’ll miss your insightful and balanced look at this crazy thing we call politics and government. Best wishes in your new endeavor. I know that with the ethics, integrity and honesty you brought to NMPolitics you will enjoy success.
        Bernie

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