Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news - Oct. 12, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS DOWN! NECESSARY CONCLUSION. Mora County resident Rudolph “Rudy” Muniz, 53, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and two counts of causing great bodily harm. The charges stem from a February accident at Lincoln and Grand avenues in Las Vegas.
Muniz was reportedly driving drunk — his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit — when he ran a stop sign and was hit by another vehicle, resulting in the death of Muniz’s friend, Manuel Olivas, and the injury of two others.

THUMBS DOWN! MAKES YOU WONDER. Richard Baca, 24, who was acquitted last year in a fatal road-rage incident that left Benito Lemos dead, has been charged in another vehicular incident — this one for allegedly shooting at a reckless driver. The incident took place at 3 a.m. on Sept. 29 in Albuquerque, according to online court records.
This latest incident makes one wonder about Baca’s stability. At the very least, he should quit carrying a gun with him while driving anywhere.

THUMBS UP! COUNTDOWN UNDER WAY. They may have been running since the day after the 2008 election, or even before, but now it’s down to less than a month. Then we’ll know whether Barack Obama will serve another term or if Mitt Romney will become our next president (unless, heaven forbid, we have a repeat of the too-close-to-call election of 2000).
Two debates and a whole lot of political hyperbole to go. Hang on a little longer, then we can at least pretend to be One Nation again.

THUMBS UP! EARLY AND ABSENTEE VOTING. Of course, voters don’t have to wait until the Nov. 6 election day to cast their ballots. Here in New Mexico, absentee and early voting got started Tuesday. In San Miguel County, you can vote at the County Clerk’s office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (except for the lunch hour between noon and 1 p.m.) every weekday through Nov. 3.
We suspect that, like most presidential election years, the turnout will be relatively high, so if you want to avoid the lines, vote early. It’s too important an election to miss.
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“After reviewing the alleged complaint with the response received by Viola Vigil, we do not find evidence of a potential violation of the Campaign Reporting Act in this matter.”
— Ken Ortiz, chief of state for the Secretary of State, regarding Las Vegas attorney Jesus Lopez’s request for an investigation into Vigil’s campaign expenditures in her bid for San Miguel County treasurer.