Monday, March 28, 2005

Heather Off The Hook?, Plus: Pancho Padilla Lives! And: My Bottom Lines For A New Mexico Monday 

Rep. Wilson
The Prez's job approval numbers have dipped into the mid 40's and the head of the Senate Finance Committee says the White House Social Security reform plan is dead. For GOP ABQ Congresswoman Heather Wilson all that may actually be good news. If Bush's plan dies in committee it will never go to a vote on the House floor where she would be put on the spot. Wilson has been on the fence on whether to allow individuals to invest some of their Social Security taxes in the stock market. Dems have been nurturing the issue against her, but with this latest news they may need to find a way to keep it alive if they hope it to dominate next year's campaign.


After our Thursday report recounting the missteps of business lobbyist J.D. Bullington with the Legislature this year, we received tips on the legendary NM liquor lobbyist Pancho Padilla, who was banned from the Legislature back in the 60's for crying out in public: "I own the Legislature." Readers wanted to let fellow political junkies know that Pancho is still alive, in his late 80's and still holding forth with political tales at the ABQ South Valley political hangout, Barelas Cafe.

I also received word from a Senior Alligator in Santa Fe that Pancho was playing on the political scene as recently as 2002. Our tapped in source reports Pancho's son worked for the NM Game and Fish Department and that Pancho went to Big Bill seeking his help in keeping his son in the job which he was appointed to by Governor Johnson. Like any good lobbyist Pancho walked away with something. His son got to stay with the Democratic administration for a few extra months before finally being let go.


Another late night bout of writing in a delirium led to some of my readers learning on Thursday that the late U.S. Senator Carl Hatch invented the parking meter. Sharp-eyed early morning risers, like former Congressional aide Jerry McKinney and others, pointed out that it was Carl Magee, an editor of the ABQ Tribune who did the inventing on this one.


The NM GOP has bought itself a building for a permanent headquarters, a move that has prompted much bitching among the party that loves family fights. Nevertheless, the building is on Osuna NE in ABQ and will be named after the late Colin McMilllan, a lifelong R who served in the Legislature, in Washington and as NM party chair......NM is a very poor state. We all know that. But not all of NM. The most recent local income figures show U.S. per capita income was $30,906. Los Alamos County was $48,485, Santa Fe County was $32,932 and Bernalillo $30,204. Among the states, Bernalillo County would rank about 18th and Los Alamos near the top.

Heard on the street: "Where did Judge Brennan get his cocaine? Answer: "From the ABQ police department's evidence room!" Brennan, you'll recall, was busted for drinking and snorting coke last year. By the way, friends of the former judge report he is now living in Sacramento, Ca. We reported earlier that he had taken a job with longtime friends, the billionaire Maloof family, also former of the Big Duke City. And in case you are out of town, missing evidence, including drugs, from the APD evidence room is now the subject of a myriad of investigations. We wouldn't want you to miss a joke, not on a Monday.

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