Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Linda Lopez & The Deaniacs; No, It's Not a Rock Band, Plus: Lobbyist Maki Rebuts The Critics, Udall & The Pope, And: Again, We Go To The Birds 

Sen. Lopez
It would make a good name for a rock band: Linda Lopez and the Deaniacs. But the veteran Dem ABQ Valley State Senator is probably in no mood to joke about her whipping at the hands of supporters of onetime prez candidate and now Democrat National Chair Howard Dean. Lopez was unceremoniously dumped from her spot as chairwoman of the Bernalillo County Democratic Party and replaced by party liberal and oldtimer Marvin Moss.

"It was the Dean supporters who did did her in. They packed the precinct and ward meetings leading up to the county convention and they did Linda in," reported an Alligator in attendance at the weekend confab. "The post has lost its glamour. Just what does the county chair do? Not a whole lot," added our on-the-scene Gator.

But whatever the chair does, Linda Lopez will not being doing it. By any measure that is a setback. She has repeatedly been mentioned as a possible candidate for higher political office, everything from Guv to mayor, but her detractors are now saying she was unable to hold on to a relatively minor party post. That gladdens the hearts of her rivals, including friends of Light Guv Diane Denish who are tired of being taunted by the Lopez clan for keeping Linda off the ballot when the two sought the Dem nomination for Light Guv in 02.' Oh yeah, Big Bill isn't crying in his beer about this one either.


It takes a lot to rouse Santa Fe political pro Butch Maki, the low-key lobbyist and major friend of Big Bill. But our report Tuesday on his plans to start a phone company to serve the Navajo Rez did the trick. Maki picked up the instrument he hopes to spread to far-flung reservation areas to tell us his critics have gone overboard when they charge that a bill on Big Bill's desk would be a sweetheart deal for Butch and former Qwest honcho John Badal.

Maki declared: "Joe, there are no black helicopters on this one." The start-up company, Sacred Wind, will raise venture capital from private sources and will not be solely funded by the $15 million Rural Extension Fund paid for by Qwest customers, Maki said. The new company, Maki said, will be extending phone lines to Navajos in need previously identified by Qwest. Maki said the $5 million it will get from the Rural fund will be used for that purpose. The firm would make money by identifying other Navajos lacking phone service and tapping into federal phone fees set up for that purpose. The bill does call for eventually abolishing the Qwest Rural Extension Fund, but Maki says that's an issue for the Public Regulation Commission, not him. He is hopeful Big Bill, who he pledges fealty to, will sign the measure allowing the company to go forward.


It's not always easy representing super-liberal Santa Fe in the Congress, but Dem U.S. Rep Tom Udall might have gone a little too far in trying to cater to his base when he released this reaction to the death of the Pope:

"While not everyone agreed with everything he said or did, Pope John Paul's influence on the world has been pervasive and powerful. But whatever opinions people have made about individual positions the Pope has taken, few could fail to be moved by the courage of his life story, or the kindness of his personality."

Come on Tom, how about: "Sad to hear the Pope died. May he rest in peace." Sometimes the simple way is the way out.


Most of the bird watchers who chided me for identifying the birds to the left in last Thursday's blog as canaries also opined that they were parakeets. Well, they have birdseed all over them to. Here is what we think is the definitive word in this email:

"They are Conures, a South American variety of parrot. I own one.
Your Humble Servant, Hugh Soule"

Thanks Hugh. I especially like that "humble servant" part, as I probably should serve up the humble pie for being a bit of a "birdbrain" on this one.

To humble servant and the not so humble, thanks to all for tuning in. It's good to have you along for the ride which resumes right here in this space tomorrow.

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