Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Big Bill Snags Another One; Radio Newsman Joins His Flock, Plus: Bob Schwartz's Sleeping Habits, And: Jeff Says Take The Money And Run
Will someone give the journalists of New Mexico a pay raise, or nicer bosses? They need something to help them resist the charms of Big Bill. We've lost count of how many news hounds have gone over to the "dark side" as paid flacks for the Guv, and the march into his arms continues unabated. KKOB-AM radio news director Alex Cuellar, is the latest to succumb. Insiders report Cuellar will ditch the 50,000 watt radio giant to plug the state General Services Department, led by Ed Lopez Jr. who carried water for the Guv over the state's purchase of that $5.5 million jet. (Does he get mad if you call him Eddie, like his legendary dad?)
Cuellar is a familiar voice to the NM public having first worked at 770 AM back in the 70's when he and I competed head-to-head on the streets of ABQ. He rejoined the station about seven years ago as a morning news anchor. It won't just be Lopez giving Cuellar a workout. The insiders say he will sometimes "be loaned" to Big Bill. Do they have enough chairs in that crowded press office?
SIMON'S SWAN SONG
Also from the media beat, KOB-TV political reporter Neil Simon is headed East. But before he goes he drops a half-hour documentary on Big Bill on channel 4 this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Simon, 27, has been with the station three years and is taking a fellowship with the American Poly Sci Association in D.C. where he'll work in a congressional office. After that, he hopes to return to the tube. Good job pushing that political news, Neil. You are henceforth an Honorary Alligator. Good luck.
WE'RE NOT DOGGIN' IT
The blog talk Tuesday on the race for attorney general brought back memories of the only recent Republican AG, Hal Stratton, a former state senator from ABQ's West side who won the job back in 86', the only R to do it since the Depression. He's now head of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission but recently ran into a big PR bump. Does former NM GOP ABQ State Rep. Joe Mohorovic now work with Hal? I think so.
As for GOP AG hopeful Bob Schwartz, he sleeps with dogs. Now be nice fellas. Here's the latest on how the Big Bill crime advisor ended up in the hospital. Is there enough for a soap opera here?
JEFF: TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN
If you are seeking re-election it would seem the last thing you would vote for is a pay raise for yourself. But that's just what NM Dem U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman did Tuesday and he's not apologizing. The cost of living adjustment (COLA), which would have added three grand a year to annual congressional paychecks of $162,000, went down on a 92-6 vote with Jeff one of the little six.
"...This amendment is the height of hypocrisy. The Republican majority has repeatedly voted for a COLA. Now that the approval ratings of the Republican-led Congress have sunk so low, they want to give the impression that they oppose an increase. If history is any indication, when this bill becomes law, it will contain an increase, and most who voted 'No' today will accept it,” blasted Bingaman who is seeking a fifth, six year term in 06'.
Bingaman has voted for the pay raise in the past saying federal workers deserve a pay hike, including congressmen. They may, but he might want to avoid putting the issue to a public vote. With the way politicians have been doing locally and nationally lately, the Potomac home boys might end up below the poverty line.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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