Never mind fending off the Alligators. Judging by the email that came pouring in here about ABQ Westside school board member Robert Lucero he could soon be swimming with the fishes. Well, maybe not that dire, but reaction to our Monday blog giving credit to Lucero for helping to persuade the Guv to put up cash for two new Westside high schools had the crowd on Lucero's trail. Some clarifying is definitely in order.
We didn't say Lucero was solely responsibile for the schools which will be built if the Legislature approves Big Bill's recommendation. Lucero himself pointed out that neighborhood activists, parents and the Guv deserve a large share of the credit. But yer little ol' blog is titled "New Mexico Politics" for a reason. We rate the ups and downs of our beloved politicos, not private citizens. After all, it is those elected who have the power over your purse and noone else.
Political junkies we consulted from both sides of the aisle handed out kudos, some begrudgingly, to Lucero for his lobbying tactics. But Westside activists like Cheryl Jorgensen, Joe Valles, Dan Serrano, State Senator Joe Carrarro and Laura Horton were also important players in winnng the schools. But if things went south the public and press wouldn't go looking for them, (excepting Carraro) but a posse would form to get the elected Lucero.CREDIT RATING
With that as background, here's a few on-the-record insider takes on the Westside school caper. First, Laura Horton, secretary for the Westside coalition.
"I'm all for giving Lucero credit for confronting the Guv but he was an invited guest of the friendly picket. The picket was solely a product of community members of the Northwest High School Planning Committee. Robert was just a happy member of the bandwagon, which included Westside students and parents. In addition, we have been working for over six months with the Westside coalition of neighborhood associations to achieve this goal. We gave the Guv's staff every opportunity to jump on this and when they didn't, the students and parents were called into play."
THE JOE VALLES VIEW
"It was members of the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood Associations that first introduced the "two high schools by '08," concept. We now have your "article" giving credit to Lucero, who wasn't even part of the initial discussions and who just lately "eased" into the "two schools" bit. You were way too generous. We've been working our collective asses off to get the Governor to do it and he did.
Valles is president of the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood AssociationsTHE GUV WEIGHS IN
And this from Big Bill's press office: "Obviously, the grassroots pressure from parents and students (including Robert Lucero) played a major role in the Governor’s decision. The parents and neighborhood leaders told him that they recognize he is a friend of the West Side, but they understandably wanted additional help from the state at a time when the state has the resources. The Governor agreed, stepped up to the plate, and will work with the Legislature to pass the needed legislation."
Lucero never sought us out. We called him and we maintain our original analysis that he scored on this one. But we won't be taking any walks with him along the river bank. Robert attracts too many Alligators.THEN THERE WERE THREE
That fierce fight for the Dem NM Attorney General nomination has one less warrior. ABQ trial lawyer Eric Sedillo-Jefferies is bowing out. He has called friends to pass the word, say our relaible sources. Will Eric endorse one of the other three contenders, Gary King, Geno Zamora or Lemuel Martinez? And what does the smaller field mean for this premier 06' race? We'll address those questions next week right here.
Appreciate your company. Come on by again soon and don't forget to email me your political news and comments.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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