Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Huge Surplus Forecast; How About Some Dough Directly To You? Plus: A Report On Weekend GOP Meet, And: A Pollsters Final Take On 06' Results 

Where are the tax cuts? The really big ones? How about some rebates direct to to your mailbox? Those questions pop to mind upon hearing the latest stunning report out of Santa Fe that the state will have $723 million in "new money" for the 08' state budget. The Guv says he is proposing $100 million in tax cuts and credits, but that seems meager in light of the billions of surplus cash that has swamped the capitol the last four years because of the bull market in oil and gas prices.

The other question is: Where are the Republicans demanding that some of this booty go directly into your bank account? It appears, like the Dems, they're busy spending. The stupendous surpluses call not only for targeted tax relief as the Fourth Floor and the Legislature seem so warm towards and which leave them with hundreds of millions to finance their pork projects, but more cash back directly to taxpayers as other energy blessed states have done.

The Guv did do one year of energy tax rebates and has enacted tax cuts for the wealthy, but with this kind of money and our state investment funds bursting at the seams, you don't have to be a fiscal conservative to see the sense of giving taxpayers relief to offset the ever-increasing NM gross receipts tax, continued high pump prices and always-on-the-increase utility bills.

How about it Santa Fe?


So you don't want any of that huge surplus in your pocket, but you do want a new park for your neighborhood or that bumpy street down the way paved over. Why not apply for your very own pork project? You can do it here. Just line up a lawmaker to sign on to it for you. I can think of harder things.


There were no surprise punches pulled at that Saturday meeting of the state GOP Central Committee as some party loyalists feared. In fact, according to those there, fewer than 100 of the some 350 committee members bothered to show for the unusual year end meeting at the ABQ Hilton where party staffers continued to spin that the Nov. election was actually pretty good for the state's minority party; a viewpoint heartily disputed by not a few high-ranking R's.

Chairman Allen Weh did hand out some criticism to Bush-Cheney and their management of the Iraq war, saying it was largely responsible for the loss of the Congress to the Dems.

As for who will lead the party when Weh's term expires next April, don't rule Weh out yet from seeking another term. Other names circulating at the Saturday confab included unsuccessful GOP attorney general candidate Jim Bibb, short-lived GOP Guv candidate J.R. Damrron and Bernalillo County GOP Chair Fernando C de Baca. Roswell oilman Mark Murphy, who has been toying with the idea, now seems more doubtful.

It's the same old story when it comes to the GOP. "Moderate" R's like Senator Carraro and Murphy continue to call for a change in the direction and the staff and consultants for the party in order to grow the GOP. Meanwhile, the current crew in charge is doing all it can to keep a chairman who will let them keep their jobs and consulting deals. As usual, the state's GOP Congressional delegation is largely AWOL on the matter.

Here's an email sent to me from Allen Weh's email address, so we assume it is is his, or one of his lieutenants: "We aren’t happy with the 06’ performance, but we aren’t unhappy with where we wound up compared to other state GOP's. Most of them now have to plan on “recapturing” seats, but we don’t. We simply got dealt a hand that forced us to wait two more years before we take more offices which we will because it’s inevitable. The Democrat’s one party corruption in this otherwise great state will make it happen."

As they say, we shall see.

Now that all the votes have been officially counted, here is the "official" analysis {PDF} from Brian Sanderoff of Research and Polling. He points out, among other things, that after all the yelling and shouting the Dems maintained their grip on power, keeping seven of the ten statewide and congressional offices that were on the ballot, the same as they had going in.

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