Thursday, May 24, 2007
Udall Struts; Says New Assignment is Bringing NM Goodies, Plus, The Santa Fe Crime Outrage; Politicos Pressured, And: "Lightning Rod" Adair Sued
NM U.S. Dem Rep. Tom Udall is the new guy on the block with bragging rights, and he's starting to strut. Named at the start of the year to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Udall, a member of the majority party in the House, is boasting of his prowess. Here's an example from his office:
Udall, D-N.M., helped the Valles Caldera National Preserve receive a major bump in proposed federal funding in the House Subcommittee on Interior and Environment Appropriations.In April, Udall requested a significant increase in funding over the mere $850,000 proposed by the Bush Administration in their Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) budget request. At Udall's urging, the subcommittee, to which he was appointed in January, upped federal funding to total $3.5 million for the Preserve.
With funding for the national labs, like Los Alamos, appearing to have peaked for now, pork from other pockets of the federal budget will be eyed hungrily in the needy north, with Udall being told to bring it on.
THE SANTA FE OUTRAGE
Speaking of the north, the Santa Fe crime outrage continues, with yet another woman raped by a stranger. From the New Mexican: "An attacker threw a woman to the ground in the parking lot of a hotel off North St. Francis Drive early Tuesday morning and raped her, marking Santa Fe’s 10th attack on women since last fall..."
This is a disgrace for Mayor Coss and the city council. Santa Fe is a small city and this type of crime (and numerous others of late) signals an out-of-control problem. They need to divert resources to public safety, even if it means pain elsewhere in the city budget. Santa Fe Sheriff Greg Solano is pitching in with his department's manpower. We were one of those suggesting that and are glad to see it, but ultimately making the city safe is a city task. (Can something be done to get some faster help from the feds via our congressional delegation?)
The human cost of the crime wave is obvious; the harm to the city's international reputation and its business outlook is coming. The police announced a series of public meetings on crime for each of the four city council districts, but the people of Santa Fe don't need PR meetings; they need a fully-funded police force and cops that share their outrage and are ready to stop the crime wave in its tracks. Mayor Coss, Police Chief Johnson and the city councilors need to get moving.
HERE IN RIVER CITY...
Should we also be freaking out over the police department in ABQ and the padding of its payroll to make it look as if it has more officers than it says? The charge comes from ABQ City Councilor Brad Winter who is seeking re-election this year. ABQ has always has been a violent city, but If Mayor Chavez has done anything, it has been to keep a lid on crime. Outbreaks like those occurring in Santa Fe are met with swift reaction. The Duke City mayor has become fixated with getting the number of cops up to 1,000 and Winter, who lost for mayor against Chavez in '05, is taking advantage as that number is having difficulty being met. An ABQ crime problem? It's perpetual, but not close to being out of control. Winter is right to point out any payroll padding, and Chavez is right to continue to make public safety his biggest concern.
Roswell State Senator "Lightning Rod" Adair has a legendary temper (just ask former NM House Speaker Raymond Sanchez) and now it has gotten him in some legal hot water. A lawsuit has been filed against the hard-right, firebrand lawmaker. He has been accused of blocking an activist Dem from a senate hearing and having a verbal confrontation with him. Rod says the complainer has filed multiple lawsuits and is a troublemaker of longstanding. The ACLU, surely one of Republican Rod's least favorite organizations will press ahead with its suit.
State Senator Cynthia Nava (D-Dona Ana) and companion Ron Curry, Secretary of the NM Environment Department, sent me this pic of Cynthia handling an Alligator at the Everglades in Florida,. Obviously this one is not as threatening as the political alligators who populate our area. But I did notice some tape on that Gator's mouth that the senator is holding. Does he have some news that Cynthia and Ron are keeping from us? Well, if he does it's probably better than the info one Alligator from here gave us early last year when they said Nava would seek a seat on the Public Regulation Commission. It never happened. That Alligator is now featured in a new line of Rio Grande luggage.
Enjoy the long holiday weekend, and if you need to rent a car to enjoy it even more, please keep our sponsor, New Mexico's enterprise rent-a-car, in mind. They can take you wherever you want to go. Email your news and comments from the link at the top of the page and help keep the politics coming.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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