Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Waiting On Guv Commission Decision, Plus: Sanchez Ally Says Don't Rule Out Guv Run, And: Recession And Swine Flu Watches 

With only days to go before she departs, speculation is reaching a fever pitch over who will replace Democratic Bernalillo County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta. She is taking a job with the Interior Department in D.C., leaving three and a half years of her term to be filled by an appointment from Big Bill. Here's some informed speculation from a politico who has a definite idea on what is about to come down:

Two inside sources tell me that the nod goes to Judith Espinosa (former NM Expo manager)... The decision was based on three factors: 1) the Governor wants to avoid any more Democratic character flaw scandals 2) he wants to replace a Hispanic Female with a Hispanic Female. 3) Deanna approves of Espinosa...

Other names mentioned as possibles include former commissioners Lenton Malry and Tom Rutherford, former state Senator Shannon Robinson and flood control board member Danny Hernandez. But it appears the arrow is pointing in Espinosa's direction. What a plum appointment. You serve almost a full term before having to run in 2012.


That political speculation is sourced anonymously and it's a lot of fun. But it sends the journalistic purists into fits of apoplexy. We were asked about it recently while being interviewed by veteran NM newsman Wally Gordon of The Independent, a newspaper for the East Mountains. We explained that we mainly use anonymous sources to reveal insider political machinations, not big news stories that have widespread societal impact. For those, we usually get our stuff on the record. Anonymous info on the political process greases its wheels. It always has, and it even makes a small contribution to government transparency.

Not that anonymous sourcing in reporting big news does not also have a role. Many of today's reporters and bloggers don't remember what was arguably the biggest political story of the last 100 years--Watergate. It was built almost entirely on the prudent use of anonymous sources.


This is our personal blog, not a journalistic organ like a daily newspaper. But if we did not get our information right most of the time, we wouldn't have many readers and our stories would not be reproduced, as they often are, in a wide variety of other media.

It's understandable that some want to place us in a journalistic cubbyhole. We've received considerable notice over the years for breaking a lot of news with our "unorthodox" methods. But we didn't start a blog in 2003 to adhere to someone else's ideas; we're here to break the rules, and maybe conceive some of our own. In fact, we'll be rebelling until they throw dirt on us. We're glad to have you along for the ride. Each day we write we work to earn your trust.

Thanks for the question, Wally. Now, it's back to the action....


Speaking of our Alligators, they broke the news here last week that the city's chief financial officer, Anna Lamberson, was leaving to take a job in Iraq helping to rebuild local governments there. The ABQ Journal confirms the news and comes with details.


We're getting push back on the notion that State Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez is unlikely to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010 if Diane Denish remains the only Anglo candidate. An operative of Sanchez's insists the senator is likely to form an exploratory committee soon and a formal announcement of a run could follow. So far, Denish is the only announced candidate, with actor Val Kilmer still mentioned as a possible, but not quite as loudly in recent weeks.

Sanchez would not have to give up his Belen area senate seat to run. He is not up for re-election until 2012. However, financing a guv run remains an issue, as does his low name ID. Supporters argue that Sanchez would likely be the only Hispanic candidate in the race, positioning him for major gains. They say they see Denish as a candidate who still has not sealed the deal. But Sanchez may have start putting out some stronger signals if he is going to be treated as anything more than a spoiler. Stay tuned.


Here's a story about newspapers that doesn't involve someone losing their job. It was little noticed, but the Rio Rancho Observer has been sold by Wick Communications to Dave McCollum the owner of the weekly Las Cruces Bulletin.


The AP has been going over the latest candidate financial reports. Here's their report on Big Bill's presidential campaign account and how it is now debt free.

This Bloomberg report is also making the rounds. It is about how the Guv's various political committees raised nearly $200,000 from brokers hired by money managers seeking to handle $11.7 billion in state trust funds.


The Wall Street Journal editorial page likes a good fight, and they've picked one with NM Attorney General Gary King over his campaign contributions. The latest in this editorial from the 2 million circulation paper. Is this the end of the scrap? We're standing by.


Some leftovers from the Saturday Democratic Party State Central Committee meeting from Stephanie Dubois:

I won my re-election as Congressional District Two Vice-Chair, my fourth term. I thought I would be unopposed. But an 11th hour candidate in Michelle Mares challenged me. But I was able to survive because I had done my homework and got my letters and e-mails out early...Competition is good and Michelle has always been a supporter of mine..


If you live in ABQ, your home is likely worth less than it was a year ago--about 2.5 percent less on average when you compare February 2009 with Feb. 2008. During the bubble, ABQ housing prices did not soar into the stratosphere as they did in places like Las Vegas and Phoenix, so we are not landing as hard. But they are still falling, meaning many folks who were taking loans against their houses can't do it anymore and that means less money being spent around here. Not that you didn't already know that.


Readers along the New Mexico-Mexico border wonder if they are going to see Mexican citizens trying to get into NM hospitals in their areas as the swine flu spreads. That's just one of the possible implications. This soft economy doesn't need a scare that keeps people out of the restaurants and movie theaters or engaging in other public activities. Senator Jeff Bingaman comes with this:

The Border Influenza Sentinel Surveillance Network, a program created with funding from Bingaman’s U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission and established to improve bi-national health emergency preparedness and surveillance of pandemic flu, is expanding their surveillance and preparedness in response to Swine Influenza outbreak.


There is one member of the NM congressional delegation who is also a veteran. Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman served in the Army Reserves from 1968 to 1974. In the first draft of our blog Monday, we said no members of the delegation had served in the military...

Former University of New Mexico President Louis Caldera is gone but not forgotten. He screwed up in his new job as Director of the White House Military Office and we got a bunch of reader e-mail about it.

From David Letterman: "Exxon Mobil was atop the Fortune 500 list with a profit last year" of "$45 billion...Second place? The company that makes those foreclosure signs."

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