Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Sanchez Brothers And The New Era Of Limits, Plus: Latest News From The Hot GOP Campaign Trail, And: Honolulu Alligator Checks In
GOP state Senator Sue Wilson Beffort won't have to deal with any more fiery comments about her highly paid husband when she starts talking about trimming the sails of state government. The University of New Mexico says one of two vice-president positions it is eliminating because of the Great Recession belongs to Steve Beffort, hubby of Sue and VP for Institution Support Services. Beffort will take early retirement.
Every time we blogged about Senator Sue's attacks on the Guv hiring too many political employees the email came in blasting her for not calling for UNM to reduce its administrative spending. Now she can shout without taking arrows. Beffort was paid $194,000 a year.
The newspaper has reported we have 19 UNM VP's pulling down $4.5 million a year. We have two gone. So should we say two down and maybe a dozen more to go?
THE NEW ERA
New Mexico faces severe limits on its public spending in the years ahead. Will we leave in place the top-heavy political patronage culture and force the working classes to shoulder the inevitable cuts?
But it's all nitpicking to old time politico and UNM Board of regents President Raymond Sanchez. He says eliminating the veeps "is not going to be that large of an impact."
The former state House speaker and his brother, state Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, both Democrats, have been seemingly oblivious to the populist wave washing across the state and causing the public to demand a curb on the excesses in state government and educational institutions. Raymond seems flippant when it comes to the fury over the UNM VP embarrassment and Michael has grown a tin ear, supporting an increase in the food tax.
But they are not alone in their resistance. The slow, but inexorable economic change taking place in the state is also causing ABQ public schools officials and APS board members to insist that administrative spending is under control, and that 1,500 emails flooding into the schools demanding reform are simply "misinformed."
Meanwhile, the chairs of the legislative education committees fail to conduct hearing on just what comprises "administrative" spending. Is it defined differently here than elsewhere?
The Sanchez brothers of Belen are among the most politically savvy politicos the stae has produced, but the times are a changin'. Raymond is right that the money saved by eliminating those two VP's is marginal, but the point is not the money, it is the direction we are headed. The payroll padding and the tax break raids for the wealthy staged by the political classes, so acceptable when the streets were paved with honey, doesn't sell in the new Era of Limits. Just ask the folks in Belen.
After all the talk about her $100,000 campaign contribution from an Artesia oi land gas company, GOP Guv hopeful Susana Martinez is out with a report that says she has raised more money than any of the give GOP Guv candidates--when you exclude personal loans.
Martinez says she has raised $569,329 since the campaign started last year; Pete Domenici Jr; $302,107; Doug Turner; $214,325; Allen Weh; $435,896 and Janice Arnold-Jones has raised $77,144.
Weh has loaned himself $750,000 and Turner has come with several hundred thousand in personal cash. Domenici has kicked in $70,000 of personal money.
If you take away Martinez's $117,000 from Mack Energy, she would still be atop the money list, minus personal loans. The point to be taken from this is that the two candidates who passed the critical test of getting more than 20 percent of the delegates support at the preprimary convention--Martinez and Weh---are also in the lead in raising money from individual contributors.
History says either Weh or Martinez will be the GOP nominee because no one has ever won the nomination without getting that 20 percent preprimary support. The fund-raising indicates the same.
Doug Turner is back on the air with a new and edgy TV spot. He is the third GOP hopeful on the air. The ad seems to appeal to a younger crowd, now if Doug can only get them to the polls. Turner did not say if he would be spending as much as Weh Martinez on his TV. He told me earlier this week he was still on the hustings raising money to avoid spending the $260,000 he has in his cash account, much of it his personal funds.
The Media Mavens say a statewide candidate needs to spend about $50,000 a week on TV in the early going to get their message out. In the final weeks, candidates often go to $100,000 a week.
Alligators report hearing the first radio ads for Pete Domenici Jr. No word yet on content. The Gators also report that Pete Jr. has grown back the beard he had before announcing for Governor. How's that for earth shaking political news?
A RECORD HOLDER
NM GOP executive director Ryan Cangiolosi holds the record for having his name misspelled on this blog. We did it again Wednesday. Your record is safe in our hands, Ryan.
A self-described "South Valley Alligator" sends a photo and this missive from the sandy shores of Honolul, Hawii:
I saw the story about city unions asking ABQ Mayor Berry to eliminate 57 jobs at the 311 phone service run by the city. he union folks should know that 311 makes them look very good, has helped repair the image of city workers, and helps reduce costs.
Unions serve a purpose in the world of work in America, but lashing out at other hard working city workers is counterproductive. Unions should be lauding the work done by the 311 team. It helps justify all other city jobs by tracking the work done by all! A South Valley Gator reporting live from Honolulu...
I hope that Alligator doesn't scare the swimmers...
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
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