Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Letter From The North; Summer's Embrace, Plus: Di & Susana Dodge Big Budget Question 

Northern New Mexico again embraces summer visitors as it has now for better than a century. Smooth roads and a verdant countryside make for a classic road trip through Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Mora, Penasco and surrounding points.

And while politics is off the mind in this bucolic summer setting, there are always signs of La Politica in Mora. That's where we snapped the pic posted here as we made our way south and back to the city.

We spent the evening of the Fourth at Eagle Nest Lake watching a state sponsored fireworks display. It was entertaining, but no music accompanied the show. That left us listening to the rap songs emanating from a neighboring car, replete with the "F word" in every sentence. We drowned them out some with Bobby Darin's greatest hits, having forgotten our "Stars and Stripes" album.

The next day we jumped on a pair of horses and headed into the mountains surrounding Angel Fire. Our guide wasn't in the mood for a day of indulging tourists so he broke into a full gallop over the narrow trail. We followed gallantly--if more awkwardly--and paid with some saddle pain the next day, but the experience was worth it.

The eagles, thankfully, still still soar near Angel Fire. We spotted one flying low over the open meadows and another's nest built high in a towering treetop. And when we headed north to Red River for a visit, a deer made us stop to let it cross the highway at the town's entrance. Nature has its pecking order here.

The newly renovated Angel Fire Country Club provided a relaxing venue for the afternoon of the Fourth. It's open to the public and the golf course is in good shape.

Business in the north seemed steady during our four days there, but not overwhelming. Our condo complex at Angel Fire was not full. But regardless of the ebb and flow in contemporary affairs, the northern venue retains the timelessness and beauty that defines the heart and soul of our Land of Enchantment.


GOP Guv nominee Susana Martinez wants to cut taxes, even as the state faces immense budget shortfalls. And she talks of reducing the state government payroll as one of the ways to finance new tax cuts.

She says she wants to reduce the size of government by removing exempt positions and some of the 3,200 vacant classified state jobs "that are funded and not necessary."

Trouble is, according to the state, the vast majority of those vacant jobs are not funded for the budget year that started July 1. The savings is already being realized thus there are no significant additional savings from that category to finance tax cuts.

Meantime, Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish and other top Dems won't talk about raising the personal income tax on the wealthy, even after the rate was dramatically reduced at the urging of Big Bill who wanted tax-cutting credentials for his 2008 presidential campaign.

Straight talk on the budget crisis from those seeking votes is hard to come by. It comes easier from the politico no longer seeking Election Day favor. For example, retired GOP US Senator Pete Domenici recently said balancing the federal budget will mean more tax increases as well as budget cuts.

If you don't want to do something like this, then hold onto your pants, because America's drowning.

Pete, could you pass that advice on to the Guv candidates here?

By the way, Domenici, who served 36 years in the Senate, was the 1970 NM GOP Guv nominee. He lost to Democrat Bruce King.


Did you see where a group of protesters led by former Democratic Bernalillo County Commissioner Steve Gallegos burned copies of the ABQ Journal? They were upset over the paper's coverage of the controversy at the county jail system.

Which got us to thinking. The quicker the fish wrappers go to an all-digital format, the safer they'll be from the flames, if not from the flaming they get on the Net...


Attention freshly minted and unemployed college grads:

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) seeks a Legislative Correspondent to handle healthcare, transportation, and telecommunications issues. Individuals will be responsible for drafting all constituent correspondence in their assigned issue areas...

Tom, could you put that job down here in New Mexico? We could use all the help we can get.

The people speak--we're the #1 political web site--and the home of New Mexico politics.

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