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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Coalition In State House Looks Shaky; Not All R's Aboard; Cervantes "Reluctant?" 

A coalition of R's and a handful of Dems talking over the state House is fun to talk about, but making it happen is looking shakier than cafeteria Jell-O.

First, there's 33 Republicans--more than we've had in decades. They all must want that coalition. While not saying he would vote against a coalition, one of them told me on background they are against the idea. They called it too divisive and uncertain that it would advance the conservative agenda.

If that R and any other bolted from the coalition concept it would make it highly doubtful it would be pulled off.

Then there is Dona Ana County Democratic State Rep. Joe Cervantes who is the chief spear carrier for the coalition. On this front I am told through the grapevine that Cervantes has not yet decided to join with the R's and a handful of Dems to do the deed. Cervantes isn't talking, but he is described to me by one insider tapped into his thinking as "reluctant" to take the step.

The R's meet in caucus this Saturday to pick their leaders for the legislative session that starts January 18. Perhaps we'll get more clues from that session. Meanwhile, Alligators, don't count your coalitions before they are hatched.

BILL AND SUSANA

On that Tuesday meeting between Big Bill and Susana, a reader writes:

You're right Joe, it was a tightly controlled event, but by Little Bill. But not for much longer huh? The lame-duck chose not to face the cameras or music. I'm sure Martinez would have enjoyed putting words to her body language and personally saying "toma" in front of all the cameras.

THE DEMISE OF "BOND D"

Reaction to the rare defeat of a higher-education bond issue.

And while the debate goes on over whether state public schools will feel the budget axe to help balance the budget, the cuts continue at the universities. UNM took a three percent hit last year and is in line for another five percent cut.

We see the new Governor redefining her stance when she says no cuts to public schools. She will likely separate out the "bureaucracy" that runs the school system and assert that bureaucratic cuts do not violate her campaign pledge to not shave the public schools budget.

Tuition increases at UNM are helping to cover some of the cuts, but how much more can you squeeze out of that lemon?

ELECTION IMPACT

The tremors from the election quake continue to reverberate in DC. New Mexico Dem US Senator Jeff Bingaman is among those shaken, reports Politico:

Senate observers say that the new conservative voices on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee could also shake up that panel’s bipartisan nature, where Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) prides himself on passing bills with GOP support and has a good relationship with Murkowski. "They're going to have to deal with some of the freshmen, that much you can be certain of,” said Gerard Waldron, a former Hill aide and Washington energy and communications lawyer.

FUTURE PLANS?


Sounds like Republican Matt Chandler, who lost for attorney general to incumbent Gary King, has future political plans. From a message to his supporters:

I am encouraged by the recent election of Governor-elect Susana Martinez and a number of other Republicans who are committed to taking this state in a new direction, and I am honored to have earned your support as well. This is just the beginning and I look forward to our paths crossing again soon.

Chandler was named this week to Governor-elect Martinez's transition committee charged with finding candidates for state public safety director and director of homeland security.

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