Friday, November 26, 2010

Picking Over The Thanksgiving Leftovers Of La Politica: NM Movie Making, Hispanic Voting Lessons And Solano's Slip 

Our cherished New Mexico has always had a hold on the national imagination. That's why most observers can't imagine Governor-elect Susana Martinez seeking to completely eliminate the tax credit that attracts Hollywood to the Land of Enchantment. But the evidence is mounting that our state--and others--may be too generous in its determination to attract film makers. From Bloomberg:

A (Michigan) agency found the price of the program -- which covers as much as 42 percent of local expenses -- exceeds the economic activity generated. Jobs created in 2009 cost the state about $193,000 each, the agency estimated. Incentives for Hollywood have been scaled back in Wisconsin, capped in Rhode Island, suspended in New Jersey, Iowa and Kansas and scheduled to expire in Arizona.

New Mexico offers filmmakers a generous 25% tax credit for all expenses associated with making a film here.

Over the past three years 118 film and TV productions were paid $181 million through the program.

But if our experience at recent speaking engagements is any indication, the program has support. We were questioned about it at two events where we reviewed the 2010 election.

Martinez is indicating she could support a cap on the amount of money handed out as a tax credit. Ending the incentive entirely, as some propose, would mean all those 10 year old kids around the USA playing cowboy might not hear as much about New Mexico as they once did. The film incentives are not only about making sure the state gets a good immediate economic return, but keeps a grip on the nation's imagination. That is what continually fuels an untold number of visits to this state of unparalleled beauty and mystery.


Lessons from the 2010 voting when it comes to the Hispanic vote:. The New York Times says in an editorial:

As the Hispanic electorate continues to grow faster than the overall population in the years ahead, the 2010 election should be a useful lesson. Anti-immigrant demagoguery occasionally works, as it did in a number of Republican victories in Arizona this year. But more often it will produce an angry reaction among a growing group of committed voters.

By they way, exit poll estimates say Republican Susana Martinez pulled 38% of the New Mexico Hispanic vote. That's excellent for a GOP contender, but not a high-water mark.
In 2004, it's estimated that Bush won 40% of the Hispanic vote.


Was there anyone not surprised about outgoing Santa Fe Sheriff Greg Solano being charged with embezzlement?

Stating he is "like many Americans, caught up in financial crisis and facing foreclosure on his home, Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano on Wednesday owned up to stealing county property and selling items on eBay for personal profit.

New Mexico State Police confirmed they have been investigating Solano for embezzlement for at least four months, and while criminal charges have not yet been filed, they are forthcoming.

Solano said personal financial problems prompted his theft. The newspaper ran a sidebar that showed Solano's financial problems go back years, but we never hard about them when he was a candidate. Solano made a brief run for the 2010 Dem lieutenant governor nomination. He still has a Web site up where he talks about being raised by a single mother in Santa Fe and using food stamps.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

From Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan reporting.

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