Monday, December 27, 2010
Changing Of The Guard Week: Susana Edges Closer To The Eye Of The Storm As Bill Says His Goodbyes, Plus: Those New Roundhouse Faces
Is Governor-elect Martinez coming up short on "northern experience" in her first round of appointments? One of our Senior Alligators thinks so. He notes that none of the new cabinet members or ranking personal staff hail from the north. Could that cause problems for the Las Cruces Governor as she tries to navigate a bureaucracy long dominated by a northern culture?
When David Cargo was governor('66-70) he tried to move many state offices to Albuquerque. Thus, a "state office building" at 5th and Marquette. (Former State Senator) Fabian Chavez of Santa Fe, in his book, brags that he stopped this move and saved jobs for the North. Lonesome Dave probably was thinking about the convenience of all the state employees that lived in Albuquerque.
Anyone who has worked in state government in Santa Fe knows that the culture there is Northern New Mexico and not Albuquerque and definitely not Las Cruces. As the Governor-elect continues to surround herself with people not familiar to the Santa Fe bureaucrats and appoint people who have little experience working in the tight cultural community that is Northern New Mexico, one must wonder when her plans will founder in the Northern New Mexico bureaucratic maze...
Martinez still has time to make a "northern connection." She has filled only nine of the 23 cabinet positions. (Of course, if she is truly determined to cut state government, do we really need 23 cabinet level departments?)
THE LEGACY BEAT
And what about the man about to leave the Governor's chair? There's plenty of legacy pieces coming from the state's fish wrappers. In all of them, Big Bill gives himself a grade of "A" for his often frenetic eight years at the helm. He will hear little quibbling over that assessment for his first four years, but the second term things got dark and went south. The AP exit interview with Bill is here. The ABQ Journal takes a look back here. KOB-TV comes with the exit video here.
And how does Bill feel about the media interviewing him? From the Journal:
Do you think you've been treated fairly by the New Mexico media, including the Journal, during your two terms?
Richardson: I think the television media on the whole has been fair, but I think the Albuquerque Journal has been unfair and biased, and driven by a political agenda. I think it's mainly been editorial decisions and certain columnists. But that's part of the game — I'm just reflecting on eight years.
The newspaper also put together a video slide show of Richardson's long political career. You can see it here. The soundtrack is kind of spooky, but the pics are cool.
One of the state's favorite pastimes this past year has been speculating about Bill's future. The 63 year old says he will open a center for peace in Santa Fe and do some traveling. Nevertheless, the speculation, some outlandish, is going to continue right up until New Year's Eve. For example, the Korea Times thinks Richardson is in line to replace Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. Has anyone told her?
THE NEW ROUNDHOUSE
It won't be just a new Governor we get January 1, there will be 12 new faces in the 70 member NM House. They are profiled here.
And how do the eight new Republican faces in the House feel about forming a coalition of Dems and R's to rule the roost with Dem Joe Cervantes of Las Cruces in the speaker's chair, replacing the venerable Ben Lujan?
None of the new Republicans interviewed seemed eager to commit to forming a coalition with Democrats to dethrone House Speaker Ben Luján--a move that Rep. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, is considering. Most said they wanted to learn more and discuss the matter with their colleagues before taking a stance on the leadership issue...
That's good news for Dem Speaker Lujan. But we'll have to wait until Jan. 18--the opening day of the 60 day legislative session to see if its worth more to him than the paper it's printed
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2010 Not for reproduction without permission of the author