Friday, December 10, 2010

Piece Of History Starts To Circulate: The Inaugural Invite; Yours Is Posted Here, Plus: Readers React To Overpaid PIO's And: A Campaign 2011 Kicks Off 

This is the cover art for the inauguration package that has gone out to supporters of Governor-elect Martinez as she prepares to take the oath of office January 1 on the Santa Fe Plaza.

Posted below (click to enlarge) are the prices to attend the "Bold Inaugural Ball" the evening of the first and the official invitation for the historic 10 a.m. oath taking which is open to the public.

Martinez's camp had been asked by the AP if they would limit contributions to the inauguration to the new $5,000 per person per campaign limit that is now state law. They have decided not to, believing the limit does not apply. They are taking some heat for not taking the opportunity to voluntarily limit the donations, thereby taking a stand against big campaign money and the pay to play politics she campaigned against. Ticket prices top out at $25,000 for a package of inaugural events. For that amount you become a "Silver Sponsor." However, individual tickets to the ball are being sold for as low as $100 each.

The ball will be held from 8 p.m. until midnight at the Santa Fe convention center and is by invitation only. But a public reception at 3 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts will be open to all comers who want to shake the hand of the new Governor and her husband.


Those too high salaries being doled out for public information officers at Bernalillo County drew our blogging attention this week an in turn that of PR consultant Edward Calabaza. He came with this missive:

As a former radio and TV reporter for 15 years, I have spent countless hours waiting to hear back from numerous Public Information Officers so I know an effective PIO is invaluable. A PIO's value increases if they regularly engage with and have an established relationship with the media...

On the other hand, as a taxpayer in one of the poorest states in the country facing a near half-billion dollar deficit, these salaries are outrageous. This is especially true for a position that previously did not exist (Liz Hamm-BernCo Clerk's Office). Lost in the salaries are the additional costs of any benefits that are paid by taxpayers, such as: vacation/sick leave, medical/dental insurance, etc.

Finally, I hope that all government bodies thinking about advertising for a PR person first consider hiring pr/media consultants, such as myself, to reduce these costs. Having worked as a PIO for the state Indian Affairs Department, I witnessed firsthand that many agencies don't need a full time PR person...


Another reader reaction to the overpaid PIO's:

There's a simple reasoning behind the PIO salaries. Most government entities are petrified of disclosing any real information to the poor public and so we have a whole new generation of highly paid Publicity Disinformation Officers creating Alice in Wonderland scenarios. They do not come cheap as they are mostly moonlighting screenwriters...


This is some of the least surprising news from our newsroom floor:

After months of waiting and still no financing forthcoming, Rio Rancho is ready to call it quits on a proposed solar manufacturing plant that was supposed to bring 1,500 jobs to the city.

The City Council next week will consider repealing an inducement resolution to issue $500 million in industrial revenue bonds to help the start up company build its proposed 1-million-square-foot plant. The city also plans to seek reimbursement from Green2V for $14,000 in legal fees it paid to prepare the bond documents.

This was Fantasy Island from the beginning, although Rio Rancho politicos and economic developers pushed back hard against those trying to restrain them. Maybe they learned something. City Manager James Jimenez:

Having the money in the bank before making the announcement--that's the most legitimate criticism," he said. "We went forward because of our relationship with Mr. Sheppard. In hindsight, not fully understanding the funding restraints is a legitimate concern."

More from the Rio Rancho Observer.


Get ready for the ABQ City Council elections. Incumbent GOP Councilor Trudy Jones is. She faces a stiff challenge from former GOP ABQ City Councilor Greg Payne. The news:

Veteran commercial real estate broker Trudy Jones is retiring from her day job to focus on serving as a city councilor and running for re-election in 2011.

"It's time to make a change," she said. "I'm cutting back to having only one job."

Jones was a commercial real estate veteran when she was elected unopposed in 2007 to City Council, representing District 8 in the far Northeast Heights. Serving on the council proved to be a full-time job as well as a labor of love, she said.

The city election is in October 2011. Four of the nine council seats are up for election. The Jones seat is in the far NE Heights and is heavy GOP.


John Sanchez
We have a joke for Lieutenant Governor-elect John Sanchez to tell to Governor-elect Martinez:

How does a lieutenant governor shake hands with the governor? He clasps firmly and extends two fingers up the governor’s sleeve to check for a pulse.

Hey, John. She's not laughing.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Thanks for making us the state's #1 political web site again in 2010. Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan.

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