Thursday, March 31, 2011

Santa Fe Area Crunch Examined, Plus: PIO Goes Wild In Espanola, Also: Heather In The Early Going And A Bizarre Candidate Confession 

No doubt about it. The economic crunch ran the city and county of Santa Fe off the road and into the gutter, but a Senior Alligator monitoring the financial crisis gives some added perspective--there have been questionable decisions being made by capital city policy makers:

The City Different is not so different. Like most cities, it has ignored important tourist advertising and business recruitment. It now concentrates on a "bloating" bureaucracy. The city purchased and is
spending millions on a bankrupt college better known as the College of Santa Fe. The County Different is no different. The County recently purchased a "ranch" for no purpose. Tried to develop a movie studio that has zero business potential and spent three years trying to purify a downtown toxic site for a Court House. Our wonderful City and County are bankrupt.

That's some pretty good blogging there, Gator. Meantime, that proposal to raise property taxes in Santa Fe won't be going to the voters. There is no provision for such a referendum, say city officials which means the city council is likely to approve it.

Powell blocks camera
Meanwhile, the Great Bear Market is too much for some to handle, including the public information officer for Northern NM College in Espanola. Lisa Powell freaked out when confronted by a TV news team doing a story on furloughs and layoffs that are coming to the school. She even put her hand in front of the camera's lens as they filmed. She then told the news crew to make an appointment and then quickly shut the door to her taxpayer-financed office. Powell became another example of handsomely paid PIO's gone wild. The ABQ Public Schools information department has also developed a reputation for arrogance and nonresponsiveness (Ask KOAT about that).

We know Lisa toils in the parochial mists of Espanola, but really--your hand in front of the camera? Northern's president, Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo, has her doctorate in higher education administration. How about a seminar for her own PR staff? Or maybe they're the ones who need to be laid off?


Let's take a look at clips from the first fund-raising letter from GOP US Senate candidate Heather Wilson:

New Mexico is a “swing” state and the national liberal interest groups will throw everything they have at us to maintain control of the U.S. Senate and continue to pursue their agenda.

And it is an agenda that is bankrupting our country and burdening our children with unsustainable debt. It’s an agenda that gave us a health care bill that will increase taxes, cut Medicare, cost more and give us less.

I am a pro-life, pro-second amendment, free enterprise, strong national defense Republican who believes that now is the moment our generation must to step up to meet the challenges of our time...

What stands out here is the reference to Medicare, the health program for Americans over 65. She does not condemn the program as too expensive, as some conservative Tea Party R's do, but mimics the national GOP line that says Obamacare will jeopardize it.

Wilson, a former five term ABQ congresswoman, has polled well with seniors. A few years ago she ran into some trouble when she was caught supporting a partial privatization of Social Security. She backed off. In a general election, SS and Medicare will be major issues with a supportive public. It will be interesting to see if Lt. Governor John Sanchez, Heather's soon-to-be GOP Senate rival. stakes out similar territory on Medicare or takes a tougher tone.


Former ABQ Dem City Councilor Miguel Gomez says he fully agrees with ABQ Chamber of Commerce President Terri Cole who says that improving education is the key to keeping and attracting jobs here. However, Gomez, who lobbies for St. Joseph Community Health Services, says he wants Terri to walk the walk:

I completely agree with Terri Cole that a great education system is key in attracting good jobs. I find it more than ironic, however, that Ms. Cole was one of only two individuals to publicly oppose the passage of SJR-10 during the recent legislative session. This was legislation that would allow the voters to determine whether our state invests more of our money in the K-20 education system and in high quality early childhood programs. Such programs have been demonstrated to have the greatest return on investment in improving education without raising taxes or cutting other programs.

To learn more, I encourage your readers to visit investinkidsnow.org

The measure Gomez speaks of and which did not make it through the recent legislative session would include early childhood programs such as pre-K in the annual payout from the state's $10 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund.


Bill English
Without further ado, we present for your entertainment pleasure, the bizarre ramblings of gadfly GOP US Senate candidate Bill English direct from Alamogordo:

What many of you do not know is that I am a convicted felon. Yeppers, it’s true. About ten years ago I was convicted of a class four felony for aggravated assault because I pulled a gun on a man that was raping my then fourteen year old daughter. I’ve never hidden this fact from anyone, and while New Mexico state law clearly says that as a convicted felon I cannot run for an elected position within the state, it does not say that I cannot run for an elected position within the Federal Government.

Does the fact that I am a convicted felon make me an evil person? Or does it make me a father trying to protect one of his children from asexual predator? I also point out that I didn’t shoot the little so and so. I put my neck on the line to protect one of my kids. I a m willing to do the same for my state and for my country. The question now becomes, what are you willing to do?

What are we willing to do? Well, Bill, the first we want to do is to let Gary Johnson know about this. Sounds like you got some bad weed, dude.


The debate over Social Security goes over the top with potential 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Is this an early April Fool's joke? From CNN:

(Santorum) said the "abortion culture" in America is to blame for the failing Social Security system....The former Republican Pennsylvania senator said abortion rates are influencing the number of children born in the United States and there are therefore not enough children to support the program long-term. "The Social Security system in my opinion is a flawed design, period. But having said that, the design would work a lot better if we had stable demographic trends," Santorum said. "A third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion."

Hey, Rick. Maybe we can clone people so we can save Social Security.


The Alligators said back in January that former Bernalillo County Manager Thaddeus Lucero would have a soft landing after being ousted by the county commissions and they were right. Lucero, who earned over $150,000 per year as manager and walked away with a $200,000 buyout package, is now the $90,000 a year director of planning for the Mid-Region Council of Governments. To which we say: Thaddeus Lucero is more connected than General Electric.


Danny Diaz, one of Governor Martinez's campaign advisers, bumps up against the problem we had with the very divisive and often ugly debate over repealing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. His comments:

Diaz, who helped shepherd Martinez to victory in November, suggested that without a sustained effort among (Republican) candidates and top strategists to find policy solutions — or at least a more respectful tone in the immigration debate — the party could be on the brink of writing its own political obituary with Hispanics.

“As is always the case, the release of census numbers is accompanied by hand-wringing, yet what’s required is a commitment to a respectful and substantive dialogue based on sound, forward-looking policies,” Diaz said. “History proves that Hispanic voters can support Republican candidates, but it can’t take place without seriousness and dedication.”

The bitter debate over the illegal licenses is probably helping Martinez right now but as was demonstrated during the recent legislative debate, it has a tendency to cross over into the thicket of racial politics. That's the long-term danger for her and soon-to-be GOP US Senate candidate and Lt. Governor John Sanchez. He promises to make it a major issue as he works to secure conservative votes in his party's 2012 primary.

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