Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Clippings: Defending Dianna Duran, Ken Sanchez Is Kicking And The ABQ Apartment Boom 

Dianna Duran
Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran is feeling the hot glare of the spotlight of La Politica, drawing intense criticism and hearing cries of "fishing expedition" "grandstanding" and "political witch-hunt" over her decision to turn over to state police what she considers to be 64,000 cases of possible "voter fraud." The heat was enough for Duran's old friend and former NM GOP state chairman John Lattauzio to come to her aid:

Please give your readers an historic perspective of the accomplishments of Secretary of State Duran. As county chairman of Otero when Republicans won the county clerk’s office, I can honestly state the performance of that office was responsible for making Otero a Republican majority county. The county was registered solidly Democratic in 1984. Under Dianna’s leadership a huge transformation occurred. She vastly improved service to the county while reducing costs. I can only guess at what divisive and accusatory comments are being made, but I would stake all that I hold dear they are not coming from Dianna. Expect great service to the state by this incredibly well-mannered lady.

Thanks, John. We imagine that Dianna is under immense pressure from the more zealous wing of her party, prompting what election experts Denise Lamb and UNM poly sci Professor Lona Atkeson see as an outlandish and unnecessarily expensive investigation of 64,000 records. But if Dianna is to advance politically, we see the need for her to put some distance between herself and that wing and try to hew to a centrist course. In short, she is going to have to learn to say no to clearly partisan pressure from her party. That is, if she wants to have a good shot at getting re-elected in 2014.


ABQ City Councilor Ken Sanchez fires on all cylinders in this op-ed piece in which he does a complete take down of ABQ Public Safety Director Darren White for misstatements White made on the use of the city's public safety tax:

White said that voters were assured that Public Safety Tax money would not go to salaries and benefits. That is absolutely not true. From its inception, a significant portion of the Public Safety Quarter Cent Tax was intended to be used for salaries and benefits.

Sanchez, who represents ABQ's west side, has said he is pondering a run for mayor in 2013. He also has been looking at the ABQ US House seat, but is not seen as a likely entrant.


While the Great Bear continues to rampage through the ABQ housing market, leaving slashed prices, record foreclosures and a glut of inventory, there is an upside. Apartment owners here find themselves in a nascent bull market:

“It’s no longer the American Dream to own a house. People are trying to free up that equity and do other things with it. The Baby Boomers are competing with the Generation Y’ers for apartments,” Todd Clarke, with the New Mexico Apartment Association, said. According to economists, the apartment boom is happening all over the country because people are changing their minds about whether it’s worth it to own a home.

In Sandoval County, where Rio Rancho is located and where has been an uptick in apartment demand, home foreclosures went through the ceiling when the housing market collapsed. That drove many residents to apartments. In addition, there was the Intel expansion in which temporary workers were added.


Readers wanted to know exactly how many US Senators do not have college degrees. We blogged Thursday that six per cent of the House and Senate membership lack a four year sheepskin and that John Sanchez, if he were elected Senator, would join that group. In 2008, Mark Begich of Alaska was elected to the Senate and described as the only US Senator out of the 100 without a college degree. He left school to run the family business. In 2009, there were 28 members out of the 435 US members who did not earn college degrees. Sanchez owns an ABQ roofing company.

But it's never too late. John could still go this route:

An Oregon man who dropped out of college just short of graduation in 1932 has earned his degree at age 99. Leo Plass, of Redmond, received his diploma from Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. Plass says he was less than one semester away from graduating from what was then called Eastern Oregon Normal School and starting a career as a teacher. But Plass says it was the Depression, and a teaching salary of $80 a month wouldn't cut it. So when a friend offered him a spot in a logging outfit at $150 a month, Plass says he couldn't pass it up.

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