Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor: Susana's PAC, ABQ's Own Wiener And The Reader Mailbag 

The Guv's "Susana! PAC" continues its early fund-raising in anticipation of the 2012 cycle when all 112 legislative seats are up for election, although many of them will go unchallenged:

....With your help, we will elect candidates committed to repealing the law that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, enacting school reforms, and lowering taxes to make New Mexico more competitive with our neighbors....

The big issue looming is control of the 70 member state House. R's are only a seat or two away from gaining control.The September redistricting session will be closely watched to see which party--if any--comes out with an advantage.


The news that ABQ Police Chief Schultz has mandated that all police carry tasers is welcome news as the 18 police involved shootings since January of 2010--13 of them fatal--erode confidence in APD. The news comes in tandem with a district court ruling awarding the family of a man fatally shot over $4 million. That shooting took place under Mayor Chavez's watch in early 2009.

We ran into former APD Chief Sam Baca recently and he told us "more and better training" is one solution to cut down on the number of shootings involving the mentally ill. The city says it has ordered additional training....

And then there's our own local Wiener roast. That would be GOP Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener who is providing so much entertainment downtown he ought to charge admission. His latest joke is how the five member commission now has a Wiener and a Johnson on it--a reference to himself and new GOP Commissioner Wayne Johnson. But Michael says he was talking about hot dogs--not penises--when he cracked that one in the presence of a female aide to one of the commissioners. Now, that explanation is funnier than the joke.

Wiener also got off a few more one liners that resulted in an investigation which cleared him of any wrongdoing, but this incident, one of several involving him, has got the Alligators speculating about Michael's re-election prospects next year. Could he get a Republican primary challenge? How about if Greg Payne doesn't win his city council race against Trudy Jones and then turns around and runs against Wiener? Now that would be entertainment worth paying for.

Meantime, we want to make sure everyone is keeping their Wieners straight. Michael Wiener spells his last name slightly different than Congressman Anthony Weiner of Twitter infamy.

We're thankful for small favors around here and note that Commissioner Wiener did not send any pics of his "package" over Twitter. But he was seen buying some hot dogs at Albertson's Wednesday.


Reader Helen Wright has a take on our Thursday blog on the ABQ Journal:

Thanks for your take on the Journal loss of circulation. You state that ”The major change both nonpartisan and partisan observers have seen in recent years is a decided conservative tilt on the editorial pages and in the story emphasis on the news pages. That could be a play to hold on to its base subscribers or a natural evolution of an enterprise that has long tilted right.”

If it’s a play to hold on to base subscribers, I wonder it that’s a good strategy. Last October I cancelled my longstanding subscription. I was sick and tired of paying good money to be enraged every morning at the right-slanted stories on the front page. It was a hard decision; I hated giving up the best source of local goings-on. My neighbor across the street did the same (although she does pick up the Friday paper to get the Venue section). I subscribe to the daily NY Times to get decent national and international coverage, and in the end, I decided the Journal was dispensable. I suspect there are many people who have made the same choice.

Thanks, Helen. We've heard that view from a variety of readers who value the paper's solid news coverage, but see the continued rightward drift as interfering with the mission.

And Pete Baston says he has a suggestion to keep the circulation up:

Thought I would chime in as a past "Full " subscriber to the Journal. Without doubt it has great reporters and news but the publisher simply does not get today's digital market .Traveling like I do online is the only way I get my "Duke City " news fix but the website is simply absolute crap
Have emailed tons of suggestions but silence and denial reigns just like the crew on the Titanic. No, I do not object to them charging but " Give me some quality news " less all the eye candy and other garbage....

Thanks, Pete. From our perch, the Journal's redesigned website remains very difficult to navigate. You just can't easily find what you are looking for.


Reader Stan Fitch writes:

Good day, Joe. This message is in response to your June 8 blog regarding the "Bear Market Beat." According to the April 4, 2011 edition of Time Magazine, in 2010 New Mexico was second only to Nevada for losing jobs. Our net jobs loss was an additional 0.8% over 2009 while Nevada's was an additional 1.2%. (Not touting Texas here but by contrast they had a net jobs INCREASE of 2.1% over 2009). I suppose that instead of getting out there and promoting job growth, New Mexico's politicians (Republican and Democrat) will proudly proclaim: "At least we are better than Nevada!" Some distinction that is.

Perhaps I need to move my 2 teenage sons to a state that believes in jobs.

Thanks, Stan. There is noticeable lack of urgency among state policy makers over the lack of jobs. They seem perplexed.


Jay Leno:

This is not good, folks. Congressman Weiner has admitted he did carry on an explicit online relationship with six different women. Well, he thought they were women. Turns out three were women. One was a guy pretending to be a woman, and the other two were other Congressmen. He had no idea.

This is the home of New Mexico politics---the "must-read" of the New Mexico Net.

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