Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday Clippings From The Newsroom Floor: Metro Passes 900,000 Mark, Sanchez & Hispanics And Some Bottom Lines 

  • PPP US Senate poll: Heinrich over Balderas 47% to 24%. Balderas needs money and some Martin mistakes to bring the front-runner down.

  • GOP primary: Wilson 52%, Sanchez 24% and Sowards 8 %. Good start for Wilson, but she has glass jaw with conservatives. Sanchez is far from out of it.
This kind of snuck up on us. The ABQ metro area just blew past the 900,000 population mark. That means nearly half our state's population of 2.09 million lives in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties, says a national biz group that keeps track of such matters.

The 907, 755 population count as of July 1 makes us the 57th largest metro out of 942 ranked in the USA.

Cracking the top 50 is not in the cards anytime soon. Buffalo-Niagara Falls holds the 50th ranking with 1,329,000 residents. But we have had steady growth. In 2000, the census bureau says the metro had a population of nearly 730,000.

But things have been slowing down around here, particularly in Rio Rancho which had explosive growth until the housing bubble burst three years ago. With a paucity of new jobs coming in and the state reporting that our labor force is actually shrinking as people leave here to look for jobs elsewhere, the metro's population growth is going to be slower or even flat lined.

Those who have sought to contain growth on ABQ's west side are getting their way. Maybe the benefit is that we catch up with the past. But the downside is evident all around as real estate remains in a glutted condition and jobs are as tight as a Scotsman.

By the way, the Las Cruces metro area comes in with an estimated July 1, 2011 population of 214,887, ranking it #199 in the nation.


We didn't think this quote from John Sanchez that we ran on the June 20 blog was very incendiary:

I think a lot of Hispanics in New Mexico can understand the struggles of lifting themselves into a better place," he said. "In the Hispanic culture it's all about the family. They are very certain about where they stand about protecting the unborn, about personal responsibility. For those reasons, I think my candidacy appeals to those voters.

But Dom Lopez in Española got fired up about Sanchez's take:

Your blog about John Sanchez running as the Hispanic candidate for Senate reminded me why I don't like him and his "story." Susana Martinez did not win the governorship because she told voters she was the "Hispanic" candidate. Susana won because she presented herself as someone who was qualified to change the way things are done in New Mexico. As a Democrat Hispanic who crosses over to vote for Republicans a lot, I find it very offensive when people tell me I need to vote for my race. That's what John Sanchez is saying when he says "I think my candidacy appeals to those [Hispanic] voters." It's not going to work, especially when you consider he doesn't have an education. We Hispanics don't vote for candidates who say they are "just like us." Instead, we vote for Hispanics who we aspire to be.

That reference to education is Sanchez's lack of a college degree. Dave Finley of Socorro comes with this sidebar on that:

Possibly the most famous U.S. Senator elected without a college degree was Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1952 and to the U.S. Senate in 1958. While in the House, he began attending law school at night, receiving a law degree in 1963. He later received an undergraduate degree in 1994. He holds the record of longest-serving U.S. Senator and was both Majority Leader and Minority Leader during his tenure, which ended with his death last year. Among many other things, he was known as an expert on the Senate's history.


There's not enough of them to force you to hide under the bed or turn off the tube, but the first political ads of the 2012 cycle are up and running in New Mexico:

Crossroads GPS, a conservative-aligned outside organization, is pledging to spend $20 million over the next two months on ads aimed at shaping the national debate on jobs, the economy and the federal debt.

The first wave of ads began airing Monday with a $5 million buy that will include national cable television as well as broadcast stations in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, and Virginia. The ads will run for two weeks.

The ad, entitled “Shovel Ready,” takes President Obama to task over the economy. It details the rise of unemployment, gas prices and the national debt under Obama and argues that the economic stimulus package “failed.”


Animal Protection Voters of NM comes with an early endorsement of Rep. Martin Heinrich for the Dem nod for US Senate:

Martin has fought to protect the jobs, chimpanzees, and federal dollars at the Alamogordo Primate Facility on Holloman Air Force Base from leaving New Mexico. He is an original cosponsor of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011; he cosponsored a bill to ban horse slaughter and has voted in support of service dogs for Veterans, to ban animal “crush” videos, and against environmental exemptions for the largest factory farms in the United States....

Did we mention that around UNM Saggio's restaurant and Olympia Cafe are great places for a casual dinner and this time of year they aren't crowded?....

Thanks for joining us this week. Happy Fourth.

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