Friday, September 30, 2011

Hiding The Sportsplex; Mayor Tries To Make Voters Forget Unpopular Part Of His Bond Plan, Plus: Something About Gary Johnson 

It's a slick piece of campaign literature. Maybe too slick. Mayor Berry is prominently featured in the flyer you see here supporting the $25 million bond issue to rebuild the Paseo del Norte/I-25 interchange, but nowhere does the piece mention that if you vote for the Paseo bond you are also voting for the controversial $25 million bond for a new sportsplex.

Berry calls the $50 million bond issue "ABQ: The Plan." But it seems more like a secret plan as Berry is now hiding the sportsplex like a crazy aunt in the basement.

The political error was made when Berry and his City Council supporters insisted on including the popular Paseo rebuild with the unpopular sportsplex. It could doom them both Oct. 4 as critics argue Berry has been forced into duplicity in order to carry the day. (Berry and a bond foe will debate the issue at 9 a.m. today on 770 KKOB-AM radio).

More alarming, the regular bonds for this cycle totaling $164 million and which could create a lot of construction jobs could be jeopardized as voters rage against the sportsplex.

If Berry can pull out a sportsplex victory, it will be a major boost for him, but if voters boo it out of here, the Mayor will be weakened as he begins the second half of his four year term.


He's the walking definition of quixotic and we and others have long been skeptical, but there is something coming through about Gary Johnson and his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. From a blog on The Economist:

How can a man dispositionally allergic to pandering get ahead in politics? Yet his anti-charismatic charm seems to have worked in New Mexico. I know it has worked on me. I very much doubt Mr. Johnson will get anywhere near the Republican nomination. But if he stays in the debates and keeps getting attention from the press, I think a lot of people are going find themselves surprised by the way the governor's guileless can-do competence sneaks up on them....

Its Johnson's rigidity that has been a turn-off over the years, but it his persistence and indefatigable tone in the face of long odds that is presidential.....

And about former Governor Big Bill:

Rice University will introduce its newest fellow: former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will be named the senior fellow for Latin America at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. In this new role, Richardson will provide direction to the Baker Institute Latin America Initiative by enhancing the program's policy focus on crucial issues, including immigration, natural resources and energy, as well as the emerging roles of key countries such as Brazil...

Richardson has been out of sight in New Mexico since leaving office January 1, but he has slowly re-emerged on the national scene. Here he is doing a recent segment on the Web for NBC's "Meet the Press."

Bill was polling in the low 30's when he left. We don't think he has been "Anayaized," meaning stuck forever in the ranks of the least popular Governors ever like Democrat Toney Anaya. There was simply too much done--both good and bad--for history to ignore.


official confirmation of our earlier reports about ABQ GOP State Senator Kent Cravens leaving the Legislature for a job with the oil and gas industry:

Sen. Kent Cravens is resigning to take a job with a trade association...Cravens has served in the state Senate since 2001...Cravens is becoming the NM Oil & Gas Association's director of government relations. His duties include lobbying the Legislature...Gov. Martinez will name a replacement for Cravens. County commissions in his legislative district--Bernalillo and Sandoval counties--recommend candidates to the governor for the vacant Senate seat.

And our final bottom line today, the Bernalillo county Dem Party comes with its new Web site.

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Thanks for stopping by this week.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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