Monday, September 19, 2011
Tone Deaf Dems? R's Seem Poised To Get Jobs Credit, Plus: Obama Hispanic Numbers Sink, The Latest Heinrich-Balderas Action And High School Heroin
Will Dems hand Governor Martinez an unexpected victory on the crucial jobs issue as the special legislative session crawls to a close? They could if they scale back a bill to finance construction projects around the state from $213 million to only $81 million. Ironically, Martinez forces killed the capital outlay bill in the January session of the Legislature when they filibustered in the Senate over the repeal of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. But now it is conservative Dem State Sen. John Arthur "Dr. No" Smith and his Dem Senate allies raising warning flags over the amount of capital outlay. This, despite the ongoing jobs crisis that continues to shrivel the NM work force. Smith, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, justifies it with an obscure argument about future debt payments.
Talk about giving away the store. Or being politically tone deaf.
The Dems have been blistering Susana for not coming with a jobs program while she concentrates on wedge issues like the driver's licenses. But now they come with a plan to choke off jobs in construction--the very sector of the economy that is at the heart of the brutal and seemingly never ending bear market that has this state in its clutches.
Not all Dems agree with Dr. No and they are siding with Martinez in embracing the jobs-producing measure. Republicans will now be key in passing the higher capital outlay amount as they join with less conservative Senate Dems to round up the needed votes. R's will then brag of their jobs prowess and deservedly so. That will leave the divided Dems with their muddled jobs message.
The Dems could avoid shooting themselves in the foot if they take the pistol away from Dr. No and his Senate cohorts before they start firing.
Maybe Dr. No and friends should take a look at this before voting to reduce the capital outlay:
Albuquerque...employment is down 6.5 percent from its second quarter 2008 peak and up only 0.1 percent from its first quarter 2011 trough. The 100-metros averages are negative 5.1 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. Albuquerque housing prices are down 23.6 percent from the first quarter 2007 peak, the 52nd worst performance among the 100-metropolitan-area average....
Albuquerque housing prices are down 23.6 percent from the first quarter 2007 peak, the 52nd worst performance among the 100-metropolitanarea average. Brookings reported Albuquerque housing prices hit bottom in the second quarter of this year.
Blue-collar workers--supposedly the heart and soul of the Dem Party--are getting hammered out here.
Come on, Dr. No. Your daddy was a a highway construction worker for the Feds back in the Depression. Can you think about him before the final capital outlay vote?
ANOTHER SUSANA BREAK?
Maybe a redistricting plan never even makes it up to Susana's desk. Dem Rep. Sandra Jeff and independent Andy Nunez--the major thorns in the side of House Speaker Lujan--are again digging into the Speaker's flesh by threatening to block any redistricting measure from getting out of the House.
This is another nice break for the Guv. She is an odds-on favorite to veto any plan sent to her by the Dem Legislature, but if she doesn't get one on her desk, it's a lot less taxpayer heat on her neck.
THE OBAMA NUMBERS
The critical Hispanic vote needs shoring up if President Obama is to do well in NM in his 2012 re-elect. New info on that:
The poll of 1,200 Latinos in the swing states of Colorado, Florida and New Mexico shows that some Latinos who voted for the president in 2008 aren’t sold on reelecting him. The poll was conducted by Ayres, McHenry and Associates for the GOP polling consortium Resurgent Republic.
In Florida, where Obama took 57 percent of the Hispanic vote three years ago, just 48 percent of Latinos think he deserves reelection. He took 69 percent of Hispanic vote in New Mexico, but only 58 percent there say he deserves another term. In Colorado, Latinos are a little more on-board, with Obama having taken 61 percent of the Hispanic vote, and 58 percent still saying he deserves another term.
Obama still holds wide leads on the generic ballot among Latinos in all three states, by the margins are smaller than they were in 2008 in Florida and New Mexico.
The poll comes on the heels of plenty of data suggesting Obama has fallen out of favor with Latinos. His approval rating has declined from over 80 percent early in this presidency to below 50 percent, according to recent numbers from Gallup.
Wonder how Texas Governor Perry would fare as the GOP presidential nominee against Obama? He probably could be counted on to post very strong SE NM numbers, making the northern Hispanic vote even more critical
HEINRICH VS BALDERAS
About that insider who told us Dem US Senate candidate Hector Balderas could compete with rival Martin Heinrich even if he only raised 60 cents for each dollar raised by Heinrich. An Alligator retorts:
It seems Hector's folks are "managing expectations" as they approach the upcoming FEC campaign reporting deadline and preparing to be out raised by Heinrich. I don't think national and local Democrats will be encouraged by a candidate that just wants to be 60% in the race. He ought to be in 100%. There's some assumption that ethnicity and grassroots organization will pull Hector through. But there has been nothing presented thus far that demonstrates his polling numbers are superior to Heinrich's or his grassroots organization is any better. In fact, isn't a poor fundraising showing an indication of an inability get organized?
The problem for Hector is that this argument (that he doesn't need to raise a lot of money compared to a sitting Congressman) doesn't fly with out-of-state donors and interests who look at the numbers. If you were a $2,000 donor in Toledo, OH are you going to give money to the Senate candidate with $2 million on hand or the candidate with $600,000 on hand?
The next money reporting deadline is September 30.
Rep Heinrich is facing stiff competition for the Hispanic vote as he battles Balderas. That's why this tip of the hat toward Heinrich from Grants area State Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon gets noticed:
Congressman Heinrich has hit the ground running in Washington D.C. as the Representative for the 1st Congressional District. Between his constant hustle, and his true home boy candor, Martin Heinrich is my choice for the United States Senate.”
"Home boy candor?" Does Martin have homies?
A REPUBLICAN DREAM?
Governor Martinez is heavily promoting the ABQ September 23rd and 24th "Rebuilding the American Dream Conference," a gathering of Hispanic leaders who will examine key issues and concerns to Hispanics. But Joe Barela of Rio Rancho writes, the conference is too biased for his blood:
I was excited to see that there was going to be a conference with the new governor and Hispanic leaders to discuss Hispanic education along with other issues unique to that minority group. When you hear of the high poverty rates and educational issues among local Hispanics, you become frustrated, disappointed and depressed. What do you do?
As one of the founders of the Hispanic Engineering and Science Organization at the University of New Mexico back in the late ‘70’s, and being a local person with roots going back 12 generations in this state, I felt compelled to participate...
I registered and as I read through the agenda and dug deeper at the website I began to realize that this was a smoke screen by the Hispanic Leadership Network, a Republican recruiting organization.
I don’t mind that they are recruiting; more power to them, but it’s the way they went about representing themselves initially that gets my goat. I suspect many of my fellow Hispanic, Anglo and black friends in the community that feel strongly about these issues will feel the same way once they find out the hidden agenda.
We talked with the Washington Times about the ongoing debate here over Susana's drive to repeal the law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses:
“This has been the big, dominant issue of her governorship so far,” said Mr. Monahan. “The regular session starts up in January, and chances are that’s when she’ll try to take a third bite at the apple.”
It still looks as though Susana's second bite out of the apple during this special session is not going to do the trick, but everyone is watching closely for any last minute surprises.
HIGH SCHOOL HEROIN
We wondered aloud here recently where ABQ Mayor Berry was when it comes to the high school heroin
outbreak that has claimed lives. He has come with this:
Mayor Berry has formed a working group to explore a variety of solutions to combat a serious problem facing New Mexico’s youth: opioid use and overdose. The formation of the working group comes after the City of Albuquerque paid for an Opioid Needs Assessment.
“Opioid use among youth is becoming more prevalent around the country and our state, and Albuquerque is not immune,” Mayor Berry said. “The study reveals we have challenges and we must work together as a community and with families to educate and support our younger generations. This is a problem we cannot ignore, we cannot be afraid to address the issue, we owe it to our youth.”
Agreed, Mayor. But we may need funds to implement any ideas that the working group comes up with. Is City Hall looking around?
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
From state House Majority Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton:
The voters of New Mexico have elected us to represent their best interests, not the interests of a special agenda of the Governor. There will be ample opportunity in January to take up these other issues and our job right now is to get redistricting right—and that is exactly what we are doing.
THE BOTTOM LINES
On Friday we posted the 1976 obituary of Governor Martinez's grandfather who she said entered the USA illegally. It said he worked as an El Paso cab driver for 50 years. A reader reacted with this:
Oh, the irony. It's a good thing the Gov's grandpa had a driver's license otherwise he might have been out of a job. Then what?
The Guv continues to pursue a repeal of the state law that allows illegal immigrants to get a NM driver's license...
KOB-TV's Stuart Dyson comes with this laugher:
Police DNA tests showed a Santa Fe teenager suspected of being the long missing person Robbie Romero was absolutely not him, but the DNA proved positive for Jimmy Hoffa....
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2011
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