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Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Clippings From the Newsroom Floor 

End of the week and we have a few clippings from our newsroom floor to pick up...

A reader has a question about the recent analysis we've posted on the impact of legislative redistricting:

Your redistricting assessments are based on the vetoed legislative proposal, expecting the court's final boundaries to closely resemble it. But why? Has the history of our previous court-drawn redistricting mirrored what the legislature produced? And if so, why? Since it's possible to produce different alternatives to withstand legal challenge, why should officeholders and challengers assume we already know the shape of things to come?

We asked one of our redistricting Alligators (yes, there are a handful) to answer:

Two key points on this:

The Legislature is a defendant in the lawsuits brought against the redistricting plan it passed, Those lawsuits call for something different. By default, the Legislature's plan gets scrutinized against all others before the court. It represents the will of all elected legislators statewide. Just because the Democrats control the Legislature does not mean that Republicans didn't get anything they wanted in the plan that was approved and vetoed by the Governor. In fact, in heavily R areas, desires of R legislators were taken into account.

The legislative redistricting goes to court in early December.

START YELLING

On the news this week that the Feds are talking about consolidating the national labs, a move that could cause a great deal of economic pain here, reader Stan Fitch writes:

If Sandia and Los Alamos greatly reduced their budgets, the total financial impact to Albuquerque and New Mexico from loss of direct and indirect monies could total in the billions each year. It is not just the loss of lab employees, but the loss of thousands of lab contractors plus thousands of tech jobs that located here to capitalize on the human resources pool created by the presence of the labs. It is high time for Mayor Berry and Governor Martinez to get off their collective Tea Party Pots and get busy saving the Albuquerque and New Mexico economies by screaming really, really loud.

Amen, Stan.

WHY SO LONG?

How long does it take the Feds to find out if crimes were committed in the previous Guv administration? We ask because here we go again with former Governor Big Bill. Word is out that yet another federal grand jury in ABQ is looking into his past activities. This time it's over salacious allegations that he may have had a female state worker paid off with campaign funds to avoid a threatened lawsuit. This is the fourth grand jury probe of Richardson who has been out of office for nearly a year. Two of the probes are over and failed to hit pay dirt. Is it time for the feds to give it up or get it on?

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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