Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Tuesday Blogging: Of Susana, Gary & Bill, Plus: Readers Get On The Biz Beat With Us, And: Heinrich's Latest Cash Count & Griego's "Urban Matanza"
Gary Johnson gets plenty of exposure and start a write-in campaign for Big Bill Richardson. Could we get them all on the same debate stage together and have Steve "Red Meat" Pearce moderate along with Tom "Never Too Liberal" Udall?
That's three New Mexico Guv's to choose from. The state may lack a bunch of other stuff, but ambitious politicians isn't one of them...Speaking of a lack, let's get it back on our continuing coverage of the big story of the decade--the economy.
Here's some provocative commentary from reader Geoff Rodgers who says of today's muddling along economy: what you see is what you are going to get:
Please take this as an alternate voice to the constant beating of the drum for more government spending to fuel an economic recovery. We may very well be reaching the natural and physical limits to business as usual. This is not so much your father’s recession, but the economy recalibrating at a lower level of growth and spending. It’s always hard to see the end of an era and the beginning of a new one when you’re standing on the threshold. The real “fuel” for the type of recoveries of the past may be spent. Our economy, really the world’s economy, is built on leverage, abundant natural resources, and labor. The only one we still have in excess is labor. I’m optimistic we can achieve quality lives in the future. Denying the fundamental changes that have taken place will only delay the necessary personal changes we all must make.
Appreciate that, Geoff. However, for New Mexico government spending has always been the fuel that has fired the rocket. We may have to give some of that up, but we need to put up a fight because replacing it is going to be a long, arduous process and one that we might never fully recover from.
Also, we still have abundant natural resources in some categories--oil and natural gas being two examples. The high price of oil has buoyed the state treasury and the low price of natural gas has had the opposite effect. With government spending retrenching, the state's energy industry is especially critical in generating the revenues we need. What happens if the oil prices crash (as natural gas prices have) and at the same time government spending continues to be cut here? What would make up the difference?
THE WAY FORWARD
Conservative economic analysts simply argue that New Mexico--already one of the most poverty-ridden states in the nation--should just man up and take the pain as it works to diversify the economy. We think we can do better. How? By fighting in Washington to hold on to our funding, by passing a constitutional amendment that would take limited funds from the state's Permanent Fund to finance an attack on the economic and educational issues that afflict youngsters aged zero to five and by pursuing projects like the Spaceport that combines government and private sector funding.
That's a plan for the present and future.
Telling New Mexicans to "take the pain"is not a plan. It's unnecessary punishment based on a need for ideological purity. We support all the legs of the stool that support the state's economy--not just one. And that's the difference.
Former NM Dem Party Chairman and Santa Fe attorney Earl Potter emails this take on the state biz scene:
We have three major assets as a state: Our natural resources, our land and culture, and the scientific and technical expertise generated by our two national labs and defense facilities. We need to constantly invest in all three. All the other states adjacent to us are, whether they happen to be D or R dominated. We would rather argue with each other, and find fault with any effort that we ourselves did think of.
There are some peculiar New Mexican attitudes, Earl.
Whitney Potter, who has served as Rep. Martin Heinrich's (D-N.M.) official press secretary for three years, has moved over to work on his Senate campaign as communications director. Potter previously served as a spokeswoman at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico...When not at work, she can be found mountain biking or skiing.
What do they mean "when not at work?" There's life away from the campaign?
Meanwhile, Heinrich's campaign says it ended the first quarter with about $1.5 million cash in the bank and raised about $480,000 in the Jan-March period. He raised $483,000 in the last quarter of 2011. Heinrich had $1.369 million cash on hand at the end of December. Hector Balderas, Heinrich's rival for the Dem Senate nomination, has not yet come with his latest fund-raising totals. He had less than $435,000 banked at the end of the year.
Presumptive GOP Senate nominee Heather Wilson had a million banked as the curtain came down on 2011. Insiders expect her to come with some big numbers for the first quarter as she preps for the general election. For Heinrich, the first order of business is dispatching Balderas. If he comes up short it won't be because of a lack of cash.
ERIC'S "URBAN MATANZA"
"Spring Matanza," but a Senior Alligator from the politically fabled ABQ South Valley who attended the event called Dem congressional hopeful Eric Griego's party an "urban matanza" and asserts he got it all wrong:
Congressional candidate Eric Griego gave an urban matanza. Consistent with the implied contradiction in terms, it was an underwhelming experience compelling truth in labeling..Griego's so-called matanza is the first catered matanza I have ever attended. There was no evidence of a pig had been slaughtered or even cooked! The pork looked suspiciously like it came from the store. The chicharrones looked and tasted like they were cooked in a microwave. Rice was of uncertain cuisine. The tortillas were from the store and warmed over a grill heated by propane. There was not a natural fire to be seen. An urban matanza is far too "progressive" from the traditional for me to favor.
Funny stuff, but will Eric chuckle along? Back in December of 2004 we blogged of how he ran out of tacos at the party he threw to announce his candidacy for the 2005 ABQ mayor's race. We noted we got stuck in a long taco line with then-ABQ City Councilor and now US Rep. Martin Heinrich. We were reduced to scarfing up tortilla chips. Eric did not think the write-up it was too amusing, but maybe his sense of humor has expanded since then.
Now for that picture accompanying this story. It's of veteran lobbyist and ABQ South Valley native Dan Weaks. He's showing his expert chicharrone stirring technique. Note the use of a wooden--not a metal--chicharrone paddle.Also the requisite big smile anticipating things to come, and the gray hair representing decades of Matanza experience. Now, how a Hispanic fellow like Dan gets a last name like "Weaks" is another story. Maybe he'll tell it at his next Matanza....
This is the home of New Mexico politics.
E-mail your news and comments. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Interested in reaching New Mexico's political community? Advertise here. Email us for details.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2012
Not for reproduction without permission of the author.