Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Brian Moore Bows Out; Leaves DC Post And Heads Home To Clayton; No Friend Of "The Fifth Floor", Plus: Status Quo For UNM? 

Former GOP State Rep. Brian Moore started off with high hopes for his role in the Martinez administration. But it was not to be. We broke the news back in June 2011 that he had been forced out as deputy chief of staff for the Governor and today we break the news that Moore is now out of his DC job as Martinez's state liaison. Moore says the decision was his to leave, but the Guv says there are no plans to replace him in the DC state office.

Our Alligators report Moore has returned to operating his Clayton grocery store in northeast New Mexico. Was he eased out of the DC job after just one year? Well, Moore was not available for comment, but it's widely known that he has not been a member of the "Fifth Floor" where Guv political advisor Jay McCleskey presides. He left his DC job with this cryptic note posted on his Facebook page:

"My last view of the U.S. Capitol. We've enjoyed our stay, looking forward to the wide, open spaces of NM!" 

An insider emails us:

Brian’s assignment to DC (from the beginning) was scheduled to end when it did.  There are a lot of legitimate issues to deal with without making something out of nothing....

Okay, we'll keep that in mind. Now back to the story....

Moore's independent streak led us to recommend that the Guv consider shaking up her staff in the wake of emailgate and putting Moore in charge as Chief of Staff. We're sure that went over like a lead balloon, but Moore commands respect on both sides of the legislative aisle and also in eastern New Mexico. It was in Clovis on primary night when Governor Martinez suffered a major political defeat when she backed a state Senate candidate who lost to rancher Pat Woods. 

It was also that campaign that surfaced McCleskey as the primary political and policy force in the administration. That was followed by the explosive revelations that Jay and the administration were conducting public business via private email accounts and that a "shadow government" had in effect been formed in Santa Fe. Those emails and related matters are now on the radar of the attorney general and state auditor.

(The controversial private emails continue to be dripped out. The union-funded Independent Source PAC (ISPAC) continues to post them on their web site arguing there is more than enough evidence of wheeling and dealing over the racino lease deal at the Downs at ABQ for a grand jury to take a serious look. More on this from the newspaper.)

Moore gets out of the administration with his reputation intact, with no black marks due to emailgate and with the chance to fight for political power again--if he so chooses. His brand of independent Republicanism may not be in vogue right now but if this Governor continues to leak political capital, that wing of the GOP could fiund itself newly popular. To be continued... 


Dianne Anderson
We've blogged about how the initial smoke signals from new University of New Mexico President Robert Frank seem to indicate a continuation of the oft troubled status quo at UNM. Now a Senior Alligator comes forth to comment on the selection of longtime TV news anchor Dianne Anderson as the new communications director for the university. He says that move also may be another bow to the status quo:

The choice of Anderson to be communications director for UNM is questionable. She is qualified to be a spokesperson but not one to handle internal and external communications and to give PR strategic counsel within a higher education bureaucracy. She is going to have to depend on someone spoon feeding her information so she can advise Frank. I think we know that it will be David Harris holding the spoon....

As for Harris, look at these titles he has accumulated since he joined UNM from the Big Bill adminsitation in 2004. From the UNM web site

David Harris, Executive Vice President for Administration, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer...

It has been the tenures of former President Schmidly, Harris and Athletic Director Paul Krebs that has drawn the most critical assessments from outside observers of UNM. Harris' eight years is a good run for even an administrator not shadowed by controversy--and that has not been the case with either Harris or Krebs.

Harris has played politics from both sides. Besides Dem Big Bill, Harris worked for Republican Governor Gary Johnson as Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration. In 2000, Governor Martinez's political advisor--Jay McCleskey-- served as a policy analyst for Harris. How's that for "very interesting?"

So the question is: Where is the "Frank Team" that will change the direction of UNM? Or is Frank going to be a chair warmer, content to cash a big check and let the same underlings continue to run the show?  Stay tuned.....


The heat that is on Dem Attorney General Gary King is as hot as these scorching July days. His quietly announced decision to look at the some of the emails the Martinez administration sent via private email accounts draws this reaction from a Senior Alligator:

Something that saddens me is that Gary King has a long list of misdeeds that he hasn't pursued or finalized. The latest is the e-mail scandal of the Martinez administration. From a political PR perspective he should be all over it, while he quietly puts a legal case together. It is his job to take
care of this and Martinez has handed him a gift by allowing Jay McCleskey to run her administration and get caught doing it. Instead, Martinez gets headlines for casting blame and calling in the FBI to pursue whistle blowers. It looks to me that the beneficiary of this will be attorney Sam Bregman who wants to be Governor. If that's what Bregman plans, Gary can kiss his plans goodbye.  However, because of Gary's unfinished business he is probably out of the game anyway.

Good analysis. This is the last act for Gary King. If he does not go "all in" on emailgate he will cede to someone else (Auditor Hector Balderas?) his power and any hopes he still harbors to someday become Governor.

So it goes in the world of La Politica, where the power and the glory is taken--not given.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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