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Friday, July 13, 2012

Guv Is Popular, But Emailgate is A Big Red Flag; Politicos Offer Their Advice, Plus: Part Two Of How And Why The Tea Party Took Over Rio Rancho 

We were curious if Governor Martinez had talked with Republican Senator-elect Pat Woods of Clovis after the down and dirty-take-no-prisoners campaign waged against him by the Guv's political operatives in the June primary. Woods handily beat Martinez supported candidate Angie Spears. A campaign aide for Woods tells us:

Pat did not get a call from the Guv, but her office did send out word that "we have no beef with Pat Woods."

Meanwhile, we hear from Republican David Williams, the Clovis businessman who served as Woods' campaign treasurer. He comes with these suggestions for the Governor:

I enjoyed keeping up with the Shadow Government and emailgate since the primary elections.  I like to think that the Woods Campaign had a part in shining some sunlight on that bunch up there in Santa Fe. 

I supported Susana Martinez  for governor because I thought she could straighten out a few things in Santa Fe...She needs to get rid of the entire circle of people she has around her and build a broader base of advisors. She needs to get rid of (political adviser) Jay McCleskey and all of his people in her administration. She also needs to send Chief of Staff Keith Gardner packing and get a straight shooter in the job. Former state representative and deputy chief of staff Brian Moore comes to mind. Let him build a new staff.

She needs to take a new approach toward the House and Senate. When you have a Senate made up of 42 Senators, 14 of whom are Republicans, you can’t draw a line in the sand and go to war with the Democrats. That results in no progress on her programs or plans for change.

Williams also said that people need to think twice before giving money to Susana's political action committees if she is going to continue to use the funds to oppose fellow Republicans.

Is Martinez likely to make a mid-course correction and bring in new faces? No. As long as her polling numbers hold up, we don't see her doing it. When and if the numbers go down, then she will consider it, but by then it could be too late...

Has emailgate hurt her polling numbers? We doubt it. The coverage and intensity have not been enough--yet. But if it continues with formal investigations and continued news coverage, then the numbers would be impacted.

Martinez won with about 54% of the vote in 2010. She is probably still around that level and with the past two governors winning re-election easily, it is difficult for this Governor to see why she should change anything, despite the red flags that have been thrown by emailgate....

MORE ADVICE FOR GUV

It probably grates on the Fourth Floor to hear the peanut gallery clacking about a change-up for this Governor. but that's not going to stop them. A Senior Alligator gives these reasons why he thinks Susana should consider bringing in new faces:

She is in over her head. The Governor is no match for (GOP national committeeman and attorney/lobbyist) Pat Rogers, (attorney/lobbyist and former GOP national Committeeman) Mickey Barnett and big money.  She has not connected the dots. She has allowed the national Republican Party to infiltrate New Mexico state government. The Governor does not seem to personally know her own staff or executive secretaries that run government. As a result, the Governor has isolated herself with people who have no wisdom, experience or interest in "moving New Mexico forward." 

She's only been there a year and a half and she still has a great opportunity to become a significant governor with a beefy legislative record. That means becoming more independent than Republican.

RIO RANCHO TEA

We broke open the Tea party takeover of the Rio Rancho city council via our Alligator correspondent Thursday didn't think it was too cool, but this Rio Rancho emailer--a Democrat--has a different take. He says the Dems brought it upon themselves:

Joe. I wanted to add my own thoughts as a Rio Rancho Democrat.

Yes, the Tea Party did a take over the city council, but we brought it on ourselves. Democrats had been unhappy with city leaders and stayed home on Election Day. Conservatives were more than unhappy and they came out strong. How we got here is simple. Mayor Tom Swisstack has not been the same focused leader he was when he was Mayor 10 years ago. His job (in corrections) at Bernalillo County is just too demanding. He hired James Jimenez to run the show for him so he could do his real job. Jimenez received the second highest pay for any city mananger in the state, (over $150,000 per year) and that did not sit well with voters. Jimenez then loaded up his office with expensive deputies. He did not do good at working with or inspiring the rank and file city employees and their unions, and in the end they turned against him.

The city of vision has been creamed tax wise. Our gross receipts tax is higher than Albuquerque's. Our property taxes have gone sky high too. The special hospital tax started in 2008, for hospitals that did not open until 2012. Then we got hit with a special tax for CNM and UNM, who both offer minimal classes here. The city passed a special tax to deal with flooding prevention, and that more than doubled the property tax in certain areas of the city. We have moved from having some of the cheapest property tax bills to some of the highest in the state.

The city adopted restrictive rules on signs for business that are really unfair. Swistack ran on getting rid of the old anti-business sign ordinance, but he didn't. Right before the recent election, Jimenez announced a plan to force citizens to be limited to 2 garage sales a year, and they would pay a permit fee to be allowed to have a sign. The plan included fines.

Swisstack and Jimenez pushed through a driving with a cell phone ordinance. Then they initiated red-light cameras and automated speed vans, just when Albuquerque got rid of theirs. Job wise,  we lost big on construction and realty jobs, and those were our biggest overall employers. We lost the JC Penny call center recently, and the National Amercian University campus. The promised jobs at Hewlett Packard mostly went to people the company relocated here, and now even they are being laid off.  The plans Swisstack hyped for a solar plant and a film studio fizzled out.

There has just been too much bad news and reckless decisions under Swisstack and Jimenez. The previous city council did nothing to stop them, so they paid the price since Swisstack was no up for re-election. Under the new Tea Party council, the pendulum will swing the other way for awhile, and I only hope it can come back to the sane center at some point down the road.


We thank our Rio Rancho reader, whos wishes to remain anonymous, for that most incisive report on why a Tea party take over has taken place. Manager Jimenez was officially let go by the City Council at a Wednesday meeting,.

LETS FRACK

Here's how.

A NEW LOOK

It's the new state Republican Party website.

FRANK IS IN CHARGE

Mary Clark the president of the University of New Mexico Staff Council, writes of recent blogging on the actions of new UNM President Robert Frank:

Bob Frank is running the  show at UNM and anyone who   doesn't have his energy, commitment, and  vision better get out of the   way. I'm sure there will be a few bumps  in the road, but I feel   strongly that the direction Frank is guiding  us can only mean good   things for UNM and our students.  I am not a  dewy-eyed optimist, but I   do see his determination to have all of us  moving in the same direction.

The UNM Staff Council advocates for non-faculty staff.

VALLEY ALLIGATORS
 (Journal photo)
For  all those who doubt us when we tell you the ABQ South Valley is infested with Alligators:

A two foot alligator was found roaming Albuquerque's south valley on Monday morning. A woman living on Nancy street spotted the reptile...and called the sheriff's department. Animal control officers believe the alligator was someone's pet and was set free recently. "Like  many exotic pets a little one becomes a big one and then it becomes a  problem." says Matthew Pepper, Director of Bernalillo County Animal  Control. The county isn't sure what the future holds for the  gator just yet, they may contact the zoo to see if they might be willing  to house it.

Well, that baby Gator is welcome to join our stable of sources around here. Some of our Senior Alligators are getting a bit long in the tooth...

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Reporting to you from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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