Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day 2012: Some Fresh Chile, The Boot For Pat And A Reluctant ABQ City Council 

First things first. Sure, the campaigns are about to get underway in earnest but this Labor Day other matters top the agenda--like toasting the season with some fresh green chile. Or in the case of Annie Chavez who reads us from DC and snapped today's photo, even the frozen variety:

While I prefer red I was happy to find some real Hatch green chile at the Harris Teeter store on Capitol Hill yesterday. They've carried Bueno's frozen green chile for a few years now, ever since Senator Bingaman got the Senate cafeteria to highlight green chile for a month.  Rellenos this weekend!

They ushered in the 41st annual Hatch Chile Festival over the weekend and word is there is plenty of the fiery stuff to go around--even for New Mexicans in exile
 like Annie.


First he is forced to resign form the board of directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG and now Part Rogers, whose name has become synonymous with "ill-advised emails," has been hit in the wallet. He has been forced out from his longtime job at the Modrall law firm. And the lawyer/lobbyist and GOP National Committeeman may still not be done with the consequences of his emails. There is an investigation by the attorney general into the awarding of the racino lease for the Downs at ABQ and Pat is up to his eyeballs in possibly incriminating emails over that.

His departure from Modrall was prompted by an email that poked fun at the Governor for meeting with state Indian tribes. He wrote, among other things, that General Custer would be offended.

Still lingering in the Rogers email saga: If FOG and Modrall had to let him go, what about the Republican Party? His email tales are now toxic and could pop up on the campaign trail and  hurt GOP candidates. So far, the Guv and the GOP are not calling for Rogers to resign.


We hope the ABQ City Council will do the right thing and allow a proposed hike in the minimum wage on the November 6 ballot, but when it comes to this council--among the least productive in decades--you can't take anything for granted. Negotiations with state officials have led to an agreement that will allow a $50 million bond issue for the rebuild of the Paseo/I-25 interchange on the the general election ballot. That avoids an expensive special election But guess what? If the Republican majority council does not agree to place the measure on the November ballot we are back to square one--hosting a special election in the dead of winter at a cost of upwards of $750,000.

The politics are easy to understand. The minimum wage increase from $7.50 to $8,50 an hour would have an easier time passing when placed on the Nov. 6 ballot when turnout will be high. Turnout will plummet for a special election, giving opponents--like the council majority and Mayor Berry a better chance of defeating it.

It may be good politics for the council to keep the wage proposal off the November ballot, but it's lousy leadership. Unfortunately, that's what we have come to expect. We've had a record number of fatal and nonfatal police shootings and an historic lack of job growth for three years. But this city council sits there like a bump on the log--except when it comes to their ideological agenda which in this case could needlessly cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars for a special election. If the councilors opposing the wage boost are truly the fiscal conservatives they claim to be, they will save voters the excessive cost of a special election and let the people decide November 6.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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