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Monday, December 17, 2012

Martinez & Berry Hope For Private Economy Revival Fades, Plus: Arrogrant Trudy? ABQ Councilor Blasted For Voter Nullification Effort, Plus: More BernCo Power in Santa Fe And Adios, Jeff 

Martinez & Berry
Mayor Berry and Governor Martinez say they want to build a magnificent private sector economy to replace the loss of federal funding and jobs that both cast as inevitable. Well, how's that working out for them so far? The news:

Nearly 90 percent of the nation’s major markets added private-sector jobs during the past 12 months, but the Albuquerque market was not one of them. There are 102 U.S. metropolitan areas with populations above 500,000. 

 Eighty-nine of those markets boosted their employment numbers between October 2011 and the same month this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only 12 areas suffered declines, and one was unchanged. The Albuquerque area lost 400 private-sector jobs between October 2011 and October 2012, going from 289,400 to 289,000. 

Building a robust private sector economy is a laudable, but long-term goal. In the meantime, Martinez and Berry could do well by working cooperatively with the state's congressional delegation to protect and enhance the federal government presence here--the presence that has brought so much prosperity to the state.

And for those who argue that the government presence has not gotten New Mexico out of the economic barrel, they've got their eye off the ball. Think what economic conditions were like in this state before that presence and what it would be like without that decades-long massive investment.

ARROGANT TRUDY?

Republican ABQ City Councilor Trudy Jones is taking heat for her efforts to nullify the decision by 66% of ABQ voters at the November election to raise the minimum wage a buck an hour and providing for annual cost of living increases. Jones, a realtor who represents the NE Heights, says she doesn't think the voters understood what they were voting for and wants the council to repeal the cost of living provision. Veteran New Mexico talk show host and politico Mike Santullo comes with the retort:

What arrogance! This person is strictly on the City Council to do the bidding of the Realtors Assn.  and is a dyed in the wool sycophant for the Chamber of Commerce.  She is not relatable in the least to the average working person in her district and has a “single-minded” agenda. Perhaps someone more broad-based needs to challenge  her in the next election. 

The City Council meets today for the last time this year and a discussion of the minimum wage is expected .Jones was re-elected for a four year term in the 2011 city election.

MORE BERNCO POWER

And why shouldn't big Bernalillo County have more stroke at the Roundhouse? It's delivering huge winning margins for Dem candidates these days and it seems the Dem Party is noticing. At Friday's House Dem caucus ABQ State Rep. Rick Miera was elected as majority leader and ABQ Rep. Moe Maestas won the post of majority whip. As expected, Grants State Rep. Kenny Martinez was nominated for House Speaker to replace Ben Lujan who retired because of illness.

Rep. Patty Lundstrom of Gallup was re-elected as caucus chair. Insiders say she could in a couple of years have the chairmanship of the powerful House Appropriations Committee in her future. She is the only woman now in the leadership of the House and Senate.

The selection of of attorney Maestas by the 38 member caucus was a bit of a surprise. There was talk that controversial Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton would remain in the slot. The election of Miera over Rio Arriba's Debbie Rodella is the leadership pick-up for ABQ. Rep. Martinez is the current majority leader. Maestas is close to Martinez as is Miera.

At the Senate caucus this month ABQ and Bernalillo County also scored big, with Sen. Tim Keller getting the majority whip slot and Sen. Jacob Candelaria named caucus chair. 

The full House will vote on the Speakership at the opening day of the Legislature Jan. 15. The 70 member House has 38 Dems and 32 Republicans. Unlike the Senate, there is no scuttlebutt of conservative Dems forming coalition with the R's to elect a speaker other than Martinez.

PEARCE VALUES

Democratic reader Stephanie DuBois was unimpressed when she heard here that southern GOP Congressman Steve Pearce had once again been named chairman of the Western Congressional Caucus. She writes:

Congressman Pearce,if you really read what he said here amounts to him saying nothing tangible for the people of CD2. To have him be elected to that position will do absolutely nothing for us in his district. Just what are exactly "western values"? With Pearce we will never know. 

ADIOS, JEFF

In typical Jeff Bingaman style there is no public popping of the champagne corks or prominent parties accompanying the end of the Senator's 30 year run. He will quietly exit the seat at the end of the year, leaving in the low-key manner in which he has conducted himself throughout his public life.

On the Senate floor he gave this farewell speech. Text here. Video is here.

Bingaman's departure comes at a time when the state faces major challenges to its federal funding in Washington. That battle will now fall to Udall and Senator-elect Heinrich.

NM Senator Tom Udall came with this farewell tribute to Bingaman on the Senate floor.

Bingaman's signature quote from his farewell speech to the Senate is one that notes the ideological divide that has hovered over his entire Senate career:

I believed then (in 1983) and I believe now that the federal government can be a constructive force for good; in protecting and maintaining the civil liberties of all Americans, in maintaining and strengthening our economy, in protecting our environment and in helping Americans live productive and fulfilling lives.

The Politico comes with this review of Bingaman's legacy.

Jeff Bingaman, 69, will now retire to Santa Fe and watch from the sidelines the never-ending parade of La Politica which he was entwined with for so many decades...

BUY THAT BLANKET

Reader Andrew Bolton writes:

I read your blog every day. (Great Job) On Friday I was pleased to see the NM Centennial Pendleton blanket featured. We at Bolton Inc. designed that special blanket with the assistance of the Centennial Director and the Zia Pueblo Administration and are very proud of  its design. The first 400 custom blankets were signed by Governor Martinez and sold out quickly. We also created 400 without the Governor's signature. There are only about 150 remaining. 

They are available for sale at the Albuquerque Pendleton store on San Mateo, Palms Trading on Lomas, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on 12th Street or at NMCentennial. com. I would appreciate you letting your readers know they can purchase that commemorative blanket for Christmas.  

Very well done. What a great Christmas gift idea....

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