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Friday, January 11, 2013

A Headline That Says It All: Nearly 3,000 Apply For 200 Jobs At A New Target; No Wonder Econ Boss Barela Isn't Running For US Senate, Plus: BFF Of Susana Has Soft Landing 

State Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela makes it official and says he won't seek the 2014 GOP nomination for the seat held by Dem Senator Tom Udall. How could he? Rather than making a dent in the state's jobs crisis since taking over in 2010, the Santa Fe administration has presided over an ever worsening jobs climate--now the worst in the USA.

The headlines are downright startling. Like this one--nearly 3,000 apply for 200 jobs at a new ABQ Target store. Are we sure about that? Yep:

More than 2,600 people have applied for jobs at the new Target location near Uptown ABQ. The building has been under construction for months and stands tall with two stories, underground parking and more than 150,000 square feet of shopping space. It is the 10th Target store in the state of New Mexico. Target is looking to fill 200 positions before it opens including some part-time and full-time cashier openings and management opportunities, too. At least 13 people will be competing for each job position.

13 to one. You don't like those odds at the craps table and you certainly don't like them when applying for a badly needed job. And those aren't odds that will get Jon Barela even close to the restrooms in the United States Senate--never mind beating Udall.

And not that Udall is all there when it comes to what is happening on the ground in NM. He put up this tweet this week: 

Good news: Santa Fe area has seen 13 months of job growth & 's unemployment rate has dropped from 7.1 % to 6.2, below the 7.7 nat'l rate 

Come on, Tom. We know you are in cycle for the 2014 re-election and want to paint a good picture, but our state's unemployment rate has little to do with the problem. It is going down because we are hemorrhaging jobs and the workforce is shrinking. And we are counting on you--as a new member of the Senate Appropriations Committee--to help stop the bleeding by protecting our federal funding.

Hey, Jon. If Tom thinks you're doing a great job bringing jobs to the state, maybe you should reconsider and get in the Senate race. Or maybe that tweet was Tom's little love letter to you for getting out? The ways of Washington are never quite understandable out here in the sticks.

Anyway, back to the action, kids....

So will it be conservative warhorse and former state GOP Chairman Allen Weh who will win the '14 GOP nod by default?  Maybe. The play for the Governor could be to let Udall coast with a long-shot opponent like Allen thus keeping Democratic turnout in check while she seeks re-election on the same ballot.

Back on the Target eyebrow raiser. Would all those who still believe most of the unemployed are sitting on their posteriors, enjoying their unemployment checks and are gleeful about "beating the system, please raise their hands?

We don't see too many hands going up.

HASTA LA VISTA

About that news we carried this week in which New Mexico ranked fifth among the 50 in the the rate of folks moving out, we get this from reader Jason Libersky:

Joe, My wife and I are putting our house on the market and moving to San Francisco. She is a PH.D. and I am a techie- consultant/entrepreneur. All of our highly skilled friends either have left or are in the process of leaving. We love NM and have been here our whole lives, however, if you're young(er), driven, and not an employee or contractor to Sandia Labs, there is just no opportunity. It's terribly sad and frustrating and I fear NM has entered the death spiral where the workforce is leaving and this will just snowball. 

Sorry to hear that. You and your wife are obviously one of many who would like to make a good life here, but can't. We also wonder if what we are seeing is a snowball that is still only halfway down the mountain. Perish the thought.

Hasta la vista, Jason.

VETO OR NOT?

More back and forth today on that idea we floated to have the Dems in the Legislature give the Guv some of that corporate income tax cut she wants, but also put in the same bill a measure to either raise taxes on the wealthy or hike the statewide minimum wage.

The point being to have some contrast in views coming out of Santa Fe. One of our Legal Beagles said it could not be done--that a Guv could line-item veto the part she didn't like and make law the corporate tax cut alone. But another of the Beagles says that's not necessarily so:

Joe, A clarification on the gubernatorial veto authority. Article iv section 22 of the NM Constitution limits the governor’s line item veto authority to bills appropriating money. An outright revenue bill that does not contain credit, deduction or exemption provision that (might) be construed as a “tax expenditure” is not subject to line item veto. Only directly appropriating or authorization  expenditures are subject to line item veto.

Whether the Dems will be able to put the Guv on the spot remains problematic. For two legislative sessions its been all gridlock all the time.

And we may be headed for another gridlocked session. That's the forecast if the conservative coalition that has the top leadership post in the Senate retains it when the session kicks off Tuesday.

AMY'S SOFT LANDING

Amy Orlando
One of the most no-brainier predictions the Alligators had to make last year was that Amy Orlando, defeated Dona Ana County GOP District Attorney and Governor Martinez's BFF, would land softly. And indeed she has:

Orlando began as the associate deputy director for Juvenile Justice Services of Southern New Mexico. It's a state position with the Children, Youth and Families Department. Orlando worked in the 3rd Judicial District Attorney's Office for nearly two decades. Much of  that time, Orlando served as a deputy under Gov. Susana Martinez, the  former longtime DA who appointed Orlando in that position in 2010.

Susana tried to help Amy in her election bid by having her political team pump PAC money into the DA's race. But voters selected Dem underdog Mark D'Antonio over Orlando. That's not surprising. New Mexico voters often shy away from the state's Governor when he or she wants seeks more influence over the other branches of government. Still, the Guv does have the power to get you a job and this Governor is no different than others when it comes to handing out the patronage when the occasion arise. Happy New Year, Amy....

Thanks for stopping by this week.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2013
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