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Friday, February 01, 2013

Friday Blogging: A Headline Chuckle, The Mayor And Crime, The Dem Chair Race And Nothing Is Easy In Santa Fe 

Let's close out the work week with a laugh. One of our Senior Alligators sent this newspaper headline and along with it a quick quip:

The headline: Senate Bill Would Allow One Armed Employee At Each N.M. School 

I wonder how many one armed employees the districts will be able to recruit?

Funny. And it might be a good time to go over just what a "Senior Alligator" is. They are our most senior political sources. They have at least 20 consecutive years in La Politica, have given us two or more major, exclusive political stories, are at least 45 years old and preferably have run for elective office and lost. We think you learn a lot more about politics when you have a loss under your belt.

Now on to some end of the week action...

Another Senior Gator, monitoring the '13 ABQ mayor's race, asks us if we heard about property crime going up in the city. The news:

Albuquerque crime stats show a slight increase in property crime since 2011. Citywide, property crime is up by about two percent.  Drilling down the numbers, we see the Southwest side of the city saw an 83% increase in commercial burglaries. The Southeast side saw a 43% increase in commercial burglaries.  Police said they expected the rise because detectives have been making more arrests.

And the analysis from the Senior Gator:

The two percent increase in property crime city isn't that bad politically under normal circumstances. But it's an increase on an issue that was the centerpiece of Berry's 2009 campaign.  He said he would fix it if elected. He hasn't. Making the political ramifications worse, there are parts of the city where property crime has gone through the roof. These areas tend to be more Democratic and/or Hispanic - a voting block that was divided in 2009 between Marty Chavez and Richard Romero.

Between his anemic record on jobs and the economy, his failure on property crime and the mess at APD, Berry could be in real trouble if the Democrats were able to unite behind a candidate.

There are plenty of meat and potatoes issues on the Dems poltical plate as they gear up to take on Berry. But if Republcian Berry is challenged by two Dems and the vote is split, the mayor's race could look like peaches and cream for the incumbent.

CHAIR BATTLE

Roxanne Lara
Democrats aren't united over any one candidate in the mayor's race and the same can be said for the race for their state party chairmanship. ABQ attorney Sam Bregman is facing off against Carlsbad attorney Roxanne Lara. The email from supporters of both continues to flow in. Here's a pro-Lara writer:

Don’t crown Sam Bregman yet, this race is far from over. Roxanne is an attorney in Eddy County and Chaired the Eddy County Commission. She is a well liked and respected state central committee member with a ground game. She’s not a light weight by any stretch. 

Although Sam is well connected in Bernalillo, many in other areas of New Mexico view him as “all hat and no cattle.”.It’s easy to talk a good game, it’s another thing entirely to deliver on your promises.Roxanne Lara is committed. She is not running for Party Chair to bolster her credentials or in preparation for a run at a higher office. She‘s running for the good of the Party as a whole. If the Democratic Party falters so do all the hardworking men and women that the Party represents in New Mexico. She’s just getting out of the gate... stay tuned.

Over 400 Dem state central committee members will meet in late April to choose a new chairman to replace Javier Gonzales who is not seeking another term.

NOTHING IS EASY

It might seem easy for the Guv and the legislature to craft a compromise over the issuance of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.The Guv is indicating that she is finally ready to deal, but Bill Hume, a former editor of the ABQ Journal editorial pages and who once served as a top aide to former Governor Big Bill, says not much comes easy on hot button issues like this one:

I haven't seen any proposed compromise legislation, but it seems to me that the non-ID drivers license for undocumented immigrants that could not be used for identification purposes would be tantamount to carrying state-issued proof that you should be deported as soon as you show it to a law enforcement officer. In ABQ, officers have instructions that when they have any reasonable suspicion that an individual is an illegal alien, they should call immigration authorities.

And, what of the illegal aliens who already have licenses? Will they be called in to have their documents changed? Will we send the police to find them?

Thanks Bill.

We welcome your news, comments and pithy remarks on whatever strikes your fancy.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

Reporting from ABQ, I'm Joe Monahan.

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