Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Reader Mailbag: The Guv, The Lujans, Pearce, UNM Athletics And Much More 

Let's kick it off with this one from reader Bill Hume who comments on the news we broke here that the Guv and her husband will host a $10,000 a pop weekend getaway fund-raiser at a luxury resort in Taos;

I found it wryly amusing that the invitation to the $10,000 Taos weekend with Gov. Martinez specifies that those who pony up can mention the event and get a "discount" on the hotel rate.

New Mexico campaign law allows an individual to give a statewide candidate $5,200 for their primary election and another $5,200 for the general election campaign.

Fred Moran, chairman of the Chaves County Democratic Party, writes:

Hi Joe, I read your blog where you mention that former Dem State Rep. Joe Campos is thinking about a run for Congress in the southern congressional district. Another potential candidate for that position is Michael Trujillo from Chaves County. Mike was on top of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's list of candidates with potential and has been in contact with the folks in Washington on the subject. Michael is an Iraqi war veteran, former County Commissioner and the owner of El Charo Mexican Foods here in Roswell.

The southern congressional seat is held by Republican Steve Pearce.

And staying in the south, Stephanie DuBois writes:

Joe, a woman from our county (Otero) has stepped up to take on Pearce. Her name is Leslie Singh, an attorney and a former county chair here for the Democratic Party. She has been getting around the state and visiting with Democrats and letting them know of her intentions. 


Reader John Cordova writes of ABQ Mayor Berry's announcement that he plans on filling 160 vacancies in city government:

I sit on the Albuquerque Museum Board of Trustees and am a previous member of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation. Albuquerque is blessed with a world class museum and staff with great exhibits as well as a new expansion devoted to history. Mayor Berry’s announcement of 160 new workers to the City payroll is welcome and we on the museum board hope that at least three of those positions land at the museum. Our Art and History curators are in need of staff to carry out plans and we are short of staff to support administration. The museum gets some support from our foundation, which is welcome, but program plans need staffing to be implemented. Austerity has its consequences…curtailed services and stressed staff are some...


Reader Peter St. Cyr writes of the budget proposal unveiled this week by President Obama:

Joe, Of course New Mexico's national labs funding is of key importance to ABQ, but the big question might be: will northern Dem Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and ABQ Dem Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham vote for the President's Social Security cuts? If they do, can we expect them to get primary opponents next year? They need to oppose them to keep favor with their liberal base.

Both Lujans appear strong, but their statements on Social Security certainly bear watching.


A reader writes of the news that we broke here this week that Dona Ana County Democratic State Senator Joe Cervantes will in the coming weeks weigh a run for the 2014 Dem Guv nomination:

Sen Cervantes may have voted against the last minute corporate income tax cut at the recent session of the Legislature but he has a spotty record with "Dem loyalists," including voting for the governor's drivers license bill, her education bills.

Attorney general Gary King remains the sole announced Dem Guv candidate.


Reader and political consultant Traci Cadigan comes with this news about the ABQ City Council seat currently held by Republican Don Harris:

Long-time community volunteer and former Air Force civilian employee, Lovie McGee announced  that she will seek election to Albuquerque City Council, District 9. McGee is a professional real estate broker, specializing in residential sales...Before becoming a broker, she worked for 20 years as a federal computer, finance and data specialist at Kirtland Air Force Base. (She has served as) Chair of the New Mexico Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. McGee will focus on ensuring that District 9 has responsive, energetic and fair leadership on the City Council....

McGee is a Democrat. The city election is in October.


We pause now to bring you this link to the latest scores at the 77th edition of the Masters.


Reader Bryan Wilcox writes in reaction to other reader comments about athletics and the University of New Mexico:

I recently participated in a recruitment weekend for the political science dept. at Texas A&M University. I was accepted to their Ph.D. program. Readers Padilla and Jones are correct: UNM must spend more on academics than athletics to keep the university afloat.

We all know that A&M is a powerhouse in athletics. Kyle Field, where the football team plays, is a monument on campus. Yet, despite their worship of athletics, their academic programs are top notch. 

A&M has a world class faculty in political science that is well regarded throughout the nation. The prospective students I was visiting with had competing offers from University of Chicago, University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, and Norte Dame University, among others, and were seriously considering A& M.

The visit showed that athletics and academics can go hand in hand. But it also showed that academics cannot take the back burner to athletics. UNM has limited resources and those resources should be directed to recruitment and retention of top faculty, better facilities on campus, and more funding for graduate students then, after all those bases are covered, athletics.

Another reader writes on the same topic, but with a different perspective:

Sports is entertainment. Entertainment makes money, not to mention helping develop community enthusiasm and spirit. People donate money because they are proud of their school. Rightly or wrongly, they develop that pride, in large part, due to the success of their athletic programs.

We should ask Notre Dame, Ohio St., Penn State, Florida, USC, Texas, etc. what football has done for them? I'm certain their response would be that their respective football programs have helped raise countless sums of money that fund many of their academic programs.

Let's also ask what basketball has done for Indiana, Michigan, Duke, Wichita State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Gonzaga, VCU, Butler or Florida Gulf Coast? The answer is their involvement with excellent athletic programs equates to more recognition and more money for academic programs.

So, let's not be so short sighted. Even MIT has an athletic program.

Thanks for the comments. That's it for this week. Thanks for dropping in.

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan.

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