Monday, June 17, 2013

A Gift For The Dems? GOP Brings Back Kush, Plus: The Downs Deal, Chief Schultz's Cat & Mouse Game And Fewer Folks In Rural NM 

State Dems may have been given a gift by GOP Bernalillo County GOP Chairman Frank Ruvolo. He says he is bringing back the controversial Steve Kush as the party's executive director. Kush took a public flogging when he went on Twitter and called a 19 year old labor advocate a"a radical bitch."

"Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch," Kush tweeted while watching a county commission meeting where an increase in the minimum wage was being debated.

Kush, who apologized for his remarks, tells freelancer Peter St. Cyr that he took a "social media awareness class" after Ruvolo suspended him for his wayward comments. But Ruvolo seems to be asking for a battle in bringing Kush back. He says the ED was subjected to a "double standard" because when ABQ Dem State Rep, Sheryl Williams Stapleton called Governor Martinez the "Mexican on the Fourth Floor" she apologized but did not lose her job.

Ruvolo and the GOP apparently don't see much sense in the rule that says "two wrongs don't make a right."

Also, Stapleton stood for election after her comments and she won. Maybe members of the Bernalillo County GOP Central Committee should vote on Kush's future?


Here's an Alligator strike on the newspaper's front-pager Saturday previewing the opening of the new ABQ Downs casino:

The Journal forgets its own reporting. This casino was supposed to be opened much earlier. Part of the supposed reason the bidding for the Downs lease was rushed was because the Downs team was ready to break ground and get a new casino built....

And another:

So the Journal does a front-page fluff piece on the Downs getting ready for it's casino opening with no mention that the FBI is questioning folks about how they were awarded the deal? I wonder who called and requested that...?

Several former Governor Martinez campaign staffers and their attorneys have publicly confirmed that they have been interviewed by the FBI specifically about the Downs lease and that it was not part of the investigation into the emailgate probe that led to the indictment of former Martinez staffer Jamie Estrada.


Critics of APD Chief Ray Schultz are happy to see that he will soon be leaving--but Schultz appears to be enjoying toying with them as he heads for the exits. He still has not given a definite date for his retirement. When he announced he would be leaving earlier this year he said it would be in "the summer or fall." Conventional wisdom has it that Schultz will be gone by Labor Day because he is a potential political liability for ABQ Mayor Berry who is up for re-election October 8.

The APD is facing its most troubling times since its inception well over a hundred years ago. The US Justice Department is investigating it because of numerous fatal police shootings, the civilian oversight process for the department is in chaos and the city faces tens of millions of dollars in potential lawsuits settlements because of the fatal shootings.

Speaking of the history of APD, from what we see on the web site, there is a pretty cool museum commemorating the department's long history. It's a reminder that the reputation of APD can and will be restored. But the cleansing process will be long and difficult.

The museum is at 4th and Roma and tour information is on the site.


Why did eastern NM lose a state Senate seat in the redistricting of 2010 and why may other rural areas of the state lose more in the future. Here's one reason:

Rural America is losing population for the first time ever, largely because of waning interest among baby boomers in moving to far-flung locations for retirement and recreation, according to new census estimates. Long weighed down by dwindling populations in farming and coal communities and the movement of young people to cities, rural counties are being hit by sputtering growth in retirement and recreation areas, once residential hot spots for baby boomers. 

The new estimates, as of July 2012, show that would-be retirees are opting to stay put in urban areas near jobs. Recent weakness in the economy means some boomers have less savings than a decade ago to buy a vacation home in the countryside, which often becomes a full-time residence after retirement. Cities are also boosting urban living, a potential draw for boomers who may prefer to age closer to accessible health care.

The continued loss of rural population will mean in the years ahead we will see even more political strength for the Dem cities of ABQ, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.That doesn't mean the politicians will be ignoring our rural neighbors. Dem Senator Tom Udall--politically weakest on the conservative and rural east side--has just opened a Senate office there-

Senator Tom Udall  announced he has opened a Senate office in Portales to serve New Mexico constituents in Roosevelt, Curry, Quay, De Baca, Harding and Union Counties.Located in the Roosevelt County Enterprise Center at 100 South Avenue A, Suite 113 in Portales, the field office will provide Eastern New Mexico residents an opportunity to receive more direct information on a variety of federal services...

Now this doesn't have anything to do with the Senator seeking re-election next year, does it? Come on, why would you even think that?

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