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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Susana's Matanza; No High-Rollers Needed--For A Change, Plus: Weh Launches US Senate Bid, And: Dimas Damage; Did Santa Fe Mayoral Contender Take Himself Out? 

So you're still stewing that you couldn't come up with $1500 to spend New Year's Eve at that exclusive fund-raiser with Governor Martinez at the home of a powerhouse lobbyist? Well, you can stop fretting.

Susana's campaign is coming with the common touch and throwing a matanza this Saturday at the ABQ South Valley home of a cousin of  Demesia Padilla, the Guv's taxation and revenue secretary. And you don't even to have to pay one thin dime--it's free and open to the public.

She can afford it. The Guv--to the derision of some of her critics--has been dashing all over the USA for months in search of campaign cash at high-dollar fund-raisers.

Of course, if this matanza featuring a cooked pig in the ground is properly held outdoors and the weather doesn't hold, they might have to call the Koch brothers to donate some warm blankets.

We are giving advance warning to the Governor that only northern New Mexico approved chicharrone stirring techniques should be employed at her matanza. None of that El Paso stuff--or else.

And God forbid if a picture should emerge of Susana or anyone else at the matanza using a steel paddle to stir the chicharrones in lieu of the required wooden paddle. We doubt even this Governor who advocates ceaselessly for "bold change" would sanction such heresy. At least we hope not.

The matanza sounds like the perfect place for the ordinary folk to to catch up with the Governor--including us. We've been unable to get our belated Christmas gift to her. Now we have our shot. It's a full year's subscription to the National Journal. Do you think she'll like it?

WEH WADES IN
Allen Weh

Allen Weh has seen and met a lot of challenges in his 71 years, but the one he's decided to take on this year looks like a mountain.

Weh confirmed to me Tuesday that he will seek the 2014 GOP US senate nomination and the right to take on Dem US Senator Tom Udall in November. We reported earlier that Weh had been circulating nominating petitions. He will make the formal announcement via live video stream tomorrow morning.

The retired Marine Colonel, former chairman of the NM GOP and a 2010 GOP candidate for Governor, will enter the fray as the favorite for the nomination but a prospective general match-up with Udall is daunting.

The freshman Senator is popular and recently won a spot on the Senate Appropriations committee--important to federally-dependent New Mexico. Also, national Republicans have written off the race and are not planning to come with any money. The GOP nominee will have to hit hard on the economy and hope Obama's popularity in NM tanks.

Weh has considerable personal financial resources, amassed via his ownership of CSI Aviation. Although he is known a s a formidable fund-raiser, he may have to fork over some of his own cash if he is to run a serious effort.

Before he gets to take on Udall, Weh must get past former assistant district attorney David Clements of Las Cruces who describes himself as a libertarian Republican and who announced his candidacy last year.

Don't expect to see Weh campaign much, if at all, with Susana. Their battle for the '10 Guv nod spoiled that relationship.

DIMAS DAMAGE

Has Bill Dimas taken himself out of the Santa Fe mayor's race? It certainly seems that way to the arm-chair quarterbacks and Alligators looking at the contest. Dimas has decided that the mayoral forums where citizens get to see the three contenders up-close aren't for him. He is boycotting them, saying they are rife with planted questions and seek to advance the agenda of the "special interests" who sponsor them.

That left Pattie Bushee and Javier Gonzales to debate alone during the first mayoral forum this week. And it seemed to suit them and the voters attending just fine.

After enduring an ABQ mayoral contest last year where it was like pulling teeth to get groups to sponsor any mayoral forums, it was heartening to see that Santa Fe's will be numerous. You can't have much of a participatory democracy if the candidates don't participate. Fortunately Bushee and Gonzales are committed to attending any and all forums. Sad to say for Dimas--who seems intent on writing his own political obituary--he wont be missed.

TAKING THE CASINO

You would think stealing from a casino would be nearly impossible in this day of sophisticated security, but enterprising thieves still manage to take for an occasional ride the casinos run here by the Indian pueblos. The ride doesn't usually last long, however. From the US Attorney's office:

John Hoffman of Rio Rancho was sentenced  two years of probation for his felony conviction for embezzling money belonging to an Indian gaming establishment. His wife and accomplice, Michelle Fischer, 43, also received a two-year probationary sentence for her misdemeanor conviction. . . The Hoffmans were ordered to pay $74,830.43 in restitution to the Santa Ana Star Casino.

. . . Hoffman was employed in the Marketing Department and admitted that he abused his position by gaining access to active and inactive “Player’s Club” cards and adding money and credits to the cards. . . Hoffman also admitted giving the cards to Fischer knowing that she intended to distribute the cards to others who would use the cards to gamble and who would give Hoffman and Fischer a percentage of their winnings.

By the way, a vote on the nomination of Damon Martinez to become the state's new US Attorney is expected shortly in the US Senate. Martinez has served as an assistant US attorney since 2001.

THE BOTTOM LINES

From Bernalillo County:

District 1 Commissioner Debbie O’Malley (Democat) is the new chair of the Bernalillo County Commission. The County Commission voted 5-0 to select O’Malley at Tuesday night's meeting. The commission also unanimously elected District 2 Commissioner Art De La Cruz to the vice chair position. O’Malley and De La Cruz will serve in their respective leadership capacities for the 2014 calendar year. . . .

Being an ABQ street cop can be a tough job and the training to get there is no cakewalk. Here's a video of APD cadets getting tasered as part of their academy training. Ouch.

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