Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ethnic Politics: Dems Glee Over Martinez Tapes Turns Glum As Rep. Garcia Email Blows Up, Plus: Ethnic Comedy: George Lopez In Town Today To Politik; How's That For Good Timing? And: An ABQ Bright Spot 

Rep. Miguel Garcia
The Dems were justifiably gleeeful over the release of distasteful 2010 audio tapes of the Governor and her top aides, but this week comes ABQ Dem Rep. Miguel Garcia with his over-the-top comments about "Anglo Democrats" and the focus shifts back to the Dems behavior.

Garcia has apologized for his "inappropriate language" in an incendiary email he sent to fellow Dem legislators in support of two Dem state House candidates in Valencia County. It read in part:

A minority of unsuspecting Democratic leaders are supporting the Democratic Anglo newcomer opponents in Andrew's (Barreras) and Frank’s (Otero) primary races. Anglo Democrats with egos as big as Texas, mouths as big as the Grand Canyon, and much “green” [moolah] from the East and the West Coast. . .

Garcia was stunned that his email got to the media, but he's the second Dem legislator to be recently snared by comments they thought were not getting notice outside of the immediate circle they were made in. Gallup area Rep. Patty Lundstrom had this headache last month:

A state lawmaker--Rep. Patty Lundstrom--was recently heard telling a group of Navajo veterans that if they continued to support the candidate running against her, she would make one simple phone call and cut their funding. . . Lundstrom said the event she spoke was in the tiny community of Rock Springs on the Navajo Nation. Lundstrom argued that the audio portion. . . is incomplete. "Well I think when you take into this context it sounds very negative, what it really means is if there isn't true community support for the project and they aren't all working together, then the project just doesn't happen."

Some of the Alligators think it is the Guv's political machine that is behind these disclosures. One of them of long experience says :

Looks like the R's are using an old strategy of taking down Dem legislators with guilt by association. It started heating up with Patty Lundstrom's comments, now we have Rep. Miguel Garcia's email. If R's can point to the Democrats as a bunch of reprehensible bullies and old-time politicians it may stick to those Dem legislators running in difficult races and also bolster the argument for a Republican state House. Notice how no Dem State Senators are being caught on camera or email? None of them are up for election this year.

Regardless of whether the Martinez machine is behind the disclosures, the comments were made--just as those that were released in the tapes from Mother Jones that Martinez is taking so much heat over. A price will be paid. How high it will be is the question.


Maybe we are a bit psychic, but it was just Tuesday that we blogged of comments made by 1994 Dem Lt. Governor candidate Patricia Madrid while she was campaigning in the North:

“These Republicans are not our people – they are Anglos – they are newcomers – they don’t understand us – our language – our culture – they are here only to exploit our people and our land – you must vote Democratic!”

That Rep. Garcia is saying essentially the same 20 years later--not of just Anglo R's but also of Anglo Dems--has to double the GOP's pleasure over the Dem pain.

Also Tuesday we blogged of the "campaign trackers" and how they follow around the leading Dem Guv candidates and how the Dem trackers will follow Susana. Well, when you are trying to take back the House from the Dems after over 60 years of wandering in the desert, you need the trackers out on that campaign trail as well. Duh, Democrats.


Only one of the two House seats that Rep. Garcia got involved in is a target for the D's. The seat held by freshman GOP Rep. Kelly Fajardo is high on the Dem list for taking back. The seat held by GOP Rep. Alonzo Baldonado is not seen as in play. Obviously, Fajarado has been handed the earliest present of Election '14.


Well, after all the embarrassing leaked comments coming out of New Mexico politics we wonder how nationally known comedian George Lopez will be able to compete today when he appears at a fund-raiser for Bernalillo County Dem Assessor Tanya Giddings.

Lopez, an old friend of Giddings', will be hanging with her at Casa Esencia near Old Town for a VIP reception at 5:30 that's going for $250 a pop.

The general reception at 6 p.m. can be had for $50.

Giddings was appointed assessor by the Bernalillo county commission in January 2013 to fill out the term of Karen Montoya who was elected to the Public Regulation Commission. Giddings is now seeking a four year term and is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Lopez, 53, is known for his stand up-comedy that examines ethnic and racial relations. Talk about a timely visit to La Politica. . .


This is how you get to be 50th in the USA in child well-being:

A 3-year-old girl has become the fourth child in six months to die of suspected child abuse in the Albuquerque area after her guardian said he was playing “the body slam” game with her. Addelina DeLuna died of head trauma at University of New Mexico Hospital on Thursday. A criminal complaint that charges her guardian, Jay Chee Hood, a 35-year-old Rio Rancho man, with first-degree felony child abuse was filed in court on Monday. The other victims who have died in recent months are Omaree Varela, 9, allegedly kicked and beaten by his mother; a 4-month-old baby who allegedly was raped and beaten by Elijah Fernandez; and a 3-month-old who died Saturday after being shaken last month by Stefon Miller, 23, according to criminal complaints.

And our coverage continues with this from a social worker at the Children, Youth and Families Department: 

Molina Healthcare, contracted to ramrod the state's Medicaid system, is actively recruiting social workers from CYFD. The starting pay is one-third higher than what the state pays--with much smaller case loads. We've seen our work force shrink by up to 20% in some units in the last month. Investigations have been decimated. All this while the Department is trying to manage a 100% increase in substantiated child abuse cases since the first of the year. The workers staying on the job are left to pick up the slack, but our arms are already too full. It seems odd that New Mexico is allowing Molina to hijack state workers. What is wrong with this picture? 


Reader Jim McClure says ABQ has some deep problems but there's a big bright spot too. He shines a light on it:

Amid Albuquerque’s gloom, doom and disorder, the local performing arts scene appears to be thriving and actually may be growing. One of the things I appreciate about Albuquerque is the wide availability of live music and theater. I can go to a symphony concert here for about what it costs to park at a concert in my hometown of Chicago.

Lately I’ve noticed that classical music organizations are not only surviving but appear to be growing. The rise of the New Mexico Philharmonic from the ashes of the New Mexico Symphony has been a success story, and the season’s last concert at Popejoy was packed. The most recent performance of Opera Southwest was sold out. The first Chatter performance at the Railyard was sold out shortly after tickets went on sale. You have to arrive early at the Sunday morning Chatter performances at the Kosmos to get a seat. And tickets for the Santa Fe Opera are harder to get every year.

I don’t follow the wide variety of popular music, but listings in the ABQ Journal’s Venue section promote more live performances every weekend than I care to count.

Not bad for a dysfunctional city without an economy.

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