Friday, June 20, 2014
The campaign has been blithely quiet about what has been going on in New Mexico’s largest city. Here’s a city hat should be the economic engine and dynamic centerpiece for the state and its future. Yet the incumbent has gone into a rather unoriginal attack mode, without doubt much easier than having to address real issues. Her opposition has not done much better. . .
If Albuquerque is allowed to fail as a viable and vital community or just simply continue to stumble along in some sort of zombie-like fashion, what hope is there that state elected officials from the governor on down can begin to change the long list of the state’s bottomed-out dismal metrics among its peers from children’s welfare and education to business development and new jobs to countless other measures of the public good?
The long-running argument over driver's licenses for immigrants is turning out to be one of the most glaring examples of much ado about nothing ever seen around here:
Records show that newly issued driver's licenses to immigrants in New Mexico have plunged by nearly a third in the past year despite no change in the state's policy of granting driving privileges to foreign nationals living in the country illegally.
Maybe they'll now start talking about the wreck of a economy and NM being ranked 50th in child well-being?
SE NM is freaking out over the possibility that the WIPP nuclear storage site may never reopen, taking with it hundreds of high paying jobs. The irony is that while WIPP remains closed because of a radiation leak, millions of dollars in new money is set to pour in:
Senate appropriators set aside an extra $102 million to help reopen WIPP near Carlsbad. The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee approved spending $323 million on WIPP’s FY 2015 budget, an amount that is about $102 million above President Obama’s request. The additional money would be used to help get the nuclear waste repository, which has been shuttered since an early February safety incident, up and running again.
With WIPP funding on a roll--at least for now--and the SE oil boom going strong, one supposes the $200 a night rate for a hotel room down there isn't going down anytime soon.
UNM assistant professor David Correia has been one of the most prominent voices of dissent over the APD crisis. He was recently arrested on a felony charge of battery on a security officer during a sit-in at the Mayor's office. But Correia has also received some good news:
Correia recently earned a promotion and tenure, but University administration said his local activism was not a factor in the decision. Correia, who is now an associate professor in the American Studies Department, has been a prominent figure in campaigns regarding the Albuquerque Police Department. He was arrested for alleged battery on a security officer two weeks ago during a demonstration in the mayor’s office.In a statement released by the University, the process of determining whether an instructor at the University achieves tenure is unrelated to the employee’s off-campus actions.
There was concern that UNM might succumb to pressure over Correia and find a way to remove him, but the awarding of tenure would seem to put that concern to rest.
The battery charge against Correia is decried by his backers who say video of the sit-in clearly shows there was no aggression toward the security officer.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author