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Thursday, August 21, 2014

State Senators Sit Out this Cycle But Leadership Battles Lurk, Plus: Latest NM Rankings, And: To Burque Or Not To Burque 

None of the 42 state senators is up for re-election this year but that doesn't mean there isn't politically jockeying going on that will play out in the days after the November election. Our legislative experts have the news for you.

They say with ABQ Dem State Senator Tim Keller favored to be elected state auditor and vacate his position as Senate Majority Whip is shaping up to be a battle to watch is shaping up.. As it stands now there are three main contenders to succeed Keller in the leadership post. They are freshman ABQ Senators Michael Padilla and Jacob Candelaria and Sen. John Sapien of Sandoval County. Padilla is pegged as the most progressive of the lot with Sapien the most conservative and Candelaria hewing most to the middle.

Meanwhile, our legislative watchers break the news here that State Sen. Phil Griego continues to weigh a challenge to Senate Majority Leader Micheal Sanchez. Whether Griego will pull the trigger or not remains to be seen, but over the summer he did fire a volley at Sanchez over the power the majority leader wields over bringing individual bills to the floor. Does that mean if Griego somehow manages to take the majority leader post away from Sanchez, he would relinquish some of his power?

By the way, with Senate powerhouses like John Arthur Smith supporting Sanchez we don't exactly see the leader shaking in his boots over the prospect of a Griego challenge.

Over on the state House side all 70 members are up for re-election in November. With the chamber closely divided between the D's and R's everyone is waiting to see who will be given control on Election Night. If the D's do hang on, the battle for majority leader will hold center stage as ABQ's Rick Miera decided not to seek re-election. That leaves House Minority Whip Moe Maestas trying to climb the ladder with Rep. Debbie Rodella also eying the plum post. Other possible majority leader wannabees are eyeing the action closely from the sidelines.

NOT 50TH

The economic news for NM has been so sour for so long that sometimes you take heart just to see that we don't rank 50th in something. Like in this survey by Business Insider. It says that we are 48th in the nation in terms of experiencing the economic recovery. Alaska will have to hold it's nose on this one. It ranks last in the USA.

But you don't have to wait long for us to get shoved back down to 50th:

Births per 1,000 teenagers (ages 15–19) range from a low of 13.8 in New Hampshire to a high of 47.5 in New Mexico, according to the report from the National Center for Health Statistics based on 2012 data, the most recent available for the states.

Meantime, neighboring Colorado had the biggest drop in teen births 15 to 19. How did they do it? Here you go Fourth Floor and Roundhouse:

State public health officials are crediting a sustained, focused effort to offer low-income women free or low-cost long acting reversible contraception, that is, intrauterine devices or implants.

And one more survey that keeps us at the bottom of the barrel. It's the rate of employment for people aged 25 to 54 since the onset of the Great Recesion:

The state with the largest decline is New Mexico, where 9.2 percent fewer people are employed today than they were in 2007. Vermont and Nebraska had the smallest decline, both less than 1 percent, and 19 other states had declines that were determined to be not statistically significant.


RIGHT WING RADIO CRASH

We broke the news here this week that right-wing radio talk giant KKOB-AM crashed through another downside barrier--scoring only a 4.9 percent share of the ABQ audience, according to Nielsen Audio. Long the #1 station, KKOB now ranks second. The decline has been several years in the making and conservative Republican reader Paul Donisthorpe comes with one good explanation of why it has happened:

As a Sirius subscriber with multiple units there is absolutely no reason to listed to what local radio--talk or otherwise--has to offer. For me Direct-TV has made this the same relating to local TV--including the local news. The only reason I subscribe to the "paper" version of the ABQ Journal is to get access to the online version which blessedly now includes access to the Washington Post. Many days the "paper" is thrown in the recycle bin still folded with the rubber band intact. Calculating my ratings are really simple: Dan Patrick Show from 7-10 (broadcast locally on AM 1600, but mostly listened to on Sirius), CNBC business programming from 11-4. End of story.

TO BURQUE OR NOT TO BURQUE

We weren't surprised to see the contrary email roll in after we said we really haven't heard much of anyone refer to Albuquerque as Burque" and we ran a billboard to that effect that is making the rounds. Among those begging to strongly disagree is ABQ attorney Mo Chavez:

Come on Joe, anyone who does not accept/acknowledge the term “Burque” must be one of those recent inhabitants that have lived in “Burque” about 10 minutes and doesn’t understand that you need to peel chile before you eat it. “Burque” is a term that is part of our community and culture. “Soy Burqueno!”
Veteran KOB-TV reporter Stuart Dyson piled on:

Hey Joe, “Burque” has been vato patois for a long long time. I can remember Hispanic friends using the nickname back in the early 70’s. Don’t recall Anglo use until maybe 20-25 years ago.

And and ABQ reader:

"Burque" may not have had widespread usage for decades, but I can attest from personal experience that it was used as slang among some native Hispanic Burqenos for decades.

Just sayin'...

David Alcon explained it with a personal twist on this blogger:

People from Albuquerque express themselves as "soy de Burque," ese. And you are from Philadelphia, and not from the neighborhoods where they are from "Philly". You get it? Good.

Actually, we're from Scranton, PA. not Philly. But as an Anglo from Pennsylvania, pretending to be a New Mexican we have not choice but to leave you today with a loud cry of "Soy Burqueno!" Was that loud enough?

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
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