Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Political Potpourri: NM And The Lists, The Jobs Beat, Down Ballot Races Get Attention And More 

Blogging New Mexico
Welcome back. Here's some political potpourri direct from the Starbucks that happens to be without air conditioning. For those who think we can get too long-winded, that won't happen today.

Who says New Mexico can't soar to the top? Well, practice makes perfect:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque is recognized as the most efficient bankruptcy court in the country during 2013 in a recent analysis of information in consumer filings from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

And we have more chart-topping NM news for you. This study says we're #2 when it comes to fatal police shootings:

Arizona leads with 5.2 deaths per million, followed by New Mexico (4.1 deaths per 1 million), Florida (3.9 deaths) and Texas (3.9 deaths). Note the broad swath of dark red running across the Southwest. The West Coast follows closely behind, with Utah (3.5 deaths), California (2.9 deaths) and Oregon (2.8 deaths).

You don't have to wait long around here, do you? The latest:

Authorities say Bloomfield police have fatally shot a man following a report of a domestic dispute. . . The man was shot Wednesday and died after he was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center.

Crime is one reason the state has been undergoing an outmigration of people in recent years, but the lousy economy is far and away the prime reason many folks are heading for the U-Haul lot.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New Mexico had an outmigration of 9,750 people between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2013. It means that more people left the state than came here. New Mexico was the only southwestern state that suffered an outmigration. Albuquerque Business First talked with more than a dozen former New Mexicans to find out why they left. The main reasons were economics and more opportunity elsewhere, followed by high crime and bad schools.


Susana did announce there will be 250 manufacturing jobs coming to Los Lunas but when you read the fine print it goes like this:

About 100 permanent jobs will be created within the first year, and about 150 temporary construction jobs to build the plant, said Ralph Mims, the village’s economic development manager.

So that 250 that played so well on TV is really "about 100."

The state has bled tens of thousands of jobs during this Great Recession which the Bookings Institution says is now a double-dip recession in the ABQ metro. Funny, we haven't read anything in the local paper about that Brookings finding. Maybe the new business editor over there might want to read the Business First article or, of course, yer little 'ol blog. And then they could go ask Mayor Berry what he thinks about the recession here. And then we woke up from the dream. . .

And Gary King what are you waiting for? How much ammo do you need before you start firing? Okay, you need cash. Still, it must be hard to pass up this kind of news happening on Martinez's watch:

The Albuquerque metropolitan area’s unemployment rate ticked up to 7.7 percent in July, as the area lost 1,500 jobs from June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday. The month-over-month jobless rate rose in Farmington, decreased slightly in Santa Fe and was unchanged in Las Cruces, according to the BLS’s figures. . .

My Lord, if the Dems don't get moving soon, Ron Bell is going to sue them for political malpractice. . .

Here's just what we need. Not.

The city of Albuquerque is tapping Dr. Paul Guerin with UNM’s Institute for Social Research to run a comprehensive $50,000 study looking into lapel camera use at APD. “An audit to look at how on-body video should be used by patrol police officers and other police services, whether it should record everything or select items,” said Albuquerque chief administrative officer Rob Perry. The study will also look at whether APD can better enforce its lapel camera policy.

Okay, Rob, you are ripe for an Alligator strike on this one. To the Pond:

I thought the city already had a policy. When the lapel cameras make APD look good, turn them on and get the video out immediately. When the video makes APD look bad, turn the damned things off or find some way to get rid of the tape.


The lower ballot races like secretary of state are starting to come into sight as the contenders pick up their campaign activity. Today in Santa Fe those interested will get a chance to get a close-up look at candidates in at least three of the major down ballot races--secretary of state, land commissioner and state auditor. The NM Business Coalition is sponsoring a "job interview" session for the hopefuls. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the Santa Fe Women's club. More info here. Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie T. Oliver faces GOP Secretary of State Dianna Duran; Land Commissioner Ray Powell faces GOP rancher Aubrey Dunn and ABQ State Senator Tim Keller faces ABQ attorney Robert Aragon for state auditor.

As for the other down ballot races not featured at today's forum, former ABQ State Sen. Tim Eichenberg faces Republican Rick Lopez for state treasurer and Dem Hector Balderas is facing off with Susan Riedel for attorney general.

Currently, the only down ballot office occupied by the R's is secretary of state. That contest is getting some national attention with the liberal site Daily Kos putting it on its list of key SOS races to watch.

R's hope a low turnout and a conservative leaning electorate will hold them in good stead. But Dems say they have fielded strong candidates and believe they are set up for a down ballot sweep.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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