Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jeb Bush Could Make NM R's Happy, Kari Said To Be Moving Toward Cop Murder Charges, Dunn Says It's Done And He's Won, Liberal Replaces Liberal In State House And Rep. Archuleta Dies At 65 

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush seems to be inching closer to a 2016 bid for the GOP presidential nomination, and that will be cheered by many New Mexico Republicans (not the Tea Party types).

The former Florida Governor has deep ties to the Hispanic community that will get him notice here. He took a degree in Latin American affairs from the University of Texas, he's a fluent speaker of Spanish, is married to Columba Bush, a native of Mexico, and he pledges to seek middle ground when it comes to the hot button issue of immigration.

New Mexico fell off the presidential swing state list after Obama's 2008 win and is unlikely to regain its status as a battleground state. Still, if Bush is the nominee expect him to do a test drive here to see if his background might make a difference. The state's Hispanic population continues to climb and now comprises over 47% of the total.

Bush did fund-raisers for Gov. Martinez in Farmington and Santa Fe earlier this year. Her education secretary--Hanna Skandera--worked for Bush when he was governor of Florida.


Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg is said to be preparing to lower the boom on APD. The news:

Brandenburg’s office anticipates pursuing open counts of murder against the two Albuquerque police officers who shot homeless camper James Boyd in the Sandia Foothills on March 16, KRQE News 13 has learned. It is a preliminary decision based on multiple reviews of more than 1,000 pages of evidence and nine DVDs containing recordings from APD’s investigation of the shooting, which police turned over to prosecutors in early October, multiple sources have told KRQ News 13. Brandenburg has said she expects to make a final decision in the spring on whether to pursue charges against the two officers. . .

If the sources have it right, it's the right move at the right time for the embattled DA. APD is trying to get her on bribery charges involving her drug addicted son and have sent evidence up to the attorney general, but the charges appear feeble. And now the newspaper has called for her to take a leave of absence. Not the right play.

If the cops are charged with murder all hell is going to break loose here and nationally which is probably just what this town needs at this point in our sorry history. Mayor Berry, CAO Perry and APD Chief Eden, strap yourself in. It's going to be a bumpy ride.


GOP land commissioner candidate Aubrey Dunn says he's not jumping the gun. He says the recount is done and he's won. He told supporters in an email Tuesday:

The recount is complete and will be certified Thursday. Now let's finally get down to business.

Only 704 votes separated Dunn and incumbent land commissioner Ray Powell out of about 500,000 cast.  Republican insiders say there was little change in the results after the recount.

In his missive posted here Dunn says he "won again." But you don't win until your certified to have won. You won only once, Aubrey, but that should be enough.

The secretary of state's office confirms the Dunn win, saying the final count shows he took it by 656 votes.


The ABQ state House seat being vacated by Mimi Stewart will stay in the hands of the progressives. The Bernalillo County Commission has named Stephanie Maez, CEO for the advocacy group Center for Civic Policy, as the new representative for HD 21.

Maez, who has a Masters degree in Public Administration from UNM, is an unabashed liberal like Stewart. She also has extensive business experience, having worked in communications for PNM as well as the ABQ Chamber of Commerce. She also worked in the Dem administration of Big Bill.

One of the other applicants for the job was former ABQ state Senator Bernadette Sanchez. She came under a critical eye from progressives because of what they saw as a conservative tinge to her record.

Insiders think Maez, 34, should be a strong candidate when she seeks election to the heavy Dem SE Heights seat in 2016.


Rep. Archuleta
He wasn't in Santa Fe for very long but State Rep. Phil Archuleta made quite a splash. His vigorous advocacy for civil rights and his well-publicized battle with his personal health made Archuleta one of the better known state reps, despite only being elected in 2012 and then losing his Dona Ana County seat last month to Republican Andy Nunez.

Arhculeta died Tuesday of pneumonia. His poor health--he had a leg amputated-prevented him from attending the '14 legislative session. But he campaigned for re-election from his wheelchair and played the role of Happy Warrior. Shortly after the amputation and while he was in rehab, he called me to quiet speculation that he would give up his seat. "I'm a fighter," he said at the time. "I don't give up."

Phillip Archuleta was 65.

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