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Friday, December 05, 2014

Soon-To-Be Speaker Has Dancing Holiday, It's Now "Senator" Stewart And Readers Weigh In On NM's Iconic Buildings  

Look who's getting his groove on. Why it's none other than soon-to-be NM House Speaker Don Tripp. The Alligators were on had at the Belen Senior Center to snap this pic of the swinging solon as he cut a rug with fellow seniors (Tripp is 68).

Tripp, whose Socorro district also includes parts of Valencia County, stopped by the center last Tuesday to help serve up this year's Thanksgiving dinner. Obviously he has much to be thankful for.

Come January the R's take control of the state House for the first time in 60 years and he will elect him to the powerful Speaker's post. Also, Governor Martinez has been re-elected giving the R's additional punch and thanks to the Martinez Democrats the state Senate often leans conservative. So a lot for Tripp to be thankful over. However, he can forego giving thanks for his dancing abilities . . .

SENATOR STEWART

Stewart
The Alligators nailed this one early and often--ABQ Dem State Rep. Mimi Stewart would be appointed to the state Senate by the Bernalillo County Commission to replace Tim Keller who was elected state auditor and will take over that post in the new year. Indeed, Stewart was appointed Thursday, but there is a back story. The Alligators report:

There was a behind-the-scenes effort by some Senate Dems to derail Stewart who is a liberal firebrand. But the coup attempt had one big issue--there was not an alternative candidate of sufficient stature. Stewart is also seen as being able to keep the ABQ SE Heights dominated district in the Dems corner in '16 when she will have to seek re-election. She will probably have a jolly time tickling the ribs of the Martinez Democrats so why not?

As for who will replace Stewart in the state House that too will be decided by the five member Dem-controlled BernCo Commission. A bit strangely, candidates of stature are not lined up, say the Alligators. One of them (of the Dem variety) bemoans the apparent lack of early interest:

There is no heir apparent for Mimi’s House seat. Senate Majority Leader Sanchez may have to deal with Senator Stewart not agreeing with him but the new leader of the House Dems--Rep. Brian Egolf--has a bigger problem. He faces an a very organized Republican campaign apparatus and has to find a replacement who can actually get elected if they want to retake the House from the GOP in 2016. Here’s to Senator Stewart hopefully fighting the GOP from the Senate caucus, and not creating infighting in a beleaguered Senate Democratic Caucus.

Not create infighting? That sleepy chamber could use a pillow fight every day of the session.

The early guessing in Campaign '14 had Gov. Martinez spending about $7 million for her re-election bid. The final campaign reports show she breezed past that number:

Martinez spent $8,501,999 for the 2014 cycle. (Dem Guv hopeful Gary) King, who lagged behind in fundraising from day one, spent $2,060,764. . . Republican PAC Advance New Mexico Now, which was active in legislative races and some statewide contests, spent a total of $1,045,259. The Democrat PAC Patriot Majority actually outspent Advance NM. Their total was $1,935,704.

That's well over $13 million from two Guv candidates and two PAC's. Never mind medical school, mom, send your kids to political consulting school.

MOST ICONIC?

After seeing that UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs called the UNM basketball Pit the "most iconic" building in the state we asked readers for some other nominations. Reader Norm came with this:

The most iconic building in New Mexico is Taos Pueblo--the multi-story one just off the Plaza. Nothing else should even be in the discussion.

Dennis Trujillo says:

I would go with either Taos or Acoma Pueblo!

Reader Larry Anderson writes:

This Albuquerque Alligator first came to New Mexico almost 50 years ago. There was then as there is now only one most iconic New Mexico man-made structure--The Palace of the Governors. Well, maybe, a contender would be Chaco Canyon.

We mentioned the Santa Fe Roundhouse as perhaps most iconic but didn't get too many seconds to that motion. We think readers who reached into NM history got it right.

SAYONARA SUMITOMO

A reader has some biz news:

The Sumitomo corporation is closing their operation at the Sandia Science and Tech Park. This operation was a spin-off of Emcore technology for building high-performance lasers used in optical fiber communication. December 19th will be the last day for about 30 employees.

BOB GRANT

Bob Grant
Former ABQ GOP State Rep. Bob Grant, who died Thursday morning, was known for being one of the most reasonable men in politics, resisting the emotions of the moment. Maybe that's because he was a geologist and looked at things through a scientific lens. But for a time his passion was only La Politica and he even sought the GOP nomination for Governor.

Perhaps Grant will be most remembered for his work on New Mexico water issues. Reader John Cordova, a former aide to US Sen. Pete Domenici, recalls:

Bob Grant was an outstanding geologist.  In the 60's he was also the author of the "Lake Superior Myth" about unlimited ground water under Albuquerque. While there is water under Albuquerque it is mostly brackish..which Grant acknowledged.

In 1988, when we began anchoring Election Night coverage for KANW 89.1 FM, we called on Grant to be our Republican analyst. He did so for a number of cycles and always with the wit of a gentleman. We dubbed him "Mr. Republican." He liked that and we liked him.

Thanks to Mark Bralley for the photo help this week and thanks to you for stopping by.

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