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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Berry Still Stung From Legislative Defeat Over APD And Pundits Continue To Sting Susana Over The Session  

Mayor Berry continues to cry in his beer over the Legislature's rejection of his plan to allow double-dipping at APD to resolve the manpower crisis brought on by the feds investigation of the department, low morale, retirements etc. He's now blaming the state Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) for providing what he sees as misleading info on the impact of the double-dipping bill that was dead-on-arrival at the Roundhouse.

But legislators were not only concerned about the impact of double-dipping on the state retirement fund. Many don't want to get anywhere near the inferno that is Berry's APD. In other words, lawmakers told Berry: You broke it Mr. Mayor and now you own it. . . 

Retired APD Seargent Dan Klein continues to watchdog APD and comes with this:

An Albuquerque police officer illegally accessed a federal database to find a woman’s address and gave the information to her ex-husband, against whom she had a restraining order, according to the agency that investigates citizen complaints against city police officers. Simple question. Why hasn’t this been sent to the FBI and the Bernalillo County District Attorney for prosecution? I was always told that as a police officer if you ever accessed a law enforcement database for a reason other than law enforcement you would be prosecuted. So why didn’t Chief Eden report this to the FBI and the Bernalillo County District Attorney?

STINGING SUSANA

Of her five regular legislative sessions, this past one is stinging Susana the most. We continue our round-up of opinion with conservative Eastside columnist Tom McDonald weighing in:

Martinez had better figure out how to work with Democrats or she’s going to go down in history as an ineffectual governor. . . I see little during her time in office that’s of historic value. Her balanced-budget accomplishment is required by the state constitution, so that’s a hollow boast, while her education initiatives are being stymied by lawmakers and educators alike. . . 

Martinez has the same problem that President Obama has--an inability or an unwillingness to develop personal relationships with the opposition’s leadership. For Obama, it’s those tea-party Republicans, and for Martinez, it’s the obstructionists in the New Mexico Senate. Still, all’s not lost for Susana. . .

She won re-election by a landslide, and brought with her a House majority, so she’s got considerable leverage--and three more years to exercise her options. If she’ll just take that leverage into some good-faith negotiations with her loyal opposition, maybe she’ll become a governor of consequence after all.

And this editorial opinion on the session from the generally liberal Taos News:

The political posturing was exaggerated. The arguing was juvenile. The grand finale was last-minute paralysis, with lawmakers failing to approve a $264 million bill for capital outlay--brick-and-mortar projects. Capital outlay is softball. And they blew it. . . We encourage Martinez to call lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session to approve capital outlay funding. 

We urge Republicans in the House to work with Democrats in the Senate. We ask the governor to stay out of the way. And we want lawmakers to take a serious look at reforming a process that is the very definition of pork barrel politics. Stop piecemeal funding major and urgent infrastructure projects. Start prioritizing funding based on need rather than friendship with lobbyists.

Martinez told a biz group Monday she has no plans to call a special session. And she continued to recite the playbook given to her by her political consultants--relentlessly attack the senate Dems in preparation for a run at a GOP senate take over in 2016. She did not offer any initiatives to bridge the gap.

It is hard for this Governor to have a special session when that necessitates talking to the opposition and cutting a deal beforehand. She is not prone to do either. Calling a special session is an executive decision and requires executive leadership--not posturing, raging or blaming, but rising above your opponents and getting a deal on the $264 million capital outlay. "Rising above" is the operative phrase.

CHEMICAL REACTION

NM Senator Tom Udall continues to fend off allegations from his liberal base that he is too soft on the chemical industry in a regulatory bill he is sponsoring. Mother Jones comes at the issue in this piece.

THE BOTTOM LINES

Ana Canales says the fifth time is the charm. After winning her fifth term as chair of the Bernalillo County Democratic Party over the weekend, Canales says she probably won't run again. She beat out Keith Lewis for another two year stint at a weekend vote of county central committee members. She will have served ten years when that term is completed.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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