Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Deadlocked Government Looms For More Than 3 Years, More Newspaper Blame Game On Session And Still Talking Tingley  

Martinez & Sen. Sanchez
 We have more than three long years ahead with a deadlocked Legislature and Governor and a caretaker government in ABQ (unless you think the GOP can take the senate in '16). Any big ideas are going to have to await new leadership. But Las Cruces reader Tony Schaefer says reversing our funk may be even more challenging:

Any candidate pushing reform or a real agenda promoting needed change would run up against the same old political phalanx in the primaries and if elected, in the Legislature. And then there is the question of money. With so much money now being "invested" in promoting the status quo, how would this new leader ever find the funds required to build a real candidacy?

It seems to me that the answer lies with the people of New Mexico. If somehow the people could be awakened and energized toward the goal of achieving real change and progress then such a candidacy could become legitimate and vital. Sadly, it seems more and more that New Mexicans are either resigned to their fate or simply so removed from the potential of politics and productive governance, that they just don't realize that things could be different. Do you really think that the leader you hope for could muster enough support and win? 

In this new world of hardly any real campaign finance laws with teeth,  it may take candidates who are able to self-finance if we are to get any break-out ideas in the next round of state elections. Just a thought.


The theme in much of the editorial opinion in the wake of the train wreck of a legislative session is to blame all the politicos--and that includes the previously spared Gov. Susana Martinez. While the conservative Rio Rancho Observer stuck it solely to the Legislature, the Las Vegas Optic joins the chorus of state newspapers decrying the politics of all parties involved:

It is. . . an example of the failed leadership of Senate President Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen and Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, both Democrats; House Speaker Don Tripp and House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, both Republicans, and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. The ($264 million) capital outlay package is an important piece of legislation that funds major projects in every corner of the state. Besides providing funding for desperately needed infrastructure projects, the capital outlay package provides a significant boost to the state’s economy. . . It’s no secret that New Mexico’s economy is struggling and that it has been for quite some time. . .Despite those realities, our state leaders decided to play a game of chicken. . .they drove that funding package off a cliff and are now bickering about whose fault it was. . . The bottom line is that both sides are at fault. Instead of working toward a compromise, they both chose to play games in hopes of getting the upper hand. Instead of looking out for the best interests of the people they serve, they chose to play politics, and that is outrageous.

With editorial opinion like that it's going to be interesting to see how the public reacts when the Guv's political machine tries to place all the blame for the state government stalemate solely on the Dems.


With higher ed in NM facing a much more restricted future, perhaps its time for UNM and its regents to take a look at this:

. . . A major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions. Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase.


More comment today on our post (and ABQ Free press column) on the decline of iconic Tingley Coliseum at NM Expo on the state fairgrounds. Reader Jim McClure weighs in:

Your post on the city’s failure to upgrade Tingley Coliseum is right on target. But the bigger issue is: Why continue to pour tax dollars into a dilapidated fairgrounds complex smack-dab in the middle of the city? It would make more sense to shut the whole thing down and replace it with an all-new fairground adjacent to Balloon Fiesta Park. Imagine the potential of a 236-acre, master-planned development in the heart of the city with access to the new bus rapid transit system. It would attract private investment, add homes and businesses to the tax base and revitalize one of the city’s most depressed areas. Sure beats a 50-mile bicycle trail.

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