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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Group Wants Wide Open NM Primaries, Plus: We Have A Lot Of Would-Be Governors With Good Ideas; The Winner Of Our Governor For A Day Contest 

Former Dem NM State Rep. Bob Perls of Corrales has a new political project--working to let the state's many independent voters cast ballots in primary elections. He's heading up the group  New Mexico Open Primaries:

Joe, Dedicated to the proposition that you should not have to join a party to vote, we are getting the message out, raising money, enrolling volunteers and moving important political reforms forward. 42 percent of Americans are not registered with a major party and 22 percent of New Mexicans are registered as declined to state (DTS). Many more registered Democrats and Republicans are registered as such simply not to be excluded in the primary elections. Parties use tax dollars to run a private club’s election. This is wrong and the number of people not voting speaks to the deep frustration that exists in this state with politics as usual. NMOP is dedicated to moving New Mexico to an election system where no one is excluded from voting. By getting a full range of participation in the first round elections, all voices are heard which means candidates and elected officials have to listen to the right, left and center to get elected and stay in office.

Perls has his work cut out for him. The two last major elections around here--for ABQ mayor in '13 and Governor in '14 had record low turnout.

QUIT THE CHEERLEADING

Expatriate New Mexican Chris Cervini checks in with reaction to our Monday blog on the explosion in New Mexicans eligible for the Medicaid program for low income households:

Joe, you are one of the few to draw a bright line between NM's slumping economy and the rise in Medicaid eligibility. I would argue there is one more sector to blame and that's the NM business cheerleaders. They howl and howl for their tax cuts as if that's the magic snake oil that will create jobs. Well, they've gotten their tax cuts and what's been the result? Crickets. Until we are willing to face the major underpinnings that hold NM's economy back (poverty, education, curbing violence), all the tax cuts in the world aren't going to cut it. Remember, NM has essentially paid (through tax incentives) companies to come here in the past and that hasn't worked out long term. Until policymakers and business cheerleaders start looking at economic development in a fundamentally different way, NM's economy will continue to plod along and sadly, the ranks of those in poverty will grow.

WE HAVE A WINNER

Congratulations, Kevin Bersell---you are Governor for a Day. Kevin of Santa Fe submitted the winning entry in our Tuesday contest and for his effort he has been awarded two tickets to this Friday's Vintage Albuquerque's Grand Tasting at the ABQ International Balloon Museum, a $170.00 value.

We asked for three ideas you would implement if you could be Governor for 24 hours. While not necessarily agreeing with Kevin's ideas, they were at the top of the creative list and here they are:

1. Free Energy - What do we have more of than anything else? Dirt and sunshine. If you employ more than 100 people in NM as Governor I'll give you an almost free lease on land to produce all the energy you need to run your business (you will have to provide the solar panels). The State Land office does this for oil, lets do it for solar too.

2. Free education. As Governor I'm going to offer free education in the following areas: computer programming, nursing, medicine and dentists. MDs and DDS's will have to train in ABQ but the rest can happen in the smaller universities and community colleges outside of the Duke City.

3. Legalize marijuana and support marijuana production - (No wait, don't leave... keep reading). New Mexico has the climate and culture to grow the best Marijuana in the world. Regardless of what you think of marijuana it will be legal soon. Let's get ahead of the curve and start building a marijuana industry that will generate billions of dollars in revenue and create agricultural jobs in our small communities. Let's not be last again.

Those were big ideas, another reason Kevin took the prize.

Every entry we received was thoughtful (no surprise there) including this one from Republican Brent Eastwood in DC:

Instead of trying in vain to recruit industries and companies to New Mexico, focus on recruiting new agencies, departments, bureaus and offices of the federal government to relocate to New Mexico.

--Establish a “Federal Government Center of Excellence” that would be responsible for this recruitment. The Center of Excellence would also provide management consulting services to the federal government in order to promote best practices in federal solutions. This would take advantage of New Mexico’s existing expertise in government and bureaucratic work. Again, stop promising the world in incentives for “chasing smoke stacks” and instead focus on recruiting out-of-state venture capital for New Mexico high-tech entrepreneurs

Thanks to all who sent in their ideas. We're going to run some in our ABQ Free Press column as well as right here on the blog. Truly, you would all make excellent governors for a day.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
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