Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Confederate Flag And Berry's Future And Busting Bussey; Cabinet Secretary Scored Over Dental School Comments  

We kick off the Wednesday blog from downtown. . . .

Mayor Berry's eagerness to engage protesters upset that a confederate flag is displayed in ABQ's Old Town is in sharp contrast to his willingness to engage with other activists, particularly those bird dogging APD. One of the Alligators says it's a sure sign that Berry is eyeing a political life beyond city hall:

Berry must be getting ready to run for something otherwise he wouldn't be making such a big deal out of meeting with folks on the Confederate flag issue. He has hid under a rock the last 5 years and you had to pry him out to get him to meet with the public. How long did it take for him to meet with victims from the police shootings? Nine months? Now he puts out a statement the day after a "protest" and actively engages the Old Town Confederate flag issue. Something is up because his far Northeast Heights political base could care less about this issue.

What's up is that Berry is eyeing a Guv run in '18. That may sound surreal to those who are fully aware of the heavy baggage this mayor carries but it's what you get when you have a city council, a Democratic Party and a newspaper that has given him a pass. Possible Republican foes of Berry for the GOP Guv nomination might want to think about that?


Secretary for Workforce Solutions Celine Bussey brought the Alligators out of the pond when on the Tuesday blog she supported building a dental school at UNM. Here's one of the critters (a Republican) who calls himself "C.U. Laytor Gator" (no kidding):

First, as a Gator who remembers previous dental school debates, it would be wise to do a cost benefit study before breaking open the coffers for a somewhat specific field of advanced medical training like dentistry. The state has, in the past, found it much more cost effective to pay neighboring state tuition to get New Mexicans trained up as dentists. Before this administration goes down that path, it ought to do an updated analysis. My hunch is that, even with some folks going out of state for dental school and then not returning, it was much less expensive than the dis economy of scale involved in creating our own dental school.

Those in favor of the dental school say cost is not the issue but the opportunity it provides to New Mexicans to enter the profession and to staff the state with dentists who are committed to staying here. Would it be cost effective to send New Mexicans who want to be doctors or lawyers to out-of-state schools? Probably but we don't because the point isn't the subsidy it takes for the education but the beneficial impact to the state's long-term future.

When you stick your neck out in La Politica you can be sure it will get snapped at. Here's a Senior Alligator strike on Bussey:

Secretary Bussey cannot even run the Workforce Solutions Department, making people wait on hold up to 45 to 60 minutes. The fact that the Workforce Solutions secretary is talking about the need for a dental school is backwards. I agree 100% with you about the need for a dental school but I would suggest that it is a conversation that the regents at UNM should have. The workforce solutions secretary should spend her time seeing if she and her department could not do a better job putting people back to work and administering the programs that fall under her domain.

Another of Gov. Martinez's cabinet secretaries--Monique Jacobson of Children Youth and Families is taking hits. They come from ABQ Dem State Sen Michael Padilla. That story is here.


A reader who is a friend of the family who lost their son in a fatal shooting in March at the Los Altos Skate Park in ABQ's NE Heights says he expects more transparency in the case if APD is truly undergoing reform:

APD was quick to put on a PR show to portray Jaquise Lewis, a 17 year old African-American, as a perpetrator who was gunned down in "self-defense." APD released to the media several highly selective screen shots from a video taken that night as part of that effort.

Jaquise's mother has repeatedly called on APD to release the full video because she believes it shows Jaquise did not start the fight that occurred that night, that he did not have a gun, and was shot in the back twice in an act of premeditated murder.

While willing to release selective screen shots from a video that is almost three minutes long, APD refuses to release the full video. After repeatedly asking for the video's release Jaquise's mother was forced to file a public records lawsuit against APD in order to get the video released. She has stated publicly that she will drop the public records lawsuit if APD will release the full, unedited video. APD says they won't release the video because there's an on-going investigation. 

That development certainly raises the curiosity quotient about just what went down at that skate park.

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