Monday, July 06, 2015

A Sizzlin' Summer For Sanders; Dem Prez Contender Firing Them Up With Fire In The Belly, Plus: Fudging The Tourist Numbers, And: The APD Crisis; What Don't We Get?  

Bernie Sanders has the fire in the belly and it appears to be contagious--at least among the progressive Democratic base. The 73 year old Vermont Senator is catching fire by being the antitheses of Hillary Clinton--a candidate brimming with passion and the vessel for a no-holds-barred liberal agenda that much of the nominating wing of the party aches for.

Clinton, still predicted to put Sanders away early in the contest for the 2016 Dem prez nod, can only act as a spectator as this parade marches by. Still, it's a reminder that danger lurks in the early caucus state of Iowa and the New Hampshire primary where a handful of voters will bestow Big Mo on the actual or perceived winner.

Even if Sanders only causes Hillary to break a slight sweat, his ideas of universal health care and free college could impact her views--thus the campaign and ultimately perhaps the presidency.

Here in New Mexico we won't get to see sparring between Sanders and Clinton. By the time of our June '16 primary the nominee will be evident. But that doesn't mean the locals aren't getting in on the action. Some of them are already boosting Bernie on the NM for Bernie Sanders Facebook page.

Since Sanders is relying on small donors to finance his campaign, he could find some checks coming his way with New Mexico addresses on them.  His Facebook is active with the latest campaign news. Hillary also has put up a NM Facebook page but it has not been active since last year. She did, however, make a campaign fund-raising stop in ABQ earlier this year. Maybe Bernie will make a pit stop here, too. He is hearing some complaints that his campaign is too Anglo-centric and that he needs to reach out to Hispanic voters. There's no better place to do that than right here.


Former Corrales Mayor and current Village Councilor Phil Gasteyer writes:

Joe, the surprise of this year’s Fourth of July Parade in the Village of Corrales: The Bernie Sanders for President marchers outnumbered the Sandoval County Democrats and Sen. Tom Udall’s contingent combined. No other presidential supporters took part. A leading indicator?


Why officialdom sees the need to fudge the tourist numbers is beyond us, but there they go. The day after the Guv touted an all-time high in tourist visits, the numbers were vetted and revealed that all of the increase can be attributed to New Mexicans traveling around their own state--not from out-of-state visitors who were lured here by the NM True TV ads.

Not that the increase in the state ad budget is unmerited in light of the fudging. Those increased ad dollars could be seen as necessary just to hold our own with neighboring states and to spike in-state tourism. Still, the tourist counters could do everyone a favor and just lay the facts on the table--all in one day.

And how about some explanation from the NM True folks on the lopsided results? What are they going to do to get those out-of-staters in here in bigger numbers and keep them coming back? Do we need some competitive bidding on that question?


The city's crime crisis continues to plow new ground. Police response times are at a new low due largely to the lack of officers in the demoralized department. Why is the police mess so difficult for city fathers and the business community to correct?

You get a new police chief, give him a free hand in hiring new command staff, you increase pay for beginning police officers, you aggressively recruit outstanding young men and women, you provide them with training that is not infected with the cultural rot that brought APD to its knees and you get on with the job of responding quickly to calls and get the Dept. of Justice out of your hair. What are we missing?. . .


The second half of the year is here and you're still looking for a gig? Not to worry. Get that resume cleaned up because you could be the next Bernalillo County manager. The pay is nothing to sneeze at either--about $160K a year. The details:

The position is now posted on the the county's website.  The manager position will be posted for 30 days. County Commissioners will vote and make the final selection later this summer. Current County Manager Tom Zdunek earns $158,000 a year. Zdunek is scheduled to retire Aug. 31. The county manager is the chief administrative officer of the county, responsible for 2,500 employees and a $253 million budget.

That's pretty good stuff. And as an added bonus the winning candidate will get to hang out and smoke cigarettes with ABQ CAO Rob Perry outside City Hall every couple of hours.

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