Monday, July 20, 2015

Hillary's NM Pals Make National Fundraising Team, What Keeps Sandia Labs Ticking In Age Of Fewer Nukes And The APD Crisis Is Old Enough To Vote 

Guess who?
If she takes the presidential prize next year two New Mexicans appear to have a good shot at having Hillary's ear. A Dem consultant reports:

Former ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez and former US Ambassador to Spain Ed Romero have both raised in excess of $100,000 for Hillary and are on her national finance committee, known as Hillblazers." There's only 122 members nationwide. Chavez and Romero are two of six Hispanic names on the list. Thought it might deserve a mention.

It does deserve a mention given New Mexico's deep relationship with the federal government. Chavez has been a Clintonista since Bill befriended him during Chavez's first mayoral term in the early 90's (remember them golfing together in the city?).  Romero was named ambassador by Bill. The businessman recently hosted a high-dollar fund-raiser for Hillary at his ABQ home.

Establishing a relationship with the presidential contenders is more difficult for NM since we are no longer a swing state and fall safely into the Dem column. The Romero-Chavez connection to Clinton should help keep New Mexico in her sights. On the GOP side, state R's have solid ties to both of the former presidents named Bush. They hope those ties will translate to Jeb Bush should he take the White House.

And speaking of the feds impact on New Mexico. . .

What makes ABQ's Sandia Labs tick this deep into the 21st century as the number of nuclear weapons decrease? The Center for Investigative Reporting comes with the answer and more about the impact of the nuclear complex here and on the world. It also takes on the controversy over the huge amounts of money going for  nuke "modernization:"

The B61-12 bomb’s Life Extension Program at Sandia is among those projects. This year, the $643 million for that program accounts for more than a third of Sandia’s $1.8 billion Energy Department budget. . . Obama pledged that the United States would produce no new nuclear warheads and that life extension programs of existing weapons would not provide “new military capabilities.”Officials from the Obama administration, Pentagon and Energy Department continue to argue that the B61-12 stays within the bounds of that pledge by modernizing an aging family of bombs and in the process ensuring a reliable nuclear arsenal to scare off adversaries.

The state is more dependent than ever on federal dollars as the Great Stagnation continues. The latest news that the slot machines at area Native American casinos are seeing a lot less action is hardly surprising. Flat population growth and flat incomes make sure of that.

Casino gambling is now a mature industry here. It has been unable to establish much of a foothold with out-of-state tourists, forcing the gambling houses to compete against one another for a shrinking customer base.  It doesn't appear that any of the casinos is in danger of going out of business. But the state is saturated with gambling and until there's a major uptick in the economy and/or population growth, it can be expected to stay flat as a tortilla.


In the timeless category of "the more things change, the more they stay the same," we get this from one of our Legal Beagles avidly following the APD crisis:

Attached is a major study and report done for the city of Albuquerque about police oversight and the excessive amounts paid in judgments and settlements in police misconduct cases. It is not about today but for 1990 to 1995. It reports on the cost to the city and what the money could be used for if there were not such excessive settlements. Just increase the amounts and dates in the report and it is still relevant. Here's the the report's conclusion:

"We conclude that a major part of the current problems with the APD are the result of the failure of other city officials to exercise their oversight authority. We believe that the City Attorney should develop a policy of examining chronic problems in police behavior and providing the appropriate feedback to command officers in APD. Together with Risk Management the City Attorney's office should develop specific goals and timetables for reducing tort claims against the city. We believe that both the mayor and members of City Council need to take a more active role in overseeing the APD."


Reader John Saucedo writes of the ABQ October city council election in District 6 in ABQ's SE Heights:

Sam Kerwin is running for council and I was wondering why you hadn't mentioned his name. I've been helping him with his campaign and heard that you had mentioned the other competitors, but not him. He has been going to neighborhood meetings, building coalitions in neighborhoods and maintaining his regular volunteer work. I would appreciate it, as well as everyone else involved, if you were to actually mention his name in your blogs. 

We have mentioned Kerwin but not each time we blogged of the race to replace retiring Dem Councilo Rey Garduño. The leading candidates are Democrat Pat Davis and Republican Hessito Yntema. Kerwin is a Democrat. Here is his Facebook so John can tell him we mentioned his name.

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