Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Like Father Like Son In ABQ City Council Race? Plus: Touting Tourism, And: Our New Project 

Two Hess Yntemas
Like father like son? That's the question for the two Hess Yntemas. The former city councilor is pictured with his son Hess "Hessito" Yntema as they kick off the younger Yntema's campaign for the ABQ SE Heights city council seat being vacated by retiring Councilor Rey Garduño. The elder Yntema once held the seat for two terms.

The senior Yntema can pass on to his son  lessons about both winning and losing. After his two terms on the council he lost a bid for the GOP nomination for a Public Regulation Commission seat. The former councilor, an attorney in private practice, has since registered as an independent, but Hessito describes himself as a "moderate "Republican" (if you find more than two of that rare breed in a New Mexico room at once, get a photo. It might be worth something on eBay).

It's not easy following in dad's political footsteps. Former Governor Bruce King's son, Gary, went on to become attorney general but came up short when he tried to fill dad's gubernatorial chair. Mike Runnels tried and failed to fill the southern congressional seat once held by his father Harold. While northern Congressman Ben Ray Lujan did not succeed his father as speaker of the NM House, he did manage to win a seat in the US House.

No doubt the Yntemas hope to imitate the Lujans, but to do so they will have to get past Dem activist Pat Davis. He's the leading candidate in the liberal Dem district. The city election is this October.


The Governor released robust tourism numbers for the state this week. Although the full report was not attached she said NM visits are at an all time high. With low gasoline prices and recovering economies in our neighboring states, that's not hard to figure. Then there's that big increase in the state tourism advertising budget that we've been pounding the table for. To their credit, the administration and the Legislature did it and it appears to have worked. However, Jen Schroer, the CEO of the New Mexico Hospitality Association. worries that the rate of repeat visitors to NM is sliding.

The "New Mexico True" ad campaign is not everyone's cup of tea but even its harshest critics don't categorize it as a failure. We've learned over the years that much of marketing is about repetition. That's almost as important as the message. Speaking of which, this is the state guide to the many doings here during the Summer of '15.


As many of you know, this corner has been an ardent supporter of increased investment in very early childhood education--aged zero to five--as a means of pulling New Mexico out of the generational poverty that has historically afflicted the state. It's a big idea that would be financed by appropriating $100 million a year for 10 years from the state's $15 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund. This investment in the state's people and future would require voter approval of a constitutional amendment.

Going forward, I am pleased to report that my involvement will be more formal as I provide PR consulting for this issue to CHI Saint Joseph's Children which has so effectively spearheaded the effort.

After a long career in journalism, public relations and blogging, I am especially looking forward to this project. It literally could change the lives of future generations here, and that's as meaningful as it gets. I look forward to working with president and CEO Allen Sanchez and his team at CHI St. Joseph's. They have worked tirelessly and selflessly to move this issue from the backburner to the fore and where it has become an essential element of the public policy debate. Success is in sight.

You'll still be able to get a regular political fix here at joemonahan.com and hear from me in the pages of the ABQ Free Press and other forums, but I wanted to let you know about the extra hat I will be wearing and how I am so pleased to be able to do so.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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