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Monday, July 27, 2015

WisePies Pizza And UNM Easy Prey For An Alligator Strike, Plus: Machine In The Shop? Guv Misfires In Hit On Keller, And: More From The "No BS" Economists 

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There's s a lot of easy prey for the Alligators of La Politica out there. And you can reliably count on the UNM Athletic Department to feed the frenzied critters. Take the recent announcement that the department had "record fundraising" for the 2014-15 fiscal year of nearly $15 million. Really? Here's the Gator strike:

UNM said nearly half that total was money pledged by WisePies pizza and U. S. Bank. Actually, both companies have only made a very small payment on that pledge. WisePies has paid less than 2 percent of the $5 million in renaming rights for the Pit but had it renamed with signage as well given a suite and parking passes which cost some $35,000 a year. Since the pledge, WisePies had at least five tax liens, four of which were listed in recent legal ads. Joe what are the odds that UNM actually sees that $5 million that they are acting like is already money in the bank?

Four of the tax lien notices are on the graphic we posted with this report. WisePies also had a tax lien notice back in December and at the time said it did not mean it could not keep its $5 million UNM commitment. But now there's more liens.

The odds that UNM will see the $5 million over the ten years that it's due but is already counting as a done deal? Well, let's put it this way: Before it's all over Dion's may be able to pick up those WisePies naming rights for a dime on the dollar.

MACHINE SHOP

Love it or hate it, you gotta give the Guv's political Machine credit. It has altered the political landscape here, but now they are playing defense for the first time. And doing it sloppily. The Guv herself was busted for getting her facts wrong as she pushed back against State Auditor Tim Keller's investigation of possible preferential treatment of a taxpayer at the taxation and revenue department. Martinez said:

“The auditor right now is merely holding press conference after press conference,” she said. The governor added that the auditor “hasn’t even interviewed folks who work at Tax and Rev.” Actually, Keller has held only one news conference. . .And, according to the State Auditor’s Office, the outside forensic audit firm that was hired to look into the accusations against Padilla interviewed several employees of the tax department. Keller’s office has said there are several hours of recorded interviews with these employees, which have been turned over to the attorney general.

Did someone shred the Guv's briefing book? Or is the Machine in the shop for repairs or on summer vacation?

CARVING OUT COVER

Susana & Demesia
So putting aside the harsh campaign-style rhetoric (as Keller calls it) where does the Fourth and Fifth Floors really stand on the controversy embroiling Tax and Rev chief Demesia Padilla? They are carving out cover. That's where they stand:

When asked if she still had confidence in Padilla, who has served as tax secretary since the beginning of Martinez’s first term in 2011, the governor said, “Of course.”
“I have seen nothing that has taken place where any evidence or facts would ever cause me to this point to lack confidence in that department,” Martinez said.

"To this point" is the operative phrase, but if you didn't know that your Alligator credentials would be revoked.

And as we keep the chess pieces moving they all point in the direction of Attorney General Hector Balderas who now decides future action on the Keller investigation. Will he or won't he?

Hey, we might not have Donald Trump around here for entrainment but Keller, The Machine and Balderas aren't exactly summer rerun material.

NO BS BIZ COVERAGE

We forgot to add to our list of "No BS Economists" the folks at the Brookings Institution. Their take on the ABQ economy gets routinely ignored by the cheerleaders but they've been nailing it throughout the Great Stagnation. Their take:

Mixed signals blurred the story in Albuquerque at the start of the year. Job growth accelerated, and employment expanded by a strong 0.6 percent during the first quarter. Output, however, contracted by the same amount. Albuquerque was the only major Mountain metro area to follow the national economy into negative territory on this measure. The unemployment rate decreased for the sixth straight quarter, falling 0.1 percentage points in the three months through March. At 5.8 percent, the metro area’s unemployment rate remained the region’s second-highest. Home prices increased by 1.3 percent in the first quarter; over the year, they rose by 3.4 percent—a below-average increase both regionally and nationally.

Our other "No BS Economists" are Dr. Chris Erickson at NMSU and ABQ's Dr. Kelly O'Donnell as we continue to bring you the real story on the state and city economy that you won't get anywhere else. Not that being on that list is going to have them winning any popularity contests.

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