Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Guv's Machine Gets New Friend; APS Super Goes All In But Botched Text Job Has Him Scurrying, Plus: More On The Google Move, Animus And Our Bottom Lines 

That was fast. The brand new superintendent of the ABQ Public Schools wasted no time embracing the Guv's political machine and by doing so sent an icy message to those Dems and teachers who have been opposing the administration for some five years. But Luis Valentino's bow to the Machine was anything but smooth. He sent out a text message to state education chief Hanna Skandera vowing to bust APS finance head Dan Moya, an open opponent of the Guv and Skandera. But instead of sending it to Hanna, he sends it to Moya. Looks like Super Valentino failed the text test. Not a good start to the school year for him. He has put Moya on paid leave as he looks to axe him.

Why Valentino--who came into ABQ from San Francisco--is so quick to kow-tow to the Fourth and Fifth Floors is an open question but the meaning is crystal clear. One of the Alligators comments:

Did you see the Don Moya firing text to Skandera? My question is how did the new APS super get so close to Skandera so fast to be texting her about "going after" people at APS? It tells me that this guy is tight with the Machine and that ought to send shivers up the spines of Dems and APS leaders. Did the APS School Board know this guy was going to be a hatchet man for Martinez/Skandera when they hired him?

"Shivers up the spines of Dems?" Well, the critics would say detecting spine in the Dem camp has been their problem.

Reader Richard Flores has more analysis of this:

I am astounded that the new APS superintendent would reach out to an unpopular state bureaucrat for advise on how to oust a Finance Director who has been with district for five years. . . What is even more disconcerting is that Valentino would launch an early campaign to disassemble what is already in place at APS so soon after starting his job. It's almost as if he was hired to "clean house" instead of bringing a new vision and leadership that promotes a positive work environment and educational reform. I understand that managing the district's finances is a critical part of the job, but the way this was done appears to open the district up to liability and does further damage to APS in both it's credibility and public image. This fiasco is not a good way to start and makes me wonder if the APS Board hired this guy to strengthen collusion with the state, and thereby, crush teacher, student and community opposition to the Martinez/Skandera agenda.

So jut how did Valentino become a Machine member in good standing? The strongest argument is that former interim APS Superintendent Brad Winter--who is an ABQ GOP city councilor and a member in good standing of the Machine--helped scout Valentino as his replacement and put him on the Machine-friendly path. APS is a billion dollar a year operation with scads of contracts, jobs etc. You can take it from there. . .


Not all were sympathetic to the blog argument Tuesday that the Governor and the economic development secretary should be put on the spot for the decision by Google to move its aerospace subsidiary in Moriarty to the San Francisco Bay area. A reader writes:

Don’t be so hard on the Republicans for Google leaving Moriarty. Don’t think the Dems could have made any difference. It was a matter of logistics, or lack thereof that facilitated this move. They literally had to send out of state for every part they needed. Made sense that it should be moved closer to its suppliers.

This reader took the other side:

Losing jobs in our state is worse than the Animas river having toxins in it. The governor made an appearance on news stations to say how awful this was and has a lawsuit. But where was she when Google left and jobs were lost? Probably reading a book to 3rd graders for a positive photo-op.

Speaking of the Animus problem, Edwina Gardner writes:

Joe, as someone who grew up around mines, I put the blame squarely on the company that owned the mine tailings that spilled into the Animas River. New Mexico suffers deeply from a proliferation of uranium poisoned wells, powdery tailings that blow in the wind, and well contamination. Companies came in and looted our natural resources and then left the mess to poison our state. No one cares, until tragedies like the Animas River occur. Politicians scream jobs from oil and mining companies, but the legacy of the destruction to land, and most important to people, can never be truly repaired. 

One more on Animus from John G.:

Joe, you're asleep at the switch. What, if anything, is our congressional delegation doing to assess and mitigate the economic impacts of the Animas river disaster?

Hey, John, we can't let our blogging pajamas go to waste, but we hear you on the DC delegation. Let's see.


We get this from ABQ's Congregation Albert:

Ambassador Joseph Wilson will speak on "The Iran Nuclear Deal: Why it is in the US and International Community's Interest" on August 26 at 6 p.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome. . .

Mario Sanchez writes:

Our agency has ended a six month process and is now officially announcing our new brand. After nearly 30 years, we have changed from Cooney, Watson & Associates to CWA Strategic Communications.

CWA is a longtime ABQ marketing and public relations firm. For you politicos out there, that's not to be confused with CYA.

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