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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Senate Watch Update, On The Econ Beat With Big Fed Dollars, Defending Deb Haaland And Berry's Guv Play Goes Rural 

Let's update the news from our Senate Watch. Former Rio Rancho Mayor Tom Swisstack will not challenge freshman GOP state Senator Craig Brandt, say top Dem insiders. Speculation was intense over the summer that the well-known Swisstack would get in but the top Dems say he is a no go. . .Back on the speculation, will ABQ GOP state Senator John Ryan seek re-election next year? It's a question mark. And if he doesn't will GOP state Rep. Monica Youngblood move out of her seat to try to replace Ryan in the upper chamber?. . .

On the statewide scene, the Dem insiders predict Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who was defeated when she challenged GOP Secretary of State Dianna Duran in 2014, will seek the seat in 2016 if Duran resigns over criminal charges brought against her and the position goes on the ballot. You can bet that Oliver will have company in seeking the Democratic nomination for the SOS post. Now to the econ beat. . .

THANK THE FEDS

For a minute we thought Sen. Domenici was back and bringing back the pork. Take a look at the Federal dollars about to hit home:

ATA Aerospace in Albuquerque won a five-year contract this month worth up to $505 million with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to provide payload integration services for satellites.“It’s by far our biggest contract to date,” said ATA Aerospace managing member Anthony Tenorio. “It’s a huge win for us and something we’ve been chasing for quite awhile.”

According to Gov. Susana and Mayor Berry, we're too dependent on Federal dollars. Okay, do they have some businesses they can get in here that generate $100 million in spending annually for five years? After many years in office neither have done so.

The Federal presence is what built today's New Mexico as billions were spun off into the economy. Why do policy makers spurn such prosperity while promoting a massive private sector economy that is simply not in the cards?

Meanwhile back at the private sector, guess what? More pain and instability:

New Mexico will feel at least some of the burn of ConocoPhillips' recent announcement that it will reduce 10 percent of its global workforcce. . . ConocoPhillips is the top gas producer in New Mexico and a top 10 oil producer in the state. . . ConocoPhillips has had operations in the San Juan Basin, located in northwest New Mexico for decades.

Those secure government jobs from Uncle Sam that New Mexicans have thrived on for decades are looking better than ever. Now if only the Republican Mayor and Governor would start twisting the arms of the GOP majority in the US Congress, we might get some real economic development going in the stagnant Duke City.

DEFENDING DEB

Haaland
Dem Party activist Fred Moran, who sought the party chair slot earlier this year, writes:

 I saw Sybil Werthheim’s statement on Dem Party leadership on the blog, and although I share her frustration with the lack of a vigorous fight on the Secretary of State scandal and other issues, I wouldn’t place the burden on Chair Deb Haaland. Deb was elected by the majority of the state central committee and backed by some very affluent state Democrats. As always, the Party lacks the resources to be a strong voice. The shame is that the same affluent Dems who pushed her into the leadership have left her to spend most of her time drawing water from a dry well rather than working with her to effect a meaningful strategy to regain control of the state House and to protect the state Senate from a GOP takeover. Also, state and national elected officials need to work more closely with Deb to ensure her success as it it critical to overall well-being of the Party.

NO GREEN FOR GRANT

A Legal Beagle comes with this:

The NM Fraternal Order of Police is holding a fundraiser next month for the two APD officers who are charged with murder in the shooting of homeless camper James Boyd. That's fine but what about something for APD officer Jacob Grant who was shot nine times by his own lieutenant in what APD called a botched drug bust? Where's his fundraiser?

The fundraiser for officers Sandy and Perez will be held on Saturday, October 17 at noon the North Domingo Baca Park. Meanwhile, officer Grant has filed a lawsuit against his lieutenant, the city and APD. He was hospitalized for several months and continues to fight medical complications from the shooting.

BERRY GUV RUN

ABQ Mayor Berry appears to be looking to strengthen his position outside of ABQ as he eyes the '18 GOP Guv nod:

Mayor Berry hosted the first New Mexico Mayor’s Summit. This summit convened the mayors of New Mexican cities, towns, and villages to provide an opportunity to discuss relevant statewide issues, learn and share best practices, and promote better collaboration between municipalities. 

Berry's police and jobs crisis are prime weaknesses for him outside the metro, not to mention the traditional antipathy towards the big city from around the state.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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