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Thursday, October 29, 2015

How Leading Politicos Fared Amid Crime Crisis: Rating The AG, Guv And The Dems 

So how did the politicos fare during this most eventful month of October? Let's take a look.

Attorney General Hector Balderas comes out of the month with a mixed bag. He miscalculated public anger toward anyone in the political class when he took a pass on moving to revoke the state pension of ex-Secretary of State Dianna Duran. After outrage flowed, he found himself faulting the legislation that addresses the pension issue.

The AG was more aggressive in taking some ownership of the violent crime outbreak in ABQ, offering the BernCo District Attorney help in prosecuting high risk, career criminals. He stood out by offering a solution. That ownership position comes with a bit of danger but if he is to avoid the do-nothing label that haunted his predecessor he must act.

Lilly Garcia
That contrasted with Gov. Martinez. She spent the week in Hawaii raising money for the GOP and presumably enjoying the sunny beaches. Where was she when it came to the shocking murder of 4 year old Lilly Garcia that made national news? Only a brief statement was seen. And this from a former District Attorney who made her name by prosecuting the monstrous child abuse case of Baby Brianna and making violent crime a banner issue in the 2010 election. But now that the breathtaking streak of violence--including an ABQ cop getting critically shot--is taking place under her watch, there are no solutions offered or even much sympathy extended to the victims.

Her inaction, coming as it did while she was in Hawaii and preparing to soon take the helm of the Republican Governors Association, reinforced the notion that Martinez--never fully engaged on the pressing issues ("What is WIPP?")--is now looking past the brutal realties of the state she governs and is infatuated with her national star.

State Democrats did not fare well in October despite the fall of the GOP secretary of state and the explosion of ABQ violence that left the Republican Mayor vulnerable, as well as the Governor.

None of the Democratic city councilors pushed back against Berry's efforts to blame state laws for the continued crime outbreak or his failure to take any responsibility or even to pledge that the violence will stop.

Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. A Republican attorney general would have a criminally charged secretary of state in the poor house and GOP foes of a Democratic mayor facing the troubles of Berry would smother him with nonstop attacks.

The Democrats also looked the other way when a damning report on the state's business climate was released by Forbes, a conservative publication, that provided the perfect cover  for the Dems to condemn the failed economic policies of the Republican administrations in Santa Fe and ABQ. Again, not a peep from any Dem of prominence. And the dominant media, no friend of the Dems, did not even bother to ask the Guv or Mayor about that damning report in Forbes which will be noted by business location specialists across the country.

GETTING DESPERATE?

The efforts to revive the local economy seem to be getting downright desperate. Look at this "selling point" being offered as a lure for business from top player Dale Dekker:

New Mexico's lack of natural disasters — earthquakes and hurricanes — that often impact both coasts. "We're a safe harbor and that is something we can really sell," he said.

The problem isn't natural disasters, Dale. It's the various man made disasters that have befallen our beloved New Mexico that have made us a fly over state. But he gets credit for at least recognizing there's a problem.

WTF?

Frustrated ABQ residents took to Facebook and the like to vent over the alarming crimes that rained down on the city. We spotted this one from Sean Kurnow:

For the size of ABQ, the crime here is appalling--every frickin day! Cops being shot, road rage killings, murder victims being discovered in yards, in the middle of the street and inside homes, tons of horrific child abuse cases, rampant drug abuse, a shocking amount of fast food restaurant and convenience store armed robberies and unbelievable amount of repeat offenders loose on the streets, a report last week that ABQ has the highest rate of burglaries in the country, and then lets not forget all the car thefts in ABQ and the extreme problem with DUI's.....sheesh......WTF?

WTF sums it up. No?

POETIC SPACE

You wouldn't expect Popular Mechanics to wax poetic over the NM Spaceport but it does:

There's hope here. It's in the air. Or, our paid tour guides say it is. But right now, Spaceport America is an idea without thinkers. It needs launches if it's going to become the hub of tomorrow, instead of the $200 million museum to a promised future.

THE BOTTOM LINES

After the battering ABQ (and NM) has received of late we turn to reader Jim McClure to impart a note of optimism:

Nothing here is out of reach for New Mexico. The only issue is whether New Mexicans have the will to embrace new ideas and the competence to implement them.

We second the motion, Jim.

This is it. . .

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