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Friday, November 06, 2015

Senate Dems Try To Get In Game With R's; They Partially Succeed, Plus: Upside Down World: Spinning The Loss Of Google, And: A Note Of Optimism On Ethics Action 

Ivey Soto
Three ABQ state Senate Dems (Padilla, Ortiz y Pino and Ivey Soto) tried to get their team on the playing field Thursday, holding a news conference designed in part to show their sharp differences with ABQ GOP Mayor Richard Berry over the city's violent crime crisis. They only partially succeeded as the R's prepare an assault to take over the Senate in '16.

Berry held a news conference shortly before the Dems and the media coverage ended up mainly focused on what the two sides agree on. This accusation made by Senator Daniel Ivey Soto got limited play:

The Democrats accused Mayor Berry, a Republican, of politicizing recent tragedies. The senators said the mayor keeps calling on the Legislature to act, but they believe the city of Albuquerque needs to do more on its own, such as hiring more police officers. Ivey-Soto said the number of Albuquerque police officers is down 30 percent since Berry took office, and violent crime is up 20 percent. "We are facing a lack of leadership in this city, and that lack of leadership is costing lives," Ivey-Soto said.

Remember in the prelude to the 2014 GOP takeover of the state House the surface talk was all about getting along, but then the campaign came, the long knives came out and the House went red.

Still, the news conference by the Dems was a start for a party that has had little voice in the political narrative here for the past six years or so (or only the voice the Republicans have assigned to them). The concept of an opposition party--of playing strong defense--has been foreign to the Dems who for so many decades held power unchallenged.

The spark of life from Ivey Soto, who will feel the full brunt of the Guv's political attack machine next year, indicates that the Dem Senators are starting to get it, even if in these early stages they are acting like they are learning a foreign language.

PLEA DEAL SCRUTINY

More reader input now on the plea bargain deal accused cop killer Davon Lymon made with the Dona Ana County District Attorneys office while Susana Martinez was DA there:

Your reader Thursday was partly right about Susan Riedel being the prosecutor responsible for Davon Lymon's earlier plea bargain deal. However, Amy Orlando was the gov's handpicked successor as Dona Ana County DA. Concurrently, the gov anointed Riedel as a district judge, and the voters kicked both Riedel and Orlando to the curb in the subsequent election. Thus, Riedel cut the deal for Lymon while serving as the gov's chief deputy DA (Orlando was Riedel's co-chief deputy DA). That would be an important distinction should the gov try to pin Lymon's being out of prison when he is alleged to have killed the ABQ police officer Daneil Webster on Dem lawmakers and judges.

An anonymous reader Thursday erroneously referenced Riedel as a Dona Ana County DA. Lyon is accused of murdering APD Officer Daniel Webster last month.

UPSIDE DOWN WORLD

Only in the upside down world of New Mexico economic development do you get the state celebrating the fact that Goggle paid $1 million to get the heck out of here. State Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela seemed ecstatic that the check Google owed the state for pulling out actually cleared the bank.

That million represents a mere pittance of what the state could have gained by keeping Google's operation in Moriarty--potentially hundreds of employees with good paying jobs as well as establishing a beachhead looking out on the global economy. The Secretary was not quoted as to what the state did or did not do to keep Goggle here. But what else is new? That's why NM Politics with Joe Monahan is still the place for "real deal" biz coverage during the most challenging economic times the state has faced since WWII.

HALF FULL GLASS

Monahan
For Viki Harrison, executive director of Common Cause NM, hope springs eternal. She writes:

Hey,  Joe. I read in your blog that you think we will never get an independent ethics commission in NM – c’mon, Joe, don't be such a pessimist! Anything is possible in the wake of a big, ugly secretary of state scandal and in an election year when legislators will have to justify not letting people vote on the very issue that has captured the public’s attention for the last two months. On top of all of that, our last poll shows 86% of New Mexico voters support an independent ethics commission and demand that we have one. Au contraire Joe, we think we have a very good shot of getting a constitutional amendment passed in the upcoming short session and we already have a list of legislators that support it!

Now that's an optimistic send-off to a New Mexico weekend. We'll take it. . .

Thanks for stopping by this week

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