Friday, December 18, 2015

Susana Revealed: Governor Busted On Audio Tapes Bullying Santa Fe Cops Over Noise Complaints At Her Late Night Party, Bill Clinton Headed Our Way, UNM's Future Put In Perspective, Some Solar Power In Santa Fe And Those Awesome Sunsets 

This one broke Friday and is a blockbuster. The audio tapes of the Governor bullying Santa Fe police dispatchers over complaints made about the noise coming from Martinez's late night/early morning holiday staff party at the posh El Dorado Hotel. The tapes and more are here and here.

It reveals the dark side of her personality that has been mostly concealed from the public but experienced by so many in the political community. There will be much more on this in the coming days. More in-depth coverage here.

Santa Fe police were dispatched to Gov. Susana Martinez’s hotel room at the Eldorado Hotel & Spa about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after a caller complained of loud noises emanating from the room and someone throwing bottles off the balcony.
Santa Fe County dispatchers on Friday released recordings of Martinez talking to dispatchers after the complaint was made. She insisted on knowing who made the complaint and telling dispatchers that police officers were not needed.
The governor said she and her disabled sister were in the room, along with six other people eating pizza. She said they were not making noise. If there was a disturbance in the room, she tells the dispatcher, it would have happened about six hours earlier, but does not provide further explanation in the recording.

Martinez's response here.


The presidential campaign will come to New Mexico next month in the form of former President Bill Clinton. Ex-ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez confirmed the January 9th high dollar fund-raising appearance in a note to fellow Clintonistas:

We'll have President Clinton in Albuquerque on January 9th (noonish).  I hope you can join us.  Tickets are $1,000 and $2,700.00 and we'll have our location shortly. 

Hillary Clinton made a fundraising appearance here earlier in the year at the home of former Ambassador Ed Romero The state's Dem prez primary here is not until June by which time the nomination is expected to have been settled. But the fund-raising will most certainly go on.

Bill Clinton was and remains a popular president here. He won it twice and he had close ties to legendary Dem Guv Bruce King as well as former Mayor Chavez. He recently made the peace with former NM Gov. Richardson who served in the Clinton cabinet but had a falling out when Hillary was running for president in 2008.


One of the big stories of 2016 and beyond will be the University of New Mexico undergoing wrenching, transformative change that won't end until the size of the venerable institution matches the state's no growth future. For evidence, look no further than the chaos and trepidation set off by a predicted revenue shortfall of only $3.5 million. It's utter confusion:

Provost Chaouki Abdallah. . .  told regents that the school’s job advertising software overstates what positions are actually open. They also said that for many positions that are open the duties are being handled by other staff. . . Abdallah said he has tried to split the open position duties among staff, then share the salary accordingly, but that doesn’t always happen. And, he said, sometimes, if a position is open and unfilled because of unqualified or unavailable candidates, the money set aside for that post is sometimes used for other expenses. 

You get dizzy just reading that wad of dysfunction. And what happens when the shortfall hits $10 million and more and enrollment keeps dropping? The years ahead for UNM will be the most challenging ever. . .

It was past due for longtime UNM Regent Jamie Koch to retire as he announced he will this week, but we suspect others to follow him to the exits as running UNM becomes more exasperating and divisive as the money fades away.

That new reality is already overwhelming the UNM Athletic Department which is dumbfounded as it watches attendance for Lobo basketball at the fabled UNM Pit crash to the floor. The director wonders aloud if it's due to the forlorn economy. How could that not be part of the reason? And a drop in enrollment and tuition increases don't help pack students into the Pit, either.

But it is bigger than that. Lobo basketball at its zenith was a mania that rode the state's secular growth wave of the last century.  It's just not that exciting anymore. The new reality is no growth and a new generation that has untold cheap entertainment options via technology.

And then there is the Pit itself, ridiculously renamed WisePies arena and looking like a senior citizen in need of dentures. The decision to remodel and not completely rebuild it with all the bells and whistles for the new century told today's 19 year olds all they needed to know.

And as UNM now faces more cutthroat competition for students, even the most ardent fans have given up on the dream of the Lobos being a consistent player in the NCAA tournament. Funny, that dream was pretty much unrealistic throughout the Lobo basketball boom, but that's when New Mexico was surfing on that mighty wave. That's when many things seemed improbable but unlike today not impossible.


Just a bit more than a month before the 2016 session of the NM Legislature convenes so we're starting to get some announcements. Here's one of interest:

ABQ Dem State Senator Mimi Stewart pre-filed a bill to extend the residential, commercial, and agricultural tax credit for solar installations. The ten percent tax credit for a solar installation is set to expire at the end of 2016. This bill extends the tax credit through 2024. “This is a jobs bill. There are more than 90 solar businesses in New Mexico employing thousands of people across the state. These jobs are homegrown and cannot be outsourced,” said Sen. Mimi Stewart. From 2012 to 2014, the number of jobs in the solar industry in New Mexico grew 45 percent, employing 1,600 people by the end of last year.

The tax credit extension is being sponsored in the State House by GOP Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes.


The sunsets in New Mexico have been nothing short of spectacular in recent days. Former ABQ Journal reporter John Robertson, who lives in Placitas, posted this stunner on his twitter feed.

In trying to describe the impact of this latest breathtaking offering from Mother Nature, he deadpanned: "I give up."

And that's one reason why they call it "The Land of Enchantment."

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

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