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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Imagine This: A Corruption Museum, Plus: A Blue NM For Prez Contest, Early Childhood Amendment Is Back And Some Tuesday Bottom Lines 

Those who thought corruption in state politics would stop with the advent of the Republican administration were woefully wrong, so maybe it's time to turn our lemons into lemonade:

A resident of New York's capital city has an unusual economic development plan. . .For a $12.50 or so "bribe," visitors to the planned Museum of Political Corruption will get a tour of the state's long history of crooked politicians, shady deals and backroom power brokers, as well as a chance to learn about individuals who have fought corruption. . . The museum is the idea of Bruce Roter, a professor at Albany's College of Saint Rose, who is now raising money for the museum, which he envisions as both an educational institution and a tourist destination that focuses on the state Capitol's reputation for corruption. 

Imagine it. The New Mexico Museum Of Political Corruption under the wing of the Department of Cultural Services attracting tourists from far and wide, featuring life-sized wax figures of ex-treasurers Robert Vigil and Michael Montoya, forrmer Secretary of State Dianna Duran, ex-Senate leader Manny Aragon and the newest addition--Martinez political guru Jay McCleskey. And let's make sure it's all bipartisan. The exhibits could be jointly narrated by Governors Martinez and Richardson.

Come on New Mexico. We can do this!

BLUE FOR GOOD

Political pundit Chris Cililzza writes in the WaPO of New Mexico and the presidential contest:

. . . Winning more and more of the white vote will become an increasingly futile endeavor for Republicans if they can't find a way to win more of the Hispanic and/or black vote. It's a simple math problem. States like New Mexico (George W. Bush won it in 2004!) are no longer competitive between the two parties because of the whitening of the GOP. Arizona and, eventually, Texas, will move toward Democrats at the presidential level if current demographic and political trends continue unabated.

ANOTHER TRY

That proposal to take a portion of the state's huge Land Grant Permanent School Fund and devote it to very early childhood education will be introduced yet again in the '16 legislative session. The latest reports show the state falling even deeper into a social conditions crisis:

(Legislators) will announce at a press conference today their intent to sponsor legislation that will allow the voters to decide on using a portion of the state’s $15 billion Land Grant Permanent School Fund for early childhood care and learning. . . New Mexico is the second worst in the nation for joblessness which is strongly correlated with child well-being as 31% of New Mexico’s children live in poverty. 

“All the tragedies we are seeing in New Mexico are symptoms of what is happening to our children. Early childhood education is the way to improve our state. Over the last five years our children have gone from 44th in well-being to 49th and 50th. We can turn this around,” said Allen Sánchez, CEO of CHI St. Joseph’s Children, the largest home visiting program in the nation.

SWEETHEART DEAL?

Newsman Peter St. Cyr, writing for the Morning Word, reports:

Former New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid and her husband, Mike Messina, are under the microscope in Vermont after brokering a deal between a private law practice and that state’s attorney general, who filed a groundwater contamination lawsuit against 29 oil and gas companies. Messina and Madrid deny their donations to Attorney General William H Sorrell resulted in a sweetheart deal.

MAKE IT YEAR ROUND

Here's a good idea that would be even better if it were made permanent:

The city announced it would waive parking meter and pay station fees for spaces around Nob Hill, Old Town and Downtown during the holiday season. 

Continuing through Dec. 27, it will bag its meters in Nob Hill, EDo and Downtown and also offer free metered parking at its pay-and-display lot at Rio Grande and Central. The free parking has a two-hour limit.

THE BOTTOM LINES

Spanish language KLUZ-TV is so far alone among the TV news departments in taking a look at the  federal grand jury investigation of Jay McCleskey, Gov. Martinez's top political adviser. . . America's "one percenters" are keeping the Santa Fe Opera in good shape. It  says it had $8.7 million in ticket sales and 78,000 in attendance for the 2015 season--the second-highest season for ticket revenue in the company’s history.  Bravo!

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2015

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