Monday, January 25, 2016

Another Bear Raid With More Layoffs Strikes The Metro And Energy Fields, Plus: Smith And Ingle; Can They Hold Off The Radical R's? And: Gay Makes Susana Sad With 3rd Grade Reversal 

Hold on to your Monday hats. Here comes the state's real deal business coverage plus the most insightful coverage of the shennanigans in Santa Fe. In other words, the stuff you won't get anywhere else. . .

The Bear is back yet again, signaling that 2016 will be another turbulent and troubled year for the state economy.

The Bear just didn't conduct a raid on the pantry in Rio Rancho, it trashed the entire kitchen, with Sprint laying off its entire call center work force of nearly 400. For some perspective, that's nearly one percent of the city's entire 42,000 workforce gone with one strike of the paw. And with continued downsizing at computer chip maker Intel expected in the months ahead, the City of Vision's economic black eye could get even darker.

Sprint was a morale breaker, coming  as it did on the heels of the news that in November the state had the highest unemployment in the USA. It followed the more predictable bear raids on the state's energy fields, with oil giant Schlumberger announcing an unspecified number of layoffs in Hobbs. Then there was word out of Carlsbad that the commodities depression is hammering the potash industry causing 35 layoffs there.


One of our readers said our use of the term "unprecedented" in describing the state's loss of population in our post WWII history needs to be amended because way back in 1980 the state lost population for a year. Okay, but now we have two years of losing population and we may be headed for a third. As we've said the economic transformation going on around here is unprecedented.

While the Bear continues its ravaging ways, don't look to Santa Fe for any comfort. They're playing cops and robbers up there for 30 days, seemingly oblivious to the ongoing downsizing of the economy and the subsequent lower quality of life for many of their constituents.

Hey, maybe the state's economic development planners will offer incentives to U-Haul and Bekins so they can lower the rates for all the folks who want to get the hell out of here.


Ingle & Smith
The state of this state's polarized, drifting and going nowhere politics is no better symbolized than by the never-ending squabble over driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. Here you have the spectacle of two of the most respected guys around the Roundhouse--GOP State Senator Stuart Ingle and Dem Senator John Arthur  "Dr. No" Smith--treated like ants at a picnic by the radical House Republicans and their misguided acolytes in the business community.

Their compromise Smith-Ingle bill offering a two-tiered license plan to comply with federal Real ID rules passed the Senate last year with solid bipartisan support only to founder in a House that is under the thumb of the Governor's political machine. It again seems determined to not solve the problem but use it for political advantage at the November election.

The radical R's say Smith-Ingle does not comply with what the Feds want but the Feds have said no such thing.

There was hope that low-energy but seemingly reasonable House Speaker Don Tripp and his politically astute wife and GOP National Committeewoman Rosie Tripp--could tear themselves away from the skirts of the machine and grease the skids for that Senate compromise. But the Tripps seem more ready for the rocking chair than for a rumble.

Still, Smith and Ingle labor on:

“Stu and I are talking, and we’re going to try to get something through,” Smith said.

Forge on, fellas. The only advice we can offer you as this Governor continues to stymie compromise comes from an an old love song:

Look somewhere above her
Pretend you don't love her
Pretend you don't see her at all


Sen. Kernan
GOP State Senator Gay Kernan is sure not seeing Martinez at all. In yet another sign of this Governor's increasing weakness in the post-pizza party era, Kernan is dropping her longtime sponsorship of the bill to hold back third graders who don't meet certain reading standers. Kernan, a retired teacher, says the facts from other states where retention has been adopted dispute its effectiveness.

Maybe the Governor will agree with Gay and thank her for that? Or maybe Gay will find out her license plate has been run through NCIC, her dating habits from college examined and the school she used to work at terrorized with budget cuts.

Yeah, Gay, it can get creepy fast when you take on this bunch.


GOP Roswell State Rep. Nora Espinoza appears to be readying an exit from the Roundhouse and a run for secretary of state. A conservative newsletter reports:

(Reader) John sends a petition for Nora Espinoza who is seeking signatures to be placed on the ballot for Secretary of State. John writes, "If you are so inclined [to gather signatures] -- filing deadline is 2 February -- and if you have Republican friends, please get their signatures as well. Nora is a sitting State Representative from Chavez County, a naturalized (Panamian born) US citizen, successful business woman."

Nora has great hats but when it comes to her getting elected SOS it's all hat and no cattle. Probable Dem nominee Magie Toulouse Oliver should have no problem lassoing her.

Often imitated but never duplicated. . .

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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