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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Time For Another Edition Of The Popular Vox Populi Where Readers Tell It Like They See It, Plus: Susana And The Donald To Dine Together At NY Gala; What Will They Say? 

Time for another editon of the popular vox populi where we hear from our erudite readers. . .

Here's Thomas Luna to kick things off. He doesn't give any kudos to State Senator John Arthur Smith for trying to advance a hike in the gas tax to plug the state's budget hole:

Why is a gasoline tax a good tax? Such a tax spreads the misery to all, including the poorest citizens: and keep in mind just how regressive that tax becomes. It sounds like a good solution because there will be no feedback squeaks from the offended. What would happen if instead upper income brackets and corporations were taxed to make up for the budget shortfall? That would be a "Katy bar the door moment." Facing that prospect the  gasoline tax gains a lot of traction with the politicos.

Some good points there, Thomas, particularly on how an increase falls more heavily on lower income New Mexicans, but let's remember that many millions of this tax would come from out-of-state travelers who gas up here. That would lessen that burden. As for freezing (or repealing) the corporate tax cut and upping the personal income tax on the most wealthy a bit, well, that's no-brainer. Now if only we had more brains (and guts) in Santa Fe. . .

Reader Kathy Korte is a former APS School Board member who was defeated for re-election when the Governor's political machine led by consultant Jay McCleskey went after her. She writes of former Gov. Martinez fund-raisers Cecilia Martinez and Andrea Goff who have also been tangling with Jay and Susana:

Retribution, harassment, retaliation against Goff and Martinez. There ought to be an "I survived the Martinez-McCleskey" Club. These women of integrity will survive - it may be very difficult for a while. But they will come out on top. I did but it was a long and harrowing road. Maybe one day the whole truth about this corrupt administration and its horrid treatment of people who dare to challenge its unethical behaviors will be acknowledged and revealed to NM citizens and NM citizens will be grateful to those who tried to do the right thing and were pummeled for it.

Cecilia Martinez and Goff were cooperating witnesses in the Federal investigation of McCleskey's campaign finance practices. The probe ended with no indictments.

ART ATTACK

Reader Bob McNeill, longtime ABQ attorney and onetime chief of staff to former NM US Senator Joe Montoya, writes of Mayor Berry's high speed bus plan for Central Avenue known as ART:

I love cities, urban areas, and rapid transit. But Albuquerque is a large suburb lacking a meaningful urban core and a sizeable, appealing downtown that many if not most residents never visit.  ART is essentially a nonsequitur, i.e., like constructing an ABQ sports arena in Belen or Moriarty. The city doesn't even know the percentage of our population that now rides the bus. I ride the bus occasionally, and it's a depressing experience. Improving the aesthetics and speed of the Central Avenue system with nice buses and a dedicated lane isn't likely to change the demographic of the ridership and cause more people to utilize ART. The time and inconvenience of getting to Central from where most live would far outweigh any resulting benefit. There are so many unmet needs in ABQ we should be focusing and spending money on instead of ART. This sort of project fuels the fire of the right-wing know-nothings who believe federal funding is always wasteful (unless it funds their employment or favorite corporate subsidy).

Reader Kevin Garcia writes about the fear that more medical professionals will leave the state if they are subjected to cuts in the Medicaid program for low-income New Mexicans:

Joe, medical professionals in New Mexico for years have been and remain headed for the exits. The primary reason is that we can't compete with other states in terms of salary, benefits and the soaring demand for medical professionals. My wife was recently voted "Best Doctor--Adult Internal Medicine" for the third year in a row by her peers and she constantly receives several offers from out of state, some with signing bonuses of $40-$100k and promises of limited work and on-call hours.  

I can't believe that the Martinez Administration can't find Medicaid funds which are matched three-to-one from the feds and forever stand by their "never new taxes"  (i.e. "only tax cuts") as their cure for the New Mexico economy. Taxes were never higher than during the late 1950's under the "I like Ike" Republican administration, and fixing the current economic mess here in NM will require a halt in further tax cuts and a laser-like focus on the economy, rather than the Martinez Administration just building more prisons.

THE BOTTOM LINES

She won't say if she would vote for him but Gov. Martinez will be partying with Donald Trump:

Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, will attend the New York GOP's annual gala next month, the party announced. Trump will join New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez as one of the featured guests at the $1,000 a person gala. The event will be held April 14 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. 

Will Donald ask for Susana's blessing? Will Donald tell Susana if he doesn't get it he'll build a wall around the Governor's Mansion? Will Susana have a pizza party at the Grand Hyatt and invite Donald? Inquiring minds want to know!. . .

We blogged in a first draft Wednesday that the tuition and fee hikes approved this week by the UNM Regents would mean an increase of nearly $300 a semester for a full-time student at the main campus. That was incorrect. It would mean an increase of nearly $300 for the full school year.

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