What do you mean we missed the deadline for an April Fools' Day column? In New Mexico that's akin to a holy holiday where tomfoolery and buffoonery in our politics is as expected as green chile on your combination plate. We simply can't let the occasion pass and with your indulgence, we won't. So without further ado here is the breaking (if a bit belated) news of April Fools' 2016
- The Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe has been renamed the "WisePies Resort" in the aftermath of the wild holiday pizza party Gov. Martinez had there with staff members. Hotel management says the Martinez pizza party room is available for special events and that a safety net has been installed below the balcony to catch any falling debris such as beer bottles and the like.
- Mayor Berry has announced an Old West style horse feeding trough filled with $100 bills has been set up on Civic Plaza to resolve the millions of dollars in lawsuits against APD. "The idea is to bring in a dozen trial lawyers, have them kneel at the trough and for 15 minutes stuff as much cash into their pockets as they can. In exchange for keeping the cash, they agree not to sue the city. We think this is fiscally prudent management.
- Political consultant Jay McCleskey called a news conference to announce that he is assuming all official powers of the officer of Governor and Mayor. A reporter responded by asking him what the news was.
- A merger long in the works between the Albuquerque Journal and state and city government has finally been completed. After arduous negotiations Journal editor Kent Walz announced the merger agreement includes a provision that the Mayor and Governor be given 48 hours notice of all news articles mentioning them, instead of the current 24 hours. The Governor and Mayor will also continue to have full editing rights of all such articles.
- The director of the Albuquerque Water Utility Authority has confirmed that the water supply to the City Council chambers has been spiked for a number of years with low doses of Sominex. "We've been getting questions about the level of activity there and want to assure the public there is no danger to their health." The spiking of the council's water supply was undertaken by order of Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden.
- After years of resistance the New Mexico Legislature has finally approved an independent Ethics Commission and named former Secretary of State Dianna Duran and former state Senator Phil Griego as co-chairs. Meetings of the Commission will he held at Sandia Casino and Griego's real estate offices and will be open to the public.
- Taking a page from the book of Donald Trump, Colorado authorities have erected a 10 foot high wall at Raton Pass to slow the migration of thousands of college educated New Mexicans to their state. "We were going to ask New Mexico to pay for the wall, but given the economic situation there, we decided to foot the bill," said the head of Colorado's immigration office.
- NASCAR's driving credentials committee has certified all Albuquerque freeways for official racing. Drivers traveling under 85 miles per hour must now divert to the frontage roads.
- UNM Lobo basketball coach Craig Neal says despite the controversy that led to the departure of his son from the team, there will still be "Neal blood" on the Lobo bench. "You're damn right, she's ready to play," Cullen said of his wife Janet. UNM Athletic Director Krebs granted Mrs. Cullen a waiver to play and immediately raised Neil Cullen's salary to $1.9 million a year and his own to $2.4 million. The unexpected moves were unanimously approved by the UNM Regents and President Frank who also approved a 36 percent increase in student tuition.
- At the state legislature these developments in response to the budget crunch: The free liquor in the cafeteria will now carry a charge of 10 cents a shot. Lobbyists will have to pay for parking and only cash payments to the legislative leadership will be accepted.
Now that's an April Fools' Day to remember. Or not.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2016