Tuesday, June 28, 2016

No Endorsement; No Convention Speech Says Trump To R's Like Susana, Plus: More Early Childhood Debate, And: Egolf Answers Fracking Concerns 

She had a triumphant appearance at the 2012 Republican National Convention but her star has faded since and it may fade some more before Trump is through. The presumptive presidential nominee is now saying anyone who has not endorsed his candidacy when the 2016 GOP National Convention rolls around later this month--like Gov. Susana Martinez--will not be allowed to speak to the convention.

As part of an attempt to prevent rebellion at the Republican convention, Trump will not let any Republicans who have not endorsed him speak at the party's July gathering in Cleveland, according to the New York Times. "If there’s no endorsement, then I would not invite them to speak," Trump said. The presumptive presidential nominee specifically said that former primary rivals Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich would not be able to speak if they refuse to back Trump as the nominee.

The odds would seem that Martinez would continue to keep her distance from Trump, not only for the sake of her national reputation as the nation's only female Hispanic governor but also because such an endorsement might be used against her and NM Republicans as they labor to keep control of the state House. We'll see. . .

Of course, there are many Republicans who will gladly live with Trump banning them from speaking. A lot of them aren't even going to the convention, like two former Republican presidents.


Reader Keith Miller is skeptical that any government programs can turn around New Mexico's early childhood crisis:

Money, education endeavors, fancy programs, no child left behind, you name it, will not work as long as the parents of those children don't give a damn about knowledge and improving their lot. Parents are the problem, pure and simple. Show me a parent that takes time to read to and with their child and I will show you a child that wants to read and learn. Show me a parent that is busy doing dope, going to the casino, to the race track, to the bar, running in gangs, I will show you a child that is hanging with his bro's, learning to do dope, running in gangs and learning that he should quit school because it is not going to get him anywhere.

No one wants a "nanny state" but it is evident, Keith, that a lot of NM parents don't know how to do it. Expanded home visiting to the parents of newborns would seem essential at this point in our history.


Reader Liz Bustamante writes of our Monday blog on the proposed constitutional amendment to tap a portion of the state's $15 billion Land Grant Permanent School Fund for every early childhood education:

More inconvenient truths being told! Thanks again, Mr. Monahan, even though I fear you’re a voice crying in the wilderness.

It is a political wilderness, Liz, but the number of voices are getting louder and stronger. However, Republican reader James McClure is not among them:

Our per-capita spending for education is on a par with most states but outcomes are at the bottom. We are paying increased county taxes for a mental health system that shows no signs of materializing. We’re still on the hook for the Spaceport and Rail Runner. So why should anyone trust the early chlldhood education advocates whose only argument is that throwing money at a problem automatically solves it?

Instead of the broken-record pitch for money, how about an actual campaign? Since the give-us-money pitch is not working, do some focus groups that will identify what it will take to persuade voters. Start fleshing out the proposal with details. Highlight some early childhood programs that already exist in the state and demonstrate that they are producing results. Identify the nonprofit groups running these programs and give us a reason to trust them. Draft some legislation that will convince voters that a statewide program will have some accountability.

The problem is not the voters, Jim. An ABQ Journal poll shows they would vote overwhelmingly in favor of the early childhood conditional amendment. It is a handful of state legislators blocking the voters from considering the measure.


State House Minority Leader, Santa Fe attorney and ardent environmentalist Brian Egolf is hitting back at those accusing him of hypocrisy because he is representing a SE NM company that wants to sell water to oil and gas companies who will use it for the controversial purpose of fracking. In an email making the rounds, Egolf responds to news stories and a blog report we wrote:

As far as I know, I am the only legislator to have introduced legislation demanding disclosure of the components of fracking fluids, requiring frackers to pay the costs of the damage they cause, and giving surface owners important rights against oil & gas operators. I am as committed to these issues today as I have ever been. . . 

The “facts” in the blog post and other reporting are not really “facts” at all. Our firm represents a water company in Lea County that is a very small business. It sells water to commercial customers, as do many companies in the area. The company entered into a lease with the state land commissioner that required the company to apply for a small number of water wells, which will produce water for commercial purposes if a permit is granted. The firm’s client is not a fracking company and is not an oil & gas company.

The firm’s client sued the land commissioner when he decided to cancel the agreements with the company with no legal right to do so. The case – despite the claims of Commissioner Dunn – is about Dunn’s abuse of power and his refusal to honor his promises.

Finally, Dunn’s statements that the case involves “potable” water are false. The water at issue is hugely toxic, full of dissolves solids, and absolutely not suitable for any purpose other than a commercial purpose.

More on the complex case and Dunn's position here.

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