Friday, July 01, 2016

Happy Fourth of July, New Mexico! 

A wee bit of good economic news as Rio Rancho picks up 900 call center jobs from a vehicle glass repair company replacing some of the thousands of jobs Rio Rancho has lost in recent years (think Hewlett Packard, Intel, Sprint etc.) Also, the jobs will not come in one fell swoop, but over a four year period.

This comes as chip manufacturer Intel continues to downsize its Rio Rancho plant and the high-paying jobs there. The call center jobs put a little finger in the dike, as we are seeing some success attracting jobs that match the skills of our under educated workforce. However, we can't pull in the tax generating jobs of high tech and others because of that same workforce.

The state economic development department and Gov. Martinez, facing an electorate that names jobs as the #1 issue and threatens to return the state House to Democratic rule this November, has hit the accelerator in looking for job opportunities. The focus is a welcome one away from the "all crime all the time" campaign that was being planned (and still may be) but derailed by economic concerns.

Overall, NM continues to get pummeled. Today is the start of the new state budget year. Revenue estimates for the budget year that just wrapped up on Thursday are coming up way short. That's because of the bear market in oil and gas, lagging sales tax collections and over zealous corporate income tax cutting.

The state''s reserves, once around $600 million or about ten percent of the $6.2 billion general fund, have now shriveled to around $60 million. That can't last long but Gov. Martinez will be loathe to call a special session in the election year. The next session of the Legislature is in January and that's when the fix will have to come.


Eric Serna
The Dem Santa Fe area district attorney candidate is Marco Serna, not his famous political father Eric Serna. We made that error in a first draft blogging about the DA's race. During the campaign Marco labored to get out from under the shadow of his famous father and did so by winning the June primary.

We've covered Eric since the 70's so slipping his name in when talking about a Serna came naturally. Eric was one of the most controversial politicos of his time, but he also was a great campaigner, sporting a winning smile and oozing charisma that kept him in the game for decades. In that regard, Marco Serna could do a lot worse. And if you don't believe us, when you're in Santa Fe ask Lorene Mills, she'll remember.


Before we send you off to the lake or to the hammock for the long Fourth of July weekend, we have a movie review from reader Eric Lucero in case your entertainment choice is the confines of a cool movie theatre and a political thriller:

Our Kind Of Traitor (R) ***1/2 Stars out of 5 is a breezy globe-trotting espionage thriller brought competently to the screen by Brit Director Susanna White (Parade’s End, 2012) and is faithfully adapted from John le Carre’s taut novel of the same name. le Carre is credited as an executive producer as well.

His previous novel, A Most Wanted Man (2015), made a better film. Lead actor Brit Ewan McGregor’s performance as the innocent, naive, and the maritally troubled husband can’t quite compete with Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard’s Russian money launderer "Dima" or Brit actor Damian Lewis’ role as the MI6 Agent Meredith.

Director Susanna White attempts to channel le Carre and manages to come close here, but his plodding, plotted stories may be too complex for today’s audiences. The bottom line--le Carre is an acquired taste but I side with those who believe recent movie storytelling has become too simplistic and effects driven. With that said, “Traitor” is a worthwhile island for genre fans, amid a sea of formulated summer “popcorn” fare.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

Happy Fourth of July, New Mexico!

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.

website design by limwebdesign