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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Martinez Warms To Trump-Pence After Long Cold Shoulder, State Economic Death Spiral Returns With New Strength, Heinrich Has A Ticket For You And A "Gazillion" Lt. Gov. Hopefuls 

If she got a job with Trump there are many, many New Mexicans who would welcome with open arms a Governor John Sanchez:

The office of Gov. Martinez expressed optimism following a Monday meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Martinez attended the Republican Governors Association meeting in Orlando when she met with Pence.

(Her office) called it a “good and productive meeting” and “Governor Martinez is confident that the concerns of the people of New Mexico will be heard and addressed by the new administration. 

Will she get a gig? She is way in back of the line, but if she could finagle her way into something after the way she dissed the president-elect, it might be a relief for her considering what the next two years have in store for her. Groveling is in order, Guv.

THAT SPIRAL

The economic death spiral that is driving this governorship into the cellar in the approval ratings appeared to slow during the campaign but now it's full speed ahead.

PNM is laying off 30; Conoco-Phillips is pulling out of the Four Corners and endangering hundreds of jobs; who knows what's happening at Intel in Rio Rancho where reports about the workforce size are sparse and the media doesn't even bother to ask; ABQ jeweler Beauchamp shutters its doors after 65 years and, of course, the millennials seeking to kick-start their careers continue to flee the ABQ metro:

The ABQ metro is steadily losing its millennials, the young adults between 18 and 35 who are the future of the U.S. economy. And the numbers appear to indicate a familiar culprit: the state’s lackluster job environment. From 2005 to 2015, the area’s millennial population dropped by 1.6 percent, according to the data. Census figures shows that the Albuquerque area’s total population grew by 24.3 percent over the same time period.

It's left to us gray hairs to contemplate what, if anything, can turn it around. We seem more in the middle of the death spiral than close to the end.

And presiding over this mess, at least from a governmental perspective, will be new legislative leaders Sen. Peter Wirth and Rep. Brian Egolf, both of Santa Fe. Wirth will be majority leader and Egolf the new House speaker. Their date with destiny (or doom) is set. Senate Dems caucus in Belen to pick their new leaders Saturday. House Democrats get together Sunday in Santa Fe to pick Egolf and other leaders.

THAT'S THE TICKET

Have we got the ticket for you, or we should say US Sen. Martin Heinrich has it:

Sen. Heinrich announces his office will hold a lottery to select New Mexicans who submit requests for tickets to the Presidential Inauguration that takes place on January 20.  New Mexicans who want to apply for the lottery should submit a request using this secure webform. The lottery will be held on December 12 and those selected will be notified by December 14. Tickets will be provided free. No other. . . ticket outlet is authorized or has received legitimate inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell or give away. 

The Trump inauguration? It is indeed  phantasmagorical, but folks, if we've learned anything over decades covering politics, it's to keep your sense of humor. If you don't, you're a goner. And it's not a bad idea to keep close to your vest one of the most profound statements ever made by an American president: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

We pass that on to Senator Udall who leans on the "F word" in this comment:

". . . Appointing as chief strategist and adviser (Steve Bannon) who has dedicated the last several years to running a far-right website that demonizes women and spreads hate-filled lies about Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, Jews and others shows Donald Trump has already forgotten his pledge for unity. Across this country, people are voicing fear and anger about what this means for the direction of Mr. Trump’s presidency. This is a frightening sign of where his administration may be headed; it's not a wise choice, and Mr. Trump would be better off without him."

A return trip to New Mexico to run for Governor in two years seems more in the cards for Tom. If not, his full time job might be putting out statements about what Trump is doing.

A GAZILLION

Get ready for a gazillion candidates for the Dem nomination for lt. governor for '18. We already floated the name of ABQ State Senator Michael Padilla. Now we get northern Public Regulation Commissioner Valerie Espinoza on the list of possibles.

All Light Guv hopefuls should email their resume to Tom Udall. If they get kicked back send them to Michelle, Jeff Apodaca and Alan Webber and attach a campaign contribution.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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