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Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Shoe Is On The Other Foot But The R's Don't Seem To Quite Get It, Plus: Another Study And Another Last Place For NM, And: Former NM GOP Chair Remembered 

Suddenly the Roundhouse air is filled with talk of bipartisanship. Funny, when the R's had control of the House as well as the governorship, there wasn't much sweet talk going around. Now that they have lost the House and Gov. Martinez is a lame duck, the GOP wants "bipartisanship." IT seems the R's haven't fully absorbed message the voters sent them in November. Look at this from the state GOP:

Republicans in the House and Senate will be focusing on the legislation our state needs to diversify our economy, bring jobs back to New Mexico and protect our children and families from rising crime. We hope we can count on Democrats to work for their constituents and help Republicans pass these important measures.

Say that again? The R's want the D's to "help Republicans" pass their pet measures? Let's see. The R's lost control of the House and let go of two seats in the Senate. And they are led by a lame duck governor sporting a 36 percent approval rating. Maybe new Senate Majority Leader Wirth and Speaker Egolf need to be a bit more forceful and remind them of that? Ya think? . . .

Meanwhile, budget plans to resolve the shortage for the fiscal year that ends June 30 are speeding along in Santa Fe. But as soon as they can strike a deal on this year's budget, more cuts are in store when they tackle the budget for the year that begins July 1.

What else can you say? It's a damn shame what has happened to our state. This is the latest WalletHub study on the best and worst places to raise a family:

New Mexico ranked 51st among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the study, which looked at the percentage of families below poverty level, unemployment rates, divorce rates, education quality, infant mortality, child care costs and other factors. New Mexico ranked particularly poorly on poverty (50th), unemployment (48th), violent crime rate (48th), divorce rate (46th) and the percentage of two-parent families (47th). The only relatively positive metrics were the infant mortality rate and the “family fun” ranking, in which the state ranked 18th. It was around the middle on child care costs (27th) and came in at 36th on housing affordability. Overall, the state ranked just below Mississippi. At the top of the list were North Dakota, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Hmm. That would make for once heckuva "State of the State" address. Reader Chris Rucker piles on:

". . . diversifying our economy, reforming our education system and keep our communities safe,” said Governor Martinez. What state does she think she governs? Other than brew pubs, and building business incubators, what economic improvements have we had in the past 6 years? We lead the nation in car thefts, near the top in homicides per capita and New Mexico graduates fewer HS students than almost any other state. More problems surrounding addictions of all kinds while we encourage alcohol consumption and gambling because it's an easy way to raise more state revenues. Come on, our leadership needs to focus on fixing our quality of life problems that cost taxpayers so much money every year.

Can't someone in legislature help out with this?

Gov. Martinez’ administration continues to insist on keeping secret how much taxpayer money has flowed to a well-connected Albuquerque attorney who frequently represents the governor in court. And that’s despite a determination from the state attorney general that withholding the information breaks the law. SFR has sought to pry attorney Paul Kennedy’s billing records out of the state since late 2012. Officials sent journalists on a wild goose chase to various government departments, claimed records didn’t exist or can’t be released because of the attorney-client privilege and, most recently, cited a state law most commonly used to protect confidential settlement amounts.

And that's from the self-proclaimed "most transparent administration in history."

BEN RAY AND DONALD

Reader Patrick Gutierrez writes:

Joe, After seeing a growing list of U.S. Representatives planning on boycotting Trump's inauguration, I noticed that Congressman Ray Ben Lujan's name is not on this list! I called his office here in Santa Fe and their response was "he is not boycotting the Trump inauguration, he feels that it is job to show up, although he won't be attending any of the festivities."The job of the Democrats in our congressional delegation now is to represent the people's will in New Mexico and stop pussyfooting with Trump!

JOHN LATTAUZIO

John Lattauzio, who died at the age of 78 last week, built his businesses out of Alamogordo and for fifty years he pursued those interests with vigor and success. Along the way he got bit by the public service bug and served as chairman of the Otero County Republican Party and then in the early 90's as NM Republican Party chairman. That's when La Politica got to know him as a fierce defender of his party but not a hater of his foes.

Lattauzio loved a good debate and he gave us one, especially when Marty Chavez made his first run for ABQ Mayor in '93 and Lattauzio led the charge against him. Chavez won by under 600 votes to former GOP Governor Dave Cargo, the closest margin in city history.

Lattauzio retired to St. George, Utah a few years ago. Until illness struck he was a regular blog reader and on occasion emailed his take on current happenings in the GOP which were always insightful. The NM GOP said:

Lattauzio was a larger than life figure at the Republican Party. . . He presided over a time of great success for the Party and his remarkable commitment to the cause has stood as an example for many New Mexico Republicans in the time since his retirement. The legacy he left will not be forgotten.

And Kevin Moomaw wrote:

John hired me to be the Executive Director of the Republican Party of New Mexico. Nobody worked harder and traveled to all corners of the state to promote the Party than John. Good man who will be missed.


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