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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Guv '18: An Early Sparring Contest Between Pearce And Grisham, Plus: The Shrinking El Paso Paper; Here Too? And: Sending A Bill To Brian Colón  

Has the gubernatorial sparring already begun between Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Rep. Steve Pearce? Lujan Grisham is an announced Dem contender for the '18 Guv nod and Pearce is eyeing a run for the GOP nomination. Recently he ran into a buzzsaw of criticism for opting to hold a "telephone town hall" instead of meeting directly with constituents. Now Grisham comes with the contrast: 

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham will hold a Town Hall meeting in Albuquerque on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon at the CNM Workforce Training Center, 5600 Eagle Rock Ave., N.E. The Town Hall is open to the public. Rep. Lujan Grisham will listen to opinions and concerns, and take questions from constituents. 

It's much easier for Grisham to face the public but Pearce has to deal with hordes of anti-Trump protesters who would come out for any public town halls he conducts. Still, she gets a few point in the optics battle in the very early Guv positioning.

Pearce's reluctance to have town halls reminds us of the summer of 2011. That's when the Tea Party was out in force at Dem town halls. Like Pearce, then-US Rep. Martin Heinrich and Senator Udall decided to cash out of the town hall circuit, opting for meetings with community leaders and the like.

The political pendulum is always swinging.

COMING HERE?

Will the ABQ Journal follow the El Paso Times in doing this?:

The El Paso Times announced. . . while the newspaper will still produce seven issues a week, it has been reduced from four sections to two Monday through Saturday, reducing space for local, national and international news. . . The Times’ direction is clearly to the digital world, along with other struggling newspapers and everything from Christmas shopping to personal relationships. 

What's surprising is that the Times, like some other newspapers, did not announce it was ending some weekday editions outright. But given the outlook for newspapers that could soon come.

A BILL FOR BRIAN

Hey, Brian Colón, candidate for ABQ mayor, we have an invoice for you. On January 26 we blogged:

(Colón's) political tradition is that of a happy warrior, a master of the meet and greet and eager to work across the aisle.

Now comes the candidate himself in the latest edition of the ABQ Free Press, saying:

Colón calls himself the “happy warrior” – an homage to the late Vice President Hubert Humphrey– and believes he can bring diverse groups together "When you’ve got
to solve those problems."

Well, to use the language of lawyer Colón, this one is pro bono. But next time we write the script, the bill goes in the mail.

On a more serious note, Colón is dodging the question of whether he would get rid of APD Chief Gorden Eden:

“On day one (as mayor), that is the first meeting I have (with Eden) Anyone who has devoted themselves to public service deserves to have a sit-down with their new boss. Colon said. “To get political points by by saying his head is on the chopping block is not my approach That's not to say I can see any conversation where it ends well, but he deserves that professional courtesy."

That contrasts with the position of Tim Keller, Colón's chief Democratic rival, who has said, if elected, Eden and Assistant Chief Huntsman will be shown the exits.

GANG CULTURE

Reader Larissa Lewis writes of the staffing woes at APD:

The gangster culture of APD has thrived. More than 200 jumped ship as they smelled the Dept. of Justice coming, and the national coverage of violence by this gang, so the reasons for less manpower are many. Until (if ever) there is major overhaul, why would any conscientious public safety candidates join this dirty crew? So sick of partial, lame excuses and poor rationalizing that is spread over the harsh realities. Either suck up and take responsibility, or shut up is my response to all that have participated-including ex officers and office holders. Not everyone is a fool hypnotized by "alternative facts."

Former City Councilor, Public Safety Director and '13 mayoral candidate Pete Dinelli is watch dogging this year's mayoral race. He says thus far the contenders have not gone far enough in their plans for cleaning up the troubled department:

The entire APD command staff all the way down to commanders and lieutenants (needs to be replaced) so that APD can truly have a fresh start with a new generation of leadership who has a firm understanding of “Constitutional’ policing.

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