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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Susana's Rehab Could Last Months; Ski Accident Gives New Meaning To Lame Duck, Plus: "The Martinez-Sanchez Economy" And: Nagging Nate 

They call the Governor a lame-duck because she can't seek another term but as reader Greg Lennes points out, because of her recent skiing mishap that label may soon take on a literal meaning for Susana:

This Governor could miss a lot of work after her fun trip to Utah. Unlike a broken leg, the diagnosis for a torn ACL usually means surgery and nine months of rehab. Thank goodness she is not a teacher.

Maybe the Governor will be one of the lucky ones and avoid surgery. If not, there will be robust demand for any pics of her walking around the Roundhouse on crutches.

Meanwhile, Martinez is deciding on when to call lawmakers back into special session to resolve the budget stalemate, but upset Senators are in no mood to deal with her. One scenario making the rounds has the Senate repeating what happened in last fall's special session over the budget: The Senate meets, approves a budget and adjourns. The House would then have to stay in session for three days to force the Senate to return when a final agreement would be cobbled out. What would be in that agreement, however, is  unknown.

One of the Alligators wants to vent over the legislative session and it's a pretty epic rant:

The disconnect between our pampered political class and the harsh reality most New Mexicans face couldn't have been on greater display than it was during this meaningless session of the Legislature. If this session hadn't happened, no one in New Mexico would have known the difference.

Donald Trump's Twitter feed has more impact and meaning to the people of NM than this session did; a session that didn't address jobs, didn't address the economy, didn't address early childhood education, didn't address payday and title loan sharks (capping interest rates at 175% is some sort of victory?); this session didn't address anything meaningful to the average New Mexican.

Once again, it was all about self-congratulatory legislators and their lobbyist enablers occasionally tinkering at the edges but ultimately propping up a failed status quo. To paraphrase Shakespeare, the Roundhouse has become little more than a well-heeled and privileged collection of 112 rubber-stamping, status quo adherents who signify nothing to the real people of our state, and NM's death spiral will continue as a result. And the group most to blame are the Democrats in the Legislature who would rather go along and get along with their Republican masters because they have no true political convictions or passion of their own to match this state's minority party.


Our take: The session was not "meaningless" as our Gator and the Governor assert. It's just that what was addressed and the small accomplishments made are dwarfed by the crises in unemployment, economic stagnation and social conditions that the state faces but seems unable to confront in the big way necessary.

JOHN AND SUSANA

It appears state Dems are preparing for the possible '18 GOP Guv candidacy of Lt. Gov. John Sanchez. They are starting to hang Susana around his neck. From the state party:

Martinez-Sanchez Veto of a living wage prioritizes donor class over New Mexican families. . . Gov. Martinez said this weekend that she will veto modest minimum wage increases that the House and Senate delivered to her desk. There’s a reason the Martinez-Sanchez economy is one of the worst in the country. Governor Martinez and Lt. Governor Sanchez spend too much time pleasing their corporate donors at the expense of hardworking New Mexican families. 

The "Martinez-Sanchez economy?" Is that like the "Richardson-Denish economy" of 2010?

NAGGING NATE

Rep. Gentry
Democrats just might get somewhere in the budget talks if they put some heat on House Minority Leader Nate Gentry in his ABQ NE Heights district. Take a look:

Nine House Republicans represent Clinton turf, while only two Democratic House members hold Trump seats. State Rep. Gentry holds the most pro-Clinton seat of any of the nine Republicans. Gentry’s Albuquerque-area HD-30 went from 50-44 Obama to 48-37 Clinton, with Johnson taking 12; Gentry won his fourth term 52-48.

Despite the walloping Trump received in his district and Gentry's own close call, he is still acting like a dyed-in-the-wool R. If the Dems worked him over in his district with robocalls etc. before the special session, could that make a difference in cracking open the House GOP caucus? Another question might be do the Dems care enough and have the intestinal fortitude to try?

MAYORAL SHRINKAGE

As expected the ABQ mayoral field has already begun to shrink. Radio station owner and unabashed Trump supporter Eddy Aragon became the first of the 14 announced hopefuls to call it quits. He told his radio audience Monday that he will not have the time to devote six months to the campaign because of his business obligations. Candidates must turn in to the city clerk 3,000 valid signatures of registered city voters by the end of April. That's a big reason why the field will continue to shrink.

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