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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Year Of Tragedy For Prominent NM Political Family Culminates With Matriarch's Death, Plus: Who Did Allen Weh Forget? And: How To Pay For A Skybox At The Pit  

It has been a year of tragedy for a prominent political family from the Four Corners. On July 24, 2016 veteran political consultant and pollster Bruce Donisthorpe, 56, died of a heart attack. And now almost exactly a year to that date--on July 23--his mother and the matriarch of the family--85 year old former Republican State Senator Christine Donisthorpe--lost her life to cancer, according to her family. Her death comes amid a sensational scandal involving another of her sons. Paul Donisthorpe, who headed Desert State Life Management, a nonprofit trust company. He is accused of moving millions of dollars belonging to trust accounts for 70 clients, many of them disabled, into his own personal accounts. Reports say Donisthorpe, 61, made an unsuccessful attempt at suicide when the revelations began to surface earlier this year.

Christine Donisthorpe served 17 years in the NM Senate, from 1979-'96. Here is an excerpt from the obituary released by her family:

Christine A. Donisthorpe, 85, of Bloomfield passed away peacefully July 23, 2017 following a brave and extended battle with cancer. Born and reared in Fergus County, Montana. . . She and her husband, Oscar, moved to San Juan County in 1953, where Oscar established a law practice after attaining his law degree at the University of Montana. Together, they farmed 116 acres southwest of Bloomfield. . . She was very “hands-on” in the farming operation, performing any and all tasks required in raising livestock and alfalfa. She was also a Realtor, operating a realty office in Bloomfield for many years.

Christine served her community on the Bloomfield Board of Education and was appointed to a vacancy in Senate District 2. She was re-elected four times and served 17 years representing Bloomfield and San Juan County in the State Senate.

Services for the former lawmaker will be at 11:00 am on Friday, July 28 at Bethel Baptist Church in Aztec, NM. Interment will take place in the Bloomfield Cemetery.

LYONS AND LAND

As expected, former GOP State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons has made official his bid for the Republican nomination for Land Commissioner in 2018. Lyons, who is finishing  his second term on the state Public Regulation Commission, is expected to easily win the nomination and may be the only major R running.

Seeking the Dem nomination is another former land commissioner, Ray Powell, Jr. and Garrett VeneKlesen, a political newcomer who is getting backing from Sen. Heinrich.

Current GOP Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, Jr. is not seeking re-election but instead running for the GOP nomination for the southern congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Steve Pearce who is running for Governor.

The Dems are favored to take the land office back next year, but don't forget that Lyons beat Dem Art Trujillo in 2002 to take the office and got re-elected in 2006 when he beat former land commissioner and ABQ Mayor Jim Baca.

FORGET SOMEONE?

Allen Weh, former NM GOP Chairman and owner of CSI Aviation, seems to have forgotten a few folks as he points his finger over the ABQ crime epidemic. Can you guess who?:

. . .The district attorney and the judiciary have no chance but to get tougher with criminals. So, for Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels, Second Judicial District Court Chief Judge Nan Nash, Metropolitan Court Judge Henry Alaniz, District Attorney Raúl Torrez and Bernalillo County Manager Julie Baca, know that you have now taken ownership of Albuquerque’s crime problem. Fix it fast, or you’ll ruin Albuquerque’s struggling economy and we’ll be well on our way to becoming another Detroit!

If you guessed that it was ABQ Mayor Berry, Governor Martinez and APD Chief Eden who were the ones Weh "forgot" to mention as sharing responsibility for current crime conditions, you win the door prize. Today that prize is a plate of enchiladas with no chile to highlight the glaring Weh omission. As for making a "ruin" of ABQ's "struggling economy," Allen must have been flying his airplanes really high while the city and state GOP leadership presided over that ruination.

PAY IN ADVANCE

About that UNM scandal over luxury skyboxes at the famous Pit going unpaid, reader Richard Flores writes rather sensibly:

There is an easy way to avoid problems related to the rental of luxury suites--make them pay in advance just like everybody else. When I want to attend a Lobo game, I pay in advance for that game ticket. People tbat buy season tickets pay in advance for a season pass. A TV interview with a UNM official makes it appear that the ball was dropped by UNM because invoices were not sent out. This is a smokescreen to try to fool the public. For one thing some of those overdue bills are 3-4 years old. What does that say about the money managers at UNM? Somebody must have noticed! It's bad enough that this money mismanagement was discovered by somebody outside of UNM, but UNM keeps getting themselves deeper and deeper into the quagmire of deceit by passing the blame around like an errant basketball pass. Here is a plan: fix the problem through institutional measures, collect the overdue money, and quit currying favor to those that can clearly afford to pay in advance.

DO THE MATH

Reader Charles Sullivan has a relevant math lesson today:

Hi Joe, On a per capita basis, NM has 7.8 times as many state funded 4 year colleges and universities as does Arizona. NM, with a population of 2.1 million has seven state funded 4 year colleges and universities or one for every 300,000 residents. AZ, with a population of 7 million has three, or one for every 2.33 million. 

Feel free to send your own pithy comments, criticisms and/or existential angst to our inbox.

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