Tuesday, November 07, 2017

On The Trail: More Santolina Digs At Keller; Is Developer Digging A Hole For Itself? Plus: Pity The New Mayor And 5th Entrant In Dem Light Guv Contest 

David Villegas photo
The Santolina developers have been ants at the Keller political picnic. Well, more like big, fat cockroaches.

First they hit him in dark media ads for coddling sex offenders. That didn't stop him so now they may double down and are pondering filing a lawsuit against State Auditor Keller for raising questions about water rights for the giant planned community proposed for the far westside.

Santolina asserts Keller's questioning of the water situation is retaliation for those hard-hitting, if over-the-top sex offender ads.

We know developers like to dig holes, but the one Santolina is digging for itself could mean the end--or at least a very long delay for Santolina--if Keller wins November 14.

After the pounding Santolina has given him he will be motivated to do all in his power to halt the development--and it won't be difficult.

Maybe Santolina knows they are dead money under Keller and waging a war to the death is their only option. It certainly seems that way now that a they have Republican operative and wild swinging machine Pat Rogers serving as attorney for their cause.

Well, good luck, fellas. . .

It's another round of Keller vs. Lewis tonight at 6 as the mayoral pair face off in another TV debate. This one is being hosted by KOB-TV. There are a lot fewer voters to convince than when the first TV debate aired Oct. 29. We now have at least 40,000 early votes already cast. . .

On the paid media side of the equation you wonder what happened to that independent committee that was supposed to go to work for Lewis under the stewardship of ABQ/Phoenix attorney Simon Kubiak. We blogged of its formation, but it never got off the ground.

That left Lewis outspent on TV in the final days by Keller's publicly financed campaign of $125,000 and two committees independent of his campaign that have raised over $225,000 to support him.

That development plus trends in early turnout thus far show the enthusiasm in this mayoral cycle is with the Dems.


Pity the new mayor. Really. . .

A Subway store on San Mateo is robbed eight times in the past ten months and there's no end in sight. . . A homeless couple pitches a tent and moves onto the roof of a lawyer's office building near Nob Hill and the lawyer below complains about the pooping going on overhead. . . A group of citizens so flummoxed by the lack of crime fighting in the city form a group to fight it on their own. We used to call that vigilantism, now we thank them for it. . .And the murder meter for 2017 is poised to set a new record of well over 70 dead. . .

After that, just being a state auditor or city councilor doesn't sound so bad.

On a more upbeat note. . .

The two mayoral candidates conducted separate interviews with the "Dukes Up" group which was formed to"resist" the Trump administration:

Each candidate answers questions while consuming salsa of increasing intensity. The concept behind the project is to provide a different/easy/entertaining way for viewers to engage in politics and get to know the candidates. 

The videos of Lewis and Keller on their hot seats are here.


But can it stay there? That's the question state budget nerds are asking as the price of oil hits a two year high and breaks over $57 a barrel. For each buck the price rises the state says it gets about $10 million more taxes and royalties into its cash-starved general fund. They've been figuring on the price averaging about $48 a barrel so this is no small change.

But before they can start counting the winnings, they're going to have to mark their calenders. For the state to realize more oil money the price has to stay at current levels for a number of months--not days. Still, the upward tick has the bean counters watching as closely as Phil Griego counts the zeroes on a commission check.


Remember, government doesn't create jobs. The news:

According to Fobes, Los Alamos County is the sixth richest in the United States. The smallest county in New Mexico is also the wealthiest, with the median income at $107,000. The cost of an average home in Los Alamos is $535,000 and Forbes predicts this will go up.

Yep, government doesn't create jobs. Remember that.


Southern NM is getting some representation in the race for the '18 Dem nomination for lieutenant governor. Dona Ana County Commissioner Billy Garrett is the fifth hopeful in the contest:

Governor Martinez and President Trump are using the power of their positions to benefit a few at the expense of everyone else. I’m running to be your next Lieutenant Governor because New Mexico needs a team in Santa Fe with the courage, experience, and vision to see that state government addresses the needs of residents as its primary responsibility.”

The other candidates seeking the nomination are ABQ state Senator Michael Padilla, former ABQ state Rep. Rick Miera, Jeff Carr, a former member of the Public Education Commission and David McTeigue of Rio Rancho, a juvenile probation officer.

Thanks to longtime ABQ photographer David Villegas for the image at the top of the blog today. Check out his Facebook page for further info.

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