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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Apodaca And Lujan Grisham Battle Over Sex Harassment Escalates, About Those Tax Cuts, And: Jack Schmitt 45 Years Later  

Like we said yesterday, the season of goodwill is on hold for Jeff Apodaca and Michelle Lujan Grisham. The two candidates for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination are now on nasty terrain over competing charges of sex harassment.

Apodaca claims a transgender intern was fired from Grisham's congressional office because of her sex. That sent the tongues wagging and they were wagging again when Apodaca was accused by a Grisham supporter of making an unwanted advance:

A political supporter of  Lujan Grisham accused (Apodaca) of attempting to kiss her on the mouth at a social event. Marianna Anaya, 28, of Albuquerque said that Apodaca tried to kiss her on the mouth earlier this year at a whiffle ball game in Santa Fe that brought together staff from the Democratic Party and the American Federation of Teachers. "While shaking hands after the game, Jeff — who I didn't know was Jeff at the time — came up to me totally smelling of beer and tried to kiss me on the lips," she said. 

Apodaca's campaign called the allegation absolutely false and an attempt to divert attention from claims that Lujan Grisham discriminated against a transgender intern. Insurance agent Laurie Martinez said she attended the whiffle ball event and disputed Anaya's account. She has known Apodaca since 1979. "I was there and I've never seen Jeff act in an inappropriate way," she said. 

Apodaca has called on US House Minority Leader Pelosi to investigate Grisham over the dismissal of intern Riley Del Ray. What, if anything, comes of that request as well as the Anaya charges, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, rest assured there will be no kissing under the mistletoe between Michelle and Jeff.

NOT DION'S

On our Christmas gift list for the politicos Monday we blogged:

Gov. Martinez--Santa has buffed up the Guv's resume and by the end of '18 he hopes to land her a good paying slot in the private sector. Chief Marketing Officer for Dion's Pizza is a possible, says Santa.

Reader Cheryl Haaker could not resist:

No! No! A thousand times no! We've been enjoying Dion's for over 30 years. It's a good place, and we don't want it messed up. Send the ex-Gov to "Wise Pies." Seems more her style. More flash than substance, fades over the long haul. A real "whatever happened to..." business, much like our Governor's second term.

SILENT ON SANTOLINA

We blogged recently of the ABQ city council:

"Sanchez, Pena and Borrego are from districts that supported Mayor Keller but are more conservative socially and economically and heavily Hispanic. Pena dragged her feet in endorsing Keller in the run-off and all three Westside councilors have been sympathetic towards the Santolina development project for the far Westside--not a fave of Keller's."

Councilor Borrego says in response:

FYI- I have not stated an opinion on my view of this project. Just wanted to let you know. 

Whether a position of neutrality is "sympathetic" to Santolina or not, we'll let you decide.

THOSE TAX CUTS

The Legacy PAC supporting the Governor is bragging in the mailboxes that she cut taxes 37 times. We pointed out that most of those were merely reapproving tax relief already on the books. Syndicated columnist Harold Morgan says this:

It is not true that the administration’s much proclaimed 37 tax cuts all were merely extensions of tax breaks already passed. Nor is it true that there were 37 cuts; there were 36. 

In January I did a column analyzing the cuts. The Governor’s office provided the list. Yes, a number of these “cuts” extend previously enacted tax credits or gross receipts exemptions such as House Bill 273 in 2011 for an R & D credit.

The one bill amounting to something was HB 523 in 2011 extending the exemption of locomotive fuel from gross receipts tax. In response Union Pacific promptly built its multimodal facility near Santa Teresa.

Harold did not mention one major tax cut that Martinez can take credit for--the cut in the corporate income tax in 2013. It remains controversial to this day because when passed it was argued that it would cause corporations to move here. That hasn't happened.

45 YEARS AGO

We ran into former GOP US Senator Harrison "Jack" Schmitt not long ago enjoying dinner with family and friends at the Prairie Star restaurant in Bernalillo. The 82 year old is fit and engaged and this month, besides celebrating the holidays, Schmitt may take a moment to ponder this event as relayed by the NM GOP:

. . .It was this month 45 years ago when astronaut and lunar pilot Harrison Schmitt walked on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission. Schmitt was one of only a dozen NASA astronauts to accomplish such a feat and it remains one of New Mexico’s shining moments nearly half a century later.

Schmitt was born in Santa Rita and studied at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University before becoming a trained astrogeologist, a jet pilot, and then an astronaut.  Senator Schmitt is part of the fabric of our state, as well as our nation’s rich history of space exploration. 

As New Mexicans, we are proud of Sen. Harrison Schmitt, our homegrown hero who accomplished what few others have. 

Jack was elected to the Senate in 1976, defeating incumbent Joe Montoya, but in 1982 Democrat Jeff Bingaman defeated Schmitt when he sought re-election. Bingaman served longer in the Senate than Schmitt but then he did not step on the moon.

Jack, now an elder statesman, did not take the bait when we tried to lure him into a discussion about current state political events. Maybe he had his share when Gov. Martinez in 2011 named him as secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department but he was denounced by environmentalists because of his views on climate change and refused to subject himself to a background check by the Senate Rules Committee. That  ended his short tenure.

The former Senator told us he and his wife like keeping up with events and are regular readers of the blog. Well, like the moon, New Mexico politics is out of this world so it's no surprise La Politica continues to have its appeal to our New Mexican astronaut.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2017
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