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Monday, January 15, 2018

A Boondoggle That Beats ART, The Outs Are In, Action In SOS Race And State R's Gear Up For Tough Year 

And you thought the $135 million ART project down ABQ's Central Avenue was one of the biggest boondoggles you had ever seen. Take a look at this just north of us:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to announce that it has all but completed construction of a new hospital in Aurora, CO. — a major milestone for a project that drew national outrage in 2015 when the agency admitted it was $1 billion over budget. But according to a congressional document the Jan. 23 target will be little more than an illusion as the team building the $1.7 billion facility expects to spend several more months finishing hundreds of items on its to-do list. Even then, the project is unlikely to reach its full potential when it opens later this year.

The same question applies to both the VA and ART boondoggles: Who, if anyone, will be held accountable?

THE OUTS ARE IN

Former ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez was lambasted by then-mayoral candidate RJ Berry for advocating a streetcar system down Central (Berry called it a "trolley") and it helped Berry beat Chavez and become mayor in 2009. Now that Berry's legacy project has proven to be a disaster, Chavez resurfaces to extract a bit of revenge:

Joe; Architecture is a major definer of who we are as a community. I've wondered from the first time I saw them what the architectural theme was behind the ART bus structures. At first blush they are certainly reminiscent of the Denver International Airport. But it's pretty clear now that each of the stops actually represents a White Elephant dancing down Central Ave.

Chavez has moved back to ABQ from DC and is practicing law. He recently was shown on Twitter having lunch with new Democratic Mayor Tim Keller. Well, as they say, the outs are in and the ins are out.

COMING SOON

Stay tuned to this blog this week as we come with some definitive solutions for the Mayor and City Council to resolve the ART wreckage. As Governor Martinez was fond of saying: It will be "Bold Change."

SOS ACTION

JoHanna Cox
When we blogged recently that the NM GOP had fielded candidates for all the executive offices up for election in '18 their candidate for Secretary of State was waiting in the wings. Now she's out on the stage.

36 year old attorney JoHanna Cox is their SOS hopeful and expected to be the only one:

Cox is prepared to take her prosecutorial experience to the Secretary of State’s office and take politics out of the decision-making process. Running a clean, transparent, and fair election is not the job of a political organizer, but rather an attorney who understands the law and the role of the position in which she will be elected. Cox has decades of experience in being an advocate for fairness and transparency. In her work as a prosecutor in two of New Mexico’s busiest judicial districts (1st Judicial in the North and Valencia County), prosecuting public corruption, and defending hardworking law enforcement officers, Cox has been ethical and dedicated to serving New Mexicans.

That reference to a "political organizer" is a dig at current Dem Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver who did indeed work in organizing before she embarked on her own political career. However, she won kudos for her 10 year service as BernCo County Clerk before being elected SOS in 2016 to fill out the term of Dianna Duran who resigned. Oliver will be heavily favored for re-election.

Meanwhile, former Indian Country Dem State Rep. Sandra Jeff, who wears controversy as easy as a pair of comfy pajamas, is at it again. She has switched parties and is running for SOS as a Libertarian Party candidate.

Thanks, Sandra, we can always use the blogging material.

THIS TOUGH YEAR

The political pros say it could be a tough year--very tough--for the NM GOP. Party Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi has put his team in place in preparation for the rough waters: They are:

Ryan Gleason is Executive Director. Gleason got his start in politics as a Legislative Analyst for the NM House in 2001 shortly after graduating from the Texas Tech School of Law. He then spent three years as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Chief of Staff to NM House Speaker Don Tripp. 

Michael Horanburg will serve as the Deputy Executive Director. Horanburg has worked in New Mexico politics for ­­­­­­­­10 years. Prior to his service at the state party,  Horanburg served as the southwest Field Coordinator for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. 

Others named are: James Clarke, Director of Political Strategy. Dominic Pacheco is Finance Director. Greg Blair will handle communications. Becky Wilson is the Administrative Director. Pam Kingston is the Accounting Assistant. Michelle Chavez is the Events Coordinator. 

One Dem operative who looked over the news from the GOP quipped:  "Why were all the women listed last?"

Yeah, it's going to be a wild year.

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