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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Aging Crime Wave Makes ABQ Voter Patience An '18 Test For City Hall, Plus: Pushback On Apo TV, And: Who Wants It? Still No Big Names For GOP Light Guv  


You might have seen this sarcastic rib tickler that's been making the rounds on social media. It aptly sums up what denizens of the Duke City had to deal with in 2017. Will 2018 be much different?

Patience will be at a premium for the new leadership team at City Hall. The crime wave is now years-old. With memes like the one posted here making the rounds, ABQ's reputation has grown increasingly tarnished around the nation.

Closer to home it is common to hear folks report on how they do not go out at night and how for the first time in many years of living here, they fear for their safety as well as the security of their property.

Over the weekend new Mayor Keller enjoyed the traditional honeymoon newspaper interview, exploring his personality and private life. In normal times the fluff would be of much interest and appeal. But curiosity about the personalities of local politicians is low. It is results people hunger for.

Keller has a 62 percent win to cushion him going forward. One senses that he is going to need all of that and more as he grapples with a a crime wave that now belongs to him.

ELEPHANT SPOTTING

Reader Bruce Shah focuses on the challenge before Keller as he tries to recruit police for the understaffed APD:

Joe, the NYT reports: "New Homeland Security chief will oversee the hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents."

This has always been the elephant in the room. No one addressed this during the election. I can't see Albuquerque competing with the feds on either salary or benefits. Something for you to look at perhaps?

Well, Bruce, along with many others, we are looking at it.

It's too early to talk about raising taxes. With a projected $40 million deficit facing the city for the budget year starting July 1, first spending cuts have to be on the table.

And to risk the wrath of the BioPark fans, what about that $17 million a year for each of the next 14 years going there from a 2016 voter-approved gross receipts tax increase?

Can we get creative in this time of a public safety crisis? Can't some of the BioPark general operating budget be shifted to public safety? Isn't that just one of the hard questions that needs to be asked?

APO TUBE REACT

Jeff Apodaca caused a little holiday splash when he went up on the air with a 60 second bio TV spot as he fights to overcome Dem Guv front-runner Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The campaign only bought about $19,000 in broadcast time over that period. And get this--$5,000 of it was for just one spot on the KOB-TV NFL game of Dec. 23, says media maven Chris Brown who is monitoring the buys from Santa Fe. He adds that Apodaca bought about $13,000 on cable including CNN and MSNBC for ads that run through January 7.

The spot is also is getting social media hits and garnered some needed publicity for Apodaca.

As for the content of the ad, readers offered push back. An email from a dlwencewicz said:

Reference the Apodaca ad about career politicians vs. being an innovator and businessman. Wee have a so-called “businessman” in the White House now. How’s that working for you? Politics is the art of compromise (unless you’re a modern day conservative) while business requires a dictator. I prefer compromise.

Longtime reader Mick opined that Apodaca is incorrectly characterizing the $16 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) as a "rainy day fund." Apodaca proposes to invest $1 billion from the $23 billion in state permanent funds to stimulate the economy:

"Rainy Day fund?" Incorrect. And what sort of jobs would Jeff try to bring in? And how long would it take to get it done while the economy inches upward on its own? Sam Donaldson (who narrated the ad) should have known better than to trust the copy writers to get the facts straight. He could have at least put "rainy day" in some sort of verbal parentheses so that the recipients of the message would know that the term is not legitimate, only a term used by those seeking to raid the permanent funds of New Mexico. Am I beating the same drum? You bet. 

Th LGPF is an endowment fund set up at the time of statehood to benefit a variety of educational institutions. A "rainy day" fund is a fund set up to provide for general government spending when revenues decline.

WHO WANTS IT?

The GOP race for lieutenant governor is not yet drawing the big names. The latest entrant:

Mark Yule worked as a Union Steward in Taos for many years after becoming the region’s first mail carrier when he moved there in the 1980s. He says his priority as lieutenant governor would be improving government efficiency and flexibility. 

Former independent turned Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes has also announced her candidacy. Kellie Zunie had to drop out of the lt. guv race because of financial issues uncovered after she announced. Zunie was the apparent fave of presumed GOP Guv nominee Steve Pearce.

The southern NM congressman continues to fight the perception that '18 is a no-brainer Guv year for the Dems. The lack of big GOP names wanting to team with him is giving support to that argument.

THE YEAR THAT WAS

Do you think 2017 was a lousy year for New Mexico? You have some company as you yell: "Good Riddance!"

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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