Thursday, March 08, 2018

Does NM Owe Trump A "Thank You?" Plus: Carr Convention Power? Pushing Pat, A Shocker In Española And Keller Vs. Lewis (Redux) 

Welcome back. Let's check out the latest La Politica. . .

We didn't see any thank you notes to Trump for this from Senators Udall or Heinrich, but:

The U.S. Energy Department released more details of how it hopes to fund nuclear weapons projects in New Mexico, outlining a combined request of $4.2 billion for nuclear security spending at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. The request for fiscal year 2019, which relies on congressional appropriations, represents an increase of about $249 million for Los Alamos and $377 million for Sandia over the labs’ budgets for fiscal year 2017. 


Dem Lt. Governor candidate Jeff Carr of Taos pushes back against Alligator analysis that has him fighting to get 20 percent of the delegate vote at Saturday's Democratic pre-primary convention. He says he will get 30 percent and says if he does we have to buy him dinner. And if he doesn't, he buys.

Where should we take Jeff to dinner? How about some chicharrones at Barelas Coffee House? As for us. don't fret, Jeff. We're easy. If we win, just book a table at Ruth's Chris. Make sure your credit limit isn't capped.


Supporters of ABQ congressional candidate Pat Davis note that we did not mention him in the blog that gamed the convention action. They say Davis has a strong grassroots organization and look for him to surprise at the meeting.

Maybe Davis' foes are getting nervous. One of them takes this dig: "Someone should point out that Pat's new campaign office is on Central Avenue, right in the heart of the ART project that he voted for as a city councilor but that isn't running."


And more pushback against claims that there was hanky-panky at some of the county conventions that sent delegates to the pre-primary. BernCo Dem Chair Bill Peifer writes:

Claims of “rigging” the process by me or the party in favor of any of the campaigns fall somewhere between pure political posturing and absurdly ridiculous. I have been meticulously careful about any semblance of partiality in this primary race, to the point that I don’t even attend events of, or sign petitions for, even the unopposed candidates. When we selected site coordinators for each of the eight locations where ward meetings were held we chose individuals who did not have direct ties to any of the campaigns and eliminated a few of our best volunteers who had gone public with who they were supporting. 


Española, in the heart of the Democratic north, has elected a Republican mayor? Really? Yep:

Española voters elected Javier E. Sanchez to replace Mayor Alice A. Lucero, who opted not to seek a third term. Sanchez won with an overwhelming majority over Robert J. Seeds and Adrianna Ortiz.

Locals say Sanchez is the first GOP mayor in the city in decades.

(That sound you just heard is Emilio Naranjo rolling over in his grave.)


So who wins the popularity contest? Santa Fe Mayor-elect Alan Webber or ABQ Mayor Tim Keller? Both are progressives now at the helm of the state's two most prominent cities. (Sorry Cruces and Rio Rancho). Webber managed to get 66% of the vote Tuesday. in a five way race to win the Santa Fe contest and Keller was elected in a two way runoff in November with 62%. But Webber was elected under the "ranked" system where he was picked by many voters as their second choice which made his big percentage possible. Still, quite an accomplishment as was Keller's. However,

In the first round of four rounds of voting--before he was awarded second choice votes--Webber garnered 39% of the vote. In the October ABQ election featuring 7 candidates Keller had an identical amount--39 percent. But because he faced more candidates he ekes out a win in the popularity contest.

The bad news for this political duo, who are good friends, is that often a mayor's popularity peaks on the day he is elected.


The man Keller defeated in November--former City Councilor Dan Lewis--lambasted the new mayor for supporting a tax increase this week that was approved by the city council and for doing so without the public vote he promised. Reader Ken Tabish has the inevitable pushback:

What do you expect from a sore losing conservative Republican who lost the mayoral election in a landslide? Same old Republican policies which haven’t worked for the past eight years under ex-mayor Berry--cut services and middle class city jobs to balance a budget--and Berry still left the city with a deficit and a disastrous ART. I really dont see that as “competent leadership.” Let's remember that the deficit has come from a Republican administration and not a "progressive liberal" one. I guess Lewis thinks the crime wave will just go away all by itself. 

It's a “wish list deficit” to want to invest in the city by hiring more police officers to alleviate some of the crime we are experiencing? Balancing the budget and investing in our police force costs money. We want to attack the crime wave and balance the budget but we dont want to pay for it? As they say everything costs and we are paying the price. I agree that the gross receipts tax is not the best way to solve the deficit and invest in our depleted police force. It needed to be done and Keller and the city council were willing to take the political hit to pursue and pass the increase.

Tax increase or no tax increase, for ABQ, as the old country song says, "It's time to pay the fiddler."

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