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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Tuesday Potpourri: Collectors Items, An Oil Boom, A "Progressive Liberal" And A Lament Over The Tone Of Today 

The election is still eight months away but we're already scooping up collectors items from the campaign trail and preparing to put them on ebay.

This Grisham-Gonzales sticker was cute when it first came out but then the chances of would be Democratic Lieutenant Governor Javier Gonzales sank faster than Trump leaving for a golf game and he dropped out of the race. How much are we bid for this prized item?

And if you have any campaign buttons saying "DeBenedettis for Governor or "Dunn For US Senate" you can start your own collectors stash. . .

Michelle Lujan Grisham put out a campaign poll last week that gives her 72 percent of the vote in the June Dem Guv primary. So does that mean she will underperform if at this weekend's Democratic preprimary convention she wins less than 72 percent of the delegates support?

ELECTION DAY

At the top we said Election Day is eight months away. That's for the statewide general election, but as you may know today is city Election Day in Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Roswell and other municipalities around the state.

The five way Santa Fe mayoral contest has generated a lot of interest since the new executive is going to have more power. Also, ranked voting where voters make more than one choice has been an eye-opener, leading to a mostly positive campaign because everyone is appealing to, well, everyone.

Even though we didn't learn what misbehavior they were up to in high school, we did learn enough to know to make a rare statement: these are five strong candidates and whoever wins is going to be up to the job. We met personally with Ron Trujillo and Alan Webber but neither bought us lunch so we really are neutral. Much of the vote was cast early. Here are today's Santa Fe polling locations.

BOOM!

The boom is back. Hotel prices in Carlsbad are in the heavens again as the shale fields in the Permian Basin near the city are being pumped for three million barrels a year.

Carlsbad is notoriously short of hotel rooms for these kind of spikes. It shows at the La Quinta Inn where a night's stay is going for $374 a night (is that the honeymoon suite?). It could be even higher if so much of the Permian was not in West Texas. SE NM has only a slice but it's enough to keep even the most humble lodgings packed with workers with ample paychecks.

Oil prices are in the $60 barrel range, the sweet spot for shale production, say the experts. If it stays there or rises the state budget will continue to be stabilized from the taxes and royalties coming from the Permian. That's at least one piece of good news for the incoming Governor in 2019. Insiders are already saying that Governor will face a mess similar to what ABQ Mayor Tim Keller found when he took over the reins from Mayor Berry.

HI, STACY. . ERR. . SARAH

From the state Dems:

Over the weekend, it was revealed that GOP State Representative Sarah Maestas Barnes has been operating a fake Facebook account under the name, “Stacy Baca.” The account regularly sends friend requests to other New Mexicans and appears to target friends of Maestas Barnes’ opponents.

In New Mexico, we value respect and trust. But Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes breached that trust with many of her constituents. . . to troll her opponents. In an era in which fake Facebook accounts are being created to undermine elections by foreign adversaries, it’s absolutely irresponsible of Maestas Barnes to use those tactics. . .


Well, "Stacy" has now disappeared from Facebook. Did she move to Moscow?

PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL?

As expected the ABQ City Council wasted no time in rushing through a tax increase at its meeting last night to bail out the under water budget. The vote was 8 to 1, with only GOP councilor Winter voting against. Mayor Keller backed away from his campaign pledge to send the three eights of a cent gross receipts tax increase to the voters. Dan Lewis (remember him?) the former GOP city councilor who lost to Keller in the run-off election in November, comes with a bit of revenge:

Did you expect that a self-proclaimed progressive liberal mayor would not suggest that raising taxes is the way to solve a budget deficit? Did anyone believe that this Mayor would keep a promise to put a tax increase before the voters? There is not a budget deficit. There is a wish-list deficit, and a leadership deficit. A leader in the mayors office goes to the nine members of the City Council and asks them to balance a budget on what we have, and make the budget reflect a solid financial priority for public safety. A leader in the mayor's office will propose that kind of budget himself. A $40 million so called deficit goes away immediately with a competent leader in the mayor's office. 

A progressive and a liberal? Now that's a twofer.

THE BOTTOM LINES

Andrew Sullivan, writing in New York Magazine, best describes the current political zeitgeist:

There are moments when everything I have come to believe in — reasoned deliberation, mutual toleration, liberal democracy, free speech, honesty, decency, and moderation — seem as if they are in eclipse. Emotionalism, tribalism, intolerance, lies, cruelty, and extremism surround us (and I have not been immune in this climate to their temptations either). Trump has turned the right into a foul, spit-flecked froth of racist reactionism, and he has evoked a radical response on the left that, while completely understandable, alienates me and many others more profoundly with every passing day.

Gosh, after reading that kids, we need a really long vacation or at least a big breakfast burrito to numb the pain. . .

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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