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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Back To The Bottom: State Slips To Last In USA in Child Well-Being; More Pressure To Use Permanent Fund To Halt Slide? Plus: Talking Those Polls Again  

The news that New Mexico has slipped back to 50th in the nation in the child well-being rankings could shift the ground again in the debate over using a portion of the state's $17 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund for very early childhood education to get us out of the cellar.

The amendment has been repeatedly thwarted in the state Senate where a conservative coalition rules, but the news that for the first time in five years the Kids Count Data Book puts us last in the nation is going to pressure that coalition at the next legislative session in January. That's especially so if Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham is elected Governor. She has pledged her support for the amendment that would go to the voters for approval, if passed by both the House and Senate.

MLG has scaled back the scope of the amendment she would support by limiting the amount that would come out of the Permanent Fund to about $57 million a year for five years, half of what amendment advocates have proposed and shorter than the ten years of funding they want. Republican Steve Pearce is on record against the amendment.

The Governor does not have a direct say on constitutional amendments but in reality it is their political muscle that can make or break one.

ABOUT THOSE POLLS (PART 2)

We had a critical report up for a while Wednesday about KOB-TV releasing polls that did not use cell phones. However KOB news director Michelle Donaldson says the SurveyUSA poll the station commissioned did include cell phone users and adds:

We reported on the Carroll Strategies (landline) poll and appreciate that they share their findings with us, but we did not pay for their poll. We listened when the Steve Pearce camp complained about landline only polls. We commissioned our own poll through SurveyUSA. And if you looked at their work, you would know it included mobile phone users as well. . . And here’s an interesting fact the cross tab on question three shows that cell phone respondents favor Lujan Grisham by 18 points, while landline respondents favor her by 10.

Here's how SurveyUSA says it dealt with the cell phone issue:

Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (41% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on the display of their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

That will not complete satisfy the purists who want the cell phone users interviewed personally but they did contact them and get responses so we grant Michelle's point and thus were too rough on the station. SurveyUSA has been quoted here often over the years and their polling has been generally useful.

The Pearce camp criticized that SurveyUSA poll for assuming a higher than usual turnout for the November election.

And not to dump on Carroll Strategies, a respected PR firm which is providing a service, but one that needs to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt until it includes cell users.

The complete SurveyUSA poll showing Lujan Grisham leading Pearce 51 to 38 is here.

Meantime, the ABQ Journal poll, calling cell phones and scientifically configured, remains the gold standard here. But it's not employed often, partially because of ongoing budget pressures, leaving a polling void through the long languid summer and even well past Labor Day.

SUSANA IN TAIWAN

Former Bill Richardson staffer and longtime journalist Bill Hume comments on Governor Martinez's trip to Taiwan this week:

. . .It is but one of such groups that Taiwan has been hosting for many years. I even went on one during my years in Santa Fe. Included in my group was a bipartisan group of legislators from New Mexico and California. We visited numerous government agencies for briefings and, of course, got the tourist track as well. Taiwan is singularly focused on having a broad cross-section of the U.S. governing class highly informed on the accomplishments and goals of this breakaway piece of China. Susana is the first New Mexico governor to make this trip, to my knowledge, In sum, this is a pretty straightforward and longstanding open outreach program conducted by the Taiwan government.

The president of Taiwan met with Martinez and her delegation during the trip. Here's a report about that.

THE BOTTOM LINES

From BernCo Clerk Linda Stover:

. . . A mobile voting unit will be utilized for the 2018 general election. The mobile voting unit will be placed at or near a different senior facility throughout Bernalillo County each day during early voting from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and is open to all qualified registered Bernalillo County voters.

Hey, don't forget the carless Millennials, Linda. Maybe once in a while wheel that unit over to Marble Brewery.

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