Monday, June 11, 2007

City Of Vision Gets Mud In Its Eye, Plus: City Different Crime Wave News, And: Rudy Visits ABQ; Names Campaign Chair 

Mayor Jackson
A mayor embroiled in a financial scandal. Layoffs of over a thousand workers at Intel. A housing bust to match a long running housing boom. So it goes in Rio Rancho, NM as the city of 70,000 experiences growing pains. Mayor Kevin Jackson, elected in a low-turnout election (18%) in '06, is resisting calls for his resignation because of his alleged misuse of city credit cards, but a poll being conducted on the Web site of the Rio Rancho Observer shows discontent with Jackson who insists he won't resign the part-time Mayor's job which pays around $12,000 a year. In an editorial, the newspaper called on the mayor to get out and suggested some possible replacements.

The City of Vision may have some mud in its eye, but it can be expected to recover. One of the reasons? A very low crime rate that suburban dwellers find attractive and a pro-growth local government.


If only Santa Fe, similar in population to Rio Rancho, had that city's crime rate. Alas, it does not and the Santa Fe crime wave (residential burglaries up 91 per cent since April of '06) is
starting to have some political repercussions. Cops will take a no-confidence vote on their chief as the business community, roused by the burglaries and a rape outbreak, is putting pressure on Mayor David Coss to break the back of the crime wave before it becomes a permanent feature of the state's capitol city. The biz folks see a threat to the tourism economy brewing. Not to mention the lousy fate of those who have been victims of the wave.


We joined the Los Angeles Times (Sunday circ. 1.2 million) on the campaign trail via phone last week as they prepared this latest in-depth look at Big Bill's Prez efforts.

"In fact, Joe Monahan, a longtime observer and a blogger on New Mexico politics, believes that Richardson's pace can lead to "sloppiness."
"People here say Bill has a bit of attention deficit disorder. He loves the activity. He crams in so much. How can you possibly be prepared without downtime and getting properly briefed?" But if anyone has the energy and stamina for the one-on-one in New Hampshire and Iowa, Monahan continued, it's the governor of New Mexico, "as long as his hands can still shake."

Now over to New York where the Times weighs in on the importance of the Hispanic vote to the Prez candidates, including Big Bill. From there, we go down to D.C. where the Guv holds forth on CNN's Late Edition,saying, all troops out of Iraq,none left behind.

Bill, you're tiring us out just reading about you.

Ex-NYC mayor and GOP Prez contender Rudy Giuliani spoke to an ABQ fundraiser at a private home Saturday, but did not do any media. His campaign named Bernalillo county Sheriff Darren White, 44, a New York state native, as chairman of his NM campaign. White served as Bernalillo county chair for President Bush in '04. People who attended Saturday's closed event told us Rudy spoke at length--including time spent taking questions. He was not asked about his stances on abortion or gay rights, issues on which he breaks with Republican orthodoxy. He dressed formally, in a charcoal suit with blue tie. He headed for Colorado after the ABQ appearance.

When was the last time Rudy was in NM before this weekend and what was he doing here? We quoted one of his supporters last week as saying it was in 1998 for the campaign of GOP NM Guv Gary Johnson. But one of our insiders has a more definitive answer: "Rudy was at the Lincoln day dinner for the state party in 1998. The dinner was a tribute to (NM GOP Congressman) Steve Schiff who died a couple of weeks before the dinner. It was not a Gary Johnson fundraiser. The Mayor was an outstanding speaker." So informs our informer. (Emailers are now saying Rudy was here in '04 with Bush. We'll re-blog this one Tuesday.)


Attorney David Norvell is chairman of the state Gaming Control Board. In our Friday blog on restaurants we mentioned him as being on the racing commission. He was previously chair of that commission, but the former NM attorney general has switched over to the gaming panel.

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