Wednesday, June 10, 2009

King At 85; Former Guv Still Making The Rounds, Plus: Manny Party Fallout, And: Mayor Marty Getting All The Campaign Breaks; City Named To Top 10 List 

Gov. King and friend
Family and friends worried about the health of former New Mexico Governor Bruce King when he lost his wife Alice to a stroke last December. But the former three term Governor--as close to a living political legend as we've got---appears fit and in good spirits in this photo taken this past Sunday at a ceremony for another political legend now gone--former ABQ Mayor Harry Kinney. (Video here.) Bruce celebrated his 85th birthday on April 6.

Our pic snapped by one of our roving readers catches the leader of past generations with four year old Serena Davis who is getting her first introduction to La Politica at the highest level possible. (Click pic to enlarge.) Her grandparents took her to the event at the downtown Civic Plaza now named after Kinney and where a statue of the city leader was unveiled. Surely Bruce is telling Serena that when the time comes, she should register Democratic.


Current Governor Big Bill gets a mention in a New York Times editorial this week that decries the prison terms given to two American journalists by the North Koreans. The editorial does not call on the Obama administration to name Richardson as an envoy to negotiate the release of the two women, but does mention his past success in dealing with the reclusive nation.

Would Richardson's legal problems here interfere with any possible role? The North Koreans like him, but his status with the White House remains uncertain, at least to those of us looking through the windows.

Pat Rogers
Did you see where NM GOP National Committeeman Pat Rogers went to town over that going away party for former State Senator Manny Aragon held last week? Attorney Pat said people would have to be "stupid" or "brazen" to attend the event for Aragon which was held so friends could see him before he started his five and a half year federal prison term in Colorado on corruption charges. He begins that sentence today. "It makes me sick," declared Rogers of the party.

But several readers asked if lawyer Rogers was the right spokesman to score Aragon and those who attended his farewell. From the e-mail:

It is ironic that Republican lawyer Pat Rogers was criticizing a private party for Manny as inappropriate. Wasn't Rogers the one who had secret meetings with Sen. Domenici and Rep. Wilson to get US Attorney David Iglesias fired?! What a bunch of BS!

Indeed he did. He and GOP lawyer/lobbyist Mickey Barnett also had meetings with Justice Department officials and White House political advisor Karl Rove in an effort to get rid of Iglesias. The firing of Iglesias and other US Attorneys is still under federal investigation.

Should that old line about "people who live in glass houses..." be brought up about now?

The state was closely watching the NM Gaming Control Board Tuesday, wondering if it would rationalize giving businessman Marc Correra an ownership role in the new racino to be built at Raton. It turns out Correra withdrew from any involvement in the deal. And that was for the best.

Correra has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but has shared in over $15 million in placement fees for helping money management firms secure investments from our state's Permanent Funds. The use of such agents is being investigated for possible influence peddling nationwide. Correra has his hands full, and having him associated with a gambling operation would have caved the integrity and authority of the Gaming Board. The panel's chairman, attorney David Norvell, is an old political hand--a former Speaker of the NM House and one time attorney general--and hit it pretty much on the mark when he told the Canadian businessman who the board did approve for track ownership:

"Do not leave Raton flapping in the northeastern New Mexico breeze...Failure is not an option."

Norvell and company will want to keep a close watch on the Raton operation to make sure the track stays in the hands they have designated.


Is nothing going to go wrong for ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez in his bid for re-election? Now U.S. News and World Report has named Albuquerque as one of its top ten places to live in 2009:

Along the banks of the Rio Grande, with the Sandia Mountains in the background, is the beautiful city of Albuquerque, N.M. The sunny climate and endless landscape have long drawn writers, poets, and artists to this spot, which includes an unconventional mix of American Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures.

And that's just a slice of the kindly write-up of the state's largest city. We did find it baffling that they described our wind as "calm." Huh? Been outside lately? But Chavez and other city leaders can take understandable pride in the overall quality of life we enjoy. The city, despite its growth, retains a distinct identity. You miss it when you leave.

Mayor Marty's mayoral foes this year will have to concentrate on some of the weak spots---the long standing problem of low wages and the shortage of good jobs and, as Richard Romero did Tuesday, on education and the public school system which lags that of other cities.


Old-school newsman Dennis Domrzalski is back on the ABQ news beat after a fiery conclusion to his public relations career. Dennis is now working part-time for the NM Business Weekly where he toiled prior to signing up for a PR gig at the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. That job went up in flames when Dennis threatened to burn down the house of a KRQE-TV news reporter.

"I've concluded my stellar career in public relations," Domrzalski joked as he noted his return to business journalism.

Seems most of the firebrands are departing from the MRGCD. Bill Turner, a MRGCD board member who Dennis frequently sparred with, was recently defeated in his bid for re-election. What will we do for entertainment?

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