Friday, September 02, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Edition: The Senate Chase, Speedy Susana, It's Zdunek, Promoting NM & Our Bottom Lines 

We're starting to get worried that John Sanchez and Hector Balderas are going to feel left out. Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson are already going at each other as if they were in the general election contest, not 10 months away from a primary election. Well, Heather started it. She blasted Martin in an op-ed piece, hopping right past Sanchez, her rival for the nomination. Then Martin, who faces Hector in the Dem primary, came with a rip roaring response on Facebook.

Don't worry, John and Hector. We know you're looking forward to having nasty things said about you and we give you an iron clad guarantee it will happen sooner rather than later.


One of the summer pastimes around here has been speculating over whether Dem US Senate candidate Hector Balderas is connecting with primary voters when he pushes phrases like "fiscal accountability" and building "infrastructure." One of the Alligators thinks it's the entire state Democratic Party that has been off key and off message:

When will the NM Democrats learn to stop trying to be Republicans and start bucking the ongoing DC consultant push to move to the right? Guess we didn't learn from Diane Denish's loss that leaving your base to fight for the crumbs as you feed cake to the crossover vote that you are never going to get is deadly.

The Senate nod can be Hector's, and so too the general, but not if he keeps using these pseudo-Republican talking points like fiscal accountability. New Mexicans want jobs and they want the national GOP to leave their Social Security and Medicare alone. News flash: fiscal accountability doesn't even register in message testing right now when no one has a job and the GOP wants to gut Medicare turning it over to private insurance companies. Someone needs to give NM Dems a reality check before 2012 or the GOP will laugh all the way to the bank...

Interesting stuff, but that Dem doesn't understand that the R's can't laugh all the way to the bank anymore. They put their money in hedge funds....


You know, it's kind of weird but as much as Governor Susana says she is not anything like her predecessor--Big Bill--she has some major similarities. First is her ever more rocky relationship with the state Senate and now there's this--one of Bill's favorite hobbies:

Gov. Susana Martinez's vehicle was pulled over after her driver was caught breaking the law, police said Thursday. The traffic stop took place on Frontage Road near Jefferson Street and Interstate 25 last Friday. A New Mexico State Police officer was driving Martinez to lunch at Chama River Brewing Company when police said they clocked the driver going 48 mph in 35 mph zone. That violation typically earns the driver a $95 ticket, but in this case, he got away with a verbal warning.

Lucky for Susana her driver is an illegal immigrant with a valid NM driver's license (no, not really).


Haven't seen anything on the wires as the blog goes to press, but the trusty Alligators say that interim Bernalillo County Manager Tom Zdunek has been selected by the Bernalillo County Commission as the new permanent county manager. He was one of four finalists for the job.

The Gators predicted over a month ago that Zdunek would get it. Why? Because he has kept the peace and while some of the commissioners wanted to advance other candidates, none of them could come up with the three votes needed for their favorites. Zdunek also won backing from county labor unions. He replaces Thaddeus Lucero, the longtime manager who was forced to call it quits because of mounting controversies. Thaddeus remains a respected public administrator, but he stayed too long at the party. Hmm. You think that might also be the case for ABQ Police Chief Ray Schultz?


This week we mentioned Dem Court of Appeals candidate Victor Lopez and Republican Miles Hanisee who was recently appointed to the court by Governor Martinez. That brought this news from a friend of a soon-to-be announced contender:

Bernalillo County District Judge Monica Zamora is entering the Court of Appeals race and will be making an official announcement soon. She is presiding judge for Children's Court...She is the daughter of former Northern New Mexico Judge and trial lawyer Matias Zamora and sister to trial lawyer Diego Zamora and to Geno Zamora, City Attorney for Santa Fe.

That's shaping up to be an interesting Dem primary to see who takes on Judge Hanisee. We might even see more lawyers take a look at the plum judgeship and toss another hat or two into the ring.


You wonder aloud on this blog and you get an education. For example, about our concern that the $2.5 million annual budget for the state tourism department to promote this beautiful state is on the low side, we get this from an insider:

An internal Tourism Department study showed that the administrative overhead versus advertising dollars spent is the highest in the country. Privatizing New Mexico Magazine and turning the state visitor centers over to the Department of Transportation would free up a lot of dollars. Combining administrative functions with the Department of Cultural Affairs would save more. And every study shows Cultural attractions are one of the biggest attractions anyway....

How about it Tourism Secretary Jacobson? Sounds like there's an idea or two in there to raise some extra ad bucks that could persuade deep pocketed visitors to contribute to our local economy. (Privatizing NM Magazine, however, does not make our list).


We're going to miss the Las Cruces Sun-News. No, the paper isn't going away, but it may as well be for thousands of readers who have enjoyed it on the Web. The Sun-News is going to a pay model. You get to read for free five articles a month. After that it's $5.99 a month for the privilege. While we are fans of longtime Sun-News scribe Diana Alba and often delight in the musings of managing editor Walt Rubel, we admit to being too spoiled by the free service. Besides, it's too much fun poking holes in these pay walls...

It's been a busy summer. We just realized we haven't taken in a single Isotopes ball game this season. That hasn't happened in a while....Enjoy the Labor Day Weekend.

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Reporting to you from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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