Friday, July 06, 2012

Should NM Have A DC Office? Plus: Janice's Independence, And Reviewing The Santa Fe Scene 

Among the questions not being asked around Santa Fe: Why is the Governor apparently shutting down the state's Washington office when the state is faced with major federal spending cuts?

The impact could be in the billions if federal austerity measures take hold in this state which is so very dependent on federal dollars in a wide array of categories. Wouldn't it be worthwhile to have a state office working with our congressional delegation to preserve those dollars. The Martinez administration apparently does not think so. It took note of the news broken here of the departure of former State Rep. Brian Moore from the NM DC office but announced no replacement, indicating the office could be shuttered...

Just how many federal dollars flow here? Journalist Dennis Domrzalski reports:

In FY10, the federal government spent $28 billion in the state, or one-third of the state’s $75 billion GDP. Of that, $7.5 billion was for procurement, which business leaders say is discretionary spending and easily cut.

With the impact of all that money spread around, clearly at least half the New Mexican economy is directly dependent on the feds. All the more reason for Susana to reconsider letting the curtain fall on the state's DC presence.


Reader Alan Schwartz takes note of how ABQ GOP congressional candidate Janice Arnold-Jones is being spurned by some in the state GOP because of her "independent streak." He says:

It will be interesting to see how the money comes in for the candidate the NM Republican party perceives as "independent" (Arnold-Jones) and the candidate who is actually proclaiming herself as one---GOP US Senate candidate Heather Wilson.

Good point, Alan. It's alright for Heather to proclaim herself an "independent" voice as she pursues Dem and indy voters, so why is it such a problem for R's when Janice does the same?


ABQ attorney, lobbyist and GOP National Committeeman Pat Roger is up to his neck in emailgate, but he is still a member of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG). What gives? Rogers has been busted for trying to influence official state policy by sending emails to the private email accounts of top state officials and Martinez political advisor Jay McCleskey. Rogers was doing so while acting as attorney for the Downs at ABQ which was under consideration for a huge racino deal with the state, a deal the Downs eventually won and which appears to be headed for an investigation by the attorney general and state auditor.

FOG prides itself on being a watchdog for transparency in New Mexico government, but as long as Pat is on its board, it looks like this is one watchdog that has lost its bark.


Restaurant Martin, the namesake restaurant of Santa Fe chef Martin Rios, is hitting on all cylinders. The sauces are other-worldly and no doubt a reason Rios has become nationally acclaimed. The restaurant is ensconced in a historic home at the corner of Galisteo and Paseo de Peralta, a home that now oozes modernity, while boasting an informed and capable staff.

There are only seven mainstays on the dinner menu, but that's all you need when it's this good. And the appetizers do more than tease the appetite. We heard some patrons ordering dinner-sized portions. We opted for the Maine Lobster Agnolotti, made of artichokes, Spring peas, carrots, celery root, parmesan and lobster emulsion. It's just a couple of ounces of lobster, but what an impact.

For our main courses our excellent server recommended the Berkshire Pork Chop and the Roasted Organic Chicken Breast. She said these two dishes best defined Chef Rios' style. Indeed.

Restaurant Martin is open most days for both lunch and dinner....

We stopped by the restaurant prior to a night at the Santa Fe opera to take in "Tosca," one of the most popular of the Italian operas. This presentation was solid but the singing did not quite soar and thus disappointed. The outdoor setting, however, remains spectacular.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Reporting this week from Albuquerque and Santa Fe, I'm Joe Monahan

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