Monday, November 12, 2012

The Cangiolosi Coup: Cronyism Or Competence? Departure Of Martinez Deputy Chief For Plum UNM Job Raises Questions, Plus: Voter Nullification; Popular Minimum Wage Hike Already Eyed For Repeal By GOP Councilors 

Ryan Cangiolosi
Remember under Big Bill when his press flack Billy Sparks was given a nice plum job at the University of New Mexico Hospital and the ensuing controversy was front-paged day after day? Well, here we go again, except this time when Governor Martinez deputy chief of staff Ryan Cangiolosi, 41, landed what appears to be a similarly politically inspired post, the news was back-paged. Is that because Sparks lacked a college degree at the time or is the press more kindly to Susan than to Bill? You be the judge.

But first here's the Cangiolosi news about his new $125,000 gig followed by more analysis that you aren't getting elsewhere:

Cangiolosi will become executive projects director for UNM’s Health Sciences Center, a newly created position intended to oversee organizational development projects for the wing of the university directing the hospital, medical research and health professional education programs. Cangiolosi said he hopes the new position will allow him to spend more time with his teenage daughter, in part by ending the commute between Santa Fe and his Albuquerque home...Cangiolosi will continue to work for the Governor’s Office until his Nov. 19 start date at UNM,

Cangiolosi found himself caught up in emailgate this year when emails between him and Downs at ABQ attorney Pat Rogers were disclosed. They dealt with the awarding of a 25 year racino lease--a lease that the Downs won but is under investigation for possible bid-rigging by the attorney general.

Ironically, Rogers also emailed Ryan and other top administration officials about making sure the Guv's office had plenty of input on the selection of new UNM president.

And then there is Ryan's relationship with former NM GOP Chairman Harvey Yates, Jr. Ryan worked for Yates' private companies before going to work for Martinez. Yates and Martinez recently had a falling out when in the Nov. 6 election she successfully went after Dem State Senator Tim Jennings. Yates publicly supported Dem Jennings and asked that the Guv's political consultants have "their wings clipped."

Cangiolosi may be able to hide out at UNM but emailgate could bring him back into the spotlight.


$125,000 a year taxpayer jobs are highly sought after in poor New Mexico so it's no surprise that we heard from one of the applicants who was not successful in getting the job Cangiolosi landed:

Mr. Monahan, I'm one of the 19 applicants for the UNM Hospital job--the job that Ryan Cangiolosi got.  For legal reasons, I can't reveal too much more about me other than parts of my background because I'm in the process of filing a grievance in light of the hiring of this unqualified person.

I have well over a decade of finance and management consulting experience. I have an MBA from a top 15 school. I moved to New Mexico with my husband 6 years ago and have mostly worked out of state because there aren't many jobs here that pay what I believe I'm worth.

This is why I was excited when a decent job was posted at UNMH...I believed I was an extremely competitive candidate given my business background. I didn't get the job obviously and word started getting around that the offer was made to a senior government official.

It wasn't until I read the newspaper that I learned the person hired was Ryan Cangiolosi. I have been politically active and have heard his name before (in your blog), but this was the first time I felt compelled to Google him. What I found was this: an extremely weak resume that in no way matches my skills and education. If I could send you my resume (which as I've explained that I cannot yet do ) you would see a difference. I have asked friends and they confirm that his real resume is even more weak than what's portrayed on this online profile. He's an aspiring gospel singer who has gotten his jobs by attaching himself with politically connected people.

As a New Mexican, I feel like I've been screwed out of a job I was more than qualified for due to politics. I've been told about cronyism here but this is the first time I've experienced it for myself and it sure doesn't feel good.

If this is the way UNMH makes hiring decisions, then it's no doubt why people are scrutinizing the need for a new hospital. I'm not saying it's not needed, but it seems that there's waste, fraud and abuse inside New Mexico's flagship hospital system.  When my lawyer gives me the green light to do so, I plan to approach members of the State Board of Finance about this.

Yes, I'm mad and yes I'm bitter.  But as an educated woman, I believe I have a right to be. Thank you in advance for allowing me to share my story with you.

We appreciate your sharing. We're not saying your beef with UNMH is legitimate but the questions you raise are--and they deserve coverage--not relegated to C-1 without questioning.

When Sparks was hired we and others made no bones about it--it was a blatant political hire and Sparks took heat. Over the years, he has showed adeptness at the job and Cangiolosi may follow in his footsteps, but for the Martinez administration to not take a hit--like Richardson--seems to reveal bias.

But that's why we're here. To bring to bear the fair, balanced and critical news coverage that the public demands.


We think Ryan may not be the only top dog to leave the Fourth Floor in the post-election weeks. Chief of Staff Keith Gardner could be next to flee to a high-paying, under-the-radar gig. His usefulness to the Governor is being called into question by both sides of the political aisle after the release of audio tapes in which Gardner called Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings "a cocksucker" and in which he displayed an overall demeanor that destroyed his credibility.

The first top gun to leave Susana was Brian Moore, a former legislator who served as a deputy chief of staff but was sent into Washington DC exile when Gardner and Ryan asserted themselves along with political consultant Jay McCleskey. He is no longer in the DC job but the widely respected Moore could be just what Susana needs if she wants to recover from the punishment she received Election Night and the punishment that is sure to come from a revenge  minded Legislature. 


Mayor Berry
If ABQ's Republican Mayor RJ Berry doesn't want to put a big fat target on his back when he seeks re-election next year he ought to run--not walk--away from this outlandish proposal. It would have the City Council and Mayor nullify the results of the Nov. 6 election in which over 66% of the voters approved a dollar an hour increase in the minimum wage:

According to city legal staff, repealing or amending the new minimum wage hike could be done with a simple majority of city councilors and the mayor's approval...Council President Trudy Jones, Councilor Dan Lewis and Mayor Richard J. Berry were all on the record before Tuesday's vote as being opposed to a minimum-wage hike. With five city councilors considered friendly to the mayor... the votes may be there for a repeal.

...Jones and Lewis said they are looking at...repealing the hike but did not commit to moving ahead with...The mayor's spokesperson could not answer whether or not Berry would sign a repeal... "The mayor has not received any information or had any conversations with city council regarding this matter."

What election returns are Republican Councilors Lewis and Jones reading? If their repeal talk is a trial balloon, considered it shot down. If not, Republican Mayor Berry is about to make Democrats salivate over the possibility of his defying the public and opening a path for them to take back the mayor's office.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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