Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Great Tesla Tease Continues; Jobs Crash Puts Company In Driver's Seat; Gov. Martinez A Willing Passenger, Plus: Readers Weigh In On Tesla, Liberal Do-Gooders And More  

The state jobs debacle is so crushing that desperation in Santa Fe has turned to something akin to begging. The latest jaw-dropper is that Gov. Martinez is pondering a special session of the New Mexico Legislature to give electric car maker Tesla what it wants in exchange for locating its huge battery factory here.

Surprise turned to squeamishness when it was noted that Martinez is apparently willing to call that special session without even having a guarantee that Tesla would locate here after lawmakers approved whatever "incentive" package the company wants.

Desperation often leads to the sacrifice of dignity--and power--and a special session on behalf of a single corporation with no assurance you will get anything surely comes close to crossing the line.

Maybe Susana knows the chances of Tesla coming here are pretty remote and that by drawing the Legislature into the mix she can share the pain (and blame) when the company doesn't come.

Dem legislative leaders say they could accommodate a special session if before the special Tesla agrees to something concrete.


As The Good Book says there's nothing new under the sun. When they drafted the NM Constitution over a 100 years ago they had to put in it a little gem known as the "anti-donation clause" because of the frenzy that had developed over the railroads:

Neither the state, nor any county, school district, or municipality ... shall directly or indirectly lend or pledge its credit, or make any donation to or in aid of any person, association, or public or private corporation....

Gov. Martinez boasts that because NM is one of four finalists for the gigafactory that "we are in the game." But this is no ordinary game. It is rigged in favor of one side and you either go along or the Tesla referees send you to the bench.


You don't need to look any further than this news to see why the desperation for jobs is so palpable:

The ABQ metro lost 4,100 jobs in the 12 months that ended Jan. 31, for a negative 1.1 percent growth rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. . . Seven of the area’s industry sectors lost jobs, and three gained. Percentage wise, the manufacturing sector suffered the biggest decline. The sector now has 16,500 jobs. The sector’s employment level peaked at 28,900 jobs in August 1997. According to the BLS, the Albuquerque area had 361,800 nonfarm wage and salary jobs at January’s end. That was down from 371,000 at the end of December and down from 365,900 in January 2013.

Even the cheer leading business press called that news a "nosedive." 


Dem Danny Hernandez echoed the thoughts of many progressives when he commented on his Facebook page about Gov. Martinez pondering a special legislative session to deal with Tesla:

No special session to better fund education or the Children Youth and Families Department, but large corporations merit special sessions. Aarg!


Our insightful readers are weighing in on the big Tesla story. From Rio Rancho, Joe Barela writes:

Joe, When I read in the paper “Governor Weighs Special Session in Wooing Tesla” along with  “We’re Here For You, Tesla: We’ll Make You Proud,” I came away with the feeling that these are acts of desperation to deal with a dire economic situation that you discussed on Tuesday's blog.

I would like Tesla here as much as the next guy, but do we need to give away the farm and your first born to win the deal? It looks like all those tax breaks and incentives Governor Martinez touts aren’t doing too much wooing. In the end, all the proposals will essentially be equal with all the contenders giving away the farm. Everyone has tax breaks and free land. It seems to me that we should be selling our capabilities, our values and what makes us better than the other guy. Yes, let’s have a Special Session--but one to deal with the state’s economy and progressive legislation to create jobs.


Reader Steve Dick writes of the news we had here Tuesday that in the 2013 United Van Lines study New Mexico ranked 9th among the states folks are leaving:

I find it ironic when you look at the moving list that United Van Lines publishes. Who is at the top of the list for three of the last four years? New Jersey--home of Susana's favorite political running buddy Chris Christie. Is there a link here? Two states with people jumping ship because of a total lack of jobs.  
And these two keep getting touted as the great Republican hope for a 2016 presidential ticket. Okay. Sure. Whatever. Good luck with that.


Veteran ABQ PR man Tom Garrity puts out this Tweet:

@Tom_Garrity--New Mexico, we have a problem: Year-over-year job growth in surrounding states: AZ +56K CO +63K OK +28,K NM -2,700 NV +39K TX +322K UT+57K


Reader Joe Martinez thought we were way off base when we blogged Monday that state leaders need to "start burrowing deep into the social and cultural infrastructure that has prevented hundreds of thousands of Hispanics, Native Americans and African-Americans from maintaining the same educational and living standards as their White counterparts." Writes Martinez:

Your blog was patronizing. Liberal, do-gooder gringos are going to burrow deep into the social and cultural infrastructure that has held me back? Mind boggling. Hundreds of thousands? Numbers out of your ass again?. . . .What the educational system needs is better parenting. The system has been at the very least, adequate for the last 60 years. There's no excuse for failure among us Nativos, except the lack of a work ethic. There are lots of phony excuses like blaming discrimination which is encouraged by claims like yours. That's all BS. Victimhood is catching. I run into many of the poor, disadvantaged kids I knew in the old days and clearly none of them ever skipped a meal. Kids need to learn a trade or if they are college material they need to take courses that will lead to a job. That's all possible right now.

We've been leaving the state for generations. There's no way enough jobs will be created to employ the thousands of high school grads every year. Many of us refused to register Democrat and work for the government so we left. Some came back. Many didn't.

Thanks, Joe. The "hundreds of thousands" we mentioned was a reference to NM minority residents whose educational and standard of living is lower than their Anglo counterparts. We can get you the census report, if you like.


Those results in the Dem Guv race from the party's preprimary convention that we posted Monday did not have results from Lea County. By popular demand, here they are:

King - 1 vote - 6.60%; Lopez - 4 votes - 26.66%; Morales - 7 votes - 46.66%; Rael - 2 votes - 13.33%
Webber - 1 vote - 6.60%

Lea remains a reliably Republican county.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.      

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign