Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Indictment Watch '14: Is It Cancelled? Plus: The NM Jobs Beat: Jobs At $47 An Hour And Another Look At "Innovate ABQ" Plus: The Case Of The Runaway Mayor  

A Senior Alligator of the Republican variety (yes, a rare species, but they are around) comes with an admonition for Democrats who are waiting for indictments to be handed down over the awarding of a controversial and lucrative 25 year racino lease for the Downs at ABQ.

Any indictments would obviously provide a big boost for the Guv campaign of Dem Gary King. Says the Sr. Gator:

"If there was trouble brewing on the racino deal do you think that former assistant US Attorney Greg Fouratt would have taken a job with the Martinez administration as director of the Department of Public Safety? He knows that deal better than anyone. He would have said thanks, but no thanks. There will be no indictments and the Dems praying for them are worshipping false gods....

Does this mean "Indictment Watch '14" is cancelled? If  so, what do we do with all the popcorn?. . .

By the way to refresh your memory, a Senior Alligator is a prized blog source, having contributed at least three major exclusive political stories, being at least 45 years of age and having 20 consecutive years in La Politica. A bonus qualification--but not mandatory--is having run for elective office and lost. You learn more losing. . . .


Is the Martinez and/or Berry administration thinking along these lines?

After decades of siphoning jobs from the United States, China is creating some. Chinese companies invested a record $14 billion in the United States last year, according to the Rhodium Group research firm. Collectively, they employ more than 70,000 Americans, up from virtually none a decade ago. Powerful forces — narrowing wage gaps, tumbling U.S. energy prices, the vagaries of currency markets — are pulling Chinese companies across the Pacific. Mayors and economic development officials have lined up to welcome Chinese investors. Southern states, touting low labor and land costs, have been especially aggressive.

And what about the state tourism department? Its come with a new ad that targets NYC which should help, but what about getting the new and on-the-move Chinese middle class interested in the Old West?

Santa Fe businessman Gerald Peters talked about that a few years ago, but we aren't seeing much motion. We have the money. The Martinez administration and the Legislature boosted annual tourism ad dollars to $8.6 million--a pretty healthy level. History shows those dollars translate into visitors and jobs. Speaking of which. . .

ABQ Dem State Senator  Michael Padilla will sponsor his second annual job fair  this Wednesday, June 25 at the Harrison Middle School Gymnasium located at 3912 Isleta Boulevard SW from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Padilla says last year the fair attracted over 2,000 people and this year his goal is to increase the number of attendees. NM is last or near last in job creation in the USA. .


Tired of seeing and hearing about those $9 and $10 an hour jobs? How about a nice NM slot for $47 an hour? They're out there:
Last month, in what has become an annual practice, Arthur Pepin, director of the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts, pleaded with the state’s finance board for more money. He said that since he could not stop paying interpreters--they would not work if they were unpaid--he would have to start giving jurors an i.o.u. because the relevant fund was running out of cash. Mr. Pepin got the extra money, but the problem, he knows, will persist. Even though the fund’s budget has increased by roughly 76 percent since the 2004 fiscal year--to $7.4 million from $4.2 million--demand for interpreters continues to grow faster than the budget’s confines.


We ran into UNM President Bob Frank recently. He spoke enthusiastically of "Innovate ABQ," one of the few big jobs ideas on the table.

We and others have confessed our confusion about just what this plan aims to do. Frank says Innovate is meant to provide an enviornment for "ideas to collide with innovators and entrepreneurs." He also said Innovate will try new ways commercialize ideas from Los Alamos and Sandia Labs--a concept that has been pursued for years, but with disappointing results.

The UNM Regents recently authorized the purchase of the old First Baptist Church at Broadway and Central to house Innovate. The seven acre site is listed at $7.5 million.

Even though it's summer, we'll try to be innovative and do some homework on this one. . .


Mayor Berry is on the run--from nosy reporters who want to know the latest on APD. This tweet was posted by KRQE-TV's Katie Kim who caught a glimpse of the city's chief executive as he made his getaway. Maybe they'll catch up with him when he announces that the huge Tesla battery factor will locate here. Not.

And a memo to the media: You are also allowed to chase after Susana, too. Just in case you forgot. . . .

And reader reaction to Mayor Berry's announcement that he is soliciting ideas on how to invest $300,00 for public art in downtown ABQ:

Albuquerque has lost jobs for eight months in a row and Berry announces he wants to spend $300,000 decorating Downtown with new "iconic" art. With all the jobs and people leaving the city, maybe the artwork should be a bronze sculpture of a moving van.

Maybe we can have a downtown sculpture garden. Put that sculpture of a Chevy on a stick in the SE Heights down there along with a bronze U-Haul sculpture. Hey, this could be the start of something big!

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