Monday, June 23, 2014

King Has Plenty Of Ammo, But No Gun; GOP Bashing Continues With No Answer, Plus: House Dem PACS Get Media Scrutiny, But Not R's. And: APD Crisis; Bunker Mentality Continues And More National Media Attention 

Gary King
Gary King is like a guy with a basement full of ammunition and no gun. The latest news on the NM economy and jobs--the chief concern among voters--continues to show both withering on the vine, but the '14 Dem guv nominee is the fella being beaten worse than a rented mule--not the incumbent Governor.

Martinez and her DC allies at the Republican Governors Association late last week released yet another wave of assault ads against King, hoping to permanently knock him to the canvass before he can get up and start taunting her over the failed economy.

If King and the Democrats had half the zeal that Martinez has shown for this campaign they would be shouting from the adobe rooftops that this is the worst economy in post-WWII history and pinning the blame on the austerity polices she and the conservative dominated legislature have adopted in response. It's a recession that's long gone in most parts of the country but alive and well here--and plunging large swaths of the state into a death spiral.

After five years of this inexorable economic decay, the end is still not in sight:

New Mexico lost 1,000 jobs in the 12 months that ended May 31, making it and New Jersey the only states that suffered year-over-year job losses. . . .The 0.1 percent negative growth rate marked the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year monthly job losses for the state.

New Mexico and New Jersey at the bottom of the jobs barrel? Aren't those two states governed by future GOP President Christie and Vice-President Martinez?

If you can't stand the sight of blood, turn away now. Here are the gory details:

Government employment registered a net loss of 2,500 jobs since May of last year, with most of these losses reported at the local and federal levels. The professional and business services industry lost 2,100 jobs. Manufacturing, in its eighteenth month of decline, lost 1,700 jobs. Construction employment fell by 1,500 jobs.

With jobs as spares as the water in Lake Heron, just where are the jobs? Well, the retail sector and its $9 an hour jobs seem to be the new "growth" engine. Just how many "dollar stores" can we have around here? Good question. How many do they have in Juarez?

You would think this downsizing--or disappearance--of the New Mexico dream would have an iron grip on this gubernatorial campaign. But when you have an opposition party whose boat has capsized and there's no sign of the captain, you get a fight to survive--not conquer.


There is a way for King to find a gun for all the ammo there is to fire at Susana.

His first and perhaps only choice at this stage is to pony up more of his and his family's personal wealth and start responding to the unanswered pummelling he is receiving.

King is not even in the conversation as a new ad airs accusing the attorney general of failing to stop Medicaid fraud. Never mind that the ad uses old numbers to back up its claims, if King is not going to counter that attack--as well as the boatload of negative mail, radio ad and social media skewering, experience shows it will be believed.

If King has decided he is not going to write another check in the early going because he will have plenty of time to make his case later on, he does so as a gambler, not a strategist, asserts longtime Dem analyst Harry Pavlides:

I think we have a potentially close race here because of the economy and other Martinez weakness's, but I feat that this beating he is reviving and not responding to could take him down to a polling level that will be difficult for him to bounce back from.

That's music more comforting to Martinez than a Mozart lullaby.

And if King is waiting for the millions to pour in so he can start his counterattack against Martinez, he'll end up like the guys in Waiting for Godot. Big money likes to bet on a fight--not a rout.

His name ID is strong and the Martinez blitz could still come up in short in the effort to define him negatively and irrevocably. But King seems to think he can start the game clock when he is good and ready. But the players are on the field and touchdowns are being scored against him. How many is the critical question. . . .


Speaker Martinez
The Sunday newspaper went wild over the various political action committees (PACS) that have sprouted up in support of Dem candidates as the battle for control of the state House is joined.

The report was accompanied by a chart that Rube Goldberg would envy. In  the end there didn't seem to be much point--except to make the point that campaign finance laws are convoluted, porous and nearly unenforceable. But what struck several of our readers was the newspaper's sudden interest. A senior Alligator sniped:

When is the paper going to connect the dots between Governor Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey and his political action committees? Susana and the ABQ Downs racino deal, known as "Gatorgate?" And perhaps a good hard look at the "suicide" of ABQ defense attorney Mary Han.

Fair questions. R's in the know indicate that as much as $2 million could be spent on the effort to take control of the House. Where's that money coming from and who is handling it? And how?

Actually, the news that House Speaker Ken Martinez is fully aware of the the landslide of cash that is about to hit his members is going to be greeted with open arms by Dems who have seen little if any fight against the Republican Governor or the Martinez media. . .


It is some Republicans going after Martinez and her political adviser Jay McCleskey with more force than the Dems. A group of anti-abortion protesters camped out near McCleskey's home in ABQ over the weekend, demanding that Martinez and McCleskey take a stronger pro-life stand.


Fortunately the Saturday protest match against the polices of APD went peacefully. Hundreds participated, including undercover officers from APD, including one who was filming the marchers as they chanted various slogans. Even though an undercover police presence at a protest march is standard these days, the filming was kinda creepy. . . .

But then this is a police department that is so deep in the bunker that it is not going to come out until a Federal grand jury begins handing down indictments in some of the over two dozen fatal police shootings that have taken place since 2010. Let's take you inside that bunker for a moment:

“My feeling at this point is that we let this one go…” APD spokeswoman Janet Blair wrote in an email. It was. . . May 19th, and Blair had fired off an email to Chief of Police Gorden Eden, APD Assistant Chief Robert Huntsman, city Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry, mayoral spokeswoman Erin Kinnard Thompson and Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy. “It was a Friday night story,” Blair wrote. “And I am hopeful it has no legs.” The. . . officials were discussing a KRQE-TV story on accused child pornography offender and suspected rapist Ruben Nieto. The topic at hand since the previous Friday afternoon was whether APD should offer the public an explanation of the Nieto case or, as Blair suggested, try to let the story fade away into the rest of the week’s news. After all, Ruben Nieto had been on APD’s radar for quite some time without any blips from the local media.

"Let the story fade away..." Kind of like what has happened to the reputation of APD as its flawed culture proves more stubborn than a radioactive mule. . . .

It is that culture and the fact that there has not been one officer charged in any of the 26 fatal police shootings since 2010 that stunned a CNN reporter. He presented a six minute report on the ABQ fatal police shootings.

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