Wednesday, June 25, 2014

National Mag Pegs Battle For Control of NM House "A Tossup" Plus: In The Weeds With Gary King, Second Thoughts On Downtown Sculpture And Defining The New Mexico Problem 

As we all know the subplot of Campaign '14 is the battle by the Republicans to take control of the 70 member state House for the first time since folks wore "I Like Ike" buttons.

"Governing" is a respected national magazine that concerns itself with such matters and it says it is an even money bet that the R's wrest control of the chamber from the Dems:

House: Projected Tossup; Current 37-33 D: The state Senate isn't up this year, but control of the New Mexico House --which has been in the hands of Democrats since 1953 -- is up for grabs this year, with only a three-seat gain needed to flip the chamber. It doesn't hurt Republicans that it's a midterm election and that GOP Gov. Susana Martinez is favored to win a second term. Martinez is joined on the ticket by other Hispanic Republicans, making the ticket more ethnically diverse than in past years.

Dem House Speaker Ken Martinez will appear with ABQ Dem Reps Emily Kane and Liz Thomson at a fund-raiser for the Bernalillo County Dem party next month. Analysts say Martinez probably needs to hold at least one of those seats in order to keep control of the Speaker's gavel


For the Gary King campaign this week it's all gobbledygook about campaign managers and such. It's classic in the weeds stuff that keeps him stuck in neutral or worse.

Scott Tillman is now field director for King after serving as campaign manager for Lt. Guv candidate Deb Haaland, and King has hired a new campaign manager for both him and Haaland who he will soon announce. King's first manager was kicked out after only a day on the job for past controversial tweets he had made. (We messed up our own Tweet about Tillman, saying he was staying on as  campaign manager for Haaland.)

But do you get what we're saying? Who cares bout any of this?  What about the economy? Jobs? Child well-being and on on and on. This campaign is downright annoying, featuring endless unanswered attacks on King's record as attorney general and nothing else. A Senior Alligator picks it up from there:

#1--Who cares who is Gary King's campaign manager? #2--Who cares who is Debra Haaland's campaign manager? The answer: nobody. We are three weeks post-primary and Gary King is getting pummeled. Predictably, he's taking his own sweet time getting his act together and, thus, the race may be over. 

Talk about message management. All we're talking about when it comes to Gary King is how badly he is suffering and why he can't get his organization together. That's a recipe for failure. What's his message? What is he doing?? I pity the poor bastard who takes that job as manager for King. 

And the hits keep coming at Gary. The GOP guv association now comes with a Spanish language ad attacking him. Before this thing is over, they'll probably air ads attacking him in Mandarin....


A number of readers said the critic heard here of the proposal to place a $300,000 sculpture in downtown ABQ needs to know that the plan is part of the 35 year old program that sets aside for public art one percent of the general obligation bonds issued every two years.

We remember well its inception under Mayor Rusk in 1978. It was a highlight of his mayoral term. The most controversial piece of work approved under the program is the Chevy-on-a-stick that in 1991 was placed in the SE Heights. Aside from that, the program has been noncontroversial and successful in brightening the city landscape.

The critic also said--with tongue-in-cheek--that the sculpture downtown should be that of a moving van, symbolizing the people moving out of here. On that, he has a point.


We don't know if Alfred V. Puglisi is a blog reader, but he echoed what we've been blogging about for a number of years as he hit the proverbial nail on the head with this letter to the editor:

Businesses have been unable to expand. . . and their employees, for the most part, remain stuck at minimum wage, or a little above. Even those who rode the lucrative wave of the tech industry in New Mexico are scrambling now.

However, if you bring this up, our local media and politicians begin to extol the beauty of our mountains and deserts and the excitement of the balloon fiesta. The average New Mexican will stick his head in the sand when New Mexico’s economic deficiencies are mentioned. Some, as I found out, will get downright mad at you for thinking that we have problems. No one, however, will say, “What do we do to fix it?”

That is why this state is emptying itself of businesses and employees and of college grads who catch the first train out of here they can get a ticket on. The rest of you, who don’t have to make a living, can sit on your patios and gawk at the mountains and wait for the balloon fiesta to roll around.

Forbes magazine said a couple of years ago that New Mexico was in a death spiral. New Mexicans laughed and scoffed. But Forbes was right. All that is left to do with New Mexico’s economy, unless we wake up and get busy, is to throw dirt in over it and plant the headstone.

There is an election coming up. I will vote for the person who can show me how they are going to fix this and how they are going to get New Mexicans involved in fixing it. Either we dig in or we get buried – or we catch that train outta town.

Alfred, can we write your name in for Governor?. . . .

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