Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Biz Community Split Over Susana; ACI Challenges State Spending On Out-Of-State Contracts; We Have The Inside Scoop, Plus: APD And the AR-15 

As the soft economy continues with no end in sight, we are seeing the first public cracks in the biz community's support of GOP Gov. Susana Martinez.

The Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI) is calling out the Guv by asking the state to tell it just how much several departments are spending with out-of-state contractors.

And in news you will only get here, we learn that this needle in the side of the Martinez administration is prompted not only by the hits business is taking in the lousy economy but by frustration within the ACI board over the Guv's refusal to meet with ACI president Beverlee McClure. She served as Secretary of Higher Education under Dem Governor Bill Richardson who the Martinez campaign frequently targets in its re-election missives.

Usually Martinez and company immediately pull out the long knives whenever they are challenged, but they are holding back on this one, knowing that a battle with ACI and its hundreds of business members who are GOP friendly would do them no good and could provide an opening for Dem Guv nominee Gary King. Take a look at the administration's unheated response:

The state Department of Transportation has told ACI that it can’t comply with the group’s request to see how much it has spent on out-of-state contractors. . . The department said the request is, “broad and/or burdensome. . . "The association also filed a request for similar records from the state Tourism Department, which said it will respond to the request. . . The requests were made as part of the association’s efforts to drive more state business to New Mexican companies. 

“When state government spends money in New Mexico, that money stays here, creating jobs and opportunities for New Mexicans and ultimately generating even more revenue for the state. . . But when we spend it outside the state, it’s gone—no more opportunities for New Mexicans, no return on our investment, no hope of creating more jobs or revenue,” said McClure.

The grumbling in the usually Martinez friendly business community is that more needs to be done to stimulate the economy here. You won't hear that grumbling from the ABQ Chamber of Commerce which has nothing but praise for the political status quo, but as the ACI breach demonstrates that stance does not reflect reality. 

As more businesses struggle to keep their bottom lines in the black in ABQ's double dip recession the grumbling will only get louder and insert itself further into the political debate.

P.S. We're told ACI will soon undergo a name change and "rebranding."


Southern NM GOP Congressman Steve Pearce will outspend her but his Dem challenger Rocky Lara is not going away. She is very close to raising a total of $1 million:

Lara reports her strongest fundraising quarter to date, raising more than $375,000 in the second quarter of 2014 (and) having more than $710,000 cash on hand. Since entering the race in September, Rocky has raised more than $945,000.

In this latest quarter ending June 30 Pearce had $1.467 million in cash on hand.  Now Lara, a Carlsbad attorney, is going to make him spend some of it.


First this news:

The Albuquerque Police Department, which has drawn criticism for its use of excessive force, plans to supply officers with hundreds of military-style weapons. The department awarded a bid to a local vendor to purchase 350 AR-15 rifles over two years, with the option of buying quantities of 50 thereafter, as needed. The rifles cost about $1,000 each and will be purchased with taxpayer funds. 

Reader David Nava says:

I am gobsmacked. What in the hell are these people thinking? This town is on a permanent spiral to hell and we have no leadership and no vision. Funny thing--the dope slingers have free rein and the homeless live in fear. You tell me.

But another reader says the AR-15 purchase is no big deal:

Go back to Christopher Chase in October of 2013. Four police officers shot by a guy who has this type of weapon. We must not be scared to equip officers with the equipment they need. In today’s world most police departments have gotten rid of the shotguns and have moved to the AR 15. This is because of the world we live in. It also makes sense because, like it or not, police have to shoot people (sometimes). The pistol (as Christoper Chase showed) doesn’t match up to bad guys with assault rifles. Therefore the AR 15 is the best choice. It allows the officer to hit only what he is shooting at, thereby being safer for the public. It also allows the officer to match up with what the crooks are carrying.

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