Friday, September 26, 2014

Autumn Brings Some Good News, Plus: Udall Adds Edge In Campaign Against Weh, And: It's Back: ABQ Vs. Burque 

It's hard to be pessimistic as the glory of Autumn returns to New Mexico, and there is some good news to accompamy the change in the calender. The severe drought has relented, we haven't had a fatal ABQ police shooting for a while (knock on wood), the Navajo Nation has been given over half a billion dollars to right the wrong over federal management of the Tribe's natural resources and we're just days away from the season's most colorful event--the ABQ International Balloon Fiesta. That will be a welcome sight for all those eyes already tired of the political ads on TV. Now out to the playing field as we head into the weekend. . .

As the Alligators expected, Tom Udall is getting more edgy in his race against Republican Allen Weh. The Dem senator, seeking a second six year term, comes with a negative TV hit on Weh, scoring him for advocating repeal of Obamacare. He also claims Weh "would destroy Social Security and Medicare" to give the wealthy tax breaks. The attack comes in the wake of Weh's negative ads that have been slamming Udall all month. Udall led Weh 51% to 38% in the mid-September ABQ Journal poll.

Weh is pretty tough on "Washington politicians" like Udall. But Allen might want to lighten up just a bit. We all knew Weh's CSI Aviation is making a handsome dollar off the Washington Feds, but the Udall campaign came with the full eyebrow raising numbers:

1999-2014: CSI Aviation Services Inc. Received $829,389,744 In Federal Government Contracts. According to USASpending.gov, CSI Aviation Services Inc. received $829,389,744 in federal government contracts from 1999 to 2014. [USASpending.gov, accessed 8/13/2014]

CSI Aviation Has Won More Than $657 Million In Contracts For Immigration Deportation Flights Since 2008. According to Reuters, “ICE uses the New Mexico-based CSI Aviation to provide charter flights for deportations. The company has won more than $657 million in contracts from ICE since 2008, SmartProcure data shows. CSI referred all questions about its contracts to ICE. ICE said the company is the sole contractor for ICE Air, which conducts deportation flights.” [Reuters, 8/1/2014]

All we can say to Allen is the next time we run into him at Starbucks, he's buying.


Democratic activist Teresa Trujeque writes:

It strikes me as strange that the woman who was elected Governor and allegedly stands for transparency in government does not have a problem with records being destroyed by her handpicked successor as Dona Ana County district attorney. Don't you think that those emails and hard drives may have had information about cases they were working on and may have been necessary for the new District Attorney or were those records simply destroyed because they contained information about their illegal activity? This administration has to be given credit for one thing they are very good at hiding their illegal activities. Look at the racino lease at the ABQ Downs.

As for the state House races. I will tell you that if the Republicans take over the House, it will not be for lack of trying by Speaker Ken Martinez. He is everywhere and working hard. I don't know when he sleeps or sees his family. I think because of his commitment and dedication, Democrats will again have a majority in the House.


Radio talk show host Jim Villanucci, who was a fixture at KKOB-AM in ABQ for over a decade but left last year for a job in Portland, Oregon, has now left that position:

There is little known at this time about what has transpired to cause midday talk show host Jim Villanucci to resign from his position with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland but a Tweet from KXL’s Lars Larson states simply that Villanucci has resigned for “personal reasons” and that Larson wishes him well.

KKOB has tumbled in the ratings since Villanucci's departure. We're told he was drawing solid ratings in Portland.


You thought we had laid to rest the argument over the ABQ nickname "Burque." No such luck. Carmie Toulouse writes:

My grandparents moved to ALBUQUERQUE over 100 years ago from Santa Fe. My late father graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1936, I graduated from Highland High School in 1962. While I am female, I talked with and listened to many males during my high school years and will state categorically I never heard this city referred to as "Burque." I have spent my life around city, county and state politics (I still am marginally involved) and I have not and do not hear us referred to as "Burque." 

I have seen the term in print more and more frequently over the years and personally I find it offensive. To me it sounds ugly and looks ugly in print. I can't see any time in the future that I would stoop to using it. But then, I'm a 69 year old grandmother whose grandsons will probably call their birthplace "Burque" if the people around them do so whether grandma likes it or not.

We've been on your side, Carmie, but we may be outnumbered.

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