Thursday, December 11, 2014

Killing The Holiday Cheer: NM ranked 49th On Another Of Those Lists, Plus: Susana's Inaugural Booty, The Land Commission Recount And Kari And The Cops 

Talk about killing the holiday cheer. It's another of those not-so-nice lists. This one says our fair New Mexico ranks as just about the worst run state in the USA. We come in 49th:

. . . Nearly 22% of New Mexico residents lived in poverty last year, the second highest rate after Mississippi. A typical household in New Mexico earned less than $44,000 in 2013, below all but a handful of states. The state’s crime rate was also higher than in all but one other state, with 613 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents in 2013. . . People left New Mexico faster than they moved into the state. Between the middle of 2010 and July 2013, the state lost 9,750 residents to migration alone. S&P recently revised its outlook on New Mexico’s credit rating to negative from stable. The revision was based on New Mexico’s weak economic recovery from the recession and over-reliance on government aid and the energy sector.

Hey, there's some news in there. We didn't see anything around here about the state's credit outlook going negative. But it did--a few days ago:

New Mexico's dependence on energy revenues and government funding brings a negative outlook to the state's AA-plus rating from Standard & Poor's.

That news could mean higher borrowing costs for the state. We can't recall when a major ratings agency last hit us with this kind of negative revision. . .

And the state's dependence on tax income from the oil fields got slammed home once more Wednesday as oil prices plunged yet again--to near $61 a barrel. You'll recall just a few days ago state policy makers said for the budget year beginning July 1 they are counting on an average oil price of $66. In Santa Fe, that oil price is getting eyeballed more than a burning Zozobra. . .

If things get really bad maybe Susana can hold a fund-raiser for the state. She's pretty good at it:

(In 2010) Martinez' inaugural committee capped its contributions to $25,000 and publicly disclosed contributors. But this year, the governor's inaugural committee is capping contributions at $50,000.

$50,000 contributions for the inaugural committee? What? Are they hiring Lady Gaga to play?


Powell & Dunn
Aubrey Dunn's lead over Ray Powell is as thin as a wafer but soon we will know if it holds up. The recount in the race for state land commissioner begins today with Republican Dunn hanging on to a 704 vote lead over incumbent Dem Powell in a race that had about 500,000 votes cast.

The duo sparred over recount procedure but the state Supreme Court ordered it to go forward. That drew rare praise for the all Democratic court from none other than the state GOP and its new chairwoman. We'll check to see if something is freezing over somewhere.


Can we give you Senior Alligator analysis on the predicament of Bernalillo County District attorney Kari Brandenburg when it comes to pursuing an indictment against the cops who shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd earlier this year? Okay, thanks. Actually, it does not appear to be much of a predicament. . .

These elder Gators say even though Brandenburg has been investigated by APD on bribery charges involving burglaries conducted by her drug-addicted son, any indictment would stand the smell test. That's because of the now infamous video of the Boyd shooting. Sure, Brandenburg's charges would be called biased, but that would last about as long as snow on the ground in Hobbs. The national media would quickly shift the focus to the fact that a police officer in the USA involved in a shooting was actually indicted. The Boyd video would go viral all over again. Brandenburg's status would be a footnote. At least that's how those scaly denizens of the Gator pond see the deal.

Brandenburg says she expects action on the Boyd shooting in the spring of next year. She also has said she will evaluate her position on handling the case in light of the APD investigation which is now in the hands of the attorney general.


Former US Sen. Fred Harris writes of the candidacy of Deb Haaland for chair of the state Democratic Party:

She's a woman. She's an Indian (and the R's have now chosen the Laguna Pueblo Governor as their vice chair). As a single mom, Deb has a great story, having literally pulled herself up by her bootstraps. She believes in the right things, is a champion for middle and working class people. She is an experienced campaigner. She made a lot of friends as a candidate, raised a considerable amount of money. She's my former student. I'm loyal. She asked me. How could I say no? I didn't. I stick. And not halfway with me. In for a penny, in for a pound. She called and asked me for $250. I gave it. She texted me and asked me if I would introduce her at her kickoff. I texted back: "Count on it!" She texted back: "Thank you." Can she win? Will she? I think so. I hope so. She ought to.

Harris, 84, is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.


Off they go, all those retiring state legislators, including this one:

Retiring state Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, will be honored today at the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative breakfast. . Crook announced in February that she would be retiring at the end of the year after more than 20 years as the District 64 representative, most recently serving on the taxation and revenue and transportation committee. Clovis City Commissioner Randy Crowder was elected in the November general election to fill her seat.

Can you imaging having the name of Crook and getting elected for 20 years? She was doing something right.

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