Thursday, February 26, 2015

Camera Shy: City Of ABQ And Hanna Too, Plus: PARCC Protests, Susana A Cheesehead? Sanchez Orders Embalming Fluid For RTW And A Trifecta Update 

Here's another one from the bizarro world of the city of  ABQ and its police department. Officer Jeremy Dear was busted for not turning on his lapel camera when he shot and killed 19 year old Mary Hawkes last year. So what happens at his public personnel hearing Wednesday where Dear was asking to be reinstated? Well, the hearing officer told the media they could not use their cameras to videotape the proceedings. Say what? The hearing was called off when journalists stood their ground. Such is the upside down logic that has infuriated the critics of APD and Mayor Berry. (A 15 minute video of the hearing is here).

And then there's those very public protests by Santa Fe students over PARCC testing. The coverage has flooded the airwaves, but when asked to go on camera Public Education Secretary Hana Skandera suddenly gets camera shy.

The state's electronic media has for years been browbeaten into submission by the Guv's political machine as Martinez and Mayor Berry conduct photo-op governance. Will the spell be broken in this second term?

On that PARCC testing, a parent of an APS student writes:

My son was told that APS is weighing cutting electives and the number of classes high schools students take down to six instead of seven. The reasoning behind it is to save on teacher pay. Teachers are telling students that much of the APS budget shortfall is due to PAARC or as it is now referred to as CRAAP. While former APS Superintendent Winston Brooks had personal issues that ultimately caused him to lose his job, unlike current Superintendent Brad Winter, he at least fought for the district. Gov. Martinez has succeeded in siphoning away more and more money each year from districts and forcing them to spend money whose sole purpose is to enhance her VP chances with Jeb Bush.

Well, Martinez might want to spread her love around when it comes to the GOP prez candidates. Right now the polls have Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker leading the pack in Iowa. Does that mean Susana is about to become a cheesehead?

More national coverage of the APD crisis with Government Executive magazine asking if it is is costing the city economically. ABQ economic consultant Mark Lautman thinks so:

Economic development has become as much about growing, attracting and retaining talent as it is about growing, retaining and attracting employers. Communities vying for new job creation projects are increasingly having to prove to senior management and their site selection consultants that they can grow, attract and retain talent faster and better than the other places they are competing with. Recent national publicity about Albuquerque’s police problems last year surely hurt the city’s quality profile for recruiting companies—and talent. Those problems need to get fixed—and I hope they do.


We all know how the crash in oil prices is slamming the state budget, which makes this all the more timely:

More than $4.4 million was generated from taxes on wind production across Wyoming in the last fiscal year, according to the state Department of Revenue. . .

Another reason for us to have this.


What was Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez doing on the phone with Berardinelli Funeral Home following last night's House passage of the right-to-work (RTW) bill? Why, he was ordering up embalming fluid which he will use generously when the bill comes over to him.

RTW passed the House on vote of 37 to 30 with three reps not voting. The R's included in RTW a fifty cent increase in the state minimum wage that had raised objections from SE GOP conservatives. They were brought around by inclusion of a weird amendment regarding the wage.

Sanchez has named Senators Wirth, Padilla and Stewart as the Senate's official delegation to the RTW funeral which will be held in a committee room to be determined.


This one flew right under our radar. A state Senate committee has dealt what appears to be a death blow to Gov. Martinez's third grade retention bill. It easily passed the GOP House but Senate Public Affairs has already voted to block the measure.

Third grade retention is one of three bills we collectively refer to as the Guv's trifecta of wedge issues this legislative session. The other two being right-to-work and repealing driver's licenses for undocumented workers.

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