Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Which Councilors Are Running For Mayor? Taser Sour Here But Sweet Nationally And The Richest Man In NM Not Quite As Rich Now 

Regarding the early talk of Mayor '17, several readers wondered just which ABQ city councilors are looking at getting in that race. The answer is Democrat Ken Sanchez and Republican Dan Lewis.  Neither has formally announced but are headed in that direction.

The name Taser may be sour around here after former APD Schultz was accused by the state auditor of "greasing" a $2 million contract for the manufacturer of the lapel camera maker, but as we pointed out Monday the company is in the sweet spot nationally, with its stock price continuing to roar ahead. Here's the latest on why:

Taser International shares are climbing. . . as the company continues to gain following its earnings release last week and an announcement that the U.S. Department of Justice plans to spend $20 million on body cameras similar to the one the company makes. The Justice Department's announcement of its investment in body cameras came on the same day that Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that her office was filing charges against six officers in connection to the death of Freddie Gibbs. 

 The DOJ said that the investment was just the initial round of funding for its three-year $75 million plan to dispense 50,000 body cameras to police departments around the country.

That DOJ blessing could be be enough to keep Taser around ABQ for a long time, despite its controversial involvement with Schultz. Still, there is this:

A high-ranking retired member of the department (says) they had serious concerns about those (Taser) cameras. They say the gear was "shoved down their throats," even as people questioned their reliability.


Some beleaguered APD police officers are tired of all the negative publicity about the department and have launched the  #GoodNewsAboutCopsCampaign. You can read up on it by clicking on the image posted here. The email sent out promoting the launch says: "It's high time we show everybody what APD is all about."

Well, they might adjust that to "what a part of APD is all about." After suffering through five years of horror stories Mr. and Mrs. Albuquerque are well aware that their police department is not all about "good news." Not that there isn't room to hear some. . .


Most of NM has watched enviously as Hobbs in the SE oil patch boomed as they busted. The recession that has been sticky as fly paper in the ABQ metro bypassed Hobbs as oil prices skyrocketed. But the party is finally ending:

The New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department is forecasting at least 2,000 jobs will be lost over the coming months due to sharp declines in the price of crude oil.

Hobbs has made strides in diversifying its economy so things won't be as bad as in previous busts, but neither will it be an entirely recession free zone. And speaking of oil prices. . . .


In 2014 oilman Mack Chase was listed in Forbes as the richest man in New Mexico, worth $900 million. Now in 2015 Forbes says Chase, 84, is still the richest of them all but the oil crash has reduced his wealth to a mere $650 million. We thought something was up when the other day we saw Mack comparing prices at the local Wal-Mart. . .

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