Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Post Holiday Headlines: Jets And Tortillas, Rio Rancho Sky Pie,The "Du-Ran-Ran, Machine Talk, Webber For Something, WisePies WhispersAnd That Other Duran 

Welcome back. We've got a lot to catch up on from the entertaining world of La Poltica. We kick it off with jets and tortillas. . .

The state and ABQ pumped millions in cash and tax incentives into Eclipse Aviation in the first part of this century hoping the small jet maker would launch an aerospace economy in the metro. It all went bust when Eclipse crashed. So what is going into a vast hangar that housed Eclipse's manufacturing facility? Why none other than a tortilla factory, reaffirming that the "new" economy here is mainly the $10 an hour economy.

Well, at least making tortillas isn't over shooting the target. Out in Rio Rancho tortillas weren't good enough. They wanted pie in the sky but didn't even get the crust:

Sandoval County didn’t make General Electric’s shortlist in the company’s search for a new headquarters location. . . The company’s CEO. . .had assembled an “exploratory team” to find a state with a “more pro-business environment” that GE could relocate to from Connecticut. . .  “We know what we need to work on,” Jami Grindatto, president and CEO of the (Sandoval County) alliance, said. “Better air travel and our ability to attract top talent from around the country. . .Eventually, our competitive aspects will all align, but we have to continue to knock on company doors. . .”

"Knock on company doors" and expect something given our state's national standing? Jamie, you'd be better off knockin' on Heaven's door. . .

Never mind GE. Let's look again at the barrels of cash in Santa Fe that could be put to work to spark some job growth. This is courtesy of State Sen. John Arthur Smith writing in the Legislative Finance Committee newsletter:

As of June, more than $100 million for capital outlay projects authorized at least three years ago was still unspent. Another $173 million in 2013 appropriations and more than $440 million from 2014 were also languishing. While it is not surprising that much of the 2014 appropriation remains, almost two-thirds of the 2013 dollars and significant portions of the 2009 through 2012 appropriations are also idle. Remarkably, these figures do not include the $295 million authorized during the special legislative session earlier this year or the millions automatically set aside for public schools.

They call Smith "Dr. No" because of his penchant for turning down spending programs, but with all that money languishing even he must see the sense in starting to become a yes man.


You can't stop them from having some fun. Here's Dwayne "Buzzard" Norris putting his I-Phone to work with his buddies and coming up with the "Du-ran-ran" in reaction to the legal troubles of GOP Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

It may only be on the charts for a short time as most insiders expect Duran to eventually resign rather than face impeachment in the state House. . .

Duran served 18 years in the state Senate and is well-liked in political circles on both sides of the aisle. Former ABQ Dem Senator Dede Feldman weighs in with this:

I feel badly for Dianna Duran, with whom I served for 14 years in the Senate. For the good of the office, I hope she sees fit to resign. She certainly ought to say something, especially if she is going to contest the charges. It seems clear that the Republicans are not coming to her aid, and it doesn’t surprise me that House members are talking impeachment. In 2005, when charges against then-Treasurer Robert Vigil surfaced, the Democrats, including the Governor, encouraged him to resign -- but he wouldn’t. It was only when a House committee was about to pass a bill of impeachment that he did so.

Duran has some difficult days ahead but she will always be remembered for becoming the first GOP secretary of state in 80 years and then topping it off by beating the odds and winning re-election.


ABQ GOP City Council candidate Hessel Yntema gave us a chuckle when he said:

Being independent-minded is more important than being part of the machine for either party.

Sorry, Hessel. There's only one machine around here and that's the Guv's machine--the one that is putting its full backing behind your candidacy. As for the Dems, their machine has been in the shop for repairs for something like five years.


Santa Fe's Alan Webber struck a chord with a number of readers with his Thursday blogging about the recent woes of NM and ABQ.  Reader Stan Bies writes:

 Can I vote for Alan Webber now? His comments are only common sense. Let's get him to move from his high-roller lifestyle in Santa Fe to live with the common people of Albuquerque so he can run for mayor. . .Someone has to have the Huevos to make a bold move to turn the economy of Albuquerque and New Mexico in the right direction. Alan Webber is a New Mexi-Can Do type of guy!

Webber ran for the 2014 Dem Guv nod but came up short. It's funny that Stan mentions Webber's "high-roller" lifestyle. As a businessman Weber made big money in the magazine business but was criticized for not loosening his personal purse strings enough to win the Guv nomination. Will he be back for another roll of the dice in '18? Stay tuned.


Duran (Bralley)
Maybe ABQ School Board President Don Duran needs an exorcism. His  ridiculous assertion that God is his judge--not the voting public that put him into office--set off a flurry of condemnation over Duran's statement as well as the board's botched handling of the hiring and then the buyout of disgraced APS superintendent Luis Valentino. Veteran politico and radio talk show pioneer Mike Santullo summed up the prevailing sentiment:

Duran asked to be judged the moment he declared his candidacy. The parents and voters of his district have every right to judge his qualifications and actions as an elected board member. It is their money he is spending when he voted to approve a buyout to pay not one but two former superintendents. The indignation he displayed at the recent meeting was reprehensible and unacceptable. His elitist attitude has no place on a public board. 

Furthermore, if he believes his actions should not be subject to public scrutiny, he should resign from the board. Additionally, the fact that his daughter was hired at a six figure salary for an APS administrative position by Valentino further demonstrates his arrogance and an absolute conflict of interest. As such, he should have recused himself from voting on the final disposition of Dr. Valentino’s fate. How dare Duran insult the intelligence of the citizens and taxpayers that put him in the very chair he pontificates from! 

Hallelujah to that.


Come on, Moe. Hire a CPA already:

If (ABQ Dem State Rep.) Antonio "Moe" Maesta had a campaign finance scale, his would be way off balance. It was, at least, when KOB analyzed his campaign finance records and compared them to records from political action committees and lobbyists spending money in New Mexico.


An Alligator of the Senior variety writes:

Joe, it appears that the UNM Regents violated the open meetings act when they approved the Pit naming rights deal for "WisePies Arena." They approved it in a closed session which violated the open meetings act. I am not sure how they are going to correct the problem since the action is voided. They will probably just discuss as a new agenda item. It will be embarrassing at best to acknowledge their ineptness.  They have to post the agenda 72 hours before their next meeting which is Friday.

The WisePies pizza naming deal has gone down like sour milk for most sports fans so if UNM forgot to redo it, that would be fine with them. Besides, we're still rooting for Dion's.

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