Tuesday, June 21, 2016

State Budget Mess Gets Sloppier And Politicos Backs Will Soon Be Against The Wall, Plus: NM DC Dems And The Assault Weapons Ban, Also: NM's Economy And The Dominicans And Jesuits 

The state government budget outlook continues to collapse and will soon put the backs of the Governor and legislators against the wall. Revenues are now down an estimated 10 percent from last year--not the five percent that the bean counters predicted when lawmakers last met in February

“We’re on fumes,” Legislative Finance Committee Director David Abbey (said). The legislators will have to deal with revenue that is down ten percent from last year, Abbey said. The state predicted a five percent drop in revenue. Abbey said a special session may be needed to address any shortfall.

Great, a special session in the middle of an election year. That ought to bring everyone together on how to solve the fiscal crisis brought on by the crash in oil and gas prices, over zealous tax cutting and exemption-giving and the seemingly forever no growth New Mexican economy.

When Donald Trump was in ABQ he said Gov. Martinez was doing such a poor job that maybe he should run for Governor. With the budget mess ongoing and no agreement on how to solve it, maybe a Gov. Trump is the way to go.

One other note. With the state coming up short tens of millions, you're not going to be able to dig out of the hole by laying off hundreds of state workers. Unacceptable. That leads to revenue enhancement, or as it is known in more direct circles, tax increases. As we said the politicians backs are going to be up against that wall.


How about reinstating the expired ban on assault weapons in the wake of the Orlando massacre? Well, it would have little chance of winning congressional approval and by avoiding bringing it up, Democrats don't have to talk about it. That applies to NM US Senators Heinrich and Udall. They are not supportive of the ban, even though such weapons have been used to mow down hundreds in terrorist-like attacks including Orlando.

New Mexico is still pretty gun friendly and not only is that keeping the state's liberal senators on the bench on assault weapons but also liberal Dem northern Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. He does hedge a bit, saying if an assault weapons ban was part of a "comprehensive pacakge" on gun control, he "would consider it."

ABQ Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham is the only D in the congressional delegation all in on an assault weapons ban. She repeated the position in the wake of Orlando:

Even as it becomes clearer that AR-15s and comparable styles of guns are becoming the gun of choice for mass shootings, states like Florida do not require any special regulation on assault weapons, or limits on the number of firearms that can be bought at one time. It is time we take a stand to tell Congress we will not accept “thoughts and prayers” in place of real policy change to prevent these tragedies from repeating themselves. Join us in telling Congress that we must renew the assault weapons ban that was allowed to expire in 2014.

That's going to warm the heart of the Democratic base, as this reader writes:

I do not understand why people want a weapon that can fire up to 180 rounds in a minute. They might be fun to shoot but serve no purpose other than having fun and to massacre people. Instead of talking about what he will do to reduce the number of mass shootings after the Orlando massacre, Senator Udall wants to talk about chemicals. Is he tone-deaf?

Of course, there is a price for a politico parting ways with the NRA. If Lujan Girsham is looking at an '18 Guv run her strong stance will come back to bite her. But with the casualty count from the mass slaughters mounting you wonder if in the not to distant future New Mexicans might see her position as ahead of its time.


Reader Tom Miles wants to join the discussion about Arizona's on the move economy as New Mexico treads water. Here's his Tuesday history lesson:

When Spain came north, the Dominicans came into NM while the Jesuits came into AZ. Dominicans were founded in 1216 as a mendicant order; "mendicant," derived from the Latin mendicare, meaning "to beg.” Mendicants renounced ownership of property and embraced the poor and itinerant lifestyle, preaching the Gospel and opposing “heresy.”  Its members included popes, cardinals, bishops, legates, inquisitors, confessors of princes, ambassadors, and Paciari (enforcers of the peace decreed by popes or councils). The order was appointed by Pope Gregory IX the duty to carry out the Inquisition. The first Grand Inquisitor of Spain, Tomas de Torquemada, would be drawn from the Dominican Order.

Jesuits were created in the Renaissance (1540) and were considered “God’s soldiers.” Jesuits owned much land and refused to pay the 10% tax on their land to the church. The Franciscans and Dominicans were envious of the Jesuits economic power. They integrated operation of their holdings and directed funding to their colegios. Jesuit priesthood requires more time in training than any other order.

I believe it is arguable that 250 years of Spanish monarchical/colonial rule cemented in place cultures that persisted and are evident even today - and can also contribute to “differences” between Dominican New Mexico and Jesuit Arizona. Interesting?

Quite interesting, Tom, and a subject that will be passionately debated by this and coming generations of La Politica.

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