Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Hard Thing to Do

Many elected or appointed officials have one thing in common.  They don't like to fire people they have hired.  Usually, these are people they like and trust and who are given more chances to perform than many others would get.  But sometimes things just don't work out and it is time to get them to resign their positions.  It is an uncomfortable thing to do as I found out on several occasions in my career.

Now it is time for Mayor Richard Berry to ask for the resignation of his police chief Gordon Eden.  I am still unable to figure out why this unqualified pol was hired to run a troubled police force in the first place, but the Mayor must have had a reason to believe he could handle things.  But, Eden has failed time and again.  And so has the Mayor in not admitting he made a mistake in this appointment. Things keep getting worse.

And I look on in astonishment at the fact that our city councillors have not chimed in on this issue.  Perhaps a vote of confidence should be taken on Eden's leadership.  I have a feeling that even the GOP members of the nonpartisan body might see some wisdom in sending a message to Mayor Berry.  After all, history will be looking at every councillor's tenure in regards to this APD disaster.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

City States

Will there be a new battle of city states like in ancient Greece?  Except these new fights will occur in New Mexico.  Our hapless and unqualified police chief in Albuquerque just declared war on all the other Mayors and City Councils in the region by bribing their police officers to come to work for the troubled and understaffed APD.  And Mayor Berry approves.  Put your self in their positions for a moment and think how this helps our regional cooperation over time.

I speak from experience on this as some of this was going on when I took over as Mayor in the late 90's.  I organized monthly meetings over lunch with all of the other regional Mayors and tribal governors in hopes of finding common issues to  work on.  This had never been done before and it was productive.  The one thing regional leaders were upset about was raiding their police departments.  We stopped it and relations got better for the most part.  And so Mayor Berry you might think twice about continuing on with this.  Your little $5,000 dollar bonuses for officers deserting other departments might work, but it is a form of capitalism that will earn  you nothing but disdain.

Speaking of which, when was the last time you had all the other leaders in for lunch?  You might learn some things and get some real ideas for cooperation.

Monday, April 20, 2015


One can only wonder if the one per centers and their enablers in politics can see anything headed their way.  Not just in this country but globally.  After the horrific deaths of 700 Mediterranean region refugees desperate to flee poverty and persecution, one might thing if one were rational, that pretty soon many more will be willing to take down the economic systems that is ruining life for so many in the world.

As far as the USA is concerned the latest effort of giving even more tax breaks to the ridiculously wealthy by dumping the estate tax just keeps encouraging a sense of rage.  Can't these folks see any downside to their unparalleled greed?  They might be good at making money and hoarding it, but their inability to see a cataclysm headed straight for them is almost comical.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Top of the Fold

The Journal is beginning to look more and more like a local TV newscast.  A case in point is a major front page story today on a strangled dog.  Pictures and everything.  The poor dog was caught up in domestic problems and died for it.  But, front page news?  And people on the comment page of this story are calling for the woman who killed the pooch to be strangled also.  Insanity!

We have been pet owners our whole lives.  We are currently into our cats but I keep thinking about getting another dog.  They are so needy but so rewarding.  We felt with all the travel we do it would be best to wait to get another one after our beloved Beagles died.  Still, I wish we had one.  People just love them.  Our neighborhood alert system over the last few days revolved around a homeless Pomeranian dog found wandering the neighborhood.  Someone rescued it and found out it had heart problems.  A big effort was made and it was taken in by an organization helping with such cases.  If that dog had been a homeless person wandering the streets the police would have been notified.

Maybe that is why TV and now Newspapers spend so much time on animal issues.  Because that is obviously what folks care about.  It is a good thing really, but like everything we need to keep it in perspective.

I recently reread "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke.  When aliens surround our planet in massive space ships to help us move to the next level of evolution, the first thing they look at to see if we might be ready is how we treat other species on our planet.  The book was written in the early 1950's and demonstrates that many people have always thought about animal welfare.  I am just saying we need to show as much concern for the poor and homeless as well.

P.S. I am looking forward to the SciFi channel's miniseries of "Childhood's End" in December.  It is said to be very good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rabid Press Secretaries

My first ever political job was Press Secretary for Governor Bruce King back in 1975, the last  year in his first term.   I had just left Channel 7 in disgust as they entered the 'chatty news' era that eventually led to the state of local broadcast news we see today.

King had called me a few hours after I left my job and asked me to come  up for an interview for the position.  There were numerous applicants and I would be the first to see him on a Monday morning.  When I entered his office he said I was his pick and asked me when I could start, even though all the other applicants were in the reception area.  And that is how I got into politics.  Apparently I had done some stories on his administration which he liked and so decided I was the right guy for the job.  He told me to be honest and forthright in dealing with the media who covered state government.  There were a lot of them back then and they were professionals.  King told be to always treat critics with respect and merely give our side of an issue.  I followed his orders and loved the job.

Now we see what the roles of press secretaries are in the current Governor's administration.  The job is not to give their side of an issue, but to attack personally the critics who disagree with them.  And since we have such a poor press corp these days, that is usually what gets printed or aired.  There are some exceptions, like the Santa Fe Reporter.

And so, the governor's rabid press relations person is moving to a new job after pulling off so many personal and nasty attacks on anyone who disagreed with our Tea Party right wing Governor.  Good riddance to Enrique Knell.  And welcome to the new guy Chris Sanchez.  Will he be a rabid dog too?  Of course he will if he takes orders from the governor's neocon political advisors.  Destroying someone's reputation who disagrees with you is so much more likely to gain ink than a thoughtful debate.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


The Albuquerque Police Department and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton are both using social media to skirt the press in making announcements.  APD Chief Eden, a certifiable failure, has used YouTube to announce an investigation into two officers accused of beating a suspect.  That way there is no hard questions for him to answer.  That is good for him and bad for us.  And of course not a peep from the Mayor.

And Hilary Clinton gives us a four minute blurb announcing her run for the Presidency.  That is it.  No hard questions for her either.  Don't get me wrong, I like her and would vote for her in a general election.  But once again, where is the new leadership?  Why are we reaching into the 90's again with the Clintons and bushes?

The Albuquerque Journal story on public transit was a good recap today about the importance of getting people around our metro area.  The modern day bus system we now have started back during my term as Mayor when we got the voters to approve a quarter cent sales tax to improve maintenance and public transit.  The republicans on the council at that time tried every thing they could to gut the public transit part of the effort.  We ended  up using 20% of that money to update the system and it has paid off.  Of course, public transit never pays for itself, but it is the kind of service a city must provide to make an efficient economy possible.  The republican intellect is still at work though in constant attacks on the Rail Runner system to Santa Fe.  In a few years they will be proven fools once again.

Susanna Martinez seems to be only a fly on the wall as legislators negotiate issues that might be considered for a special session.  The leadership is moving ahead while the governor seems to be ambivalent about doing her job.  I have never understood pols like here who seem to think that 'being there' is the only reason for being elected.  Voters need to think about leadership qualities once in a while.

We are back from upstate New York.  On Sunday in the town of Camillus where our son and family live the sun came out and a spring like day was presented.  It was great watching these upstaters come out of their homes into the nice weather shielding their eyes from the bright sky.  They looked like hibernating bears coming out of caves.  Most of them got to work right away walking dogs or working in the yards.  Their several feet of snow had disappeared. 

Friday, April 10, 2015


Dear First Solar,

Welcome to New Mexico.  Fuck You and your clean energy.  I vetoed the solar tax credits.


Governor Susana Martinez

cc:  NM Oil and Gas Association

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Headed to Upstate NY

I am pretty hopeful most of the snow is gone from upstate New York.  We are going to see our grandsons and family there.  There will be lots of rain, or so the forecast says.  But not much pollen yet.  Blogging from afar.

Our house sitter's new flame thrower is still under warranty.  If that doesn't work we will call the good god fearing people from that west side New Life Baptist church to come blast away at the bad guys.  Shoot first and Jesus will take care of the left overs.