Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Not Great Debate

I didn't attend the lunch time back and forth between Governor Martinez and Democrat challenger Gary King yesterday.  Speaking in front of the National Industrial and Office Park group, neither of them, according to friends who were there, got around to talking about the dismal condition of the construction industry in New Mexico.  They are in deep trouble and one would think one of these candidates could expound on possible public works projects that might help.

Yes, there were lamentations by the candidates on economic meltdowns in New Mexico.  The governor said things are really picking up and Gary King said things are not.  But that hardly gets down into the weeds of how to really fix things.

This campaign will be over in a matter of weeks and it may well go down in history for failing to give the public any solutions to our current and growing crisis.  And the public for its part doesn't seem to give a damn.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Homeward Bound.

Glad to be heading home after days on the road. Then up to Fort Collins to help out our daughter who is having twins.  She is a trooper!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dinosaur

 I am ending my 22 years as a councilmember with the wilderness Society. They erected a dinosaur in my honor across the street at the National Geographic building.  Bahahahaha!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Meeting

I am off to Washington DC for my last meeting as a member of the Governing Council of the Wilderness Society.  I have been on that Council for twenty two years and it is time to move over and let the younger generation take up the never-ending job of protecting America's public lands.

Those who would ravish our national landscapes for a few bucks never tire of attempting to legislate ways to steal that land from its citizen owners.  Every seven or eight years the so called sagebrush rebellion types come up with a new angle and a new name to try again.  Now they are cloaked in the group called the  American Legislative Exchange Council who are trying to insist those public lands really belong to the states.  Pure Bullshit!

The Wilderness Act is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  It was passed back in 1964 at a time when republicans could still vote for protecting our environment.  They used to do so on a regular basis, but no more as the fossil fuel boys and rightwing business community has found that hurts profits and the once conservation minded GOP find it hurts political donations.

I will remain on some other environmental boards for a few more years.  I do enjoy the meetings and think these organizations can still be effective.  Send them money when you can.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bipolar?

One would think the registered voters in the Journal poll might be a little bipolar.  They are throwing incredible support to our rightwing Governor, but at the same time they overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage.  What  gives?  She doesn't want to raise the minimum wage.

The result could be parsed in so many different ways.  People who don't support King do support a higher minimum wage. It actually comes down to just a couple of things in my mind.  One is that the Governor's opponent Gary King is incredibly ineffectual and made more so by being buried by negative TV ads,  and secondly that most people want something approaching a livable  paycheck for everyone.

This poll should give some real legs to a legislative effort to raise the minimum wage statewide and it will actually force the Governor's hand in signing such legislation.  I think it could happen.

In the  meantime other niggling little things are happening.  Gary King's epic and tragic meltdown in the Governor's race continues to the bitter end.  Three campaign managers have now come and gone and none of them have broken into Gary's bubble.

The Bernalillo County Commission wanted people to speak on some non-binding ballot questions at the last second, and have only ended up delaying the voting process for everyone with law suits.  The Supreme Court ordered the county not to mail absentee ballots until they hear the case.  This whole thing turned into a circus.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Part Deux

The Journal Poll this morning shows Senator Tom Udall with a comfortable lead over his republican opponent and war profiteer Alan Weh.  Udall, a proponent of taking corporate money out of elections, will most likely win his race.

I wonder what the critics of the Research and Polling results on the Governor's race have to say today.  Is this poll wrong too?  I am looking forward to more results coming up, especially on issue questions.  They will be dribbling out for a week or so if the pattern from past years is followed.

I am not sure the congressional races will be polled.  The only one up for grabs is down in the southern district where the oil and gas tool Steve Pearce reigns.  I hope Rocky Lara gives him a good run.  That is a tough race because Pearce wins with slightly more than 2-1 in the oil patch and that is hard to over come in Dona Ana County where Lara should shine.  But it could happen.  Harry Teague did  it in a presidential election year, but remember he was only there for one term until Pearce took back that seat.  Teague was a oil guy too.  But, Lara has put on an impressive fundraising campaign and has impressive support.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Grasping at Straws

The Research and Polling election poll results in the Albuquerque Journal this morning shows Democratic Governor Candidate Gary King in even worse shape than I thought possible.  His numbers have dropped as he has failed to get up on TV to answer Governor Martinez's onslaught of slime.  She leads him by 18 points, 54-36.

Just last night ProgressNow New Mexico dug up a month old poll showing King behind by only  5%.  This reach back into history to shore things up for King is grasping at straws.  Especially when that poll received wide spread criticism for the New York Times and CBS because it used unproven techniques.  The American Association for Public Opinion Research said the results in that poll were highly suspect.  Read about it here.

But no matter, I will have to stick with Research and Polling's results because they are always, once again always, with in the margin of error.  It is just hard to argue if you look at the accuracy over the last 25 years of that poll.  I recall everyone went apoplectic when that poll showed Mayor Berry with over sixty percent on his reelect numbers just before the election.  Everyone said that was wrong.  But Berry went on to win with 68%.

The only hope for King now is to come up with the money and do some real truth telling on TV about the economic meltdown of our state under Martinez.  Her filthy TV ads can't go unanswered.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dog Parks

I guess I am an Ogre.

I have continually asked people to stop using our Dulcinea neighborhood park as a dog park.  It is not a dog park.  Some of them told me they didn't care and would pay fines, but they haven't had to because Animal Control refuses to take action.  This morning there were seven dogs running loose in the park.  There are signs in the park saying dogs must be on a leash and a reference to a city ordinance that requires it.

When Mayor I created the first dog park as a way of giving our canine friends a place to run free in the city.  The city council didn't want to do it, but they finally saw it made sense.  There are now thirteen fine dog parks in the city/county.  There are two within two miles of Dulcinea Park.

I guess this is a city ordinance that has become a joke.  What is next?  Allowing dumping of refuse on any city street?  I hope one of these dogs doesn't injure anyone, especially the kids who frequent the playground.  But in the meantime I am just an Ogre.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Misc.

Albuquerque Police Chief Gordon Eden has made himself a tool of the right wing by blaming the department's problems on the police officer's union.  As a former Mayor I can attest that the union was hard to work with, but to blame them for all the APD issues is the biggest indicator of a lack of leadership on the Mayor Berry administration.  It is getting downright embarrassing.

In the meantime the Journal did a needed story this morning on how Albuquerque really isn't the leader in crime and murder amongst cities.  I have been saying that for years, but the people of this city are paranoid after watching the police blotter news every night on TV from the poorly run news departments.  I know our neighborhood list serve has become filled with missives about strange cars and people in the neighborhood.  There is a lot less crime here than the past, but people feed on the fear frenzy caused by one incident.

When I first saw that Senator Martin Heinrich had participated in a survivor type TV reality show I thought he had lost his way.  However, the more I read about it I was convinced it was not a bad idea.  It shows that two US Senators with widely divergent views might find a way to work together.  I might even watch it.