Friday, October 31, 2014

Predictions

Senate: Tom Udall
Governor: Susana Martinez
Congress:  Ben Ray Lujan, Steve Pearce, Michelle Grisham Lujan
Attorney General: Hector Balderas
Secretary of State:  Toss Up
State Land Commissioner: Aubrey Dunn Jr.
Auditor: Tim Keller
Treasurer: Tim Eichenberg

These are all of the candidates who have spent the most money.  And they will all probably win.  I really am hopeful that Maggie Toulouse Oliver can eke out a win over that GOP voter suppression tool Dianna Duran.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Warning Signs

And you thought the mud was being slung mostly in New Mexico.  Try Colorado.  After three days there I think that I must have seen the slimiest and most disgusting political ads ever.  They are warning signs to me that our political system is dead.  Thanks to the rich and the US Supreme Court.  Watching TV is now a turn off.  You would think that the local stations would understand  that, but no, they are just part of the problem.  Maybe the biggest part of the problem.  They aren't fostering free speech in airing these commercials.  They are fostering the destruction of a democracy. And they have the ongoing help of a gullible and stupid public who seems to believe what they see with absolutely no evidence presented to them on the veracity of these 30 second character assassinations.

This is actually very serious now.  The scale of lying has exponentially expanded with the unfettered use of corporate money in funding political action committees.  Time is running out.  Maybe a simple law should be passed that every time a lie is found in a TV commercial, the producers and funders of the ad would face jail time.  Well, it is a nice fantasy to daydream about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Generations

I stopped by one last time this Tuesday a.m. before driving back to ABQ and Luke shot this nice photo of Noelle, Alex and me.  These little girls are fighters.  The technology is incredible.

Little Katy was a short ways off in another cubicle.  She is the bigger girl, but will need some heart surgery at some later date.  There is a little hole in her heart between ventricles.  Apparently not caused by being premature.  Many babies have this.

Okay, back to politics and ranting tomorrow.  No more baby pics.


Southbound

I am heading back on down to Albuquerque from Fort Collins this morning. The little baby girls are doing okay but they are very small and the next four weeks are very important for their development. Our daughter Noelle is doing great and has a good attitude. Her husband Luke is standing by every minute of the day. He's going to be a great father.

The Albuquerque Journal poll shows that the Secretary of State race and Land Commissioner race are very competitive. My hope is that everyone will go and vote just on these two races if that's all they're interested in because they are very important to the future of our state.  We can't afford to have the republican right-wing take over the state land office. While Ray Powell has not been a mover and  shaker as land commissioner he is an honest man and will not be overly influenced by the oil and gas and agricultural interests that try to run the land office.

Maggie Toulouse Oliver's election to the Secretary of State's office is incredibly important to the future of elections in the state of New Mexico. She has proven her worth as County Clerk and now needs a shot at running the state election code. If the right wing holds onto this office voter suppression will be the main objective. It is one of the most crucial races this year.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kathryn, Noelle, and Luke



First time holding one of the girls. 





Sent from my iPhone

Granddaughters

Alexandra and Kathryn are doing great. They are very small but doing well in the NICU facility here in Fort Collins. I will be up here for a couple of days.

In the meantime I wonder what will be happening in the US Senate races around the country. It seems to me that a lot of incumbents are in trouble just because of the fact that they are there. Sen. Udall's performance in the Albuquerque Journal poll makes me wonder whether or not things are not going to go as the experts think they will.  All of this will affect our new granddaughters. Not immediately but sometime in the future. It is really serious stuff.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

North 7 a.m.

I am on the way to Fort Collins Colorado to see our new granddaughters.   Their names are Alexandra and Katherine. They are very small babies that are in very good shape according to the doctors. Noelle is doing great also.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Not Incestuous

Janet Blair lasted just about a year on the job as PR flack for the Albuquerque Police Department.  She said that she and Chief Eden agreed she wasn't a 'good fit' for the job.  Now,  that just brings to mind all sorts of things.  Probably, we will never know the details because Janet Blair, a formerly hard nosed reporter, won't spill the beans.

But I know what happened.  She was not the product of inbreeding with in the department's career ladder.  She was from the 'outside', and this is precisely why she didn't fit.  The Command structure at APD couldn't tolerate someone who wouldn't drink the Kool Aid.


Misc.

If churches keep up their practice of endorsing partisan candidates for office, then they should lose their non profit status and start paying property taxes.  Period.  But do you really think that any properly empowered elected official out there will pursue this?  I am thinking not one of them has the courage to take on these exemptions that are being ignored by the fundamentalist Christian mega churches.  It is shameful.

Is it true that all of Secretary of State Diana Duran's TV photos have been altered?  In looking at TV commercials versus candid shots it appears a few pounds have disappeared.  Well, this is nothing new in the world of photography nor is it new in the art of politics where people pretend to be someone they are not.

The most important close race that is winnable in New Mexico is that Secretary of State race.  Please vote for Maggie Toulouse Oliver if we want to keep voting easy and accessible for all of our citizens. I have no doubt that Governor Martinez, Duran and their neo con supporters will work even harder at suppressing the vote over the next couple of years in order to take New Mexico out of the blue state status in the Presidential election.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Time for a Follow Up

One of my readers reacted violently to the story in the Journal this morning for its lack of questioning of the Mayor on his panicking over APD officers retiring.  He suggests the following questions that an enterprising reporter might use to followup on this story.  I agree this story still has legs.

1.  Ask officers who have left or appeared at the recent city retirement seminar to ask them why they were leaving.  Not done.
2.  Ask Berry if this has anything to do with the DoJ? Not done
3.  Ask Berry if the turmoil with Chief Eden and Mayor Berry’s leadership of APD  is causing any retirement?
4.  Ask Berry why he got rid of the longevity bonus in 2010, and didn’t he think that action would cause this crisis?
5.  Ask Berry to prove that the APOA agreed to give up the longevity bonus in 2010.
6.  Ask Berry why Rob Perry, in the 2013 Journal article, saw this manpower crisis coming, yet here we are a year later and Berry did nothing to stop it.  In fact Berry did finally sign a contract with the APOA this summer, yet there was no mention of longevity bonus in this contract.  Why?  Does Berry  know what is going on?
7.  Ask Berry why he is going to try again (he did this every year he has been in office) to dump APD retention problems on the state pension plan (PERA).  Every year the legislature has told him NO, so why doesn’t he fix it at Albuquerque’s level and leave the PERA system out of it.
8.  SB 27, which revamped PERA was done in 2012.  Why is this such a crisis now?  Didn’t Berry read the changes and know they were coming?  The changes to PERA have been known for almost 3 years, a good manager would have planned for them back in 2012, why didn’t Berry?
9.  Ask Berry if he knows the number of public pensions going bankrupt in this country?
10.  Ask Berry why he would do something that harms pensions just to get Albuquerque (the town he has run for five years) out of trouble?  Is this being a good manager or is this passing the buck to someone else?
  

The Press

Every headline from the media today says the shooter in Canada panicked the whole city of Ottowa.  Really?  The whole city?  I kind of doubt that really happened, but it is indicative of the sheer pandering of the media covering such stories.  Oh, and it sells ads.  It is all about money in the end.  Yesterday two of my golfing friends said they had stopped watching local news because of the negative political ads.  They just find it nauseating to mix that up with lead stories about furry domestic pets in distress.

Why has the current Secretary of State not taken any heat for unilaterally killing the straight party ticket voting on our New Mexico ballot.  This is something that she and our Governor did behind closed doors.  Just think of that as you try to blacken out those endless little circles on this years lengthy ballot.  Duran and Martinez did this with no legislation, public hearings, or transparency.  If Bill Richardson had done something like this the Albuquerque Journal would have raised hell for the dictator type decree.  But the republican right wing editor, Kent Walz, was just serving his masters.

I got several emails from friends yesterday with a link to the Santa Fe Reporter story on the Governor using government resources to aid in running license plates of car's owners with bumper stickers she didn't like.  It is a story that should be looked at once again by others, but it is too little too late to make any difference.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sympathy

The Tasmanian Devil's demise at the Albuquerque Bio Park is getting more angst out of the Mayor's Office than the deaths of many homeless and mentally ill victims of APD's shooting spree.  It is truly amazing that Mayor Berry and his chief of staff would show such an emotional response to this act of cruelty.  From a PR standpoint it was not the greatest thing to do.  But, he is acting no differently than many people these days.  Last night on Channel 13 the longest running story was about a mistreated dog.  At least Channel 13 has covered the APD mess with some professionalism.

Today in the Albuquerque Journal, Mayor Berry said that mayors come and go, and so the public needs to get involved in looking at APD's problems.  That is true, but he also has a responsibility to do the same in an open and vigorous manner.  That means he needs to sit in on those meetings.

Albuquerque will be getting another once over on APD as Rolling Stone magazine is on the prowl for  the APD story.  The magnifying glass will once again be on us.  But, I am sure that most attention in the next few days will be given to the Tasmanian Devil death, an endangered species.  It will get world wide attention.   If the guy who did this ever gets caught, I am confident he will get more punishment than those cops who shot the homeless guy in the back with their assault rifles.

P.S. That ballot I worked on as I voted yesterday was in fact the longest one I have ever seen.  I was blacking out little circles for fifteen minutes.  A lot of ink.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Misc.

I did not watch the debate last night between Gary King and Governor Martinez.  I didn't see any point in doing so because I will go vote for King today at an early voting site.  Probably, the only ones watching were pollsters, political bloggers(not me), campaign workers and all those consultants who are paid to make the Governor look like an informed and caring pol.  Day for Night.  Making her look like something she is not.

We had dinner guests over last night and the sample ballot on the dinner table brought lots of comments for its incredible size.  All those Judge races and retention questions make it mostly a crap shoot for the candidates.  No one knows them or pays much attention to these races.  They are important, but there needs to be a better way of handling these judicial elections.  I  will probably just vote for the democrats in most cases, although some of those judges aren't great.  I will take some of the advice of the Judicial Standards group who rate the sitting judges for retention.

I will vote for the marijuana question, but not the tax for mental health services in Bernallio County.  They are those two non-binding and frivolous questions thrown on to the ballot by the democrats on the County Commission.  It was a dumb thing to do.

The reason I will vote against the mental health question is its funding source.  Another increase to the gross receipts tax means that once again an extremely regressive tax will fund these needed services instead of a tax that hits the poorest the least.  And, if the County proceeds with the tax  then surrounding communities will send their patients here at no cost to them.  There needs to be a statewide solution to this problem.