Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I will try to now explain to you what is going on in all of the candidates heads right now since we are only six days from the election. These are the questions they are asking themselves at 4 a.m. in the morning.
1. What was I thinking about!
2. Why does it cost four times as much to run a campaign as it did 10 years ago?
3. Why do I have to spend every waking moment listening to my campaign staff complaining about me not making more phone calls for money?
4. Why don't I make more phone calls for money?
5. Why wont the wind stop blowing so my sign crews can get a life?
6. Why does the publisher of the Albuquerque Journal hate me?
7. Why am I buying an ad in that publishers paper?
8. Why doesn't anyone even know or care there is an election next week?
9. Why doesn't it rain for chrissake?
10. Why is this so much fun?
Well, you get the picture. Most candidates do have fun at this and I have really enjoyed traveling the back roads of New Mexico again. If you can't turn this into fun then you shouldn't be doing it.
Monday, May 29, 2006
I got to thinking about all of the democratic statewide candidates that are running for office and wondered how many of them are veterans.I believe James Lewis, candidate for State Treasurer is an Air Force Veteran. Jeff Armijo, who is running for Auditor, is National Guard member.
I am a veteran of the United States Air Force. I served in the New Mexico Air National Guard's "Enchilada Air Force" as the unit photographer. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in the summer of 1966 I was sent to photo school at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver for five months. I had always wanted to be a photographer and was amazed when I actually got the training that I wanted. It really led to my career in journalism and politics. I kept this picture small so you couldn't see my acne. I was 20 when this was taken.
We were all mustered out in the fall of 1970 and I returned to school and a job at KOAT-TV as a news photographer, reporter and anchorman. The rest, as they say, is history. I looked kind of young then at the age of 26
When you stop and think what happened to John Kerry, Max Cleland and John McCain in Viet Nam and how the bush and rove crowd turned these veterans into cowards via their 'swift boat' strategy, it is enough to make you go postal.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
(Former Commissioner) "Jim Baca, our primary choice, went on to serve in the federal version of the job: directorship of the Bureau of Land Management.
There, his honesty, courage and resistance to pressures from his Clinton-appointed superiors got him run out of Washington. America’s loss, Albuquerque’s gain; he served as mayor of Duke City.
At a time when the Bush administration is bent on wrecking the West, New Mexico needs a toughminded champion of conservation; Baca meets that description."
There are a lot more endorsements to come. The large and popular weeklies will chime in at the middle of the week.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Lots of employees lost their life savings because of this company's 'bottom line' attitude. Their 'mark to market' accounting scams suckered all the financial analysts and government regulators for over a decade. When one analyst started questioning the financial house of cards and was called an 'asshole' by CEO Skilling during a multi party conference call, the unravelling began.
The prosecution in that case must have done a pretty convincing job to get so many convictions on so many of the counts.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Now look carefully in this picture and you will see the Humming Bird that has built its nest over my hot tub in a Sycamore tree. I have been watching this go on for several days during my early morning soak.(Try not to visualize that.) I have a feeder nearby so this little guy or girl has a good food supply. Last year there was one Hummer that would come up right to my face and stare at me.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Here are arguements why drilling in the Alaskan refuge don't make sense.
We can’t drill our way to lower gas prices. The
Proposals to drill in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, unspoiled landscapes in the Rocky Mountain West, and along
There are some places that should be off-limits to oil drilling and industrial development, and the Arctic Refuge is one of them. The harm to polar bears, caribou, millions of migratory birds, and to the subsistence way of life of the Gwich’in people would be permanent and irreparable. We have a moral responsibility to save wild places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future generations. That’s why our country has remained committed to its protection for nearly 50 years.
Clean renewable energy sources and making our cars go farther on a gallon of gas are the best ways to reduce consumers’ costs now and in the future. They are the fastest, cheapest, cleanest way to reduce families’ energy costs, increase energy security, end our dangerous oil addiction, and reduce global climate change. Instead of wasting time on dead-end drilling in a National Wildlife Refuge, Congress should be focusing on things that would make a real difference.
This was put together by my colleagues at the Wilderness Society. They have killed these drilling attempts in Alaska a dozen times and reprobates like Pombo keep coming back for more. He only has to win once.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Every political candidate yearns for Newspaper endorsements around the state. We are now entering the period of time before election day when the state's newspaper publishers will weigh in with their picks. These endorsments can make or break candidates in very close races. So, we all lust after that two paragraph endorsement, from the smallest weekly to the largest daily. I have always felt these endorsements were worth 2-4% of the vote in the lower constitutional office races.
Today I got my first endorsements from the Las Cruces Sun News and Silver City Sun News. I wasn't sure they were even going to endorse, but I was surprised when I got a call from supporters today that I got the nod. Read it here.
There are many more endorsments to come and I hope to do well in them.
Monday, May 22, 2006
So, what happens to the Vigil case now. Probably the first thing is that the prosecution and defense will start taking a lot of trips around the state to visit with jurors about what was effective and what wasn't in the cases presented by each side. Then those things will be emphasized or ignored in the next trial. One of the jurors said today the governments case could have been better. One of the jurors, one of the holdouts I surmise, apparently didn't even want to look at the evidence.
I had wondered, along with some friends, why the prosecution spent a lot of time with people that had no contact with Vigil before they put their strong witnesses on. I also always felt that some of the witnesses were probably much more guilty than the defendant.
What a mess! I would like to know what a new trial will cost and I would like to know why the prosecution would do so poorly in the first go around. I wonder if people just dislike the government trying to entrap citizens. Wasn't the only time they caught Vigil doing something wrong was when the government set it up?
We will get to go over this all again in the next few months. Will it be before the general election in the fall or afterwards......lots of political considerations there if you think about it.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
One of my favorite people up here is Ed Olona of Springer. Ed retired from state government work a few years ago. He is an avid outdoor sportsmen and knows the best places to hunt all over northern New Mexico. He is also a ferocious guradian of access by hunters to state lands. He and his colleagues caught the current land commissioner trying to trade away Whites Peak near Springer to a private corporation. He stopped the deal cold with the help of the Governor and Attorney General who intervened after I asked them to meet with Ed and his friends.
Ed and I have worked together on these issues for many years. He is a really good man.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Our great country is slipping away from us. With the passage by the Senate of a bill making English the official language of this country we can see the inclusiveness of our great country dissolving. The question is, will it be to late to save America at the next general election in November?
It is hard to believe this stuff is really happening in America. Does frist, rove and bush really think this is a way to keep this country a superpower? This is racist stuff, pure and simple and it should be rejected by all of us.
On another note, the Robert Vigil trial has slipped off the front pages and newscasts since it was reported the jury is having trouble reaching a verdict so far.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Yes, this is bug juice on my VW Beetle. The hatch is on in New Mexico and the insect roadkill is mounting. These smashed bugs were acquired on the way back from a day and a half in Ruidoso and Alamogordo. The time was well spent in meeting a lot of good Democrats in that part the state. Ruidoso and Alamogordo appear to be thriving. There were 150 Dems at the rally last night in Ruidoso. I was impressed with that turnout.
Who can resist a quick barefooted romp in the White Sands National Mounument? Everytime I get within fifty miles of the place I have to zip in there. If the sand is hot on top, just wiggle down a little and it is very cool and soothing.
White Sands is one of the most mystical places on earth. I urge everyone to go there and experience it.
This is a photo I shot this afternoon between Carrizozo and San Antonio. It was a really 'good light' day and the contrast between the juniper-pinon forest and the cloudy sky was breathtaking.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I will be headed up to Ruidoso today and Alamogordo tomorrow. There is currently a big controversy in Ruidoso over a place called Moon Mountain. It is a full square mile in the middle of Ruidoso that Pat Lyons, the current land commissioner, was trying to trade away to a developer. The community there is against it as it is the last decent open space there.
This should not be developed and should be protected. That is why I want to work on a constitutional amendment that will allow for the creation of a State Land Conservation System that will protect these last great places. Ray Powell, my primary opponent said in the Journal this weekend that he didn't support this because it would be a bad use of public funds. Astonishing!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I shell out about $140 a month to Verizon for my cell phone and Blackberry. That is a lot of money and when I read reports that they were giving records of my phone calls to bush I got really angry and called them. I told them if they didn't stop giving bush my phone records I would no longer do business with them.
The representative at the call center did not know what to say. I hung up and paid what I thought would be my last Verizon bill.
Today, Verizon denied ever giving phone records to bush. I was really glad to hear that and I guess I will stick with them because they have very good coverage. I am glad bush 'can't hear me now.'
I feel right now that the best thing any of us can do is to continue to fight bush and his policies every second of everyday until we are rid of him. First, lets get rid of republican congressmen and women who are his mascots and get a Democratic majority in that body. Let's knock off a few republican Senators on election day for good measure. (Uh, for the FBI guys who read my blog that means politically defeat them.) Let's then make sure we nominate a Democratic Presidential candidate who will take strong positions and speak his or her mind with out pandering too the corporate guys.
Monday, May 15, 2006
This is nerve wracking to all candidates in the primary cycle. There are in the contested statewide races only about 11 people running. Secretary of State has four candidates. Attorney General has three candidates, Auditor has two candidates, and Land Commissioner has two candidates. There are a few districted state races and of course lots of local races. And I believe those local races are what will drive the turnout. Sheriffs races and county commissioner races will truly offer more interest than the lower statewide constitutional races.
Yesterday the Albuquerque Journal started its coverage of the Primary with profiles of me and my opponent, Ray Powell. I thought the story, by Tania Soussan was very objective and fair.
I was flabbergasted when my opponent said he didn't think we should declare state land conservation areas because it would be a poor use of public funds to hire people to take care of those lands. That sounds like something the bush administration would come up with.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
This is Noelle leaving the ceremony through the Rice University Sally Port. All freshmen enter the Sally Port on the first day of school and are told not to walk through it again until graduation. Noelle didn't ever use it again until Saturday when the students are told to leave the campus and go into the world. Bad luck will befall a student who uses the Sally Port before graduation day. Noelle says it is true.
Mom gets the first hug. Bobbi and I always told the kids that there was no questions they would go to get college degrees. We started that in first grade with Justin back in 1987 and we never stopped doing it until yesterday when Noelle finished. We also decided that we would somehow pay for the best schools they could get into, but that Graduate school would have to be on their nickel! Cornell University and Rice University were good choices for them.
You will remember, once again, the picture from Thursday's posting that shows Noelle at the age of twelve in a little red dress. She wore that same little dress under her graduation garments. I just find that sublime. Now, Noelle goes to Spain for five weeks before heading back to Albuquerque in July for a week and then she moves to Chandler, Arizona to start her new job with Intel. This is Noelle with her best friend Ashley. Ashely will be living only three blocks away in Arizona when she starts her new job in a few weeks.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
I will be back for the last 24 days of this grueling campaign on Sunday. My potential general election candidate just keeps serving them up. Now, after spending state money on his political commercials last fall, his campaign bought a six year old pickup truck for almost $30,000 and registered it in his name. As reported by the Associated Press he said there was nothing wrong with doing that. Legally, there is nothing wrong. Ethically, it is challenging. What the AP did not report was that Lyons paid thousands of dollars for Antelope hunting permits with his campaign funds too. Then he auctioned them off. The problem here is that he bought the permits from his brother. I have a feeling this story may not be over.
Did I mention you can contribute to my campaign at www.jimbaca.com?
I promise you I will not convert your donation personal assets.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I first met Harry Kinney when I was a reporter for KOAT TV in the early 1970's. He was on the old Albuquerque City Commission and I covered that beat for the news broadcasts. Harry was always a very soft spoken member of that Commission and it is not surprising that everyone had a lot of respect for him.
Albuquerque voted to go to a new form of Government in 1973 and Harry was elected its first Mayor in 1974. I went to work for Harry Kinney as the Public Information Officer in 1975 and stayed with him for about two years. I think he was the one who really convinced me that government work and politics was worth doing.
Harry was elected Mayor just as Albuquerque was getting ready to 'break out' of its role as a medium sized city. Harry was an engineer and he understood public works and the costs of city growth. He was a great proponent of that city growth and his biggest desire was to create good jobs and sustained economic growth. He did it in a methodical way. Like all Mayors, he was constantly frustrated by the City Council and didn't really like their parochial views which he saw as interfering with the city's good as a whole. He wasn't flamboyant nor egotistical. He wasn't constantly trying to further his political career by gathering headlines. I don't think he ever was convinced that meeting with the news media was a good idea, and he did not do it much except for the city hall beat reporters that he trusted. He just cared about Albuquerque and the people who lived here.
Harry and his then wife Carol, who recently passed away, had a beautiful home on the west bluff of the Rio Grande. They were constantly lending it out for charitable fund raisers. The view from their back yard was to die for. It was really funny to see the guests lined up at the telescope in the back yard to watch young lovers on the east bank of the river. It was also used for bird watching.
One of the funnier things that happened when I worked for Harry was the infamous 'drunk park' controversy. Harry was sick of inebriated people in downtown and in fact he was worried about them. He wanted to have a special place for them in the down town where they could gather and 'sleep it off' in relative safety. The media immediately labeled it a 'drunk park' and the idea tanked in the City Council. It was one of the few times I ever saw Harry really upset with the media.
It was no surprise to see Harry drive a cab after he left office and politics. He knew every street in the city and the fastest way to get there. When he was in office he and I would pile in his Mayormobile often and just drive around the city taking notes. I did the same thing when I was Mayor. I learned it from him.
Harry was responsible for Albuquerque's fame as the host of the International Balloon Fiesta. I wrote about that in this blog last fall. Read it here.
Harry was honest and ethical. I didn't always agree with him while on the job or when I ran against him for Mayor 10 years later. But Harry Kinney was a good man who loved the city he lived in. We need to build a memorial to him in Civic Plaza. I will miss him.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Today is filing day for how much money the candidates have raised. That will be the first big event for the media to report on. It might be one of the only issues that gets any attention for the next two weeks. The rest of the issues will be held until the last week or ten days. Even then there will be little interest and I will predict about a 30% turn out, although my predictions are usually low.
About the only media on my Land Office race so far has been a series of short interviews on KOAT TV.
One of the items I spoke with them about was my desire to create a new division within the land office. Here it is as written in a news release. It is an issue.
Jim Baca, candidate for State Land Commissioner, today announced that he will sharply increase the state’s involvement in renewable energy development when elected in November.
“Clean energy is going to be a major economic growth industry in the American West,” said Baca. “
Baca’s specific proposal is to create a renewable energy division in the State Land Office. Baca was skeptical of current commissioner Pat Lyons’ treatment of renewable energy development.
“The State Land Office should not be reactive. It should have an enterprise division to bring our clean energy resources to fast-growing western markets,” Baca stated. Baca pointed to a recent announcement by
Instead of reacting to these proposals, Baca believes the State Land Office should dedicate staff to identifying and marketing
Baca noted that
“We are capable of developing tens of thousands of megawatts of clean energy for our neighbors in the West,” Baca stated. “Our Nation should not expand its imports of liquefied natural gas to provide energy that could easily and affordably be provided from
Sunday, May 07, 2006
The fund raiser today was fun because two of the sponsors, City Council President Martin Heinrich and County Assessor candidate Moises Gonzalez were there.
I will predict that Martin Heinrich has a great political future in front of him. He has shown great skill in shepherding the minimum wage bill through the Albuquerque City Council. He is well respected for his ability to listen and negotiate compromises. He treats everyone with respect and is very even tempered under sometimes adverse conditions. I think he will go to the very top of the political food chain at some point in time. Martin's wife, Julie Hicks, was one of my communications officers when I served as Mayor. They have one son, Carter(3) and another child due in September.
Moises Gonzales is a very gifted planner and land use specialist who is running for County Assessor. He has innovative ideas for that almost invisible, but vital County office. He is liked by everyone. I am especially impressed by his work ethic. Twice this week while traveling around Albuquerque I have seen him and his loyal followers walking door to door working for votes.
The really nice thing about these guys is that they are both unquestionably ethical and honest.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Monday will be a wake up call for the candidates when they realize either their own campaign or their rival's campaign hasn't raised much money. I saw my opponent yesterday at a joint interview at the Santa Fe Reporter and I told him I would tell him how much I had raised if he would tell me how much he had raised. He said I would have to wait until Monday, like everyone else. I wonder if he already knows how much I have raised or if he just is killing me on this front. Well, we will know in 72 hours or so. You can go to the Secretary of State's site to see those reports on Monday at 5pm.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I can see the wingnut radio talk show hosts now talking about a conspiracy to threaten our livestock and agriculture industries. I guess I see it the other way, being some 30 pounds overweight. If all the hogs and sugar disappeared from this country we would all be healthier. Right? So, infact this smuggler guy might be a hero. Even so, they fined him $250 for attempting to eradicate diabetes and heart disease.
I wish that guy would smuggle in something to take care of my allergies....anything that does away with Mulberry pollen would be good.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Jon was great to travel with even though he was suffering motion sickness in the car as we came over Emory Pass. He said his meatloaf lunch was confused. No, he did not barf in the car, or anywhere for that matter. He was a trooper on the trip and great company.
It is always fun to read the comments in a blog story like Jon's. So many people have strong opinions about me and they have never met me.