The Albuquerque Journal had three stories I know a little bit about today. Mayor Chavez and his budget orgies of the last few years have caught up to the Albuquerque taxpayer. State Land Commissioner Pat Lyon's sweetheart deals with developers have caught up with him. There is also a story on suppression of testimony in the Congress that is upsetting.
Mayor Chavez says he has instituted eleven balanced budgets as Mayor. I think he forgets abut the $25 million dollar deficit he left me when I took over the Mayor's office from him in 1998. Adding to the current city budget meltdown are his pay raises for the police and fire departments that will cost another $10 million and his wish to cut taxes and you have a classic set up for a budget disaster. The city council and the Mayor have launched double digit budget increases for six years and it will now haunt them.
Commissioner Pat Lyons has been shut down on his sweetheart deals by Attorney General Gary King. Lyons has been attempting to give away large sums of potential state income to land developers who contributed huge sums to his campaigns. Gary King did the right thing here but I am hopeful there will be some serious investigations by someone into these deals themselves. I admire Gary King's stand because his cousin Jerry King, who is rumored to be running for Land Commissioner, is a political appointee in the Land Office.
Finally, a Deputy Sheriff in Dona Ana County mysteriously canceled his appearance before a congressional committee in Washington. The Deputy was to have testified on the abuse of public lands by unregulated off road vehicle users. I have worked extensively on this issue and was surprised by the last minute pullout by the Deputy. I suspect, although it has been denied, that Congressman Steve Pearce had a hand in this since he is supported financially by manufacturers and retailers of all terrain vehicles. When I heard of this cancellation I called the Republican Sheriff in Dona Ana county to see if he disallowed the Deputy's testimony. He never returned my call. I hope the media will stay on this one!