Wednesday, September 30, 2009

True Story

I am not making this up. A young man just came into my office trying to raise money for the Lobo Club at UNM. I told him we were a state office and he could not be soliciting here. He argued he could do it. I also mentioned to him that I would not be contributing anyway until the UNM football coach who punched out a subordinate was fired. He then started arguing that it was better to keep him because he wasn't a wimp. He said he was glad the coach did it. Now on my coffee break I am writing this on my I-Phone in the parking lot because I am dumbfounded.

Note to Lobo Club.....Do a little PR work with your fundraisers.

Who's Your Daddy?

So, how many things can a candidate claim to be before someone I say this because last evening I got a call from a close friend who is not so quite politically active as me. He and his wife were really upset because they had received a robo call from Howard Dean asking them to support Marty Chavez. Dean is the former democratic party chairman who became famous for his scream. Marty had supported him when he ran for President and then Dean helped him four years ago. My friends were upset because they didn't think a high profile democrat should be endorsing one democrat candidate over another in a non partisan race.

Not one hour later I get a visit from a neighbor who brought over a flyer that was obviously mailed to independent voters by Marty Chavez. It basically says....I am an independent, vote for me.

So, what is Marty a democrat or an independent? Well, he is just really a good politician who in his campaign tries to be all things to all people.

I also hear the republican Richard Berry who has been dissing Latino immigrants will now go after their vote on the abortion issue. Look for churches to be papered this weekend about how his opponents are pro choice.

All of this happens as our supposed democratic controlled senate in Washington votes against the public option in healthcare. Other countries must now be really sure we are a nation that really doesn't care about its healthcare. Thanks to Senator Bingaman for voting the right way!

Life is too short.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So republican Mayor's candidate Berry is increasing his exposure on immigrants being the cause of all crime and all your problems. I think that probably gets him into the runoff, but what does it do after that? All readers of this blog know I have no love lost for Marty Chavez, but if it is him in the runoff with Berry I will vote for him, just as I already voted for Richard Romero in this first election. Is the republican's strategists bench so weak that they can's see the downside to this? You have to marvel at how desperate Berry must be to jump on this wingnut bandwagon. Here is a question someone might ask of Berry. Have you or your wife's construction company ever hired immigrants? Legal or illegal? Ever?

If a professor in the Engineering department at UNM physically assaulted a fellow professor at the workplace, do you think he would would be put on disciplinary leave? You bet! But since the whole nature of a football coach is to train his team to be physically violent against the other team, then I guess it is okay if he punches out an assistant coach. Another hot potato for the UNM President!

The Washington Post says Congressman Harry Teague could be in trouble in his first run at reelection. This is because he sided with most of the world's scientists and voted for a climate change bill. I suspect the republican party, aka the oil and gas industry, will spare no expense at defeating him. Teague is a wealthy man as a result of his oil and gas supply business down in New Mexico's Permian Basin. I understand his business is now being boycotted by the industry down there because he has realised that climate change could kill us all.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It is Not Dandruff


Go into any gathering of people who like politics and you will see everyone scratching their heads. No, it is not dandruff. It is them trying to figure out the handicapping on the now back in play Albuquerque's Mayor's Race. I sure can't think long and hard enough about the many analysis that could have any one of the three candidates winning. And really, it is useless to try and figure out anything. At this point the only game in town is getting out your vote. If you have an apparatus to do that then you will be in the runoff.

You can be pretty sure that the hundreds of people Marty Chavez has hired under 'political' status at city hall have now been rousted out of their desks and into campaign mode. I am sure the republican party in this supposed non partisan race will be putting their efforts behind that immigrant baiting candidate RJ Berry. And all of the progressive faithful will be out rounding up support for Richard Romero. Those progressives walk long and hard!

Who ever does the best job here will come out on top and the go into a runoff with the second place candidate. As I said yesterday, that could be any one of the candidates in those runoff positions.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mayor's Race

The poll in the Journal this morning will have one concrete effect. Every out of work republican operative in New Mexico will shine up their resumes in hopes of getting a job with candidate RJ Berry who is in the lead at this point. Those operatives have all been out on the street since last November except the ones in the US Attorney's office who tried to derail Governor Richardson.

I was surprised at the fact that Marty Chavez was in second. I had really sensed the race was tightening between all three candidates and really they are in a statistical dead heat. Any one of them could get into a likely run off. The bad news is there in spades for Mayor Chavez who only gets one in four votes of those who have decided. Any combination of two in the runoff are possible.

The good news here might be for Richard Romero who scored much higher than most thought he would. His campaign the last few weeks has improved markedly. He needs to peel away a few more democratic voters from Mayor Chavez who usually relies on republican voters to put him over the top. Those votes are Berry's now.

One could muse forever on how each combination of candidates in a run off would result in either one of them winning. For the next few weeks that will be fun to speculate upon.

I think the video of Marty's airport employees dealing with some upset lease holders at the airport has done him a lot of harm. These viral videos are effective.

Friday, September 25, 2009

PNM Heroics

I just gotta say that PNM is on my A+ list after telling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to stuff it. PNM did this because the Chamber thinks climate change science is b.s. and that a Scopes Monkey Trial would prove it. PNM, love them or hate them, is really way ahead of the game on this issue when compared to many electical generation utilities. PNM's take on the effects of energy production on the climate of our small world should be adopted by many more utilities.

People tend to forget that PNM is one of the few large corporate entities that has its headquarters in Albuquerque and New Mexico. They have been a big player for a long time and it is a gutsy move to depart from that anachronism of a Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. These are the same guys who think that our health care system is just fine.

I wonder what this might do to the thinking at the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. Maybe they will be more progressive in their thinking.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The Catholic Bishops in New Mexico are insisting that the Legislature and the Governor not cut the state general fund budget when the special session occurs. Of course, they are entitled to their opinion like every one else, but I find it hard to reconcile this stand with the American Bishops opposing health care reform. Can anyone enlighten me?

Mayor candidate R.J. Berry continues to base his campaign on anti immigrant yammering. He thinks this will help him get the wingnut vote to at least get in a run off with Marty Chavez. Then what happens Mr. Berry? Everyone who said you were a nice guy were mistaken I guess.

At the same time one should really look at this video tape to figure out the kind of guy Marty Chavez is. This depicts the Chavez modus operandi that few people ever see.

I am off to vote early this morning. Richard Romero is my pick. That should be no surprise.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Land Office Race

Public Utility Commissioner Sandy Jones says he will run as a democrat for State Land Commissioner. I like Sandy a lot, but I need to warn him and all other Democrats in the race that they are up against the Oil and Gas industry which owns and operates the republican party in New Mexico. Harvey Yates, of Yates Petroleum is chair of the GOP and he will do to any democrat what he did to me in the last election. He will raise millions to defeat anyone but some lackey republican mascot. Think of current Commissioner Pat Lyons.

This is the last election where that might happen on the scale that it happened to me in 2006. Soon new laws will prohibit anyone who does business with the Land Office from donating money in that races. But, that does not count in the 2010 election. So just wait and see what happens.

Also, I had a call from Patsy Madrid the other day. She is not running for Land Commissioner. Nor will she go to work in Washington, DC. She has wisely decided that living and working in the Land of Enchantment is a better way of life. Who can argue with that?

P.S. Sandy Jones, will you please return a phone call I made to you last month? It is actually about issues on renewable energy! You might get my help if you at least call me back!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bingaman on the Hot Seat

Wow, Jeff Bingaman may really end up on the hot seat in the hellish health care debate. Given that Jeff represents a state that has one of the highest uninsured populations then his influence and courage will really be tested. Jeff is not a showy and ego driven politician. He is intelligent and incisive, but like it or not he is on the front burner of this issue.

I think health reform with out a public option is not really reform. Remember that word option which is defined as,

"The act of choosing; choice.
The power or freedom to choose."

If I choose to stay with my health insurance plan then I have taken one option. If I choose to go with a public plan then that is another option. Options also improve competitiveness as far as I am concerned and that will settle prices.

I hope Jeff Bingaman sticks to his guns on the public option. A lot of folks are counting on it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aunt Pelta

Our Aunt Pelta Lucero Baca passed away today after a short illness. She was born in November of 1913 and like many in our family lived a very long life. She was a teacher for over 40 years in the Corrales and Bernalillo school systems. She was a very devout Catholic and a very decent human being. It will be strange not being able to see her anymore. She never had any children and always was very interested in all of us kids and our off spring.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Unobserved by most in the media, Senator Jeff Bingaman and Senator Tom Udall introduced into the Senate yesterday a bill that would protect 400 thousand acres of wilderness in Dona Ana County and southern New Mexico. The bill is entitled "The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act."

Both Senators and Governor Richardson deserve credit for pushing for this wilderness designation. Now, it will face the opposition of the oil and gas industry and some in the livestock and mining industry. They will oppose it because they will not longer have their way on every square inch of public land in the area. Some of the more enlightened members of these industries will support it.

Also, some credit goes to a lot of local elected officials, sportsmen and members of the business community in the areas who stuck their necks out and said this would be good because of water and landscape protection.

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance worked mightly to get this bill to this point and they all derserve our thanks. For more information see this.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Preservation or Conscience

Everyday most Congressmen and Senators have to make a decision on whether or not to introduce or support legislation that might be construed as being dangerous to them keeping their jobs. It is a fine line. One case in point is Congressman Harry Teague who voted with republicans to not censure the South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson. Why would Harry do this? Because he is running hard to keep a traditionally republican seat from returning to that wing nut party? Because he really believes Joe Wilson doesn't deserve this grief for ignoring decades of decorum in the joint sessions with the President?

I think he just wants to retain his seat and he saw this as a necessary evil as he faces the extreme right wing of the republican party in his region of New Mexico. But, that doesn't make it right.

I will continue to send Harry money, although god knows he doesn't need it. I will ask people to support him because he is the best we can hope for in that part of the state. Also, his general out look for the constituents of his district is very compassionate given his upbringing in poverty. That is something that is rare for a man of his wealth who made it big in the oil business.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Time Flies

Wasn't I just trying to convince my daughter Noelle to not get sand down her pants at White Sands National Monument?

Now, here she is with a serious boyfriend Luke out in the Arizona Wilderness having a good time. Notice the boots on Lola, their dog!

Noelle and I are like fire and water. At least during high school years for her. I never did put that fire out. She finally just extinguished her angst and got serious in her senior year at Valley High School. She has a great job at Intel and her guy is a geologist who works a lot on ground water issues.

What Is A Candidate To Do?

Since most of the usual Albuquerque Mayor's race issues don't seem to be on peoples minds then a candidate needs to figure out what he must do to get some attention. In the case of republican Richard Berry that would mean picking out some segment of the population and blaming them for every and any problem anyone might have. He has picked out immigrants as the scapegoats.

I am surprised. Everyone I have talked to say he is a pretty decent fellow. The only thing I can imagine is that the far right wing of the republican party has exerted mind control over him and they are now channeling Lou Dobbs into him. You know, pick some one with brown skin to blame for your problems. Mr. Berry, you need to stop this to regain the respect of a lot of people who were looking to you as an alternative.

I think this Mayor's election next month will most likely have the lowest turnout of voters ever. That is good for Mayor Chavez because if he can just get all the new political appointments he has created out to vote for him then they will put him over that 40% threshold. Then he will be in his fourth term, which he promised voters four years ago he would never seek, and then he will pay the piper for his over spending. Did anyone notice that most cities in the state are having to do layoffs and furloughs of employees? Still, there is not incisive analysis being done by anyone in the media on Albuquerque's finances. Well, there is still a few weeks to do so.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


The Albuquerque Journal's Pollster was at it again. Brian Sanderoff of Research and Polling rarely gets things wrong in his surveys. What was surprising in Sunday's poll results was the fact that health care reform was out pacing the economy as the most important issue on people's minds. It is gratifying to know folks are thinking about it and have not checked out on the issue.

The economy is also important and one cant help think that the Sunday Journal's major story by one of their best reporters, Wynn Quigley, was the result of them thinking that the economy would come out on top. Wynn is the healthcare expert at the Journal and was side tracked to this issue.

Other issues like crime, education and the environment were almost invisible. (That leaves the Albuquerque Mayor candidates little to talk about..) And the Journal's favorite story lines on corruption did not register either.

Climate change, which will surely kill us all if we don't get serious on solutions, didn't get any attention. There wont be much need for healthcare if we are all dead! Yuk!

One More Shot

The positive thing about Joe Wilson's out burst at the President will be that this once unknown confederate son will now not be able to go into a bath room without some one reporting on it. All of his contributors, affiliations, and secrets he thought were safe will now be known to the world. From resume checks to travel he will be scrutinized in every way. I cant wait to find what drops out of the laundry. It will be revealing I am sure.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shark Fest

Yesterday morning I sent a $25 check to the opponent of Congressman Joe Wilson in South Carolina. Apparently 500K came roaring in to that guy in 24 hours.

Sure enough, I started getting appeals from every congress person I ever gave money to. They were asking me to help them fight Joe Wilson by sending them money. I also got appeals for money from some of environmental groups seeking to get in on the feeding frenzy.

My feeling is, if we want to get Joe Wilson out of office then we should send his democratic opponent lots of money, and forget every one else that wants to make themselves victims of that asshole.

Here is what my sister Carlota said about the whole thing.

"I am just shaking with rage about Rep. Wilson. Apparently, he is taking a lot of grief. His website has crashed, as I tried to send the one-word message, "Shame."

What's really disturbing about the behavior of many (not all) of the Republicans is that they feel empowered to express such animosity and though it were now an acceptable thing to do. This is a foreboding of a terrible climate in our country's governance, and I fear it will get worse. I feel so sorry for my country."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I thought it was a good speech. The pathetic republicans sitting on their hands was enlightening. Their disrespect for the President was unprecedented. All those white rich guys sitting there with hatred on their faces.

Here is a edited comment that a close friend sent about the republican response from someone who might double for Dr. Mengele.

"This @#$%^&*^%$ Congressman Dr. Charles Boustany, said a lot of thepeople he operated on could have avoided the need for an operation they had made better choices in their life. What a @#$$%%%$ asshole. Just because someone who was likely not well equipped to make good choices and didn't make great decisions, would he refuse him care? No, he would not because it would be completely unethical. In fact, I would imagine that you could lose your medical license for refusing to treat someone. Yet he is basically doing the same thing by fighting against universal health care. And what about all the people that didn't choose to get in car accidents or to get cancer or swine flu? What a @#$$%^&*&^ asshole."

Now, this comes from one is rarely uses the word 'damn'.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Chamber of Commerce

I watched a truly horrendous TV commercial last night on health care reform. It was full of lies and innuendo and it was paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It got me to wondering if the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce is part of that effort. It would be interesting to see if the business groups in New Mexico are willing to throw reform out the window.

I am hoping for the best tonight from President Obama. I want him to stick with the public option. It is the only way to control insurance companies and will do so through providing a reasonable alternative to the private market place. It will serve every ones interests in the long run. I am certainly not against private insurance companies remaining in the game and some of their programs are good. But costs are literally killing people.

It is my feeling that almost any legislator that votes against a public option is not working in the best interests of their country, but rather in the best interests of their political contributors.

Mayor's Race

The news media is letting us down seriously as we look at an election that is just weeks away for Albuquerque's Mayor and City Council races. The only news we seem to see is about who has the first TV commerical running. I have been carping on this for a few months and I will do it one more time. Mayor Chavez proclaimed himself the greatest Mayor in our city's history on his TV commercial. He may be right when it comes to spending money and getting the city into a nearly destitute situation. The city council helped him.

Nary a word in the Albuquerque Journal or the Associated Press. Not much in the blogs either and the independent internet news services. You wont hear anything about the pending disaster until after the election. None of the candidates will say much about it because they would then have to explain how to manage the problem until the recession ends.

Don't be surprised when the bad news can no longer be contained in December. At least we will see if Mayor Marty can handle having to cut programs and be prudent with tax payer dollars, but really he wont have much choice.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Weapons Sales

There was a story in the New York Times this morning about America moving way ahead in the sales of weapons to foreign countries. Uncle Sam has increased his share of the market even in a recession. What a way to keep the nation's nose above water.

I have always thought that weapons manufacturers are ethically impaired, especially in selling to questionable foreign governments. I wonder if they ever really think about the deployment of those weapons against human bodies. Do they sleep well at night. Yes, they probably do. After all they can fall back on the old arguments of protecting the country and providing jobs.

I would like to see a list of weapons producers here in New Mexico. Of course Lockheed/Martin and Northrop/Grumman here in the Albuquerque are amongst the largest. Sandia and Los Alamos along with their industrial partners do the big nukes.....but I am willing to bet there are a lot of small companies spread around the state that are just as lethal in their endeavors.

This is the kind of story you will never see in our media in New Mexico. Can you imagine the Albuquerque Journal ever running such an expose.

I would not say that people who work for these corporate weapons makers are necessarily evil or immoral but they certainly have to wonder if another line of work might be more fulfilling.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

TV News

It seems the only thing you see on TV news in New Mexico anymore concerns one of two things. These stories always lead. One is drunk driving stories. The other is about dog fighting or abused animals. No leading stories on people being out of work or children being homeless. The kicked dog wins out every time. In fact, the only time I see Sheriff Darren White on TV News anymore seems to be on abused animal stories. That is the sure way to get to the top of the news.

Oh, there is one other kind of story that is up front. Any thing having to do with sex.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Lots of things have me thinking I have shifted to an alternate universe where logic is not functional. Let me count the ways.

1. Republicans think their children are stupid and dense. I say this because they think President Obama's 'stay in school' address to returning students will indoctrinate them into being liberals.

2. The Albuquerque Journal thinks an imaginary line called a border makes news unimportant. 19 people are slaughtered in Juarez at a drug rehab clinic and it gets a few lines in the back of the A section. Move the disaster 3 miles north and I am pretty sure it would be front page, unless a baby elephant is born at the zoo.

3. There are 10 more or less Hispanic candidates now running for Lt. Governor in New Mexico and not one single anglo. Does that present some sort of opportunity?

4. Albuquerque Mayoral candidate Richard Berry thinks Government should be run like a business. Earth to Berry, Government is not a business.

5. More people are saying that a public option in health care reform would ruin their medicare benefits. Medicare benefits are a public option.

6. Mayor Marty Chavez is running for a 4th term as Mayor and doesn't realize that once he is reelected he will have to deal with his own disastrous over spending in the last 7 years. No one talks about this.

7. Some friends and I have tried twice to send Diane Denish contributions on her web site. We have been unsuccessful in trying to do it. My friend tried to send $1000. Time for a new web service for the Denish for Governor campaign. (A campaign that refuses your money!)

8. My wife Bobbi has surgery yesterday on her knee. Everything went absolutely perfectly at the hospital. The staff, surgeon and facility(Lovelace) was really impressive. But we have health insurance through Bobbi's federal job.

My friend Rodger sent me this link to a funny blog on health care reform.

Jim and Tom Baca--1948

Finally, Happy Labor Day. I will celebrate my birthday Sunday. I will be 64. Strangely enough my twin brother Tom will be 64 too.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wing Nuts

Only republican wing nuts could object to the President of the United States giving a speech that welcomes kids back into the classroom for the year. That is really happening and some republicans are even sending their kids to raise hell with the school administration in Albuquerque.

I abhorred george bush and dick cheney. But how would I have reacted to my kids having to listen to them in a welcome back to school speech? Probably not at all. Because I think my kids listening to a President might give them some idea of their nation's leaders abilities and the way our government functions.

I guess since we have a non wingnut President who is a minority and left of center then in the minds of republicans censorship for all is best. (Although I am beginning to think Obama is just in the center.)

So, if the republicans want to stick ear plugs in their kids ears, well then that will certainly back fire on all of us because this atmosphere of not listening to people that you might not agree with will just intensify. What has happened to the GOP?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Damn, I shot an 88 at Santa Ana. I was hoping for a score under 100 but didn't think that was possible after 2 years of not playing. Maybe I will start again. Sunshine and exercise!


I am taking a day of leave today from my job and will play my first game of golf in 26 months. It will be ugly.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I spent the morning watching a highly efficient and inexpensive crew from JC Trees take down two massive trees in my back yard. The Sycamore shown here was struck by lightening a couple of years ago and then contracted some blight. It was time for us to take it down along with another tree that was threatening to crush our wall.

It seems to me as I watched the aerialist with his chainsaw that this process is a lot like what is happening to the republican party.(See yesterday's post)

The GOP keeps lopping off branches until all that is left is the trunk. And that finally comes down. This really isn't a good thing for our form of government. As the GOP rids itself of moderates and progressive members, it just can not endure.