Tuesday, July 31, 2012


It is said that the Rio Rancho city government was taken over by the Tea Party in the last election.  Those are the guys who are complaining every day about federal stimulus and bail out provisions.  They are the guys that want less government and less taxes.  Oh, unless it involves their favorite real estate developer and home builder.

That Tea Party council just voted to lessen its impact fees on development.  That means more taxes for the little guy while subsidies roll in for the fat cats. It is all upside down for these guys.  Didn't they get the memo that everyone should sink or swim on their own with out government interference?

Why don't they just admit that during bad times there is a role for government to play in getting the economy steaming ahead?  If it takes a short term subsidy then do it.  But don't play the double standard game.

I got to thinking about my post on the cost of the Paseo del Norte/ I-25 project.  It has to be done and it will cost a bundle.  One of the big benefactors of this will be the Albuquerque Publishing Company and the their developments along Jefferson Blvd.  It will certainly take the pressure off of that failed road too.  Publisher Tom Lang used to complain to me when I was Mayor that the street was never designed to take the traffic loads it had acquired.  He was right.  And yet his newspaper was unabashedly for lessening impact fees on developers on the west side that added to his problem every single day.  In effect, he wanted the taxpayer to subsidise them too.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Mitt Romney wants to start a war in the Middle East by threatening Iran.  Is he channeling bush/cheney?  He would rather bomb the crap out of another country than start rebuilding America.  This is the modern republican way.

The Martinez administration is dragging its feet on completing a tax study that will show where subsidies go in this state.  Is she worried about the amount that will be shown pouring into the oil and gas industry as they continue to soak the citizens with prices designed to create windfall profits?  She says that the study cant be finished until next year.  After the elections.  She says she wants also to show how much money is lost by non profits not paying taxes.  That is fair, but only if we see how much is lost in taxes not paid by religious organizations.  Especially those who rent out their facilities to other groups.

What is it with NBC and beach volley ball?  Surely there is something more demanding of extended Olympics TV coverage than that inane two person in the sand romp.  I think it is all about hard bodies and sex.  Real volley ball is much better.

Bobbi and I are starting our planning ritual for out trip to Russia in three weeks.  There are twelve of us New Mexicans going on the trip.  We fly to Moscow for three days of touring.  Then seven days on a River Boat.  We sail on the MS Tolstoy with 160 folks for stops along the Volga and other waterways.  Then we disembark for three days in St. Petersburg.  It should be fun and different.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Albuquerque Municipal Issues

  1. More city councillors is a really dumb idea unless any additional councillors are elected at large.  This way penny ante parochialism by each council district can be weakened.
  2. Electing a city police chief is stupid.  It would be like electing the head of the pentagon.  Where is the civilian control with the ability to fire a bad chief and hire a good one?
  3. Allowing a Walmart at Coors and Montano would be repeating the scenario that is underway at Paseo del Norte and I-25.  All so developers can profit at taxpayer expense.  If Mayor Berry doesn't weigh in against this Walmart then in a few years a future Mayor will have to scramble for money to build flyovers on Coors because the intersection will be in total failure. Once again, Walmart is sucking the taxpayer dry with the help of republican city councillors and a republican Mayor.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Smart Alec

Much to my chagrin the hotel I stayed in at Salt Lake City was hosting a convention of the American Legislative Exchange Council.  That is the right wing group that is funded by corporate America to write model legislation for state legislatures that are usually detrimental to human's well being.  They are the guys that wrote the 'stand your ground' law in Florida that is causing so much trouble.  They also are infamous in trying to gut environmental protections around the country.

I witnessed one of their members in the parking lot hurriedly walking towards the lobby as he was talking to himself.  He looked crazed.  Inside the leader of this group was telling everyone that Alec would not be bullied by anyone.  This coming from the best of bullies.  He thanked the few remaining corporate sponsors he had, including UPS and the oil boys, for not deserting the organization like better thinking companies did after the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin.  Outside in a park a coalition of community groups held a very effective news conference explaining just how bad these guys are.

The whole thing was covered rather well by a real newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune.  Oh, that we had them here in New Mexico where all we get are right wing editorials from the Journal that  spill into their daily news coverage.  Sign on to their website some day to see what a decent paper is looking like these days.

Having said that, one of the true journalists left at the Journal is somewhat hurt by my attacks on the Journal coverage of the Racino bid rigging allegations against the Martinez administration.  This journalist says they have done a good job in breaking this story.  I will admit they have covered it, but it now seems to be disappearing.  A short lived thing.  However, they are still dragging Governor Richardson's name into every thing that is wrong in state government.  It is really easy for everyone to see.  I hope I am wrong and that there is serious investigations occurring by the Journal into this scandal and the one involving the NMFA too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I am off to Salt Lake City for a meeting of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.  I have served on that board for 18 years and we have made some progress in public land protection in what might be described as some of the most glorious landscapes in the world.  But I have to say that the crazies in Utah, like other western states, just never get tired of trying to pillage every watershed, species, and acre for their own purposes.  Here I mean mostly coal, hard rock, and petroleum production.  They never have to give up because they have a bottomless pit of money to use in fighting environmental protection.  These people who put short term profit over long range watershed health are anything but timid.  Now they actually have convinced a Utah governor that he can take title to the federal public lands by saying it belongs to the people of Utah and not the people of the United States.   Yes, Utah has a real tool running government.  It just gets crazier there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


To: All Democratic Candidates and Party Officials

From: Only in New Mexico

Re: Casino

Stop holding fundraisers at local tribal casinos.  Did it ever occur to you that more money from the attendees might be received if they didn't have slot machines nearby?  And I personally know more than one person who refuses to go to casinos for any reason, even if it means not donating at fundraisers for their favorite democratic candidates.  Also, if I am not mistaken, those casinos do not pay gross receipts taxes and that loses money for the state's much stressed general fund.

No, I am not a prude.  I just don't think casinos are appropriate for political fundraisers.

Monday, July 23, 2012


We had a wonderful dinner this weekend with some politically astute friends.  Some center.  Some left.  No rights.   And all of them were so down on the NRA that they threatened to withhold votes from any candidates who took money from them or their enablers.  Even real left wingers were saying they would not vote for Ben Ray Lujan and Martin Heinrich if they saw any evidence of NRA help. It means they won't vote for their opponents too, but a lost vote can never help.  I am not ready to go that far but I sent emails to these candidates saying they needed to reject NRA money and endorsements.  Of course they would suffer from doing so and endanger their candidacies. I know that because the assault gun/concealed weapon crowd is pretty effective.  Does one just take the moral high road and guarantee the republicans another right wing candidate victory?  Hard questions in modern America.

Here is a pretty good site to visit when you want to know anything about the Solar industry in this country.  There are a lot of good economic stats.  Maybe the Albuquerque Journal could visit it once in a while to get some idea of how important this industry can be in New Mexico.  Once again their editorial pages give way to a coal burning advocate who blames environmentalists for everything bad in the Four Corners region when it comes to cleanup requirements.  And this is a legislator who I somewhat respect sometimes.  Why can't people like Rep. Tom Taylor look into the future?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Post from a Brit

It says a lot about the US that when a man in a costume with a gun kills people, they ban costumes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Good Move

Kudos to Mayor Richard Berry for bringing in a new civilian director of the Albuquerque Police Academy.  It is good news for us who want a police force made up of public servants instead of heavily armed and costumed men with the ingrained training to shoot.  I can tell you that this is a gutsy move for Mayor Berry who will suffer from APD's incestuous make up.  His new man, Joe Wolf, will certainly have his work cut out for him.  If you think it isn't necessary then just look at the Journal story today about the itchy trigger fingers of the SWAT team in a recent operation.  The members were contemplating leaving the suspect at the home of the Mayor or a Journal reporter's front steps.  In other words, "Why don't they let us kill him and get it over with."  That comes from bad training.

I have opined for years that the training at APD was responsible for its reputation as a force that was violent beyond necessity.  It was always a problem.  When I was Mayor I brought in a police chief from outside to try and fix things and made some little progress with the academy until Mayor Chavez put everything pretty much back to square one in return for support of the police  union.

I am hopeful the media will pay some attention to this effort.  It will take some effort other than regurgitating videos from officer's chest cams and car cams.  It will require keeping an eye on the training curriculum for our officers and the support the old-timers will give in compliance.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Yup!  It happened.  Former Sheriff Darren White, part of the shadow government at the State Capitol, has now been named general manager at the Albuquerque Racino.  He is part of the GOP cabal that orchestrated via private emails the deal that won the Racino contract for the anointed ones.  He has zero experience in running a casino/horse racing operation.

Yup!  The Albuquerque Journal has opined that Attorney General Gary King remove himself from any investigation of the Governor's shadow government and the racino deal.  All because of his stupid and inelegant decision to announce he is running for Governor.  You can hardly blame the Journal.  They say the investigation is better left to others.  Like who?

Yup!  The bad news about a lack of oversight at the New Mexico Finance Authority just keeps oozing out.  The media has conveniently left out any mention of the Martinez administration.  Mark my words.  This one is really going to get big.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


As I expected the Albuquerque Journal will take full advantage of Attorney General Gary King's blunder in announcing his candidacy for Governor with in days of announcing an investigation of Governor Martinez's allegedly corrupt bid rigging in the awarding of the Albuquerque Racino contract. Gary actually called me yesterday to talk about his candidacy and he was pretty adamant that people would see the two don't conflict.  I doubt that seriously and the Journal today started what will be a constant attack on Gary for being conflicted.  Gary gave them some low hanging fruit.

This New Mexico Finance Authority scandal involving faked audits and a missing employee is very strange.  We are only getting small snippets of this story and I have a feeling that it will blow before long.  It might be as bad as the 1970's scam that a long time state employee pulled off when he created a fake utility district and then funded it with millions of dollars.  Then the money disappeared about the same time as he did.  It is amazing that government and business still don't have or exercise a system of checks and balances on absolutely everyone in their employment.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This so called ghost town in southern New Mexico that was supposed to be constructed always sounded a little iffy to me, but if it was real then the reaction of the Governor's office to the project falling apart is really indicative of their malfeasance on economic development.  The Governor, and there is a lesson here for Albuquerque Mayor Berry, seems blasé about the plight of New Mexican's hunt for jobs.  She tries to kill the film industry.  She wants to dump the state supercomputer to the detriment of our Universities wanting it in place, and finally we now see that the all important Tres Amigas power interconnect project has an ominous delay because of funding problems that the state should be helping with on a big scale.  That interconnect will help fuel a renewable energy future for New Mexico because of its ability to send such power on to all of the nation's grids.  Is it possible the state is standing in the wings because this started under Governor Richardson?

These leaders need to be much more proactive.  I remember when, as Mayor, we started revitalization of downtown Albuquerque and then moved on to build a new Isotopes baseball stadium.  This was all done because citizens and government worked together.  Now it seems that not only does state government take a back seat, they don't want to even share it with anyone.  It is bizarre.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Sometimes I think the folks in the Agriculture business are oblivious to  double standards.  While most of the business is now owned by mega corporations, there are still enough smaller guys out their amongst the rancher/soybean crowd.  And now things are tough for them and they want government relief and help.  Mind you, they hate government and send their Congressmen and Senators to do everything they can to pursue a right wing agenda and eradication of safety nets for the poor.  But when it comes to keeping their subsidies and getting more aide in times of drought then they do a 180 degree turn and say it is the right thing to do.  It is just too much to take in.  And of course the media never seems to see this double standard.

And then there are the folks in Dona Ana County who love our government hating Governor Susanna Martinez.  It turns out that almost 30% of the folks from her home county work for either federal, state or local government.  Maybe someone in the democratic party should pay attention to that.

And then there is the democratic party which has sat by while the Governor and her right wing handlers have taken  away ballot options by doing away with the straight ticket.  This will cost the dems big time.  What can they be thinking about?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A First

I can honestly say I have never before grown a water lilly.  But here is my first one.  I noticed the bud yesterday when cleaning our new little fountain.  Today it burst forth.  Such simple beauty in nature always is fulfilling!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Timing is Everything

I returned from my nice foray for golf in Durango, Colorado and read that Gary King has announced he is running for Governor.  He just shot off his own foot on trying to successfully investigate the possibly corrupt bidding for the lucrative Albuquerque Racino deal that was aided and abetted by the Governor's office and GOP officials.  Now anything he does will be looked at as 'political' rather than good government.

Who is advising Gary King?  My bet is that no one is there to bounce decisions off of.  If there was this would never have happened.  A first year political science student would see the dangers here.  Now, having said that I am pretty sure why Gary did this.  In his heart, and he has a good one, he just wants to do the right thing.  He wants to find out if there was criminal occurrences going on because it is something we all should know.  And he wants to run for Governor because he thinks he would be a good and fair chief executive.  He has always wanted to follow in his dad's footsteps.  I worked for Bruce King and respected him greatly.

Gary is a good guy.  Some might say he is boring too.  Not much excitement there for sure.  I have known him for  many years and know he is a decent man.  In other words, he is cannon fodder for the GOP.  They will grind him up with indecency while he stays shining and true.

I have a feeling that he will have a very tough time against State Auditor Hector Balderas in a democratic primary.  Hector is new blood and understands modern day politics.  He is also another good guy but he won't be afraid to get in a tough knife fight with the republicans.  If we want to win a general election he is the guy that most likely stands a better chance.


We need to support the Independent Source Pac that has been exposing the corruption in the Martinez administration.  Since the Albuquerque Journal and local TV news operations are incapable of digging up any news on their own we are left with the realization that this Center/Left leaning Pac is all we can rely on.  In fact, the Journal nothing more than a stringer for the Republican party, oil and gas interests,  and Governor's press office.  And since the TV News Departments only regurgitate the Journal and video security cams we need to support the Pac by donating here.

I say this as I peruse my latest bill from the Albuquerque Journal.  They want $195 a year from me to read a newspaper that is right wing and poorly run.  And one can read it in 15 minutes.  My New York Times subscription is $700 a year and I feel as if I am getting my money's worth.  I tried for four months to not read the Journal but came to the conclusion that it is better to know what the right wing is selling than to be in the dark.  That and I would miss seeing Dilbert and 9 Chickweed Lane every day.

Every one who knew that Sandusky was a sexual predator of young boys, including his wife, and did nothing should serve time in prison.  Period.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another Wake Up Call

Think of it.  More evidence of accelerated climate change, rising ocean levels and human induced weather as fossil fuels burn, burn, burn.  And the GOP in congress is on an all out attack on solar energy because of firms going under due to Chinese dumping of Photo Voltaic panels here. They call it proof of incompetence and a waste of money.  That is the oil and gas industry's mantra. It is all smoke and mirrors.  Don't these guys understand, and I am including the Obama administration, that they must act with urgency to speed the switch to renewables?  Or do they just want to see how close they can get to the tipping point for health of the planet.

I am off to Durango, Colorado for some golf and socializing for a couple of days.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


The scandal involving the political awarding of the lucrative Racino contract at the State Fair Grounds is being successfully turned into a debate about email accounts by the right wing.  I predicted this.  The Independent Source Pac, whom I respect and donate too, really brought it on themselves by christening it 'emailgate'.  I told them this would happen.  It is easy for the Albuquerque Journal to run with that and thereby influence the amateur journalists at our state's TV station's so called news operations.  Now all we hear about is who is using what email instead of the corrupt awarding of the contract after manipulations by republican party activists and the Governor's political advisers.  Shame on our so called journalists.

The CEO of one of our largest oil companies has now started saying that the severe climate problems we are having are nothing more than engineering problems.  Like how to jack up whole cities on the coast I guess so they won't be inundated.  This greedy bastard is trying to keep his windfall profits coming in while saying the climate is fine from fossil fuel burning as long as we spend public money on the engineering problems.  He causes the problem and we get to pay for it.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Droning on

I read the Albuquerque Sunday Journal in 16 minutes this morning.  I managed to keep my breakfast down and switched over to the Times.  90 minutes of great writing and information.

There were some great articles in the Times Magazine today.  One of them was about Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo.  It was chronicling the training of Air Force Drone pilots who carry out the war from the comfort of being thousands of miles away from combat.  Much of this nation's drone program is located there on the outskirts of White Sands.  Who knew?

Another story was about American corporations secretly and invisibly sending tens of millions of dollars to right wing political candidates.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will fund to the level of $50 million before they are finished.  Who specifically gives that money is a secret.  Who will ever know?

So, these CEO's and Boards are much like drone pilots.  They are invisible but the nature of their work is deadly.  Drone pilots kill mostly bad guys(and more than a few innocents.)  And corporate America kills democratic institutions through secret and corrupt funding of candidates who will vote as instructed.  Where does this leave our American Citizens?  We will know in a few years.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The 4th

All grandparents were on duty on this 4th of July.  Rick and Debbie and Jim and Bobbi with Simon.  It is Simon's first photo with all of his grandparents.

Here is one with the grandmas and Karly.

Here is one with the grandpas and Justin.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Grandkid

Simon is 20 months old and has the energy of any four adults.  We are having a great time with him.


It certainly is green back here in upstate New York.  They haven't had much rain here but it is still verdant.  Lots of wildlife too.  Justin and Karly's garden has been eaten by white tail deer jumping their back yard fence.  And wood chucks and gophers get in on the feast too.

I noticed the claws are out in the Albuquerque Journal this morning.  The Martinez administration is finger pointing at the Richardson administration for not having clawbacks in the incentive program they gave to Schott Solar which was done in by cheap and dumped solar panels from Asia.  And the Independent Source Pac took another good swipe and the Albuquerque Racino contract that was seemingly manipulated by the Governor's office and her political consultants.

On the clawbacks,  I was reminded that during my term as Mayor I put the first clawback provisions into a city industrial revenue bond issued for the Phillips semiconductor plant.  The business community went ape saying we would lose other companies that were looking at moving to the city.  A couple of years later Phillips shut down and the city got its money back.  Clawbacks should be a part of all incentive programs.

Today, our task is to assemble a little 'big wheel' tricycle for my grandson Simon.  They will be his first personal mode of transportation.  I wonder what he will be driving when he is sixty years old.  Hopefully, nothing powered by fossil fuels.

Monday, July 02, 2012

We Go

Bobbi and I will meet up in Atlanta this morning and fly together to upstate New York to visit our son Justin, his wife Karly, and our grandchild Simon.  Bobbi has been at the Jazzercise convention with her sister at Disney World.

Simon is now about 19 months old and we are getting into a rhythm of going to see him every four months or so.  He is anxiously awaiting our arrival because we sent ahead a big box containing a Big Wheel tricycle.  Karly says he keeps pointing to the box wanting to open it, but we will have the honors of helping him with that.  It is brazen favor seeking on our own behalf.

I remember my grandfather Delfin always doling out quarters and fifty cent pieces when we were kids.  We have never forgotten that.  This is a picture of him with my brother and I at age three in front of the corral in Pena Blanca.  He was a great grandfather.

My well armed house sitter will be guarding the homestead and harvesting tomatoes while we are gone.