Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Pete Dinelli pretty much torpedoed his own candidacy in the non partisan Mayor's race.  He called democrats who vote for republicans, "pendejos".   I wonder if republicans who thought about voting for him are also classified as such?   He certainly needed all the votes he could get and he just alienated anyone who wanted to shed partisanship in this race.  I know I have voted for a republican back in the day of a sane GOP.

Now, I have to admit I made the same blunder one time in a partisan race for Land Commissioner when I called some of the oil and gas funded republican candidates jerks.  I was roundly criticized.  I deserved it.  Mayor Berry and his minions are all having a good laugh this morning as they see an easier path to victory in October.  It isn't over yet, but the odds for Berry look better by far.

Political leaders in Clovis (Peanut Capitol of the World) are asking every one to 'pray for rain.'  Maybe they should ask everyone to 'pray for political leadership that will fight climate change.'  Most leaders in those areas don't seem to understand the science on this, or believe in it.  Some folks don't believe that wishing(praying) for something will get it for them.  They are right.  The old saying is, 'God helps those who help themselves."

It is hard to believe that anyone would see anything positive for the United States getting involved in the Syrian Civil War.  Unless of course you are the CEO or Board member of a defense industry corporation.  Those who are calling for intervention with air power are trying to tip public opinion into stepping into another Middle East quagmire.  I don't think the American public is going to buy into this one.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Democratic Party Chair

Good!  Sam Bregman won the state party chairmanship for the Democratic Party.  As a guy who was more often than not at odds with Sam when in a Mayor's race or such, I am very happy he won this race.  He is brash and outspoken and won't be afraid to attack the Martinez administration.  And he will most likely do it in an effective way and that is what is needed to show the Governor she just can't keep listening to her neocon handlers.  His abilities showed through in his two to one victory at the party convention.  He has matured and seems a little more thoughtful than in the past.  Let's see what he can do.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Trend Setting

My heart goes out to Mayor Berry and challenger Pete Dinelli.  The trend is now set by the media for the upcoming election coverage.  It won't be about big ideas, future thinking, keeping the parks green, or fighting for the Duke City at the legislature.  It will be about fringe groups filing ethics charges against everyone.  It will be about yard signs being torn down.  It will be about what kind of dogs the candidates have and how they are treated.

That is modern journalism today.  There are few reporters and news directors that know the meaning of that word.  Well, maybe they do.  The just substitute the word 'ratings' for the word journalism.  Pretty soon in the print media, if the Koch brothers have their way, it will mean neo conservative world view.

Speaking of which, I watched a documentary on former draft dodger and VP dick cheney.  I think it is important that medical science get a hold of his brain to study it so some sort of gene therapy might be devised to prevent such a brain from ever existing again.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Leaving for Jobs

Former bush presidency backer Heather Wilson has to leave New Mexico to find a job.  She has been named as President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  Seriously, congratulations to her.  It is a respectable achievement.  I am sure she will feel at home in South Dakota.  And being president of a school of mining will fit right in with her record as never seeing a landscape or watershed that couldn't be ravaged.

Pretty soon the GOP Bernalillo County Chair will need to leave NM for a job too.  His name is Steve Kush.  Where do they get these guys?  After his Facebook running commentary on supporters of a minimum wage hike for the county  which was sexist and a sophomoric performance, I don't see how the party can ever hire him back.  As one of my commenters said, "Whenever Republicans say any thing they believe they have to apologize."  How true.  Let's hope he can get a job that at least pays at the rate of the minimum wage he so hated.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

No Need Here

There is no need for the ultra right wing Koch brothers to include the Albuquerque Journal in their newspaper buying plans.  Since the paper is already editorially so right wing the evil brothers can just move on to other markets.  The publishers and editors of the local rag have already fallen into place with the ultra rich.  And this is in one of the poorest states in the nation.

I have also decided there is no need in the Governor's office for original ideas because Susanna had decided that the movie industry and spaceport are what needs her attention.  Of course those projects were started by Bill Richardson.  At first she condemned them but then found the only thing she could do was to embrace them after seeing that made sense politically and economically.  Pretty soon she will even like the Rail Runner.

The one thing I will support the Governor on is her opposition to social promotion in the schools.  She is right on that one and the legislature should come around.  That and fund a highly effective early childhood reading effort.  I have always believed if kids can read well in the third grade then they an make it in life and career.

I would urge folks to read the comments in yesterday's posting.  They are very telling.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don't Look for the Big Ideas

The upcoming Mayor's race will certainly lack one thing.  The "Big Idea".  "The Vision Thing."  "A Futurists View."  The Mayor has demonstrated he is incapable of even one large idea that will positively affect the City of Albuquerque.  He can't even keep our existing parks from drying up and blowing away.

Pete Dinelli's candidacy announcement didn't revolve on future projects that would make this a better city.  He was just concerned about the settling of lawsuits.

I wonder if New Mexico will no longer produce politicians that are capable of the whole vision thing.  Bill Richardson could do it with the Rail Runner and Space Port.  Yeah they were expensive but they will pay many dividends in the future.  Just like the Isotopes Stadium and a refurbished and now politically abandoned city core thanks to Marty Chavez and Mayor Berry.

Governor Martinez has not shown one iota of originality in making this state's future look brighter.  Where are her grand ideas?  There are none.

So, in the upcoming Mayoral and Governor's race let's start demanding a few grand projects from the candidates.  If they need some ideas because they can't think of any then I and any number of people could help.  It isn't that hard and it is a lot more fun than raising money for Super Pacs.

Here is a quickie for Pete Dinelli.  Let's get serious about an all purpose arena for downtown.

Here is one for the Governor's candidates.  How about an economic development project that makes New Mexico the center of renewable energy component manufacturing in the United States.  If the Governor of Alabama can travel to see Airbus and successfully get them to locate in his poor state, then why not have our Governor make some overt efforts too?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Oil Boys Get Payback--and Update

The Albuquerque Journal's investigative story on  the State's failure to conduct electrical inspections on oil and gas installations and drilling operations in the southeast part of New Mexico shouldn't really be surprising.  Those fossil fuel boys are just getting some payback from supporting Governor Martinez and her right wing causes.  And of course the government and regulation hating Governor and her ilk would never deign to hire more inspectors and grow government.

No matter that the public health, safety and welfare are directed into the waste bin.  Think about the fertilizer plant that went up in Texas this week.  They had not had an inspection since 1985 and more than a dozen people died because of it.  And a whole town was blown to smithereens. But, the industry says to Martinez,  "Trust Us", and then they write more checks for her favorite Super Pacs.

500 out of compliance oil well installations may be in existence right now down in the Permian Basin.  Well, maybe or maybe not.  We just don't know do we?  But one thing is for sure.  Every time an oil field worker goes near one they are risking their lives.

The big question now is whether the Journal editor, an oil and gas and Governor supporter, will switch his hat to journalism and followup on this story.  He could direct the able Coleen Heild to cross reference the oil companies getting off with compliance to the list of the Governor's and GOP's contributors.  If this had been Bill Richardson then that would be automatic.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


New Mexico's population growth has fallen.  Net migration into the state has ceased and people are leaving because of the state bucking the national trend of adding jobs and opportunity.  We have always had a problem with our young people leaving for greener pastures, but this trend is downright alarming.  And Governor Susanna Martinez and Mayor Berry just hide in their cubby holes so they won't take any criticism.

Instead they have the GOP Chairman John Billingsley send a letter to the respected Crime Stoppers Board criticising them for allowing a liberal to be Chairman of the Board.  That would be Pat Davis, a former police officer and now activist on progressive issues.  The Crime Stoppers Board immediately told him to stick it and unanimously reaffirmed Davis to head the board.

So, if I were a young entrepreneur who stopped in Albuquerque to scout it out for a new business and read these two stories in the Journal today, here is what I might think.  "What a bunch of ineffectual rubes the leadership and GOP in this state must be.  If they ignore the real problems in the economy in favor of this drivel, why would I locate here?"

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I am anxious.  The other day tucked down in the corner of the newspaper was a little story about how an American drone in Afghanistan had killed a couple of dozen innocent civilians, fourteen of which were children.  Maybe the national media spent ten seconds on it.

Now we are getting 24 hour reruns of the horrific explosions in Boston.  Closer to home.  I stopped watching the news after seeing the explosion about 100 times.  Feeding the anxiety of Americans.

Yesterday at lunch with my golf buddies I decided that Americans like to be scared because it pulls them together.  At first I was greeted with guffaws, but then slowly the others thought maybe it was true.

I am not anxious because I am scared.  I am anxious because we ignore the death of 14 children in Afghanistan with no apologies for blood on our hands.  At the same time we show great empathy and caring for our own victims who most likely died at the hands of a crazy person, ala Tim McViegh.  It seems wrong.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dem Governor's Primary

The New Mexico Governor's Democratic Primary is thankfully getting some more potential  candidates now that Senator Linda Lopez and Senator Tim Keller are considering entering the contest.  This is a good thing because Attorney General Gary King certainly needs some one to poke him in the eye to see if he reacts.

Linda Lopez's claim to fame will be the refusal of her Senate Committee to give the Governor's Education Secretary an up or down vote after two  years of endless and unnecessary delay and pontification.  Ms. Skandera has been treated unfairly by Lopez and the committee.  But is that enough for anyone to notice Lopez in a positive way?  Hardly.

Senator Time Keller is a charismatic and youthful leader who sits left of center.  He is hard working and not so full of dogma that he can't compromise once in a while.  He might make a pretty good candidate if he can raise some money.  I hope he can.

At the very least this will all liven the primary and will get the juices flowing.  That is positive all the way around.  At least some of these candidates act like grownups!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Missile Range or Renewables?

The Defense Department doesn't like the alignment of the SunZia power line that will carry renewable power.  They say it will harm the White Sands Missile Range even though it is well north of the active range.  The planning process has been exhaustive and now there are threats from self appointed defense guru Sherman McCorkle that the range will leave NM if Defense doesn't get its way.  What a crock?  Where would they go?  What other state has the space or stamina for going through NEPA qualifications etc. to get the range?

What is really more frustrating is the comments of Senator Tom Udall, the sometimes master of fence sitting on issues.  Here is what the Journal quoted him as saying,

Saying WSMR has a “diverse and important mission,” Udall said he has urged the cooperating agencies to work together for a “timely and fair resolution concerning WSMR and SunZia we can all benefit from.” 

What the hell does that mean?  Does he have a position?  Come on Tom!  Man  up a little.  You are on the appropriations committee.  Defense will most likely do what you want and deep down you know the power line is more important to the future than some missile shots.

Senator Heinrich was more forthcoming.  

"Heinrich said the siting process has been “deliberate, transparent and comprehensive. I am excited that this proposal is on the verge of moving from the planning phase to actual construction.” 

That sounds like support for the hard right of way decision for the power line.  He takes a position.  And it is the right one.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Still Moving Around

My big sister Carlota just returned from a month long sojourn to Peru.  She visited the desert, the Amazon, Cuzco and Machu Picchu.  She did a lot of hiking around on the new hip she got last year.  I hope I am getting around that well at 70.  


Why does everyone blame the Government for our unemployment problems?  I tend to do it sometimes too, especially when government makes absolutely no effort to make things better.(Think Governor Martinez here.)

But really, it is our much over rated American corporations that are responsible.  Right now  they are sitting on mountains of cash.  They have abandoned research and development in the favor of the bottom line.  They have cut employees and forced those remaining to work harder for less. And they sit there and say they can't do anything until they get some certainty in the economy which many of them helped wreck in the first place.  They hate government regulation and interference but they sit around and blame government for not fixing things.

The big missing item here is, of course, the media which feeds this self sustaining loop.  They constantly attack government but never attack their advertisers.  For the most part journalism is dead in this country.  It was the one thing we had watching our backs for a long time.  But nor more.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Memo to NM Dem Leaders

It is all there waiting for you.  First there is the really bad news on the declining work force in New Mexico.  Thousands are just giving up looking for decent jobs and either moving out of state or becoming couch potatoes.  And what jobs there are pay a pittance minimum wage that the Chamber of Commerce and Governor Susana Martinez guaranteed with her veto of a raise in that wage.  This state is consuming itself in poverty while the Governor gets ready to have a $10,000 a person fund raiser at a trendy spa in Taos for her corporate supporters to hand over the cash.

This is what prospective Democratic party chairman should be talking about.  Constantly!  But, Martinez continues to get a break on criticism.  Here is an idea.  One of the TV News Stations should demand a one hour interview in prime time with her hosted by an economist, a reporter, and an unemployed person so they can try and elicit some answers from her on the current state of affairs.  I think then people would realize just how much she is in over her head.  And the TV station should do a ten second story every night on how the Governor has refused to go in front of a large TV audience to explain what she intends to do.  Every night.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Pete Dinelli called me yesterday to state that he had very little support from the Labor Unions in getting his signatures and $5 contributions for public financing in his Mayor's race.  He said they were worried about getting backlash from the NM Legislature as the attempted to fix the Public Employees Retirement system.  He said he hired a professional organizer to over see the successful effort.  He said the city sent him his $360K finance funds immediately

 The big question is the amount of outside independent PAC money will be injected into the race.  It could be huge.

Salt Lake

I am off to Salt Lake City for a meeting of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Board.  I have to say that being on a Wilderness advocacy board in Utah is like being an atheist at a Christian fundamentalist church gathering.  It is pretty much a hard road to travel given the inclinations of the Utah Legislature who have just appropriated $3 million dollars to sue the United States to get all public land turned over to the state.  These guys are incredibly stupid.  And they keep getting worse.  I have been on this board for over 20 years and the political scene in Utah just gets weirder and weirder.

The magnificent landscapes of Utah are under real threats due to the legislature and counties attempting to claim rights of way for non existent roads through every park, wilderness study area and monument. Thousands of roads.  All at the behest of the oil, gas and mining industries.   Groups like the Alliance fight back and use the courts and public opinion to fight the craziness.  It is great to be part of this fight. I have been doing it for twenty years now.  It is a fight that is seemingly endless.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Albuquerque Mayor's Race

I was surprised that Pete Dinelli collected all those $5 contributions to get him public financing.  It showed some organization and cohesiveness to do it.  I am not sure who helped, but my guess is the Union folks did.  There is nothing wrong with that since the corporate boys and right wing Chamber of Commerce will be with Mayor Berry.  It was also a cheap way for the Union guys to help a candidate.  Now they wont need to pony up any money now that Pete has his pubic financing.

He will most assuredly be greatly outspent.  That could spell disaster for the ability to get in the public's face.  All Berry will have to do is outspend the former Marty Chavez ally by having independent pacs and others do a job on Pete.

Still, there is a way to victory for Dinelli, but it might be pretty much out of his hands on designing such a path to a happy election night.  Events that can't be foreseen, such as in Councillor Michael Cooks case, can alter the political process quickly and with finality.  It could just be something that Mayor Berry and his managers can not foresee.  But right now, I think the odds are 4-1 for Berry.  But that could change overnight.  And, my odds making really don't work well.  I didn't think Pete could get the  required thousands of  $5 contributions.  He deserves some respect on that accomplishment.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Governor Martinez, probably at the behest of her oil and gas supporters, vetoed a Photo Voltaic array for the Capitol Building parking structure in Santa Fe.  The legislature voted for it.  It would have been the right thing to do, but she would rather support fossil fuel consumption and their corporate tax breaks.  This is the kind of leadership that will literally cook New Mexico. It is shortsighted and stupid.

The Albuquerque Journal did what they always do in their edition today.  Instead of putting a picture of former GOP Governor Gary Johnson on the front page story detailing the ripping off of the state on his much vaunted financial deal  on construction of the 550 highway to Farmington with the Koch brothers, they inexplicably put a picture of Governor Richardson on the front page.  Richardson had absolutely nothing to do with that project between  the extreme right wing Koch boys and the highway department.  Richardson did refinance the bonds later on, but that is standard practice.  This is a perfect example of why you can not trust the Journal to report fairly and accurately their stories.  I will bet you a million that the editor forced the picture of Richardson on to the front page.  Well, it wont matter in another ten years.  This newspaper wont be around anymore if circulation continues to drop as young people turn to other avenues for news in ever growing numbers.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Democracy at Work

A friend of mine had an interesting idea on how to deal with the NRA and other right wing groups.  Just get a campaign together to have millions of people who don't think we need assault rifles to join the NRA and then get a vote called to oust the current boards and CEOs.  Then pursue the reasonable firearm policies that most sensible countries have.  Or at least the eradication of assault rifles and implementation of universal background checks.

I think some organization out there could pull this off over a couple of years.  The NRA has only 4.5 million members.  If another five million moderate members are added then the days of Wayne la Pierre and his ilk are numbered in those groups.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


So, UNM will run after Steve Alford and spend money and time in their legal department.  They want $1 million from him.   Ultimately, will we get in a fight with UCLA's legal department?  That is a great use of time for institutions of higher learning, isn't it?  This is a fight hardly worth having.  It is really looking to me as a form of punishment meted out by an incompetent Athletics department.  It takes the heat off of them.

The oil and gas industry is funding another right wing conservative educational group in New Mexico whose name is GOAL.  Their goal is to fight endangered species listing that get in the way of the fossil fuel boys hunger for profits.  This group will spend money on the media blaming certain of Nature's creatures with destroying human jobs and values.  Watch for their weekly opeds in the oil and gas controlled Albuquerque Journal.

I have to say the Journal has been doing a pretty good job of straight news coverage lately.  Not wide ranging, but certainly focused.  I have also noticed lots of full page ads in the paper recently.  Many of them from that giant new liquor warehouse on the west side.  Their ad might accidentally end up in the section with pictures of drunk drivers someday.  That would be funny.  Especially since the Journal is somewhat focused on DUI issues.  When our kids and spouses were home last week I only saw one of them pick up a newspaper once.  It was the New York Times.  They get most of their content from the internet and NPR.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Different Standards

Manny Aragon got what he deserved when he was sent to prison for corruption.  His multi million dollar kickbacks from the construction of the metro court in Albuquerque was extreme.  But somehow, as we discussed at coffee the other day, it seems less serious than former Senator Pete Domenici abandoning a child he fathered, keeping it a secret from the public, his children and his wife for decades.  A child who grew up with out a father because of political protection for a republican known as St. Pete who the GOP needed to keep in place.

The rush to eradicate the name of Manny Aragon from the Hispanic Cultural Center was quick and decisive.  Any thought of doing the same to the Domenici name who threw away a child hasn't even been brought up.  His name graces the US Federal Court House.  A supposed place of Justice.  Except when it comes to his name.  Why the different treatment?  Most probably it is because of race.  That is all I can come up with.

 I started thinking about this again today when I saw that formerly disgraced republican Governor Sanford of South Carolina won his primary for congress.   The fact that those GOP voters wanted him back shows a different standard from the one they espouse on family values.  Maybe when all the women vote in the general election he will get handed his Appalachian hiking hat.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


She is coated with it.  Teflon.  Here is what the Governor has done in the last few days.

Lowered taxes for corporations.
Raised taxes on poor and working people by causing cities to raise taxes on them.
Told gay people they aren't worthy of marriage.(Along with New Mexico's Catholic Bishops.)
Vetoed the minimum wage increase for the Chamber of Commerce.

Susanah Martinez gets away this kind of behavior because people just don't pay attention.   Corporate moneybags keep her and her right wing mascots in good standing.  Along with the media mostly doing inane positive stories on her.  Such as her hiring 40 fire fighters for the upcoming conflagrations.  Well, that just might be the culmination of her job creation efforts.

Monday, April 01, 2013


I have been getting some real wacko comments lately on the Mary Han case as well as some constructive ones.  It all points to one thing for me.  The Department of Justice must step in and investigate Mary Han's untimely death.  So far the bizarre actions of the Albuquerque Police Department at the scene would make one very concerned that a proper investigation was not done.  The City Attorney should definitely ask for an independent review of the case from top to bottom.  Already, the national media is showing interest in this story and it could be that our city will end up with another black eye.  But really, at the end of the day we must all know that the Justice system and its backups are working.  So far as Mary's death, they don't seem to be.

Where were the Mayor's lobbyists during the Legislative session?  I can only assume that they didn't know about the screw job done to Albuquerque in the tax reform bill that cut taxes for corporations and raised them on the poor and working folks.  Or, they were ordered by the Mayor and City Council to ignore it.  Or, as happens many times, Albuquerque's own legislators did not stand up for the well being of their home districts.  No matter what happened, they all failed us.

There is something else that has been bothering me.  The legislature has enacted law that will do away with the automatic 3% cost of living raise for public employee retirees.  I understand it was necessary for a while.  But at the same time they ignore the actions of the County Commissions and Assessors in automatically raising property taxes 3% a year.  Shouldn't they be put on a diet too?  Just asking, that is all.

Finally, we had a great week with our kids and grandson Simon.  Justin, Karly and Simon flew away from the Juniper pollen yesterday.  Daughter Noelle and Luke flew back to Colorado Juniper pollen in Fort Collins.  We went to Costco to buy a bale of Kleenex to get us through the next few weeks.