Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cool Cat

Jerry the Cat has a favorite place in the garage when the cold weather rolls in. He sits next to the boiler on the hot water heating system we have. (The best kind of heat so far as I know. No dust or blowing hot air around.) Jerry's next favorite place to stay warm is on the hood of the car when I leave it in the garage.

Can't Stand Success

The Albuquerque Journal seems to be doing everything possible to put Eclipse Aviation into a a controversial light. Every time there is a delay or glitch in delivery of the Eclipse 500 Jet the Journal jumps on the story like a cheetah on a gazelle. I can't figure out this kind of journalism at our daily newspaper sometimes. Granted, there are some public funds involved in making the Eclipse 500 possible through city and state tax incentives. It was always seen as a good risk if the start up aviation company could get its plane off the ground. This little 1.3 million dollar jet has a backlog of orders and will be a success. This company started from the ground up on the design and build of this aircraft and have experienced the same kind of problems any aircraft manufacturer does when building a new concept airplane.

The Publisher of the Journal himself flies a Falcon 200 business jet which probably had the same kind of delays and problems in its design phase. (The Journal publisher often uses his jet for charitable flights). I know a guy who bought a new Falcon 900EZ that also had lots of delays but is now very successful.

Lets give success a chance and cheer on this great little airplane and the company that showed faith in Albuquerque and its labor force.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Marty's Progressive Move

Mayor Marty Chavez, perhaps looking forward to a US Senate or Governor's race has been slapped down on his progressive streetcar proposal. I hope he doesn't let the reaction to this idea stop him from turning to left center a little more. Of course, the Albuquerque Journal will bury this proposal in negative stories and any vote on it will not be successful. I have to admit even some of my left leaning friends feel 270 million dollars for a "Nob Hill Streetcar" probably wont fly with west side voters. Selling this to the voters will be difficult. When the original transportation tax was passed during my term as Mayor the first polls showed it passing with about a 65% margin. After the right wing city councillors, were done complaining to the newspapers and talk shows it passed by about 1%, but it did pass and we have had almost ten years of successful transportation and transit projects. About 20% of those revenues went directly into the transit system. We had tried to get a larger share, but the Council wouldn't buy it. Now, the entire tax is being proposed for transit which seems like a good idea to me. When gasoloine is up to $5 a gallon in a few years this will really pay off.

I would advise the Mayor and City Council to complete a truly effective grid system for bus service throughout the city. I think once that is done the Streetcar proposal would probably fly. I still like the concept and have seen it work in Salt Lake City where often it is standing room only on their system.

Now, if we can just convince the naysayers in Santa Fe that the Rail Runner won't ruin their lives we will have made real progress on transportation in the Middle Rio Grande corridor.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Transition II

I attended the session regarding alternative and renewable energy at the Governor's Energy and Environment Transition meeting this morning. It was a good session and the Team listened to a nice mix of comments on the need to push into new frontiers when it comes to new forms of energy. It was all there, clean coal, nuclear, wind, biomass and geothermal. No one got up to represent the oil and gas industry.

Tax incentives seem to be seen as a major tool by many in affecting positive progress for renewable energy development. Oil companies have been getting lots of those in the last few years by ultimately not being charged windfall profits tax. So they better not complain. Yes, they still pay for a lot of stuff in our state through their taxes. They also pay a lot for taking state owned oil and gas, which is not a tax. The fact of the matter is that someone has to be thinking hard about how New Mexico will fund its government once the oil and gas guys are relegated to the dust bin of history. Those taxes and royalties will have to be replaced somehow if state government is to continue to function. In just a few years as production slips we might see some of its effects, although volatile and higher oil and gas prices might put that off for a while.

We need to think hard on this issue for the sake of our educational system in this state. Kids who are entering kindergarten next year will be facing this crunch by the time they are seniors in high school. Not much time.

Transition Teams

I am going to drop by the Governor's Energy and Environment Transition Team meeting today in Albuquerque. I am hopeful it will concentrate on renewable and alternative energy issues, which the Governor has already signed onto big time.

I am reading a book titled "The End of Oil" by Paul Roberts right now. It is a sobering look at our planet's energy consumption and supplies and it really makes clear that the oil industry's future is not bright. That is not because they are inefficient at what they do, it is because the worlds supply of oil and its production has peaked and may well just dribble away within thirty years.

China's demands for oil and energy in the next twenty years alone will surpass today's total worldwide production of oil.

In the meantime we in New Mexico have to figure out, while there is still time, how our state government will function with little or no oil revenues in the future.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Remains of the Day

Bobbi and Noelle look over the remains of the day at my brother Tom's house. It was a large family gathering.I recovered enough from the stomach flu to help with the feast. I notice though that all of us older family members really don't eat that much anymore.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Stomach flu, high fever, nausea, and generally discomfort for the last 24 hours. It could be worse.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Street Car

The Albuquerque Journal is starting to do its thing on the Mayor's proposed streetcar for Central Avenue along Albuquerque's core area. They are calling for a vote on the project, which is probably fine, but they will likely turn this into a controversial project which will ultimately go down to defeat if it is voted on.

I remember when I was Mayor and we passed the original transportation tax in 1998. Many of the republican city councillors fought the tax but it ended up passing by 700 votes. These were the same guys that fought building the Isoptopes Stadium a couple of years later. One of them was Greg Payne, who is now a big supporter of the streetcar initiative now that he is Transit director for the city. He originally ran for the city council on an anti tax platform, now he is promoting this new tax without going to a vote.

I think this project is an interesting one and that if the economics are there it should be built. It will certainly have to prove itself against expanding Rapid Ride Services throughout the city. Thirty years from now when we are out of oil an existing infrastructure for mass transit will look really visionary. Thirty years isn't that long folks.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Leaving PV

Bobbi got the Iguana off my head so we can come home now.

This was my favorite picture of the trip. These ladies were reading the wisdom on the grafitti wall in Yelapa.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Downtown Puerto Vallarta is like many Mexican cities we have visited. The streets are narrow and the space is used everywhere. It is like wrestling in some ways, every thing crammed together looking for an advantage. We spotted these wrestling masks off the Malecon in the flea market. The interesting thing about this town is that it is a young town. Up until the famous movie ´Night of the Iguana¨there was not much here. Rodger Beimer and I figured out we are 60% of the age of this place.

Now, I marvel at the amount of concrete that is set here everyday in the large hotel and condo developments north of the city. Bobbi and I are actually thinking of buying part of one of these condos down here, but I truly worry about the effects of global warming in places like this. It is approaching Thanksgiving and it is still very hot here. Even the real estate guys admit it. The ocean water in the Bay of Banderas is warm as bath water and to really cool off you need to jump in a swimming pool.

I was thrilled today to see that Senator Bingaman and others have sent a letter to bush saying that they are serious about the Congress enacting real global warming legislation. Lets hope it is not too late. While here, I have been reading a book, ¨Transcendence ¨by one of my favorite scifi authors, Stephen Baxter. The novel is set in two different times. One in 2040, and the other 500,000 years in the future. It describes in numbing detail what we can expect from global warming. Read it if you get the chance.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Trimaran, Jungle, Waterfalls and Headaches

We had another good day with a trip to Yelapa on the southern part of Banderas Bay . It is a small village reachable only by watercraft. It is in the jungle and has about 2,000 residents. It was a long ride to and from the village but the company was good and bar was open.

We hiked up into the town and jungle to see this nice waterfall.

When we got back down I had this Iguana on my head. I hate it when this happens.

The village had a graffiti wall with some truths written thereon. Uh, I know what your thinking.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

PV Again

The lack of stress is great and I recommend it for everyone. This is a small beach out side of Pat and Debs second condo which is South of Puerto Vallarta.

They did great work on it. Bobbi and I will have their main place to ourselves since they leave for Albuquerque today. Tomorrow we go to a small isolated village named Yelapa via catamaran. It should be fun.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


We are hanging out on the beach and genuinely enjoying ourselves. Seafood, Margaritas, Spa and beachtime. It is amusing seeing all of the Americans pouring into Puerto Vallarta, (Canadians too) and then think of this stupid 2,000 mile fence some want to erect at the border. Lets get this straight! We are bringing in millions of dollars a day to places like this, and then we borrow it back from Mexico to finance our deficit caused by bushs war, and then we want to build the fence to keep our bankers out. How wierd is that?

Now we are off to see a sunset.

Monday, November 13, 2006


We got here to Puerto Vallarta on time and ready to relax. We started with some of Pat and Debbys $90 Tequila. Yes, that is Rodger and Bobbi trying some out. We then took time to go down to the Malecon for the traditional Sunday evening walk with Mexican families and dinner at a place called the Blue Shrimp. It was a great evening. Beachtime today.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Turn Them Off

We leave early in the morning for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We are staying with Albuquerque friends who have nice accommodations down there. Everyone that goes down there seems to end up owning a condo or a time share, maybe we will too someday. I understand my cell phone will work there and I will blog from the Internet cafe.

I liked the story in the Journal today on those political speed traps. You know, the cameras that Mayor Chavez and his police department have spread around town. I wouldn't mind them so much except they seem to use these cameras to do more than catch light runners. A case in point are the stories on Lt. Governor Denish's photos being splashed in the papers. Now, how did that happen? Did the police chief give orders to watch for politicians cars being caught? Or did the Mayor, who might be running against the Lt. Governor in four years? Really, who cares? Except if you have made someone angry at APD, the Mayor's Office, or the City Council you might just end up on the front page too. OK, it isn't right to run the yellow light. We have all done it though, me included, during inattentive times. But, these cameras are a privacy intrusion at best and a political enemies tool at worst. Turn them off! Catch light runners the old fashion way, with traffic control cops.....not BIG BROTHER!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sleeping Late

As I recover from the grueling campaign and Bobbi from her major surgery we are enjoying getting some sleep time. We didn't get up this morning until 7:30am. I have already started my diet program and getting back into the aerobics and weights. Thirty pounds has to go. Anyway the sleep time was great. Reading the Journal was not. I am really upset that Patsy Madrid has probably lost her race to Halliburton Heather.

Stop and think about what happened here. Last October 3rd the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and their master Yates Petroleum of Artesia decided to break with tradition and endorse candidates. The two they endorsed were Heather Wilson and Pat Lyons. That certainly pumped a lot more oil money into their campaigns. I was surprised to see how much more money Wilson spent on TV than Patsy. That turned the tide against Patsy, just like it did to me.

Tomorrow we pack to go to Puerto Vallarta for a week. Then we come back and I will figure out what to do next. Probably some consulting having to do with solar and alternative energy production. Now that we have Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall in charge of the right committees we might actually make progress and minimize the oil companies stranglehold on this country. I might be willing to dedicate the rest of my life to that.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Trash Day and Newspapers

It will be clean out time at the office today. Campaign offices are really like Newspaper and TV News Rooms. Scattered and messy, but the nice thing is that most everything except the financial records can go into a trashcan. We don't really have much to do except bring home those records and a computer. We ran out of signs, literature, stationary, stickers and everything thing else that campaigns use as cannon fodder. Of course, we ran out of money before all of that. I still feel good that we didn't take oil money.

Speaking of newsrooms above there is interesting news in the Washington Post this morning about more Editors at major daily newspapers quitting their jobs rather than firing journalists to increase the bottom line for their mostly ultra conservative owners. Those editors are making last stands in the demise of the newspaper as the dominant information disseminator. I think I know why this is happening and I can describe how it works in our house.

I get up every morning and on the way to the kitchen to turn on the espresso machine I turn on the computer. I go out to pick up Jerry the Cat, the Albuquerque Journal and New York Times from the driveway. I come back in and make the lattes for Bobbi and me. I sit down for five minutes to scan the Journal's front and state pages. I then spend 40 minutes checking out my favorite Internet news sources and blogs. I get to the Times in the evenings. Think about that formula. I am spending a lot more time on the Internet than the newsprint. I think a lot of people are doing that.

I still love to read the newspaper and always will, but I can get away from the Journal's never changing presentation and Editorial stands by surfing the net for variety. The Times is a pleasure to read because of its writing. Suggestion to the Journal....Allow comments on your stories on the Internet and you will up your readership. Here is an interesting report on the Journal's newsroom makeup and other demographics.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thanks to Everyone who Helped

Thanks to everyone who helped during the campaign. The list is long so I won't mention names because I would forget someone. I do want to thank our dedicated staff, Mike Davis my campaign manager, Phil Muller our mail consultant, Dolores Martinez our office manager and Maria Zannes our media person. They all worked very hard to turn the Land Office into a progressive agency that looks to the future. I believe you will see some of our ideas working their way through the legislature in the next two years.

We have some debt, not a lot. About 20K I think. You can help Bobbi and I eradicate it with one last contribution to the campaign. You can donate online here, or mail a donation to Jim Baca for Land Commissioner, PO Box 7514, Albuquerque, NM 87104.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mostly Oil Money

We ran a good race against special interest money. In the end I just couldn't run the kind of negative ads that my opponent ran. I wouldn't have wanted his wife and children to see something like that, as mine did. Noelle and Bobbi saw the ad for the first time a few days after she had surgery. Noelle had come home to care for Bobbi while I was on the road. They saw it and were so upset they didn't tell me about it for a whole day. Since I wasn't watching TV because I was on the road I didn't really know what he was doing with that oil money that was showered on him.

We put forth progressive ideas for the Land Office that takes into account more than the oil companies desires to drill anywhere and everywhere they want. I am very hopeful that others will pursue those ideas in the legislature. We certainly owe it to the people who will inherit these lands.

So, I will be retired for a while to recuperate from this year long ordeal. Then I will do some consulting to make enough money for Bobbi and I to travel on. That sounds pretty good to us. Bobbi was really great during the campaign and we will travel this week to Puerto Vallarta. Things will look better then after a few margaritas and novels on the beach!

Just Go Vote

I will be working the streets today. Yesterday we were in Artesia, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Raton and Taos. Great Democratic Rallies in every one. Taos will be the ticket's banner county.

Take 10 friends to the polls today and take back our country by taking back our congress. They should definitely vote for me too.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Train Ride and Polls

This is how we spent our day. A really nice train ride from Las Cruces to all points north. Lots of time to talk about the Journal poll which saw my opponents oil and gas money work its magic with negative hateful TV ads. Our lead evaporated at Big Oil poured another $350,000 into my opponents war chest in 30 days. That puts him up to 1.2 million in oil and gas contributions. I took none.

This election is still in play and the strength of the ticket can win a clean sweep for us. These are some of the participants in the the poll on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Moonrise ABQ North Valley 5:03PM

This is the scene outside my home as I arrived tonight about 5PM!

We had a relatively full day of campaigning. Rodger drove me to Santa Fe where I hopped a plane with the Governor to go to Gallup for a get out the vote rally. They put up a big tent at the Flea Market, (one of the biggest flea markets I have ever seen), and we gave some remarks to an enthusiastic crowd of local and Navajo attendees. Then we raced to Albuquerque for two Ralley in the Valley functions with lots of good food and friends. Just about every 2 out of 3 people we see have already voted.

If the Republicans are doing any of these kinds of coordinated campaign things around the state I sure have not noticed them. Tomorrow we Dems take off from the airport for Las Cruces at 5:45am and attend a rally there. Then we pile on the train for stops in Hatch, Socorro, Belen, Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Las Vegas. We should conclude by 10pm tomorrow night. Then home for a few hours sleep before boarding another plane on Monday morning for Hobbs, Artesia, Carlsbad, Raton and Taos. Then it is home for election day.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Last Dash

Schedule includes Gallup, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Hatch, Socorro, Belen, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Las Vegas, Artesia, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Raton, and Taos. This occurs by plane, train and automobile.

We have had a lot of calls from people saying they like the TV Commercial. They also like the new radio spots. Meanwhile, we sweat out the last poll in the Journal to see if the vicious attacks on me have gained traction.

The Rally with President Clinton last night was great. It was attended by about 2500 folks, not the 500 that was reported in the Journal. I was surprised the President remembered me so quickly. His mind was as sharp as ever. He had the audience spellbound as he simply deconstructed every thing involving the bush administration. You could really see the audience's hunger for intellect in its leaders.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

No Negative Vibes


I see in the Journal this morning that Mayor Chavez and the City Council are considering making the transportation tax the voters passed after I campaigned for it as Mayor in 1999 into a permanent tax. I had to take that tax to the voters and after an all out assault by Republican city councillors we ended up winning by about 1000 votes. The tax has modernized our transit system, reinvested in our streets in the older parts of the city, and fixed deficiencies generally around Albuquerque. Mayor Chavez has done a good job of following up on this. Now, because of an improving economy the 1/4 cent tax has ballooned in dollars received and there is talk of a street car system up and down Central Avenue. Go for it!

This is one of the many things I am proud of accomplishing as Mayor, just like Isotopes Stadium and Eclipse Aviation as a major employer. I continue to be assaulted by my opponent for the things I did for my hometown. These are particularly vicious ads that he is running and people say it may now hurt. We will see. I have started a new positive ad for the rest of the campaign. Here is a great column by Jerry Ortiz Y Pino in the Alibi this week. I also received their endorsement today and the endorsement of the Santa Fe Reporter.