Friday, April 29, 2005
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Impact Fees + Living Wage = Poverty
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Richardson Strives to Get Ahead of Trend
Richardson expressed interest in steroid prevention in December, but Latta said as recently as early April the financial and legal issues were likely too complicated to proceed.Well, anyone who has followed the Governor's record knows that he give little weight to financial and legal issues.
Many matters still need to be resolved, Latta said, but the biggest step has now been made - there's money in the vault.It would seem the Governor has outgrown his use of lockboxes and moved onto vaults. If this trend continues, he is going to have to be FDIC insured.
"Richardson wanted this move to be made before steroids got chic," Latta said. "Now it's finally falling into place."Ahh, now we get to the bottomline. It's all about being a trendsetter instead of a follower. Nothing like spending money and creating policy based on what may become chic... Makes you wonder if Governor Richardson is now getting policy advice from Paris Hilton.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Journal Changes Faces of Republican Leadership
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Bad Ideas - Faulty Logic
The New Mexico Activities Association and Gov. Bill Richardson's office have teamed up in recent months to study the legalities and costs of steroid testing in high schools.
Their joint task force has found it to be a complex, costly issue strewn with legal land mines. But Gary Tripp, executive director of the New Mexico Activities Association, and Dennis Latta of the New Mexico Sports Authority remain confident prep steroid testing will happen.
"I believe there will be testing in the next few years," Tripp said. "Now that it's national news, the scope of the problem is just starting to surface."
"There are a lot of legal snags and privacy issues when you're talking about testing someone under 18, but it's really a matter of passing the appropriate laws."
"We've got a lot of things to work out, and it's going to take time," he said. "But the governor badly wants this, and I think it will happen."
The rationale behind this:
"Steroid use is difficult to recognize," Tripp said, "but national surveys say 5 to 6 percent of high school athletes use them.
Well, double this estimate, nearly one in ten 12th graders, use illicit drugs on a monthly basis. So, if schools start this practice of random drug testing of athletes, expect the next step to be drug testing for all students. Yet, another example of the state trying to parent our children.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Been There Done That
Governor Bill Richardson said the state will award $10 million to pay for the creation of 18 career technical-vocational education centers across New Mexico.
Silly me, I thought we already did this in 2004. I wonder where I got that idea. Oh, I know. I got it from the Public Education Department website:
So, what do you think? Does this qualify as deja vu? Jump forward from October 2004 to last Friday:
The Public Education Department (PED) and Commission on Higher Education (CHE) have launched a joint initiative to help high school juniors and seniors transition into college career programs and technical careers. CHE will allocate $10 million in capital funds to plan, design, construct and equip new career-technical centers to be developed in conjunction with existing two-year institutions. PED will allocate $225,000 to the centers in January to launch a vocational high school model at selected sites.
Freaky, it's like entering the twilight zone. Now, I have just one question. Isn't the whole purpose of our high schools "to prepare high school juniors and seniors for the successful completion of high school and the transition into college -- or entry into technical careers?"
"These centers will work toward my goal of keeping New Mexico's young people in New Mexico by helping to create high-wage job opportunities and providing the training required to access those jobs," said Richardson in a news release.
The funds will be used to build 18 state-of-the art centers to prepare high school juniors and seniors for the successful completion of high school and the transition into college -- or entry into technical careers.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Stirring Empty Pots
In a Thursday post, Mr. Joe Monahan claims an exclusive on news that was mass emailed on Monday, and I reiterated on Wednesday. Tsk, tsk. Your readers deserve better than that Joe. I expect the lack of a nod from the Mainstream Media, but we bloggers are supposed to have a code of ethics.
To make matters worse, in the same post Joe dusts off all of the grand conspiracy within the Republican Party ranks nonsense . Since my name is mentioned, I feel obliged to clear this up right now. You see, when I decided to run for office, I did just that. I decided to run for office. I didn't get recruited. What I did was actively seek the advice and support of every Republican I knew (Disclosure: including Karin Foster - she lives in my district), because that's what you do if you want to run for office.
Representative Kathy McCoy did the same, and she did it better than me and won. Although my priorities during this last legislative session would have been different than some of hers, she did a good job, and I imagine she will serve the people of House District 22 well for a number of years. (As long as I'm giving my Representative a positive nod, I should point out that the picture of Gary King that Joe posted does not do Rep. McCoy justice.)
So, this all just makes you have to wonder about the motives of Mr. Monahan. For the record, I've met Joe, and I like Joe. He even gave this blog a boost when I first launched it by mentioning it on his blog, but all the same... Joe you need to stop playing that tired old tune.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Joe was not alone in chasing windmills. Frankly, I found it hard to believe a Representative who is smart enough to introduce my favorite piece of legislation in this past session would join in this chorus.
Let's be real. HD 22 is a strong Republican district that is not going to elect a Democrat for the foreseeable future. That means at some point, you are going to have two or more Republicans running in a primary. If you didn't, there wouldn't be much point in having a Democracy.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Another One Bites the Dust
The chairman of the University of New Mexico's communication and journalism department said he's not concerned that the journalism program will lose its accreditation next fall.
"I don't think the accreditation is a major issue for the university," said department chairman Brad Hall.
The department decided to withdraw its application for accreditation earlier this week, he said, after a campus visit from an accrediting committee.
At the time, this decision was not well received by current or former journalism students. However, it would appear that time has redeemed Dr. Brad Hall. The man is a visionary. Apparently, he saw the writing on the wall. Dr. Hall must have realized that it would be far more important for New Mexico's future journalists to be accredited in public relations or political science.
Since New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson took office two years ago, the state's press corps has seen an exodus of some of its most experienced journalists.
The reason? The Democrat has hired a whopping 21 reporters, editors and producers from newspapers and TV and radio stations around the state to serve in his administration. State political watchers say politicians always recruit a few reporters but describe the number defecting to the Richardson camp as unusual. "It's more than five times the number of reporters who usually get recruited to a new administration," says Dan Vukelich, who covered state politics for the Albuquerque Tribune for more than a decade and is now an independent television producer and writer in Albuquerque.
Now, I can imagine what you're thinking... that's old news. Well, apparently it's not. According to an email Mary Lynn Roper sent me on Monday, here is the latest:
KOAT-TV reporter Nancy Laflin is leaving Action 7 News to be the Music Commissioner for Governor Richardson's administration. We wish her well!
I imagine it can't be long now before Governor Richardson starts bringing bloggers onto the administration's payroll.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Show Me the Money
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Senator Could Learn From Fairy Tale
How about we take a trip down memory lane? Tell me if this rings a bell from your childhood. You're about to get in trouble for doing something you knew you shouldn't do, and you tell the authority figure that catches you that the reason that you [fill in the blank] was because Johnny did it. Now on the count of three, everyone say the response that inevitably came next. 1... 2... 3...
"If Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you?"
We all know the answer to be a resounding, "NO." Yet, in today's world, "Johnny" has been replaced by "Advertising and Marketing." Need proof, consider this from Adage:
Charging that the food industry's goal is to get children to eat unhealthy foods, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa also mocked the industry's attempt at self-regulating its advertising messages aimed at children.
Standing in a Capitol Hill hearing room behind a long table crammed with food and toy products featuring characters such as Shrek, Spider-Man and even Barbie clad in a McDonald's uniform, Mr. Harkin held up a book titled The Oreo Counting Book: 10 to 1 Is so Much Fun and called the marketing efforts by the food industry "obscene."
“We got rid of Joe Camel. We’ve got to get rid of Shrek,” he said, holding large pictures of both.
Apparently, Senator Harkin believes the food industry to be the equivalent of the witch in the Grimm Brother's Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. An industry made up of wicked witches whose only desire is to fatten America's children for their own gain.
However, if the good Senator were to read the fairy tale closely, he would realize that the truly evil character was not the witch, who was just doing what witches do, it was the woodcutter's wife who put the children in harms way.
Parents and caretakers of children are responsible for their children and the food they eat, not the food purveyors. The latter do what vendors do, they sell. If the buyers were demanding healthy foods, the sellers would supply healthy foods. This is a fundamental principle of the economy that fuels our democracy.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Governor Richardson's Predatory Tax Policy
New Hampshire has the first presidential primary in the nation, while Iowa has the first caucus.
New Mexico is among a growing group of states that has the third-nomination contest. Several presidential hopefuls have already visited New Hampshire to test the waters for the 2008 race.
"I'm going to run for reelection, and who knows beyond that," said Richardson. "I've received a lot of invitations from around the country, and New Hampshire. I'm curious to see what kind of reaction I'll get there."
Ok, let me restate that. Apparently, everyone knows that except for our "humble" Governor. Now, how much do you want to bet that when Richardson speaks to the good folks in New Hampshire, he talks about the "tax cutting" he is doing in New Mexico. I wonder if he'll give all of the gory details:
Although certain individuals and businesses will get tax relief, the bill signed by Richardson on Monday will provide a net increase in revenues for the state in the next two fiscal years [emphasis added]. It becomes a net revenue reduction for the state in the 2008 budget year, according to a bill analysis by the Taxation and Revenue Department.
How convenient? A tax deduction that increases revenue (always thought that was called a tax increase). This kind of counter-intuitive money management seems awfully familiar...
Oh, I know. It's just like a Payday loan.
Now, if I remember this correctly from the Attorney General Madrid's television ads, the way this works is individuals get a short-term advance to spend money that they don't have. The result being that in a very short period of time they find themselves in a cycle of ever-increasing debt that practically guarantees they will end up in bankruptcy. Opponents of this practice were very adamant during the last legislation that this "predatory lending" must be stopped.
I wonder how they feel about Governor Richardson predatory tax policy?
Monday, April 04, 2005
The Results of Bigger Government
Passed: Nearly $4.7 billion budget providing more than 6 percent spending increase on public education and general government. More than $30 million for initiatives of legislators and governor. Financing for about $470 million in capital improvements statewide. Allow state permanent fund investments in fine art and musical instruments.
Failed: Constitutional amendment to impose limits on state government spending increases.
This is followed by an equally impressive expansion of government at the local level:
The proposal from Mayor Martin Chávez calls for nearly $447 million in general-fund spending during the fiscal year that begins July 1. It covers the basic operations of most city departments.
The budget would be an increase of about 11 percent, compared with this year's estimated spending. Inflation during the past year has been 3 percent, based on the most recent figures for the Consumer Price Index. The budget growth is largely due to an increase in gross-receipts tax revenue.
And then the news regarding the unemployment rate:
Albuquerque's jobless rate jumped to 5.4 percent in February, up from January's rate of 4.9 percent. Boyd cautioned that the new model may account for some of that big jump.
"Caution should be used when interpreting large month-to-month movements in the labor force, with more emphasis given to over-the-year changes and long-term trends," Boyd said.
Albuquerque saw expansion in eight of its 12 major industry groups, with the government sector seeing the most growth.
Since last year at this time, the Albuquerque area has added 7,100 jobs, for a 1.9 percent growth rate.
The Las Cruces area's jobless rate rose to 6.1 percent in February, up from 5.6 percent in January.
The Santa Fe area saw its unemployment rate jump to 4.5 percent in February, up from January's rate of 4.1 percent.
Oh yeah, and we find out despite all of the increases in government jobs and increased education spending our children (subscription) still score below the national average.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Lawless Abandonment from State Engineer
Gov. Bill Richardson and the state's top water boss will use their administrative powers to limit new domestic wells after the failure of legislation to accomplish the same goal.
"We will do something," said Bill Hume, Richardson's senior policy adviser. "The governor's serious. The question's not if but how."
You read that right. The Governor and State Engineer have been unable to pass bills (subscription) for the last two years to steal water rights from New Mexico citizens, so they are going to just administratively rob us of them. Now, someone remind me why they haven't been able to pass these bills....
D'Antonio said he has talked to legislators who support domestic well limits but didn't want to anger their constituents by voting for the bills.
Oh right, because it is against the will of the majority of the people, and if legislators did that, they would find themselves out of the office. Well, apparently the State Engineer and Governor Richardson have decided no need to let democracy stop them.
By the way, if water rights were money, it would be 100% accurate to say that the Governor and the State Engineer have targeted the poorest. In other words, those who use the least amount of water are the ones these officials want to fleece. It's kind of like Robin Hood in reverse, don't you think?