Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
What a Goof
Always wondered what in the world would posses a Senator from Nevada to spend money to put a billboard on I-40 in Albuquerque. Well, now I know... he is off his rocker. This was reported today by John Fund in Opinion Journal's Political Diary (subscription):
Is Senator Harry Reid all that swift when it comes to U.S. Intelligence matters? Last Wednesday, the Minority Leader appeared on KRNV-TV's "Nevada Newsmakers" program and dropped a stunning revelation. He had been informed just that day that Osama bin Laden was killed in the giant earthquake last month. "I heard that Osama bin Laden died in the earthquake, and if that's the case, I certainly wouldn't wish anyone harm, but if that's the case, that's good for the world."
Intelligence analysts tell me that the only proper action by a top U.S. Senate leader who has been given such information is radio silence. If the report is true, such information is best released at a moment of the government's choosing. For one thing, as long as the information is tightly held, it can be used to sift out electronic intercepts that might lead to other Al Qaeda leaders. On the other hand, if Mr. Reid's public speculation proves groundless, it only embarrasses the and contributes to enemy morale. Here's hoping Al Qaeda figures aren't soon appearing on Al Jazeera television chortling about the clueless Mr. Reid.
With irresponsible behavior like this from Democratic leaders, it is no wonder that Congresswoman Heather Wilson came to the conclusion that an intelligence probe would serve as a distraction (subscription).
New Kid on the Blog
Monday, November 28, 2005
USCC Wants to Tax Hybrids
Six Figure Bus Driver
Does this concern Gail Reese, the city of Albuquerque's chief financial officer?
Reese said department directors have "a fair amount of flexibility in deciding how they spend their budgets to meet their goals. The point is that nobody overspent (on personnel). ... That tells me the directors are doing a good job at managing the money."
Well, Ms. Reese's response tells me that she is NOT doing a good job. Even if you paid a city bus driver $25,605 per year, fifty percent greater than the national average, you would still only spend $76,815 to hire three bus drivers to cover a 24 hour shift. That means the city could be saving the taxpayers nearly 30 percent on this position. How anyone could come to the conclusion that an operating director who spends 30% more than needed is doing a good job is beyond me.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Just the Beginning
Governor Richardson has a consistent track record of confusing the facts when it comes to his own performance. However, maybe this latest admission of truth signifies that the Governor is going to turn over a new leaf and start the fessing up to other inaccuracies fed to the media. If so, you can expect to read the following in forthcoming issues of New Mexico's newspapers:
Informed by the newspaper of its findings, the governor acknowledged the error in a story in Thursday's editions.
"After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's," Richardson said. He said he had believed it was true based on an old program from an amateur team he had played for in Massachusetts.
- "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I was not a tax-cutting Governor," Richardson said.
- "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I have not improved education for the children of New Mexico," Richardson said.
- "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I have not improved the DWI situation in our state," Richardson said.
- "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I should not have bought a jet," Richardson said.
- "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I am not focused on serving a second term as Governor of New Mexico," Richardson said.
- "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I colluded with the Attorney General to keep an indicted State Treasurer on the payroll ," Richardson said.
As always, feel free to add in the comments section any other conclusions that Governor Richardson might reach after researching the matter.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
All Politics is Local
Monday, November 21, 2005
Richardson says, "I'm NOT Telling."
Last weekend Gov. Bill Richardson flew to a southern California luxury development for a golf tournament held to raise cash for his 2006 gubernatorial re-election bid.
How much did he score? Richardson won't tell New Mexicans how much was raised until May.
Why? Because he doesn't want to. And because he doesn't have to. State law doesn't require the information be made public until the first campaign finance reporting deadline.
You've got to wonder, "What is Governor Richardson thinking?" Doesn't he realize that the whole Treasurer scandal revolves around campaign extortions by elected officials from California businessmen. Now I'm not saying that the Governor is extorting money in return for political favors; however, in light of the current crisis of confidence in New Mexico, you would think he might be a little more forthcoming with the donor list. Is that too much to ask?
Friday, November 18, 2005
Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself
Gordon Glass, Democratic Party Chair for San Juan County, said he felt Richardson's legacy would be a positive one.
"This is a person who has built around him a highly skilled staff," Glass said.
He added Richardson's national and international profile has helped raise the awareness of New Mexico as a political player.
"That's put New Mexico on the map. I think it's been nothing but positive that he's a national figure and an international figure," Glass said.
Yup, that about sums it up. The Governor has added staff, and spent most of his time on PR. Gotta love the Democratic system of success metrics. Education continues to slide, government spending is out of control, and we have just as many people living in poverty. But hey, isn't it wonderful that our Governor is "a national figure and an international figure?"
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Forcing Artificial Wages
[Jeff Vander Wolk] said Sage Inn's employee rolls have been as low as 12 and only once this summer reached 25 - the threshold for qualifying for the local minimum-wage ordinance.Let's review... numbers of employees fluctuate with seasonal changes. Instead of laying off employees, management allows them to enter gainful employment at another establishment. However, due to the misguided ordinance in place, confusion and unneccesary tension between staff and management occurs.
If the [profit sharing] system were instituted at Sage Inn, Vander Wolk said, all of its employees soon could be making more than the local minimum wage. But he acknowledged bonuses would be contingent on Sage Inn turning a profit. Currently, he said, Sage Inn runs a 27-percent occupancy and is "losing their shirt."
Responding to Vander Wolk, Carol Oppenheimer of the Living Wage Network commended the Inn of the Governors for paying more than minimum wage and said she supports profit sharing. But she said Sage Inn should have provided a clear translation of the proposal to its Spanish-speaking employees . She also said people told her that Inn of the Governors housekeepers are working sideby-side with Sage Inn housekeepers .
- The requirements of the ordinance actually make it more attractive to layoff employees rather than keep them working.
- The ordinance encourages paying the employees the minimum rather than institute profit sharing where they could potentially make more than the minimum.
Folks, this is reality. If a company doesn't make money, there is no entitlement to any particular wage. The only job that guarantees pay without profit is a government job.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Don't Rewrite History
Monday, November 14, 2005
See a Man About a Horse
Now at this time in my life we lived in a townhouse in South Jersey. I was probably about six the first time he told me this, and that first time I actually believed him. In fact, I started to imagine what life was going to be like after he brought the horse home. Unfortunately, there was no horse.
So, the next occasion he had to go "see a man about a horse," I wasn't quite as believing. By the third or fourth time, even though I was only six years old, there was no doubt in my mind there was no man with a horse, and I just started getting annoyed with that response. Eventually, my Dad stopped using it.
I hope Governor Richardson that you can learn something from my trip down memory lane. It's time you started being truthful about your reasons for leaving home. We might have believed you the first time that you were just "going to see a man about a horse," but now it is becoming insulting. Especially, when we keep being confronted by the truth a day or so later.
Friday, November 11, 2005
APS Needs to Put Students First
The Albuquerque school board may impose a moratorium on any new charter schools until it is clear where money for buildings will come from.
In a special meeting early Tuesday morning, the board reluctantly agreed to accept $1.7 million in state matching funds on behalf of Amy Biehl Charter School, and committed itself to coming up with $875,000 for the district's share.
Why is this so absurd? Well, for one, Amy Biehl High School was one of only four APS high schools to actually make Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind. In fact, two of the four high schools were charter high schools. The school board and district should be going out of their way to figure out how to create more Amy Biehls not adding a "provision that the APS administration propose a moratorium to prevent more charter schools from opening."
Second, let's do a little math, shall we?
The state funds plus the district matching amount equals $2.575 million and Amy Biehl has 208 students. This means that the capital cost per student is $12,379.81. By the same token APS is pleading for the state to give them $108 million to build two Westside high schools. Assuming each of those schools has an enrollment of 2,035 students (the current average) the capital cost per student is $53,071.25. We're talking about a whopping 429% increase in cost. Whatever happened to economies of scale?
APS Board members need to get their act together. Statements like these show they are not even running the most preliminary of numbers:
"If we accept this deal, the impact is ... to other schools," board member Miguel Acosta said. "You tell me which other school we should take money from."
Right back at you Mr. Acosta, if taxpayers, through their elected legislators, accept the absurd APS proposal of $108 million to build two Westside schools, you tell me "which other school we should take money from?"
Thursday, November 10, 2005
What's Richardson Doing in NM?
Gov. Bill Richardson climbed into a state-owned airplane parked on a runway at a small airport in Santa Fe. The plane took off with Richardson and several of his staff members aboard, and landed a short while later on a high mountain airstrip.
The flight time? Ten minutes.
The destination? Los Alamos
State aviation bureau records show that Richardson has used three, multimillion-dollar state airplanes 113 times between his 2003 inauguration and mid-September of this year. Richardson has used the airplanes to travel, among other places, to Dulce, Albuquerque, Gallup, Farmington, San Francisco, Calif., Las Vegas, NM.
The latter trip, like most in-state flights by the governor, is one most New Mexicans make in a car. But while the governor was being ferried through the skies in a state aircraft, his security officers drove his state-owned Lincoln Navigator so Richardson and his staffers could use the luxury SUV at their destination, two sources confirmed.
Maybe I'm not being fair to Governor Richardson. After all, he did promise New Mexicans he would no longer speed on our highways. Obviously, he is just keeping his promise. Plus, think of all the gas expense he is saving taxpayers by flying on planes and having his security detail drive around in hybrid vehicles.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Personal Actions Speak Louder Than Policy
Until the World Trade Center attacks made it impossible, I attended the funeral of everyone who died in the line of duty in New York City. Being there not only showed people how important their loved one was, but had a reverberating effect, underlining the importance of survivors as well. It's a lesson I learned from my father, who defined himself by helping people when they needed him the most. He used to take me with him to wakes and funerals when I was a little boy, and I sensed how much it meant to our neighbors and friends that he made the effort. My father drilled the message into me with his trademark tenacity: weddings are discretionary; funerals are mandatory.
The next paragraph concludes:
But when the chips are down- when someone you care about is struggling for answers or burying a loved one - that's when the measure of a leader is taken.
I couldn't agree more, and I guess that is why I was struck by this recent letter to editor of the Albuquerque Journal (subscription):
I ATTENDED the funeral for Sgt. Marshall Westbrook, who was killed while serving in Iraq. Gov. Bill Richardson was a "no show." It is an insult to Westbrook that his state commander in chief could not sacrifice just a few hours to attend the funeral of the first New Mexico guardsman killed since Vietnam.
However, the governor can make it to a Sean Hannity book signing at the Winrock Mall and cut to the front of the line to get an autograph or fly across the Pacific to North Korea for a pony show. Since Westbrook's honorable service and death do not help Richardson's political agenda, I guess we know why he wasn't there.
ROBERT A. GARCIA JR.
When evaluating the priorities of our leaders, nothing speaks louder than their actions. Granted, Governor Richardson introduced and signed legislation that awarded a $250,000 life insurance policy to guard members; however, when it came time to demonstrate his personal commitment to honoring Sgt. Marshall Westbrook, he fell short.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Using Kids as Pawns
Anyway, I went on to read the Governor describe some of the tactics the campaign used and the fact that we focused on the education community - teachers, parents and educational employees - to get out the vote. On the 2nd or 3rd page of the discussion, the Gov references one specific tactic familiar to me: having kids come home from school with a label on their shirt that read: "Mom & Dad - Don't forget tomorrow is Election Day!"This campaign tactic raises a whole lot of ethical questions. Who paid for these stickers? Did it come out of education funds? If they were paid for by a campaign, did they have the proper disclaimer? Was this a statewide endeavor, or only targeted to certain areas? Didn't anyone think that using innocent children as walking billboards without parental permission was wrong?
I hate to brag, but that sticker thing was actually my idea! I got it when my son came home from school with similar stickers on his shirt to remind parents about PTA meetings and other important school functions. So, while I can't claim credit for the concept, it was my idea to use them on the campaign. And it's mentioned in his book! I don't know, but I think that's pretty cool. I may not be famous yet, but my sticker idea is now.
Education is about children. The two constitutional amendments were about raiding the permanent fund and a pointless exercise in reorganizing a government bureaucracy. We already know that neither of these acts has had any positive impact in the performance of our schools or our kids' test scores. If anything, our children are worse off today than they were prior to these constitutional changes.
The fact that Governor Richardson heralds "the brilliance" of this strategy in his book illustrates perfectly that he, and those around him, will put personal political agendas ahead of all else.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Setting the Record Straight
It is interesting to note the name of his attorney. I also understand that more information on this fine upstanding citizen, who was on the DPNM payroll, can be found here and here.
Friday, November 04, 2005
A View of Things to Come
Richardson is kicking off his [national] book tour on the heels of launching his bid Wednesday for re-election as governor in 2006. His new radio and television ads feature a pair of folksy-talking cowboys touting Richardson-backed tax cuts.Sit up an take notice folks. He launches a campaign that says, "Please re-elect me," and follows that up with "Now, let me out of here." Why would we re-elect a Governor who so badly wants to get out of New Mexico? Maybe, it's for the great ideas (subscription) coming out of the administration on how to spend the taxpayer's money.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
- Governor Richardson's Performance Rating Drops
- Voter Dissatisfaction Growing with Governor Richardson
- Governor Richardson's Excesses Hurt in Polls
- Despite Unprecedented Spending Governor Continues Slide
- Governor's Inattentiveness to NM Taking Toll
- Bloom is Off the Rose for Governor Richardson
- Richardson Administration Spins Declining Numbers
- Governor's Inability to Meet Expectations Shows in Polls
Feel free to use the comment section to post your own alternate headlines to the Governor's declining polling numbers.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Democratic Party Turmoil
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF NM ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE- WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF NM IS ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE- AND CHAIRMAN JOHN WERTHEIM IS TO BLAME. IN RECENT MONTHS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF NM UNDER THE DIRECTION OF CHAIRMAN WERTHEIM AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR VANESSA ALARID THEY HAVE ALL BUT COLLAPSE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF NM. IF WE DON'T ACT NOW WE WILL LOSE IN 2006.
1. THE PARTY IN RECENT MONTHS HAS HAD 80% OF IT STAFF RESIGN. TO INCLUDE VETERANS POLITICOS SUCH AS TERRY HOLLAND & BRIAN MONAHAN (COMP CONTROLLER FOR THE NM PARTY)- AMIED ALLIGATIONS OF FRAUD. ACCORDING TO HOLLAND AND OTHER MEMEBRS OF THE NM DEMOCRATIC PARTY WERTHEIM AND ALARID SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH A DC FIRM TCB- TO DO FUNDRASING F0R THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF NM. NOT ONLY HAS TCB NEVER RASIED A DIME FOR THE D'S OF NM BUT THEY HAVE BEEN PAID ALMOST 30,000 IN PAYMNETS FORM THE NMDP (ALARID AND WERTHEIM). HERE IS THE CATCH, TCB IS OWNED BY RICHARD BUCKMAN; WHO IF YOU REMEMBER IN 2004 WAS ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF COCAINE, A LOAD 9-MM IN HIS CAR AND DWI- HE IS ALSO ALARID'S BOY-FRIEND. WHAT LUCK MR. BUCKMAN HAD IN GETTING HIS CONTRACT. ALARID AND BUCKMAN HAVE BEEN DATING FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS NOW.
2. 80% OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY STAFF HAS EITHER HAVE LEFT OR BEEN FORCED TO RESIGN OVER THIS MATTER. TO INCLUDE THE PARTYS FUNDRAISER.
3. MOMAHAN THE NM COMP. CONTROLLER RESIGNS AFTER THE PARTY IS CLOSE TO BEING BANKRUPT & AMID THE ALLEGATIONS OF WERTHEIM AND ALARID'S SCANDAL WITH TCB. TCB HAS RAISED A TOTAL OF $0.00 FOR THE NMDP.
4. MARVIN MOSS OF THE BERNALLILO CO- DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS BEEN THREATENED BY WERTHEIM AND ALARID THAT IF HE DISCLOSES THIS INFORMATION HE WILL NOT RECEIVED MONIES FOR THE NM DEMOCRATIC PARTY- NO WILL HE RECEIVED ANY SUPPORT FROM THE NMDP- BLACKMAIL.
5.MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUCH AS MARTIN SWAZO- HAVE CALLED FOR WERTHEIM TO RESIGN- MR. WERTHEIM RESPOND BY CALLING MR. SWAZO, VERBALLY THREATENING HIM. WERTHIEM HAS NEGLECTED THE COUNTY CHAIRS THREATENING TO PULL THEIR FUNDING IF THEY DO NOT FOLLOW HIS AGENDA.
AIMED THE RECENT SCANDALS WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE STATE TREASURER ROBERT VIGIL, WE ARE IN-TITLED TO ANSWERS. ALARID AND WERTHEIM HAVE REFUSED TO MAKE THE BUDGET AND THE NMDP BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC VIEWING. WHY ARE WE PAYING THE NMDP EXECUTIVE BOYFRIEND 30,000 FOR SERVICES HE NEVER RENDERED. WHY IS THE NMDP BROKE AND WHY DOSE 80% OF ALARIDS & WERTHEIMS STAFF RESIGN OVER THIS CONTROVERSY. WHY IS WERTHEIM STRONG ARMING HIS COUNTY CHAIRS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS STAFF. WHY ARE WE NOT CALLING FOR BOTH ALARID AND WERTHEIM TO STEP DOWN.
TREASURER ROBERT VIGIL HAS PUT A DARK CLOUD OVER THE NMDP- IF WERTHEIM CONTINUE TO OPERATE THE NMDP AS VIGIL DID THE STATE TREASURES OFFICE THE DEMS WILL BE IN A WORLD OF HURT IN 2006. PLEASE CONTACT THE GOVERNOR AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE STATE PARTY AND DEMAND THAT THERE BE ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE NMDP-
WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY-
I hesitated putting it up when I received it for a couple of reasons. First, it was signed by Jason Chavida, but the email came from a Jude Griego. Second, the amount of grammatical and spelling errors combined with all caps made me think it was a hoax. Finally, I really am not all that concerned about the infighting of the NMDP, and the subject of the note said: NMDP-in scandal- pass this on if you care about the NMDP.
Now you know what I know. Of course, when reading about the NMDP's financial woes, I can't help but remember this past post.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Trampling the Constitution
Craig Reeves, committee co-chair, says the pledge [to not seek re-election] is an important step toward restoring confidence in the state public office.I've looked at the names of folks [pdf] on this committee, and some of them are business people for whom I have the highest level of respect. So, I'm dumbfounded how they ended up with this foolish decision. If a capable individual of high integrity is appointed, why wouldn't we want him or her to run for re-election? Prohibiting the individual from running does not stop others from immediately commencing campaign and fund-raising activities.
"Running for election would require the appointee to begin campaigning and fund-raising almost immediately," Reeves said in a statement. "The public must clearly see it isn't business as usual in the Treasurer's Office and politics is not an issue."
Much like the presigned resignation letters [subscription] requested by the governor, this is just a another classic example of the administration's complete disregard for our state's constitution.