Mario Burgos

Clear thinking and straight talk from the top of a mountain.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Keeping it Simple

I probably should be writing something about the candidate finance reports filed yesterday, but there really isn't much to say that hasn't already been covered by Heath Haussamen and others. General rule of thumb is that up to the point of diminishing returns, which hasn't been hit yet, he or she with the most money in the bank wins. Comparing Democrat to Republican dollars at this point is premature, but among the primary races (both D and R) those bucks in the bank are going to make all the difference.

This might seem like an overly simplistic analysis, but it's true nonetheless. Staying with the theme of keeping it simple, enjoy this review of simpler times:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

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Friday, June 19, 2009

The Makings of a Perfect Storm

During last year's election cycle, the perfect storm was created, and Democrats from the Roundhouse to the White House prevailed. Come the day after the election, there were some lost seats that astounded everyone:
Nobody thought Karen Giannini was going to win.

Not local political junkies (like us at NMI) watching tight races on election night; not her new Democratic colleagues in the state House of Representatives; and certainly not her incumbent opponent, Rep. Justine Fox-Young, who was sitting in what everyone considered a safe Republican seat.

But somehow this Air Force veteran and divorced mother of three defied all odds and expectations by beating her well-financed incumbent opponent.

And she did it without spending a dime.

Of course, next year's election is shaping up to be a little different. There are no indications on Main Street USA that the economy is improving. Quite the contrary, with even the Administration having to admit that the massive bailouts have been a failure. Instead of creating 3.5 million new jobs as promised, the bailouts, at best, have saved or created 600,000 jobs:
Just 10 days before taking office, Obama's top economic advisers released a report predicting unemployment would remain at 8 percent or below through this year if an economic stimulus plan won congressional approval.

Yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment in May rose to 9.4 percent.

Biden said the White House is keenly aware of the gap between the rhetoric used to sell fast passage of the legislation and the reality that has 14.5 million people unemployed. The administration had predicted that the stimulus bill would create or save as many as 3.5 million jobs.
14.5 million people in America are now unemployed, and what lays ahead in the future? Well, for the answer we go straight to the top:
President Barack Obama offered stern words for Wall Street and a prediction of 10 percent U.S. unemployment even as he said the “engines” of an economic recovery have begun to turn.
Now, I know that some of you will consider leaving comments that unemployment is a lagging indicator, and that the economy is turning around. Personally, I don't think so, but honestly, it's nothing more than an academic discussion. What's important is the political reality come Election Day 2010.

All of these people are not going to suddenly be employed by that point, and the people's concerns quelled. Hungry, unemployed people really don't care about lagging indicators. They care about providing for their families. In fact, if the public opinion trends continue, we have the makings of a Jimmy Carter situation:
Nearly seven in 10 survey respondents said they had concerns about federal interventions into the economy, including Mr. Obama's decision to take an ownership stake in General Motors Corp., limits on executive compensation and the prospect of more government involvement in health care. The negative feeling toward the GM rescue was reflected elsewhere in the survey as well.

A solid majority -- 58% -- said that the president and Congress should focus on keeping the budget deficit down, even if takes longer for the economy to recover.
Yet, Congress is going to keep on spending because that is what Congress does - at least of late. We've got bigger and bigger and vastly more expensive programs coming down the pike. Now, you couple these federal problems with the never ever ending list of political scandals plaguing the Land of Enchantment, and you have the makings of a new perfect storm.

A storm where those that were swept in the last election cycle with little to no effort, could very easily find themselves just as quickly swept out. With this being the case, it's probably no surprise that new candidates for the Roundhouse are starting to emerge at what may seem to many a very early date. Take for example Nate Gentry, a former aide to Senator Domenici, who has already launched his website to take on the accidental incumbent noted at the beginning of this post in House District 30.

Let the games begin.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bizarre Coincidence

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from the Albuquerque Council of International Visitors, and was asked if I I'd be willing to sit down and talk with some visiting Pakistani journalists about the role of social media in political coverage. Then today I read this (subscription):
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who resigned Monday under intense political pressure, could seek asylum in the United States and is considering making his home in New Mexico, according to a respected Pakistani journalist and scholar.

Shuja Nawaz , author of a new book on the Pakistani military, told the Journal on Wednesday that Musharraf's safety is in jeopardy in Pakistan and he is contemplating his next move.

Nawaz said he learned of Musharraf's interest in the Land of Enchantment "from a well connected person in Pakistan," but Nawaz stressed that the information is "unconfirmed."
I'm sure one thing has nothing to do with another, but you have to admit that it is a bizarre coincidence.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Eye on New Mexico

You can catch me this Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. on KOB's Eye on New Mexico program discussing Tuesday's primary election with Nicole Brady and Dennis Domrzalski and what it means for November.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Catching up on Videos

In case you missed it, I was on Eye on New Mexico a couple of weeks ago. During Part 1, we talked about Mayor Chavez's idea for planting lawns on roofs around town. Part 2 is a discussion of the various politcal races in the state.

And yes, I was in a cheesy horror flick back in 1995. No, I wasn't a star of the movie, but you have to love alphabetical cast lists.


Monday, December 31, 2007

A Little Break and Reflection

Ok, I hadn't planned on taking a blogging break, but I'm glad I did. Like State Representative Joseph Cervantes, I spent some quality time with my family and reflected on what's important. This upcoming year is undoubtedly going to be busy on the political scene, and there is no question that balancing politics and kids can be a difficult task.

But, at the same time, I strongly believe that giving our kids an introduction into politics at an early age is a good thing. Too many adults are apathetic when it comes to politics. They just don't take an active role. Maybe they believe that their vote just doesn't matter, or maybe they just believe that the system will be just fine without their involvement.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Take the upcoming elections for the open Congressional seats. Because of a change in the law, those voting in their party's pre-primary convention will be the first and last word who gets on the ballot for the primary election (although that might change). In the 2nd Congressional race on the GOP side, that would be less than 200 people.

Still think your vote doesn't count? When you make your New Year's Resolutions this year, I hope you'll consider including a commitment to take an active role in what is sure to be a historic political year.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Qualifications of a Congressional Representative

It sort of blows my mind that in 2007, the Speaker of the House of the New Mexico State Legislature has enough power to get candidate after candidate to step aside in an effort to clear a path for his son to run for Congress.
But Solano — who is serving his second term as sheriff and prohibited from seeking a third term — said he's concerned that a small group of Democratic Party officials could effectively choose the next Northern New Mexico congressman before any votes are cast.

And that candidate, he said, likely would be State Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Ray Luján, mainly because of the influence of his father, state House Speaker Ben Luján.
Now, I guess I could understand if Ben Ray Luján was an impressive candidate in his own right with a long list of accomplishments, but that sure doesn't seem to be the case:
By Karla Duarte
(Submitted: 12/05/2006 12:25 pm)

Please get your facts straight: Ben Ray was appointed to be the chief financial administrator for the state cultural affairs department without a college degree and after previously being employed as a casino dealer. Then the full weight of the governor and the legislature went to promoting him and discouraging other qualified candidates for the PRC. I'm sure he is a fine young man, but the point is that government should not work that way.
From casino dealer to Congressional front runner... only in New Mexico.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Eye on New Mexico

Did you catch me on Eye on New Mexico on Sunday? Probably not, because I think it got bumped for sports programming to 5:00 a.m. in the morning. But never fear, you can watch it online in two parts by clicking on the links below:


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Political Backpedaling

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz is in a very uncomfortable position:
"Don't ask, don't tell" policy on illegals doesn't apply to criminal investigations.

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said in a Tuesday news conference that police are not to ask about a person's immigration status and will not enforce federal immigration laws.

But that doesn't mean police can't arrest an illegal immigrant or inquire about a person's immigration status in a criminal investigation, according to this morning's Albuquerque Journal .

"Any officer investigating criminal activity is allowed to inquire about immigration status and take any action necessary," said Schultz, who said there is a lot of confusion about APD policy regarding illegal immigrants.

Schultz said false information is circulating that criminals will not be asked their immigration status, the Journal reported.

Hmm, I wonder what the cause of that confusion is:
Some police officers told News 13 that the change could prevent some serious criminals who are illegal immigrants from being deported.

The policy, a copy of which was obtained by News 13, states, "Officers shall not inquire or seek proof of a person's immigration status, even if an arrest is made for a non-immigration criminal investigation."

Schultz said the policy is being misinterpreted.

"The intent that's there was never to prohibit officers from conducting a criminal investigation, and, during the course of that criminal investigation, determining the immigrant status of the person that they're dealing with," he said. "So, we need to clarify that."

Sorry Chief Schultz, but clarification is not the problem. The policy language is very clear. What you need and the City of Albuquerque need to do is let police officers enforce the law. Illegal immigrants are illegal.

Now to be fair, Chief Schultz is operating in a politcal environment in New Mexico that is full of mixed messages when it comes to immigration.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Welcoming the Vice President to Albuquerque

So, guess which one of your local favorite political bloggers was on the tarmac yesterday greeting Vice President Cheney when he arrived in Albuquerque (subscription)? That's right, yours truly was third in line to say, "It's good to see you back in Albuquerque, Mr. Vice-President."


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bottled Water Initiative

What makes a Mayor decide that one of his priorities should be a crusade against bottled water (subscription)?
Mayor David Coss would like to see Santa Fe residents kick the bottled water habit.

But the mayor doesn't plan on taking the crusade quite as far as some of his national counterparts.

San Francisco's mayor recently banned city employees from buying bottled water when tap water is available, because of environmental concerns. Coss plans on taking smaller steps, at least for now.

"You've got to start, but you've also got to pick your battles," Coss said Friday.

"You've got to be careful saying, 'We're going to ban this.' ''
Maybe he thinks the bottled water is to blame for the recent No Confidence Vote on Mayor Coss' job performance:
City employees who are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3999 expressed no confidence in Mayor David Coss by a 2-to-1 ratio Thursday.
Look closely at the picture below from the New Mexican. Bottle water clearly played an important role in influencing the outcome of the vote.

I know it sounds silly, but remember this is Santa Fe we're talking about.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Greg Payne Responds To Sandra Richardson

I had some calls from folks yesterday wondering about the authenticity of that email I posted from Sandra Richardson yesterday. Well, I heard from Greg Payne himself, and now there is no doubt it's real:

Following is my response -- on Sunday, July 15th from my own computer -- to the e-mail you've since posted from Sandra Richardson, dated July 14th.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: Paulette, THE PLAN and the structure
Date: Sun, July 15, 2007 8:44 am
To: "Sandra P. Richardson" <>

Please forward this to Mike Collins. He'll be consulting Paulette on the campaign.
Greg feels confident that this indicates that someone other than himself would be working or "consulting" on the campaign. And, he asks people to consider if he were running the show, why would he want it forwarded to somebody else?

So my friends, what do you think? Don't be shy, go ahead and put your comments below.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Heatwave Results in Political Insanity

The general rule of thumb in politics is that the summer is supposed to be a slow time. After all, we're all thinking about barbecues, pools and vacations. No one wants to focus on campaigns... except in the City of Albuquerque.

This summer is going to go down in the history books as one of the most bizarre in recent history. Today's Albuquerque Journal Around the Metro (subscription) section has one City Councilor facing ethics complaint and the Mayor's Transit Director in the hot seat:
Councilor Raises Campaign Concern

City Councilor Brad Winter has called on the mayor to ensure that Transit Director Greg Payne isn't doing campaign work on city time.

He sent a letter to Mayor Martin Chávez this week. It stems from concern that Payne is helping Winter's opponent in this year's council race, Paulette de'Pascal.

Payne said Wednesday he has no role in de'Pascal's campaign and isn't doing campaign work for anyone on city time. He said supporters of de'Pascal had approached him about helping her, but he doesn't have the "time or energy to get involved."

De'Pascal said Payne "is not affiliated with my campaign in any way."

She said an employee in the mayor's office, Tony Pedroncelli, did help gather signatures— but not on city time.
Ok, probably not worth more than a head scratch. Or, at least that's what I thought until I had this email forwarded to me:
From: "Sandra P. Richardson"

Date: July 14, 2007 7:39:55 AM MDT


Cc: "Sandra P. Richardson" ,

Subject: Paulette, THE PLAN and the structure

While you ask for structure, you resist it like a honey bee, flitting from person to person, seeking their advice and opinion...wearing yourself and us out. Not a winning strategy in any political campaign...especially this one. Hard to be the candidate and not the consultant, isn't it?

Yesterday, I was talking with Greg. We worked out what HE needs YOU to do and I fully support because I trust Greg and know that if you follow this Plan, you WILL win. If you continue to avoid, you can cost yourself the election.

Here's the structure we're committed to:

1. Greg is THE Captain of the team. He's the ONLY person to whom you seek political advice. He's THE strategist...period. (He's "gold" for this campaign.)

a. Do NOT undermine his efforts by being a "honey bee." Frustrating for him, frustrating for me, frustrating for you.

b. Everyone else is just signature helpers...NOT strategists. If you indulge in the "honey bee," you sacrifice winning...period.

c. "Loose lips sink ships." In this case, being a "honey bee" compromises your campaign. You cannot discuss the elements with anyone else. Period. This is not a tea party, this is WAR. Period.

2. I agree with Greg. I have made a commitment to him and to you. My role is to work with Greg, find out what his game plan is for that period of time and then work with you to make sure you follow. Period.

a. If you have a concern, you tell me so that I can tell Greg. Period. No honey bee.

b. You have to follow this structure to protect Greg and me and yourself. Period.

c. Greg is held ethically to very strict guidelines...he cannot indulge your need to hear from him every day...that's why we've worked out this plan.

d. I'm your coach ,as I committed mid May!! Period. As such, you MAKE time for me, first.

3. THE PLAN-structure:

a. Greg is the only Captain of this ship. He creates the strategy. He decides.

b. I am his First Mate. I report to the Captain. YOU report to ME. Period.

c. You are the candidate. You report to me....NOT "if you get time" between all the "flowers." You MAKE time. I'm not your mother...I'm your coach. This is the PLAN. You want to win? You follow Greg's Plan. Period.

d. Caleb is the manager of compliance and your schedule. He does NOT take a trip or day off to play without checking The Book first, assuring that nothing is due. He let's me know if and when he leaves...and assures ME that nothing is due. Period. He earns the money funded by the pubic. period.

e. EVERYONE else is a helper ONLY for door-to-door.

4. . Everyone else,EVERYONE else is NOT for you to discuss any cannot indulge or you will sink your candidacy and us along with it!

a. They help with going door to door. Period.

b. They are NOT the ones you turn to for "What should I do."

1) Tony, et al, help you by walking door to door...period. He is NOT your strategist...he works for Greg in this campaign. He is not the "go-to" guy.

2) Eddie is NOT. You do NOT discuss stuff with him. He keeps you company on the door-to-door, Talk about other stuff. "Loose lips..."

3) Not your old buddies, relatives, especially girlfriends.

4) Not other candidates. This is not 8th grade.

5). NO one, nada, nil.

5. THE PLAN-Per Greg, this is what you focus on...and only this:

a. Keep walking getting signatures...lots and lots of signatures. that's ALL.

b. You do not need to do anything else unless it falls under "compliance."

6. Caleb, as the publically paid person, has the responsibility to organize the paperwork from the City Clerk's Office and be responsible for your compliance with the rules.

a. As promised, I will coordinate with him...not you.

b. He will inform you when and what you need to do and you will comply with whatever the paperwork says.

c. He can always check with Kelli on your do NOT.

d. as the paid manager, he does not take off unless he let's me know that all is okay, nothing is due. He tells me.

5. Caleb will maintain your do NOT schedule without clearing with him...remember, "I have to check with my manager."

a. Real easy to do.

b. You cannot "try,"

c. You have to make that commitment to the campaign.

d. You make that commitment to those of us who are working (Greg, Caleb, me) for your success.

You wanted structure...I've been trying for several months to bring you structure with a little success but there's still too much frustration for all.

You owe your campaign the commitment to follow what Greg and I have the experience to know. YOU WOULD DEMAND THIS OF YOUR OWN CLIENTS!

The only way this campaign will fail is if you do not follow The Plan.. You absolutely must. Or, you're wasting your time and ours.

You have a tendency to bring this to everyone you know, get their input and cherry-pick what you think will work for you. BUT YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN THE CANDIDATE.

You are not objective and the people you ask are not experts nor do they know the District 4 political scene nor will they have to "pick up the pieces" if this campaign "goes South."

No more 8th grade stuff. This is serious...for Greg, for me and for you. We all have a great deal at stake. You absolutely need to put your candidacy in Greg's hands. You have to trust him...

He's won every campaign. He's savvy and experienced and believes strongly in do I. BUT, Paulette, you can be your own worse enemy. When you're unsure, you indulge in the "honey bee" syndrome, trying to get a secure feeling inside.

Campaigning takes personal discipline. Do what you do best: get signatures.. Can you imagine if you had 5,000 signatures what the impact would be on your campaign???

So, focus on just one thing: getting signatures...get to know as many constituents as you possibly can. You do this so well. Capitalize on your strength. Only you can do this part well.

Make time, first, for me to coach you on the background for issues that you will need at debate and forum time.

I expect your compliance to Greg's plan. Greg expects your compliance to his Plan.

Starting now...

Sandra 821-1347
And, if this wasn't bizarre enough, it turns out that there is a Mayoral Appointee to the City of Albuquerque Ethics Board named Mr. Cliff Richardson. I wonder if there is any relationship between Ms. Sandra Richardson and Mr. Cliff Richardson.

Weird stuff.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

New Political Blogger Down South

Always glad to welcome a new political blogger to the scene. The latest New Mexican to start poliblogging is Aaron Henry Diaz, a nineteen year old from a political family in Las Cruces. I'm not crazy about his top two choices for President (either McCain or Richardson), but he does ask an interesting question:
I would also like to learn why the Republicans of New Mexico are so inefficient and disunited that in turn allows a one party system in this state. I think Mario Burgos offers a clear commentary on the subject.
Ok, you got me, I liked the fact he says I offer a clear commentary on the subject (see Ben, flattery will get you links). Anyway, check out Aaron's blog. I'm not sure if he is to the right or the left, but it doesn't really matter. We need more nineteen year olds in New Mexico who feel blogging "is a tremendous opportunity for me to be a 'citizen soldier' and initiate a dialogue on issues that affect our society."

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Some Favorite Political Posts This Week

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