Monday, November 30, 2009

Peace on Earth and a New Sheriff in Town

Peace on Earth

Today all the voters want is peace on earth but with Afghanistan becoming a problem that will not go away that does not appear to be in our near future. Most democrats hate war and the waste it causes. War by no means is our first step when dealing with problems on the international front but when push comes to shove we jump in with both feet.

If we are going to go to war then we want results and a solid plan that has a end in sight unlike the republicans who just want to make money off of someone else misery. If the President wants to get democrats on board then he had better roll out a real plan tomorrow evening that has clear and achievable goals. Open ended plans are not to our liking.

Changes at home

Today is Sheriff Darren White's last day on that job. Tomorrow he becomes chief safety officer for our city. This is what we call a gain for Bernalillo County and a loss for the City of Albuquerque. The county commission now is faced with appointing a new sheriff. We have a few very good candidates so the commission should have no problem appointing a democrat to that position.

Perhaps the new sheriff can show the old one how to provide quality protection to the voters in Albuquerque.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Study Shows Albuquerque Ranked 72 for Crime by CQ Press

For the 2009 – 2010 year Albuquerque has made the list as number 72 out of 392 so what can be done to reduce the crime rate in the City of Albuquerque?

Mayor Elect Berry ran on a platform of change and crime prevention yet his first act was to hire Darren White as chief safety officer. Change is a hard road and the new mayor should probability take a harder look at finding someone new for that job who has real experience and success in reducing crime in large cities. The mayor elect should be more concerned with preventing crime and less with pleasing his own party.

The local police force should take a hard look at our local parks since they appear to attract the criminal element far too often. Homeless individuals hang out in parks during the day with no attempt in finding work or improving their life.

The Mayor Elect said that he will look into keeping homeless shelters open longer so people don’t freeze to death in our city but he should do more to help clean these people up and provide them with some form of education that would allow them to manage their problems both social and economic. Housing people in need is one thing but it would go along way to help them resolve some of their issues if the city provided councilors to assist these individuals to get back on their feet.

Councilors could guide homeless individuals to city and state programs so that they would no longer need to be in a homeless shelter in the first place. This type of approach could reduce the cost in the long run of housing the homeless in our city.

Adult homeless males are a serious problem when it comes to crime and drug problems in this city so the mayor elect should look at ways to help get these individual into treatment programs which could reduce crime in the future.

If the mayor elect is honestly serious about reducing the crime rate in this city there is a great deal he can do to help people that does not just require him standing in front of a camera handing out food to the homeless.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Brian Colón’s Views on Education

Here is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor who understands the needs of our children and cares about our state’s economic future in a constructive manner. His new website has statements like this one on all of the current issues facing our state. Now would be the time to check out the new website and educate yourself on his views.

Brian Colón’s publicly announced views on education in this state:

“No other issue is as important to me as strengthening education. I’m a father to a wonderful boy and a husband to an incredible public school science teacher. An investment in New Mexico’s schools is an investment in our young people and essential to our economic growth in the future. Without the great education I received in New Mexico’s public schools, I would not have been able to be the first in my family to attend college. As Lt. Governor, I will make New Mexico’s children and their education my top priority.

As a former Chair of the New Mexico College Success Network, I know that early childhood education, primary school, and every grade leading up to college is critical to each young person’s future. With each new high school and college graduate, our state’s future is brighter. Our schools and our students are essential for a vibrant and innovative future New Mexico. That’s why times of financial hardship are precisely the wrong time to shortchange our children through their classrooms. I will work with the Governor and the legislature to strengthen New Mexico’s schools. My top educational priorities are to:

· Increase teacher pay;
· Implement stronger incentives for good teachers to work in rural areas;
· Reduce class sizes by building new schools and training more teachers; and
· Strengthen the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM) to make New Mexico more attractive to the next generation of high-tech and echo friendly green employers.”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

President Clinton Speaks at Governor King's Service

President Bill Clinton spoke fondly of the late Governor Bruce King yesterday at the service. It was clear that the two men had bonded during their time as governors. President Clinton looked to Governor King for down to earth advice and wisdom.

Part 1 of 2

Coming Soon

Part 2 of 2

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Mexico Says Goodbye to Her King Today

Bruce King who served three terms was a governor who loved people and his state. He made friends with everyone and worked hard to protect our children in this state. He was the type of man that could make people like President Bill Clinton feel like a antisocial V.I.P elected official and still the late Governor King made people of all walks of life feel important in his eyes.

Today Former Governor Bruce King was laid to rest in the Stanley Cemetery and I am given to understand that his spirit is making heaven a much funnier place to be along side his wonderful and kind wife Alice King.

Everyone who was anyone in the Democratic Party showed up today to say goodbye to the late Governor. All three federal congressmen showed up for the service today to show their respect for Governor King. Governor Richardson and Lt. Governor Denish were seated in the front row at the service. Party leader Gonzales was there along with representatives from the Bernalillo County Democratic Party. Three of the candidates for Lt. Governor even took time from the campaign to show their respect to Governor King.

State Representative Al Parks and local Metro Court Judge Ben Chavez took time out of their schedules to say their goodbyes. Former Governor Gary Johnson and Former Senator Pete Dominica both attended the service. The only downside to the service was the two unpleasant mean spirited women who tried to keep me from saying hello to our elected officials but in true Governor King fashion which says everyone is a VIP I slipped around them. What those women failed to understand was that in the Democratic Party we are all one big loving and happy family in this state even during such a sad event .

The gym was filled but not so much as when Alice King was laid to rest. The King family took up a number of rows of seating in the service. It was a sad day for them because now both Alice and Bruce are in heaven together. The King family is one that is very sincere about public service. Attorney General Gary King sit next to President Clinton during his father’s service.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Return to Food Taxes

Leave it to the republican lead state legislature to target food tax increases as one of their most desirable ways to raise revenues in this state. Take food from the mouths of children and people on fixed incomes before raising the taxes on the rich in this state.

Take teacher income and financing for education and dismantle public education before ever taking one penny for a rich republican in this state.

This Thursday the governor’s budget balancing taskforce will be meeting from 1:00 until 4:00 pm in the Leon Hams Youth Hall at Expo New Mexico. The voting public should make the attempt to let them know that these types of measures would harm working New Mexicans and should be off the table before they take food off the table of hard working New Mexicans.

And the Chief of Police of Albuquerque is

Ray Schultz

I also hear that Darren White needs a lot more help with spin when it comes to the voting public. Maybe Mayor Elect Berry is trying to prevent some of those lawsuits that will result from his stand on immigration. I can see the civil liberty people having a field day with White as chief safety officer.

It was announced last evening that two more of the West Mesa victims were identify. Where was the sheriff while these women were being killed and buried on the West Mesa and how will he approach protecting women in this city over the next four years?

Property crime may be a big issue right now thanks to the team of Chavez and Schultz but if women start turning up dead or missing in this city I don’t get the feeling anyone is going to care about who took their DVD player. White’s past record is not so hot when it comes to this issue so maybe his new public relations person can start the spin on why we should feel safe with him having such a strong roll when it come to the protection of women in our fair city.

We should all wish Chief Ray Schultz the best of luck over the next four years because both him and the female voting public will need it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mayor Elect R.J. Berry’s Appointments

Our soon to be new Mayor R.J. Barry will now create a job for constituent services so he can spin any harm done to the voters of this city. He will hire Tito Rizzieri from Heather Wilson’s congressional group which did more to promote the title then to help local voters.

I was at some of the first meetings with Congressman Heinrich and the amount of neglect shown our veterans during Heather Wilson time in that office was shameful. One veteran told me that since Congressman Heinrich took office more has been done for him then anytime in the past.

Darren White was picked for safety since he is known to encourage racial profiling and we will see how the federal courts downtown handle his bad behavior. I don’t think his tricks will play well with federal judges. I wonder what the cost in lawsuits will be to the taxpayers over the next four years.

Bruce Rizzieri will be the new director of city transit so we can hope for a little positive change in that area but let’s not get our hopes too high since Berry was not in favor of the transit tax even thought it has help to improve this city’s mass transit. I would like to see more bike trails in the Southeast heights but with a republican in office that hope is dead for the next four years since they don’t care much for the environment or healthy living.

John Garcia will do the job of economic development secretary which means that Berry wants to allow large businesses to run uncontrolled in our city and that could do harm to our small business leaders and our local environment. We want to see more growth of small businesses in this city but again I am not so sure how well that will go under a republican mayor. Deregulation will do our city’s economy harm at this point in time.

December 1, 2009 will not be a good day for the City of Albuquerque.

Planning for the State Budget

With the legislative session looking to be one of limited resources the need for planning is becoming a major issue that must be faced. The session will come in January so the planning should be now for what will be a thirty day session.

The first item is to look at the current budget and see where you can trim waste without harming programs. The second one is to admit that since the state government has grown so much during the good times it may be time to cut back on highly paid administration.

No one wants to see education harmed in this state except for the republicans so now is the time to look hard at how any cuts should be applied to prevent harm to the students. Cuts in this area must be made from top administration where the higher incomes are and not from front line workers where it would have a direct effect on student achievement.

Old programs which are outdated must be reviewed to see how they can be improved. Technology should be used to reduce paperwork and improve efficiency. Travel and meetings should be restricted to activities which directly affect student achievement and success.

New ways of raising revenues should be considered and legislators should reach out to small business leaders and entrepreneurs to find new industries which could provide a steady stream of reliable revenues for the future of this state and its residents. Taxes should be looked at closely to close any loopholes which could cost the state needed revenues. Locally owned businesses should receive priority over nationally owned ones because income stays in the state and is subject to state taxes.

Small job development programs that show results should be encouraged along with technical training programs for future green jobs. Partnerships between small start up businesses and schools should be encouraged to assist each in developing the skills needed. Film and acting career training should be encouraged to provide an educated workforce for industries that bring jobs to the state. Research should be done to find out which job markets are emerging that could produce future high paying jobs and local colleges and universities should be encouraged to develop programs in those fields.

Another way the state government can help small businesses to success is to provide a statewide website that could list each one and link to a business website. This would promote these businesses to locals and to visitors to our state. Assistance should be given to help small business leaders bring their businesses onto the worldwide web. Just think if there was one website where people could go to in order to find information about product produced in the state of New Mexico and contact information for those businesses. The state website should have a tab that reads shop New Mexico.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Former Governor Bruce King Dies Today at Age 85

Our heart goes out to Gary and his family today. Bruce King and Alice King will be remembered fondly by all New Mexicans.

Statement From Attorney General Gary King on the News of his father's death:

"Bruce King would be the first one to tell us all that death is just another phase in the cycle of life and that we must go on with our lives trying to do the best we can while helping others make their way too. None of us in the family thought this day would come so soon after we lost my mom Alice King, but we are comforted by the thought that Bruce and Alice can be together once again."

Congressman Heinrich had this to say:

“Bruce King will always be one of our greatest New Mexicans. Governor King was so kind, and he served the state in so many ways. He will truly be missed. When you think of New Mexico, you think of Bruce King. Julie and I send our thoughts and prayers to the entire King family.”

Five days of Unpaid Leave for All State Workers

I hear that the state workers are not happy about this decision from the Governor’s Office. I don’t have any sympathy for these workers since I am forced to take off 21 days every year unpaid leave for the states school system. These individuals are paid more and have more paid days off then I do so sorry but it is the cost of balancing the state budget.

Maybe the governor should take the same stand as the colleges and universities boards and give them all 21 days of every year without pay which would save huge amounts of money at the cost of peoples well being. Oh, make sure that they cannot take the leave all at one time so that they cannot supplement their income with another job.

I got an even better ideas lets have all of the educational administration also take 21 days off a year unpaid leave just think of how much money that would save the state government in salaries.

Welcome to my way of life.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

UNM and the State Legislature

I am told that I am one of those people who likes to stir the pot with a large spoon every once in a while. What they mean is that when I see an injustice situation I just have to say something about it.

Our state is faced with a large budget deficit and cuts to education are being made every legislative session as of late. Still UNM receives a large chuck of that money for salaries. The president and the coaches get huge salaries to bring in money for the university. One does have to wonder what all the negative press is doing to raise funds for that institution of higher learning.

The culture of misconduct is only too public at this point in time and nothing is being done to clean up the mess. Fans and supporters are expressing outrage and the university administration is trying to cover up and play down the embarrassment to the university and the state. Further investigations from outside sources are being stepped on hard by the board and for what reason no one can say.

With the January session of the state legislature coming up soon all eyes are turning to what the state will do to force a cleanup of this continuing mess from our state’s largest university. Some are suggesting removal of the university president and the football coach along with some of the board. This would give the state an opportunity to clean house and reduce current salaries to a reasonable amount which would save the state large sums of money better spent in the classrooms of UNM.

New leadership could set the stage for new attitudes about how employees are treated and new expectations for how athletes behave toward each other and other teams. The questions remains will the state legislature have the backbone to stand up and do something about this continuing mess or will they again complain about not wanting to micro manage a clearly publicly broken system.

Monday, November 9, 2009

One Step Closer to Healthcare Reform for All Americans

H.R. 3962-The Affordable Health Care For America Act-passed the House of Representatives on Saturday night with a vote of 220 to 215 this bill included a public option that would lower healthcare cost. Now it is on to the U.S. Senate which is where the difficulties begin.

We can say that we are very proud of two of our congressmen in this state as they stood up for the people on Main Street and said no to pressures from large healthcare companies with deep pockets who have been filling the airwaves with false claims just to scare voters. The third congressman needs to understand that he is not a republican and that the southern part of this state thanks to the hard work of Brian Colón is moving more to the liberal side and to a true blue view of our world.

We can count on Senator Udall to stand up for the public option and work hard to pass a bill that will help New Mexicans afford healthcare. We will need to keep the pressure on Senator Bingaman so that he knows we mean business when it comes to healthcare for the people on Main Street. I am sure that large sums of money will be offered in order to persuade these men to back down on real healthcare reform but they must understand that the American people will hold them accountable if they fail to pass real reform. Now is the time for our U.S. Senators to show leadership to our state and our nation on this issue.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Issue of Double Dipping and Other Reforms

Double Dipping became a major issue for saving money in this state as the national unemployment rate hits 10.2%. A program created during the time when unemployment was low has now become a liability to state government.

Cost savings to the state government could be somewhere between 7 and up to 11 million dollars. This would be money saved that could protect healthcare programs and education in this state during hard economic times. This only takes into account savings from retirement payments and does not include lower paying salaries due to the fact that new employees would not require the same high wages as older employees.

This along with sin taxes could help to prevent job losses which could harm important government support systems which affect how our state’s future workforce develops. Without an educated healthy workforce state tax revenues could continue to decline in future years.

With so many people unemployed in this state how can state government continue to justify this program? Lt. Governor Diane Denish has said that she will support legislation in the January session of the legislature to put an end to this practice. She has also stated that she wants to look at how pork (Capital Outlay) money is handled so money is not just sitting around unused in accounts when other programs are facing layoffs and reductions in services to middle class and low income individuals.

Lt. Governor Diane Denish is also hoping to use technology to the state’s advantage to help reduce costs and help increase services to people in need in this state. She sees the need to provide government services in the most cost effective way during these difficult economic times. The Lt. Governor is showing common sense when it comes to her approach to providing a more cost effective and efficient state government.

This approach along with future ethics reform could save the state millions of dollars at a time when no state can afford a waste of capital funds. Taxpayers do not want to see their tax moneys wasted when they have had to tighten their own belts.

One can only hope that the presidents of colleges and universities around the state take note of the Lt. Governor’s approach and look at their own systems to find ways to cut cost without harming the classrooms or the employees who work directly with the students. The time for top heavy administration in any government run program has come to an end for the next few years.

Sports programs need to be reigned in so that a few individuals who have caused scandals don’t received outrages salaries while classroom instructors go without and students are piled into ever larger classes. These programs should be more about promoting a healthy lifestyle for our children, who will be this state’s future workforce, and less about providing glory for college and university presidents and their boards.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why the Progressive Candidates Over Incumbents?

Voters want new faces with new ideas in our state. The voting public wants to see candidates that are more than willing to plan for the future and provide growth that does not disappear in bad times.

They want communities which support a healthy lifestyle. They want walkable communities with large community centers which offer something for people of all ages. They want small businesses that bring in good paying jobs and tax revenues that stay in the state. They want environmentally friendly jobs that help rather than harm the communities in which they live.

They want candidates that will think outside of the old shoe box and use local resources to improve voter’s quality of life within the community. The old guard is too busy trying to help themselves and their old friends at the expense of their own communities. Old guard candidates fail to think locally and also fail to even be active in their local communities.

Progressive candidates bike to work and walk the communities with supporters while the old guard plays golf and spends their time in private exclusive clubs. Progressive candidates are a part of the fabric of the local communities they are trying to improve through changes for better living. They see everyday what needs to be improved and they work hard to bring about those changes with the support of local leaders.

Just this last week in the City of Albuquerque one of the new progressive state senators Tim Keller made the news by asking for funds to be unfrozen to help clean up the fairgrounds because of the harm it was causing local residents. Not something you would find the old guard even taking note of in this state.

If the old guard candidates wish to hold onto their seats in the following years they will have to find a way to reconnect with the voters in their own communities and provide improvements that are lasting and environmentally friendly. Healthy city planning will become a major part of how that growth develops.

The old guard will have to come down from on high and get to know the community leaders once more in order to find themselves reelected. The voting public is finding that these progressive candidates are encouraging renewal at a local level and that it has been good for their lifestyle and their businesses. Progressives were a key part of the movement that helped elect President Obama who himself was a community organizer before he entered politics.

Change is not about politics as usual but about local improvements that create healthy communties.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What in the World was He Thinking?

The news is all over the web that State Senator Tim Eichenberg does not think that Diane Denish can win the governor’s chair in 2010. I emailed Tim to find out what he actual said at that meeting but he has still not responded. Eichenberg has been a stand up guy in the state senate so I am wondering what this is all about.

I can’t for one minute think that he would want to give our state over to the Republican Party with the economy in such bad shape because of them. He of all people should know after this last special session what the republicans would do to this state if they had that seat.

The Republican Party has control of our state senate with the help of people like Senator Smith and Senator Jennings and just look where that has gotten this state. We need true progressives in control of the state senate to protect Medicaid and Education. A Republican governor would destroy both systems while handing over large sums of money to the very rich. A republican governor would deregulate oil and gas so as to destroy our natural environment. Services to low income and middle class families would be cut to the bone.

Diane Denish has worked hard to protect K-12 education in this state and understands the value of a quality education for all New Mexicans. She told me personally at the special session that she would never support anything that would harm our children. As Lieutenant Governor she has supported ethic reforms but how often has the state senate blocked those reforms.

The Republican Party has had its fair share of scandals in the past few years so they have very light moral ground to stand on when it comes to this issue. Their own party had problems with both a congresswoman and a federal senator. My mother use to always say people who live in glass houses should be the last to cast stones at their neighbors. If the Republican Party wants to end corruption in this state then they should start by cleaning out their own house first.