Tuesday was a day mostly devoid of political attacks.
The anniversary of 9/11 tends to bring that out, as both sides take a breather (for the most part) from the political tit for tats and dubious attacks.
Here is just a short list of remembrances around the state. There was one in Albuquerque
. In Santa Fe
. In Las Cruces
. In Carlsbad
. In Deming
. And many other cities and towns around the state.
Today it will be back to business as usual. But for a day, most political groups refrained from participating in the regular attacks.
On to the Word:
- A district court judge ruled that the minimum wage increase will not be on the ballot in Albuquerque because of a typo in petitions that made it seem as if employers would be paying themselves.
But Judge Nash noted several other problems with the question, specifically, the fact that there are several issues being voted upon - raising the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50, tying the minimum wage to increases in the consumer price index and employers paying employees who receive tips at least 45% of the minimum wage.
- The Santa Fe Reporter digs deep into the full secretly recorded audio of Gov. Martinez's Chief of Staff Keith Gardner.
The audio recording reveals a side of Gardner rarely, if ever, seen publicly. Over the course of the recording, Gardner establishes himself as the quintessential power broker: a big-talking man highly conscious of his influence, who isn’t afraid to “play the game” and leverage that influence into high-profile state positions for friends.The excerpts also show that Gardner is fond of calling political opponents "cocksuckers."
- The Santa Fe New Mexican has the quotes too:
Gardner then talks about hiring another friend, Aimee Barabe, as a public information officer for the state Health Department. “And they are like, ‘Oh, she gets a sweet job because she is friends with Keith Gardner.’ ” Gardner doesn’t specify who criticized him for that hire. “But it is a one-day hit. … Why can’t I put people in there that I trust? That is what my job is.”
- Despite being insulted by Gradner in the secret recording, Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, says there are no hard feelings.
In a statement that will live on through YouTube, Gardner also called Jennings a "C...sucker."
"It's not true," Jennings said, making light of Gardner's rough locker-room language.
- Gov. Susana Martinez is absurdly popular among likely voters in the Albuquerque Journal poll.
Sixty-nine percent said they approve of the Republican governor’s performance 20 months into her first term, a new Journal Poll found.I wonder if Martinez will risk some of her political capital by campaigning for Heather Wilson in the Senate race to try to move that to the Republican column.
- Meanwhile, opposition to the law that allows undocumented immigrants to earn drivers licenses is high -- 71 percent oppose the law, the Research & Polling poll finds.
- U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall submitted five names for an open federal judgeship for President Barack Obama to choose from. The choice would then face approval from the U.S. Senate, anything but a sure-thing with Republicans committed to blocking almost anything coming out of the chamber.
- As expected, Martinez appointed a Republican to replace Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham on the Bernalillo County Commissioner. Simon Kubiak, who is running for the seat after being selected by Bernalillo County Republicans, will serve out the remainder of the term at least.
“As the new commissioner for District 1, Mr. Kubiak will have the responsibility of serving the people of Bernalillo County from now until the winner of the election for this seat takes office in January,” said Governor Martinez. “As a resident of Albuquerque, a respected attorney, a strong supporter of the infrastructure project at Paseo del Norte and I-25, and an advocate for public safety, I am confident that he will fulfill these duties and work diligently on behalf of all residents of Bernalillo County.”
- The New Mexico Supreme Court rejected recall elections in Ruidoso Downs in a split 3-2 vote. The narrow majority found no evidence of corruption for the targeted members of the school board.
- Some legislative races will have lots of money.
- More money comes in the form of a Democratic super PAC that seeks to help Democrats expand control of the legislature.
- State House candiadte (and personal friend) Mary Ellen Broderick made a basic mistake in her campaign finance filings on Tuesday. She failed to provide all information in an initial filing and the state Republican Party pounced on the mistake of the candidate who seems like a longshot against Nate Gentry in a conservative-leaning district. Broderick filed an amended filing on Tuesday that corrected the mistakes.
The progressive group ProgressNow New Mexico finds their attacks hypocritical.
Mark Knoop, the Executive Director of the state Republican Party, hyperbolically called the mistake "troubling" and "unacceptable" but nowhere mentioned that Jay McCleskey's Reform New Mexico Now PAC also failed to provide information about the $281,000 the PAC raised during the last period. Of the PAC's four individual contributions over $250 - the dollar amount over which it's required that certain information about the donor be disclosed - no information under "Occupation" is listed. This information was not provided for three personal contributions in the PAC's May financial disclosure either.
- No moratorium on political attacks on 9/11 for the Republican Party of New Mexico. The New Mexico Republican Party also attacked the new Super PAC that aids Democrats for ties to a former Bill Richardson official.
- The Albuquerque Police Department chief gives his department an "A" -- something that many will disagree with.
- Poynter lists the Albuquerque Journal's September 11, 2011 cover as one of the most striking covers since the infamous day in 2001.
- Ruidoso Downs officials says the emphatic loss on a quality of life tax came down to poor education on what it meant.
- Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS announced a massive $2.6 million ad buy in three Senate races -- and New Mexico is not on the list.
- The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe says they will to address criticism of this year's burning of Zozobra that ranged from being too expensive to too boring.
- Science is awesome. A demonstration plant in Hobbs seeks to convert solar power to liquid fuel that the operators hope can compete with ethanol.
- More science: an event today will showcase products out of Sandia National Labs.
- This will end well. The federal government is taking to the internet to find a name for an urban wildlife refuge south of Albuquerque along the Rio Grande.
- The Scoville scale turns 100. Which reminds me, I bought a sack of ridiculously hot Lemitar green chile.