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Sept. 23, 2017
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Morning Word: Former state GOP head passes away

And the rest of New Mexico's news

November 11, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • Former gubernatorial candidate and Republican Party of New Mexico chairman John Dendahl passed away. Steve Terrell:
    John Dendahl was a reporter's dream. The former state Republican Party chairman always was friendly and had a great sense of humor. He always returned reporters' phone calls and he always had something interesting, often provocative, to say.
    And here's the take from the Albuquerque Journal.
  • David Clements stepped down from his spot as head of the Dona Ana County Republican Party so he can continue his long-shot run for U.S. Senate.
    "I was disturbed to hear that rumored Republican US Senate candidates, Allen Weh and Robert Aragon, have contacted you to express that my continued service as DARP Chairman to date is unethical, and given me an unfair advantage," he wrote to Billingsley.

    The resignation underscores competing factions within the state Republican Party.
    Clements represents a more libertarian-tinged element of the party.
  • Is Patrick Padilla on his way out of the position of chief investment officer at Bernalillo County?
    On Friday, County Manager Tom Zdunek confirmed in a telephone interview with KRQE News 13 that he plans to issue a request for proposals seeking an outside investment adviser to oversee trades and help manage the portfolio.

    “That adviser would look the investment portfolio, hopefully with the concurrence of the county treasurer, and come up with an exit strategy to get us out of the long-term investments we’re currently in,” Zdunek said. “That strategy would be based on the cash-flow needs of the county and would prioritize our strategy into security first, then liquidity, then yield – instead of the other way around, as it is now.”
    KRQE has been leading on the story of troubles in the Bernalillo County Treasurer's office.
  • Padilla says concerns about the county's investments is overblown, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
  • The Albuquerque Journal looks at the question of when fetuses can feel pain that is central to the argument of a 20-week abortion ban. The anti-abortion advocates seize on arguments on a website that rejects other studies.
  • KOB is the latest to look at the campaigning on the late-term abortion ban proposal that Albuquerque voters are currently voting on (through early voting). Election day is November 19.
  • A group of men want Albuquerque voters to vote no on the proposal.
    City Councilor Isaac Benton, who spoke against the ban along with fellow councilor Rey Garduño, said the City Council failed Albuquerque voters in allowing the ban to appear on the ballot in the first place. He said the ban is expensive and said the council got legal advice stating it would be unenforceable.
  • The Albuquerque Journal takes a crack at the legislators who want to revamp the state's criminal code.
    Both sides say they hope to focus on better ways to use limited funding, on emptying prisons and shifting some of the emphasis from drug crimes to violent crimes.

    “These ideas have been percolating in the Legislature since I got there, but sometimes they have broken down along party lines,” Maestas said. ” This time, though, we want to go big, and we want to be all-inclusive. We want to bring everybody to the table – the cops, the DAs, criminal defense attorneys, civil rights attorneys, victim advocates, local jail folks, Department of Corrections, bondsmen, all aspects of the criminal justice system.”
  • Albuquerque Public Schools suspended superintendent Winston Brooks for three days following offensive tweets about Public Education Department secretary-designate Hanna Skandera. Brooks got rid of his Twitter account as well.
  • Leslie Linthicum opines on the Brooks situation.
  • State Democrats are wondering why national media is saying Gov. Susana Martinez is working with Democrats in the legislature.
    But there also have been bruising legislative fights in which, Democrats say, Martinez has shown little if any willingness to compromise. And the harsh attack ads and mailers Martinez ran against some Democrats during the 2012 election still are fresh on the minds of lawmakers.

    The “works-well-with-Democrats” theme is a talking point that Martinez herself has cultivated. With voters around the country getting increasingly fed up with partisan gridlock in Congress, the image of a comprising pragmatist is an appealing one for a politician to try to project.
  • The Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative received a $38 million bill from the Forest Service over the costs related to the Las Conchas Fire in 2011.
  • The Rio Rancho Governing Body continues to talk about whether or not to bring a general obligation bond question in front of voters this March.
  • Sen. Tom Udall spoke at the summit of the Collaborative Research & Development Council. Albuquerque Business First spoke to the Senator.
    The research laboratories have made commercializing the technology they’re working on a priority, but to limited success, compared to other research facilities.

    “There are obstacles,” Udall said. “One is, other areas don’t have national security labs. The central mission of Los Alamos and Sandia is national security. But, if that’s our central mission, you’re worried about security. That’s why we’re doing technology transfer.”
  • Udall was also in Los Lunas to talk about the need to curb prescription drug abuse in New Mexico.
  • The Carlsbad Current-Argus takes a fascinating look at the housing crunch in Carlsbad because of the oil and gas boom.
    "My boss told me 'you're hired,'" he said. "Then he said 'Now start looking for a place.'" Thurston, like so many out-of-state residents, quickly found out just what his supervisor meant. For a month, Thurston spent all his time trying to find somewhere to call home here in the city. And for that month, he called the Stagecoach Motel home, a place that didn't feature many home-like qualities.
  • State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard announced she is running for reelection. The race in the Los Alamos-area district will be one to watch as Republicans hope to take the House.
  • Media News:

    The Ruidoso News has a new general manager, Marianne Mohr.
    Mohr, who had been the director of advertising for MTD Media in Ruidoso from June 2011 to June of this year, started at her new job Monday.
  • Buying health insurance for the first time can be confusing. Winthrop Quigley is here to walk you through it.
  • State educators hope that they can cut down on the amount of college students who have to take remedial classes.
  • Municipal elections are starting up in Farmington, as two Farmington city council candidates announced their candidacy.
  • Alamogordo was cited for liquor violations at the Oktoberfest celebration.
    According to a press release the city issued Friday evening, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety cited the city twice for noise violations.

    The city has also been cited for the resident agent -- the person responsible for administering the city's liquor license -- for being served while intoxicated, as well as the servers manager being drunk on the job.
  • Santa Clara Pueblo is getting almost $3 million in federal assistance for flooding earlier this year.
  • The Doña Ana County commission has to close a $15.4 million budget gap.
    Options recommended to the commission last week included imposing a new sales tax, cutting yearly spending on non-county programs, bumping up right-of-way fees charged to El Paso Electric Co. and increasing costs to some employees for health plans.

    The commission also discussed cutting spending on capital projects, imposing a county hiring freeze or eliminating positions.
  • A Medal of Honor recipient from New Mexico, now 88, spoke about his experiences.
  • The New Mexico National Guard is headed to Vaughn, New Mexico to deliver water to the community that has been without water since Thursday.
    Guadalupe County Emergency Management is now assessing water line breaks being blamed for the outage.

    "There were leaks on the lines but we didn't have a backup reservoir also because there was a problem with the valve of the tank. But I believe the tank problem has been fixed," said Daniel Burguete, the county’s emergency management coordinator.
  • Sandoval County saved $500,000 by refinancing a bond.
    The commission approved a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of about $4.8 million in general obligation bonds at Thursday night’s meeting.

    Rob Burpo of First American Financial Advisors said the interest rate went from around 4.57 percent to 2.65 percent and, by selling the bonds, the county’s total savings will work out to more than $500,000.
  • The union for police in Las Vegas and the city are having a hard time coming up with an agreement on pay for officers.
  • Budget cuts mean that Carlsbad Caverns National Park will be closed on holidays.
    Park officials said they determined that the expense of keeping the park open on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day wasn’t justified by the relatively low number of visitors it receives on those days.
  • A plan for rural broadband would help counties in Northeastern New Mexico according to the Raton Comet.
  • The state kept a man past his prison sentence in September -- for humanitarian reasons.
    Family members wanted nothing to do with him. Nursing homes would not take him. He was not sick enough to take up a hospital bed.

    Rather than being dropped on a street and left to fend for himself, the man signed a waiver so he could remain an inmate, said Alex Tomlin, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.
  • Another candidate for Taos County Sheriff, the Taos News reports.
  • The Mid-Heights Messenger has a good take on the Winrock Town Center, both the hopes and the controversy surrounding the redevelopment project.

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