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New Mexico Telegram » Morning Word » Morning Word, 12-27-12

Morning Word, 12-27-12

Before I start, look later today for some other ways you can help make sure I can cover the 60-day legislative session. It will include some cool incentives!

I’ve come down from my eggnog coma and so we return to the Morning Word.

Before the holiday, I wrote about the Weekly Alibi being a shadow of its former self.

Some former Alibi contributors, including the former editor Marisa DeMarco, are now operating New Mexico Compass. Maybe we’ll be seeing the dish on what happened at the Alibi and why virtually the entire editorial staff was canned.

Albuquerque Business First wrote about the new website last week.

In a column, Demarco writes:

Over the course of my decade in journalism, I’ve worked with many interns, writers and editors. All of the good ones are in this field because they love it. Frankly, there’s not another reason to do this work. The money sucks. The hours suck. Journalism can make you crazy. It might also rob you of your health and beauty.

But, if you’re a born storyteller, if your curiosity is never sated, if you want to shine light into the shadowy corridors where power dwells, this is the job for you.

Truer words.

On to the Word:

  • The tributes to Sen. Jeff Bingaman are coming in.

    Milan Simonich writes that Bingaman was “a workhorse not a showhorse” and looked at five key votes in Bingaman’s decades in the Senate.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican called Bingaman “the quiet diplomat.”

    A former staffer recently compared Bingaman to the title character played by Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And Congressional Quarterly’s Politics in America once called the New Mexico senator “Mr. Spock in a Senate of Captain Kirks.” A cover story on Bingaman in an Albuquerque magazine in the late 1980s referred to him as “the most boring man in the U.S. Senate.”

    Earlier this year, the conservative Washington Times wrote, “In a political world dominated by snappy sound bites and 30-second TV campaign ads, the Democrat stands out for his quiet, serious-minded style.”

  • The New York Times notes that Bingaman’s longtime colleague former Sen. Pete Domenici was the last Republican congressman to vote for a tax increase — back in 1990.
    On a Saturday afternoon in October 1990, Senator Pete V. Domenici turned from a conversation on the Senate floor, caught the eye of a clerk by raising his right hand and voted in favor of a huge and contentious bill to reduce federal deficits. Then he put his hand back into his pocket and returned to the conversation.

    It was the end of an era, although no one knew it then. It was the last time any Congressional Republican has voted for higher income taxes.

    Now, Domenici is advocatingfor an increase in some taxes as part of a package to reduce the deficit. But Domenici went more than a decade in the Senate without voting for a tax increase.

  • More than 43 percent of APD officers supported a DOJ investigation before the DOJ announced it would be conducting said investigation.
  • Milan Simonich says lawmakers have proposed $350,000 in education funding for nonessential education projects.
  • I wrote about Albuquerque Business First (formerly New Mexico Business Weekly) and wrote that I think they are doing better work at making the website a focus. A former staffer there wrote in to let me know about the successes they had online, including breaking stories on their website first — and says that sometimes they would break a story online only to see it show up in other outlets in print versions and eventually the Associated Press.
  • Simonich also writes that three new legislators are ones to watch in the upcoming session.
  • Does the state constitution bar changes to benefits from PERA? The Albuquerque Journal reports.
  • Gun sales are up in Farmington, the Farmington Daily-News reports. The most popular is the AR-15. This comes in the wake of shootings in Connecticut — though gun sales may have naturally gone up since it was leading up to Christmas.
  • Thom Cole writes about the record of Gov. Martinez on guns.
  • The Las Cruces Sun-News reported on the change in district attorneys in the 3rd Judicial District. Mark D’Antonio defeated incumbent Amy Orlando. Orlando was the protege of Gov. Susana Martinez.

    And Paul Rubino will serve as his assistant DA.

  • U.S. Senator Tom Udall has been fighting against the filibuster and how to reform it to make sure it cannot freeze all work in the U.S. Senate. Others have been working towards ending the filibuster completely, but a lawsuit to rule the filibuster unlawful was dismissed by a U.S. District Judge.
  • The Clovis News-Journal reported on fears of the looming “fiscal cliff” if Congress cannot reach a deal.
    Micheal Snipes, an assistant professor of Economics at Eastern New Mexico University, said uncertainty causes business managers and owners to avoid risks and delay actions they would normally take. The standstill is likely to have as much impact on business performance as the actual plunge, he said.

    Eastern New Mexico businesses seem to be in that risk-avoidance mode. They have put nearly everything on hold while they await the outcome, according to some business leaders.

  • The Albuquerque Inspector General quit after just 17 months on the job saying that he was not allowed to do his job.
    In a Journal interview, Carrasquillo said the administration hasn’t referred a case to him for investigation in six months, though it regularly did so before that, according to reports he filed. He said he agreed with councilors who raised questions about the independence of the office.

  • Good news for LANL. The Los Alamos Monitor reports.
    According to the memo obtained by the Los Alamos Monitor, McMillan, who said the lab worked through a $400 million shortfall, told employees the lab scored 80 percent and the Los Alamos National Security, LLC, was awarded another year on its contract.

    Out of a possible total of $74.5 million, NNSA awarded LANS a combined total of $59.6 million in fees for executing more than $2.2 billion in work for the nation in FY 2012.

  • The Deming Headlight looks back at 2012 in part one of a four-part series.
  • Should New Mexico decriminalize marijuana like Colorado and Washington recently did following the most recnet elections in those states? Capitol Report New Mexico looks at each side of the story
  • The office of the Attorney General weighed in on the dispute for the Mariposa subdivision in Rio Rancho.
    Two assistant attorneys general have issued an opinion that Mariposa East homeowners were not adequately notified of property owners’ liability associated with the development’s Public Improvement District taxes when they purchased their property.

  • Carlsbad is home to the state’s oldest practicing dentist. This is the type of news you see Christmas week.
  • The Las Vegas Optic reports on the unfinished Student Center at New Mexico Highlands University.
  • The City of Albuquerque didn’t waive parking fees in Nob Hill this year during the Christmas season.
  • Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs mayors don’t seem to see eye to eye, the Ruidoso News reports.
    The mayors of the two municipalities have snipped at one another for more than a month, as evidenced by an exchange of letters.

    The current discord was triggered after a Nov. 19 correspondence from Ruidoso Downs Mayor Gary Williams to Ruidoso Mayor Ray Alborn. It referenced a Nov. 13 meeting that, according to the letter, involved Alborn, Village Manager Debi Lee and Ruidoso Downs Police Chief Doug Babcock.

  • The Taos News replaced letters to the editor with letters to Santa Claus from children.

    [A penny was taped to his letter.]

    How are you? You are cool. I like you Santa clos? I would llove to have a spidrman. I would like to meet you. I love you Santa!

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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