Inside the Capitol

Friday, June 10, 2011

6-15 Senate Race and Osama

SANTA FE – It's time to tie up some loose ends. Most of them com from reader questions or prodding.
Past columns have covered the two major candidates in each party that are going to make New Mexico's U.S. Senate race a doozy. We're talking about former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson and Lt. Gov. John Sanchez in their pitched battle for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination. And Rep. Martin Heinrich and state Auditor Hector Balderas and their battle for the Democratic nomination.
We have three other candidates for those two races. In a previous column I covered businessman Greg Sowards of Las Cruces who is well in front among this trio. But that wasn't enough. Many of you wanted to know more about the other two. Neither one of them seem to be spending much money on their campaigns so it is difficult to learn about them.
I realized that the readers wanting to know more about Republican Bill English of Alamogordo wanted other readers to know more about him. I already knew that most of the material on English floating around in the blogosphere is damaging. I didn't want to do that, so if you are interested in Mr. English, just Google him
Andres Valdes lives in Albuquerque and is an activist for people who have no power and mostly are poor. Valdes advocates an economic model of worker cooperatives that have been successful in a Basque region in Spain.
Valdes created and runs Vecinos United a nonprofit group. He says he is embarrassed to admit that the Democratic Party is guilty of corporate greed just like the Republicans. "It's just that our party is willing to issue out a few more crumbs." Valdes does not have a Web site that I can find.
John Sanchez's past votes and speeches are beginning to catch up with him as his main opponent said they would. Wilson has said since the beginning that Sanchez is not the conservative he says he is.
Now we are learning that Sanchez had a 71 percent voting record for the AFL-CIO during his one term in the House and that he voted in favor of both reinstatement of public employee collective bargaining rights and a raise in the minimum wage. And Sanchez once told a Chamber of Commerce meeting that government can't be run like a business even though then-Gov. Johnson preached that it could.
Actually other Republicans also had a good voting record for labor during that 2000 legislative session. And other Republicans have explained that government can't be run like a business. Business owners make decisions and their employees carry them out. In a democracy, the Legislature makes the decisions and the governor carries them out. And the Supreme Court watches to assure the governor doesn't get out of bounds.
As former state GOP Chairman John Dendahl was fond of saying, only in a dictatorship does government run as smoothly as business.
Explain this one to me. We keep hearing that New Mexico still is very much in a deep recession. And yet the Department of Workforce Solutions has announced that Tier IV, the top tier of unemployment was cut off on June 12 because the state unemployment rate has dropped below the 8.5 percent threshold necessary for the state to qualify.
Is there some area of the state that is doing well but not letting us know about it? Or is it a matter of people giving up looking for a job or moving out of state? Are there any statistics that speak to that question?
And finally, I received an e-mail from my good friend Michael P.E. Hoyt, a former ambassador to the Congo, where he was held captive during a revolution. It was a copy of a prediction Hoyt had made in 2002 when we first started hunting Osama bin Laden in the caves along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He said bin Laden would never stay in those caves. He would go to live with his many wives and children in one of the hundreds of thousands of walled compounds somewhere in Pakistan. He knew it would take a long time to find out which walled compound.


Post a Comment

<< Home