Inside the Capitol

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Alamogordo to retry Tea Pot Dome Scandal

31612 Alamo 100
SANTA FE – Alamogordo has scheduled a full slate of centennial events for the year. "Full slate" is no exaggeration. At least one event I is scheduled for every week of the year.
How did they do it? Every community organization in town has volunteered to sponsor an event. You can't get better organized than that.
Events include a regional square dance jamboree, dog shows, and a hang glider fly-in. The area has one of the best mountains for hang gliding in the nation. Also scheduled is a cowboy shooting contest. There's no information yet on how many cowboys will be shot but it is one of many events planned to attract visitors to the city.
Another major goal of Alamogordo activities is to educate everyone about the struggles New Mexico underwent to become a state. Dr. David Townsend, a retired professor at New Mexico State University-Alamogordo, is presenting a year-long series of lectures detailing those struggles. Townsend also is a former state legislator from the area.
One of New Mexico's difficulties in becoming a state was its Wild West reputation. Some of the more notable characters who helped create that reputation were from the Alamogordo area. One of those characters was Albert B. Fall, one of New Mexico's first two U.S. senators who went on to become secretary of the Interior Department under President Warren G. Harding.
Fall was convicted in the Tea Pot Dome scandal involving alleged bribes received from oil companies. Despite his conviction, a court later ruled that the bribes were not offered. One of the centennial activities will be a retrial of Secretary Fall.
It won't be a reenactment of the original trial but a real trial by a judge and jury. Two years ago at this time, former Gov. Bill Richardson began a great effort to retry Billy the Kid for the killing of Sheriff Brady. The governor's effort didn't succeed.
During Alamogordo's many centennial events, Citizens will be en courage to not only dress in period outfits but to portray actual people from Alamogordo's past and be prepared to tell their story.
Barbara McDonald, chairperson of the Alamogordo Statehood Centennial Celebration, says she doesn't think any other community in the state is showing more spirit in celebrating the centennial than Alamogordo. She says it has produced much community camaraderie.
Recently this column highlighted activities in Hobbs, Carlsbad and Lea County. At the time, we asked to hear from other New Mexico communities. I'm very happy to hear from Alamogordo, which I figured would happen since Barbara's husband Cliff McDonald and Dave Townsend enthusiastically told me about Alamogordo's plans over a year ago.
Surely other communities are getting in the act. We'd love to hear from you too.
Democrats had their state pre-primary nominating convention last Saturday. Tomorrow is the GOP's turn. No major surprises emerged from the Democratic convention. For the most part, it was what pollsters and pundits had predicted.
In the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich produced a 55-45 victory over state Auditor Hector Balderas. The big question in that contest was whether Balderas could make a good enough showing to remain a viable candidate.
It appears to have worked. Balderas was enthused, some say overly so, about his finish and vowed to keep fighting. Some analysts wonder if Balderas may be positioning himself for a future gubernatorial race. He is very young and has lots of time.
The 1st Congressional District race went as predict ted. State Sen. Eric Griego bested former Mayor Marty Chavez and county Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham by comfortable margins. But it wasn't enough to chase anyone from the contest.
Chavez has bested Griego in a mayoral race previously. Lujan Grisham is raising good money from national women's groups. Griego is the most liberal of the three and isn't expected to do quite as well in the June primary.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan kept Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya off the ballot in the 3rd Congressional District.


Post a Comment

<< Home