February 13, 2017

Why New Mexico sucks — wingnut denialism, in part

First, it does suck, and it's not going in the right direction. Residents admit that.

But, per another Albuquerque Journal piece, many of the same residents refuse to admit that
1. The Great Recession is over;
2. NM has been governed by a Republican gov the last six years;
3. The GOP has had partial control of the NM state legislature during part of that time. (The previous session of the House was Republican, and the first session of the Senate in her first term was controlled by a coalition of Republicans and select Democrats, per Wikipedia.)

In other words, Gov. Susana Martinez, in her first six years, had either one side of the Roundhouse or the other in her corner four of six years. And, during her first term, she got at least some Senate Dems in her corner the first two years. (The coalition was a carryover from the last Senate session under her gubernatorial predecessor, Big Bill Richardson.)

When Martinez is being called a RINO, you know the river Denial is running deeper, especially in red-state areas south of Duke City, than is the Rio Grande. And, per the previous paragraph, no, wingnuts, not all Democratic legiscritters were "librulz" determined to oppose her agenda.

Said RINO-type commenters also refuse to admit:
1. Gary Johnson, for all his controversies, was able to work better with the Lege than Martinez;
2. For whatever reasons, people who elect GOP govs in the Land of dis-Enchantment won't elect GOP legiscritters on a regular basis.
3. Voters appear to have gotten more tired of the GOP again.
4. Martinez is certainly NOT a RINO.

Indeed, if one looks at her record, she's stolen a page or two from the Sam Brownback book. And, on jobs creation, been even worse than him in Kansas.

The problem is that many Dems still have no cojones to stand up to her more, or to take the bit in their mouths on other issues.

You can't totally blame oil and gas. The Permian is cheaper to frack than many other parts of the country, and New Mexico has added four rigs each of the last two weeks, according to Baker Hughes. And, the industry is claiming this will boost "low-tech" jobs and the state should help them out on this.

As for the state being overly reliant on federal dollars, as claimed in the second link? It's true. The state is eighth in percentage of state revenue coming from the feds versus how much it pays out in federal taxes; it's also second in percentage of resident income coming from federal support. It's also a state with a high percentage of federal employees.

Speaking of, from that second link, this is funny, hypocritcal, or a bit of both:
“The fact is our state is way too reliant on federal dollars – has been for over a century,” said Michael Lonergan, the governor’s spokesman. “Because of that, not only did we get hit with the national recession, but we took a second blow with federal budget cuts (commonly referred to as sequestration) and a dysfunctional Washington. That put us behind almost every state. To make problems worse, we just saw one of the steepest crashes in the oil and gas industry – another sector we’ve been reliant on for decades. 
Lonergan said the governor has championed tax cuts and job training, adding, “We can no longer rely on Washington congressional leadership. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we continue to grow our private sector and help small businesses grow.”
So, lemme see; the GOP took over the federal House at the same time Martinez became governor. That takeover included a then-freshman Congresscritter from New Mexico called Steve Pearce, who supported the sequestration the House GOP rammed through and Dear Leader surrendered to.

Second, many of those federal dollars are high-tech and well-paying. Do you really want to write off the Los Alamos and Sandia labs? (Let's not forget that Dear Leader's updating of nukes certainly helped those labs.)

Further note to Lonergan: Utah's also pretty reliant on federal dollars, with all those national parks. New Mexico has probably done a less-than-stellar job of marketing, including working on getting tourists to venture very far outside the Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Taos corridor. This has been a long-standing issue under governors of both parties.

Take the greater Ruidoso area. Yes, Texans hit the slopes at Ski Apache if they don't do Angel Fire. Other than that? Smokey Bear gets minimal promotion.

Or, the Glenwood-Silver City area? (I remember the worries about Silver City being "discovered." I'm betting they wish they had that worry now.)

And "New Mexico True" as a marketing slogan? Maybe it works inside the state, but I find its appeal to non-residents is minimal.

As for crime rate? It's actually been in the bottom 10 consistently since the early 1980s, other than improving modestly when Big Bill was in office. It was not great before then, but it was at least like it was in Richardson's time. Maybe we should blame St. Ronald of Reagan, wingnuts.

That said, high school graduation rates have actually improved since Martinez took office.

That said, one can probably fault both parties for not creating a true rainy-day fund. The state's permanent fund isn't THAT sound.

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This is not coming from a total outsider.

I grew up in Gallup. The first weekly newspaper where I was an editor was in Hobbs.

My one brother still lives in Farmington. My sister and her family lived once at the west end of the Oklahoma Panhandle, far enough out to shop in Clayton. (Why not Dalhart, I don't know.) They later lived in Albuquerque.

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