Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kerja Keras adalah Energi Kita

Semboyan pertamina yang sangat mendukung bangsa Indonesia menjadi bangsa yang maju..
Dengan sumber daya alam yang ada di negara tercinta kita ini, kita harus pandai mengelola sumber daya alam yang sangat melimpah itu..
Dengan kerja keras dan support pasti Bangsa Indonesia menjadi negara yang maju mengalahkan negara maju terdahulu.....
Salah satunya hasil sumber daya alam dari minyak bumi yaitu bensin.....
Bensin adalah satu jenis bahan bakar kendaraan bermotor khususnya mobil dan sepeda motor. Jenis bensin saat ini sudah mengaalami perkembangan yaitu premium, pertamax, dan pertamax plus . Ketiganya mempunyai mutu pefomance yang berbeda. Karena mutu bahan bakar bensin dikaitkan dengan jumlah ketukan (knocking) yang di timbulkannya dan dinyatakan dengan nilai oktan. Semakin sedikit ketukan, semakin baik mutu bensin, dan semakin tinggi nilai oktannya.
Ketukan adalah suatu perilaku yang kurang baik dari bahan bakar, yaitu terjadi pembakaran terlau dini sebelum piston berada dalam posisi yang tepat. Ketukan menyebabkan mesin menggelitik, mengurangi efesiensi bahan bakar dan dapat merusak mesin.
Dan untuk menentkan nilai oktan, ditetapkan dua jenis senyawa sebagai pembanding yatu “isooktana” dan n-heptana. Kedua senyawa ini adalah dua diantara banyak macam senyawa yang terdapat dalam bensin. Isooktana menghasilkan ketukan paling sedikit, dan di beri oktan 100; sedangkan n-heptana menghailkan ketukan paling banyak, dan di beri nilai oktan 0 (nol). Maka suatu campuran yang terdiiri dari 80% isooktana dan 20% n-heptana mempunyai nilai oktan sebesar (80/100x100) + (20/100x0) = 80.

CH3 CH3
CH3 C CH2 CH CH3 CH3 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH3
CH3
Isooktana ( nilai oktan = 100) n-heptana (nilai oktan = 0)

Secara umum, alkana rantai bercabang mempunyai oktan lebih tinggi daripada isomer rantai lurusnya. Sebagai contoh, n-heksana mempunyai nilai oktan 25, sedangkan 2,2 dimetilbutana mempunyai nilai oktan 92.
CH3
CH3 C CH2 CH3 CH3 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH3
CH3
2,2 dimetilbutana (nilai oktan = 92) n-heksana (nilai oktan = 25)

Pertamax mempunyai nilai oktan 92, berarti mutu bahan bakar itu setara dengan campuran 92% isooktana dan 8% n-heptana. Namun demikian, tidak berarti bahwa Pertamax hanya terdiri dari dua jenis senyawa (92% isooktana dan 8% n-heptana), melainkan “mutunya” atau jumlah ketukan yang di timbulkannya setara dengan campuran 92% isooktana dan 85 n-heptana. Premium mempunyai nilai oktan 88, sedangkan Pertamax plus mempunyai nilai oktan 94.
Fraksi bensin dari hasil penyulingan mempunyai nilai oktan yang rendah . Hal itu terjadi karena sebagian besar bensin dari hasil penyulingan terdiri dari alkana rantai lurus. Nilai pktan bensin harus diingkatkan sebelum dapat digunakan sebagai bahan bakar kendaraan. Hal ini dapat dilakukan dengan reforming atau menambahkan zat anti ketukan. Reforming adalah suatu proses untuk mengubah alkana rantai lurus menjadi rantai bercabang, sehingga akan menaikkan nilai oktan.
Salah satu zat anti ketukan yang hingga kini masih digunakan di negara kita adalah Tetraethyl lead (TEL, lead = timbel atau timah hitam). Penambahan 2-3 mL zat ini ke dalam gallon bensin dapat menaikan nilai oktan sebesar 15 poin.
Pembakaran bensin diperkaya dengan TEL akan menghasilkan oksida timah hitam yang akan keluar bersama asap kendaraan atau menempel pada komponen mesin.Untuk mencegah supaya oksida timbel itu tidak menempel pada mesin, maka ke dalam bensin bertimbal dicampurkan etilen bromida, C2H4Br2. Atom bromine dari etilen demikian akan keluar bersama asap kendaraan bermotor. Sayangnya, senyawa timbel ini merupakan racun yang dapat merusak otak. Jadi penggunaan antiketukan yang lebih ramah lingkungan adalah methyl tertiary buthyl ether (MTBE).
Sekitar 75% dari minyak bumi mentah merupakan fraksi berat ( keroksin dan yang lebih berat lagi), sedangkan fraksi bensin hanya sekitar 6%. Sejak tahun 1930, seiring dengan berkembannya industri kendaraan bermotor, pemnggunaan bensin meningkat dengan cepat, sehingga bensin hasil penyulingan tidak mencukupi kebutuhan. Untuk menambah produksi, maka fraksi berat dikonvensi menjadi bensin melalui proses cracking atau perengkahan. Perengkahan dapat terjadi karena pemanasan (thermal cracking) atau dengan bantuan katalis (catalytic cracking). Kataiis menyediakan permukaan yang panas tempat terjadinya perengkahan.
Bensin yang diperoleh melalui cracking lebih baik daripada hasil penyulingan, sehingga produk tersebut dicampurkan dengan bensin hasil penyulingan langsung. Proses pencampuran ini disebut blending.

Oleh karena itu Kita harus dukung Pertamina, dengan cara apapun baik dengan pikiran contohnya dengan memberikan saran..
Agar Indonesia bisa maju.....

Kerja Keras adalah Energi Kita

Semboyan pertamina yang sangat mendukung bangsa Indonesia menjadi bangsa yang maju..
Dengan sumber daya alam yang ada di negara tercinta kita ini, kita harus pandai mengelola sumber daya alam yang sangat melimpah itu..
Dengan kerja keras dan support pasti Bangsa Indonesia menjadi negara yang maju mengalahkan negara maju terdahulu.....
Salah satunya hasil sumber daya alam dari minyak bumi yaitu bensin.....
Bensin adalah satu jenis bahan bakar kendaraan bermotor khususnya mobil dan sepeda motor. Jenis bensin saat ini sudah mengaalami perkembangan yaitu premium, pertamax, dan pertamax plus . Ketiganya mempunyai mutu pefomance yang berbeda. Karena mutu bahan bakar bensin dikaitkan dengan jumlah ketukan (knocking) yang di timbulkannya dan dinyatakan dengan nilai oktan. Semakin sedikit ketukan, semakin baik mutu bensin, dan semakin tinggi nilai oktannya.
Ketukan adalah suatu perilaku yang kurang baik dari bahan bakar, yaitu terjadi pembakaran terlau dini sebelum piston berada dalam posisi yang tepat. Ketukan menyebabkan mesin menggelitik, mengurangi efesiensi bahan bakar dan dapat merusak mesin.
Dan untuk menentkan nilai oktan, ditetapkan dua jenis senyawa sebagai pembanding yatu “isooktana” dan n-heptana. Kedua senyawa ini adalah dua diantara banyak macam senyawa yang terdapat dalam bensin. Isooktana menghasilkan ketukan paling sedikit, dan di beri oktan 100; sedangkan n-heptana menghailkan ketukan paling banyak, dan di beri nilai oktan 0 (nol). Maka suatu campuran yang terdiiri dari 80% isooktana dan 20% n-heptana mempunyai nilai oktan sebesar (80/100x100) + (20/100x0) = 80.

CH3 CH3
CH3 C CH2 CH CH3 CH3 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH3
CH3
Isooktana ( nilai oktan = 100) n-heptana (nilai oktan = 0)

Secara umum, alkana rantai bercabang mempunyai oktan lebih tinggi daripada isomer rantai lurusnya. Sebagai contoh, n-heksana mempunyai nilai oktan 25, sedangkan 2,2 dimetilbutana mempunyai nilai oktan 92.
CH3
CH3 C CH2 CH3 CH3 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH2 CH3
CH3
2,2 dimetilbutana (nilai oktan = 92) n-heksana (nilai oktan = 25)

Pertamax mempunyai nilai oktan 92, berarti mutu bahan bakar itu setara dengan campuran 92% isooktana dan 8% n-heptana. Namun demikian, tidak berarti bahwa Pertamax hanya terdiri dari dua jenis senyawa (92% isooktana dan 8% n-heptana), melainkan “mutunya” atau jumlah ketukan yang di timbulkannya setara dengan campuran 92% isooktana dan 85 n-heptana. Premium mempunyai nilai oktan 88, sedangkan Pertamax plus mempunyai nilai oktan 94.
Fraksi bensin dari hasil penyulingan mempunyai nilai oktan yang rendah . Hal itu terjadi karena sebagian besar bensin dari hasil penyulingan terdiri dari alkana rantai lurus. Nilai pktan bensin harus diingkatkan sebelum dapat digunakan sebagai bahan bakar kendaraan. Hal ini dapat dilakukan dengan reforming atau menambahkan zat anti ketukan. Reforming adalah suatu proses untuk mengubah alkana rantai lurus menjadi rantai bercabang, sehingga akan menaikkan nilai oktan.
Salah satu zat anti ketukan yang hingga kini masih digunakan di negara kita adalah Tetraethyl lead (TEL, lead = timbel atau timah hitam). Penambahan 2-3 mL zat ini ke dalam gallon bensin dapat menaikan nilai oktan sebesar 15 poin.
Pembakaran bensin diperkaya dengan TEL akan menghasilkan oksida timah hitam yang akan keluar bersama asap kendaraan atau menempel pada komponen mesin.Untuk mencegah supaya oksida timbel itu tidak menempel pada mesin, maka ke dalam bensin bertimbal dicampurkan etilen bromida, C2H4Br2. Atom bromine dari etilen demikian akan keluar bersama asap kendaraan bermotor. Sayangnya, senyawa timbel ini merupakan racun yang dapat merusak otak. Jadi penggunaan antiketukan yang lebih ramah lingkungan adalah methyl tertiary buthyl ether (MTBE).
Sekitar 75% dari minyak bumi mentah merupakan fraksi berat ( keroksin dan yang lebih berat lagi), sedangkan fraksi bensin hanya sekitar 6%. Sejak tahun 1930, seiring dengan berkembannya industri kendaraan bermotor, pemnggunaan bensin meningkat dengan cepat, sehingga bensin hasil penyulingan tidak mencukupi kebutuhan. Untuk menambah produksi, maka fraksi berat dikonvensi menjadi bensin melalui proses cracking atau perengkahan. Perengkahan dapat terjadi karena pemanasan (thermal cracking) atau dengan bantuan katalis (catalytic cracking). Kataiis menyediakan permukaan yang panas tempat terjadinya perengkahan.
Bensin yang diperoleh melalui cracking lebih baik daripada hasil penyulingan, sehingga produk tersebut dicampurkan dengan bensin hasil penyulingan langsung. Proses pencampuran ini disebut blending.

Oleh karena itu Kita harus dukung Pertamina, dengan cara apapun baik dengan pikiran contohnya dengan memberikan saran..
Agar Indonesia bisa maju.....

SCTV vs BRI




VS


SCTV vs BRI




VS


Friday, October 30, 2009

Illowy adjustments and clarifications

I need to make a few adjustments to the Illowy post below, reflecting some new information and also reflecting personal reflections. However, I do not have time to do it now, but going into shabbos, I don't want the post as it is to be assumed to reflect everything I have to say about it.

In the meantime, here's an unintentionally hilarious notice from an 1868 issue of the Scientific American about the Illowy image from the American Phrenological Journal I had posted:




Since Chanuka's coming, here's something which ran in the Jewish Chronicle of London a long time ago:



Edit 11.02.09

Please read the update at the bottom of that post.

The thrilling adventures of . . . the Aleppo Codex?

This should be . . . interesting:

Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex by Hayim Tawil and Bernard Schneider.



One thing seems certain; given Tawil's involvement, even if it is Da Vinci Code-sque with a silly plot and contrived contrivances, at least the facts will likely be facts. Plot prediction: a secret cabal of Syrians with a lair on King's Highway will be hoarding missing leaves.

Tawil is about to publish a new lexicon of Akkadian (link).



See this Yeshiva University press release (via Hirhurim).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Goodbye, Heather: Final 2010 GOP Guv Field Is Set As Wilson Passes; The Impact And Latest Guv Race Analysis, Plus: Campbell Over Top In City CAO Vote?

Goodbye, Heather
The 2010 New Mexico race for Governor sprung a big flat tire when former ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson announced she would not seek her party's nomination, and it remains to be seen whether the four Republican candidates on the field can reflate this campaign and make it a marquee event.

It wasn't what you'd call a stunner. Wilson, who turns 49 in December, has now established a life outside of politics, but her Thursday decision will likely be remembered as a race-shaping event. Top Democrats feared her the most. They now see former GOP Chairman Allen Weh as the strongest GOP primary candidate, but the weakest for the general election against presumed Democratic nominee Lt. Governor Diane Denish.

Veteran politico Steve Cabiedes, who is now managing the Dem Light Guv campaign of State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, put it this way:

This announcement settles down the political landscape. It gets more mundane without Wilson and mundane is good for Denish.

Wilson's departure signals the start of an intense intra-party feud for the state's minority party. Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez, trying to position herself as the alternative to Weh, reacted immediately to the Wilson news by arguing it is she who is the most electable against a potent Denish:

I am the one candidate seeking the Republican Party's nomination who can build the necessary coalition to compete and win next fall. I have a proven track record of bringing people together and winning tough elections in a county where Republicans are outnumbered nearly three to one.


But Martinez is not necessarily the default anti-Weh candidate. ABQ PR executive Doug Turner has loaned himself considerable money and if he shows a willingness to spend it his eclectic message that appeals to what is left of the center of the GOP could catch fire.

Like Turner, ABQ GOP State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones will not join Martinez in challenging Weh for the committed conservatives. Janice's immediate challenge is raising enough money to establish credibility. Heather's departure may ease that some because potential donors can no longer say they are waiting on her.

The problem for all the anti-Weh wannabes is the composition of the Republican Party. It is dominated by Anglo, conservative men. This is a byproduct of its sharp turn to the right under the presidency of Bush and the chairmanship of Weh.

The irony for Weh is that the diminishing of the party he presided over--epic Governor and US Senate losses and fewer numbers in the Legislature--actually positions him nicely for the GOP nomination, but it could spell doom for him if he faces Denish.

DI'S DANCE
Diane Denish
Don't expect to see any tricky moves on the political dance floor from the Light Guv. She won't be a wallflower, but without Heather competing for attention, she will fill her dance card with slow waltzes. No tangos for Di.

She did only some subdued two-stepping during the recent legislative session and her immediate challenge will be to get through what promises to be a very bloody January session in which the mountainous state budget will have to be confronted. But it will be Big Bill's budget--not hers--as long as he still around. In fact, post-session we wouldn't be surprised to see Di start to separate herself some from the boss, but not much until after the June primary.

With no serious challengers for the Dem nomination on her left or right, Denish can parade right up the middle. That's the sweet spot in New Mexico. Until the June primary is over, Republicans are going to be too busy fighting among themselves to move her off of it.

The danger for Denish and the hope for the R's is the state of the economy. There is much material to be mined there and itchy independent-minded voters are open to persuasion. Also, who knows what other shoes will drop from Big Bill that could shake Di's tree?

MORE WILSON IMPACT

One of the beneficiaries of Heather's decision is southern Dem Congressman Harry Teague. He already has a premier Republican opponent in former US Rep. Steve Pearce. If Heather was joining Steve on the ticket, it could further excite the GOP base. But if Denish is leading in the polls next summer, that could dampen some of the R enthusiasm and benefit Teague. Perhaps not much, but with Teague's race looking so close, every little bit helps.

EVEN MORE IMPACT


Denish just added some muscle and we'll all be watching to see how it's used. For example, that crowded race for the Dem nomination for lieutenant governor suddenly looks less threatening for her. Will she be more prone to push in a certain direction?

WHAT PRICE VICTORY?


For Wilson, the decision not to run is likely her swan song. She will now recede into private life which she said she finds satisfying, not to mention financially lucrative. She makes plenty as a national security consultant.

This was her best and perhaps last chance for statewide political office. Her name ID will now diminish as will her stature in the Republican Party. New faces, like that of ABQ Mayor-elect Berry, are already emerging. She would have an outside shot at running for the US Senate seat held by Jeff Bingaman, but only if Bingaman retires in 2012. Today that seems unlikely. She has ruled out a run for her old congressional seat now held by Dem Martin Heinrich.

Political life has not been a bed of roses for Heather. Even as other congressional reps coasted to easy re-election wins, she never had that luxury. The governor's race would have been another long, bitter and uphill struggle. She must have mused--for what? She would get to Santa Fe with no money to spend and fight for four years with a Democratic Legislature. There were simply more rewarding things to do.

If this is indeed the end game for Wilson, she will be remembered in history as a tenacious and effective political campaigner, but her political record lacks permanence. Both Wilson and her mentor--former Senator Pete Domenici--self-described moderates--chose not to move the state GOP in a truly moderate direction that may have prevented its collapse. They fully embraced the Bush presidency and for that they and their party paid deeply, as witnessed by the total D dominance of the congressional delegation and Santa Fe.

CONTEXT AND PERSPECTIVE

Wilson's exit from the brightly lit stage of La Politica comes as New Mexico decouples somewhat from the national security and military establishments that boosted the R's to prominence in the post World War II era. Budgets for Sandia and Los Alamos national labs have stagnated. The military bases remain robust, but perhaps not quite as much. These institutions brought thousands of outsiders to the state who tilted the political equation.

It was telling that Wilson, an Air Force veteran, pointed out in her announcement that the governorship does not have a national security role. That's her true love and where she was always most effective. Being Governor of New Mexico in 2011 and beyond will mean leading the state in rebuilding the private sector of the economy, or possibly overseeing the downsizing of state aspirations. That's an elegiac prospect and far from the comfort zone of Heather Wilson.

CAMPBELL OVER TOP?

The ABQ Journal's Dan McKay has the fresh nose count on that intense behind-the-scenes-battle by ABQ Mayor-elect Berry to win city council confirmation of attorney David Campbell as his chief administrative officer. He reports that it appears Campbell now has the needed five votes--Dem councilors Sanchez, Benton and O'Malley and R councilors Harris and Jones. In a second article, the Journal reports it appears Campbell has six votes which means they are now putting Rey Garduno in the "yes" column.

Campbell is a Democrat and if he is rejected, the D's could get a real Republican. They may figure it is best to stick with him.

If this vote holds, it is good news for the mayor-to-be, but not good enough. He will want a better than 6 to 3 vote on the city's second most powerful post to kick-off his new administration. We would expect him to keep the heat on to pop those numbers.

As things stand, it is members of Berry's own Republican Party--Councilors Cook, Winter and Lewis--who are weakening the new executive. They are now asking Campbell for certain financial disclosures. Maybe if they get them it will be the hook they use to back off their opposition?

The Campbell battle is another example of how divided the shrunken Republican Party remains. They experience their first significant victory in months by taking over the mayor's office and winning a majority on the council for the first time in nearly 25 years, yet they seem to be trying to give it away.

Good luck, RJ. You're going to need it.

THE BOTTOM LINES


Here's the Journal follow to the story we broke a while back on Roswell GOP State Senator "Lightning Rod" Adair speeding at 118 mph in Guadalupe County. He has entered a no contest plea, and he said he did not want to discuss why he was going so fast...Executives at CDR, the bond firm that got so much attention here in a federal grand jury probe and cost Big Bill a cabinet job with Obama, have been indicted in New York on charges of bid-rigging in a muni bond scheme. For a time, it appeared Bill and some of his top aides could end up indicted for biz deals CDR with NM, but the investigation here ended with no charges...

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Email your news and comments.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
Not for reproduction without permission of the author

Breaking: Heather Wilson Will Not Run For Governor In 2010: Makes Announcement on Facebook Page

Former ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson says she will not run for Governor in 2010. She made the announcement late Friday morning in an email to supporters that was also posted on her Facebook page. Here is the note she wrote:

Over the last ten months a lot of New Mexicans have encouraged me to run for Governor in 2010. I understand why New Mexicans want a strong leader to restore fiscal responsibility and integrity in Santa Fe and I deeply appreciate the confidence so many New Mexicans have expressed in me.

At the same time, I am well aware of the demands and limitations of elected office. My work in the private sector is satisfying, I do volunteer work that matters, and I am enjoying having more personal time to spend with family and friends. The Governor of New Mexico has no significant national security role -- an issue area that continues to be an important part of my life. Running for office and being Governor means setting these things aside.

To every thing there is a season. I will probably return to public life at some point, but I have decided that I will not run for Governor or any other office in 2010.

GOP Guv candidate Susana Martinez reacts:

"Heather Wilson is an accomplished leader who is admired and respected by New Mexicans regardless of their political persuasion. I would first and foremost like to thank her for the years of service to New Mexico...I am certain Heather will continue to have a profound and positive impact on the state she so deeply cares about. With Heather's announcement that she will not seek the governorship in 2010, it has become more clear than ever that I am the one candidate seeking the Republican Party's nomination who can build the necessary coalition to compete and win next fall. I have a proven track record of bringing people together and winning tough elections in a county where Republicans are outnumbered nearly three to one. In the weeks and months to come, I will continue to travel the state communicating my vision for New Mexico based on my conservative principles and values."

GOP Guv candidate Allen Weh reacts:

“Heather Wilson has been a distinguished public servant for this state and nation,” Weh said. “I am quite confident she is not done with public service regardless of this decision.

NM Democratic Party reacts:

Heather Wilson, sensing the strength of Lt. Governor Diane Denish, today decided she would not seek the Governor’s office. The Republican Party, decimated after the 2008 election, is left with a nothing more than a handful of second-tier candidates for the state’s top office.

"Regardless of who emerges from the Republican primary, the lack of experience in their entire slate of Republican candidates should deeply concern New Mexicans. Now is not the time for on-the-job training. We need a proven leader to help New Mexico families’ weather these tough times, and none of the Republicans running come close to meeting that challenge."

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
Not for reproduction without permission of the author

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

State Budget: Reality Denied? Plus: Sex Scandal Roils Sheriff's Race, And: Bill's Plane Vs. The Newspaper's Plane; Where They Headed?

Even as his counterparts around the nation bow to the inevitable and trim their budgets, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson remains impervious to arguments that he should do the same. Instead, he has launched a full-scale offensive against trimming state agency budgets under his control and that the Legislature mandated at its recent special session. He appears to be laying the groundwork for a veto of the budget fix by the Nov. 12 deadline. If he does, it will again put the executive and legislative branches back on a collision course.

Bill has trotted out his secretary of human services as well as his corrections secretary to warn that health services will suffer and prison closures will be needed to meet the Legislature's required 7.6 percent reductions in their budgets by June 30, the end of the current budget year.

But is that really spooking the public this Halloween week? They are already contending with a record 8 percent unemployment rate in ABQ, a statewide rate nearing 8 percent; a crash in housing and commercial real estate; a slashing of credit available to them and a plunge in the value of their retirement accounts. Furloughs--in which government employees are forced to take unpaid time off--may seem downright gentle to the thousands of New Mexicans ravaged by the most unforgiving economic breakdown of their lifetimes.

Still, the Governor does not budge. Of course, he is correct that in an ideal world the Legislature would give up $150 million of their pork projects, transfer that money to the General Fund and use that to make the 7.6 percent cuts. Maybe he even says that in his veto message, but it still does not address the fundamental crisis the New Mexican government faces.

The budget shortfall for the year that begins July 1, 2010 is estimated to approach as much as $1 billion, when you include the drying up of federal stimulus money. And the $150 million in cut capital outlay would only solve this year's budget woes. The argument is that we need permanent savings. What about next year and the year after that?

LINES IN THE SAND

The Guv isn't the only one drawing lines in the sand. Republicans insist on no tax increases--not realistic--and liberals insist on nothing but taxes--also unrealistic.

The middle ground, as usual, is where the answer lies. The executive needs to come with a mix of permanent spending cuts and tax increases--now. It's too late to kick the can into the next administration. When the Legislature meets in January it will be charged with filling the budget hole still remaining for this budget year, and to draft a budget for the next year as well.

The media is reporting unchallenged the claims of the human services and corrections secretaries that the 7.6 percent budget cuts will result in calamity. But would it? Haven't these secretaries considered selective employee furloughs? Oops. Forgot. That word has been banned by Big Bill. Maybe someone will call in Auditor Balderas for a reality check to see just where these budgets can be cut without the dramatic consequences alleged by these political appointees?

What is clear that someone needs to prepare the state workforce for the pain that is to come in the ensuing years. That pain has already come in spades to Mr. and Mrs. New Mexico who we think will generously share their morphine drips.

ANOTHER WAY

Legislative insiders say the Guv does not need to force legislators to disgorge their capital outlay projects (although many of them need to be) to meet that 7.6 percent budget cut to agencies under his control. They say Big Bill still has most of the $58 million in federal stimulus money he was allotted and can divert that money to make up for the cuts. Some of it has been appropriated for local government use, but has not left the treasury. They say he could re-target those funds.

OPINION IMPACT


The Guv's political acumen is his strong suit. We're sure the dog and pony show he is orchestrating about the impact of the budget cuts will probably meet with public approval. But the party will soon be over. The state Constitution mandates a balanced budget, and unless the Governor gets another job and is gone in January, he will have to face the budget crisis head-on.

The relationship between the branches of government is so poisonous now, we would not rule out a stalemate and a constitutional crisis that could endanger the state's standing in the financial markets.

Usually, these things have a way of working out before the breaking point is reached, but these are not usual times. During the special legislative session neither the Governor or the Legislature could force themselves to administer the necessary pain. Until you see signs that both sides are willing to deal, don't rule out the worst case scenario.

SHERIFF TURMOIL
Kristy Sanchez-Trujillo
One of the leading contenders to replace Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White may take himself out of the running. Cris Sanchez told us Wednesday night he will make a deicsion soon. Sanchez's daughter, Kristy Sanchez-Trujillo, 33, an Albuquerque Public Schools mid-school teacher has been fired over accusations she had sex with a 13-year-old boy. She taught 7th grade social studies at Jimmy Carter Middle School, and the boy was a student at the school.

We mentioned Sanchez this week, a retired sheriff's lieutenant, as a favorite of Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz. The commission will name someone to fill out the remainder of White's term. He is going to work for the city.

At least 20 persons have applied for the $68,000 a year job. Another name thought to be near the top of the list is that of ABQ police commander Conrad Candelaria. The commission says it plans to make a decision at its Nov. 24 meeting.

Sanchez-Trujillo is presumed innocent, but the charges are so sensational that Cris may be knocked out of the game.

DOUG'S DAY

So what did Doug Turner say during his six stop tour making official his entry into the 2010 GOP Guv race Wednesday? Well, stuff that sounded as much aimed at independent voters as those in the ever-shrinking GOP:

We can no longer allow the divide of party lines to rule the Roundhouse. It’s time to come together as New Mexicans, not politicians, finding common sense solutions to turn our education system around, keep and grow companies in New Mexico, and enhance transparency in government. Voters should be the only influence over government, not special interests.


Can Turner get enough Republicans to respond to that message which has strong appeal to independents? He has to secure 20 percent of the delegate vote at the party's March pre-primary convention to win a place on the June 2010 ballot. With four candidates in the race so far, that is far from a done deal.

With no Heather Wilson in the race, Allen Weh has taken the lead position for the GOP Guv nod. He has the most money, is best-known in party circles and as an Anglo Republican with extensive military experience, he best matches the prevailing party demographic.

Supporters of candidates Turner, Susana Martinez and Janice Arnold-Jones are all starting to chant the "Weh Can't Win in November" argument, as they sense that the lone Anglo, conservative male in the race is poised to break out.

The Diane Denish club agrees with their Republican counterparts that Weh is likely the weakest GOP nominee, but the presumed Dem Guv contender faces a more hostile environment than she did only three months ago. With a very unsettled electorate, the Denish camp can't discount the possibility that even Weh, seen as too hard-right for moderate NM, could not somehow make a race of this.

WELCOME ABOARD, DOUG

The state Democratic Party has been quick to welcome all the GOP Guv candidates as they make their runs official. Doug Turner has now received his Democratic love note.

We wish Doug Turner luck as he begins his transformation from political operative and special interest lobbyist to candidate. However, while Turner may have an impressive track record helping politicians and special interests get ahead, New Mexicans deserve a Governor with an impressive record of helping families get ahead. New Mexico families need a Governor who is prepared to make our state a leader in the 21st century economy and...that’s not Doug Turner.


But haven't we had eight years of Democratic rule to "make our state a leader in the 21st century economy?" Just asking.

THE AIR WAR


The state's $5.5 million Cessna Jet has been a longtime lightning rod for Big Bill's administration. A September column from the ABQ Journal's Thom Cole renewed interest in the use of the aircraft when he reported it was difficult for the public to track its flights. He reported that Public Safety Secretary John Denko, citing "security concerns" blocked the release of the info. Now from the email comes this provocative retort to Cole from a friend of Bill:

I'm sure you saw Thom Cole’s ridiculous column and the even more ridiculous editorial about the state blocking the public from being able to monitor the status of the state’s aircraft in real time on the Internet. They worried that the public won’t be able to monitor the flying habits of “fat cats.” Ironically, the “fat cat” publisher of the Journal doesn’t see a need for the public to know when and where the Journal’s plush Falcon 200 is flying.

Go to FlightAware and plug in the tail number (N999TH) for the plane owned by Journal Enterprises Inc. and you get the following message: Journal Enterprises Inc.---This aircraft (N999TH) is not available for tracking per request from the owner/operator.

Despite the fact that the Journal is privately owned, I would think the ownership would hold itself to higher standards if they are going to take shots at public officials. I mean, how is the public going to know whether the Journal plane is or is not flying around some of the very same public officials it covers--officials like former (Republican) Sen. Pete Domenici?

Fun stuff, but we didn't see anything in there about the Guv unblocking the flight info so the public can see where their jet is going. Also, taxpayers don't pay for the expensive maintenance or the fuel pumped into the Journal jet.

TACO WATCH

An update on the Kirtland Air Force Base fighter wing known as the "Tacos," a story we have been following for months because of its potential economic impact on ABQ. From US Rep. Martin Heinrich:

President Obama signed into law Wednesday the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which included language secured by (Heinrich) that prohibits the retirement of the 150th Fighter Wing from Kirtland Air Force Base until the Secretary of the Air Force has submitted a detailed plan that includes the identification and description of a follow up mission for the Fighter Wing (commonly referred to as the “Tacos”).

That's an annual payroll of $15 million, according to Senator Bingaman's office. There's no guarantee for future years, but for the next one it appears the Tacos will not be crunched.

POTTER'S PUNCH
Earl Potter
Former NM Democratic Party chairman and Santa Fe attorney Earl Potter thinks we overreached when we blogged Wednesday that all of those on the search committee to pick a new state investment officer had given sizable donations to Big Bill's presidential campaign. In light of the scandals shaking the State Investment Council, forcing the resignation of investment officer Gary Bland, we thought the contributions highlighted how politics remains wedded to investment policy, but Potter sees it differently:

Joe, You’ve gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. It’s appropriate to suggest that those receiving government contracts or subsidies should not be permitted to make contributions to those officials in charge of conferring those benefits. But you take this impulse in an absurd direction by suggesting that those State Investment Council members who make campaign contributions to the Governor should be disqualified from making recommendations for State Investment Officer. Exactly what corruption are you trying to prevent here?


Just how are Steve Feinberg and Andrew Davis, whose businesses have nothing to do with state government or any state investments, compromised in their recommendations for State Investment officer by the fact they have made political contributions?

Thanks, Earl. We did not mention the State Investment Council members, but we would include them in our concerns. We think there needs to be thicker walls around our state's permanent funds. What is so absurd about wanting some members on a search committee for the state's chief investment officer to have no political connections? It strikes us as a commonsense to have at least one party who can be called truly disinterested in whether the investment officer is viewed favorably by the sitting Governor.

Let's not forget that we've got a "placement agent" who shared in $22 million in fees for securing state investments with hedge funds and other entities. Investigators want to know whether the investments were directed based on political connections. The chief investment officer resigned in disgrace amid the federal investigation.

What seems "ridiculous" and "absurd" to us is defending the status quo.

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Email your news and comments.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
Not for reproduction without permission of the author

Alexander Marx chewing gum endorsement



Life, June 21, 1952.

Admit it, you chuckled.

Vandalism? Please leave Rabbi Illowy's grave alone, thank you.

A friend of mine is researching R. Bernard Illowy (נ"א Bernhard Illoway), so I was poking around for some info about him, and came across this.

It features the precise location of Rabbi Illowy's tomb, as well as a picture of the gravestone, a wonderful service from an important web site:



In the comments I was horrified to read the following -- well intentioned -- exchange:

  • Rabbi J Klein // Jan 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Wow, I have been looking for his kever for many years. It's a shame that its fading away. Do you know what it would cost to replace?

  • 5 Baruch A // Jan 22, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Rabbi Klein:
    Around $5,000.

  • 6 Rabbi J Klein // Feb 16, 2009 at 3:29 am

    A little steep, I'll see what can be done.


It's unbelievable. Apart from the fact that the Kevarim.com picture probably does not convey the true state of the tombstone, and in fact seems to have been scanned from a poorly printed photograph, what a terrible, even vulgar idea this is! Sure, why not replace an historically significant monument with a flashy new stone. Who gets to keep the old one? Do they grind it up and make cement with it? I stress that I realize the idea is well intentioned, but I feel like someone with such an inadvertently cavalier attitude would find the Dead Sea Scrolls and make shoes out of them. Maybe Montefiore shouldn't have added rows to the top of the Kotel, he should have just replaced the whole thing. This is like inadvertent Wahhabism:

In 1803 and 1804 the Saudis captured Mecca and Medina and destroyed historical monuments and various holy Muslim sites and shrines, such as the shrine built over the tomb of Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, and even intended to destroy the grave of Muhammad himself as idolatrous. link

Be that as it may, here are a couple of Illowy items:




His responsa and miscellaneous Hebrew, English and German writings, Hebrew poems, etc. were published by his son Henry (Dr. H. Illoway הק' צבי בן מה"ר יששכר דוב זצ"ל המכונה) in 1914 under the title מלחמות אלהים. It looks like this:





Henry Illoway (he spelled it this way) closes his loving tribute to his father with the following highly interesting note:



I don't know the precise circumstances surrounding the disclaimer, but evidently there were those who accused Rabbi Illowy of using his rabbinic position to enrich himself. Now, I have no idea if he was even wealthy, but of course that wouldn't stop tongues wagging anyway, as they do. I do know that in Harold Scharfman's book about R. Abraham Rice, "The First Rabbi" he reports that in 1861 Illowy's salary at his Baltimore Hebrew Congregation reduced his salary from $1500 to $600; his friends took up a collection and raised an additional $400. It seems that the New Orleans congregation Shanarai-Chasset , pleased with his -- how shall I put this, not anti-slavery position -- offered him the vacant pulpit for $2000, but he declined.

Incidentally, while it is certainly a shame that Rabbi Illowy missed a noble opportunity to condemn slavery, rather than the opposite, it bears clarifying what his position was. Firstly, he was opposed to Washington's approach to the South, and sympathized with the Secessionists. Secondly, he raised the following point about slavery: "Why did not Moses, as it is to been seen from his code, was not in favor of slavery, command the judges in Israel to . . . take forcibly away a slave from a master? . . . Why did Abraham, Ezra, etc., not free slaves? . . . All these are irrefutable proofs that we have no right to exercise violence against . . . institutions even if religious feelings and philanthropic sentiments bid us disapprove of them. It proves, furthermore, that the authors of the many dangers, which threaten our country with ruin and devastation, are not what they pretend to be, the agents of Religion and Philanthropy . . . " (Quoted in pg. 683 of Scharfman; read the full text of the sermon here.)

I will leave it to the reader to judge if this position was evil. Calling his position neutral is charitable. I of course have my own opinion, and am mindful of what Dante felt about moral neutrality:



But I also never lived in Baltimore in 1860.

Finally, an expert explains why tombstones are important: Dr.Leiman's post here. Note: we seem to be in minor disagreement, as he seems unconcerned about the stones per se, as he is about the content. I would preserve both. In any case, I look forward to the fruits of my friend's research.

UPDATE 11.02.09

As I mentioned on Friday, this post needs some updating and clarification.

I received an email from Baruch Amsel, the webmaster of Kevarim.com who explained to me that in previous cases when headstones were replaced due to the shabby condition they're in, the old ones were actually lain as footstones rather than discarded or, you know, stolen. An example of such spruced up graves include those of Rabbi Rice of Baltimore. Thus, the commenter was not looking to uproot history but rather to preserve it. I guess I owe an apology for assuming that I was had come across good, but boorish, intentions. Furthermore, the photo is new and the stone really is in bad shape (at least in the judgment of those who've seen it).

Secondly, I have been thinking about whether or not it is fair to have even used the word "evil" in describing the non-abolitionist position of a Baltimore spiritual leader in 1860. While it is true that I noted that I could not place myself in his shoes and guarantee that I'd have taken what I believe was the correct moral choice even then, perhaps I should not have even suggested that the reader should decide if his view was "evil."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Politically Connected Loom In Search For Investment Chief, Plus: Turner Guv Bid In Six Cities, And: Woman Made Widow By Cookie Bandit May Seek Office

What do all of the persons chosen by Big Bill to seek a new State Investment Officer have in common? According to records we checked, all donated--most at least $2,300 each--to the Guv's ill-fated presidential campaign. Even after scandalous headlines that forced the resignation of investment officer Gary Bland, getting the politics out--completely out--of the investment of our state's multi-billion dollar permanent funds is going to be a challenge.

The search committee members chosen by the Guv seem like a competent bunch. Certainly, Doug Brown, who will head the search is a well-respected finance man, who is currently Dean of the University of New Mexico's Anderson School of Management. And the rest of the committee is well-credentialed and respected in their respective fields.

But we are dealing with this:

New Mexico’s chief investment officer resigned after the state was drawn into a nationwide investigation of the fees paid to politically connected agents by those seeking to win investment-management work.

State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons, a member of the investment council, said the Paul Hastings law firm of Los Angeles collected information that Bland pressured money managers doing business with the state to hire certain middlemen. The investment council hired Hastings to help it respond to a joint investigation by the SEC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Marc Correra, the son of a political supporter of Richardson, shared in more than $16 million, about half of fees paid to middlemen for New Mexico investments. Correra’s father, Anthony, served on the board of political action committee Richardson set up to register Hispanic and American Indian voters.

So can't we have at least some members on the search committee for a new investment officer who are apolitical--who haven't given any campaign donations to anyone and are simply competent businessmen and women, or is that an extinct species?

We did not find any presidential campaign donations to Big Bill from Bob Jacksha, who currently serves as Chief Investment Officer for the Education Retirement Board, and who has been picked to serve as interim State Investment Officer during the search. We haven't checked whether Jacksha gave to the Guv's state campaigns or PAC's.

Here are the investment officer search committee members. Click on their names to see their donations.

Secretary of the state Department of Finance Administration Katherine Miller ($2,300); Andrew Davis, a portfolio manager with Davis Advisors; Stephen L. Feinberg, Chairman and CEO of Dorsar Investment Company and corporate director for continental Transmission Corporation; and Peter Frank, who retired as Executive Vice President and chief Financial Officer from Daymon Worldwide Inc. and Doug Brown who is leading the committee.

TURNER'S TURN
Doug Turner
ABQ PR executive Doug Turner will clock some serious air miles today as he embarks on a six city tour to make a formal announcement of his 2010 candidacy for the GOP Guv nomination. (Hasn't he done that already?) He'll start in Cruces, then head to Roswell, Clovis, Farmington and Taos. He'll end the day with a public reception in ABQ at 7 p.m. at the Sunrise Bank Building at 3rd and Central Avenue. The candidate is now also up on Facebook, somewhat de riguer for any serious politico.

Turner, 40, recently kick-started his campaign with a loan of $243,000 and in-kind contributions mainly from his PR company of $86,000, but his problem is not necessarily money; it's whether an increasingly conservative state GOP has room for a moderate candidacy such as his.

As Turner prepared to go formal today, his old boss, former two-term GOP NM Governor Gary Johnson, was also announcing political plans of a sort. He said he will soon launch a Web site to discuss "the issues of the day." Also, a group of Libertarians is working to persuade Johnson, 56, to run for president in 2012. Turner managed one of Johnson's successful Guv campaigns. Looks like he is back sharing space with the boss, whether intended or not.

RIO RANCHO RUN
Tonia Harris
There could be an interesting and maybe even controversial state House race shaping up in Rio Rancho. The question is can the widow of a sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty secure the GOP nomination and then go on to oust freshman Democratic Rep. Jack Thomas?

Rio Rancho teacher Tonia Harris
, the widow of Sandoval County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Joe Harris, who lost his life in the line of duty earlier this year, is weighing a bid for the GOP nod for the state House seat held by Democrat Jack Thomas who won it in 2008.

Harris was gunned down by "Cookie Bandit" Joseph Burgess in an incident at Jemez Springs in July.

Tonia Harris says of her late husband:

Joe always believed that it was important to get involved in our community and stand up for what we believe in. I am concerned about the direction of our state and have been encouraged by friends, family and neighbors to consider doing something about it by running for the legislature.


Harris is a native New Mexican from Roswell. She is on leave as a literacy specialist at Enchanted Hills Elementary School in Rio Rancho. She is expected to formally announce in January.

Thomas is a popular former Sandoval County Commissioner. The district is evenly divided between Dems and R's, making it one of the few swing districts in the state.


KEEPING GE


We aren't holding our breath for anything to come of it, but Big Bill's meeting this month with GE Chairman and CEO in Connecticut does put those 400 ABQ GE jobs we are slated to lose next year in front of Jeff Immelt. New Mexico has enjoyed a long relationship with GE. The Guv proposed that the blue chip company, which announced it is closing its jet engine manufacturing facility in SE ABQ in July, build windmills and solar equipment--instead of shutting up shop.

We received several e-mails when GE announced the closing. Several of them, including one from New Mexico Magazine associate publisher Jon Bowman, told of how their dads had started working at the plant in the 60's and made a living good enough to put their kids through college. These are the type of manufacturing jobs that we are going to sorely miss because of the Great Recession,. Perhaps Bill can get CEO Jeff to visit here so he can be lobbied more vigorously. Maybe take him for a horseback ride and ply him with green chile, margaritas and mariachi music.

WHO THEY ARE

State R's are sending out periodic updates on their candidates for Guv and the three congressional seats. Here they are.

THE KINGDOM OF VALENCIA

A reader who calls himself "The Valencia Observer," has an interesting take on how the battle for the 2010 Dem nomination for lieutenant governor is breaking down in that central NM county:

Brian Colon is a Los Lunas High School grad raised in Bosque Farms. He seemed to have the inside track in the race here. However, Lawrence Rael has decided to compete and has landed some useful support. Julian Luna, state racing commission executive director, has begun to actively campaign for Lawrence. One would think that it wouldn’t make sense for Luna to get involved since he might be on the ballot himself in June 2010 if he goes through with a primary challenge against State Representative Elias Barela...However, Arnold Rael, chairman of the Racing Commission and Luna’s long-time boss, is Lawrence Rael’s cousin.

Sounds like hand-to-hand combat out there.

THE BOTTOM LINES

We talked Tuesday about the behind-the-scenes action as the Bernalillo County Commission considers a replacement for Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White who is resigning to become ABQ's public safety director. And we continued the discussion with KOB-TV's Antoinette Antonio.

We omitted the link yesterday to the obituary of the mother of attorney David Campbell who has been nominated by Mayor-elect Berry to become ABQ's chief administrative officer.

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Email your news and comments.


(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
Not for reproduction without permission of the author

Another sukkah decoration


Malbim, 1885

Monday, October 26, 2009

Leading Sheriff Candidates Emerge, But Can Dems Do Deal? Plus: Bill's Pork Freeze: Prelude To Budget Veto? And: Dump The Double-Dippers?

De La Cruz & Armijo--A deal?
Leading candidates have emerged to replace Darren White as Bernalillo County Sheriff, but it remains uncertain whether majority Democrats on the Bernalillo County Commission can overcome disagreement among themselves and put the office in the Dem column after nearly eight years of Republican rule.

Interviews with a variety of key players reveal that Cris Sanchez, a retired 23 year sheriff's lieutenant who narrowly lost the post to White in 2002, and 25 year ABQ police department veteran Conrad Candelaria, are at the top of the crowded heap, but neither has secured the votes to be appointed.

South Valley Commissioner Art De La Cruz has strong ties to fellow Valley resident Sanchez, but County Commission Chairman Alan Armijo is not sold. Maggie Hart-Stebbins is the third Dem on the panel. She may be poised to go along with her two fellow Dems if they can agree on either Sanchez or Candelaria.

Candelaria has now said he is abandoning plans to become the next NM US Marshal, a post he confirms he has interviewed for. He is now asking commissioners to appoint him sheriff to replace White who is resigning to become ABQ's public safety director. If he does not win the appointment, Candelaria says he will immediately begin a campaign for the Dem nomination in the June 2010 primary. White's second four year term runs out next year.

A PLACE HOLDER?

If Sanchez or Candelaria can't get the votes, there is talk that a "place holder" could be named. That would be a sheriff who would agree to finish out White's term but not seek election to a four year term in 2010.

But Democrats outside the commission, already stinging from their recent loss of the ABQ mayor's office, don't like the place holder concept. They argue--and with good reason--that the commission needs to appoint a top candidate who can immediately take command of the office and also launch an election campaign. With no Democratic incumbent, they reason, the Republicans will stand a decent chance of retaining the office.

Several R's have applied for the position, but since there are only two R's on the five member commission--Michael Wiener and Michael Brasher--an R contender would also have to have a Dem supporter. That is unlikely.

The commission is looking at November 24th as the date to make the appointment.

DEEP INSIDER INFO
Candelaria & Sanchez
While there may be over 20 applicants, analysts point out that in order to have your name voted on you must be nominated by one commissioner and another commissioner must then second the motion. That restriction will probably limit the choices.

But hungry Dems want a deal cut beforehand and are hoping Armijo and De La Cruz can do one. Sanchez supporters argue it is his turn--that he was the '02 Dem nominee and has the requisite law experience. But Candelaria supporters think Sanchez is a weak candidate, pointing out that he ultimately lost to Republican White. They say police department commander Candelaria, at 43 and used to dealing with the public, will make a stronger candidate with more appeal than Sanchez in city precincts.

There is plenty of time for jockeying for all the possibles, including potential placeholders. But Democratic Party pressure will mount on Armijo and De la Cruz.
With 280 deputies and 100 civilian employees, this is one of the state's major law enforcement outposts. You don't often get a head start in trying to take it over.

THE CAMPBELL SCRAMBLE


The behind-the-scenes battle over naming a new sheriff is somewhat similar to the power playing going on over the nomination of attorney David Campbell for the post of ABQ's chief administrative officer. Campbell needs five of the nine city councilors to approve his nomination. The voters for him are not there yet, although Mayor-elect Berry says he is rounding them up.

Campbell's efforts to garner council support were slowed last Wednesday when his mother passed away in Phoenix. Here is the ABQ Journal obituary. It's been a month of wild swings for the 55 year old land use and corporate lawyer. He says he had accepted a US Foreign Service post when Berry won the mayor's job and offered him the CAO post.

FROZEN PORK
Porky Pig
Is Big Bill's freezing of up to $150 million in capital outlay projects--commonly known as pork--a prelude to a veto of a big portion of the state budget shortfall measure approved by the Legislature last week? That was the question insiders were asking as they gamed out this latest poke in the ribs of the state's solons.

Richardson is complaining that agencies under his control have been ordered to cut their budgets by 7.6 percent for the budget year that ends June 30. Could he veto that order and ask that the Legislature use the pork savings to make it up?

He could. But the 7 percent cuts lawmakers want are "recurring." They would also help solve the next year's fiscal crisis. Canceling capital outlay projects, as Bill is requesting, would be one time savings.

Many of these projects are near and dear to legislators' hearts who use them as examples of why they should be re-elected. But we have over $1 billion in capital outlay money that has been allocated but not spent. The $150 million the Guv is asking to be cut is a tempting target. But legislators will argue their 7.6 percent cut to Guv-controlled agencies is equally compelling at a time when the state shortfall is in the hundreds of millions. Richardson's "freeze" will only have real-world impact if the Legislature agrees. Don't count on it.

Meanwhile, the Guv continues to make his case that he has cut enough on his resurrected blog.

PORK BLOGGING
Sen. Griego
We suggested in our October 20th blog that if progressive legislators concerned about cuts to education wanted to score some points they could take up the "pupils before pork" mantle. And one of them did. ABQ Dem State Senator Eric Griego managed to get a measure approved--"people before pork"-- that has the Legislature identifying $150 million in dormant projects that could be cut. But Big Bill argues that identifying them isn't good enough and slapped on the capital outlay freeze. But it might not last long. The Legislature will have review power when it goes back into session in January.

This latest volley in the budget predicament again highlights the need for the Legislature and Governor to make more changes in how we do capital outlay so dollars are not needlessly put in a lock box and stay there for years. The Guv's poking over pork also shows his relationship with lawmakers remains polarized, with less than 90 days to go before the most significant legislative session in several generations.

DUMP THE DOUBLE DIPPERS?

If furloughs or layoffs have to come to state government because of the budget crisis, reader Daniel Klein has an idea that could have some legs. He says those notorious "double-dippers"--state workers who are receiving a retirement check, but go back to work for the state and draw two paychecks--should be the first to take the hit.

Lay off the double-dippers first. Don't take a job from a person who has no other source of income. The double-dippers are already receiving their pensions and many are in very high paying positions. They got back in due to "connections," but they should not be allowed to stay in when a entry level person, struggling to support their family, might be laid off instead...


So will Governor Richardson go through the agencies under his control and look for the double dippers so he can meet that 7 percent cut legislators mandated? Heck, will he do it even if he vetoes the 7 percent cut? Or will he insist that folks making well north of $100,000 from two government checks must be exempted from any economic pain, even as the state budget deficit defies easy solutions?

TEAGUE VS. PEARCE

We've found much of the analysis of the southern congressional race somewhat manic, with R's claiming the race between incumbent Dem US Rep. Harry Teague and Republican Steve Pearce is effectively over, and even some Dems looking to throw in the towel on Teague.

The Alligators have been calling this race a toss-up, and that is also the conclusion of Congressional Quarterly in their fresh look at the contest. CQ notes that both candidates are well-financed.

We think Teague probably reached his nadir in recent months with climate change and health care dominating the debate, but as we move on to other issues next year he should recover some. Pearce is still thought of as the congressman by many residents in the district, even though Teague won the seat in 2008. All of that is a sure-fire recipe for a heated contest.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.
Email your news and comments.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
Not for reproduction without permission of the author