First, we ask Santa to get Gov. Martinez a really high-paying job as a corporate spokeswoman somewhere.
BY JOE MONAHAN
The news this December that New Mexico ranks as the worst-run state in the nation and that Albuquerque’s housing market has been the nation’s worst performer since 2012 makes a visit to Santa Claus all the more crucial. We’re going to need some super-sized presents to turn this place around.
Santa, we know you’re checking your list to see who has been naughty and nice, and when you look at the political leadership here you might want to put coal in the entire state’s Christmas stocking. But we think our Christmas wish list will give you reason to resist that urge, and you can fly high over our luminaria-lighted land this Christmas Eve with presents that delight and surprise.
First, we ask Santa to get Gov. Martinez a really high-paying job as a corporate spokeswoman somewhere. That way she resigns and level-headed Lt. Gov. John Sanchez takes over for the final three years of her second term, replacing Santa Fe’s chief Grinch with a smiling elf.
We respectfully ask Santa to give at least two or three members of the Albuquerque City Council hind legs that are as strong as those of his mighty reindeer. That’s the only way Mayor Berry is going to change his errant ways. And, Santa, don’t forget the state Democratic Party and the Legislature’s Democrats. Please give them a year’s worth of free access to all Starbucks locations so they can once again become politically caffeinated.
High on the Christmas wish list is a new Albuquerque police chief, a new upper command structure at APD, a police force of over 1,000 and not the dangerously understaffed one we have now.
(Santa, maybe you can give the mayor an all-expense paid vacation to the Caribbean for a week and we can get all that done while he’s gone?)
This is the year we would like to see on Santa’s sled a gift-wrapped package from the Legislature containing a constitutional amendment to allow a small portion of the state’s $15 billion Land Grant Permanent School Fund to be used for very early childhood programs. The science shows such programs are crucial in developing a skilled generation that turns away from a life of dysfunction, the root cause of the state’s generational poverty.
Unless the city’s various alphabet soup economic promoters, AED, GACC, EF and NAIOP, can start putting some significant points on the board, we ask Santa to put them all under one roof and rename them “GTHOOT – short for the new economic development slogan of “Get The Hell Out Of Town.”
While we’re on that subject, Santa, we also ask that if the stonewalling of the Inspection of Public Records Act by APD is not resolved that the department henceforth deny all such records request by using the initials, UYAA, or “Up Your Ass Act.”
And when WisePies ultimately defaults on its multi-million dollar pledge for the naming rights for the UNM basketball arena, could you please arrange for it to be renamed “The Bottomless Pit?”
Just asking, Santa.
No Christmas wish list would be complete without our annual pleading to the North Pole that someone, somewhere offer the Albuquerque Journal “an offer they can’t refuse” and we get new ownership that ends the journalistic denial of New Mexico’s real problems.
To simply have some fun and to aggravate the far-right that has such disdain for all government spending, we put on our wish list that Congress make a special $1 billion appropriation for improvements to the City of Albuquerque just so we can see the look on their faces.
Santa, please don’t forget the gift card from Sandia Casino for former Secretary of State Dianna Duran. And while you’re at it, could you give some encouragement to that federal grand jury that’s investigating possible campaign finance irregularities by the governor’s chief political adviser?
Thanks for your consideration, Santa. Looking over this list we see that if you even granted only one of our wishes, it would be a very Merry Christmas indeed.
Joe Monahan is a veteran of New Mexico politics. His daily blog can be found at joemonahan.com
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