Pick pockets, cronyism, do-gooders, and the political class

By: Bill Whaley
9 February, 2016

watch-our-tv-ads-MOD1“The perception that government in New Mexico has a high level of cronyism is one factor dampening private investment in the state, according to a report released Thursday.

“From day one, what business leaders tell us is that corruption and cronyism matter, and they have consequences to economic growth,” said Michael S. Rocca, an associate professor of political science at The University of New Mexico who led a team of researchers and graduate students to author the report “Crony Capitalism, Corruption and the Economy in the State of New Mexico.” Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2016 10:45 pm | Updated: 6:39 pm, Fri Jan 29, 2016. By Bruce Krasnow, The New Mexican

Currently the Mayor of Taos is trying to fix the leaking coffers by promoting a big box adjacent to the historic district and Couse Pasture. The “fix” is in, according to the message in today’s Town of Taos meeting agenda. Rather than design a master plan, nervous jervis and his cuates would pass new ad hoc zoning regs asap for the sake of Smith’s proposed behemoth, which proposal the Mayor and Manager have known about since March of 2014.

The Salt Lake City based grocer and its Canadian owner are apparently calling the shots in Taos. Since the Town didn’t hire a planning department for the first year and a half of the new administration or develop a master plan, the manager, mayor, and council can more easily manipulate the planning process. What building inspector? It’s a very crude political “fix.”

Rick-BellisApparently the political class, like the Mayor, Manager, Councilor Hahn, Coop Factotum Andrew Gonzales, and County Commissioner Blankenhorn all hope that residents and second homers will “be fruitful and multiply.” But they can’t wait for development. And so these cronies expect residents to support their dreams the way the Trustees support adventures in diversity at the Coop for Luis. The board and the members at El Prado Water and Sanitation District are paying for John Painter’s dream of Las Sierras and Water Markets with higher taxes today. Cue the cronies above.

The hospital, a financial drain on the community, like Kit Carson Electric, offers little today in the way of change other than cheap talk from gadfly and do-gooder Robert Silver. (You dived in Robert, now you get to back it up.) KCEC’s Peter Adang, who sold his house and plans to leave town, once sought to be the voice of reform at the Coop but now seeks approval for a rate increase. He joined the club like Bob Silver. Councilor Fritz Hahn once fought the big box and advocated on behalf of small business but says nothing about the Starbucks dagger being prepared for the heart of the homegrown coffee shop business today: see Bob Silver and Peter Adang above.

Don’t you love it mis amigos when outsiders come in to save the town? Pobrecitos.

All hail Corporate America and Cronyism in Taos: eh Peter? Eh Bob? Eh Fritz? While all of you joined the club, Judi Cantu and Virgil Martinez warned consumers, members, taxpayers, voters, and their “constituents” against the predatory primos and their proxies (named above).

Mr. Christopher Duran 2014The traveling trustees, see Chris Duran smiling,  who oversaw losses of almost a million dollars last year  celebrate their good work today with a trip to Bourbon St. in New Orleans. At Town Hall the Mayor and Manager pay off the whistle blower with $50,000 or pay off the gods of Christmas and Coop Carbon Inc. with $50,000 in more lights, and assuage their egos  with payoffs to concert promoters, while closing the Plaza to “commercial traffic.” Meanwhile the Mayor sacrifices a pig to the gods of cholesterol in order to garner good will from the hoi polloi. Now we hear the Town’s first order of business under the new admin back in 2014 was to pay off the manager’s Valley Girl with a check for $3800 at a job for which the County found her unsuitable, like the former mayor, who, allegedly refused to pay for  unresponsiveness. But whine and you shall be rewarded.

Luis-RreyesThe “cover-up” and the misrepresentations about the refusal to hire building inspectors at the Town while issuing “checks for cuates and whistleblowers” seems very crude, Mr. Mayor. When politicians take a cue from Luis and Peter at the Coop, we need a new campaign: “Men against Corruption” and “Save us from the do-gooders.” Adang’s reassuring prelude to rate increases and travel plans below is one of the ironic comments on “cronyism.” In lieu of rewards for success, the trustees advocate travel rewards for their failures. Here’s Adang’s reassuring comments on the Coop excerpted from his blog.

“At the January 2016, board meeting the trustees had the unaudited financial reports for all of 2015. Total revenue was approximately $1 million below 2014. Operation and maintenance expense was also below 2014 and under budget for the year demonstrating that there has been an effort during 2015 to hold down costs. Nevertheless, the unaudited loss for 2015 is roughly $800,000 versus a $600,000 net margin in 2014. This $1.4 million swing in margin is almost exactly the amount of the revenue lost as a result of the closure of the Chevron mine.” —Trustee Peter Adang

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