Friday, March 24, 2006

Sheriff White: Policing by Press Conference

As I watched the news last night and saw the level of activity surrounding the manhunt for accused cop killer Michael Paul Astorga (rewards, press conferences, dozens of police vehicles, armored tanks, etc. . . .) I wondered why the same level of interest wasn't leveled at Astorga after he shot a man last fall and went on the run?

It seems the Sheriff's office had no problem locating Astorga's home, his hang out near La Cueva High School and his relative's homes in the hours after the cop killing. Also, there were no shortage of neighbors that interacted with Astorga every day. A guy called in to a KKOB talk show and said that Astorga was well known by law enforcement for years and was a notorious criminal.

So, where was the Sheriff''s office the last few months? Where was the manhunt for Astorga after he shot and killed a man last fall? Do we only get a concerted effort by law enforcement in an extreme circumstance?

Could it be that Sheriff White, who's whole tenure as sheriff has been marked by his ability to use the media to draw publicity to him and his office, is creating a big stir about catching Asotrga now because they failed to catch him earlier? Will the unnecessary death of an officer create enough of a story to cover up the story that should be written about White's missteps? Some aggressive reporter should ask White the question: Where was the press conference and the manhunt after Astorga's first killing?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Some Questions for Wilson

I could have predicted a few months ago that Heather Wilson would, in the Spirng of 2006 when she saw the competative race she had against Patricia Madrid, express outrage over something that the Bush Administration had done. It was bound to happen, it was just a matter of when and what topic. She's "outraged" at the US's spying operation and like her "outrage" over Janet Jackson or Firestone tires a couple of years back she's gone to the national media to express it.

So, I have some questions for Heather Wilson, that any reporter worth his salt should ask:

1. Didn't you serve at one time under the National Security Agency? Under Condoleezza Rice?

2. When you wrote a letter to the Attorney General in December about the spying issues, where was your "outrage?" Where was the press release?

3. How long have you served on the House Intelligence committee, which has oversight over the US's intelligence budget/operations and if this spying operation has been going on for a few years, where was your oversight?

4. You seem very concerned about the US screwing up it's intelligence gathering, so, when the Administration screwed up Iraq intelligence and Colin Powell embarrassed himself in from of the entire UN, were you outraged then?

5. How come you didn't use your position on the Intelligence committee then to question the US intelligence operations?

6. You have a Master's in international studies, went to Oxford, and worked in the millitary/intelligence community -- doesn't this kind of poor intelligence gathering that has been going on for 5 years offend you and members of your profession? Or do you think it is perfectly acceptable?

7. You seem smart and like being in Congress, but are you paying attention up there? Got your mind on something else?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ex-Rep Duke Cunningham Very Good to Wilson, Pearce

In a tearful resignation press conference reminiscent of, well, any of Heather Wilson’s forced crying episodes, Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham gave up his Congressional seat as he pled guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy and fraud.

And as another Republican Congressman faces the Courts, we start to hear about all the awful things they’ve done. And then we ask ourselves, hmm I wonder what their relationship was to our own members of Congress here in New Mexico? And if they, let’s say, contributed to our New Mexican Congresspeople -- were the funds they used to contribute to our members generated by their illegal activity? Hmm, we wonder . . . .

And now we know that ex-Republican Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham was pretty generous to our own New Mexico Members of Congress Heather Wilson and Congressman Stevan Pearce.

Duke Cunningham gave $1000 to Wilson in 1998 and his PAC, the “American Prosperity PAC” gave $3000 to Wilson in 2004 and $1000 to Wilson in 2000. So, Wilson’s campaign was the beneficiary of $5,000 from Duke Cunningham’s committees. Wilson and Cunningham also sit on the House Intelligence committee together (until Cunningham resigned).

Congressman Steve Pearce received $1000 from Duke Cunningham’s campaign in 2003 and $2000 from Cunningham’s PAC in 2002. So, Pearce received $3000 from Duke Cunningham sources.

It has been alleged that Cunningham traded favors for campaign contributors. Contributions from Cunningham’s accounts made it into Wilson and Pearce’s campaign accounts.

So, will Wilson and Pearce return the contributions they received from Duke Cunningham? Wilson sent back about a quarter of the money she received from indicted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Now that Cunningham has pled guilty, will she do the same?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Green Party Eyeing WIlson-Madrid Race

Word comes that the Green Party is on a recruitment hunt for a candidate to run for Heather Wilson's seat. Are they running against Heather? Not really, they're running against Patricia Madrid. The Greens have a long standing vendetta against Madrid because she ruled against their party status a few years back.

Unfortunate that the Greens, who talk about being a party of principles, throw up a candidate against Wilson not because they disagree with her on the issues or with Madrid on the issues but becasue they want to get back at someone who crossed their party.

Sounds like old time politics to me. I'm sure Wilson is grinning like a chesire cat hearing this news.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

David Iglesias, Meet Pat Fitzgerald

Seeing US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (link) the other day on TV prosecuting Scooter Libby got me thinking. Who is our US Attorney and what has he been up to?

Then I realized it was David Iglesias who recently achieved some notoriety for prosecuting State Treasurer Robert Vigil and for starting a voter fraud task force in 2004 that failed to prosecute a single case. The Vigil case was a good catch (actually seemed to be a pretty easy one) but outside of that what has David Iglesias been doing the last five years ?

Makes you kind of want New Mexico to get its own version of Patrick Fitzgerald.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Wilson Congressional Staff Doing Politics?

Congressional staff aren't supposed to do politics on Congressional time. They serve the taxpayers first and foremost.

So, when Heather Wilson's District Director appeared just for Patsy Madrid's speech at the MANA conference this week, took copious notes and left after Madrid's speech was she doing congressional work or political work?

Just wondering. . . .

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Carraro Givin' Vigil a Hand Up

On the eve of the impeachment of corupt State Treasurer Robert Vigil, one State Senator stood up, took a stand and found a way to help indicted State Treasurer Robert Vigil keep his job.

That man is Senator Joe Carraro (R-Albuquerque).

And I'm not sure if there is a soul in New Mexico that can explain why he tried to snatch Robert Vigil from the jaws of impeachment.

But corrupt politicians everywhere, to whom envelopes containing $10,000 case are not unusual, thank you for your effort, Joe Carraro, and I'm sure you're the pride of New Mexico Republicans (they're the one that are tough on crime, right?).

Read about Carraro's efforts to give indicted Treasurer Robert Vigil a leave of absence in lieu of impeachment: (link)