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Back on May 29, New Mexico Watchdog was the first to reveal that in a 3-0 vote, Rio Arriba County commissioners approved out-of-town travel expenses for Lauren Reichelt, the county’s director for Health and Human Services, and Erika Martinez, the county’s public information officer, to attend the NetRoots Nation convention in San Jose, Calif.
(Capitol Report) This link is worth following for the depth of its reporting and the many subsequent links therein.  Not all the links are to nice people, but the spectrum is well-covered.

Lauren is a friend and a Kossak in high regard who blogs under the handle I'm sure many of you know, but I'm not going to mention.

Rio Arriba County, northwest of Santa Fe, along with adjoining Taos County to the north, is the solid-blue base turf of NM CD3, a seat held by Ben Ray Lujan, who has himself attended a NN gathering, back when he was seeking our support.  Lauren has written here extensively about her home town area and its politics and culture.  This is a rural Hispanic majority County that gave Obama over 70%.

My own roots in the County go back to 1971, where four generations of my own family live.

In a blistering editorial, "R. Braiden Trapp" of The Rio Grande Sun frowns deeply:

We’re not sure either woman is seeking to “free her ass,” and promote a “progressive sexual culture,” so we’ll just assume neither will be attending that seminar. We also fail to see how any of the above-listed seminars have anything to do with County government, services to residents or making Rio Arriba County a better place to live.

    Reichelt’s realm is health and human services. The only seminar that remotely fits her area of “expertise” is the fight for reproductive justice. In that case we question whether a County employee should be pushing either abortion or abstinence. There’s a vicious rumor going around that we have a drug problem. She might think about looking into that. However, the last time Reichelt delved into that subject she decided the drug problem was created by families losing their farm land.

The Rio Grande Sun was actually quite a fine little newspaper,  and its dogged pursuit of the truth is part of why Rio Arriba County is now more progressively run for the benefit of all its people than was the case 40 years ago when the County was the political fiefdom of Sheriff, later State Senator, Emilio Naranjo, the notorious patron and Democratic Party boss who held the reins of power for a generation.  A true old school Democratic Machine pol who would be right at home in Chicago or Boston in the bad old days.  

The founder, Bob Trapp, and still publisher, deserves respect for being a real journalist.

 "R. Braiden Trapp" is Bob Trapp's son, and he appears to have fallen in with the wingnuts, much to the detriment of his father's legacy.

The local Republicans are doing what they can to fan this ember into a flame of concern.  They haven't got much to work with.  Albuquerque RW Talk Radio is milking this for all it is(n't) worth,  and the NM Republican Party head has also piped up.

To its credit, the County isn't backing down to outside pressure,  and local public opinion seems not to care much.

Meanwhile, in the real world, there is yet another fire ("Jaroso") going in the Pecos Wilderness. I awoke to the smell of smoke, which has ceased to be unusual. This one could go off in a rush, burning big trees in steep canyons choked with deadfall and beetle-killed trees on the southwest flank of Truchas Peak, 13,000 ft + and the 2nd highest in NM.  Temp here yesterday hit 103.

Tonight we'll have a village meeting to discuss the dropping water table and our village well, serving around 90 families.  We seem, based on some water level tests we did yesterday, to be right at the edge of "not enough",  with the pump running continuously and the tank level slowly falling,  failing to fully replenish with the overnight pumping.  We are going to have to cut back on our use even more.  I am the President of the Co-operative, and thus I get to dispense the bad news. Most of New Mexico is now in the uncharted territory of "exceptional" drought, meaning off-the-charts dry.

(Tip of the Hat to Kossak fbihop and his daily New Mexico Telegram NM newsgathering efforts)

New Mexico Telegram

for the original nudge

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