Off and On: Changes will not all be for the good

-A A +A
By Ralph Damiani

When Sen. Pete Domenici formally announced he was retiring, the dominoes began to really fall. And the final result will not be good for the lab, let alone New Mexico.Soon after his announcement, First District Congresswoman Heather Wilson announced she would be seeking the Republican nomination for Domenici’s seat. That leaves her House seat open.Then Rep. Steve Pearce announced he was going to make a run primary for the Senate seat. That leaves his Second District House seat open.Finally, Rep. Tom Udall announced he was going to seek the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Domenici. That leaves his Third District House seat open.Have you gotten the picture yet? Not only are we going to have a new, freshman senator, we are going to have three, new, raw, freshman congressman.You thought getting anything for the lab or the state was hard before? Just wait for 2009!After Domenici announced he would retire in 2009 because of an incurable brain disease, Udall had said he would stay in the House. But – if you believe his staff – he reconsidered after a “groundswell” of encouragement from New Mexicans.Baloney. He ran because state and national Democratic leaders want this seat and knew that Martin Chavez could never win a statewide race. Chavez has since dropped out, giving up even before he began.That only leaves Leland Lehrman, who publishes an alternative newspaper in Santa Fe, in the June primary. And honestly, he stands no chance.Of course, Udall will face some challenges in the general election – especially trying to explain how his vote for LANL spending cuts was in fact an action in support of the lab.I still don’t understand that one. He later did offered an amendment to restore $200 million for the nuclear weapons lab to take its research in new directions.To say the lab needs to diversify is an understatement, but such direction must come from the top down, and Udall is at the top.No matter how you slice it, we are going to face some tough times ahead in Washington and the pressure that will be place on Sen. Jeff Bingaman – the only one to be still standing – will be extreme to say the least.

Back homeFor those of you who might have missed it, the Red Cross has reopened its office here – located in the building between Fuller Lodge and the Betty Ehart Center.The facility is open every day for your assistance.It is open from 9 a.m.-noon Monday-Wednesday and is staffed by local volunteers.It is also open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and is staffed by Red Cross staffers from Santa Fe and Albuquerque.The Red Cross provides many services here and volunteers and staff attend many meetings and events throughout the week, so operating hours may vary.For information, call the local office at 662-7165.