Friday, July 16, 2010


I'll be off work for the next two weeks, so, unless something big happens, I probably won't be blogging much here on Roundhouse Roundup.

See you in August.

Lopsided Campaign Finance Reports in CD3

I did a story in today's New Mexican about the most recent campaign finance reports filed by the 3rd Congressional District candidates.

To nobody's surprise, incumbent Democrat Ben Ray Lujan is mopping up over Republican opponent Tom Mullins of Farmington. It's a nearly 2-1 Democratic district and incumbents everywhere tend to have the fund-raising advantage. (That being said, down in the 2nd District, Republican challenger Steve Pearce is beating incumbent Harry Teague in the money race. Pearce, of course, is a former incumbent.)

My story is HERE.

Lujan's latest report is HERE.

Mullins' latest report is HERE

Big Deal Over Small Business

The state Democratic Party is making a big to-do over Susana Martinez's Small Business Steering Committee.

It seems that some of the people on that committee aren't from business that might not be that small.

" ... its members do not exactly represent the little guy," a press release from the Democrats said. "In fact, it’s quite the who’s who of the state’s Republican elite and powerful interests looking to cash in on a Martinez administration that promises to dismantle consumer and environmental protections."

Among those members pointed out by the Dems:

* Robert Chase, Vice President of Mack Energy. Mack Energy and its affiliates have given Martinez some $155,000 in campaign contributions thus far.

* Mark Murphy: Murphy, a Roswell oilman, has given thousands of dollars in contributions to Martinez and other Republican campaigns.

* Harvey Yates and family: Yates is the state chairman of the Republican Party. His family and their associated companies are major holders of oil and gas leases in the state.

Martinez's Web site lists the entire committee, plus "coalition" members

Small Business Leaders For Martinez Coalition Steering Committee:

Joel Carson
Robert Chase
Dr. JR Damron
Anna Emerick-Biad
Jim Giannelli
Mark Murphy
Monty Newman
Lee Rawson
Kevin Reid
Jack Westman
Harvey E. Yates, Jr.

Small Business Leaders For Martinez Coalition Members:

Bernalillo County – Devon Day
Bernalillo County – Bob Kellogg
Bernalillo County – Roxanna Meyers
Bernalillo County – Stanley Mount
Bernalillo County – Keith Wilson
Catron County – Bucky & Garnelle Allred
Catron County – Danny & Jackie Fryar
Catron County – Kristine Shoberg
Catron County – Green & Denise Cowan
Catron County – Joe & Lori Faust
Chaves County – Phelps Anderson
Cibola County – Don Jaramillo
Cibola County – Dwight Kastendieck
Colfax County – Eloy Gonzales
Colfax County – Boddy & Cindy Valentine
Curry County – Ken Barnett
Curry County – Randy Crowder
Curry County – Randy Petty
De Baca County – Adolfo Lucero
Doña Ana County – Chris Biad
Doña Ana County – Paul Curry
Doña Ana County – Kathleen Foreman
Doña Ana County – Mark Hettinga
Doña Ana County – Wendell Hull
Doña Ana County – Dr. Anthony Levatino
Doña Ana County – Joseph Muench
Doña Ana County – Al Perez
Doña Ana County – Virginia Robertson
Doña Ana County – Mike Tellez
Eddy County – Fred Beard
Eddy County – Frank Yates, Jr.
Eddy County – Mary Yates
Grant County – Bill Mack
Grant County – Rhonda & Bill Van Dran
Grant County – Joe & Vickie McCauley
Grant County – Jim Wetzel
Grant County – Pat Finch
Grant County – Jim & Connie Zawacki
Guadalupe County – Don & Kathy Sultemeier
Harding County – Bob Bachen
Hidalgo County – Cash & Kanzas Massey
Hidalgo County – Randy & Sheila Massey
Hidalgo County – George & Nancy Jackson
Hidalgo County – Owen & Tricia Washburn
Hidalgo County – Bob & Helen Allred
Lea County – Robert Wallach
Lincoln County – Shane Barnett
Lincoln County – Alan Morel
Lincoln County – Dan Bryant
Lincoln County – Angie Schneider-Cook
Lincoln County – Adam Rafkin
Los Alamos County – Joe & Helen Quintana
Luna County – Joe Jackson
Luna County – Philip Skinner
McKinley County – Mary Jean & Ray Christensen
McKinley County – Sig & Yvonne Martinez
McKinley County – Dudley & Brenda Byerley
Mora County – Frank Trambley
Otero County – Carla Gonzales
Quay County – Danford Dan Cross
Rio Arriba County – Lupe Garcia
Roosevelt County – David Stone
Sandoval County – Jerren Bermudez
Sandoval County – Jeannette Denison
Sandoval County – R. Pete Martinez
San Juan County – Cope & Amy Reynolds
San Juan County – Buster Breitenbach
San Juan County – Chris Haiby
San Juan County – Clarence Rowse
San Juan County – Mike Culver
San Juan County – Rich Cross
San Juan County – Pearl Montoya
San Juan County – Robert Espinosa
San Juan County – Vance Mabry
San Juan County – Louis Pipkin
San Juan County – Rob & Jake Wood
San Miguel County – Carlos Lopez
Santa Fe County – John Onstad
Sierra County – Earl Greer
Socorro County – Rowena & Adolph Baca
Taos County – Paul Martinez
Taos County – Ouray Meyers
Torrance County – Phil Archuletta
Union County – Brian Moore
Valencia County – Neil Hise

UPDATE: Here's the Republican response:

“The Democrat Party seems to believe that ‘millionaires’ don’t understand the concerns of the ‘little guy’ and therefore are incapable of developing sound economic policies to create jobs for all New Mexicans. Since Diane Denish is a millionaire as a result of her father’s success, does this mean the Democrat Party thinks the ‘elite’ wealth of their own nominee also disqualifies her from addressing the economic concerns of average New Mexicans?

“Susana Martinez has assembled a team of seasoned leaders in the business community who understand what it takes to create jobs and financial opportunity for the people in this state. Why the Democrat Party wants to criticize her for trying to put people back to work defies common sense. Maybe for the sake of transparency, the Democrat Party should ask Diane Denish to disclose how much income she derives from Daniels Insurance Agency and the income which Daniels receives, directly or indirectly, from state and local government in New Mexico.”

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kokesh Lives!

Adam Kokesh, the Ron Paul-endorsed Congressional candidate who lost to Tom Mullins in the primary will return to the public eye -- or at leat the public ear -- with his own radio show Saturday, July 17 & 24, 2010, 2 to 3 pm, on KIVA 1550 AM in Albuquerque.
Adam Kokesh
“I am very excited to launch this new platform for the message that resonated so well with supporters and young voters of New Mexico’s Third Congressional District during the recent primary election,” Kokesh said in a news release.

The Adam Kokesh Radio Show will initially air on Saturday afternoons and move to a Monday through Friday broadcast starting July 26, 2010.

The release says, "While Kokesh’s airing is local, his radio show will also feature a national perspective as one of the youngest spokespersons of the Republican Libertarian national movement that is sweeping across the country and attracting thousands of traditional and young voters wanting a more accountable and responsible government."

The show will stream live on the KIVA website.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Roundhouse Roundup: Billy the Kid Rides Again

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 15, 2010

Billy the Kid died 129 years ago Wednesday. But his restless spirit had to be stirring.

Author Mark Lee Gardner wrote Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times about Billy. Gardner, whose book To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West wrote about Territorial Gov. Lew Wallace’s infamous broken promise to Billy.

Wallace had said he’d pardon the Kid for his role in shooting Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady if the young outlaw would testify before a grand jury investigating another murder stemming from the Lincoln County War. The Kid testified, but Wallace never granted the pardon.

Subsequent to his testimony, he was tried and convicted of Brady’s murder. As he was awaiting hanging in the Lincoln County jail, he escaped, killing two deputies in the process. Less than three months later, on July 14, 1881, Sheriff Pat Garrett shot and killed Billy in Fort Sumner.

Gardner also talked about nearly forgotten promise by New Mexico’s current governor. “In 2003, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced that he would consider making good on Wallace's promise and issue a pardon for Billy,” Gardner wrote. “Richardson's announcement came in the midst of international media attention over a modern-day forensic investigation looking into the circumstances of the Kid's death. But as the hoopla subsided, so did the talk of a pardon.”

I was at that press conference. There Richardson announced new scientific investigations including testing the DNA of the remains of the Kid’s mother, who is buried in Silver City, as well as those of a Texan who claimed to be Billy.

Richardson the state would hold a series of mock trials around the state related to Billy the Kid’s death and various crime.

But this never came to be. The theory that “Brushy Bill” Roberts of Hico, Texas — who died in 1950 — might actually be Billy had been discredited years before. Residents of Fort Sumner and Silver City pushed back hard against plans to exhume Billy and his mother.

Richardson’s investigations, the mock trials and the possible pardon seemed to dry up and blow away.

But on Wednesday, Gardner wrote, “Now the governor, whose term expires in January, is reportedly again giving serious consideration to Billy's pardon.”

Could this be? Is there a new move on the Fourth Floor for a Billy pardon? Nothing new, said Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia. “The Governor has always said that he may consider making good on Governor Wallace’s promise to Billy the Kid.”
Billy's headstone in Ft. Sumner

I guess we’ll find out sometime before Dec. 31.

The Billy hoopla: Most agree that Richardson’s Kid stuff was a bid for publicity in 2003. It worked. The story ran in media outlets all over the world. I personally received several emails with various theories, including one from a gentleman who suggested Billy’s body was claimed as a medical cadaver in Las Vegas, N.M. and his head placed in a jar of formaldehyde. Nobody ever produced that jar.

There also were several books published. Columnist Jay Miller in 2005 published a scathing book of his columns about the matter called Billy the Kid Rides Again: Digging for the Truth. Last year Gale Cooper, who had written a novel about Billy, published an even more critical Mega Hoax: The Strange Plot to Exhume Billy the Kid and Become President.

But my favorite book title sent to me during the exhuming Billy period has to be a 2005 novel called My Erotic Adventures with Billy the Kid by Pamela Brown.

They don’t write obits like this anymore: While going through old e-mails for this column, I came across Billy the Kid’s obituary published in July 1881 in a paper called The Santa Fe Democrat (an old rival of The New Mexican)

“No sooner had the floor caught the descending form, which had a pistol in one hand and a knife in the other, than there was a strong odor of brimstone in the air, and a dark figure, with the wings of a dragon, claws like a tiger, eyes like balls of fire, and horns like a bison, hovered over the corpse for a moment, and with a fiendish laugh, said, ‘Ha! Ha! This is my meat!’ and then sailed off through the window.”

Extending County Term Limits?

In today's New Mexican I look at the proposed state constitutional amendment that would allow county officials -- commissioners, sheriff, clerk, assessor, treasurer, probate judge -- to be elected to three four-year terms instead of the current two four-year term limit. The story is HERE.

The Santa Fe County Commission voted 4-1 yesterday to back the proposal, which is on November's general election ballot.

Commissioner Liz Stefanics was the no vote. She says she's in favor of encouraging new blood every few years. Also opposed is former Santa Fe County Sheriff Benjie Montano, who served 10 years as the county's top cop. He was elected the last time we had two-year terms (1988) and was allowed to run for two subsequent 8-year terms.

The New Mexico Association of Counties is backing the bill, saying 12-year stints would allow county officials to concentrate on long-term planning.

This is one of five proposed amendments on the ballot. Below is a handy-dandy summary of those, compiled by the Legislative Council, with pro and con arguments for all amendments. As I always say, it's easier to read in full-screen mode. And you can download this and study at your leisure.

Constitutional Amendments 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Twist on the Bob Martinez Controversy

On Friday the state Democrats criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez for using state Fraternal Order of Police president Bob Martinez in a campaign ad attacking Dem candidate Diane Denish.

Bob Martinez is a former executive director of the State Adult Parole Board who was fired in 2004 as by current Gov. Bill Richardson for failing to notify victims of a parole hearing for pedophile priest. (Again, with the child molesters!)

But state Republicans point out that back in 2006, the Bill Richardson campaign accepted the endorsement of the state FOP, and that the president of the state organization of the time was none other than Bob Martinez, this was a couple of years after Richardson had fired him. They didn't use his face in an ad, but as the GOP points out, nobody in the Democratic camp was calling Martinez soft on sex offenders when that endorsement came out.

In his letter to Richardson, Martinez said the FOP took that position because the governor had supported collective bargaining for police officers.

That's not why the FOP is supporting Martinez, however. She's on tbe record as wanting to repeal collective bargaining. She told me a couple of months ago:

I support New Mexico being a right to work state so as to improve our economy and become competitive with surrounding states that are right to work states. This allows employees to decide for themselves if they want to participate in a union.

Here's the letter. It's much easier to read in full-screen mode.

FOP 2006 Richardson Endorsement

Martinez Spokesman Arrested on DWI Charge

Raj Shaw, who just this month had been hired as spokesman for Susana Martinez's gubernatorial campaign, was arrested in Albuquerque yesterday on charges of aggravated drunken driving and careless driving.

Shaw, who reportedly has been fired from the campaign following the arrest, is still in jail, if Bernalillo County's Metropolitan Detention Center records, checked around 9:20 a.m., can be trusted. Shah, 25, just moved here from Connecticut.

According to the jail records, he was arrested at 12:23 a.m. Sunday near the Intersection of San Mateo and Osuna in northeast Albuquerque. The records indicate this is his first offense. His bond is $5,000.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Governor's Race Ads

Both Susana Martinez, the Republican gubernatorial candidate and her Democratic opponent Diane Denish released new campaign ads today.

If you thought the campaign might be drifting away from the law' 'n' order realm, think again. Martinez's spot features her surrounded by several cops.

The state Democratic party was quick to point out that one of them, Bob Martinez, the guy with the bushy mustache (who I originally thought was former Albuquerque D.A. Bob Schwartz), is a former executive director of the State Adult Parole Board who was fired in 2004 as by current Gov. Bill Richardson for failing to notify victims of a parole hearing for sex-offender priest.

I'll update this with the Martinez campaign's response as soon as I get it.

Meanwhile, here's the ads:

Here's Denish's latest ad. I did have to chuckle when a Denish e-mail sniffed that Martinez's latest ad "continued to focus on the same wedge issues that divide New Mexicans ..." when it was Denish's attack ad that started with the wedge issues the day after the primary. Gosh darn those nasty wedge issues!

This one's light and positive though.

State Adds New Medical Marijuana Growers

The Health Department today announced six more licensed growers for the state medical marijuana program.

The new nonprofits are located in Harding, Doña Ana, Lea, Catron, Cibola and Bernalillo counties.

Catron County, for those not versed in New Mexico political demographics, probably is the most conservative county in the state.

The previously approved growers are in Santa Fe, Cibola and Bernalillo counties.

From the news release:
The Department of Health will provide patients with contact information for the newly licensed nonprofit producers in approximately six weeks. This will give the nonprofits time to set up their production facilities and get ready to respond to patient inquiries.

The Department approved the first nonprofit producer in March 2009 and four more in November 2009. Nonprofit producers are allowed to have 95 mature plants and seedlings and have an inventory of usable medical cannabis for patients. Patients can also apply to produce their own supply of medical cannabis and are allowed to have four mature plants and 12 seedlings.

There are 1,952 active medical cannabis patients, and 865 are licensed to produce their own supply of medical cannabis.

To be approved for the medical cannabis program, patients must have a physician certify that they have one of the 16 qualifying conditions that is debilitating and cannot be helped by standard treatments. Certain conditions require additional medical certifications or medical records detailing the condition.

Republican guberatorial candidate Susana Martinez has said he would get rid of the medical marijuana program. Denish supports the law.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breaking Bad Breaks Good

I don't blog about all of Gov. Richardson's press releases on movie productions, but I have to admit I was happy that Breaking Bad, which is filmed in and around Albuquerque, just got six Emmy Award nominations.

Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston, is an AMC series that depicts Albuquerque's dark methamphetamine underbelly. It's one of my favorite shows. The television movie Georgia O'Keefe, which was shot in the state, received more nominations. But I'm more of a Breaking Bad fan.

I remember a few years ago when Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez ordered his police department not to cooperate anymore with the TV show Cops, because it showed Albuquerque in a bad light. I'm glad that Richardson recognizes excellent television and doesn't get hung up on whether it shows the state from an angle that the tourism industry doesn't stress.

Here's the press release:

Gov. Bill Richardson today offered his congratulations to those responsible for two made-in-New Mexico television productions that received a combined 13 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, which were announced this morning. “Breaking Bad”, the AMC series shot in Albuquerque, received 6 nominations while the made-for-television movie “Georgia O’Keeffe” garnered 7 nominations. The Governor also praised actors Neil Patrick Harris and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, both from Albuquerque, for receiving nominations.

“I am proud that productions created with New Mexico’s outstanding talent, experienced crew, and unparalleled locations continue to be recognized as among the industry’s best,” said Richardson. “And as important as the quality of work is the fact that the industry means jobs for New Mexicans and revenue for the state.”

Bryan Cranston, the star of “Breaking Bad,” received his third consecutive nomination for best Actor in a Drama Series. Cranston has won the Emmy the past two years. The series has been renewed for a fourth season.

Here are the nominations for New Mexico productions and actors:

“Breaking Bad”

Best Drama Series
Best Actor-Drama: Bryan Cranston
Best Supporting Actor-Drama: Aaron Paul
Best Cinematography for a one-hour series
Best Directing for a drama series
Best Single-Camera Picture Editing

“Georgia O’Keeffe”

Best TV Movie
Best Lead Actress in a miniseries or movie: Joan Allen
Best Art Direction
Best Casting
Best Costumes for a miniseries, movie, or special
Best Directing for a miniseries, movie, or special
Best Hairstyling for a miniseries or movie

Neil Patrick Harris

Best Supporting Actor in a comedy: “How I Met Your Mother”
Best Guest Actor in a comedy series: “Glee”

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: “Modern Family”

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Roundhouse Roundup: Gov. Candidates Talk Issues

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 8, 2010

I hope I don’t jinx this by writing about it, but it’s been more than three weeks since either gubernatorial candidate launched any new attack ads on television.

But as the talk about child molesters, crime statistics and bad jokes in e-mails has subsided, both Republican Susana Martinez and Democrat Diane Denish actually are talking about meat-and-potatoes issues.

Earlier this week, Martinez released her economic plan. In response, the Denish campaign quickly reminded reporters that Denish had previously released a couple of sets of economic proposals, one called a “small business and rural job creation” plan, the other a “competitive workplace” plan.

Here’s some highlights of both candidates’ plans.

Martinez’s plan: The Republican’s plan is built upon traditional GOP ideas. In a nutshell: lower taxes, fewer regulations on business and less government spending. Martinez calls for eliminating many “exempt” or political positions in state government — an idea popular among many legislators, who voted this year for such cuts. But she also wants to reform the capital-outlay system — which is something Gov. Bill Richardson called for but lawmakers opposed.
Martinez would “reform education,” but she hasn’t yet spelled out how.

To help revive the energy industry, Martinez wants to reverse the “pit rule” — i.e. environmental standards for oil and gas production — and to encourage energy producers to invest in new technology. She also said the state should oppose cap-and-trade legislation (economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emission of pollutants.)

Fighting corruption is a big part of Martinez’s economic plan. She calls for revamping ethics laws, though she doesn’t specify how. She says she’d make the procurement process more transparent and outlaw finder’s fees for state contractors. The State Investment Council adopted such a rule last year, in response to the scandals erupting around at least one politically connected third-party marketer who made millions in finder’s fees.

Martinez’s plan also calls for “real time” reporting of campaign finance and lobbyist disclosure data. And here’s one I hadn’t heard before that sounds interesting: Random audits of political campaigns. It’s not clear how this would be accomplished, but the idea deserves exploring.
Diane Denish
Denish’s plan: Like Martinez, Denish says she’ll make it easier for small businesses to get loans. Denish said she’d expand the micro-lending program through the Small Business Investment Corp. She’d also create an online “clearing house” to connect lenders and businesses. The site also would contain information about tax credits.

Speaking of tax credits, Denish’s plan calls for a state tax credit of $2,500 for each job created in New Mexico during the 2011 calendar year. (This would be for businesses with 100 employees or fewer.) She’d create a position of ombudsman to advocate for small businesses and would provide a one-stop shop for new business owners to get all the paperwork, licenses and permits they need from the state in one place.

To help farmers, she’d require state schools, prisons and hospitals to buy more produce from New Mexico growers. Denish says the state should do more to support local farmers markets.

As for creating a more competitive workforce, Denish said she’d strengthen community colleges and that the state should provide scholarships for any high-school graduate who wants to attend a state community college to work toward a degree in a “high demand” career. (The plan doesn’t explain how to pay for these scholarships.) Community colleges, she says, “must have short-term, clear-cut programs that lead a student directly to job opportunities, or prepare them for a four-year degree."

I’ve left a lot out from both candidates. You can find the original documents on all these posted in a convenient package on this blog. CLICK HERE

If You Could Teleport Yourself Anywhere Would You Choose The Roundhouse?

Just when I thought things were getting a little boring around the Capitol, this story breaks.

Seems like a guy named Andrew Basiago has revealed that as a child in the late '60s and early '70s he was a part of a strange government program called Project Pegusus.

According to Basiago, the US government already had a fully operational teleportation capability in 1967-68, and by 1969-70, was actively training a cadre of gifted and talented American schoolchildren, including himself, to become America’s first generation of “chrononauts” or time-space explorers.
Mysterious Children at Capitol
He confirms that the United States has been teleporting individuals to Mars for decades and recounts the awe-inspiring and terrifying trips that he took to Mars in 1981. He describes how he and his father (an engineer working on time/space research projects for the U.S. defense department) would teleport from Woodridge, NJ to Santa Fe, NM and return via a teleportation device at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque.

This has to be true. It's on the Internet!

I think another breakthrough will come in the form of accounts from residents of Santa Fe [New Mexico] about children suddenly appearing at the state capitol complex there in the early 1970's. Our arrivals were sometimes witnessed. Several of my own arrivals were witnessed. I have spoken with area residents who knew that individuals were teleporting into Santa Fe in the early 1970's. Some of that knowledge resulted from the arrival of teleportees, including myself, being seen by others; other knowledge resulted from the fact that employees of LANL [Los Alamos National Laboratory] were bringing stories about the teleportation that was going on home from work and sharing them with their children around the dinner table in Los Alamos and White Rock.” ~Andrew Basiago

Among the puzzling evidence presented on the Information Farm blog is a Photoshopped picture of Gov. Bill Richardson and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Rummy, according to the blog, used to speak to project members at the Cerrillos Cultural Center. But Richardson's role is not discussed. Too hot for even these guys to handle?

Economics Anyone?

Earlier this week, Republican Susana Martinez presented her economic plan for the state.

You can read it here. Below are proposals from Democrat Diane Denish, released earlier. (Do yourself a favor and choose to read in "Full Screen" mode.)

Martinez Economic Recovery Plan

Denish Small Business and Rural Job Creation Plan

Denish's Competitive Workforce Plan

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lawmaker to Susana: "Go to Hell!"

If the race for governor gets any crazier the state is going to require the candidates to get one of those professional wrestler licenses I wrote about in my column this week.

It got a little wilder this morning when state Rep. Eleanor Chavez, D-Albuquerque, joined the long list of Democrats blasting GOP gubernatorial candidate for that unseemly joke sent in an email by one of Martinez's senior prosecutors in Las Cruces.

Chavez, who is not known for making flamboyant statements, in an email to reporters :

I would suggest that Susana Martinez focus on the real issues that New Mexicans are facing and stop trying to pit us against our own families. I would also suggest that Susana Martinez and her entire office take a quick trip to Albuquerque and learn about racism at the Anti-Racism Training Institute. When Susana's done she should pack her bags and leave New Mexico. We don't need her or her hate filled rhetoric and immigrant bashing! Where should she go? How's hell for starters.
Oh boy ...

Roundhouse Roundup: License to Rassle

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 1, 2010

The state of New Mexico regulates a lot of professions — nurses, barbers, private investigators, massage therapists. But earlier this week, while searching the state Regulation and Licensing website for an unrelated story, I stumbled across some folks who I had no idea have to be licensed by the state.

Professional wrestlers. More than 500 of them.

Yes, the grunt 'n' groan business. If you're going smash an opponent with a metal chair before a paying audience in the state of New Mexico, you've got to pay your $35 license fee and fill out a one-page form.

"Wrestlers must pass with a clean bill of health pre-fight," said Regulation and Licensing spokeswoman Teala Kail in an e-mail Wednesday. This means they can't have any blood-borne illnesses, she said.

Applicants for a state professional wrestler license must, in addition to routine personal information, answer three questions — and explain if the answer is yes to any of them.

Have you ever had a license revoked or suspended by a state athletic commission? Do you now or did you ever hold any license issued by the New Mexico State Athletic Commission? Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

You also have to give the name of your manager, seconds or trainers who will be working in your corner. In pro wrestling, of course, the manager is the sneaky guy who distracts the referee and throws blinding powder into the opponent's eyes.

Cavalcade of stars: Looking through the list of those who have held New Mexico professional wrestling licenses, you'll see some of the biggest names in wrestling in the past couple of decades. Ted DiBiase — The Million Dollar Man — is there. So is Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock. He's held licenses three times, the last one expiring in 2008. There's Jimmy "The Mouth of the South" Hart, Kurt Angle, John Cena and Brett "The Hitman" Hart. Both Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero were holding New Mexico pro wrestling licenses at the time of their respective deaths.
Keep your shirt on, Hulkster. Your license still hasn't cleared.
And you'll find the name of the man who probably is the most famous wrestler of all time — Terry Bollea, best is known as Hulk Hogan.

However, the former multi-time world champion never was licensed in this state. According to R&L's website, his application has been pending since Dec. 16, 2002.

Kail said she couldn't immediately say why the application is still pending. "I'll do my best to find out about the Hulkster," she said. "He was my favorite wrestler."

Randy "The Macho Man" Savage couldn't stop Hulk Hogan, but it looks like New Mexico red tape did.

Speaking of athletics: Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who looks more and more like a 2012 Republican presidential candidate every day, has been to New Hampshire, the first primary state, several times. But what about the first caucus state, Iowa? "I'll be there next month," Johnson told me in an interview this week.

But no, he's not speaking at some Republican women's picnic in Davenport or eating rubber chicken at a GOP banquet in Cedar Rapids. "I'm going to ride the Ragbrai," the fitness-fanatic ex gov said.

He was referring to a seven-day, 472-mile bicycle ride across the state.

More state webcasting: Earlier this week the Legislative Council voted to allow the webcasting of interim legislative committees. In past years the meetings were held in locations around the state. But this year, in an effort to save money, the meetings will take place in the Roundhouse.

The first interim committee to webcast will be the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee, which meets today at 10 a.m., Room 322. Check the state Legislature website.