Public figures deserve Christmas presents, too

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

The mistletoe has been hung by the chimney with care and the halls and dang near everything else have been decked with holly and other shrubbery parts so that could mean only one thing. It’s time for this columnist to make out his annual Christmas list.

With a near direct line to Santa himself, for years I’ve taken it on myself to make sure the jolly fat man gets posted on local state and national public figures and entities. A naughty and nice list with a little bit of bite. So here goes.

Roosevelt County Commissioner Tom Clark — Tom, who is leaving the office after Christmas due to term limits has vowed to carry on a road access dispute fight by opening up a mobile home remodeling factory on adjacent property. For that new profession he’ll likely need a nice big sledge hammer. Throw in a pair of steel-toed boots because Tom can sometimes be his own worst enemy.

Portales Public Works Director Tom Howell — The smell from the city’s waste-water treatment plant has gotten better this past year, but it’s still not a nice fragrance. Santa please bring Tom about three cases of those stick-up air fresheners. He can give them out with his business cards.

Mayor Orlando Ortega — A really big canteen that will hold a large drink of Ute Lake water. Ortega has been a bulldog fighting for the Ute water project and crucial fights in Washington are ahead in the new year. His throat will probably go dry making the pitch to the bureaucrats. He’ll need a drink.

Portales Ram football team — A complete DVD collection of the works of Rodney Dangerfield. Just like the famous late comedian, the team “never got any respect.” Rodney laughed all the way to the bank and the Rams laughed all the way to the championship game.

Phantom of Blackwater Draw — A large hip flask. The Phantom put in an appearance at the championship football game this year but the old guy looked like he was about half frozen aboard that horse in the end zone. A little antifreeze might help him out.

Gov. Bill Richardson — He got a new train last year so he may be a little tough to shop for. We all know what he really wants is a place somewhere on the Democratic presidential ticket in 2008 even though he’s not really running (wink, wink). Rumor is that he’ll be writing a new book early in the new year titled. “If I were Running — Here’s How I Would Do It,” so a new pen would be good. He’ll likely leave a glass of eastern New Mexico milk and a plate of biscochitos, Santa. It would be a good idea if you actually consumed those items yourself because candidate Bill needs to start watching his weight.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman — The Democrats, like a pack of dogs chasing a car, finally caught the car and don’t seem to know what to do with it. Send Jeff and his fellow Democrats some fresh ideas on health care, the “war on terror” and the economy. I know you still have these gifts somewhere at the North Pole, Santa — obviously you never got around to sending them to the Republicans either.

Sen. Pete Domenici — A new pair of hunting pants. Apparently the ones he’s been wearing around the office look a little too much like jammies for the Washington press’ taste. Pete’s a practical guy so I’m sure the pants he has are comfortable and functional but that’s not good enough in Washington. Make the new pants camo pattern so they can’t be mistaken for PJs and maybe have the elves throw in a little Kevlar in the seat in case he gets a call to go hunting with Dick Cheney. Don’t forget to tuck a hanky in the pocket though — those Republicans are crying in their beer right now.

President George Bush — Last year I requested an Iraq exit strategy for poor old George and that idea seems to have gotten passed over. Evidently he’s been a little too naughty to make Santa’s good list. Still he is the leader of the free world and a basically nice guy. Take a look around the workshop and find him something, a horn for his mountain bike, a little bit more pull with those guys at FEMA, a new press secretary or maybe a few more Republican congress members.