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COLUMN: Predictions past

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — It’s time to see how I did on my 2008 predictions.

For beginners, I picked the winners of the four open congressional seats. Remember, at this point last year, candidates hadn’t even filed yet.

U.S. Senate — Tom Udall over Steve Pearce. Right, all the way. Udall and Pearce won their primaries. Udall took the general election.

1st Congressional District — Daren White over Martin Heinrich. White and Heinrich both won their primaries. Heinrich took the general election. Score me only 2 out of 3 on that one.

2nd Congressional District — Too wild to call. My only comment was that since Steve Pearce and former Rep. Harold Runnels both were oil field service company owners from Hobbs, that meant unknown Harry Teague might rise to the top and become the first Democrat since Runnels, 28 years ago, to win the seat. He did.

3rd Congressional District — Ben Ray Lujan over Marco Gonzales. Lujan overcame Don Wiviott’s millions to win the primary. I didn’t see Dan East sneaking up on Gonzales. Neither did Gonzales.

After New Mexico not winning anything in its first try in the Rose Parade, I predicted our space alien float would garner a prize this year. It did. One of the top three.

I predicted Gov. Bill Richardson would make it through the Feb. 3 primaries. He didn’t make it past early January.

I predicted Richardson would return to New Mexico and become governor again. He didn’t. Two weeks after the Super Bowl, he endorsed Sen. Barack Obama and was out of state even more than when he was a candidate himself.

I predicted Richardson wouldn’t get a vice presidential nod and that if a Democrat won in November, he wouldn’t receive a good enough offer to take him away from “the best job in the world” as governor of New Mexico. Score me 1 out of 2 on that prediction.

I predicted former Gov. Gary Johnson would interrupt his training schedule long enough to surface somewhere. He did, at independent presidential candidate Ron Paul’s alternative convention in St. Paul. Johnson was a featured speaker.

I predicted Manny Aragon, David Iglesias, Sam Bregman and cockfighting would be back in the news. They were. I predicted Erika Ruiz wouldn’t be back in the news. You don’t even remember who she is, do you?

I predicted 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate John Dendahl would be located and would begin sharing his opinions again. Dendahl surfaced in Colorado near where he went to college. He shares his opinions through a Web site called “Family Security Matters.”

I said Santa Fe gasoline prices would fall the day the Legislature opened and shoot back up the day it adjourns. The Santa Fe oil cartel doesn’t want to anger lawmakers from around the state with its higher prices. Occasionally lawmakers have asked the attorney general to investigate. Next year, it may not matter. Too many other factors are influencing the price of gas and lawmakers will be concentrating on how to overcome an almost $500 million deficit.

I said the sky would not fall no matter who wins the presidency. That was back when there were about 15 candidates. The sky almost fell even before the general election. The economic crisis has affected just about everyone’s life, here and elsewhere.

And it seems to be just like a Nostradamus prediction. No one warned that it was coming, but now that it has, many experts knew it all along.

I predicted the Legislature would continue to do almost nothing with ethics reforms recommended by a blue-ribbon panel that has been working on them for three years. I couldn’t have been more spot on.

I predicted there would be more news about our most famous New Mexican, Billy the Kid. That has been going slower than expected. But stay tuned.

Results — a whole lot better than all the astrologers you heard from last year at this time.

Jay Miller is a syndicated columnist in Santa Fe. He may be reached by e-mail to insidethecapitol@hotmail.com.