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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rep. Ben Rodefer Guest Blog on News that SunCal is Facing Foreclosure

This is a guest blog by State Rep. Benjamin Rodefer (D-Corrales 23).

BenrodeferI'm writing in response to a recent AP article reporting that lenders filed a foreclosure lawsuit against SunCal Cos. in state court in New Mexico last week to collect more than $180 million in outstanding loans the developer used to finance a property purchase on Albuquerque's West Side from Atrisco Land Grant heirs.

New Mexico nearly, within one vote, entered into a 40-50 year financial partnership with this company, one that would have diverted over a billion dollars from the state's general fund. This company was never financially stable nor sound. It was always my strong belief that passing the Suncal TIDD would cause significant and long term damage to our state, its finances, and our ability to provide the very fundamental services our people deserve.

Hopefully much more sensible opportunities for economic development and good jobs creation will come New Mexico's way, allowing us to more wisely invest our limited funds, and better support our people and our economy.

It was a true David vs. Goliath victory back in January to have stopped this taxpayer swindle. It was an improbable victory considering the strong support from the executive and legislative leadership, as well as the innumerable high-paid lobbyists working the Roundhouse on Suncal's huge dollar.

Remember this is the same company that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions trying to buy the votes needed to pass their taxpayer giveaway.

This week's news further vindicates the hard work done by so many to protect New Mexico from such an egregious and possibly fraudulent misuse of tax dollars.

This week's news further illustrates the real difference each of us can make in building a better future for New Mexico.

As a state we face immense challenges, but today is a day we can all breath a sigh of relief. We avoided a monumental financial blunder, one we would have been paying for well through this century.

This is a guest blog by Rep. Benjamin Rodefer of Corrales. To submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

December 22, 2009 at 11:08 AM in Finance, Investments, Guest Blogger, Land Issues, NM Legislature 2009, Real Estate Development, Sun Cal | Permalink


You're absolutely right, Representative Rodefer. But don't be surprised if SunCal rises from the ashes. These behemoths have a tendency to make comebacks after filing for foreclosure and restructuring. Please keep up the good work to keep this company at bay.

Posted by: Neen | Dec 22, 2009 11:13:15 AM

Who holds the note? I guess SunCal will be thrown out onto the curb with their pile of IOUs, but who is behind them?

We are not done with the mess that SunCal made.

Posted by: bg | Dec 22, 2009 12:04:00 PM

According to the Albuquerque Journal:

Barclays, Five Mile Capital and iStar Financial jointly loaned SunCal about $220 million for the project, which SunCal co-owns with New York firm D.E. Shaw.

The lawsuit asks that SunCal be compelled to pay $182 million, plus accrued interest and late fees, immediately. SunCal put up its project's assets, including the land, as collateral, according to the lawsuit.

That means the lenders could seize the project from SunCal if it doesn't come up with the money.


Posted by: barb | Dec 22, 2009 1:12:19 PM

What does this do to Linda Lopez (D-Suncal)'s chances at the LG nomination. I don't think a bankrupt company can keep shelling out the ca$h for her.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Dec 22, 2009 4:38:58 PM

I have always thought Gov. Bill Richardson to be inarticulate, disingenuous and far less smart than people say he is.

It has been repeatedly, publicly stated that Richardson supported the TIDD for SunCal. No one should forget that fact in evaluating the legitimacy of his commentary on issues in the future.

Posted by: Alan2009 | Dec 22, 2009 8:41:57 PM

I have always been curious about functionality in websites and, well, the world in general. I read this article with great interest. It does seem to me that the reason we comment is to speak our minds so why not have the comment field first? However, as others have pointed out, one gets used to the conventions regardless of reason.

Posted by: cruise | Dec 23, 2009 3:21:51 AM

The representative gloats, for lack of any better word, over his role in killing the hopes of a South Valley/Westside community, a community where economic development is most-often defined as a job behind a convenience store counter or flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant. Kudos to those who supported the tax breaks that would help a poor, high minority area in obtaining the same type of american dream enjoyed by those living in the representative's Corralles district. I do not fault the representative for his views, but for the hubris he displays from a victory over a so often defeated populace.

Posted by: Sarandalf | Dec 23, 2009 2:07:18 PM

It was Sun Cal that killed the hopes by operating in such a reckless and untrustworthy manner. The TIDD would have funded sprawl housing developments we don't need. They haven't come up with one employer that would have provided good jobs. Sarandalf, you're dreaming.

Posted by: Ellen in Taylor Ranch | Dec 23, 2009 2:37:36 PM