We. Told. You. So.
An 'unmatched private-sector partner' implodes -- as we predicted
Turns out, the ghost was real.
Thirteen months ago, www.rockoftalk.chat published “Is New Mexico Chasing Another Space Ghost?” Our investigation probed what Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller claimed was a “bright spot in the midst of a pandemic” — a “project that will literally make Albuquerque a home base for space.”
We were skeptical. And our skepticism was warranted.
Yesterday, KRQE reported that the Theia Group’s “Orion Center,” a “sprawling campus” to be built next to the Sunport, is kaput. No satellite factory. No office and engineering building. No “$8 billion to $10 billion” investment. No “2,500 permanent workers.”
Nearly a year ago, the Albuquerque Journal’s editorial page gushed that Theia was one of the city’s “unmatched private-sector partners” in a “growing aerospace sector.” Um, no. As we discovered, more than a month before the newspaper revealed its embracing cluelessness, not much was known about the company — and the information available wasn’t encouraging. As a privately held enterprise, Theia’s financials were something of a mystery. Inquires sent to reporters in the commercial-space press yielded zilch. We did confirm that Oregon-based Theia Technologies had launched a trademark-infringement lawsuit, and that the remote-sensing industry was hyper-competitive. And we counseled a whole lot of caution.
But the usual suspects — the mainstream media, advocates and bureaucrats in “economic development” — couldn’t be bothered with tough questions, and bought the hype. Big mistake. As KRQE revealed, a “New York investment firm that put at least $200 million into Theia Group is suing the startup company,” alleging that it “has done nothing to get its business going.” A federal receiver is now in charge. And the Albuquerque “campus” will never be.
So allow us to gloat a bit. Our Theia exposé is the kind of work we do every day. As best we can tell, The Rock of Talk is the only outpost left that will objectively scrutinize the stunning incompetence and deep corruption of government in the Land of Enchantment. In the last few weeks alone, we have:
• Explained why a tax break for “Small Business Saturday” is unwise. (And a distraction.)
• Investigated the directed-energy pork New Mexico’s congressional delegation brings home.
• Torpedoed the spin of SpinLaunch, slated to be the next savior of the boondoggle that is “Spaceport America.”
• Shown that while Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham seeks to throw scraps at taxpayers, Mississippi’s chief executive wants to eliminate his state’s income tax.
• Outlined how bureaucrats want to spend every penny of the state’s $1.6 billion surplus.
• Updated readers on Holtec International’s proposed facility in Lea County.
We can’t be bought off. We can’t be scared off. Our commitment is to you, and you alone.
Last month, “dot chat” celebrated its first anniversary, and our content became available exclusively to subscribers. At just 20¢ a day, we think the value provided, for the price, is, well … unmatched. Lost of folks agree. One subscriber wrote that we “fill an intellectual void with grace, humor, thoroughness, and style.” Another congratulated us “on such high quality for a whole year, giving us voice.”
If you’re already a www.rockoftalk.chat subscriber, thanks so much for your support. If you haven’t yet come abroad, please consider a subscription. No one does what we do, and our work depends entirely on the financial contributions of generous New Mexicans who refuse to give up on their state. Let’s keep fighting — together.