Wednesday, August 04, 2004

More Roaring Over Rep. Rory Ogle And The Wife-Beating Saga, Plus: Big Bill's Money Trail: An Achilles Heel?  

Here they come. Oh, so predictably. ABQ GOP NE Heights State Rep. Rory Ogle has delivered a big, fat slow-pitch to the Democrats and they are starting to swing. Attorney General Patricia Madrid took her bat out Wednesday and swung hard against Ogle, calling for him to resign and topping it off with a package of legislative proposals on domestic violence.

In a phone call from her Santa Fe office, the feisty AG told me she makes no bones about putting the heat on the embattled, but still unwilling to call-it-quits Ogle. His presence "casts a shadow" on the state and he needs to resign." She opined.

Ogle, charged with hitting his wife with a bed headboard and a mop while drunk, has been called on to get out by his own party chair, Allen Weh, but has refused. That refusal is opening anew the wounds of the state GOP.

ABQ Republican lawmaker Janice Arnold-Jones broke ranks with Weh in a cell phone call to me in which she said she "expects" Rory to resign, but she will not call on him to quit. "I'm struggling with this. I don't know where the line is, but there is no pattern of abuse here," she explained. She indicated unless Ogle is found guilty she thinks he deserves to stay.


Janice joins House Minority Leader Ted Hobbs in breaking with Weh over Ogle's future. Some speculators who disagree with Hobbs are saying he is counting on Rory's vote for his re-election as Minority Leader in what could turn out to be a heated multi-man race when the Legislature meets in January. Ogle is unopposed on the November ballot.

Furthering the party split, State Rep. Ron Godbey sided with the anti-Ogle forces. In an e-mail to "NM Politics with Joe Monahan," Ogle's fellow ABQ NE Heights lawmaker writes:

"Ogle is a retired army officer. Had this happened while on active duty, he would have been court martialed. "Godbey then took a swipe at Leader Hobbs: "So, Rep. Ogle, do the right thing...resign...now, today. But then, perhaps our Republican leadership may wish to "decriminalize" wife-beating, making it all OK."

The whole Ogle episode took a bizarre turn when sources reported that Ogle was in court Wednesday concerning the restraining order his soon to be ex-wife, Anita, has on him. At the hearing Ogle was represented by none other than State House Minority Whip Joe Thompson who decided against a re-election bid this year after being busted for DWI!

Folks, we don't make this stuff up. New Mexico politics writes its own story. We just humbly report these true but fantastic tales.


Patsy Madrid dropped a bit more news Wednesday when she told me she would not be hooking up with Kerry and Edwards when they make their weekend train trip through Northern New Mexico because, among other things, she will be raising money for her new political action committee. "It's a committee to help Hispanic and women candidates," Patsy informed. She joins big Bill in forming her very own PAC, an event that we don't think is a coincidence.

Meanwhile, Big Bill's herculean money raising the past couple of years is starting to awaken the scribes at the state's largest newspaper which has switched tone and started aggressively reporting the links between those who give money to Big Bill and those who get jobs and contracts.

This week the ABQ Journal ran a foot-long editorial (pay site) commenting on their findings. Although the opinion ended on a mild note, the beef in the earlier money reports has got to be worrying the Guv. His press people are getting a lot of practice saying there is no connection between the money givers and the state jobs and contracts. But how long can that line hold up as the reports continue to fall showing the jobs and contracts being doled out?


Why the sudden change of tone in the money reporting? Simple. Every time a big donor gets a job or contract, someone else did not get it. In politics, it's those who do not get who blow the whistle. The goody tray has been going around for two years. Those who picked it clean are happy. Those greeted with an empty dish have an unsatisfied appetite for payback.

Veteran NM Republican Bruce Donisthorpe has been gnashing his teeth for years over money coverage in NM politics. "It's the most uncovered story of them all," he complains. Donisthorpe likes the coverage of late. Trouble is his own GOP has been so torn asunder it’s hard-pressed to take advantage of the gift horse being presented.

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