In these contentious times the power of the Secretary of State to interpret and administer election laws is highly coveted by both political parties. For the Dems it has been easy street as they have held down the office for decades. But a three way fight for the Dem nomination for the position is shaping up for 06' and has some Dems a bit concerned. A direct report from a top Dem Alligator goes like this:
"Joe, there are three contenders so far for the job. Former Secretary of State Stephanie Gonzales, Bernalillo County clerk Mary Herrera and Santa Fe County clerk Rebecca Bustamante. Rebecca has had a very controversial term, including highly publicized arguments with the county commission. Her nomination could cause the Dems some trouble. I think Stephanie will be the early favorite, but some of us think nominating Rebecca could lead us to the same problem we had when Art Trujillo won the nomination for land commissioner two years ago," reported our Dem source.
Trujillo, you may recall, lost the Land Commission post to Republican Pat Lyons because of Trujillo's ethical baggage. It was only the second time in decades that the GOP was able to get one of their own in that powerful post. It may be unfair to dub Bustamante the weak link in the race. She may argue she has the toughness to stand up to the R's. Still, it may seem impossible for the GOP to grab the power of Secretary of State, but if they are smart they might start looking around for a solid candidate.
INTEL CHIPS IN
The Intel spinmeisters were earning their dollars this week as they phoned into the blog with concerns over a story we linked to questioning the $2 billion dollar tax break the Rio Rancho semiconductor firm will get as a result of Sandoval County approving a $16 billion dollar industrial revenue bond for the company, the biggest in U.S. history.
Former TV anchor August Meyers, now spinning for the chipmaker, told us that Intel questions the Reuters report, saying it was not balanced and did not mention the benefit that Sandoval County would receive. The report did mention that the county could reap up to $95 million from Intel over te next 15 years for passing the bond, but Meyers said Intel will do that and more and pointed out the contributions the giant firm has made to the county and state over the years.
For political junkies, the 1994 defeat of Dem Governor Bruce King at the hands of R Gary Johnson will always be linked in a way to Intel. It was King who pushed for the first round of tax breaks for the company in the early 90's that made possible a big expansion, one which led to the the hiring of Gary's Big J Enterprises, an employment contracting and construction firm. Johnson's made his big money with Intel and used a chunk of it to retire Bruce. So go the ironies in our beloved La Politica.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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