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Thursday, January 27, 2005

From Washington: Heather's Shuffle; From ABQ: The Lobbyist's Loss; From Santa Fe: A Rose Garden; Welcome! This Is Ground Zero For New Mexico Politics 

Heather
She may say it shows how "independent" she is. Others may say it shows she is losing clout. The "it" is Heather Wilson's loss of her seat on the House Armed Services Committee. Not that the ABQ GOP Rep hadn't prepared us for it. She predicted recently she would lose the seat which is a nice position to sit and watch over our national labs from. She said she would get the boot because she was on the outs with top House Republicans for not playing ball with them on every issue. Heather held on to her seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee and, while losing Armed Services, she was picked this week for a subcommittee chairmanship on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which is relevant to defense heavy NM.

My sources who follow the D.C. action say the Dems have got it wrong when they claim that Heather is not in some hot water with House conservatives and is just trying to show how "independent" she is after being attacked for being a GOP lackey in the last campaign. Your blogger believes the Armed Services loss backs up the belief that Heather was given a mild slap by the right-wing.

PETE'S PLAY

Also, word comes from high-level sources in our nation's Capitol that GOP Senator Domenici, dean of the delegation, has been cozying up to southern GOP NM Congressman Steve Pearce who, in turn, has quite the cozy relationship with the conservative powers that run the House.

"Pete wants to get his bills through the House. That's the bottom line. Heather is not as close to the ruling faction and Pearce is," said one deep insider.

But don't take that to mean that Pete is about to anoint Pearce over Heather for his Senate seat if he decides not to run in 08.' However, it does appear the relationship dynamics in the delegation has undergone some change. That's always worth paying attention to since our fair little state receives billions each year from Uncle Sam.

YES, HE'S RUNNING. DUH?


Also on the D.C. beat, the ABQ Journal's Mike Coleman reports that a lobbying friend of Big Bill has secured a couple of Web site addresses that would be useful if the Guv sought the presidency in 2008. But the reaction to that news was curious in some quarters. There seems to be an air of disbelief that Big Bill is running for Prez. Am I, and you, my dear readers, the only ones who have been assuming that for the past two years? He has not only been running for it, but running hard. From this corner, we run everything the Big Guy does through the Prez screen.

But back on the Web thing, the Guv has a newly designed Web site and it is much better than the one he started out with when he took over. The latest news is easier to find and the layout is more user-friendly. Hope you like it since you paid for it. (Oops. Just visited there and it won't let me sign up for the news alerts. Is that because it's me, or is it a technical problem?)

NO FOR JOE
Winter
Former ABQ GOP State Rep. Joe Thompson will have to be happy with that UNM lobbying deal he snagged recently because he is not going to be doing the same for the city of ABQ. Thompson left the Legislature last year after getting busted for DWI, but has since bounced back with a lobbying career. Sources at City Hall report Thompson's name has been nixed from the lobbying list after Council Prez Brad Winter let it be known he was not a big fan.

Apparently Brad is still smarting from the sting that the Barnett faction of the Republican Party (of which Thompson's a member) gave him when he ran for re-election two years ago. They ran a candidate against Winter and even though he lost, he doesn't forget. To that, we say: politics is all about timing....and payback too.

A MERRY ROSE GARDEN?

Yeah, timing is the thing. Take, for example, yesterday at the Roundhouse. On their desks each of our 70 state rep's found a nice little basket of goodies promoting the fine wares of Taos County. It's a long-standing tradition, with many areas of the state taking part during the course of the long session. But inside the Taos basket was a bit of irony; A bluegrass CD from country singer Lynn Anderson who had been arrested just the day before for shoplifting a Harry Potter DVD at a Taos supermarket. Most lawmakers in the know got a chuckle out of it. Hey, maybe they can get some inspiration from Lynn and her biggest hit: "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden." That would make an appropriate theme song for the Legislature, wouldn't it?

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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