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Monday, March 07, 2005

Manny: He's Not In The Valley Anymore; Alligators Circle As NM Legend Falters; Plus: Truth Tracking On Death Penalty Vote, And: TV News Ratings Seesaw 

Manny Aragon
NM political legend Manny Aragon has been the master of getting out of political fixes. The down side is that he's also a master at getting into them. And this time he is swimming in foreign waters that threaten to engulf the political wizard and end his historic run at the top rungs of New Mexican political power.

A mini revolution is taking hold at NM Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM where Aragon assumed the presidency in July of 04' after a 30 year run in the state senate where by sheer will and often intimidation, he rammed thru some of the major legislation of our times. But he's not in the senate anymore and the diverse power centers of a state university are starting to haunt Aragon whose politics were born in the Valley of ABQ and does not resonate with academics and students used to a more collaborative approach.

LIVING WITH MANNY

The problem leads directly to the Fourth Floor of the NM Roundhouse and Big Bill who engineered Aragon's ascension to Highlands. Because of what he was about to be awarded, Manny played meek for Big Bill and the Guv got a willing Legislature. But insiders have long speculated that the Guv wanted to get rid of Aragon because of the immense power he had in the Legislature and could possibly use to thwart Big Bill's will. The Highlands job, the speculation goes, gave the Guv an easy way out.

But with Aragon imploding there may be a price to pay for the Guv. The GOP effectively demonized Aragon and then-House Speaker Raymond Sanchez. It may be a long-shot, but now the R's are watching with interest the Manny Mess and thinking they may yet another chance to tie the Aragon baggage to another political traveler--Big Bill. Aragon's survival chances may depend on the outcome. Don't say we didn't tell you.

THE DEATH DANCE CONTINUES

What happened to that "reconsideration" of the death penalty vote in the state House that I blogged freshman ABQ GOP State Rep. Justine Fox-Young was “preparing" after shocking conservatives with her vote to abolish the death penalty? Blogger Steve Terrell and others are among the curious because when asked by Terrell about the reconsideration report Fox-Young replied: "Not on your life, babe." Well, "babes" and others interested, reliable sources report the move was indeed close to occurring, but the fact that it was published here beforehand may have caused it not to happen. Geez, we thought they didn't care.

The fact remains that Fox-Young and four other Republicans did vote to abolish the penalty and that the districts they represent are overwhelmingly in favor of the penalty and their votes were instrumental in it passing the House.

No, we don't have a beef with the Barnett-Dendahl-Fox-Young-Foley-Adair-Youngberg wing of the NM GOP. To paraphrase Harry Truman: "I never give anybody hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell." May it ever be so.

TV TALK

It was good while it lasted, but it didn't last long. Ratings for the 10 p.m. newscasts in the big ABQ market are out and they show KRQE-TV's historic breakthrough to the number one spot last November is history. But the race is so close that no one really has bragging rights to the top slot. In the February "sweeps" KOB 4 finished with a 9.8, KRQE 13 was second with a 9.1 and KOAT 7 came in with a 7.8 average at 10. A 9.8 rating means out of all the TV sets in the viewing area 9.8 per cent of them were tuned to KOB.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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