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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Big Money For Big Bill: The $10 Million Man? And: Heather Hit Again On SS, Plus: AG Madrid: How To Avoid Exile? 

$10 Million Man?
Will Big Bill be the $10 million man? It's a question being bandied about as the Guv begins in earnest his money hunt in preparation for his 2006 re-election bid. "One recent event he held had ticket prices at $5 grand a pop. I expect there will be many others like it," commented one politico monitoring the action. (That fundraiser was held by NM gambling magnate Paul Blanchard). Big Bill raised over $8 million when he snared the Guv's job in 02'. A number of those contributions came back to haunt him in the form of news reports that some cash givers received favorable state treatment. In fact, Big Bill was forced to return several big donations when it appeared the donors received direct state benefits for their contributions. For 06', the Guv has so far raised about $3 million.

As he sets out on another record money raising binge he again runs the risk of accepting dough from sources that expect more than a half-hour chat on the Fourth Floor.

BIG BILL PACS IT IN

Meanwhile, word comes to us that the Guv's PAC, Moving America Forward, is being disbanded. Some thought he would be using it as a vehicle for his 2008 Prez bid. Now, we are told all money will flow to the re-elect fund. Any leftovers from that cannot be used directly for his Prez bid, but the law is loose enough that he will still be able to get mileage out of it on the national stage. As for Moving America Forward, it was to entice Hispanic voters to vote Kerry. But figures, which are disputed by some, show Bush actually increasing his Hispanic vote by 9% in 2004. Not exactly a PAC success story there.

If you're thinking $10 million is a ridiculous amount of money for a race in a state with a population of less than two million, you have a lot of company. But the Guv will argue that national Republicans are going to rough him up with big dollars and he is going to have defend himself. Still, the epic amount of cash being raised for political ads in one of the poorest states in the nation leaves our La Politica with quite a sour taste.

HEATHER'S ETERNAL CAMPAIGN

For Heather Wilson the TV ads never end. And here we go again. Several groups opposed to Bush's proposal to privatize a portion of Social Security have cut Spanish language ads that target just two GOP Reps--Bill Thomas, (R-CALIF), Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and our every own Heather, whose ABQ district has a 43% Hispanic population. The ads started running this week.

There are also English ads running against Heather who has yet to take a clear position on whether individuals should be allowed to invest their Social Security taxes in the stock market. NM's Udall is firmly against. The GOP's Pearce favors a pilot program.

PATSY'S PROBLEM

Dems are baiting Attorney General Madrid to be Heather's next victim and if they keep stroking her ego she just may bite. But most objective political pros I speak with are not optimistic that Madrid would do any better than Richard Romero who was embarrassed by Wilson in two, 10 point landslides. Some of Madrid's backers are now talking her up for other races. As we've reported, some pros say the gutsy move would be for Madrid to directly challenge Lt. Guv Denish in the Dem primary. But in an apparent effort to squash any talk of a Bill-Di split, the Denish folks are mailing me first edition bumper stickers for the 06' campaign that say, "Richardson-Denish, Moving NM Forward." For the AG, avoiding political exile never looked tougher.

THE BLOG EXPLOSION

The New Mexico political blogosphere is still growing. ABQ Tribune political reporter Kate Nash wraps us up today as she takes a look at the latest additions. Kate has a nonconformist edge. Who goes from the ABQ Journal to the ABQ Tribune? Can blogging be just ahead?

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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