Wednesday, June 01, 2005

ABQ Mailboxes Bulge With Marty Mail; Mayor Pulls The Trigger And Sets The Bar; Who Will Compete? Plus: Thanks, Deep Throat 

Mayor Marty
Launching a preemptive strike against possible wannabe mayors themselves set to pull the trigger, ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez beat them to the punch by mailing two, full-color brochures to thousands of Westsiders and Republicans touting his "leadership" and results." The mailer late last week set the stage for Chavez to begin collecting the nearly 6,000 petition signatures he and other hopefuls will need to secure a place on the October 4 ballot. Today is the first day to pick up petitions at the city clerk's office. Candidates will have until the end of July to gather the needed signatures.

"Chavez fired a shot across the bow of (City Council Prez) Brad Winter and others eyeing the race. The mailer is snappy, expensive and lets the opposition know that he has come to play. The opponents are going to have to meet a high standard and Chavez has shown he plans on being the one setting the standard," commented an Alligator with lengthy experience in ABQ politics.

Another neutral observer provided this insight. "There has been excitement about Winter getting in the race because he is the sole Republican. But don't be misled. Chavez is the clear frontrunner who can spend over $100 thousand a month between now and October. He's also the only candidate who has run and won this thing. The onus is on the challengers to show they can run a professional campaign. Chavez has shown he can. Can his foes?" Asked our insider.

Judy Espinosa is set to enter the fray this weekend. She will join ABQ City Councilor Eric Griego, but their supporters fear the two liberal Dems will cancel each other out leaving Chavez and Winter in a run-off a month after the initial balloting. If no candidate gets the magic 40%, the top two go to a run-off.


Mike Santullo
Veteran New Mexico politico and talk-radio pioneer Mike "Fastest Mouth In the West" Santullo who ran for mayor in 1974 and went on to serve Mayor Ken Schultz as communications director had further analysis.

"If it's Marty and Brad in the race it could be tough for either to get to 40%. Winter will have a big base of Republicans. Marty has his equally big base. But the mayor is still the man. Winter has much to prove. A campaign that is not executed with polish and decisiveness could cause him to fade quickly and Chavez conceivably could take it in the first round. I see Griego, Espinosa and company trying to beat up Marty and take him down to third, but I don't see it as likely," commented Santullo, 58, and in the game now for 34 years.

Republicans did a poll on the mayor's race recently and my deep insiders and very reliable sources tell me that Winter polled about 25% and Mayor Marty near the 50% mark. The R's are saying the Chavez support is soft and that the Winter number is what really matters; a number they say would put him in the run-off and in a position to win the ball game. And that's before he's even know by the wider public. But the Chavez camp is going to be anything but soft. Hardball is the game now. Keep an eye on your mailbox.

"Deep Throat"
With all the bitching lately over the use of anonymous sources, the revelation that the then number two man in the FBI, Mark Felt, turns out to be the biggest anonymous source of all, "Deep Throat," seems especially timely. Regular readers here know where we stand; anonymous sources are essential to protect your freedom. No ifs, ands or buts. It's been that way since there was a free press. Corporate media backing down from their use is dangerous.

The news about Deep Throat brought it all back home. The real threat to a free society isn't a bunch of reporters who, on occasion, may screw up and misuse anonymous sourcing. The threat comes from those entrusted with power and who abuse it. Sure, Deep Throat may have had some personal motives for ratting out Nixon, but in our system of checks and balances that's how the game works. In the end the taxpaying public benefits as the society remains open. All the posturing about anonymous sources is best left to the ethics professors in the Ivory Towers. Here at ground zero, there's a First Amendment to take care of things. May it ever be so.

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