Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Big Bill: Who Will Make Him Eat His Vegetables? New Speeding Incident Has Insiders Asking Where's The Governor On The Guv? Plus: NM's Hamburger Heaven
"Who will tell the Governor to eat his vegetables?" asked a veteran Alligator as
news spread of Big Bill's latest misadventure--another speeding violation that has taken reaction to his often over-the-top approach to the job from hallway snickers to the New Mexican public at large and threatens to brand him with an unwanted identity--King Bill.
"It's becoming obvious there is no one to tell him no. He has a competent staff but not one of them can walk into his office and tell him to cool it when it comes to some of these things," commented our Gator with top level experience.
"Some of these things" means the multiple speeding violations, the purchase of a $5.5 million state jet and the entourage approach to travel. "Pennies, nickels and dimes add up to dollars," cautioned our Alligator.
"He has conquered the Legislature, the Republicans, and won the public over. The speeding and other stuff is Clintonesque and he needs to rein it in or he could undo his national political ambitions," warned a campaign strategist. Heck, he might even encourage the R's to put up a decent candidate next year.
A top TV news insider emailed in asking why the Guv, with all the former reporters on his staff, could not "get out in front" on this latest speeding mishap. The answer is simple. They are out of ways to spin these incidents.
Not that Big Bill is of a mind to simply apologize and say once and for all he will slow down. No, instead the spinmeisters had their minions calling talk radio and defending the Guv's actions saying "he wasn't driving."
On top of that, "a direct line has since been installed so the state police can communicate directly with APD dispatch," according to one news report. What does that mean? The Guv can speed and not worry about getting busted? What about you and me? Is he setting himself up for even more trouble down the speedy road?
MUSCLE MAN NEEDED?
Big Bill's predecessor, Gary Johnson, also lacked strong personalities to keep him in check. It was political suicide when he advocated drug legalization. The difference is that the current governor is running for re-election and then president or vice-president. Gary did not care.
Former Guv Bruce King, always conservative in his personal approach to governing, nevertheless had a strong first lady in Alice to keep him in check as well as chiefs of staff who ran the day to day operation and had the authority to tell it to him straight. In the 80's Garrey Carruthers tapped Marylyn Budke as staff boss, an experienced hand who, if need be, could also tell the governor no.
Politicos speculated last year that if Big Bill was really serious about climbing on the national political stage he would need personalities around him who could provide a check on his exuberance. Combine this latest mishap with the radio ads about his lifestyle the NM GOP is running here and in New Hampshire and that time may have come.
THE PLANE PAIN
And the sting continues over the Guv's jet plane purchase. Radio talker Michael Swickard of KSNM-AM 570 In Las Cruces is the latest to weigh in.
HOLD THE MAYO
Politicos love those out of the way hamburger joints where they can plot their latest moves and, according to one guy's national survey in GQ Magazine, our little state has two of the twenty hamburger joints you must hit before you go to your final reward. Just green chili and onion for me, please.
Our Web site address is www.joemonahan.com. Pass it on to interested friends. See ya' tomorrow.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
Not for reproduction without permission of the author