Monday, June 20, 2005

GOP And ABQ Mayor's Race: A Case Of Split Personality, And: Conroy & Steve "Friends For Life," Plus: Big Bill: No One Said It Would Be Easy 

For a small party New Mexico R's sure have a hard time getting on the same page, and we're seeing it again in the 2005 ABQ Mayor's race. While the party hierarchy is basically out of the closet and just about admitting that it's engineering the campaign of mayoral contender Brad Winter, R's are far from united in that position. In fact, three incumbent GOP city councilors, two of whom are up for reelection, are ardent backers of Dem incumbent Mayor Marty and show no signs of backing off. Sally Mayer, Tina Cummins and Craig Loy all follow the Marty line. Mayer and Cummins, both seeking another term in October, will do the same on the campaign trail. Both were spotted at Marty's reelection announcement. Actually, what they are doing is what was envisioned by the founders of our "nonpartisan" elections. But the GOP, starting a dozen years ago, began injecting partisanship into the city races and now "nonpartisan" is a fig leaf.

My talks with rank and file Republicans reveals the split, with many saying Marty is more conservative than Winter. Add that to the three R councilors backing the mayor and you have the making of yet another GOP split. No, it's not as toxic as the factional warfare of 2003-04 led by lawyer/lobbyist Mickey Barnett and ex GOP chair John Dendahl--those wounds seem to be healing slowly--but it shows the difficulty the minority party has in coming together to win the big ones.

Over the weekend, Chavez and Winter exchanged accusations over who is more in favor of voter ID, D Marty Or R Brad. Why do I have a feeling this kind of fighting for conservative votes is going to continue?


Here's some "full disclosure" for you as we blog the 05' mayor's race. I consulted the 93' Mayor's race with R Cargo, Baca in 97' and the 01' battle for Mayor Marty. I covered the first one in 74' for KUNM-FM. In 81' I was working in Washington, D.C. In 85' I covered for then KGGM-TV, now KRQE-TV. In 89' I was working for the city in PR. In 05' I'm blogging. Since 1989 I have anchored and produced live Election Night coverage for every major state and city election for KANW 89.1 FM in ABQ. We'll do it again this year with top NM lobbyist Scottt Scanland and my other experts on Oct. 4.

Former Bernalillo County Commissioner Steve Gallegos, a longtime target of the ABQ South Valley Alligators, writes in that he is indeed leaving the Department of Labor as we first blogged Thursday, but will not go to work for Bernalillo county. He says the law prohibits a retiring commissioner from doing that for a year. But he will take another job under Big Bill, at the Department of Transportation for $83 Grand a year, down $3 Grand from his deputy labor position under Secretary Conroy Chino. Both Gallegos and Chino are denying insider reports that they clashed. "I feel we have entered into a lifelong friendship," Steve says of Chino who, by they way, is not the only Native American Cabinet Secretary as we reported. Thanks to several readers for pointing out that Benny Shendo is Secretary of Indian Affairs.

For some reason Steve Gallegos has been a lightning rod on the blog, with his various job adventures and political interests drawing inordinate response from numerous rivals. But Gallegos keeps moving, the only way to avoid an Alligator strike.


No one said it would be easy. Big Bill's brood had to be disappointed that a
recent straw poll
, albeit among a small group of South Carolina Dems, had Hillary Clinton far and away the favorite for the 08' Dem Prez nomination, getting 44 votes to John Edward's 34. Virginia Guv Mark Warner garnered 32 and Sen. Biden of Delaware received 24. Everyone else, including Big Bill, was in single digits.


From realtor Tony Olmi's newsletter: "Age most people stop believing in Santa Claus: Eight. Age most people stop believing in politicians: Seven."

Keep the politics coming. Email your comments, news, complaints or whatever else is on your mind. I look forward to hearing from you. Back at you tomorrow.

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