Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Remember John Edwards? He Fights Footnote Status On ABQ Visit Today; Argues For Higher Minimum Wage, Plus: Clovis Crybabies? Blog Readers React
John Edwards is the type of guy you would expect to do well in our Enchanted Land. The trial lawyer appeals to the urban audience and his down home style wears well in New Mexico's rural areas. He wore well when he visited here last year as a candidate for prez and then as John Kerry's running mate. He's back in ABQ today amid polls that show among Republicans he is the most popular of the possible Dem prez contenders. After he gets done today endorsing a higher minimum wage measure for Duke City workers that could change. But the wage proposal appeals to the Democratic left, gatekeepers of the Dem nomination. But Edwards fashions himself a populist, not a leftist. He had one of the most powerful 04' slogans--remember "Two America's"? The minimum wage increase he is campaigning for here and other locales is a natural.
Attorney General Madrid is still in the Edwards corner, and if our own Big Bill falls flat in his White House run, the former North Carolina senator could be back here more. The critics harp that Edwards was a lightweight and got crushed in his debate with VP Cheney. But he has been polishing his resume with foreign travel. His brainy wife, attorney Elizabeth, also made a good impression here. In a nomination fight that could feature Hillary Clinton she could be an effective counterweight.
As for the ABQ minimum wage battle, the proposal needs over 13,000 signatures to get on the ballot this October. If it gets on (after a fight over valid signatures?) it will have an uphill climb as opponents will be out in bigger force than the minimum wage workers the measure would mainly benefit.
"C’mon, this should be more than small state versus big state. How about “it’s good for the COUNTRY?” That was one of many e-mails we received in response to Monday's' blog that hit the state's congressional delegation for being behind the curve in trying to save Clovis' Cannon Air Force Base. That one was from onetime KKOB-AM radio news director Vern Beachy. From Clovis, Gerry Maestas came with this missive, "Without BRAC there would be NO base closings. What state delegation is going to agree to any? The Pentagon wants to streamline operations and elected officials naturally want it done in someone else's backyard...."
Reader Mitch Jones chimed in that the Alligators who said New Mexico should have a senator on the Armed Services Committee have it wrong: "The evidence doesn't support the analysis. The Chairman of the Armed Services Committee is John Warner, yet Virginia is losing Fort Monroe. The Ranking Member of the committee is Carl Levin, yet Michigan is losing both the Kellogg Air Guard Station and Selfridge Army base. Joe Lieberman is on the committee, yet Connecticut is losing it's submarine base." Like others, Mitch defended the BRAC process as the only way to get rid of wasteful military spending.
Chris Salazar defended the "unelected bureaucracy" that was dissed Monday. "Mr. Monahan, it is in the hands of these unelected bureaucrats that the best work is done. In most cases, these bureaucrats are the best of the best who have been doing their jobs for 30 or 40 years and know what is best for certain areas in which they have expertise," cried Chris. Good point, but you can call me Joe, Chris.
Eastern NM Native Cheryl Flagg gave us the best reason for keeping Cannon open, sending this news dispatch from Boston.com: "Closed military bases could become repositories for nuclear waste under a little-noticed section of a spending bill that was passed by the House this week, exacerbating the fears of local lawmakers who are fighting the scheduled closure of four of New England's biggest bases." Thanks Cheryl and all our other emailers.
It appears the BRAC process--keeping the politicos out of the decisions--is having the intended effect of shielding them from some of the heat generated when a base is targeted for closing. It'll be interesting to see if our e-mail changes if jobs at Cannon actually start disappearing. Stay tuned.
Your thoughts, news and comments are always welcome. You can remain anonymous if you wish. Just e-mail me from the top of the page and help keep the politics coming. Meanwhile, let's viist again tomorrow.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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