Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Jeff's a Million Dollar Man, Mayor Men Get A 'Lady Lecture,' Plus: Radio War Fizzles, And: The Case Of The Missing Hispanics; Your Blog Marches On
The first NM U.S. Senate campaign that went over a million bucks was back in 78' when Pete Domenici hit the number in a hot race with Dem Toney Anaya. Today a million bucks in a NM senate race is chump change. Just look at the latest figures from Dem U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman's 06' re-elect. The Silver City native already boasts $1.033 million in cash, according to the latest reports, and the number may climb to four times that much before it's over. And Jeff doesn't even have a 'for real' opponent. Heck, if he draws an R with gumption he may push past the $6 mil mark. Bingaman raised $550,000 in the March-June quarter alone. Who gives all this dough? I think you know. The usual suspects. We all have problems with "special interests" influence. For a refresher on where the cash gusher originates check out political moneyline.
What are Mr.& Mrs. Albuquerque to make of the election year squabbling between the top two mayor contenders, Dem Mayor Marty and R City Councilor Brad Winter? And now the entire council fighting over whether some bond money should go to construct a panda exhibit at the zoo or to fix up city streets? Hey, why can't we do both? For a change, the city is flush with cash, but the poverty mentality prevails. It was enough to flush mayoral wannabe Judy Espinosa out of hibernation with a well-timed slap on the wrists.
"The situation is becoming ridiculous. I know I'm not alone in thinking that the Mayor and some of the council members are acting like a bunch of elementary school students. It would be almost funny if the stakes were not so high, but the stakes are high; and I am calling on both sides to lower the rhetoric and tend to city business like intelligent, professional adults."
Intelligent, professional adults? Thanks for trying Judy, but we might need professional day care before this one's over. By the way, Big Bill says he will try to get state money for the ABQ panda exhibit.
THE MISSING HISPANICS
"Where are the Hispanics?" questioned several Alligators upon seeing the highest paid fourteen city of ABQ employees posted here and gathered by KOB-TV. "Hispanics make up over 40% of the city population nd maybe 70% of the city work force, yet there's not one Hispanic on that list," slapped one Gator.
Mayor Marty does not make the list, but most of the highly paid were appointed by him so he is the target of the Gator wrath. The Mayor's defenders point out that he has named many Hispanics as department directors and their high pay--in the mid 90's--falls just shy of the top fourteen. Longtime Hispanic activist Juan Jose Pena is running for a city council seat and some expect him to talk about the case of the missing high-paid Hispanics. Stay tuned.
KKOB--STILL THE ONE
Negative campaigning, citywide billboards and top name talent was not enough to peel many listeners away from longtime NM radio powerhouse 770 KKOB-AM and over to talk radio newcomer KAGM 106.3 FM. The latest Arbitrend ratings reveal a huge gap between the two stations, with KKOB still number one with an 8.7% audience share. KAGM is near the bottom, ranking 25th out of 31 stations with just a 1.5% share. Former KKOB morning man Larry Ahrens and TV news anchor Dianne Anderson headline KAGM, where they've been running attack promos against their 50,000 watt rival. But a radio insider says "this market is already heavily served with talk radio. Whether another one is needed is questionable."
But another talk station was a big winner in the ratings, showing that while there may be plenty of right-wing radio, listeners are craving a liberal alternative. KABQ-AM 1350 came in with a 2.4% share, ranking them 17th in the market. The format is finding a home among Dems and progressives, and unlike KAGM, does not need a big budget. A spokeswoman for Arbitron in Columbia, Maryland tells me the ratings represent a "rolling average" from the twelve weeks of March, April and May.
BLOG ODDS AND ENDS
How could ABQ City Councilor Tina Cummins be the "brother" of Bernalillo County Commissioner Tim Cummins? That's what some of my Monday morning readers wondered. I caught the typo, but not before political junkie Steve Terrell and others pointed it out. Steve chimed in: "Brother???" Either this is a typo or it's bigger news than I thought!" Sorry Tina, we're sure you still look "fetching" and feminine...As for Tina's ABQ NE Heights council race in which we broke the news that Tina had re-entered, some Dems urged us to point out that Dem Chris Catechis, who unsuccessfully challenged GOP State Rep. Ted Hobbs, is also seeking the Cummins seat. OK, done. Meanwhile, friends of Janet Saiers, a retired city employee, say she is having second thoughts about seeking the seat now that Tina is back in and has the support of Mayor Marty who can help her raise bucks.
Back tomorrow with more. Keep us posted with those emails and thanks for stopping by.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
Not for reproduction without permission of the author