Monday, July 11, 2005

Tina The Turner: ABQ Councilor Back In, Plus: Winter Mum On Growth, Builder Boss Has Nose For News And Marty's New Manager; Its Your Big Monday Blog 

Tina Cummins
Tina has turned. ABQ far NE Heights GOP City Councilor Tina Cummins, sister of GOP Bernalillo County Commissioner Tim Cummins, has changed her mind and is seeking re-election to a second four year term on the nine member council, according to Alligators monitoring the situation for us.

"She is definitely back in and the word up here is that the Mayor (Mayor Marty) persuaded Tina to resume her campaign," said our high level politico.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that Tina threw in the towel on her re-elect saying she had had enough. That came on the heels of the newspapers hammering her for not declaring on their questionnaires that she had been charged with a DWI some 15 years ago.

Speculators say Cummins, a Realtor, could have been told by the Mayor Marty forces hat her re-elect was not hurt much by the DWI revelation. The reasoning being she was charged, not convicted, it was a very long time ago and TV did not pick up much on the story. There's also a chance the Marty camp could have done some polling to see how Tina was doing. Tina has been a reliable supporter of the mayor's and having her on the ballot can't hurt him with her supporters, thus the move to get her back in the game.

"Tina has got to be considered the frontrunner despite the turmoil. She is a fiscal conservative in an area that values that above everything else. She is also very pro-business, fitting with the profile of the district. And she doesn't do a lot, something that could hurt in other districts, but not with her voters,' analyzed our Gator.

GOP Attorney Don Harris was thinking the field was clear for him when Tina withdrew, but with her back in Harris will have to redouble his efforts to pull off the upset. The main D in the race is Janet Saiers, considered a bit liberal to score the win. But remember, it takes 40% to win. If not, there's a run-off a month later. We certainly could get one in this interesting contest.


Meanwhile, GOP mayoral contender and city council prez Brad Winter is up on the Web. But his new site is more notable for what it doesn't mention, rather than for what it does. "Brad completely ignores the hot button issue of growth. Not one word about it. "The site is a not so subtle attack on the mayor calling for "honest leadership," e-mails in one astute observer.

A business group called Citizens for Greater ABQ (CGA) tried to take Winter out of his council seat two years ago because they felt for a Republican he was not pro-growth enough. Perhaps his campaign now wants to forget all about that, but you can be sure his opponents wont and will be putting Brad on the spot in the weeks ahead.

Jim Folkman

Staying with the growth issue this Monday, I don't know Jim Folkman, never met the executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico. But I'm not going to argue with his news judgment, and neither should anyone seeking office in the ABQ Metro area who have been given this wake-up call.

"Rio Rancho is closing in on Albuquerque in total numbers of housing starts-581 to 996 in the first quarter-and doing it faster than anybody anticipated.

"We used to think it would be a few years before Rio Rancho would exceed Albuquerque in housing starts," Folkman said. "Now it looks like it will probably happen within the next year and a half."

He said the trend "represents a whole different way of the Albuquerque metro area growing. "We could see a Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas/Fort Worth dynamic," Folkman said. "And that's news."

Indeed it is, Mr. Folkman, but you seem to be one of the few who recognize it. There's a giant sucking sound over New Mexico's largest city. Is anyone listening?


A blast from the past has been recruited to run the final months of Mayor Marty's re-elect campaign, report notoriously reliable sources. He's Mark Fleischer who was a presence in Dem party circles here back in the 70's and left to got to Arizona where he served as chair of that state's Dem Party in the late 90's. I remember covering Fleischer in the late 70's for radio news when he ran unsuccessfully for Bernalillo county treasurer but lost track of him until he popped up in the Arizona headlines. Fleischer replaces Bridget Cusick who ran into an Alligator swarm, (or whatrever you call Alligators who travel together) at Marty headquarters and headed back to the midwest. Fleischer's experience dueling directly with the R's may come in handy for the mayor as this race is already more partisan than any in the past.

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