If you were wondering if Big Bill would back a different ABQ mayoral horse at the last minute, we have it on good authority--straight from the horse's mouth so to speak--that the Big Fella is sticking with Mayor Marty. Here's a direct on-the-scene report from one of our Senior Alligators who attended an event with the pair.
"I was at a Richardson Roundtable get together. About 200 people attended. Bill said the Roundtable now has 600 members. Mayor Marty arrived escorting actress Talia Shire who was here scouting out movie opportunities. The governor gave a strong endorsement of the mayor's candidacy. He introduced Marty and mentioned that he is a 'great mayor' who we all support. He also joked that he (Bill) saved Marty's Pandas for him," reported our deep insider.
City Councilor Eric Griego is the other Dem who has made the mayoral ballot so far, but the Guv can fade any heat for the Marty endorsement by noting that officially the mayor's race is nonpartisan. You know and I know that there is no love lost between Big Bill and Marty, but this is politics folks, not a marriage. A GOP mayor in the state's largest city is just not in the interest of a guy seeking re-election himself next year.
READY TO POUNCE
Now it's a slightly different story from Big Bill Dem chair John Wertheim. We ran into him and his wife Bianca, (who works for the Guv) at a trendy Nob Hill restaurant recently. (I posed as a waiter to get in) John nodded in the affirmative when I asked him if the party would get involved in the mayor's race if it comes down to a run-off between Marty and R Brad Winter. But unlike the state GOP, which is basically running Brad's operation, Wertheim indicated there would be no party involvement in the October 4 battle.
It seems only fair that if the R's are going to simply ignore the "nonpartisan" designation of ABQ elections, so shall the D's. The more they go this way the more you have to think partisan elections with primaries may be the way for us to go in the future.PETE & THE PREZ
It's just a hop and a skip from Crawford, Texas, where the Prez will hole up for August vacation, and ABQ's Sandia Labs. And he will make the hop over August 8 to sign the energy bill which NM's two U.S. Senators played a major role in crafting. The bill has been widely panned, but the signing ceremony will please Pete who will probably pry another couple of million out of the Prez for Sandia labs during the visit.
A REPUBLICAN LOPEZ!?
I gotta admit this one got by me. The NM General Services Department Cabinet Secretary and son of the late Santa Fe Democratic State Senator Eddie Lopez is a Republican. When Eddie Lopez Jr. blogged in last week defending the Guv's jet plane purchase we incorrectly called him a Dem. We should have know better, but watched his old man in action for years and naturally associated the son with the father.
Eddie Jr. reminds us that his father was not a liberal Dem. "I was with him in the voting booth when he went for Nixon in 72," he informs. And I will add I recall Eddie's conservative stewardship on tax and spending policy. He was one of the foremost experts ever in this area and I think the staff was less powerful then because of it. It's hard to say if Big Bill would have had a tougher time with the Legislature if he had to face-off with the pragmatic Senator Lopez. Many thought Eddie's longtime pal, Sen. Manny Aragon, would have have been tougher, but he was lured by a a big job at New Mexico Highlands. Would the same have happened to this other Legislative giant?
Senator Lopez was bedeviled by personal problems that often made headlines, but he was one of the few legislators who could dress you down on a news story (as he did me once in the early 80's at the legendary old Bullring) and you knew you had it coming. I miss his attention to detail, his voracious appetite for knowledge and politics and his warrior sprit. And I think the New Mexico Senate does too.OUR MYSTERY GUEST
We didn't mean to create a mystery about which former U.S. House speaker was recently in the ABQ area, but we did for some of our readers when we omitted the name of Newt Gingrich from our insider report Tuesday. It was indeed Newt who visited here and who, by the way, reportedly chuckled when reminded of Big Bill's Prez plans. Whatever that means.
E-mail your news and insider stuff. Thanks to those of you who do so regularly. It is your blog too. See you tomorrow.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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