Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Winter Tries To Warm Up Mayoral Trail, Plus: The Great Wage Debate, And: Campaign 06': The Big Bore? Come Blog With Me! 

Brad Winter
The slaying of two ABQ police officers put campaign 05' on ice as the city mourned and the politicos went low-key. It reminded me of September 01' when 9/11 brought that mayoral campaign to a halt. But the action is resuming now and R city council prez Brad Winter is trying to gain some badly needed traction. Tuesday he attacked on an issue near to Dem Mayor Marty's heart--crime and cops. Winter didn't shy away from questioning Marty's assertion that there are now a thousand cops, and he took heat for it from police chief Schultz who said he was politicking too soon after the tragic deaths. A Winter supporter fired back. "The chief is living in another world if he thinks crime is not going to be a centerpiece issue. The shootings only add to the public interest, and they should." He asserted. Meantime, pollster Brian Sanderoff and I weighed in on Winter's tactics and strategy in a piece in the ABQ Tribune. We agreed Winter's move is timely if he's to consolidate conservative, tough on crime voters behind his candidacy.

It's probably the first of many attacks coming the way of Mayor Marty who, according to the first poll of the race, sits right on the bubble at 40%. One point down and we get a run-off between the top two vote getters. But Winter will need more than free media. Sources close to the campaign say he has now raised over $100,000, but that is just a fraction of the $1 million plus Marty is expected to bank. Maybe what's next is this: "Hello, Senator Pete? Brad Winter here and I need a little help...."


Raising the minimum wage in the Big Duke City to $7.50 an hour may be a hotter campaign than the one for mayor. Anti groups have raised close to a hundred grand and labor unions will kick in some serious dough on the pro side. Weighing in on the blog is Jerry Wright, co-owner of Great American Land & Cattle Co. in ABQ's NE Heights. Hey, did they make my list of great hangouts for politicos? Should have. They serve nothing but USDA Prime beef. Anyway, here's restaurant Jerry's take.

"Joe, every person in my establishment makes well above the minimum wage, and after a few months of training, every one is making over the proposed increase. But in addition to the unionizing in my front lobby, (which because of a poorly worded clause would allow ANY person to expound on ANY law), it specifically targets restaurants by requiring a 93% wage increase for our best paid employees--our servers. At my place on a slow night they make $20/hour plus, including tips. If I pay my servers so poorly, how come my applications are 10 to 1 for servers? Waiting tables is one of the best part-time jobs anywhere. It's how I got my NMSU journalism degree (which took me merely 8 years to get!)

Thanks Jerry. I will sic ABQ Councilor Martin Heinrich on you for a rebuttal so stay tuned.


The following from a well-known practiconer of the political arts in our Enchanted Land. Unfortunately, he will not let me use his name, but he echoes the thoughts of many of us tracking the upcoming 2006 campaign, or lack thereof.

"Damn, Joe what a boring election we're heading into. The Great One (Big Bill) is an obvious shoo-in. By November 06' all that will be left for us to do will be to haggle over whether his percentage is large enough to qualify for a "landslide." Same with Bingaman. Unless he announces his membership in NAMBLA, he's good for another 6 years.

Udall and Pearce are safer than safe, and now you're reporting that Patsy doesn’t want to be a patsy for Heather. I bet she doesn't run against Denish. I agree though, that WOULD be great fun for us.

I guess there's always the possibility the AG's race could heat up. And of course the (State Rep.) Debbie Rodella/Moises Morales match up north. I wish Kinky Friedman lived here. Oh well, carry on."


We will indeed carry on, but not without saying we apologize for the technical problems that some viewers of our little ol' Web site have been having, especially that weird blank space between the headlines and the main story. Our computer nerd force (ex-New Mexican Wayne Klick) is on it and we hope to have the works completely ungummed soon, or at least one of these days. Thanks for your patience. And, as always, thanks for your company.

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