Thursday, October 13, 2005
Sorry Heather, Patsy's Back; A Woman's Place Is In The House, But Which Woman? Plus: We're Safe Again--The Legislature Is Adjourned
Sorry Heather. I know. You can't believe everything you read on those blogs. After all, it was only in late August that we blogged that NM Dem Attorney General Patricia Madrid was a probable no go for a run against GOP ABQ Congresswoman Heather Wilson. And at the time it was indeed so as it came straight from the feisty AG herself. But, as the kids say, that was then and this is now. And sources we trust with our life (or at least our restaurant bills) say Madrid, who has pasted the state with paid TV public service announcements ranging from warnings about meth labs to Internet porn, will make it official next week while in Washington, D.C.
"(U.S. House Dem leader) Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have been begging her to run. Your blog interview where she said she was likely not to do it helped set off the alarm bells and the lobbying got under way in earnest. They have promised Patsy a ton of support and she is ready to take on Heather," declared our campaign veteran.
Republicans wasted no time sharpening their blades for Madrid who will finish her second, four year term as AG next year. "Yes, we will try to hang the Treasurer Vigil scandal around her neck. She had a chance to investigate Vigil years ago and didn't. That's a pretty simple theme for a 30 second TV spot and you will be seeing it," promised one fervent Heather supporter. (The latest Vigil scandal update here)
Madrid's chief Dem rival, Light Guv Diane Denish, is also welcoming the news as there were rumblings, as farfetched as they might be, that Madrid would seek the Lt. Guv nomination against Diane next year. And for you history buffs, yes, Madrid did run for the ABQ congressional seat once before and lost the Dem nomination. It was long before she became AG in 98.’
A LONG ROAD AHEAD
It will be tough to oust Wilson who was anointed to her seat by Senator Domenici in 98', but has since held it on her own . The good news for Madrid was an NBC News poll Wednesday showing Americans favor the Dems for the 06' congressional elections 48% to 39%. But will that translate to Madrid in a district where voters can be very independent?
Some Dem liberals were lamenting Madrid's entry into the race because it means liberal ABQ State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino will not get in. "We can only hope that she does not run a milquetoast campaign," remarked one left-of-center Pinoite.
As for our gal Heather, lately she has been inching toward the left, or at least the center. For example, she more or less backed off on drilling for oil and gas in the precious Valle Vidal wilderness. She has also been touting her ability to bring home the pork from D.C. Forget about the ugly Iraq war and my love affair with Bush, she seems to be saying. Starting next week, Madrid will try to jar voters' memories.
YOU CAN COME OUT, THEY'RE GONE
They came. They pontificated. They rebated. The six day special session of the Legislature called by Big Bill ended in a jiffy Wednesday with the 112 lawmakers doling out to taxpayers well over $250 million of the gargantuan oil and gas surplus which could total as much as $800 million. The rebates and other tax relief will offset high consumer energy bills this winter.
It was a tricky session for Big Bill who saw a newly assertive State Senate more than double the give back package he preferred. But one source close to him was taking exception to the hits he took in the Senate and on this blog Tuesday.
"I’m surprised you bought into the Senate spin. The Governor did more than his share of consulting with legislators before the session. Legislators received draft legislation a full week before the session started as well as briefings from cabinet secretaries.
It’s not as if the Governor was forcing anything down the throats of legislators. He pitched a softball that was a sure winner for everyone – Democrats, Republicans, legislators, the Governor and all New Mexicans.
It was hard to deal with the Senate because they appear to be leaderless and the Senate Republicans are driving the agenda," e-mailed our Fourth Floor sympathizer. And just for fun he concluded: "The Governor got most everything he wanted."
Your blogger buying into spin? Heck, you know me. Show me a little leg and I'm falling all over the place. But "Republicans driving the agenda" in the Senate? Dems Ben Altimirano, Michael Sanchez and John Arthur Smith might be curious about that since the income tax cuts they sped up were orginally authored by the Fourth Floor two years ago.
MY BOTTOM LINES
Never mind who was doing the driving in the Senate, Big Bill was a reluctant passenger, having proposed just half of the hand-out that was finally approved. A line item veto of those speeded up tax cuts could be considered, but might be unwise. After all, the cuts won him national conservative acclaim but had been delayed from taking effect until now. On second thought, it might be fun to see a veto just to trip up Rush Limbaugh.
While the Guv's ego might have been bruised a bit, the give and take between the two branches added some tension and excitement to the Santa Fe scene and, more importantly, actually produced some pretty decent legislation. Just don't spend your rebate check in one place. OK?
Thanks for tuning in today. Drop me an e-mail with your latest political news and keep all of us up to date. See you soon.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
Not for reproduction without permission of the author