Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Some Love For The Guv: Big Bill Backers Urge Offense As "Nitpicking" Mounts, Plus: Heather And Patsy Go Their First Round; Who Scored?
Loyalists of Big Bill say enough is enough. They say it's time to start firing back at the "nitpicking" in the press, on the blogs and on the whisper circuit. It's been a defensive game for the Fourth Floor lately with the baseball draft story, a negative report over his use of state planes, and another on when he will report the proceeds of a big California fundraiser. Supporters say the Guv needs to retake the offense.
"They are trying to New Mexicanize him. That means anytime someone is successful they try to take them down. It seems to be the state sport and the Governor cannot allow himself to fall victim to it," declared one Big Bill loyalist.
And liberal radio talk show host Mike Santullo let loose with old fashioned fire and brimstone. "The alleged sins of the Governor are nothing but nitpicking. Look at the Republicans. (U.S. Rep.) Tom Delay indicted; a California congressman admits taking millions in bribes; the Vice-President's chief of staff indicted. All that and a discredited war policy that is taking the nation into the gutter. And what are they hitting the Governor for? Using a plane to get around the state and a mistake in his resume 40 years ago," bellowed the veteran politico.
"I know he won't hit back directly and dignify the critics, but the state Democratic party needs to start a better offense on his behalf. The campaign is here and now. To hell with waiting for the calendar," fumed Santullo as he echoed the war tone of several other D's checking in here.
ABQ JOURNAL QUESTIONED
Another Dem insider took on the ABQ Journal's recent news report and editorial hitting Big Bill for not immediately releasing donors to his California fundraiser. The Guv's office says the records will be released when campaign reports are due.
"Do they ask (Senator Pete) Domenici to immediately release his campaign donors? Or Heather Wilson? No. They wait for the reports. So why such a big deal over the Governor? It's a double standard and smacks of innuendo," decried our Dem.
FROM THE FOURTH FLOOR
At the Governor's office the official line is more restrained, but it is evident that they too are tiring of the drumbeat. Communications Director Pahl Shipley, responding to the R operative who blasted the Guv on this blog Monday, swung into action Tuesday:
"The General Services Department (GSD) keeps the records for state aircraft and GSD has complied with every request for those records. Several media organizations have reviewed the material. It is wrong to say the Governor hasn’t made them available.
Also, the Governor has always fully complied with campaign finance requirements, and...documents every dollar received. Rarely, if ever, do candidates (Republicans included) provide fundraiser information on a case by case basis. To portray him as secretive is a blatant political attack with no basis in fact," said the head flack.
And without supplying details, Shipley indicated that a Big Bill counteroffensive will be more noticeable in the days ahead.
MORE LUV FOR THE GUV
Another Dem upset at the turn of events e-mails in: "You have a Governor who has advanced the most progressive agenda in a generation. But the Republicans are trying to put it in the shadows and demonize him. But do you hear them offer even one concrete policy proposal to get this state moving again? He has ideas. They have snipers."
There is also scuttlebutt that the Guv may not only be fighting the R's but possible Dem opponents for the 08' Prez nomination and perhaps, just perhaps, they could be starting some of the mischief. It seems whomever fires volleys in the future better be prepared to reload. Big Bill's camp is returning the fire.
PATSY AND HEATHER: ROUND ONE
Just as we got done blogging that negotiating the Iraq war on the campaign trail would take all her formidable political skills, there was ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson stepping into the minefields. A House Intelligence Committee member, she defended her party's decision to block an investigation into faulty information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction saying: "We would do the country a terrible disservice if we spent our time looking in the rearview mirror." It was just the kind of opening the D's wished for and got Dem congressional hopeful Patricia Madrid off the bench and at bat:
“America’s citizens are paying a high cost for this conflict in tax dollars, and, more than that, America’s soldiers are paying an even higher cost – they are being asked to give their lives. The least that the government of this nation can do is to tell them why they are being asked to pay that price,” scored Madrid.
Who's to say who scores on this first round? But the fact that there is a round this early does underscore the opinion in top tier political circles that, for now, this race is in play and that Heather and Patsy have only scratched the surface.
DROP ME A LINE
And it looked like it was going to be a slow week! Thanks for your company and don't forget to e-mail me your New Mexico political news. You can remain anonyomous, just be right. There's a link at the top of the page.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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