Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Heather Goes "Kooky" Over Her Constituents While D's Obsess Over Her Past, Plus: Spacesport Feedback, And: Death Comes To GOP's Virgil Rhodes
When the lefty group MoveOn.org presented petitions at the offices of ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson calling for a withdrawal from Iraq, the staffer who received the 2500 signatures called the group "kooky." One wonders if the staffer is aware that their comfy salary is paid by these "kooky" people. Maybe Heather needs to kick some pampered Congressional buttocks and tell that staffer when any constituents petition her they deserve respect, not insults. Something like: "The Congresswoman appreciates the input of all her constituents and will take their views under advisement. Thank you for the petition." Now, is that so hard?
On the flip side, when, oh when, is the NM Democratic Party going to stop with the "Watch Wilson Steal the File" story? This first surfaced back in Heather's first run in 98.' Voters vetted it (the KOAT-TV video was sent to thousands of households) and moved on. But the Dems have made it a mainstay of their Web site and also trotted it out in the 04' campaign. The "charges" date back to Wilson's tenure as the NM cabinet secretary for the Children Youth and Families Department. If you've been around any length of time, you know the rest.
Aren't there plenty of real issues for the Dems to assail Heather over, like the aforementioned Iraqi war and the congresswoman's role in assessing the intelligence leading up to the war? Voters sense what's important and what's not and they have spoken on this one, but for some reason the Dems refuse to hear them.
GIVE ME SOME SPACE?
Did you see that "60 minutes" piece Sunday on space travel, playing up the proposed NM spaceport near Cruces and touted by Big Bill and the mega-wealthy Brit Richard Branson? It was gentle and stayed away from any criticism. But around here the spaceport is bring brought down to Earth by a number of critics. I've been a bit surprised by the grumbling, but there are a lot of needs in this state and subsidizing a spaceport is not at the top of everyone's list. Here's one in my mailbag from Michael Barnes of ABQ that sums up what we've been hearing.
"To hear Bill Richardson, Richard Branson, and "60 Minutes" tell it, the Spaceport is a done deal. End of discussion. I think there are a lot of questions to be answered before NM appropriates any money for the project. Why is NM paying for the project? It appears its sole purpose is to provide a place for Richard Branson to fly people into space at a cost of $200,000 a piece. This appears to be an amusement park for wealthy people.
"Other than tax inducements, I doubt that the residents of California paid for the construction of Disneyland. Richard Branson should be the one paying for the construction, not the taxpayers of NM. He appears to have enough money for it..."
And some southern New Mexicans will be asked to raise their taxes to help finance the spaceport. How's that going to fly, or won't it?
EX-SENATOR RHODES IS DEAD
I remember Virgil Rhodes very well. He was the GOP Lieutenant Governor candidate in the first NM Guv campaign I covered back in 74.' He was teamed with GOP Guv nominee Joe Skeen. It was one of the best campaigns we've had and that was reflected Election Night when Skeen and Virgil lost to Dem Jerry Apodaca and his running mate, Bob Ferguson, 50.4% to 49.6%. Rhodes, an ABQ state rep when he joined up with Skeen, went back into private biz but resurfaced in 92' and became a state senator representing ABQ's East Mountains and some of Sandoval county. Rhodes, 81, passed from the parade of La Politica on New Year's Eve.
Speaking of GOP candidates for Lt. Governor, have you heard of any for 06'? The only name I hear so far is ABQ State Senator Kent Cravens who has told me in the past that he is not interested. But that could change. He's not up for re-election until 08' so he could run without risking his ABQ NE Heights seat. Stay tuned.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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