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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Big Bill's Primary Footprints; We Follow The Trail, Plus: AG Race Hits Tube Tonight, And: More On Pete's "B.S. Meter" 

Is it an endorsement? Play political analyst with me as we take a gander at this photo from the Rio Grande Sun with Governor Big Bill embracing Rio Arriba Dem State House candidate Moises Morales who is challenging incumbent Rep. Debbie Rodella in the June primary. Debbie and hubby Tommy Rodella have been a thorn in the gubernatorial side. But anyone can push for a pic with a Guv, and determining with certainty what is going on in the Byzantine world of Rio Arriba county poltiics is even sometimes beyond the skills of your Gringo blogger from Pennsylvania.

Big Bill's appointment of Tommy as a Rio Arriba judge blew up in his face, and the Guv lost his state police chief when a relationship between the chief and Debbie got Tommy hot under the collar and forced the chief's resignation.

This is not just not just soap opera. With State Rep. Fred Luna retiring, the chairmanship of the House Business and Industry Committee will get a new chair next year. Debbie is vice-chair of that committee and in line for the chairmanship and a key policy making role in New Mexico politics.

IN BILL'S FOOTPRINTS

A Big Bill fundraiser (yes, another one!) held Friday night at a Santa Fe art gallery had the wall-leaners noting that land commissioner candidate Jim Baca and attorney general Dem contender Geno Zamora were on hand for the thousand a pop event, but their opponents in the June primary were not. Both Baca and Geno held positions in the Big Bill administration and while the Guv has not been public in showing affection for the duo, it doesn't take a Los Alamos Ph.D. to figure out that the Guv would not mind keeping them around.

It could become an issue if Zamora or Baca are the nominees. While affiliation with the powerful Guv may sit fine with hardcore Dem partisans, the general electorate may have questions on how these offices would maintain their independence if populated by Bib Bill acolytes.

AG ACTION

The race for Dem attorney general is finally kicking in. Sandoval county District Attorney Lem Martinez will be first to break the ice with a couple of TV spots that will begin airing in the ABQ market tonight. One of them is a bio spot featuring his sister, Linda Alvarado, part owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team and a key fundraiser for the hopeful. Martinez has a second spot in the can that will take on the methamphetamine issue.

Hours after Lem announced he was hitting the air, Geno Zamora dashed out a news release that he too will be on a TV screen near you this week. Geno might have been a bit too enthusiastic by saying his TV spots will be viewed by "millions of New Mexicans." Last we checked the state's population was about 1.9 million. But maybe they are counting the livestock.

Insiders tell me name ID is becoming critical at this point and that if Martinez and Zamora don't get going soon, Gary King is positioned for the win. The Martinez and Zamora camps hear them, thus the first strike. Now Gary will need to answer.

REVENGE OF JERRY THE CAT
"Jerry The Cat"
Back on the Dem land commissioner duel, Jim Baca e-mails that unlike the congressional reps we blogged about Tuesday, he is not "taking one penny" from Big Oil. His opponent and another former land commissioner, Ray Powell, hits the blog spin room with the news that he has been endorsed by the National Education Association of NM as well as the Animal Protection Voters of NM.

Baca recently complained that when his wife worked out-of-state there was no one around the house but their pet "Jerry the Cat." I warned Baca that this slight at Jerry could lead to dire political consequences. Now the Powell animal rights endorsement. Told you so.

Well, Powell is a veternarian which might have had something to do with it. Still, if I were Baca I would keep an eye on Jerry. Hey, vet Ray. Do you make house calls?

A CLOUDY PETE METER?


We blogged last week of NM GOP Senator Pete Domenici and how his "B.S. Meter" went red as pump prices soared and public outrage grew. But some enviornmental Alligators e-mail that the senior senators "bullshit meter" needs some fine tuning when it comes to listening to outsized public concern on another big issue.

"Despite the public outcry regarding the Valle Vidal, Sen. Domenici is not leading but standing in the way. The Forest Service has received nearly 70,000 comments opposing drilling in the Valle Vidal. 18 north-central New Mexico communities and county commissions have passed resolutions opposing drilling as have numerous Chambers of Commerce. Still, Domenici wont co-sponsor and push Sen. Bingaman's Valle Vidal Preservation Act. Where is the "acting with the public?" Hits one enviro leading the charge for no drilling.

The public wants more oil and lower gas prices. And they want scenic treasures like Valle Vidal protected too. Seems that's enough to cloud up Pete's B.S. Meter.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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