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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Attacks Roil GOP Senate Race In Final Hours; Carraro, McCulloch Clash, Plus: We're Bringing It Home; The Late News Of Primary 06' On A Sunday Blog 

The three way race for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination has played out in a placid pool, but waves splashed in the final hours of the campaign Saturday as Allen McCulloch let loose a hit piece against ABQ State Senator Joe Carraro to which Carraro responded with a vengeance.

The Farmington urologist, the perceived front runner in the contest, released a mail piece accusing Carraro of taking a taxpayer funded "junket" to Hawaii. The hit piece showed a photo of a man and woman in swimsuits lounging on the beach. The photo was not of Carraro.

Carraro defended the trip which he said was sponsored for state legislators by the Homeland Security department and took place shortly after the 9/11 attacks. He calls McCulloch's last hours attack "slimy desperation."

"I am saddened that Allen McCulloch would attempt to turn my attending a meeting of utmost importance, into a farce. I am surprised and disappointed that the McCulloch campaign has sunken to the depths of slimy desperation in their attempts to mislead and deceive New Mexicans." Blasted Carraro.

And ABQ GOP State Senator Kent Cravens got in on the action as he rose to defend his fellow senator.

"I guess the McCoullochs don't know about dignity and respect...He knows even less about how state government works. The truth is that New Mexicans really lose out when officials don't travel, network and learn from other leaders," so slammed Cravens as he joined the late-breaking fray in a race which also features David Pfeffer.

McCulloch also accuses Carraro of voting to increase the pensions of state legislators. Carraro did not address that charge.

Is the McCulloch hit piece a sign that this race is closer than the Doc's camp was hoping? We'll see Tuesday night when we bring you the results on KANW 89.1 FM starting at 6:30.

BIG BILL'S PUSH

No TV ads from Governor Big Bill who has no Dem Guv primary opponent. But his campaign volunteers were busy at his downtown ABQ headquarters Saturday preparing door hangers telling Dems to vote for him and that provide voter info. Meanwhile, Light Guv Diane Denish, also unopposed for the Dem nomination, joked to Dem land commission hopeful Ray Powell that she senses "a landslide building." Not necessarily for Ray though. He is in a tight fight with Jim Baca for the Dem land office nod.

DON'T FORGET SHIRLEY


The insiders are pegging ex-Secretary of State Stephanie Gonzales and Bernalillo County Clerk Mary Herrera as the favorites in the four way race for the Dem nomination for secretary of state in Tuesday's balloting. But several Alligator types e-mail in that these insiders are missing out if they don't keep ex-Secretary of State Shirley Hooper on their radar. Here's how one of them puts it:

"Have the 'experts' forgotten how ethnicity plays out in Demo primaries? Hooper will benefit from the same force of NM nature that (Dem attorney general candidate Gary) King will; a ballot with more than one Hispanic surname, and only one Anglo. I'll bet you lunch on it!"

Good point and maybe a good bet. The other contender in the race is Santa Fe's Letitia Montoya.

VIGIL'S POLL


What was indicted ex-Treasurer Robert Vigil up to when he spent nearly $20,000 of campaign funds on a March poll shortly before his federal trial on corruption charges got underway? According to a source close to the Vigil camp, Robert's wife was urging him to consider yet another run for the Treasurer's office--as an independent! If so, it gives new meaning to the saying: "Never say die."

The KANW 89.1 FM Election Eve Special is just hours away. Join me and my guest panel Monday at 5 p.m. for a full hour of La Politica. Election Night Coverage starts at 6:30 Tuesday.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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