Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Patsy's June Swoon; Ethics Hammer Pounds Both Ways; Time To Move On? Plus: Hiding Hillary And W; It's A Cool Summer Blog So Come On In
No one said it was going to be easy for Patricia Madrid. And it isn't. The campaign for the ABQ congressional seat will have many ups and down in the weeks ahead, and right now it appears to be a down time for Dem hopeful Madrid as she tries to unseat semi-entrenched GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson.
The first to ring the bell is the Washington Post's politics blog, "The Fix," which has taken Madrid down a notch on its list of U.S. House seats most likely to be taken over by a challenger. Madrid is still high up the list, but The Fix, in explaining its downgrade, cited "a bit less enthusiasm" for her candidacy among Democrats.
It's easy to see why. Dems have been intent on pounding the ethics hammer against Heather, charging that she is part of a "culture of corruption" in D.C., but Attorney General Madrid has been mired in allegations from the R's on her own role in going after crooks.
She recently came with state charges against several key players in the state Treasurer scandal, but the critics harped that she is just fouling up the federal investigation.
Out in California, Dems tried to take over the seat of disgraced GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham by using the ethics wedge, but they got plowed under.
All this had us headed to the pond where the Alligators hang out.
THE GATOR SQUAD
"Madrid and the Dems appear to be getting pinned down on the ethics issue. It may be time to reassess," offered one Gator with campaign management experience.
Others I spoke with say Wilson's public reputation is not one of corruption and the issue may actually play best against Madrid because of the myriad of local scandals.
"Patsy needs to invade Wilson's territory. She needs to go after moderate Republican and Dem votes by taking on the out-of-control federal budget and the spending record of the Congress. She needs to get the game on Heather's territory and off of her own alleged shortcomings in prosecuting NM corruption," advised another Gator.
Madrid still has much going for her; a disgruntled electorate, help from the Big Bill machine, her own considerable talents as an aggressive campaigner and plenty of time. But the ethics swamp has given her a June swoon. It looks and smells like a loser. Time to head for higher ground?
HILLARY AND PATSY
Heather was glad to get President Bush in and out of town recently, raking in $375,000 in cash, but not having to be saddled with the currently unpopular Prez closer to Election Day. And it appears Madrid shares Heather's concerns over her highest profile supporter too.
She had a fundraiser last week in New York City featuring political superstar Hillary Clinton, but the campaign provided no photos of the gathering, or even a news release on what was said or how much was raised. It's pretty hard to hide a Bush or Clinton, but our two congressional hopefuls came as close as possible.
You'll want to keep an eye on independent candidate Rob Leibman who is also seeking the ABQ congressional seat and describes himself as "moderately liberal." If he gets on the ballot, it could have the effect of siphoning some Dem votes from Madrid, kind of like a Green Party contender. Dems are sure to challenge his petition signatures. As for the R's, could they have had anything to do with this? They wouldn't do that, would they?
Back with one more take before the holiday. Stop by if you can. It ought to be fun.
c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
Not for reproduction without permission of the author