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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Manny Fights; Averts Axe For The Moment, Plus: Readers Hijack The Blog And Do A Good Job Of It; Politics With Passion Is Up Next 

Manny Aragon
You would expect nothing different. Manny Aragon is going out, if he's going out, fighting all the way. Late Tuesday a district court in Raton thwarted, at least temporarily, the Regents of NM Highlands University from meeting today and discarding their controversial president.

The court challenge to the meeting was actually filed by Highlands student body leaders, but you can bet Aragon, an attorney, is pulling all the strings as he displays the tenacious pesonality that made him one of the most powerful Legislative leaders in state history.

If nothing else, Aragon will probably walk away with a fat wallet when the Regents are permitted to meet and lower the axe. But who knows? As leader of the state senate Aragon was a master vote counter. Maybe he has one last trick left up his sleeve,

He fights even as he appears friendless on the Fourth Floor of the fabled Roundhouse where Big Bill once engineered his placement at the head of the Las Vegas, NM university. Now, like a script from "Mission Impossible," the Guv disavows any knowledge of Aragon's actions.

For Aragon, his ouster is a depressing prospect. His pet cause since the 70's has been the advancement of Hispanic youth. His senate years insure his legacy in that regard, but he could have made an even more lasting impression if things had worked out at Highlands.

MANNY'S THIRD ACT?

As for whether it is the end, never say never when it comes to Manny. Already some of his advocates say he would make a great director for the National Hispanic Cultural Center in ABQ!

And Aragon backers deep in the ABQ South Valley are starting to make noise over the insistent rumors that the U.S. Attorney has the former lawmaker in his sights in connection with a corruption probe of the construction of Bernalillo County courthouses.

They say an indictment of Aragon by the GOP controlled federal government following the unsuccessful prosecution of ex-State Treasurer Robert Vigil could mean things get ugly quick bringing charges of racism and politics. Aragon's supporters already fired the first shot this week, holding a campus demonstration on his behalf.

With still so much activity swirling around the legendary solon, it is much to early to call in the political obituary writers.

THE READERS TAKE


Emailers here are skeptical of claims from Big Bill that he has been hands-off in the Aragon affair. "Denial by Big Bill of not having something to do with the situation at Highlands is outlandish. Since when has Big Bill not had anything to do with anything in NM? Silence from the Roundhouse means Big Bill wants Manny out. You figure the denial." Wrote one who summed up the prevailing opinion in La Politica.

AND MORE READER MAIL


That slap the NM GOP took at attorney general and Dem congressional hopeful Patricia Madrid for a mailer she sent out last week and that we blogged Tuesday drew some reader reaction. Former Rep. Udall press aide Glen Loveland weighed in this way...

"While Patsy's recent "official" mailing was more than likely timed for the election, NO ONE compares to Heather when it comes to spending taxpayer money on franked mailings. Her newsletters are always full-color and expensive. Although she's prohibited from sending them out 60 days before an election, these mailings are an enormous advantage for all incumbents." So pointed out the ex-congressional aide.

And over on the R side, Marilyn Hannahs, President of a GOP women's group that meets in Rio Rancho, finds it interesting that it is frontrunner Big Bill launching media attacks. She also rips the national D's for the radio hit they have let loose against GOP ABQ Congresswoman Heather Wilson and which we brought to your attention Tuesday...

"Let the mud fight begin! It is 4 months until the election and I am already sick of the negative campaigning begun by the Dems. They always complain the Republicans are mean. What do they call the ads against Heather and John Dendahl running on the radio?

Both ads are somewhat laughable, especially the "Third World" reference used against Dendahl. And, slamming Heather for missing one vote should point out to people that do-nothing Madrid has done nothing for 8 years. I just don't want to hear the Dems whining when the Republicans respond in kind."

Politicians whining? Why Marilyn, where would you get that idea?

DENDAHL MONEY CHASE

Marilyn would probably be interested to know that GOP Guv candidate John Dendahl is busy trying to raise money so he can respond to Big Bill's attack ad and launch some of his own. ABQ GOP State Senator Kent Cravens and his wife Melanie will host a fundraiser for him at their ABQ home this Friday to help get the ball rolling.

Menawhile, some R's are asking what happened to the "aggressive" campaign that Dendahl promised when the R's dumped J.R. Damron and replaced him with the ex-GOP chair?

Joltin ' John has been getting the snot nuked out of him on statewide radio and there has not been a peep back from him or the NM GOP. Can't someone come up with a quick $10,000 and display the promised aggressiveness? Wonder what J.R. is thinking?

DEATH OF A REP

Let's note the death of GOP NM State Rep. Avon Wilson, 76, before getting back to the email. She passed Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. Wilson's Chavez, Lincoln and Otero county seat will likely go to Nora Espinoza in November who Wilson supported and who won a hotly contested June GOP primary in the conservative SE area.

BACK TO THE MAILBAG

Emailer "Mike" was grouchy over Big Bill's impressive polling numbers which we blogged on Monday.

"When New Mexico rates only higher than Louisiana and Mississippi in education and poverty, and New Mexicans according to the polls think Richardson is still a great governor, I think I would add a title to his many--'The Great Illusionist'. It appears New Mexicans are more concerned with illusion than the truth." Analyzed Mike.

Come on Mike, your spoiling the party. Here, have some of this special Kool-Aid. It's sure to make you see things "the right way."

Well, we'll try again tomorrow to bring a dose of reality to the wonderful world of NM politics. Thanks to the readers today for an insightful blog. We'll do it again soon so email your comments and news from the link at the top of the page.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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