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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Roll Out The Red Carpet: Big Bill To Host Leader Of United Nations In Santa Fe, Plus: NM Monitors Warfront, And: The Latest ABQ Radio Ratings 

Continuing to pull all out the stops, Big Bill will host a dinner at the Guv's Mansion August 21 for none other than United Nations Secretary-General Koffi Annan. That word from the northern Alligators who say the invitations for the event with the world's top diplomat have gone out and Santa Fe is ready to roll out the red carpet. (Do they still do that? And who qualifies?)

Big Bill, of course, served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton. Annan, a native of Ghana, has headed the international body since 1997 and is scheduled to end his second term at the end of the year.

Richardson and Annan are sure to exchange notes on troublesome North Korea, a region of specialty for the Guv and where it was rumored this week that he would again be visiting, but his office scotched those reports.

The visit will push the Big Bill prestige meter higher as he works for a 60% plus win over GOP rival John Dendahl, who might say the Annan visit is just another sign that the Guv is really running for Prez and the visit is irrelevant to the state.

But we think Koffi, dealing with a no-end-in-sight Iraq war, a crisis in the Mid-East and a nuclear-determined Iran, will find himself right at home in our Enchanted Land. After all, political chaos and intrigue have been the order of the day around here for over four hundred years.

We are worried about one thing, though. If the Guv lets Koffi watch any TV, he might be moved to call for a cease fire between Heather and Patsy. Hey, we're all for world peace, but let's not overdo it.

ON THE WARFRONT

On a more serious note, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are far away, but they are being felt here at home. The list of NM casualties continues to mount. And they are remembered.

Opposition to the Iraq war has now hit an all-time, according to the latest CNN poll. Sixty percent of Americans are against and 61% said they believed at least some U.S. troops should be withdrawn by the end of the year.

ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson expressed hope in December that some of the troops might be able to come home this year, but then she reverted to a tougher tone when national R's renewed the "cut and run" mantra. Dem Patsy Madrid has called for setting a timetable for withdrawal. With these polling numbers, Heather's hawkish tone could be subject to change--not much, but some. Don't say we didn't tell you.

THE OUTSIDER R

Meanwhile, there is one NM R running for Congress who is firmly against the Iraq war. Republican Ron Dolin of Los Alamos, seeking the northern seat held by Dem Rep. Tom Udall, is celebrating Tuesday's victory by liberal anti-war candidate Ned Lamont over incumbent Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate Dem Connecticut primary.

"The Lamont victory is a victory for all Americans. We witnessed the birth of a movement. Grassroots Americans, tired of professional politicians who have forgotten the people they represent, are taking back their government." Said Dolin. He added that he will "reach out to Democrats and Independents who are tired of the political elite in Washington."

Ron is hitting some nerves with this rhetoric as voters look for change, but Tom Udall is no Joe Lieberman. At least he hopes not.

RATING THE RADIOS

Here are the top five radio stations in the big ABQ market, according to the latest Arbitron ratings. And since all of them appeal to adults, they will receive the bulk of the political ads in the months ahead. Listed is the average share of each of the top five among listeners aged 12+ for 6.a.m.. to Midnight.

1. KKOB-AM--News/Talk--7.6
2. KZRR-FM (94 Rock)----5.2
3. KMGA-FM (Magic 99)---5.1
4. KABG-FM (Big Oldies)---4.7
5. KBQI-FM (The Big I--Country)--4.6
5. KRST-FM (Country)----4.6

The ABQ radio market is Bernalillo and Sandoval counties and has a population of 654,200, ranking it #70 among USA markets. In Santa Fe, the last ratings released in January had Big Oldies KABG-FM tied with classical music station KHFM-FM for the #1 spot. In Las Cruces, the El Paso stations dominate, but I will try to get some ratings info on the local stations for you.

Thanks for your news tips and comments. Keep them coming via the email link at the top of the page.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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