Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tsosie's Choice: State Senator Wants It All, Plus: Latest NM Polls & Insider Campaign Reports, Also: Your Blog In The Power Circle 

Senator Tsosie
State Senator Leonard Tsosie has a big appetite for politics. He wants it all, and it's drawing the notice of the Santa Fe wall-leaners who are wondering how Tsosie, who is seeking a seat on the Navajo Tribal Council in November, will manage to stay in the senate if, as expected, he wins the council slot. Let's take it to Roundhouse where we get the latest from our in-the-know informer.

"Tsosie is heavily favored to win the Council seat, but tribal law states he must give up his senate seat if he goes on the council. If elected, Tsosie plans to challenge tribal law. He would like to hold both his senate seat and serve on the council." Reports our watchful source.

Tsosie, an attorney, represents much of Indian Country in NW NM and is well-known for his penchant for lengthy debate. He also has strong liberal credentials. This past session he joined with Sen. Bernadette Sanchez of ABQ to kill a controversial bill regulating the payday loan industry that Tsosie said was toothless. First elected in 1992, Tsosie was also one of a handful of senators who in 2000 backed then-Senator Richard Romero in his successful effort to oust then-Senate President Pro Tem Manny Aragon.

Insiders say a Tsosie departure would mean Big Bill would get to name his replacement. Tsosie was re-elected to a four year term in a two to one 04' landslide. How much power can Leonard Tsosie have? We'll keep you posted.


New Mexico has 173,483 Indian citizens, which compose nearly 10.5% of the state's entire population.


The New Mexican is reporting that the Big Bill camp will debate Republican foe John Dendahl, but just once.

With a commanding lead in the polls, Big Bill probably can get away with
not meeting Dendahl, but it would be a blow to the election process if he did. The campaign has not decided on which of two TV stations that have offered time will get the debate.


Here's the latest on the jockeying going on by ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson as she tries to usher thru a bill dealing with the Administration's wiretapping program and not appear to be embracing Bush who remains unpopular in the moderate ABQ district. Heather's Dem rival, Attorney General Patricia Madrid, is joining Bush and Wilson at the hip in nonstop video action.


While the national R's are spinning that the Prez is on the comeback trail, there is no sign of yet it in the latest NM poll. Survey USA, teaming with KOB-TV, regularly surveys the state and they find Bush's approval at 39%, basically no change from the ABQ Journal poll in late August that had him at 38%. The Survey USA poll was taken September 14-17, giving ample time for the 9-11 events and security speeches Bush gave to sink in. The margin of error in the survey is + or - 4%.

Political pros watching the race say Bush below 40% is the high danger mark for Heather, but anything 45% or under is in the red zone.

Tonight Survey USA will release the first of three polls it will conduct on the Wilson-Madrid race. You can catch it on 770 KKOB-AM radio at 5:45 p.m. or on the 6 & 10 p.m. KOB-TV newscasts. If it shows anything crazy, I will blog a report for you.

You may think you know everything there is to know about our political gal pals. But maybe not. Here's 15 things about Heather, and I bet there's one or two that will have you saying: "I didn't know that!" And here's nine about Patsy that may give you the same reaction.


Those of us who write about the ABQ Congress showdown from a nonpartisan standpoint still have a huge bias. We all want the race to stay close. If it doesn't, this election year will be one big bust as no other headline contests are even close. For those hoping for a nip and tuck battle to the finish line, an item from the National Journal this week will keep their hearts fluttering. It's from the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Tom Reynolds of New York:

"Reynolds' confidence that Republicans would be able to hold its majority did not extend to a willingness to predict the outcome of any individual races. At points, he betrayed concern. He said New Mexico's Heather Wilson is involved in "one of our toughest races" against Democrat Patsy Madrid."

You don't need polls on this one--just listen to the politicians.


Back on the Big Bill trail, here's a direct Alligator report that shows just how determined he is to get a landslide re-elect:

"The Governor has 20 canvassers out every day, seven days a week, in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. They are knocking doors and giving out literature for everyone they have literature for. That means everyone except Madrid and Senator Bingaman. Federal law prohibits that. They are also including flyers for the local Democratic State Rep candidate, if they have a race."

Good stuff. If you have some, send it our way.


Back to Heather. Insiders say she will hit the mailboxes with a deluge of 1.3 million pieces this campaign. She is also asking GOP state reps to set up events in their districts for her to attend. Meantime, the Madrid campaign has been having special canvasses every Saturday for volunteers that will continue thru E-Day.

Top strategists tell me they expect a low turnout this year, falling well below 50% of the registered voters. That means the ground game may be just as important, if not more, than the much more noticeable air war you are seeing on your TV screen.


We try to shy away from trumpeting our own horn, but we are not adverse when others do it, so thanks to the New Mexico Business Weekly for this honor:

"Congratulations Joe!

You have been selected as one of the New Mexico Business Weekly's 2007 Power Brokers. You are in an elite group of 100 influential people selected because of their business and community accomplishments.

"You will be recognized at our prestigious Power Party on September 21st at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum."

This is the second time your blog has been named to the power broker list. Funny, I don't feel very powerful. Maybe I should stop comparing myself to Big Bill, or just admit that the blog is written by the Alligators who more often than not have the real power. But we are pleased at the kind notice as it numbs the sting of the arrows occasionally fired our way from both sides of the aisle; something you learn to humbly accept, even if you only occupy the sidelines of our beloved and ancient La Politica.

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