Friday, September 15, 2006
Wrapping The Week: Clippings From My Newsroom Floor, Plus: The Photo You Thought Could Never Happen, And: A Dip Into The Blog Mailbag
2006 NM State Fair
After an unpredictable detour over to the state auditor's race, New Mexico politics this weekend will steer back to the year's premier contest--Wilson vs. Madrid for the ABQ congressional seat. The duo will have their first high-profile appearance when they "debate" at Congregation Albert in ABQ Sunday morning. You know interest in their race is high when the congregation has to move the event to a bigger room. The first venue held 150, but the second accommodates 400.
Sunday's face off is a state political tradition, with the Jewish Brotherhood hosting major political players since the 60's. I've been to several since the 70's and often big headlines result. Let's see if this one produces any. If you are thinking about going, there's more information here.
While Patsy and Heather prepare for a big "free" media opportunity, their endless wave of paid media continues. KOAT-TV's "ad watch" is helping us keep up, fact-checking each of the ubiquitous 30 second spots. Here's the latest on Wilson's and Madrid's.
THE NAME GAME
Another sign that the race is going to get even rougher is the comment that came in here that by referring to Rep. Wilson, I make her appear "more approachable." Well, I am not trying to promote anything by referring to the two ladies by their first names. It's simply a tradition that dates back decades to when NM was a much smaller state and when so many folks knew each other on a first name basis. That has obviously changed, but I think it's a custom that lends some civility to our times. And with all the negative campaigning, don't you think we need some?
GRAB YOUR FIBRILLATORS
This has to go on your list of "Things You Never Thought You Would See In Your lifetime." And here it is: a photo of former NM Democratic Governor Toney Anaya proudly wearing a T-shirt for a Republican candidate. I go back to the old days with Toney, having covered his first foray into political office in 74' for the UNM Daily Lobo when he was elected attorney general. He was and remains a staunch and proud liberal, but family comes first now and Toney is displaying his loyalty to Republican and conservative Jim Bibb, who is trying to following Toney's footsteps and become NM AG. I don't know who the fella posing with Toney is, but it is not Jim Bibb. Gary King, whose father was Governor for three terms, is the Dem nominee.
Politicos of both parties might get chest pains when they see this snapshot. Some Dems have even talked of Toney being a liability to Bibb in conservative areas. But there's a good case to be made that voters understand who is on the ballot and who is not. Meanwhile,we gotta thank Bibb for not hiding Toney away and putting up one of the more memorable photos of Campaign 06'. Now, will someone call the paramedics and take care of the heart patients?
READERS WRITE TO SAY THEY'RE RIGHT
Our mailbag was heavy this week as the political scene heated up. The Jeff Armijo affair evoked many responses, including one from a mailer who identified herself as Joyce Armijo, sister of Jeff , who withdrew from the Dem race for state auditor.
"For the sake of correct information, the allegations against Jeff are just that; allegations not "charges" as you stated in Thursday's reporting," wrote Joyce.
She is correct. Jeff faces allegations of sexual misconduct by two women, but no official "charges" have been brought against him and the allegations remain under investigation. Joyce Armijo goes on to refute speculation that her brother received some sort of "deal" to finally get out of the race.
"..Jeff has proven himself to NOT partake in the good ol' boy system--in fact, that was the very thing he was moving against..his campaign was for the people of New Mexico, for an independent individual not someone tied at the hip to the current administration. In fact, Jeff has also proven himself as a State employee before (getting the job with no movidas) and has earned State business (for his travel agency) the old-fashioned way--(eye-to-eye and meeting the customers needs).
"I know none of this makes for the sizzle and pop for media, but it is honesty and that is what defines us."
Joyce signs off as a "very proud sister" of Jeff Armijo. The Armijo's are a tight knit family and when one hurts, they all hurt. They stood with Jeff throughout the ordeal and continue to do so. He may not win elected office this year, but Jeff Armijo obviously already has what matters most in life.
AND ANOTHER GOOD ONE...
When readers think I have veered off course , they are quick to go to their keypads. Take this scolding from Barbara Longeway of Placitas, NM reacting to Thursday's blog on GOP secretary of state candidate Vickie Perea:
In Thursday's blog you ask the question: "The Big Push For Vickie Perea: What's That All About?" It's about the fact that New Mexicans are tired of being in the mud of dirty tricks and fraud in its so-called election system! It's no wonder that others in the U.S. think that New Mexico is actually another third world country. "Incorrectly programmed" machines that won't accept straight Republican votes; machines hidden in the trunks of election workers' cars; boxes of "lost" absentee ballots...the list is endless.
"Your charge that "the [RNC] wants a foothold in the election process in our key presidential swing state" shows bias and/or blindness to New Mexico's vast election problems. The so called foothold that Republicans want is an honest and even playing field...
"The Big Push For Vickie Perea?" The answer is Honesty and Fairness in New Mexico's election process."
Thanks Barbara. I would only add that I did not "charge" anything, but pointed out that the Republicans seek the power of the secretary's office to further their national ambitions. Nothing wrong with that, but not many people were aware of it. Now they are. And the more people know about their politics and government, the better.
Thanks to all who wrote this week. You can reach me from the mail link at the top of the page, so keep your news and views coming into the home of Campaign 06'. Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend in our wonderful Land of Enchantment.
c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
Not for reproduction without permission of the author