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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

All Hail Big Bill (Including You, Heather), Plus: The $12 Million Man, And: The Very Latest From The Frontlines Of Campaign 06' 

Kim Jong-il
Who would have thunk? Heather Wilson praising the diplomatic skills of Big Bill, the very guy who just two weeks ago pledged to oust the GOP congresswoman from her ABQ seat and crown Patricia Madrid her successor! But there she was on the front pages of the fish wrappers saying the Dem Guv would be the perfect guy to conduct one-on-one talks with those wily and nuclear prone North Koreans. "He has experience," she gushed. Not that Heather's Prez was listening. The White House says one-on-one is best left for the basketball court, not dealing with the likes of Kim Jong-il.

But Heather had made her point, or rather revealed it. She is in dire need of Democratic votes as the day of judgment nears in the closet contest of her political career. Cozying up to Big Bill may have been as appetizing to her fellow R's as a thousand point drop in the Dow, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And what has to be done to keep the ABQ seat in GOP hands is turning out to be a whole lot more than anyone expected.

If Heather's warm fuzzy was meant to temper Big Bill's zeal for ousting Senator Domenici's favorite congressperson, and not solely aimed at Dems who might find it charming that she was charming their Guv, she may be in for a surprise. Anyone who knows the Big Fella will tell you the smell of weakness is a scent more pleasing to him than even one of Fidel's finest cigars. The conspiracy minded are sure to e-mail that there has been no love lost between Big Bill and Patsy and that maybe his recent ardor toward her can indeed be cooled. We welcome such e-mails, along with sightings of Black Helicopters and UFO's hovering over the nuclear stockpile in the Manzano Mountains.

OK, NOW I'M PARANOID

How about this? As soon as I got done blogging that bit, I checked the e-mail and up popped this:

"Why do you think that Richardson's TV ad on Cannon Air Force Base features in the first frame a clear picture of Heather Wilson and the Guv in the ABQ Journal? Is this a not so subtle endorsement of Wilson by Richardson, an admittedly right wing Democrat? Is this his way of commenting on Madrid who he doesn't like? Or are we supposed to think that his campaign is just that plain stupid?"

You can see the ad in question here. There is a newspaper photo of Heather in it, but it does not appear she is with Big Bill. But why is Heather in any Big Bill ad? Even Bruce Daniels of the ABQ Journal--"Joe, you are genetically conspiratorial"--wants to know!

Maybe there are UFO's over the Manzanos after all.

DONKEY KICKS EARLY

If the early count on the first wave of absentee ballots that went out to voters in Bernalillo county Tuesday is any indication, Heather and Company can be forgiven for pandering for Dem votes. Of the 13,000 folks who signed up to get those ballots, a stunning 69%, or about 9,000 of them, are from Dems. It's an early sign that the Donkey is kicking, while the Elephant may be napping. But the larger of those beasts could be and should be getting a get-out-the-vote wake-up call today.

Wilson has always performed well in the absentee vote. Every Election Night it seems we sit in the KANW 89.1 FM studios in ABQ counting the votes from E Day and witness Heather getting trounced, only to have a huge wave of absentees pour in putting her more than over the top. But there's another kind of wave forming this year and if it comes in with the force that the D's say it will, Heather and Patsy are going to be fighting to the end to get the last seat in the lifeboat.

THE OVERKILL CAMPAIGN

And I thought it was clever to call the Guv "The $10 Million Man." Guess we need to change that to the $11.6 million man, and probably be prepared to up it to 12 mil by the time the campaign ends. Can you believe it? The Guv has raised $11.6 mil since starting his re-election drive in 03'? To do what? Kill a gnat with a bazooka? His GOP foe, sacrificial wolf John Dendahl, reports raising $275,000 since the R's got itchy and dropped Santa Fe Doc J.R. Damron from the ticket.

Of that nearly $12 million, Big Bill had about $3.1 million left at the end of September, say state reports filed Tuesday. You mean they've already spent over $8 mil and I don't even get an ad on the blog? Dendahl has less than $200,000 left and blog ads may be about all he can afford.

BIBB'S FINAL BID

Word came late Tuesday that GOP attorney general contender Jim Bibb has joined the Heather-Patsy party and launched a negative ad against Dem rival Gary King. I'm told it faults Gary for missing a bunch of votes when he was a state legislator. But the King campaign counters that the time period Bibb sites coincides with a serious auto accident King suffered and repairing his body took priority over the legislative body. Bibb is one of two pet candidates of the GOP powers-that-be, the other being R secretary of state candidate Vickie Perea, who have been singled out for special fundraising treatment.

I know. You are asking, for the umpteenth time, why did the R's not concentrate on the scandal-ridden treasurer's office or even the auditor's job? Please forward those inquiries to GOP executive director Marta Kramer who, GOP Chairman Allen Weh told me recently, I "drive crazy." Maybe she's talking about my photo, not my blogging. Hey, I know how to spin too.

NATIONAL BEAT

Big Bill isn't the only one raising huge dollars. National Public Radio phoned in here the other day with the news that over a billion bucks will be spent nationally on the mid-term election. I was one of several numbed observers they asked for comment for a piece that aired coast-to-coast Tuesday morning.

WHAT ELSE?

Please don't ask what else is going on. So much that the bottoms of my blogging pajamas are wearing thin. There's that new ad for Heather featuring Arizona Senator John McCain; there's U.S. Senate candidate Allen McCulloch finally going up on the air with a small TV buy in his uphill battle against Dem Senator Jeff Bingaman. There's also the sad news of the death of NM broadcasting legend Johnny Hyatt (the longtime voice of Rich Ford). There's also the annual Gridiron show poking fun at the press and politicos that I have been busy writing copy for and urge you to attend Oct. 28 and help provide student scholarships by doing so.

And then there's my thank you for the hospitality to the "Petrol Club" which I spoke to at ABQ's Tanoan Country Club Tuesday. The R group has been going since 1948. And then there's the looming deadline for my piece for New Mexico Magazine on talk radio. (Editors: Please, can I have an extra day or two?)

And then there's...tomorrow. And I hope you will join me then for more New Mexico politics. Meanwhile, let me hear from you. Just drop an email...

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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