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Friday, October 13, 2006

Big Bill Hit Over "Clinton Glow Job," Plus: Bingaman's Big Bank Account, And: Land Commission Battle Keeps Em' Talking 

Stepping into the fast moving currents of national politics this week, Big Bill found himself under fire from the right, giving him a taste of what is to come when he hits the Prez trail. The sparks flew when the Dem Guv painted a glowing picture of how the Clinton Administration, of which he was a prominent member, handled relations with North Korea. It was all a "glow job" struck back hard-right commentator Ann Coulter. That was a clear reference to the other kind of job that was administered on the White House grounds by Monica Lewinsky and who Big Bill, while U.N. ambassador, once interviewed for possible employment.

"Current New Mexico governor and former Clinton administration official Bill Richardson has been on tour, bragging about the groundbreaking Clinton administration negotiations with North Korea--keeping his fingers crossed that no one has access to news from 1994." blasted the controversial Coulter.

Maybe Coulter ought to sign up with the John Dendahl for Governor campaign as she is delivering the attacks he promised.

THE HAPPY WARRIOR

But the Guv trucks merrily along, plodding toward a landslide re-elect and confident enough to be spreading his ample campaign wealth to lower-ballot contenders. Tonight he and Light Guv Diane host a fundraiser at ABQ's El Pinto restaurant for Dem secretary of state candidate Mary Herrera and Dem auditor nominee Hector Balderas. The cheap seats are $500 a pop and the money will be split between the two candidates. The top ticket is going for $2,000.

Balderas is a Bill favorite, but Herrera, Bernalillo county clerk, has clashed with the Guv over the all-paper ballot system now in effect. The cash he raises for her this evening is sure to soothe any remaining wounds in that relationship.

Like Bill, Jeff Bingaman has way too much money. In fact, the four term Dem U.S. senator will report having $1.6 million in cash when the federal reports come out soon. If his opponent, Allen McCulloch, tries anything tricky in the final days, he will face that mountain of money. Meanwhile, Bingaman has doled out about $15,000 to various Dem legislative candidates. When they hear about all that cash he has on hand, they may put their hands out to him again.

WHAT'S LEFT?

There's only two major NM races the pros say are still in play--the ABQ Madrid-Wilson congressional face-off and that growing more negative by the day contest for state land commissioner. Dem contender Jim Baca has felt more comfortable since the ABQ Journal poll showed him four points ahead, but incumbent GOP commissioner Pat Lyons is reporting he has over $340,000 to finish this campaign, with Baca nowhere near that number.

So far, the mud-throwing has been on the radio airwaves. Here's Baca's latest and here is the Lyons attack.

Lyons will be able to hit the mailboxes hard in the final days. He should be able to get some decent TV time too. Baca could see Big Bill come to his aid with TV money if the Guv's polling shows Baca, a former land commissioner and ABQ mayor, in serious jeopardy.

Baca is worried about big Bernalillo county and lingering unpopularity from his term as ABQ mayor. Lyons is concerned that low GOP turnout in the conservative SE could hurt his chances. This one remains a race to watch, and we'll be doing just that.

Thanks again to photog Mark Bralley for his cool pics, like the one today of Big Bill in recent action. And thanks to you for tuning in here.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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