Thursday, January 25, 2007

Big Bill Sets $1 Million Goal For Feb. Fundraiser, Plus: More On Mayor Marty's Money, And: Vigil Headed To Pokey; Lopez Is Insiders Pick For UNM Prexy 

"It's like running two campaigns," Big Bill Richardson exclaimed to CNN host Larry King Tuesday night. Part one, he explained, is raising the millions necessary to run a credible Presidential campaign and part two is actually meeting and greeting the voters, especially in the early primary states.

On part one, we have some tidbits for you. The Guv is already zealously tapping New Mexicans for cash. He is slated to attend a $2300 a head fund-raiser Friday at the ABQ law offices of the Denver based law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck which has become active in government issues. If you give the maximum you win the title "Friend of Bill." That sounds a bit Clintonesque, no? If you give a grand, you can call yourself a "supporter" of Bill. But if you opt to go for the cheap tickets--$500 a piece--you are dubbed with the lowly moniker of "guest." I'd hate to know what they call a hundred dollar donor.

We blogged earlier in the week that the Guv was already planning a major fund-raiser to be held at Sandia Casino. We're now told it will be held Feb. 15 and that the goal is to raise $1 million that night. Heavy-hitters are being asked to put together enough contributors to raise $25,000 each.

Let's see. 2,500 donors around the USA giving the Guv $2300 a piece. That would take him to $5.75 million by the end of the year, plus smaller donors and Internet contributions could push him higher. The Bill Richardson for Prez budget is secret; the above is my expectations.

Marty & Di by Bralley
Wednesday's blog on ABQ Mayor Chavez's plans to start raising money for the 2010 Dem Guv primary race and a face-off with Light Guv Diane Denish brought some corrections and different takes, especially from the lawyers. We were told you can raise money for one state office in New Mexico, say Governor, but if you change your mind you can move it to a committee for another statewide office, like attorney general.

Here is a good summation, according to an attorney with campaign experience, on what Marty has to do as he "explores" his run for the Dem Guv nod: "

1) He has stated he is exploring the idea, once he has raised or expended $2,500 he must file a candidate finance report with the secretary of state in May, which would specify the race he is in and limit how the money could be used in the future.

2) He forms a political action committee--A PAC. Once the PAC raises or expends $500 they have to do an initial filing with the secretary, then they file on a regular basis.

The Chavez campaign agrees with this but says it does not have to specify the office the mayor is seeking, just that it is a "statewide" office. They add that Marty will actually have to report his campaign money earlier than May. ABQ law mandates that he file regular finance reports with the city and one will be due April 15 when he will disclose how much he has raised for that "unspecified" state office. They say "exploring" a candidacy is mentioned in the state law, although as we blogged yesterday, there is no official "exploratory committee."

The Chavez lawyers are working on Marty's Guv setup. I'd say we'd keep you posted, but the subject is like Brussels sprouts. I have a deep aversion to both. Maybe I'll pawn this one off to ABQ Journal city hall ace and Mayor Marty expert Jim Ludwick who carries a lunch pail embossed with His Honor's image.


I understand that a prosperous Albuquerque requires that every student receive a positive and valuable education experience. I am a native New Mexican who seeks to combine my energy and commitment as a mother with my public policy experience to improve our schools' performance. (1) Address the academic imbalance at all our schools to close the achievement gap (2) Attract and retain the best teachers by increasing salaries (3) Restore arts and music education to the classroom. I seek a quality education for all children and ask for your vote February 6. (Click the logo for more info.)


Thanks, Vanessa. Now back to the action. Dan Lopez as the new President of the University of New Mexico? This is old time La Politica, gentle readers. Dan goes back to the old country, serving as labor secretary under Governor Toney Anaya. And who headed up the search committee for UNM Prez? Why former House Speaker and UNM regent Raymond Sanchez. Lopez is one of five "finalists." That's like saying Hillary Clinton is "just one" of the Dem Prez candidates. We're setting the line at even money that Lopez gets the gig. Don't say we didn't tell you.


U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was spared a final embarrassment and the taxpayers got justice as ex-NM Treasurer Robert Vigil was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison with no time off for good behavior. Assistant U.S. attorney Gerson said he could not recall a public official in state history getting as much time for a corruption conviction. I think he's right, although Vigil, found guilty of just one count after two lengthy trials, will appeal the sentence. Legal beagles see his chances of success as slim.


The Guv says he is ready for the increased scrutiny that comes with seeking the highest office in the land. And it's started. Here's an example from my e-mail box that comes from a former advance man for President Clinton who now lives in Corrales, NM.

"I staged hundreds of events for Clinton...I watched Governor Richardson's (Monday) announcement...Unevenly taped campaign signs to a cheap blue pipe and drape makes the initial press conference look more like a student council run, or a Star Trek convention and less like a presidential campaign...

Look at the other candidates recent appearances. Edwards in front of an American Flag, Obama in a big room filled with supporters, or Hillary on a couch to soften her image. One promotes an image of solidarity and a sense of "I've done this before."

The Governor needs to appear more presidential. Camera angles, lighting, sound and staging, matter." Analyzed our advance man.

Should we file this one under the category of "constructive criticism?"


Some of the Alligators opined recently, and I agreed, that the new GOP mayor of Rio Rancho, Kevin Jackson, came up short in the political diplomacy department when he invited GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson to tour snow impacted sections of the City of Vision, but failed to invite the U.S. Rep who actually represents the lion's share of the city--Dem Tom Udall. Some said Jackson and Heather violated "congressional courtesy."

But it seems Jackson's political antenna are improving. Now he has invited the entire state Legislature--both D's and R's--to a party at the new Rio Rancho arena. This, as the city works the Roundhouse corridors for some of that fat state budget surplus. Good move, Mayor. We just hope it doesn't snow...You have got to watch this video. It is CNN's Wolf Blitzer and VP Cheney. It will make you cringe, really cringe...We mentioned Sen. Domenici's new newsletter Wednesday, but gave a dead link. Here's a live link to the newsletter and here's one where you can sign up. Now, you can spend those cold winter nights entertained by Pete's take on global warming and the need for nuclear. Does it get any better than that?

Stop by again tomorrow for our Friday blog. Meantime, email me your news, comments and existential angst from the link at the top of the page. This is the home of New Mexico politics--www.joemonahan.com

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