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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Imus & Big Bill Make The Peace, Plus: Justice Confirms Reason For Ouster Of U.S. Attorney Iglesias, And: Ex-Journal Reporter To Spin For NM GOP 


After a scorching diatribe faulting Governor Richardson for not doing enough to get a community center built near his Ribera, NM ranch, national radio and TV shock jock Don Imus is turning down the temperature. He indicated to his audience Wednesday that the Governor and his staff are moving the project along and that peace is at hand.

"The Governor has been closely involved in the issue and it is getting done," said one Alligator. Getting it done apparently means getting over $600,000 in state money to fix up the center in question.

Imus made a brief reference to his spat with Big Bill saying although it took them a while, the Guv and his staff are resolving the center matter. That's much better than his previous comments that the Guv was a "fat bastard" and his staff was a bunch of incompetents. That flame throwing came when Imus was asked for an apology by a Big Bill staffer who said his boss was upset with comments previously made on the broadcast. Should we look for a a Bill love-in on Imus soon? Probably.

U.S ATTORNEY ACTION


A senior Justice Department official this week confirmed our December report that NM U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was given the axe over "performance related issues." The comment came during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The administration dismisses speculation that White house political honcho Karl Rove has been behind the firings of other U.S. attorneys.

Still hanging in the air is who will replace Iglesias and whether it will be an "interim" appointment which would avoid the Senate's role in confirming U.S. attorney appointments. Senior NM GOP Senator Pete Domenici will make the call on who fills Iglesias's seat. TheWashington Post covers it in-depth.

THE R'S NEW SPIN DOCTOR

NM Republicans might expect more polish and less bluster in their official pronouncements now that former ABQ Journal reporter Charlotte Balcomb Lane has been named the new communications director. She describes herself as a "newbie" to the political game which means she has not been indoctrinated in the often brutal language that has infected the public dialogue.

That issue came up Tuesday in the letters to the editor section of the ABQ Journal just as Balcomb Lane was finding her way around GOP headquarters. Former PNM chief executive and longtime Republican Jerry Geist objected to party chair Allen Weh's description of Big Bill's Prez run as that of a carnival huckster. Geist termed that "character assassination and ridicule" and called on the the party to refrain from "personal attacks" and stick to the issues. Balcomb Lane, who covered the state's society and business scenes for the newspaper, has the opportunity to change the sometimes shrill tone that R's like Geist believe has hampered the credibility of the minority party.

One of those watching her progress will be her father, Ed Balcomb. He is a lifelong Republican who sought the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 1970, but was defeated by Pete Domenici who went on to lose to Democrat Bruce King. Balcomb also served on the Bernalillo county commission. "He's tickled," said Charlotte of her father's reaction to her new posting, but, she added: "I have a sister who is an Al Gore liberal...that should make Thanksgiving Dinner interesting."

LOOKING FOR AN E.D.

As for who will fill the critical job of executive director of the state GOP, Chairman Allen Weh informs that the search is well underway, but will take more time because he is looking out of state. Weh may be taking to heart criticism that the party must move on and leave the factional infighting behind if it is to grow and attract fresh talent. That means new faces, including new consultants and strategists. An out of stater with no stake or history in the internecine warfare could start rebuilding the GOP. On the other hand, if the new ED has been tied up in the past infighting look for "mainstream" Republicans like Geist to push back.

MY BOTTOM LINES

You get all kinds of outlandish e-mail when you blog. Here's something from KRQE-TV executive producer Gerges Scott that will give you some laugh lines. Turn up the speakers and enjoy...

Send your news tips, news releases and comments via the email link at the top of the page, and come back tomorrow for our Friday blog featuring some media news and other fun stuff.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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