Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Varied Faces of La Politica; It's The Blog Photo Special Featuring A Colorful Cast Of Characters, Plus: My Wednesday Bottom Lines 

Going through the blog photo library the other day, I realized that we've stored up cool snaps from across the Net and from our own blog photographer--Mark Bralley--that are just too good to keep in storage until events merit their use so today it's a Blog Photo Special.

It's almost mandatory that we start with a shot of the man who has brought state politics to the fore. This pic of of Governor Richardson is one of the best we've seen. Shot for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, it captures the benefits of his diet and makeover for his Prez campaign. The power stance imparts confidence and leadership. He may want to frame this one for his scrapbook.

As for the ongoing Legislative session, the Guv has reason to maintain his confident pose. As he put it Tuesday when asked about his legislative bills: "As long as they are all moving--and they are--and they have broad support, I'm pleased."

It's obvious, but nonetheless true--it's good to be the Guv.


During last year's election I would frequently call up Bralley and yell, "More Patsy! More Heather!" (Yes, he yelled back) We were both captivated by the battle for the ABQ congressional seat featuring GOP Rep. Heather Wilson and then Attorney General Patricia Madrid. This close-up of Patsy is one of our favorites. It was taken several weeks after the election on the day she conceded the race. It captures the resignation and longing of that day. Believe it or not, she turned 60 a few months before this snap. I wonder if she has another race in her...


Looking at this Bralley photo, you might think State House Minority Leader Tom Taylor, (pictured in the foreground) and House GOP Whip Dan Foley are in the majority. Taylor looks gritty and determined. Foley plays the #2 role to the max, looking deferential, but not obsequious and definitely ready to execute any marching orders.


Everyone in New Mexico politics knows of Dem State Rep. Debbie Rodella and her husband Tommy, but rarely are they photographed together. She has been a newsmaker for years as has Tommy who has clashed with Big Bill. Debbie is now chair of the powerful House Business Committee. This photo of the Rio Arriba couple was taken at the Democratic party's pre-legislative dinner. Despite the many controversies they've been through, this couple looks very comfortable in their own skins.


Anytime Bill Clinton gets in front of a lens, look out! The crowd went wild for Bill at this ABQ appearance for the Madrid congressional campaign. How about ABQ Mayor Chavez and Lt. Governor Diane Denish together on the stage and in such a happy mood? They are now potential opponents for the 2010 Dem Guv nomination. I don't know if Mark and his photog colleagues will again catch this duo so pleased to be together, at least not anytime soon. By the way Di had no complaints about the former Prez getting too "touchy."


I didn't get a chance to run this photo of Linda Lovejoy when Governor Richardson recently appointed her to the state senate to replace Leonard Tsosie. Portrait photos can be boring, but this one is a keeper. Lovejoy, a former Public Regulation Commissioner, was making an historic run for the presidency of the Navajo Nation last year when this shot was taken for her campaign. For those outside the southwest where Native American women do not figure prominently in politics, the photo may seem exotic, not to mention the jewelry. You're not going to see this in Boston. For New Mexicans it's all in a day, but that doesn't mean it isn't special.


Here's one you don't see everyday. It's NM GOP U.S. Reps Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce at a Capitol Hill Christmas party. We've talked about how destiny could have this pair someday go against each other for the Domenici senate seat. But judging by this photo, if that ever happened it wouldn't be personal. Both are professional politicians who are well-prepared for any camera, but this shot captures Heather as genuine and open, when she can sometimes seem closed off and aloof. Pearce wears a relaxed and easy smile, losing the steely gruffness he sports on occasion. The pair had won their re-election bids a month earlier and the photo was snapped by a friendly Hill staffer, both good reasons why it turned out just right.


Here's a Bralley shot of GOP Land Commissioner Pat Lyons that we might have used once before, but is worth a second look because, like the Lovejoy snap, this one is also iconic of our politics. Cowboy hats on the heads of politicos are seen less these days, but for many New Mexico voters it conjures up images of strength, trustworthiness and the New Mexican heritage. Those are qualities any political candidate is glad to emanate.


ABQ GOP State Senator Diane Snyder blogs in to remind us that is wasn't only State Senator Duran who is asking Attorney General King to investigate spending by ex-Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. It's "the entire NM Senate Republican Caucus minus the one missing Senator who was not there," she says. We left the impression that it was only Senator Duran...Several readers got the notion that we were taking sides in the dispute over Vigil-Giron's spending. We were not. We posted Tuesday what supporters of her were saying because it was a new angle to the story. We don't necessarily agree or disagree with their defense.

Let me know if you enjoyed today's blog photo special and if you'd like to see more. If so, I will solicit special pics from readers and we'll do it again. Thanks to blog photog Mark Bralley, but what has he done for us lately? Stay tuned.

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