Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Patsy Madrid: Back On The Track With A New Gig; Is Her Political Chase Over? Plus: Becky Giron Still Job Hunting, And: The Intel Hit; 1000 Let Go 

Patricia Madrid
Are the thrills and spills of political life a thing of the past for Patricia Madrid now that she has landed a plum consulting job with a major Washington D.C. law firm? The odds of again seeing the name of the diminutive but never demure former NM attorney general on your ballot have dropped significantly as she confirms to us news of her new gig but, knowing that anything can happen in La Politica, she quips: "Never say never. Don't count me out."

Her new job will be in governmental relations and litigation, dealing with state attorneys general, many of whom she knows personally. The job will have her traveling across the continent, but "I will be able to keep New Mexico as my home,” she says.

The only race that would make sense for Madrid would be a run against NM GOP Senator Pete Domenici and only if he was clearly vulnerable. She points out that the money needed to run a competitive race is daunting for anyone seeking the senate seat or the ABQ Congressional seat of Heather Wilson who Madrid lost to in '06 by under 900 votes. Besides his standing in the state, Madrid says no well-known Dem has yet surfaced to challenge Pete because "the Democrats have to face the issue of money. The candidate has to have the ability to raise it.” She said.

Madrid believes polling on Domenici, likely to be conducted in the coming months by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, will give the political community a better understanding of where Pete stands. Yesterday we blogged of that mid-April automatic phone poll by Survey USA that has the US attorney scandal dropping the senator's approval rating to an historic low of 54%, but does not probe into crucial questions such as matching him against prospective opponents.


It was the first time I had spoken with Madrid since her November defeat. As one would expect from a political pro who has been through the grinder, she showed not a hint of bitterness or remorse over her cliffhanger loss to Heather and reacted dispassionately when asked for analysis.

"I know you and others believe my debate performance was the reason for the loss. That was a factor, but she outspent me by at least several million dollars--maybe more when you count all the independent expenditures. She began the negative attacks in July and did not let up. That spending was as big a reason as any for the defeat," reflected Madrid who in the sole TV debate with Wilson froze before the camera in a moment that is now frozen in state political history.

Madrid was damaged by her congressional defeat and the stars would have to align just right for her to reenter the unforgiving political arena. While she monitors the action, she is preparing to share her experience with those who are considering picking up where she left off, revealing that she will meet soon with prospective Wilson challengers.

Madrid rues the fact that no woman is being mentioned for the run, but maintains Wilson remains "extremely vulnerable," citing her continued support of the Iraq war. If Madrid's campaign accomplished anything it was, she contends, "disabusing the electorate of the notion that Heather Wilson is a moderate.”


Her political cause today is the Dem presidential candidacy of John Edwards. "I am very close to John and Elizabeth and am on his finance committee.” Several staffers from her congressional campaign are working for him. “I will be campaigning for him, especially in Nevada," she informed.

For now, Madrid, 60, with two terms as AG on her resume, as well as the '94 run for lieutenant governor and the epic ‘06 congressional race, looks forward to "an amazing job" that will have her traveling widely, making a private sector salary and allow her to remain close not only to her political family, but her real one.

“You know, Joe, I have six grandchildren," she said, sounding as surprised and as happy as if she had just won a seat in the U.S. Congress.


Another well-known politico, former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, is finding it hard to give up the limelight, looking to the 2010 election for Light Guv, despite being snagged in multiple webs of controversy. And it turns out that the insiders who predicted here in February that Vigil-Giron would end up getting some kind of job from Big Bill even as his attempt to name her the head of the film office disintegrated, may turn out to be right. And our analysis from back in February on whether financial controversy in the secretary of state's office would damn her hopes to be Light Guv is also more relevant as she makes her candidacy official.

And just for today, we will give you a break and not mention the more than half-dozen other prospective 2010 Dem Lt. Gov. candidates. We can only hope that we'll be around in 2046 when KRQE-TV weatherman Mark Ronchetti, mocking the early start of the Guv and Light Guv races, says he will launch his own gubernatorial campaign. You have my vote Ronchetti, if I make it.


This isn't good news as the tourist season gets underway in Santa Fe. If Mayor Coss can't get things in order with his city police department, maybe he should call on Sheriff Solano for some help. The City Different biz community, not to mention burglarized homeowners, might approve...

Rio Rancho politicians can start worrying now. In one fell swoop, Intel announced the lay-offs of 1,000 well paid employees. The booming city Northwest of ABQ will feel the pain the most with all the new small businesses that have sprouted up there in the last few years. Governor Richardson tried to put a positive spin on the economic blow: "New Mexico is well positioned to absorb Intel’s displaced employees. The state’s unemployment rate is at a record low." He's right, but that doesn't take away the pain of those about to join the unemployment line, albeit a shorter one than years past.

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