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Monday, May 14, 2007

You Gotta Have Friends: Pete & Jeff Still Hangin', And: Latest Radio Ratings, Plus: Idaho Meets New Mexico On Your Monday Blog 

Domenici & Bingaman
We're probably going to see more of this as we draw closer to the election year--mutual backscratching by New Mexico GOP Senator Pete Domenici and his Dem counterpart, Jeff Bingaman. As Pete dips below 50% approval among Dems in one poll, the duo seems to be everywhere together, perhaps helping Domenici with Dems disillusioned with his role in the US attorney scandal. The long-serving duo have never encouraged opposition against one another and it looks as if that unwritten pact is going to stay intact as Domenici faces what could be a sterner test than usual in '08.

While Jeff isn't forgetting Pete, what about Big Bill? The question arose when we saw this news release from the Guv's office announcing that additional state police would be sent to Columbus, NM in reaction to violence in Palomas, Mexico across the border from Columbus.

"Governor Richardson is working with U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman to ensure that the federal response to this violence at the border is sufficient to protect New Mexicans who live in the area." Said the release. What? No mention of working with Pete too? Had to be an oversight, didn't it?

BINGAMAN'S BALANCE

It is not an easy balancing act for Bingaman--being chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and coming from a state with a big oil and gas industry as well as a vigorous environmental community. When he signed on with Domenici on the Bush energy bill two summers ago, he took hits from the enviros and won kudos from Big Oil. Enviros remain concerned that he is not aggressive enough on global warming and have even put up a radio ad urging him to work for a bill more to their liking.

By the way, Domenici and Bingaman may be cooing together on a variety of matters of late, but global climate change is not one of them. The duo has split, with Pete wanting China to abide by any caps placed on greenhouse gas emissions. Chairman Bingaman is looking to other R's for support of his bill.

A stunning 71% re-election victory last year has given the state's junior senator plenty of insulation to take the heat that comes his way from both the left and right. Now that he and his fellow Dems have real power for the first time in years, Bingaman can expect the temperature to keep rising.

RADIO RATINGS

770 KKOB-AM continues to hold the #1 position in adults aged 12 and over in the latest ABQ ratings, garnering an 8.0 share of the audience. An interesting sidebar--KKOB's short-lived competition--talk radio KAGM-FM--has skyrocketed in the ratings since abandoning the talk format and going to classic country. The station, after being nearly last, now ranks #15 in the 12 plus category among the 30 stations rated.

MONTANO'S MOMENT
Montano
A New Mexican took the national stage Saturday as Major General Melvyn S. Montano, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), a former adjutant general of the New Mexico National Guard, delivered the Democratic party's radio address. Montano told his audience that the Iraq war has stretched National Guard resources to a breaking point. He recorded the address at an ABQ studio and did it in one take, according to an on-the-scene Alligator.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA RUMORS

They say it's the Internet that fuels the political rumor mill, but it is the mainstream media in the form of this piece from the Santa Fe New Mexican that has made public the rumor of a split in Big Bill's marriage. Was this relevant? Was it "news?" Something for the Ivory Tower flock to mull over.

IDAHO MEETS NM

NM politicos will remember Shea Andersen who covered the political beat for several years for the ABQ Tribune. He moved to Idaho so his wife could take a new job, but it turns out the Gem State is treating Shea pretty well too. He has been named editor of The Boise Weekly. That news comes on the heels of former Rio Grande Sun reporter John Foster taking the reins of the Idaho Democratic party as executive director. Do Shea and John now put green chile on their Idaho potatoes?

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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