Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Bill Continues TV Push, Plus: Lamenting Over The Labs; We Analyze, Also: Cleaning Up The Rudy Visit & The Latest From The Pete Beat
You Know Who
Big Bill is trying to get his stuck-in-neutral Prez campaign back in high gear, unveiling another TV spot that continues the humorous shtick begun in his first two spots that popped his polling numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire. This one focuses on global warming, a hot button issue among Dem primary voters. But is the Governor casting himself as a character in his own little sitcom, and not putting enough meat on the bones of his campaign? The first two comedy spots went down well because of the novelty and creativity, but the third, mining the same vein, has less of an edge and raises the question for Richardson's somewhat quixotic bid for the USA presidency: "What's next?"
On the polling front, Big bill's boosters point out he is holding steady at 10% in the latest New Hampshire numbers. He's in the same territory in Iowa. Still to be answered: What happens to the Guv's numbers when the major candidates star airing their TV ads? Also, Hillary has opened up a giant lead in the Granite State.
AN HISTORIC BREAKDOWN?
Have the GOP members of the NM congressional delegation violated a 60 year tradition of bipartisanship when it comes to funding for Los Alamos and Sandia Labs? Big Bill argued that they have in a little noticed news release sent out ahead of the weekend.
“There is a long tradition whereby the delegation works together to secure funding for our national labs...It’s disappointing that the Republican delegation has decided to lower itself to partisan posturing...The important thing is to secure the funding that keeps those jobs...(and that Los Alamos) creates new clean energy jobs that ends our dependence on foreign oil. “
Is Richardson right? He is certainly correct that our delegation has had a history of unity over Los Alamos and Sandia, but that unity has rested on the principle that the labs, particularly Los Alamos, will concern themselves with the nation's nuclear weapons programs. That principle is being challenged by Richardson and the new Democratic majority in Congress as seen in the bill reducing lab funding. It was passed last week by by the House Appropriations Committee. Here's committee member and NM Dem US Rep. Tom Udall:
"...It is necessary to direct increased funding toward renewable energy programs as included in the Appropriations Bill. "...I voiced my opposition in the committee to the manner in which it is being proposed because I want to ensure that...the role for our national labs is not unfairly disadvantaged in the process."
GOP Reps Wilson and Pearce, in a letter, come down hard on what they think this means to the labs current mission.
"If this bill becomes law, Los Alamos will not have the tools to certify 80% of America’s nuclear stockpile without returning to nuclear testing. These deep cuts are unprecedented...and would fundamentally weaken the nation’s stockpile stewardship program that ensures the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons without nuclear testing. "
Renewable energy programs may or may not be the way to secure the future of LANL, but such programs have not been a basis for our congressional delegation's generations-old bipartisanship. The case for a dramatically changed mission must be made. If it is, the delegation may find a new basis for unity. The NM Republicans may be acting partisan, as the Governor argues, but they can't violate a "long tradition" on a matter in which none exists.
Rudy in Cruces in '04
We have some tidying up to do in the aftermath of the ABQ Saturday visit of GOP Prez hopeful Rudy Giuliani. We've been going around on when Rudy last visited NM. One of his supporters said it was 1998 for a Guv Gary Johnson fundraiser. An Alligator corrected that saying it was in 1998, but for the GOP annual Lincoln Day Dinner, not Gary. And now a bunch of readers, including Larry Ahrens, Marcus Wilson and Steven Rogers, remind us that Rudy was actually in ABQ in 2004. However, it wasn't an independent visit. He appeared at a rally with President Bush who was campaigning for re-election. Not only that, Dr. Chris Erickson at NM State University in Las Cruces, reminds everyone that Rudy and the Prez also stopped in Cruces during that '04 campaign swing.
Being obsessed with this junkie stuff, I came up with the White House photo posted here, showing the President and Rudy visiting with a local in Las Cruces on August 26, 2004. Yeah, I got OCD bad when it comes to La Politica, real bad. Apparently so do you folks. I received more corrections on this Rudy thing than anything in recent memory.
As for GOP Bernalillo county Sheriff Darren White being named state chair of the Giuliani campaign, that did not go unnoticed by the Dems, one of whom landed this broadside: "Voters do not like sitting sheriffs engaging in partisan politics. He is sheriff for all and not just Republicans who like Giuliani." White took similar heat when he headed up Bush's Bernalillo county campaign in '04, but his defenders say he is a partisan politician and has every right to play, even while serving as sheriff.
White has been mentioned as a potential candidate for every conceivable office. Insiders say he is most interested in Heather Wilson's congressional seat should there be a vacancy. Some saw White hooking up with liberal Republican Giuliani as a move to attract more moderate voters in the future. However, his embrace of Giuliani could put at risk his support from social conservatives who find Rudy's abortion and gay rights positions nonstarters.
Finally on the Rudy front, Robin Dozier Otten, who we blogged will head up a women for Rudy group, ran for the U.S. Senate from NM in 1994, not "back in the 80's" as we originally blogged. Colin McMillan won the GOP nomination that year and went on to be defeated by Senator Bingaman.
THE BOTTOM LINES
NM Dems tried to take advantage Monday when NM GOP US Senator Pete Domenici went ahead and voted on a resolution to express "no confidence'' in embattled US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The resolution was blocked by Senate Republicans, including Pete, who called it a meaningless gesture. NM Dems said Domenici should have recused himself from voting because of his involvement in the US Attorney scandal: "Today, Pete Domenici showed that he has no remorse for pressuring (NM US attorney) David Iglesias to bring politically-sensitive indictments days before an election. Domenici backed Attorney General Gonzales by voting against a no-confidence resolution." Scored the D's.
The Dems were breathing fire and brimstone, but the smart crowd wondered where was their major candidate bashing Pete? The answer is that Dem Chairman Colón and company still don't have one, and until they do Pete will vote on any damn thing he likes. And that's the bottom line.
Thanks to my reader-editors for the help. Send your news, comments, and corrections via the e-mail link at the top of the page.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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