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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Guv In Gay Flap: Apologizes For Year Old Comments, Plus: More From Our Pete Beat, And: Making That Top Ten Power List; It's Not Easy 

Big Bill has to be thankful that radio shock jock Don Imus is off the air because Imus has been nothing but trouble for him. The latest example is year old comments made on Imus by the Governor that drew the wrath of the gay community, an influential constituency in Democratic presidential politics. Bill was forced to issue an apology over the weekend for his March, 2006 Spanish banter that went like this: "I believe that Bernard, yes--he’s a faggot if he thinks that I am not Hispanic."

The Guv was replying to one of the Imus hosts who joked about Richardson's' ethnic background, but his zinger flew under the media radar only to surface now that the Guv is a prominent Dem prez contender. To quiet the brewing storm, the Guv made this apology.

“I would never knowingly say or do anything to hurt the GLBT community — a community that I have worked hard for and supported my entire career. In the Spanish I grew up speaking, the term means simply ‘gay,’ not positive or negative. It has been brought to my attention that the word also has a hurtful or derogatory connotation, which was never my intent. If I offended anybody, I’m sorry.”

“My record on GLBT issues speaks for itself. I have certainly done more to help and support the GLBT community than any other presidential candidate, and more than most other politicians. The timing of this smacks of politics — it comes as I am gaining momentum and moving up in the polls.”


Imus previously caused a flap for Big Bill when he attacked him for not supporting funding for a community center Imus wanted in northern NM. The jock has a ranch in the state. The center was eventually funded.

With the Guv's career-long strong support of civil and gay rights, he will get over this little "gaygate," but there is now speculation Imus is going to be back on the air after being kicked off for making racist comments. The Guv's press flacks might want to keep their boss very in the dark if and when Imus calls for another interview.

THE GAY DEBATE

While Bill was dealing with the gay flap, it was announced there will be a Democratic presidential "gay debate" in August. Hillary and Barak are going. Bill is expected to.

THE PETE BEAT

We chat it up with Congressional Quarterly to give you more analysis, context and perspective on Senator Pete's big switch on the Iraq war. While we're at, we ponder Heather Wilson and the war, too. And a shout-out to Rep. Tom Udall. Did you see this sterling write-up on ABQ Rep. Wilson over in Clovis, Tom? What was she doing in your district? Learning more about agriculture so she can be informed on the congressional Farm Bill, she says. Maybe she's also learning how to campaign for statewide office. Ya' think?

MORE PLEAS FOR POWER

We appreciate the craftiness of some readers in trying to get their favorites on the Top Ten list of the most powerful NM legislators since WWII submitted by a Senior Alligator and blogged here last Thursday. But we are busting ABQ Dem State Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas for shameless nepotism in his attempt to revise the list and place on it Secundino Romero, Speaker of the NM House in 1915.

First, Moe, the last we looked "post WWII" was after 1945. But that didn't stop you from trumpeting the character of Secundino who also served as US Marshall for NM and for decades was a major league Republican power player in San Miguel county. (That's right, kids. The Spanish North was heavy R until FDR and the 30's.) The kicker is Maestas' statement that "his (Secundino's ) claim to fame is being the great-great-uncle of yours truly!"

Sorry Secundino, you don't make the list. But if you were around today, we're sure you wouldn't be upset that your ancestor is claiming your claim to fame is being a great-great uncle. After all, in New Mexico La Familia is La Politica...

I'm Joe Monahan, reporting to you from Albuquerque. Send your news and comments via the e-mail link t the top of the page.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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