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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Election 2007 Arrives for ABQ: Table Set With Final Round Of Analysis And Predictions; Our Coverage Starts At 6:30 P.M. On KANW 89.1 FM 

HERE IS THE LINK FOR ABQ ELECTION RESULTS STARTING AT 7 P.M. WE WILL BE BROADCASTING LIVE ON KAWN 89.1 FM IN ABQ/SANTA FE BEGINNING AT 6:30 P.M.


Don Harris has put up a vigorous fight but two state reps and a veteran observer of La Politica gathered for my Election Eve special Monday on KANW 89.1 FM predicted that ABQ District 9 City Councilor Don Harris will not survive the wrath of the voters and will become the first city official in history to be recalled by the electorate. We'll know after 7 p.m. tonight whether GOP State Rep. Larry Larrañaga, Dem State Rep. Al Park and Dem politico Terry Brunner have it right, or whether Harris pulls off the upset.

It was Harris' fellow Republican, Larrañaga, who summed up the panel consensus saying, the "public is fed up" with ethics violations and are not going to be tolerant. Rep. Park said the recent NM Treasurer scandal and the one over construction of the Bernalillo County Metro Courthouse gives voters a narrative of corruption they will use against the 45 year old attorney.

"He let it snowball" argued Brunner, state director for Dem Senator Jeff Bingaman. "I don't know if he moved fast enough" to stop the momentum of the recall.

But ace City Hall reporter Erik Siemers of the ABQ Tribune, monitoring late-breaking developments, agreed that many voters will be torn today because recalling Harris could lower the bar for future recalls and also because the councilor has not been charged with any criminal behavior.

Rep. Park faulted Harris' recall strategy which emphasized that Mayor Chavez would get to name a new councilor if he is recalled.

"That's inside baseball to many voters. He needed to stress why voters should keep him. He needed to run it more like a regular election campaign," declared the ABQ Dem.

But what if Don wins? "He'll be as strong as an ox," said Larrañaga.

MORE EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS

All the panelists decried the overly negative mailers used in the council races, much of which resulted from what I dubbed Q Gate--failure of three of the candidates to accurately answer the ABQ Journal candidate questionnaire.

All agreed that this is an important election for Mayor Marty. The panel told me after the microphones were turned off that the Mayor benefits from some of the infighting with the council because it highlights his more moderate views. But they also said he needs to pick up a council vote to avoid future veto overrides, or else he could be marginalized in his final two years.

The panel consensus was that Councilors Debbie O'Malley and Brad Winter should have no trouble winning re-election, but they felt Brad's campaign went too negative against an opponent who never really posed much of a threat.

They felt that we should watch the lone R in the four way District 6 race, Kevin Wilson. "He could come in and take advantage of the negative campaign going on between Democrats Rey Garduño and Joanie Griffin," analyzed Brunner.

Griffin and Garduño have had had the most active campaigns. Garduño is the perceived front-runner in the SE Heights district, home to many progressives. As I left the radio station last night, I saw Joanie Griffin supporters waving signs on street corners. It took me back to 1980 when the tactic was first used by Bill Richardson when he ran for Congress against Rep. Manuel Lujan.

OUR COVERAGE TONIGHT
Alligators On Radio
Our Election Night coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. on KANW 89.1 FM and continues until all results are in. Besides Reps Park and Larrañaga, Dem State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino will join us along with former State Rep. Lenton Malry. Vic Segura will man Government Center where the votes will be counted.

MORE TRAIL DUST

The Trib's Siemers and I took a big picture view of Election '07 in Monday's edition.

There's a measure on today's ballot that would make it harder to recall elected officials, even though none has ever suffered that fate, although today Don Harris could be the first. Photog and City Hall watcher Mark Bralley tells us this ballot proposition was the brainchild of outgoing Councilor Craig Loy who was upset at the attempted recall of fellow Republican Councilor Mayer over the tough animal control ordinance she authored. That sounds like a rather personal reason to change the charter permanently.

TURNOUT

How about 50,000 for the turnout today? That would be about 18% of those registered. We had about a 23% turnout in the 2003 city council elections.

POLLS

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voter info at 768-3030 and here.

See you tonight on 89.1 FM and Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. on 770 KKOB-AM with Bob Clark. And we'll also be right here Wednesday with results and analysis of Election '07. Hope you can join us.

Thanks to New Mexico's Enterprise rent-a-car, Ladera Golf, Bill Campbell Agency (Realtors) and Serrano & Sons Construction for helping to make possible public radio coverage of Election '07.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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