Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Following The Money: It's Harder Than You Think, Plus: Di's Heaven In Hillsboro; What's Up With That? And: Kevin Costner: He Knows How To Get Votes 

Lt. Gov. Denish
Will Di show us the money? That's the question as the earliest ever NM Governor campaign steams ahead with big money flooding into the campaign coffers but with no campaign laws that require regular disclosure on where a candidate for state office is getting their loot. ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez, the chief rival of Light Guv Diane Denish for the 2010 Dem Guv nomination, is required to file quarterly financial reports under city law. Otherwise, he too would only have to file a money report once a year.

State law never envisioned candidates raising money for nearly four years. Such campaigns are only required to file an annual disclosure report each May. In the actual election year, more rigorous reporting requirements kick in. But the lieutenant governor is a current officeholder, making decisions or playing a role in decisions that impact public policy. Is once a year disclosure adequate for the public to police the cash in relation to the decisions made?

Denish, who sits on on the Guv's ethics commission and is rapidly headed towards raising $2 million since announcing her Guv bid in January, is not deaf to the concern. According to her campaign, she is considering releasing additional money reports. "It's something we have been talking about," said an operative. But politicos are genetically programmed to take advantage of any laws that keep information about their financial doings at a minimum which means the Legislature needs to address the reporting requirements.


Speaking of scrutiny, Inside the Capital columnist Jay Miller writes that he doesn't think the Light Guv is too happy about his recent disclosure that she has bought a house in Hillsboro, NM.

"...(She) recently has purchased a house in Hillsboro, NM. Yes, Hillsboro. It's an old mining town on the road over the beautiful Black Range between T or C and Silver City...I was told Diane might not be pleased for you to know it, but hey, hers is a public life and southwest New Mexico is the only area of the state where she hasn't lived. She can't ignore the good folks down there."

Well, the lady herself took the mystery away with this email:

"...We have owned the house since December of 2003...it is a getaway without being faraway. There is a wonderful mix of folks there...We have no TV, radio or cell phone service, only a land line. And yes, we are in the Hillsboro phone book. Nothing like...a little peace and quiet to bring one down to earth and to feel rejuvenated. If you haven't ever been there, it's worth the visit. Drop by and see us..."

You got it, Di. Jay Miller and I will be Greyhounding in soon to sip some lattes with you and Herb on the front porch. Heck, we may even surprise you and bring the New Mexican's Steve Terrell along, so make sure you have heavy h'orderves on hand.


Back on the money trail, that fundraiser we told you about last week that Di is throwing for Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire is being co-hosted by a long ago rival of Diane's for the Dem nod for lieutenant governor--former NM Attorney General Patricia Madrid. We're told Patsy still has a couple of hundred thousand bucks tucked away in her own political action committee that she can bestow upon favored politicos.

The Light Guv news is heavy today. We have word that she will follow up her Wednesday fundraiser for the Washington state Guv with one of her own on Thursday. Giant industries oil executive Leland Gould is one of the co-hosts for the ABQ North Valley event where tickets are going for $1000. Giant has two NM oil refineries.


And Denish has joined her rival, Marty Chavez, in getting involved in the ABQ city council races. Monday she endorsed Rey Garduno in council District 6, an endorsement that was warmly embraced by the Garduno campaign as it has taken hits for Rey's failure to disclose a long ago shoplifting conviction on his ABQ Journal questionnaire. That didn't stop Denish from giving Garduno her endorsement. "Rey Garduno is the progressive voice we need for Albuquerque's City Council. Rey is a long standing community advocate. " Said the state's #2.

Garduno is the favored candidate of not only the "progressives" but anti-Chavez voters in the liberal district. The Mayor is backing Joanie Griffin who has had her own controversy over switching from the Republican to the Democratic party just days before filing for council. It's a four way race. If no candidate gets 40% of the vote October 2, there will be a run-off election between the two top vote-getters.


There's also city campaign action going on in Las Cruces, where incumbent Mayor Bill Mattiace is in a rematch for the top job with Councilor Ken Miyagishima. A third candidate is also running.

Mattiace easily dispatched the councilor and two other foes in '03, garnering nearly 40% of the vote to the councilor's 25%. All signs point to a Mattiace repeat November 6. Miyagishima is running as the "smart-growth" candidate, but the city of 86,000 is far from bursting at the seams and Mattiace has scored points for pumping up the city's economy, always a big issue in capital poor Done Ana county.

Kevin Costner can act up a storm, but can he sing? Well, you won't have to dig deep to find out. In fact, you won't have to dig at all. The actor, who has been hanging out in our Enchanted Land shooting the political comedy movie "Swing Vote," will throw a free concert in Santa Fe. From the Guv's office:

"The Kevin Costner Movie “Swing Vote” is hosting a special event at the Rodeo de Santa Fe on Friday, September 21st with a free concert starring Kevin Costner and his band Modern West. The public of all ages is invited and doors open at 5 pm."

In addition to the free concert, Costner and company are raffling off three free trips to Vegas and a couple to Disneyland. You don't have to vote for him, but you do support those NM tax breaks for the movie industry, don't you?

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Send your news, comments and political gossip from this email link.

Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign