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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Going Mobile On Marty: What's The GOP Attack Really About? Plus: City Campaign Doings, And: Santa Fe Crime Wave Strikes Again 

A mobile billboard attack launched Wednesday by the NM Republican Party against ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez over immigration policy had the Alligators jumping and advancing the speculation. Most say the trailer-mounted moving attack ad had more to do with electioneering than with a too soft policy from Marty on undocumented workers.

"If Senator Domenici continues to be weakened or vacates his seat, Chavez could be a Democratic contender. The hammering on immigration appeals most to Anglo Republicans, a bloc that Domenici must hold and a group that Chavez has proved popular with. Also, Brad Winter, (a Republican city councilor), has been under fire for not being tough enough on immigration enforcement. This muddies the water in Winter's race with Paulette de'Pascal," offered two Gators whose statements I meshed together.

Whatever Machiavellian designs were behind the strident attack on wheels, it did not fare well with the Hispano Chamber of Commerce which immediately denounced the ad. State Dem Party Chair Brian Colón also let loose. “It is disappointing that the Republican Party has...resorted to the politics of hatred and division as an attempt to distract the people of New Mexico from the failures of the Bush administration." He blasted.

R's of a more moderate bent could not have been happy with their party's blast before the TV cameras, led by party chairman Allen Weh and bolstered by the presence of Hispanic Bernalillo County GOP Chair Fernando C de Baca. In a culturally diverse state like ours, the immigration issue has had the most political impact along the border, but much less elsewhere. It was barely mentioned in last year's heated campaign between ABQ GOP Rep. Heather Wilson and Dem Patsy Madrid.

Also, the GOP suffered mightily with Hispanics when it was revealed during the US attorney scandal how its operatives (lawyers Mickey Barnett and Pat Rogers) were putting heat on NM GOP US Attorney Iglesias to bring voter fraud cases in the state. Iglesias, eventually ousted, refused, saying the cases were weak. Critics charged the voter fraud cases were a ploy by the R's to inhibit minorities from voting.

MORE EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS

Chavez has previously told me he is not interested in the Senate seat as long as Pete is in it. In fact, he has taken heat from fellow Dems for saying he supports Pete. But that was before the Senator hit a low 52 percent approval and before Marty's chances for the 2010 Dem Guv nomination became dimmer. A run at Domenici , once seen as impossible, is now at least plausible. A run if the seat becomes open could be said to be likely.

By choosing a hot button wedge issue the R's may get their base rallied against Chavez, but it will come at a price of shrinking their appeal with the broader electorate. As one Alligator put it: "If the Republicans really want to bloody Marty's nose, they ought to show why he's a bad Democrat, not a bad Republican."

ELECTION EMOTION

It's emotional up in city council district 9 where Councilor Don Harris faces a recall election October 2. We get this response to yesterday's blog on Harris's recent campaign flyer from the anti-Harris group, "New Mexicans for Democracy."

"... Harris does not mention his abysmal record, rather he attacks the over 1500 people that signed the petition to have the recall placed on the ballot. In addition, Mr. Harris claims that he was elected by 66% of the voters. On November 15, 2005 there were 28, 925 registered voters that were eligible to vote. Mr. Harris received 245o of those eligible votes. Thus, Mr. Harris received the whopping mandate of 8.5% of the eligible vote. So how does 8.5% turn into 66%?...It is no wonder Mr. Harris is facing campaign violation fines, he always fudges the numbers."

For the record, 3,686 total votes were cast in the run-off election Harris won over Councilor Tina Cummins. She received 1,032 votes or 33.53%. Harris won 2,450 votes or 66.47%.

This recall election in the NE and the Far SE Heights is an old fashioned door-to-door street fight, and it's no holds barred.

OVER IN SIX...

The four way duel for the district six council seat in the SE Heights is keeping the bleachers filled. Last night the contenders were all behind their computers taking part in an online chat. Judging by the transcript, any one of these hopefuls would be a sharp-eyed councilor.

ELECTION '07 ON TV

Still don't know whose running for what in the city election? Tonight at 6 p.m. you can catch most of the council candidates if you live in ABQ and have cable TV. Channel 27 will air a 90 minute forum with the contenders form districts 2, 4 and 8. It starts at 6 p.m. On September 27th, the four councilor hopefuls from district six will be presented, also at 6 p.m. If you want to be there in person tonight call 884-8441.

THE LOW LIST BLUES


It's another of those lists, and you are not going to hear Big Bill brag about it in Iowa, or incumbent legislators campaign on it here next year.

New Mexico ranks 50th in net worth of households, asset poverty, and households with zero net worth. The state is 49th in households with non-interest-bearing accounts and 41st in households with interest-bearing accounts...New Mexicans are the least likely in the nation to receive insurance through their employer (51st in employer-sponsored insurance). The state also falls short in insuring low-income residents, the study finds, ranking 50th in low-income parents without health insurance and 44th in uninsured low-income children.

Answers to this, anyone?

SANTA FE CRIME WAVE UPDATE

It's been quiet on the Santa Fe crime wave front recently, but it hasn't gone away. Now the rich are feeling the bite as burglars zero in on expensive homes. That word from Santa Fe Sheriff Greg Solano who has previously offered his department's help to the Santa Fe police to department in an effort to get a handle on city crime. Now it looks as if Solano, an early announcer for the 2010 Dem Light Guv nomination, has his own hands full with this political hot potato. I wonder what Geno Zamora thinks about that? Just asking...

THE BOTTOM LINES

I fouled up a paragraph on the city election yesterday, getting the wrong date for any necessary run-off elections,. Run-offs would take place November 20th..ABQ GOP NE Heights State Rep. Larry Larranaga will be back with us on KANW 89.1 FM this election night. He's called quite a few with us over the years and we look forward to working with him again. Our Election Night coverage kicks off at 6:30 p.m. October 2nd...

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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