Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor, Plus: The Breaking Political News Doesn't Stop; We've Got The Scoops 

Somebody hand me a broom. I have a big pile of newsroom clippings to sweep up and with the political news being non-stop since Senator Domenici announced his retirement earlier this month, I haven't had a chance to get to them .

OK. We've got the broom, so let's go...

Former State Senator Richard Romero hosted a fundraiser this week for the man who replaced him, State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino. Romero, who lost twice to Republican Heather Wilson for the ABQ congressional seat, thinks he may have better luck with the ABQ mayors contest. The former senate president pro tem is considering a run for that office in 2009.


Our post of a Dick Morris column Thursday touting a Hillary-Big Bill ticket irritated several Clinton supporters, not because of the possibility of the New Mexico Guv getting on the Dem ticket, but because of the way we described Morris. Wrote one emailer:

I don't think it is fair to label Morris as a former Clinton adviser. ...He was booted off the '96 campaign for impropriety and immediately turned on his former bosses and into one of Fox News' best anti-Clinton commentators....


Hillary fans were also emailing in about that recent quasi-scientific SurveyUSA poll showing her losing NM to R Rudy Giuliani by one point (48% to 47%) . Most pointed out that she leads Rudy nationally. True enough, but we specialize in NM so Rudy's showing against Hillary in the mock match-up drew our attention. And how about Republican McCain of Arizona scoring 50% to Hillary's 43% in New Mexico? That's more than the poll's margin of error and shows the Clinton campaign will have to earn our key swing state if she is indeed the Dem nominee.

Off the cuff, we suspect Hillary's problems here are mainly on the conservative east and southeast sides where she has been branded a liberal and where opposition to a woman president may not be insignificant. It's nothing that hard work and help from Bill, who made a special connection with working class New Mexicans, can't overcome. But it will have to be overcome.


Light Guv Diane Denish is raising money for a 2010 her Guv run , but is also raising funds to give to other politicos at both the federal and state levels. Her money machine is outlined in detail in this AP dispatch. The key point is that of all the committees Di has formed, none point to a run for the US senate seat.


On the US Senate beat, Santa Fe's Don Wiviott has been seeking the Dem nod since before Domenici announced his retirement. This week he was introducing himself to southern NM Dems. ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez has also announced for the Dem senate nod and he has put together a finance committee that includes Dem heavy hitters Jamie Koch, Ed Romero and racetrack owner Paul Blanchard.

Both Chavez and Wiviott appear safe from a Denish run, but national pressure on Big Bill to go for the Domenici senate seat will hit a fever pitch if he falters in the first few Prez primaries. Only then---perhaps sometime in late January--will we know with certainty the final field of campaign '08. Chavez also announced he has $560,000 in "pledges" for his run, not cold hard cash. Money could be on the tight side until the Richardson question is settled once and for all.

(Steve Pearce will formally announce his GOP US Senate candidacy next Friday.)


We are back to where we began the month with Patsy Madrid. She now has ruled out--finally, really, once and for all--another run for the ABQ congressional seat. At least that's what the former Dem AG said in a phone message from D.C. She told us the same a month ago, but then veered and left the door open a crack. Now she has closed it as well as the one labeled US Senate. Madrid's less than 900 vote loss to R Heather Wilson last year will go down in history as one of the tightest state contests ever. Madrid is supporting John Edwards for President and sometimes traveling on his behalf. She also has a well-paying legal job.

Madrid was not expected to run, especially when news broke here that her '06 pollster, Celinda Lake, had signed with Michelle Lujan Grisham. Also, Dems were divided on whether Patsy should make another go of it. The race this time features Martin Heinrich, Grisham and Jon Adams, none of whom have yet captured the hearts or imaginations of ABQ Dems, leaving the race wide open with Heinrich and Grisham in the top tier.


GOP Insiders inform that Sara Lister, a veteran GOP fund-raiser for Senator Domenici, is switching hats and will manage the congressional campaign of ABQ Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White. They also report that Heidi Fuller, another longtime Pete fund-raiser, will also work in the White campaign.

By the way, if White manages to get elected to the House seat next year, the Bernalillo county commission would name a replacement to fill out his term as sheriff which runs until 2010. That means the sheriff's post would very likely go to a Dem.

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