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Monday, October 29, 2007

Heather Sets Date With Cheney, Plus: Pearce's First Pitch, Also: Bill's Veep Chances And Boitano's Beef 

Heather's date with Dick has been set. Here's the official invitation for ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson's November 15th D.C. fundraiser with Vice President Dick Cheney. Wilson, in a contest for the GOP US Senate nomination with fellow NM US Rep. Steve Pearce, is a self-described "moderate" who was "on vacation" when Cheney visited Roswell last year for a fund-raiser. Today she is showing no hesitation embracing Cheney who commands little national political support, but still has mojo with the GOP base. That base is going to vote in the June '08 primary. At the start of this campaign Pearce's conservative credentials are intact and Wilson's are somewhat tattered.

Pearce's campaign says Cheney has called the congressman and offered to do an event for their guy and that Cheney's attendance at Heather's $2300 a person Capitol Hill Club reception and photo op should not be taken as a sign that he is endorsing her. The event was actually set up originally for Heather's House re-election bid.

Wilson is trying to entice wealthy NM R's to fly to D.C. for her Cheney bash. She is offering them, among other things, her personal tour of the Capitol. Will she concentrate on the Senate side?

PEARCE'S PLEA

It took Steve Pearce a mere 72 hours to dash off his first fundraising pitch after giving word that he would run for the seat being vacated by Pete Domenici. The Alligators also scored for us with Pearce, acquiring a copy of the October 19th letter for you here. In it he takes an indirect jab at Heather saying, "...this is a time when our country needs leaders who will stand up for real conservative principles."

Pearce will try to keep Wilson on the defensive by saying he's the R's true conservative. He will be arguing this even as the larger electorate moves increasingly towards the center or the left. If he beats Heather for the nomination, are we then going to see the unveiling of a "new" Steve Pearce? If he wants to win, you will.

THE FALLBACK

It is probably do or die for Wilson and Pearce. Lose the senate race and you're gone. But what if Big Bill gets in and defeats the R contender? That loss would be a lot less stinging and more expected than one to say Marty Chavez. In the case of the Guv some insider R's see Pearce perhaps surviving the hit and able to launch a campaign for the 2010 governor's race. Heather would be less likely to survive because her senate loss would be combined with her near loss, in 2006, of her ABQ congressional seat.

TAKE YOUR PICK

Last week Dick Morris, former Clinton adviser turned Fox News analyst, predicted Big Bill would be Hillary's pick for Veep if she secures the Dem Prez nod. But Sunday on "Meet the Press" veteran conservative commentator Bill Safire downplayed Bill's chances for the second slot.

Well, I was torn there, because Bill Richardson would bring a lot to the ticket, his Spanish background and all. However, he’s surprised all of us by going very strongly anti-war. Now, bring the boys home now—not the boys. Bring the troops home now. So I don’t think she could cross that bridge with him.

BOITANO'S BEEF

ABQ GOP State Senator Mark Boitano, who says he is thinking about running for the R nomination for the ABQ US House seat, thinks top Republicans are working to shut out competition in the race for the ABQ congressional seat. He sent this e-mail out to friends.

The Republican National Congressional Campaign Committee (RNCC) told my consultant that they want me out of the race because we will drain resources from the Darren White campaign. If I don't drop out, they will NOT support me in the general election against the Democrat nominee. How's that for knowing who your friends are?


It is an open secret that top R's in the state and national parties favor Sheriff White, but the RNCC says it rarely takes public stands in contested primaries. So far White is unopposed for the nomination and neither Boitano or State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones appear likely to get in, although they are making noise. They don't want to give up their legislative seats. As for Boitano seeking support from the NRCC (it's the National Republican Congressional Committee) and finding he has no friends there, as the song says he "was looking for friends in all the wrong places."

THE BOTTOM LINES

After some back and forth over whether he would or would not, we get word that GOP State Rep. Dub Williams representing Otero and Lincoln counties is indeed going to seek re-election next year. From John Billingsley, chairman of the Otero county R's: " I personally talked to Dub today (Oct 26th) and he assured me that he and his wife Cathryn made the decision just two days ago (Oct 24th) to once again run for the District 56 seat..."

Thanks, John. Now will someone now tell us how a fella gets dubbed "Dub'?

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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