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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Long In Iraq? Pearce Says 50 Years, Plus: Even More Northern Congress Candidates, And: We're Back On The Trib Watch 

American troops in Iraq in 2057? So says GOP US Senate contender Steve Pearce in a statement that you might see come under scrutiny in the fall if the southern NM Congressman prevails in his primary battle with ABQ Congresswoman Heather Wilson. Conservative Pearce laid it out the 50 year Iraq plan this week in an interview with the Valencia County News-Bulletin.

"We fought that war in the '40s, and we still have troops in Germany and Japan--60 years later," he said. "We still have troops in Korea — 50 years later. So I think, 50 years from now, we'll still have some troop presence in Iraq and in the Middle East."

Pearce makes a good historical point, but that doesn't mean the current generation of voters will like hearing it. He adds that he is hopeful American troops can start to be drawn down as violence subsides in Iraq.

Also on the Pearce front, he was doing another of those automatic phone calls last night. He made 60,000 calls into the ABQ and Northern Congressional districts asking people to stay on the line and talk with him on the issues of the day.

Wilson, 46, suffered a personal blow this month. She told the Los Alamos Monitor her mother has passed away from Alzheimer's disease. Her father died forty years ago.

THE LIST GROWS


The New Mexican has a list of even more candidates for the Northern Congressional seat, but to our eyes it hasn't changed the shape of the race much. Ben Ray Lujan is the frontrunner with Santa Fe's Don Wiviott and Harry Montoya the other two contenders with more than a casual chance to win the 20% of the Dem preprimary convention vote necessary to make the June primary ballot.

Benny Shendo has officially quit as Richardson's Secretary of Indian Affairs and will enter the race Thursday at Jemez Pueblo. (Deputy Secretary Teresa Gomez takes over as Secretary).

Another date to keep in mind in addition to the March 15th preprimary is February 12th, filing date for the federal candidates. According to the Secretary of State's election guide, a third district Democratic Congressional candidate needs to submit 959 nominating signatures from registered voters. That may not sound like a lot but it is for candidates who are not fully serious. We could see the field winnowed even before the preprimary.

TRIB WATCH

The future of the ABQ Tribune remains muddled, even after a Tuesday statement from the DW Turner PR firm which has put together a group of investors to make a pitch to buy the paper from Tribune owner E.W. Scripps. A spokesman for Scripps says the Turner folks are sounding a bit too optimistic about any deal for the afternoon daily which announced in late August it was putting itself up for sale. Circulation has plunged to 9,900. Insiders at the paper say they are hearing nothing from corporate. One of them put it aptly: "All I hear is what I read in the papers." Stay tuned.

NO FREE LUNCH

Talk about there being no such thing as a free lunch. Take a look at this from the campaign of Dem ABQ Congressional candidate Martin Heinrich: "Please click here to make a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more and earn a chance to have a lunch with me at Scalo!" What? We have to buy the politicos lunch? It's bad enough that they don't pass around those envelopes filled with cash anymore, now this?

MALRY'S "MOVIDA"

A misprint on the date 67 year old former Bernalillo County Commissioner Lenton Malry graduated from college (it was 1962, not 1952) on our Tuesday blog led to this bit of tongue-in-cheek play from Santa Fe politico Jerome Block:

Joe: I know that Lenton is pretty smart.But how did he pull a "movida" to graduate from Grambling at 12 years of age?!!!"

Well, Jerome, that's one "movida" that Malry can't claim. We'll have to wait for the book to find out which ones he does take credit for.

Drop us a line with your latest political news and comments.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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