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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Taking The Iowa Way; State Lawmaker Heads North For Bill, Plus: Blood Drawn in Southern Congress Race, And: Green Stuff For White Sands 

Rep. Chavez
The addiction of La Politica truly knows no bounds. 70 year old Dem ABQ State Rep. Ernie Chavez is headed to the cold climes of Des Moines, Iowa and a bed at the Comfort Inn just so he can campaign on behalf of Big Bill and get a taste of the presidential campaign action.

"It's something I have not seen up close, and I want to do that and support the Governor. My wife Rosanna is coming with me and we will stay at a Comfort Inn in Des Moines. We will do whatever the campaign wants us to, including going door-to-door," said the seemingly ageless Chavez.

The two term lawmaker, seeking a third from the South Valley next year, says he will pay for the cost of the trip out of personal funds. To his knowledge no other member of the Legislature is committed to going to Iowa, although a bunch of top-ranking state workers who owe their jobs to the Guv will start arriving there with Chavez the day after Christmas. Chavez, a retired city of ABQ engineer, will return to New Mexico January 4th, the day after the Iowa caucus vote.

Campaigning is old hat for Chavez who ran several unsuccessful campaigns before capturing magic in 2002. He also is a longtime member of the public employees' union, AFSCME. Those guys and gals are like the mailman--sleet or snow isn't going to stop them. Whether Ernie will earn some winning memories of Big Bill may be in doubt as the Guv is placing fourth in the latest polls. In the spirit of his trip, I recommended that Rep. Chavez bring with him two dozen blank absentee ballots from Rio Arriba County--just in case the Guv needs some extra help.

SLUGGIN' DOWN SOUTH

The gloves are coming off early in that hotly contested battle for the GOP nod for the Southern NM US House seat, and one punch just landed on the jaw of Aubrey Dunn, Jr., the Roswell area retired banker and rancher who announced this month he is joining the fray. Dunn is being welcomed aboard by Alligators who ask why he is running for the Republican nomination when he made a $2300 contribution to the Bill Richardson for President campaign?

Besides giving money to Dem Big Bill's Prez effort, Dunn only recently became a Republican. He says he left the party in disgust over its fiscal polices, something his many GOP rivals have siezed upon. With this baggage the rancher is going to have to have some fancy roping techniques to stop R's from running out of his corral.

GEARING UP FOR GREER


Get ready for Greer. T or C's Earl Greer tells me he will announce January 2nd whether he will join the GOP race for the southern Congressional seat that Steve Pearce is giving up to seek the open US Senate seat. "I am 70-30 in favor of going," says Greer who this year lost his bid for the chairmanship of the NM GOP to Allen Weh.

Greer sought the GOP nomination for the House seat when it was last open in 2002, losing to Pearce. Also in that race was Ed Tinsley who is back again this time. He has Earl's attention. "Ed is going to have to prove he lives in this district more than part-time," blasted realtor Greer. Tinsley has a second home in Santa Fe, but says he spends more than half his time at his ranch in Lincoln County.

GREEN STUFF FOR WHITE SANDS

You wonder if the folks at Sandia and Los Alamos Labs are a little jealous over this. Look at how much White Sands Missile Range may be growing, in stark contrast to the steep cutbacks that are ahead for the national weapons labs.

BUT CAN SHE COOK ITALIAN?

New KOAT-TV anchor Shelly Ribando is Italian-American, not Cuban-American, according to our Cajun Alligator assigned to check her status. "I just got off the phone with KOAT and they confirmed that Shelly is not of Cuban descent, and is Italian-American."--Crazee Creole.

The Cajun Gator checked after politico Kurt Lohbeck said here that he believed Ribando was a Cuban-American. That would mean there is still a female Hispanic anchoring prime time TV news in the ABQ market following the departure of three women Hispanic anchors in the course of a single month. Ribando comes in from Orlando and debuts this week. In his defense, Lohbeck says he knows Cubans named Ribando.

It was the ABQ Journal's Bruce Daniels who first wondered about the absence of any Hispanic female 10 p.m. anchors. He now says he is glad to see Shelly here as she has roots in his old stomping grounds in New York state. Sure, Bruce. Now that we have uncovered the conspiracy, you are copping out. Anyway, we too welcome aboard Shelly and advise her to strap herself in that anchor chair. 2008 is going to be a wild political ride.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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