Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Senate Race Erupts Again; Pearce On TV; Wilson Cries Foul; Exclusive Details, Plus: Spaceport Tax Wins Big, And: More On The Ad Wars
The intense race for the NM GOP US Senate nomination erupted yet again Tuesday with US Rep. Steve Pearce back on the TV airwaves to launch his spring offensive and Heather Wilson immediately saying Pearce's ad amounts to an attack not only on her, but on the man they hope to replace--Senator Pete Domenici. Here's the transcript (no video yet) of the Pearce ad titled, "There's Only One."
There's only one conservative in the race for Senate--Republican Steve Pearce He’s worked to cut taxes. Eliminate wasteful spending. Defended our traditional New Mexico values. And Steve Pearce is the only New Mexico congressman to oppose a disastrous government run socialized medicine scheme It’s a fact. There’s only one conservative running for Senate SP: I’m Steve Pearce and I approve this message
Pearce, as he has since announcing last October, has again seized the offensive in the race, getting up with this TV ad as well as radio. Heather, looking for a line of attack within the spot, came with this:
Mr. Pearce is not only mischaracterizing the children's health insurance program to attack me, but his false statements about the program are aimed at all of us who supported it -- including Senator Pete Domenici. The Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) was put in place by a Republican Congress over 10 years ago. In fact, in the 1997 Budget Resolution it was Pete Domenici who set aside the funds to make the program possible...
S-CHIP is a beloved Democratic program, but not so much with conservative R's. This ad is aimed squarely at the R's Pearce believes will dominate the June 3 primary.
Is Pearce calling Pete out as Heather implies or was he just referring to Wilson and that other member of Congress, Tom Udall? Obviously, Heather is provoking an argument over Domenici to muster support. Did Domenici gave permission for use of his name and is he joining with Heather in taking offense? Now that's a good question.
INSIDE THE AD
Wilson says Pearce is spending a total of $200,000 in the next week on TV and on a radio ad hitting her over the "sanctuary city" controversy. We don't have numbers for cable TV or TV outlets outside of ABQ. Our insiders say that Pearce is buying the ABQ market one week at a time and it appears he has purchased $100,000 of time on the four ABQ network affiliated stations. Also, my in-the-know sources report Wilson has an ad cut and ready to go, but as of Tuesday night had not bought time. They expect that to happen any hour, now that Pearce has pulled the trigger. Wilson says her TV will begin "shortly."
THE OFFBEAT ENDORSEMENT
One of the more offbeat endorsements of the season comes forGOP US Senate candidate Heather Wilson from former GOP Silver City State Rep. Murray Ryan. Ryan served nearly twenty years in Santa Fe starting in 1969 and also did a stint as chairman of the state GOP, although when escapes us. Murray was a liberal Republican who got his fellow R's so upset that a Santa Fe wall-leaner recall he was not allowed to caucus with the R's. One big sticking point was his support of liberal Democratic House Speaker Raymond Sanchez. That made Ryan a Republican in name only. The retired businessman remains popular in Silver City, but we don't see a Heather and Murray road show outside of Grant County anytime soon.
VOTERS LAUNCH SPACEPORT
A big victory for the proposed NM Spaceport as voters in Sierra County last night as voters gave overwhelming approval to a quarter cent increase in their gross receipts tax to help finance the project which would launch wealthy tourists into space.
For: 2,046 (65.75 percent) Against: 1,066 (34.25 percent) Number of registered voters: 7,388. Number of votes cast: 3,112 or 42.12 percent.
Turnout was impressive--42% of the registered. Earl Greer, who predicted here Monday that the tax would pass big, said last night "jobs, jobs, jobs" was the key reason for passage. The win is a feather in the cap of Big Bill and the Southern GOP NM legislators who supported the project. Total cost of the Spaceport is put at about $200 million. Dona Ana County voters earlier approved the tax. With Sierra approving, the project is assured of going forward. Will this be a lasting legacy of Governor Bill, or a white elephant? The dice are in the air and we'll all be watching for the landing.
MORE AD ANALYSIS
Here's a take on the first TV ads posted here from Southern NM GOP congressional candidates Ed Tinsley and Aubrey Dunn. It comes from Democrat Ellen Wedum of Roswell who is seeking a state House seat there (HD 59), so we think it's pretty objective:
Tinsley should not have mentioned oil and gas TWICE, but for style, appearance and voice quality, he beats Dunn easily. Dunn looking off to his right makes him seem disconnected, and his voice is too soft. (I played both the ads at the same settings.)
And here's a zinger from a southern campaign operative, commenting on Ed's mention in his ad of how he and wife Meredith started out by by opening a small sandwich shop.
Looks like Ed's trying to be a man of the people in the Second District. His wife, Meredith, working the cash register and so on. I understand her family is extremely wealthy and this is where Ed got a running start in business.
It's true that Mrs. T hails from a Texas family that made money in oil, but Tinsley, former head of the National Restaurant Association, can argue that he established a career independent of that wealth. But when you bring the family into the public arena, it's all fair game.
On the Dem side in the southern CD race, Harry Teague is out with a new ad, hoping it will start moving many of the Hispanic Dems in the district over to his side. It is up in the big ABQ market. The Hobbs oilman highlights education. Teague is opposed by Bill McCamley of Las Cruces.
BEN RAY'S HORSE
Our early Tuesday readers got a bad link to the new ad from Dem Northern congressional contender Ben Ray Lujan, so here it is again. Our comment that Ben Ray's horse almost seemed to be getting the better of him drew responses, including this one from Cowboy Country:
I noticed Ben Ray on that horse too..it's obvious he doesn't know how to ride and there are lots of cowboys and cowgirls in his district too. Maybe this is an opening for ol' Don Wiviott...."Ben Ray doesn't have any horse sense and he'll get bucked off in Congress.." Thank goodness we have three cowboys down here in CD2!
For the record, the Ben Ray campaign says: "He rides a couple of times a year and has done so throughout his life."
That's the end of our ride today. Back tomorrow. Email your news and comments.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
Not for reproduction without permission of the author