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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bill To Hit Trail: Has Favorite Senate Candidates, Plus: Di-Bill Spat Could Have Fall-Out, And: Bush To ABQ 

Everyone has their favorites this political season and that includes Big Bill. The Dem Governor may not be on the ballot in NM anymore, but he still has a couple of legislative sessions to negotiate (if he doesn't head to D.C. under a Dem administration) and will use some political muscle to influence the June primary results. His eyes, say the insiders, are especially fixed on the State Senate where his healthcare reform plan was stalled. One of them weighs in.

The Governor is engaged in the upcoming elections, and is going to pay special attention with contributions and appearances on behalf of Senators Shannon Robinson, Carlos Cisneros, James Taylor, Howie Morales, Linda Lovejoy, David Ulibarri, Dede Feldman and John Pinto.

We didn't see the name of ABQ Sen. Linda Lopez on that favored list. She is in a primary battle with businessman Michael Padilla, and it's no secret that Linda, who has clashed with Bill in her role as chair of Senate Rules, is not a Fourth Floor favorite.

THE COST OF WAR

This state of aggravation between Big Bill and Light Guv Diane Denish could have some political consequences. Denish has been considered a shoo-in for the Dem guv nomination when Bill departs, but his political allies might want to make that more questionable if the top two can't settle their differences. For example, the name of former NM House Speaker Raymond Sanchez is being floated as a possible 2010 Dem Guv contender. Not that Raymond, who was tossed from his legislative seat in 2000, is going to put the fear of God into Di, but his stirrings could encourage others to weigh an entry, complicating Denish's designs for the state's top job.

The stakes could be going up, but when it comes to the 400 year old New Mexican governorship, they've never been very low.

BUSH'S BAGS TO ABQ

A presidential visit these days is a mixed bag, but Bush still raises a bag full of dough when he campaigns for GOP candidates, and that will be the case when he touches down in the Duke City May 27th for a fund-raiser on behalf of ABQ GOP congressional hopeful Darren White and the state GOP's 2008 victory fund. Bush's visit, being leaked out by the R's, will come just days before the June 3 primary.

Dems will be gleeful to get photos of White snuggling with the unpopular Prez, but White will use the visit to cement support in the primary in which he faces a cantankerous challenge from State Sen. Joe Carraro. Also, White's fund-raising has not blown the doors off. Bush' s visit will help shore up his bank balance. The downside for White is being seen so close to Bush by conservative Dems and key swing voters.. That almost cost Heather Wilson the seat in 2006. She brought the Prez in for a June '06 visit, making sure he was nowhere to bee seen when October rolled around. Insiders suspect White will do the same--use Bush--who he served as chairman of his 2004 Bernalillo County campaign effort--to raise money now, but by the time the Halloween masks come out, Bush and his visit will be a long lost memory.

AT THE TRACK


The handicapping continues. Capitol hill newspaper Roll Call pegs NM's US Senate seat "safe Democratic" in the November election. Speaking of soon-to-be Dem nominee Tom Udall, the paper analyzes:

While his politics are probably more liberal than those of most voters, New Mexico is a swing state that rewards likability and integrity-- qualities that Udall possesses...But a Republican victory is not impossible.

WE'RE OUT OF THE GATE

It's here. The first day of voting for Primary '08 is today. Here's info on where to cast an early ballot in Bernalillo County. For other counties, check your county clerk's site. It's expected that over half the primary vote will be cast through early and absentee balloting.

HISPANIC POWER


From the Politico: Democrats are poised this week to pass a crucial milestone in Florida: For the first time, the number of Hispanic Democrats in the state is expected to exceed the number of Hispanic Republicans.

OVER THE TOP SPOT?

The latest anti-DWI TV spot from the state Department of Transportation has drawn some fire. Critics ask: should the state be implying that persons picked up for violating the drinking and driving laws will be subjected to homosexual assault? In one scene, a state PSA showcases the flabby belly of an actor posing a as a prison inmate in an orange jump suit. The alleged DWI offender asks: "Who's that? The response comes, "That's your new buddy in jail."

A curious viewer asks: Do NM Corrections Secretary Joe Williams or NM's county jail directors accept sexual assault as an expected outcome of a jail or prison stay? The pokey is no place to be coddled, but shouldn't citizens incarcerated for alleged crimes be provided a minimum of physical safety? Or is that a value being kicked to the curb in an over zealous public service message? They're just asking.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
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