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Friday, May 09, 2008

Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor: Baiting The Mayor, More Monty Money, And Top NM Journos Talk Shop 

We threw out enough bait to catch a basket of trout at Tingley Beach, but Mayor Marty wouldn't bite. Despite repeated prodding during an impromptu caffeinated session at my local Starbucks, the mayor would not commit to an unprecedented fourth term run for the city's top job in 2009. We even taunted him with the prospect that Dem City Councilor Michael Cadigan, a chief Chavez critic, might succeed him if he did not seek re-election, but the mayor stayed mum.

Still, it is no secret that short of getting a job in a national Dem administration, the mayor is very likely to seek another four years. Interestingly, he said he has never met Barack Obama. Chavez is a hard-core Clintonista.

Chavez did give us a clue of what might be a major campaign theme if he does seek re-election, asserting that the local economy is performing strongly despite national troubles. But Chavez has been forced to eliminate vacant positions at city hall in light of lower gross receipts tax collections and big increases in the city budget under his watch.

While we couldn't break any campaign news, we did get some about Tingley. The mayor says over the next few years he expects kids to again be able to swim there, just as they did at the original Tingley Beach those many years ago.

MULLING WITH THE MEDIA

What keeps a newsman excited after 45 years on the New Mexico beat? For TV news dean Dick Knipfing of KRQE-TV it's still the scoop. "Nothing pleases me more than to look at the ABQ Journal front page in the morning and say, "We had that story last night," exclaimed Knipfing during a University of New Mexico panel discussion we participated in on media relations. Sitting next to Knipfing was none other than ABQ Journal editor-in-chief Kent Walz who didn't seem to take offense at Dick's ardor, but didn't smile about it either.

Walz was straight up with new UNM President David Schmidly and the deans and administrators gathered for our session. He said the university has a lousy record in providing information to the press, but he hoped the relationship would improve.

Walz dropped a tidbit for the UNM group that may be useful to the politicos. He cautioned that when a reporter agrees to go "off the record" with you, that doesn't mean the information won't be used if it is confirmed independently. That's something to remember while on the campaign trail. The editor also said the Journal remains committed to investigative reporting, with three reports assigned to the beat.

UNM Prez Schmidly told us he likes his La Politica and keeps up with former Oklahoma Senator David Boren who now has a home in Santa Fe. The new president hopes he can keep the Alligators at bay for a while, but he knows what to expect. "You get your Ph.D. in politics in New Mexico," he joked.

MORE MONTY MONEY

You could buy a pretty nice house with the money the National Association of Realtors PAC is coming with to support southern NM GOP congressional candidate Monty Newman,. They said Thursday they are now up to $573,000, including $325,000 in ABQ and El Paso TV buys. The PAC is allowed to spend all this dough as long as they do not coordinate their expenditures with the Newman campaign.

Newman is a Realtor from Hobbs, but he's not the only Realtor in the race. Earl Greer of T or C is one, too. His campaign is working on having some NM Realtors come out against the national pac's support of Newman. But that isn't going to stop the TV spots and direct mail pieces from going out and that could have a major impact on the outcome of the contest.

DID THEY CHUG?

When we blogged of the house party held on behalf of ABQ Dem congressional hopeful Martin Heinrich by former NM First Lady Clara Apodaca, we noted that the city councilor had been doing well with the Chardonnay sippers, but wondered about his support with blue collar beer drinkers Well, according to the Heinrich campaign, Clara served beer at her Heinrich party. Now that's reaching out to the Democratic Party.

ON THE GRAPEVINE
Pauline & Scott
Top NM lobbyist Scott Scanland was doing some lobbying on behalf of his better half this week. His wife, Pauline, has launched a new Web site--www.santafegrapevine.com--and Scanland was spreading the word. He doesn't have to work too hard. Pauline is is a go-getter when it comes to business and bringing people together. The Grapevine will connect people in Santa Fe and the surrounding area with news, forums, and chat groups, among many other features, so join up.

Meanwhile, lobbyist Scanland is preparing to join us for our 20th year of live Election Night coverage on KANW 89.1 FM. that kicks off at 6:30 p.m. June 3. I don't have to tell you what a wild night that's going to be.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
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