Monday, June 30, 2008

R's Ponder Foley Replacement; So Do Dem Lobbyists, Plus: On the Chopping Block: It's Not The Crime; It's The Cover-Up, And: Bill & Marty's Dinner 

Rep. Gardner
Dan Foley will soon be gone, but there could be a fight brewing over whether his successor as state House minority whip picks up where he left off. Namely, will the new whip be as cozy with certain Dems and Dem lobbyists as Foley was? The question arises as the name of State Rep. Keith Gardner (Chaves, Eddy, Lea & Roosevelt) who, like Foley, represents the Roswell area, floats about as a possible Foley successor. Gardner, first elected in '04 and who has no Dem opposition this year, will be feted by a group of lobbyists at a July 9 $250 pop ABQ Country Club party. Viirtually all of the lobbyists on the invite (click on posted image) are heavy hitters for the D's.

ABQ House R's Larry Larranaga and Justine Fox-Young are two other names circulating as possible Foley replacements to serve under House Minority Leader Tom Taylor of Farmington. The House GOP caucus will make the decision t prior to the January 2009 legislative session. Foley was ousted in the June primary by retired FBI agent Dennis Kintigh.


Martin Heinrich made $47,000 in 2007; Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White pulled down $71,000. Such are the details in the required reports filed by NM's congressional candidates. Neither Dem Heinrich or Republican White, who are squaring off for the ABQ congressional seat, are in the financial big leagues, but the two contenders for the southern NM congressional seat certainly are.

Republican Ed Tinsley's Capitan area ranch is valued at $5 to $25 million. That's exactly the same value assigned to the Hobbs oilfield services company of Democrat Harry Teague. Now, which candidate will be the first to slap a mortgage on their property to help finance their campaign? Well, that probably won't be necessary. The duo seems to have plenty of more liquid assets at their disposal if they decide to throw their own money around. In this case, betting the ranch--or the oil field services company--won't be necessary.


Not only is "money the mother's milk of politics," it also apparently contains miraculous healing ingredients for intra-party rifts. Big Bill--"Judas" to James Carville--will help Hillary Clinton pay off her campaign debt. The Guv made his comments in Chicago where he was giving another of those foreign policy speeches, part of the summer try outs for secretary of state in an Obama administration. Barack tapped Bill to deliver Saturday's Democratic radio address. Do you think his chances for SOS are improving?

Block Jr.
Young politico Jerome Block Jr. is the latest example of the old adage--"It's rarely the crime; it's the cover-up." Block, the victor in a six way Dem primary race for the northern seat on the Public Regulation Commission, did not tell the truth and nothing but the truth when he filled out his ABQ Journal questionnaire. (How many times have we blogged this infraction in the past five years?) This time, it took the press a bit longer to pick up on the omissions, but once they did they were off the races. The charge was led by the
Santa Fe Reporter and followed by the New Mexican and the Journal. And get this--Block was still denying boyish pranks like peeing in public at a summer festival even when the newsguys confronted him with the arrest report!

There is no R running for the heavy Dem PRC seat that Block seeks. Longtime Green Party activist Rick Lass has announced a third party bid.

Block's dad, Jerome Sr, is himself a former PRC member who has had his share of public controversy. Is it time for a father-son talk on how to come clean and move forward?


And there's more political follies to report. The ABQ Journal's Martin Salazar comes with a piece that has University of New Mexico honcho David Harris performing like a verbal contortionist as he attempts to explain a a blatant attempt by Big Bill's's office to wire a UNM job for former health secretary and unsuccessful ABQ Dem congressional candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham. The wire job was attempted in 2007 when Harris was acting-UNM Prez. He was caught on tape describing how the Guv's office was looking to place Lujan after she left her job with the state, some say by firing, others say on her own accord. Harris is now UNM's chief operating officer.

A Guv's second term is when the boat starts to leak. The Harris-Lujan Grisham saga tells us the bailing buckets are out of storage.


Bill & Marty
The CNN spotlight shined on ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez recently when the network highlighted his opposition to using taxpayer money to buy bottled water.

And insiders report Marty has been smoking the peace pipe--or maybe some really good cigars--with Governor Big Bill. The two have tangled over the years, but had dinner together last week where they talked politics. Mayoral operatives were letting word spread that the sit-down went well. With both of them hoping to get jobs in an Obama administration, they had a lot to talk about. Heck, Marty still hasn't entirely given up his dream of being NM guv himself.

If Marty can make nice with Bill, maybe he can at least invite City Council Vice-President Debbie O'Malley to join them for dessert. That's one mayoral relationship that could benefit from some sweet stuff.

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