Thursday, July 31, 2008
Bill To Help Hill; Will She Help Him With Barack? Plus: National R's Tell Pearce To Have "Faith," Come On In And Blog With Us
If Obama takes the White House Big Bill doesn't need anyone blocking the New Mexico exits, so it's no surprise that the Guv has set up two state fundraisers to help Hillary Clinton retire her $25 million campaign debt. Hillary's gang was livid that Bill, the beneficiary of much Clinton munificence over the years, would not endorse Hillary prior to the NM prez caucus. And when he later endorsed Obama, Clinton acolyte James Carville dubbed him a "Judas." If Bill is picked for a big government job--especially one that requires Senate confirmation--he doesn't need the Clinton sword hanging over his head. Making nice with her at the August 17th fundraisers could have her calling off the dogs and making it easier for Obama to promote the Guv.
One of the fundraisers will be hosted by Dave Contarino, Bill's former chief of staff and manager of his ill-fated bid for the Dem prez nomination. The ABQ event will be hosted by longtime friend of Bill, Paul Blanchard, owner of the Downs at ABQ, and soon to be operator of a new Moriarty racino. Light Guv Denish, an original Clinton supporter, will be a co-host for the fundraisers.
If Obama should lose in November, Hillary could again be a major presidential player, another good reason for Bill to dull the sharp edges of the political knives that her crowd has been throwing his way.
While he is raising money for Hillary, Bill still has a bit of a debt of his own to pay back from his days on the prez trail. The latest total is about $292,000.
FAITH BASED BUDGETING
How bad is the cash situation for national R's? Well, so bad that John Ensign, head of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, says in a news release that his pledge to match the spending of the Dem national senate committee is based on "faith," not cold, hard cash in the bank.
The DSCC recently announced it will make a $15 million TV buy in key Senate states, including NM. How much they will spend on behalf of Dem Tom Udall has not been announced. In fact, if Udall stays way ahead, that spending could be diverted. If it is, the national R pledge to spend as much as the Dems here isn't going to help Republican Steve Pearce much. The Senate Dem committee has nearly $49 million banked; the R committee has just $24.6 million. Pearce reported only $531,000 cash on hand at the end of June. He needs all the independent expenditures he can get. Udall has nearly $3 million banked.
Much of this talk is so much poppycock. If oil multimillionaire Pearce is going to spend all his time grubbing for money in the next 90 days, Udall is going to have few problems. On the other hand, if Pearce wrote a check to himself for $1 million or so, it would solve a lot of problems. But conservative Pearce is not prone to do so, which is why his campaign is also looking like a leap of faith, even for the true believers.
Pearce has just been beaten to the punch in another important campaign category--going negative. No, Udall has not unleashed attack ads, but a third party group--Patriot Majority West--hit the screens in the big ABQ market Wednesday night, ripping Pearce's record on Iraq and military issues. (The ad is not posted on the Web). Pearce supporters were hoping that Steve would be the first out of the gate with negative, catching Udall off guard. But now it's Pearce on the defensive before he even airs his first ad which insiders expect to come next week. For Pearce's people, it can't get here fast enough.
NO COMMISSION COUP
Talk that two Republicans on the Bernalillo County Commission could join with Dem Art De La Cruz and form a coalition has died a quick death. De La Cruz defeated Commissioner Teresa Cordova in the June primary. The GOP candidate for the South Valley area seat is Cecilia Ce de Baca but the area hasn't gone R in decades, so De La Cruz is expected to take office at the end of the year. He has worked for the city of ABQ and has ties to ABQ Mayor Chavez who has tangled with the commission and chairman Alan Armijo. Insiders say entreaties to De La Cruz to caucus with the two R commissioners and become chairman have hit the wall. "Art does not want to be in the position of being branded a turncoat by Democrats," said one downtown insider.
More storm clouds gather over Big Bill calling the Legislature into special session August 15. Terrell in the New Mexican:
The Senate (adjourned) several times last year when Richardson attempted to call a special session right after the regular session. Rumblings in the Senate indicate it could happen again when the new special session convenes Aug. 15.
THE DEVIL IN NM?
How about this? Satan's skull found in our enchanted land! Near the Roundhouse?
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
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