Wednesday, July 09, 2008
UNM Says Coach Alford Duped On Details Of White Party; Will He Cancel? Plus: Teague Works To Get On Track, And: Exploring Expo
Krebs & Thompson
The University of New Mexico went into damage control mode Tuesday following our report detailing how UNM Lobo basketball coach Steve Alford would pose for VIP photos for $1000 a pop at a party to benefit the campaign of ABQ GOP congressional hopeful Darren White. Paul Krebs, Vice-President for Athletics for UNM, told KKOB-AM radio that he and Alford were unaware that the coach's appearance at the July 16th event at the home of UNM lobbyist Joe Thompson would be used to raise money for White. Krebs said he asked Alford to attend the event to hob knob, not to endorse White or raise money for his campaign. Kreb's assertion that neither he or Alford knew the intent of the event was met with disbelief by some of the radio station's callers. But others strongly felt the non-political Krebs and Alford were duped into participating.
If Alford did not know the event was going to be billed as "An Evening With Coach Steve Alford" and that photo ops with him were being shopped for White, will he now cancel attending and/or the photo ops? Krebs told KKOB there will be a discussion of Alford's role. Krebs said Alford was out of town Tuesday. The White campaign nor lobbyist Joe Thompson issued statements. Two UNM regents, Republicans Jack Fortner and Don Chalmers are listed among the other headliners for the fundraiser.
This political mess would seem to be a made-to-order opportunity for White opponent Democrat Martin Heinrich to step up to bat, but when asked his campaign had no comment. Prominent Democrats Jamie Koch and Raymond Sanchez are also members of the UNM regents. Still, Heinrich could show his independence, always a key theme in elections for the ABQ swing district.
Alford previously attended a fundraising event for Dem congressional candidate Harry Teague, but was not in the starring role or, to our knowledge, getting his photo snapped to raise money for the campaign. But by attending two events of two different political parties, Alford risks appearing as a political tool, under the direction of lobbyists.
Someone needs to take action and it looks like it falls to Krebs. If Alford's role was misrepresented, as Krebs asserts, who made the misrepresentation? Also, Krebs and company need to have firm guidelines for using a state bestowed title like "coach" on the treacherous playing field of La Politica, and the sooner the better
E-mail took both sides of the Alford story
Alford is of course a private citizen BUT he's using his title, from a state supported institution. Doesn't NM have any rules about public employee's not getting involved in campaigns? Colorado has had such a law since I was a kid and I'm ancient!
The Alford so-called controversy is not a big deal. Given the fact King Bill and his storm-troopers have politicized UNM and just about every thing they can get their hands on I say it's about time the R's had their turn...What Steve Alford does with his private time is his business. At least he's not jetting around the world on trumped up diplomatic missions which are nothing more than something to further Big Bill's image to gain a political appointment...
Democrats hoping to make history this year and take over the southern NM congressional seat have a steep hill to climb, According to fresh insider polling, Democrat Harry Teague trails Republican Ed Tinsley by about eight points in an independent survey and by seven in a political party poll, according to our Alligators. The good news for Teague is that Tinsley is polling well below the 50% level, meaning the race is still wide open, but leaning towards the R.
Teague needs unity and money. He will work to get both July 15th when Big Bill hosts a fundraiser for him at the home of Las Cruces State Rep. Joe Cervantes. Cervantes briefly sought the Dem nomination for the seat, but stepped aside after just a couple of weeks, citing family concerns. Teague went on to defeat Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley 52 percent to 48 percent--a margin of victory that gave him little momentum.
Teague never did speak directly to voters in his numerous TV ads. His handlers judged him as not ready for prime-time. Tinsley did speak directly to the camera and it is credited with helping to put him over the top in a five way GOP primary. Teague of Hobbs spent nearly $800,000 of his personal oil fortune on the primary. The money has gotten him before the voters, now he needs to connect with them.
McCAIN NM VISIT
Ken Zangara, hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for John McCain next Monday, has run out of elbow room at his house and moved the event to the ABQ Hilton. Car dealer Zangara is the NM finance chair for the McCain campaign. The Arizona Senator will overnight in ABQ and then hold a 10 a.m. town hall meeting at the Hotel ABQ near Old Town. However, tickets for that event are all gone. Both McCain and Obama Tuesday were pitching their economic plans to Hispanic voters at their appearances at the Washington LULAC convention.
Is it time for Mayor Chavez and the ABQ city council to join with the state and support a world-class arena on the site of EXPO NM? The timing is right. The Guv's decision to seek ideas on how to renovate the 70 year old state fairgrounds, including what to do with decrepit Tingley Coliseum, has raised hopes that ABQ's arena obsession can finally be resolved.
If the state is involved in developing the facility, it could be done without a tax increase and be placed in an area that city residents support. It's been made clear to city leaders that there is no support for raising taxes to build a downtown arena, and they can't do it without a tax increase. The cost of building an arena at EXPO would be shouldered by all New Mexicans. What a great opportunity for cooperation between the city and state, if elected officials are willing to look past parochial interests and see the big picture.
Good news just doesn't sell. We strayed from politics Tuesday to do a brief restaurant review, an occasional habit around here. In turn, we got this review:
It beats me why you are touting, pushing, free advertising for a restaurant (Nob hill eatery) in your column. Do you own a piece of it? If you do (wife, best friend, column contributor) just say so! It's called 'full disclosure.' I honestly don't mean to be snotty, it just seems inappropriate for one who tries so hard to be impartial!
Does this mean I have to disclose the offshore accounts, too? For the record, no, I don't have an interest in that or any other restaurant, but I do whip up a mean veal scaloppini.
Thoughts? Comments/ Criticism? Campaign news? E-mail it in.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
Not for reproduction without permission of the author