Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Darren, We've Got Your Back, Plus: Another State Senator Hit By Nonprofit Groups; Will They Show Us The Money? And: The Hippies Make A Comeback 

Darren White
The bad news for Darren White is that his injured back will keep him off the campaign trail for at least "a few weeks." The good news is that it's August, not October. The ABQ GOP congressional hopeful and Bernalillo County Sheriff was released from the hospital after a one week stay after falling off a treadmill while exercising. He struck a humorous note (or tried to) to announce the campaign setback. He had his dog, Trixie, write a letter (click on image) to supporters explaining the problem.

"Darren's back injury is a big problem even though he is now out of the hospital. First, he won't be able to run around and play fetch with me for several weeks. Second, and almost as important, it means he can't go walking door-to-door and meet voters for a few weeks. So I am pitching in."

Well, it truly is the dog days of summer at Darren's place. But on a more serious note, just what is wrong with White's back? One of our Alligators has the inside story:

He basically hurt the same part of his back that he hurt last time. (White had a 1998 bike crash.) Nothing broken, but the muscles got swollen and were pinching on the nerves. They had to let the swelling go down. The MRI didn't show anything drastic, perhaps a stress fracture, but the doctor is not too sure about that yet. Wants to keep monitoring him...It was a really bad accident on the treadmill...

Surgery is always a possibility with a back injury, but the White camp has made no mention of it.

The issue now is uncertainty. White, 45, expects to be back on the trail in "a few weeks" but politicos will be monitoring closely to see how he recovers and whether health will become an issue in the ABQ contest. White's next major event appears to be with US Rep. Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. He's slated to join White in Albuquerque next Monday for a roundtable with Native American leaders.

Not to worry, though. If for some reason Darren can't carry the baton to the finish line, Heather Wilson is tanned and rested and still in the ABQ congressional seat. Stand by, Heather.

Meanwhile, ignore the speculation that Dem Martin Heinrich's new campaign slogan is: "He's Got The Backbone For The Job." We're sure that can't be true.


Lee & Sen. Snyder
ABQ GOP State Senator Diane Snyder says she is the latest legislator to get hit by nonprofit groups peddling a progressive platform, but refusing to release to the public a detailed list of their contributors and other financial backers. Snyder, in a fierce race with Democrat Tim Eichenberg, writes to her supporters:

"I understand that some non-profits under the guise of public education have been mailing direct mail pieces into Senate District 15 that attack me on my "supposed" voting record. The one that I have seen is a complete distortion of what occurred and what I said. Please understand that I am never opposed to talking about, discussing or being held accountable for my votes and my actions. But I do not like having half-truths, distortions and out-and-out lies distributed."

Three defeated Dem legislators--Robinson, Silva and Taylor--filed a lawsuit seeking to nullify the June primary results because of what they claimed to be illegal involvement by the nonprofits. The groups, including the Center for Civic Policy operating under the direction of political operative Eli Lee, say they will file required reports with the IRS. But Lee and company are bringing huge money into these legislative races, and claiming their activity does not comprise campaigning so they don't have to file detailed reports as candidates do. It's a stretch--a big stretch, says Attorney General King who has asked the secretary of state to require one of the groups to file detailed state reports. King could decide to investigate further. He could be joined by the US attorney for NM since the issue is whether the groups are abusing their nonprofit status.

What is killing the nonprofits PR wise is the whiff of hypocrisy. Lee and Matt Brix, policy director for Lee's sister organization, Center for Civic Action, insist that they are working to clean up New Mexico politics, but by refusing to disclose their funding--voluntarily--and using the letter of the law to hide behind, they are acting like the wayward politicos they claim to police.

Speculation over the funding for the NM based nonprofits includes billionaire liberal George Soros and Taco Bell heir Rob McKay.We might find out from their IRS form 990's if these groups gave money, but it may not be reported for months. And then there are all the individual contributions. We can't get at those. The paranoia and mistrust would end if only the nonprofits would completely report their funding sources. What's stopping them?


Take a gander at GOP US Senate contender Steve Pearce's full-page ABQ Journal ad featuring a blast from the past--those lovable hippies. (Click image to enlarge.) How long has it been since we've seen or written that word. Well, the seniors remember, but they'll probably feel more nostalgic than fearful when they see this pic knocking Dem Tom Udall's positions in the pages of their morning fish wrappers.

Are they stuffing the ballot boxes over at Steve Pearce's place? A reader notes that the presidential poll Pearce is conducting on his site has Obama trouncing McCain, with the Illinois senator garnering over 95% of the vote. Maybe it's all those Udall staffers checking in to see what Steve is up to.


After weeks of bobbing and weaving, the powers-that-be finally confirm the original speculation from our Alligators that Big Bill chief of staff James Jimenez will become the new city manager of Rio Rancho, pending city council approval. That's expected tonight. Thanks for the memories, James.


Some Republicans were ribbing us in the e-mail Tuesday after reading of our $250 contribution to help send 19 year old Sean Stimmel of Los Alamos to the Dem national convention in Denver. Attorney Doug Antoon put the needle in this way: "Joe, I was wondering if you would give me $250 to help me get to the national Republican convention? Even spare change will do. Equal treatment and all that other stuff, ya know. Please mail check asap..."

Funny, Doug. But as they said in Vaudeville: "If I had your money, I'd burn mine." As for equal treatment, we're more than happy to help a financially struggling Republican make it to the GOP convention, but the last we looked that political species was as rare as hen's teeth.

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