Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is Ed Tinsley Really "The Worst Person In the World?" Iraq Comment Goes National, Plus: The Roundhouse & The Nonprofits, And: White & Heinrich Updated 

Ed Tinsley
It wasn't supposed to be this way. According to Republican Alligators, it was "country bumpkin" Harry Teague who was going to trip over his tongue and knock himself out of the race for the Southern NM congressional seat. But lo and behold, who was front and center in the American liberal blogosphere Wednesday for an over-the-top comment on the Iraq war? Why, it was smooth talking GOP congressional hopeful Ed Tinsley. Here's the gift horse of a sentence Tinsley uttered Aug. 7 at a Clovis candidate forum and that was soon flashed across the World Wide Web on sites such as the Daily Kos and won Tinsley the not so coveted "Worst Person in the World Award" from MSNBC talk host Keith Olbermann.

"How am I supposed to call my two nephews over there right now... and tell them I'm running against a guy who will cut your throat." Tinsley said.

Tinsley's comments came before the Association of Commerce and Industry and were edited and released by the state Democratic Party.

Here is the complete forum as presented on the KSNM Radio Web site.

While Dems were ecstatic over what they perceive as a major campaign gaffe, Republicans were more understanding toward Tinsley, saying the comments might have the liberals jumping for joy, but they are not going to fatally injure the Capitan rancher in the conservative south. Tinsley's campaign statement is below, but first here's Keith Olbermann awarding Ed his worst person pick.

Tinsley made the comments at an Association of Commerce and Industry joint appearance with Teague. That's a conservative group, but even there Ed drew boos and hisses for the remarks. Last night, as his fledgling campaign based in Ruidoso absorbed the national shock waves sent forth by the liberal chattering class, Tinsley released this reaction:

“What I said in the August 7 candidate forum regarding funding of U.S. troops in Iraq were no doubt harsh words. However, if these words caused my opponent to change his mind to support funding that provides necessary body armor, weapons and other equipment to help our troops in harm’s way to achieve their mission--and to not demand immediate withdrawal--then they were well worth it.”

This video is of interest on another level. Ever since Teague came with TV spots in the June primary that did not have him speaking on camera, he has been shadowed by talk that he is not ready for prime-time and that Tinsley will roll over him in public appearances. But Teague more than holds his own in this video, not at all like the country cousin he has been made out to be.

Sen. Feldman
Rather than have Attorney General King dancing around with Secretary of State Herrera over having political nonprofits like the Center For Civic Policy release the names of their donors and their expenditures, why not have the Legislature pass a law mandating disclosure? Look for such a measure to be introduced in January.

After being chided by critics and reporters, the Center released to the ABQ Journal the names of the foundations that have given it money, but refused to release the names of individual donors. Political observers are still trying to digest the stunning amount of money--$1.645 million--that political operative Eli Lee, who runs the Center, says it will take in over a two year period.

Dem State Senator Dede Feldman has been in the forefront of campaign finance reform. Would the ABQ North Valley lawmaker be willing to sponsor a full-disclosure measure? We're just asking.


Republicans have plenty of things to kick themselves over this election cycle, so adding one more to the list probably won't hurt too much. But it deserves mention. With all the problems Democratic Public Regulation Commissioner candidate Jerome Block, Jr. is having, why is there no Republican in the race? It's especially bad because there is a Green Party candidate for the seat, Rick Lass, who could take votes from Block by appealing to Dems concerned with Block's past. That would mean the Republican could come up the middle and take the heavily Dem seat.

It happened in '97 when Bill Redmond took the northern congressional seat when an ethically challenged Dem was nominated and a Green was also in the race. But there will be no repeat of history in 2008. The R's failed to field a PRC contender. So, if GOP Chairman Allen Weh is looking for a reason to kick himself, he has one.


A top D.C. Republican was in ABQ this week, giving a pep talk to local R's who worry about a Democratic tidal wave costing them the US Senate seat and the two US House seats they hold. But Rep. Tom Cole, chair of the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee (NRCCC), could offer little more than talk. While the campaign arm for House Democrats is pledging $1.3 million in TV for Southern Dem Harry Teague, the NRCC simply says money will come for Republican Ed Tinsley, but hardly anyone believes the committee, with only several million in the bank, will dole out much cash to Tinsley. In fact, one school of thought has it that Tinsley, independently wealthy, is expected to write his own check if he can't keep the upper hand in the Republican lending district.

Darren White is not independently wealthy and the question of national R donations for the ABQ US House GOP nominee is more serious. National Dems have pledged a $1.2 million TV buy for Dem Martin Heinrich. Cole attended a fund-raiser for White at the ABQ Four Hills home of Mickey Barnett, the lawyer-lobbyist, who has been a player in NM GOP politics for many years. But there was no announcement of funding for White. His supporters are eyeing the Republican National Committee coffers where over $50 million rests. They hope that some of that cash will find its way to ABQ and White.

It's hard not to believe that White will not end up getting national R help as well as significant third party support in the form of TV ads, but there is no guarantee. The Bernalillo County sheriff opted not to run any TV ads in the June primary, saving his funds for the general election, and he has already been slightly outraised by Dem Martin Heinrich, according to the latest finance reports. White, however, has more cash in the bank.

By the way, why aren't Heinrich and White pounding each other into the cement?


Bob Gallagher, head of the NM Oil and Gas Association, is still a Democrat. We lumped him in the category of "Republican heavyweight" when we posted a list of hosts for today's Tanoan Country Club lunch for Steve Pearce featuring GOP Senator Pete Domenici. So why is Dem Bob supporting R Steve? "I believe Udall is running against my industry instead of Pearce, and I cannot sit back and take that..."

The matanza tradtion is alive and well in New Mexico. ABQ South Valley brothers Steve and Dickie Gallegos will put the pig in the ground this Saturday afternoon as they host Dem Senate nominee Tom Udall. The matanza will be at the home of Diego Gallegos and Theresa Archuleta...

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