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Friday, February 13, 2009

New Life Sought For Contentious Domestic Partners Bill; Supporters Float Poll Of Key Senate Districts, Plus: Pete's Much Photographed Past 

Sens. Sanchez & Martinez
Big Bill told reporters this week that the controversial domestic partners legislation--killed in Senate Judiciary--may still have some life. "It’s not over. Keep on eye on it," advised the Guv. Maybe he's seen the insider polling information we are about to pass on to you. It's kind of surprising because it shows the domestic partners bill winning solid support in the districts of the two Senators who were instrumental in killing it in committee--Senators Richard Martinez and Bernadette Sanchez. Maybe the poll results could help the Guv persuade one of them to make an about face?

The poll was taken among registered voters and by a firm with a reliable history and after the Senate Judiciary vote. Here's the question:

A state law has been proposed that would allow two adults, regardless of their gender, to become domestic partners. It would give them the same legal rights and protection as a married couple. This would include health and financial protections that married couples now get. Do you support or oppose this proposal? Is that strongly or somewhat?


In Senator Martinez's northern district in the Rio Arriba County area the results were: Strongly support--37 percent; Somewhat support--24 percent; strongly oppose--28%; somewhat oppose--10 percent; Don't know--1 percent.

That's a total of 61 percent indicating support in Martinez's socially conservative district.

In Senator Sanchez's ABQ Westside district: Strongly support--42 percent; somewhat support--21 percent; strongly oppose--25 percent; somewhat oppose--6 percent; don't know--5 percent.

That's 63 percent showing some support for the measure in Sanchez's district. Instead of voting on the measure in committee, she took a walk, but said if she had voted she would have voted no.

If either Martinez or Sanchez change their mind and proponents manage to get a full Senate vote, it could mean the bill passes. It's that close.

PETE'S PICTURES

The Pete Domenici story is not over for New Mexico, not with a federal grand jury still looking into the US Attorney scandal and Domenici's role in it. But the former GOP Senator's 36 year run in the Senate--the longest of anyone in state history--is concluded. Photographer Mark Bralley, whose work many of you became familiar with through our site when we toiled together on the 2008 campaign and before, has put together quite the retrospective of Pete's long career. Bralley was there with his camera as far back as 1970 when Pete lost his only political race--a run for the Governor's chair. And he was there at the end. That's a long run-- for both the politician and the photographer...

Now photog Mark may think he has the lock on Pete pics, but the one accompanying this story is our little exclusive. We shot that pic of Pete by famed cartoonist Oliphant on our camera phone at the ABQ Museum where it hangs in the permanent collection. Feel free to add it to your collection, Mark, courtesy of a Senior Alligator.

SUCCEEDING PETE

The man who took Pete's place in the Senate, Democrat Tom Udall is finding that expectations can often be high. The Los Alamos Monitor, never a big fan of Udall who held the northern congressional seat before moving to the Senate, comes with the first negative editorial of Udall's senatorial career. They say his committee assignments are lightweight and won't pack much power for the state.

LIFE AFTER PETE

And a longtime staffer for ex-Senator Domenici--state director Lisa Breeden---has a new job, but she is still associated with her old boss. She is now the development director of the Mind Research Network.

The Mind Research Network (MRN) announces the creation of the Domenici Discovery Fund to help advance research that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and other brain disorders. Retired Senator Pete Domenici established MRN in Albuquerque ten years ago. His vision to unlock the puzzles of brain diseases has grown into MRN being recognized as a world class neuro diagnostic research facility...

SANTA FE CRIME WAVE


We've closely watched the Santa Fe crime wave of recent years, hoping it could be tamed before it permanently changed the character of the treasured capital city. The good news of late is that crime seems to have settled down; the bad news is that the level of crime is settling down at a high level. Mayor David Coss seems to have made strides. He is up for election in about a year and will be judged then on whether they've been big enough.

THE BOTTOM LINES

From the Roundhouse:

Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, introduced a bill providing for the control of feral hogs, and preventing people from importing, transporting, breeding, or setting up commercial hunting operations involving them.

That's those hogs in Roswell, not Santa Fe? Is that right, Candy?

Voted Albuquerque's Best Blog by readers of ABQ, The Magazine--This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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