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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Potential GOP Foe For Heinrich Emerges, Plus: Open Commission Seat Keeps Names Dropping, And: Kilmer Sighting, But Not Here 

Kevin Daniels
A potential 2010 ABQ congressional match-up is starting to brew. Kevin Daniels, owner of a chain of NM funeral homes, is seriously weighing a run for the GOP nomination for the US House seat held by first-termer and Democrat Martin Heinrich, according to my insiders.

Daniels, about 51, is on a very short list of possible Heinrich rivals. The other on the list is attorney Jon Barela, but he seems to be falling back.

The owner of Daniels Family Funeral Services has been in the funeral biz most of his career, but he does have some public service under his belt. He was a NM state police officer from 1978 to 1982 and served as a commissioner with the Department of Public Safety. His wife, Leonor, is Hispanic and the Daniels Web site says Kevin Daniels has served on the board of directors of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation. He is currently on the board of the New Mexico Bowl as well as Catholic Charities. A tidbit that will titillate Democrats: Republican Daniels donated $500 to Big Bill's 2008 presidential campaign.

Daniels began building his funeral home business here about six years ago. The death biz is a slow-growth business, but it does grow--even in recessions. Raising money will be a key issue for the out-of-favor Republicans as they prepare challenges to the state's three new congressmen. Having a businessman like Daniels who would be able to put his own money into the race would be a major plus.

And before we move on, lets get it out of the way. Is the Daniels candidacy "dead on arrival?" Is Heinrich on his way to a "political funeral?" Whose strike would be "more deadly"--Martin's or Kevin's? Is a bet against Heinrich "dead money?" Well, we could go on, but we won't.....

You're welcome.

COUNTING COUNTY NAMES

While we're name-dropping let's put a couple of more on the table for the Bernalillo County Commission seat soon to be vacated by Deanna Archuleta who is taking a job with the Interior Department in D.C. Former ABQ SE Heights State Senator Shannon Robinson is letting it be know that he would like Big Bill to appoint him to the vacancy. Shannon was defeated for re-election in 2008 when he was ousted by Tim Keller in a Dem primary. Or how about an Archuleta to replace an Archuleta? Arturo Archuleta, Executive Director of the Mexicano Land Education & Conservation Trust, a nonprofit organization providing assistance to Spanish and Mexican community land grants, also is working on the Guv. Deanna departs the commission at the end of the month.

MORE NAME GAME

Then there is literal name dropping--as in dropping the name of convicted felon and former State Senator Manny Aragon from the National Hispanic Cultural Center's torreon (tower). Do you wonder if Manny will write a book while serving time? And did we just scare the bejesus out of a bunch of people by even mentioning the idea?

THE CITY BEAT


ABQ Mayor Marty's impressive support from city workers in collecting donations to qualify for public financing popped up on statewide TV screens. We talked about it with the intrepid Stuart Dyson.

The mayor's race may seem a long way off, but absentee ballots will be sent out September 1st, well in advance of the October 6 election. That's only a little over four months from now.

And what's this? The ABQ City Council wants to spend up t0 $15,000 of taxpayer money to hire a lawyer for a legal fight with Mayor Marty? This in the middle of a recession when the jobs of city workers are threatened? And all this over building a lagoon and a soccer field? We have no problem with the council wanting to fight with the mayor. That's been going on around here for nearly 40 years. But Mr. and Mrs. Albuquerque would rather the councilors pay for their lawyer out of their own paychecks--not theirs. If they are going to act like school kids, let them fight it out on the playground not in expensive tax dollar supported court fights. Are these folks oblivious to what is going on out here?

And finally, Councilor Michael Cadigan, who was forced to drop his mayoral bid because of a lack of public interest, was on TV news (KOAT) Monday night saying the FBI has visited with him about the mayor's use of an airplane for his brief '08 US Senate campaign. Hell hath no fury like a candidate scorned...

WOMEN DRIVE DRUNK--PART II

Last Wednesday's blog from reader Kris Kunnar about the state transportation department's latest anti-drunk driving billboard drew a response from the department. Kris questioned the usefulness of portraying DWI as a gender issue. Veronica Valencia of DOT comes with this:

All of our previous ads had males portraying the offender. As we conducted research we learned that: The number of women arrested for drunk driving has climbed steadily; Almost 25% of DWI arrests are women; Ignition interlock use by females doubled in recent years; Women account for 20% of alcohol involved driver deaths. We held the news conference at the ABQ Metro Detention Center. It was very powerful see just how women’s lives are impacted by DWI.

MORE PAY-TO-PLAY

The other state the Wall Street Journal mentions in this article is our own Land of Enchantment:

A firm affiliated with Hank Morris, the political adviser indicted last month on allegations of extracting improper fees in exchange for investments from New York state's pension fund, helped investment firms secure business in at least one other state, according to people familiar with the matter.

There's more here. The boom is over and now the creepy crawler stuff continues to crawl out from under the rocks.

VAL SIGHTING

It wasn't New Mexico, but actor Val Kilmer who has floated his name for a possible guv run here was spotted at an event with political overtones. He appeared at last week's "2009 Montreal Millennium Summit--An International Gathering for Those Envisioning and Working to Build a Better World."

THE BOTTOM LINES


What happened to a "Chicken in Every Pot!"? New Congressman Harry Teague says in Roll Call:

"More Americans can be energy producers by putting windmills in their backyards."


And he'll' give you a tax credit if you do it. We're still waiting for our chicken....

Did we blog that NM's Lincoln County War was in the 1860's?! After all we've read about that fascinating period?! It was in the 1870's, of course, when Billy the Kid made his name in Lincoln.
I just hope syndicated columnist Jay Miller is away on vacation and didn't read this. He would revoke our honorary citizenship and put us on the Santa Fe Trail back to our native Pennsylvania.

Jay Leno: "And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States is now ready to talk to Cuba. You know what that means? Apparently, we are already interviewing replacements for Texas."

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