Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pearce: Coming Off His Perch Soon? Plus: An APS Jackpot, Mayor Race News & Readers Write the Right History On NM US Senate Seat 

Insiders expect former GOP Congressman Steve Pearce to be armed with fresh polling information in the next couple of weeks and then decide whether to pull the trigger on a 2010 run. It seems he is leaning towards a go for his old southern congressional seat now held by Dem Harry Teague. Congressional Quarterly correspondent Leah Carliner spoke with us from D.C. about Pearce's next move and the blow back she was getting was mainly about Pearce running for Congress and speculation about Teague's potential vulnerability to Pearce. A Pearce run for the GOP Guv nomination was not getting much hype.

Those close to Pearce, who held the southern seat for three terms, say he could also decide not to run for anything next year, but at 62 the window of opportunity is closing. If he wants any chance at reviving his flagging political career, he may have to make the dash.

GOP operatives report that key Republicans are starting to get antsy about Pearce of Hobbs and that other famous Republican--ex-ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson. The concern is that while these two decide what to do, it is putting on hold the political plans of potential newcomers.


Hey, Dr. Brooks, can we use your accountants to balance our checkbook?

Albuquerque Public Schools officials announced they had located $16 million in their cash reserves fund that had been unreported for at least 10 years. Superintendent Winston Brooks said he was "quite frankly embarrassed on behalf of the district." He credited the APS accounting director with the discovery, which he learned about last week and reported to the state Public Education Department and to the school board.

Ten years and the accounting director gets credit for finding the money? Do they also get credit for NOT finding the money? Dr. Brooks hasn't been around here all that long, but he's a quick learner when it comes to the art of spin in La Politica.


And one would think (and hope) this is just the beginning:

Spurred by recent scandals in New Mexico and other states, the State Investment Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to ban the use of third-party marketers by companies seeking state investment business. The council--which oversees the investment of $11 billion in state permanent funds--also voted to no longer allow companies seeking and receiving investment contracts to give campaign contributions to elected officials or people seeking election to a post that would have influence over state investments.


Mayoral candidate Richard Romero continues to organize for the October showdown to come. His campaign reports Nina Simbaña is the Field Director.

Nina recently managed the field operation for (ABQ Dem State) Senator Tim Keller, who beat a 20-year incumbent 66% to 34% through a strong field campaign. She has also worked with (ABQ Dem State) Senator Cisco McSorley on his re-election campaigns. Nina has been actively involved with neighborhood associations in ABQ.


Republican Bob Cornelius says it will be a bid for land commissioner for him in 2010. He weighed a run for a southern Public Regulation Commission seat, but current GOP Land Commissioner Pat Lyons is now in that race. Says Cornelius, 29, of Tatum in Lea County:

“Growing up and living in an oil and ranching community has given me an unique perspective on the State Land Office and its vital role in our state government. Oil and gas are the backbone of our economy, but I believe that we must diversify in order to provide new jobs.. Also...I will be an avid protector of our public lands, assuring they will be preserved for future generations."

For the Dems, former land commissioner Ray Powell, Jr. has told us he is a go and Santa Fe County Commissioner Mike Anaya is also weighing a bid.


We were impressed with those teen volunteers from Rio Rancho who helped make President Obama's recent visit to Rio Rancho High School a success. We ran a photo of them, but we didn't have their names. Turns out the photo was snapped by Sam Thompson who e-mails in:

The gals are members of the Rio
Rancho High School Student Council and they are Sara Larion, Holly Marquez, Kaitlin Garcia, and Candice McKenna.

So the ladies have each been elected once, are of voting age (18) or will be next year? Hmmm. That means if one one of them ran as the lieutenant governor candidate with Republican Allen Weh--the oldest Guv contender at age 66--Weh could then brag that the average age of his ticket is only 42---the youngest ticket of all!

Oops, we forgot. The gals were volunteers for Democrat Obama. Okay, back to the drawing board for Allen. But ladies, stand by. We may have just given Val Kilmer an idea.

Oh, drat! Jacob Candelaria, e-mailing us from Princeton University where he is in the class of '09, had to go and ruin our fun after reading that passage:

Joe, Even if Weh could come to terms with their more liberal undertones, the New Mexico Constitution bars these ladies from serving in the Executive branch until they are 30 years of age (Article V Section 3).

We don't even know these gals and already we've put their political careers on ice. Sam Thompson was a political adviser to former NM Attorney General Patricia Madrid and took the picture so we're passing the buck to her. Can we run them for mayor of Rio Rancho, Sam? (Look out, Mayor Swisstack.)

Sen. Montoya
We only had the error up for a few hours, but it was enough to get us showered with e-mail flame. In Tuesday's first edition blog we said it had been "eons" since a NM US House member had advanced directly to a NM US Senate seat. Duh?! Didn't Dem US Rep. Tom Udall just do that in 2008 when he went from the northern US House seat to the US Senate? Indeed he did. Before last year, you had to go back to 1964 to find another example. That's when Dem US Rep. Joe Montoya advanced to the US Senate. That's what we were thinking about when we made the "eons" comment. In any event, the Udallites were out in force to keep us on the straight and narrow as was our informal NM blog historian--Davy Jones of Antioch, Tennessee: (don't ask why Tennessee)

The last NM Congressman elected Senator (before Udall) was Joseph Montoya in 1964 when he defeated incumbent Republican Edwin Mechem (who had himself appointed to the seat in '62 as Governor when incumbent Senator Dennis Chavez died).

Only three NM Senators previously served in the US House. Republican Thomas Catron, who served as a U.S. Delegate prior to statehood and Democrats Dennis Chavez & Clinton P. Anderson. However, Montoya was the only one to go directly from the House to the Senate. Catron had to wait over 15 years after his 1895-97 term until he reached the Senate in 1912 with statehood; then-Congressman Chavez ran against incumbent Republican Bronson Cutting in 1934, but was defeated in a 1,300 vote nail biter, yet ended up getting appointed by Dem Governor Clyde Tingley when Cutting died in a plane crash six months later; Anderson resigned the House in 1945 early into his third term when President Truman made him Secretary of Agriculture, only to resign that office in 1948 when Sen. Carl Hatch retired.

Democrat Chris Cervini spoke for the majority of our alert e-mailers when he zinged:

Jeez, Joe, all that Starbucks coffee may be rotting your brain.:)

You're right, Chris. It was the Starbucks. The e-mailer who blamed it on "too much, sex, drugs and rock and roll" was a couple of years late.

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