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Thursday, February 04, 2010

What State Budget Crisis? Just Change The Subject, Plus: It's True: Craigslist Ad Seeks Foe For ABQ Solon, And: Big Dem Meet Tonite For Light Guv Race 

Talk about changing the subject. Can you believe the deluge of news coverage over that domestic partners bill in Santa Fe?

We know Big Bill, who allowed the measure to be introduced in this budget session, has to love the way it is diverting public attention away from the worst state budget mess in a gazillion years. We bet some of the legislative leadership also does.

Consideration of the bill--which basically would give gay couples the same rights as married couples--is getting dragged out for another couple of days, even though the bill was dead on arrival, just as it was last year.

Duly noting this Governor's laudable human rights record, couldn't this matter have been settled in a couple of hours? Sure, but changing the subject to a hot button topic is a lot easier than dealing with the emptying of the state's cash register and a still deepening fiscal crisis. Isn't it?

ON THE WEB

More Webcasting of the Legislature proceedings is surely a convenience for many New Mexicans unable to make the trek to the capitol. But don't think it will make much difference in improving how government business is conducted. We worked in the Congress when C-SPAN cameras were turned on in 1980. Wheeling and dealing was simply pushed to other corners.

Has the national government improved because we can watch more of the DC follies. No? But it can be entertaining. That's also the case in Santa Fe--with or without the cameras.

DID YOU SEE THIS?

We chortled when we saw this one--an advertisement on craigslist, seeking someone to run for NM House District 20--the legislative seat formerly held by ABQ Mayor RJ Berry. Republican Jim White was appointed to the seat by the Bernalillo County Commission to replace Berry.

Political consultant and attorney Doug Antoon told us he intended to run against White in the GOP primary in this district whichincludes the Four Hills area in the ABQ SE Heights. However, when Antoon took on GOP Guv candidate Pete Domenici as a political client, he folded his challenge. Rep. White has announced he will seek election to the post. There are no announced Dem candidates in the heavy R district that we know of.

So who is advertising for a candidate to run against White? The ad doesn't tell us and neither does it state whether an R or Dem is wanted.

Maybe we should be pleased the position on craigslist is under the category of "nonprofit jobs." We sure don't need any more state officials caught up in corruption capers.

BIG MEETINGS TONIGHT

Looking to get in on the action in that hotly contested Dem Party battle for the lieutenant governor nomination? Well, it's not too late. Tonight the party will hold ward meetings throughout Bernalillo County where delegates will be elected to go to the March preprimary convention that will determine which of the Light Guv hopefuls gets an official spot on the June 1 ballot. McKinley and San Juan counties are also electing delegates tonight. Insiders tell us all told the Dems this evening will likely pick nearly 40 percent of the delegates who will end up voting at the party's March confab.

The Dems don't charge a registration feee. Just show up at your ward meeting at 6:30. More info can be had from Bernalillo County Dems.

It will be difficult to tell which candidates get the most delegates out of the state's largest county after tonight's meetings, but there will be plenty of spin from the campaigns. Insiders believe former Dem Party Chairman is the strongest of the five Light Guv hopefuls in big Bernalillo, but all the candidates are working to turn out their supporters

Feel free to email in your report on any ward meeting you happen to attend this evening.

THE FORBES ONE

We're now having some competition in the endorsement wars in that spirited race for the GOP Guv nomination. Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez has come with the backing of 10 GOP legislators--mainly from outside ABQ--and now contender Doug Turner comes with one big kahuna endorsement---from magazine publisher and onetime GOP Presidential candidate Steve Forbes:

New Mexico needs a leader who is honest, conservative and fiscally responsible. Doug is that leader. He has a proven track record in both the public and private sectors and will bring fresh ideas to New Mexico's government. Doug's experience as a community leader and small businessman make him exactly the kind of Governor New Mexico needs right now. He's not a career politician and I can't think of anyone else better to get the job done. Doug will clean up Santa Fe, slash the size of state government and put an end to the wasteful spending...

The impact of endorsements is limited, but there is some in a smallish affair like a GOP primary. The Forbes endorsement could help Turner get more attention among libertarian leaning segments of the GOP (the Tea Party wing). The Martinez endorsements from legislators could also help her at the party's March preprimary convention where a candidate must secure 20 percent of the delegates win an official spot on the June 1 primary ballot.

ON THE TRAIL

Harry & Doris Montoya
We caught up with Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya and his wife Doris this past weekend as they stopped by the announcement party for Dem Bernalillo County Commission candidate Dan Serrano (Michelle Lujan Grisham and Loretta Naranjo Lopez are the other two candidates in that race).

Montoya, a Santa Fe native, is seeking the Dem nod for land commissioner. Doris is originally Doris Luna of Santa Rosa, but was raised in Santa Fe. Serrano also traces his roots to Santa Rosa.

Meanwhile, former Dem land commissioner Ray Powell, Jr. was getting a boost for his 2010 commissioner candidacy from Animal Protection Voters, whose ad banner is a familiar site on this blog:

Animal Protection Voters (APV) enthusiastically endorses Powell, a veterinarian by training, for having proven himself to be an ethical steward of the land, and a tremendous and outspoken friend of domestic and wild animals alike...


Powell is busy this week banging the drum over the controversial White Peak land exchange engineered by the state land office and current GOP land commissioner Pat Lyons.

Public Regulation Commissioner Sandy Jones is also seeking the Dem nod for land commissioner as is Santa Fe County Commissioner Mike Anaya.

STARTING OUT


If you're young and looking to get started in state politics, you may want to know that the Guv campaign of Diane Denish is looking for interns. If interested, use this email: rlara@dianedenish.com.

We presume you have to be a Dem to qualify to be a Di intern. Surely they will be watching for R's posing as potential interns who want to get started in the always expanding field of political spying.

This is it--the home of New Mexico politics. And I'm Joe Monahan, your usually affable host.

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