Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Primary 2010: Thinking It Over, Plus: Ambush On Campaign Trail On YouTube, And: Latest NM Voter Stats 

Some thoughts on Primary 2010 as we head for the final month of action. Where are all the signs? You know, the ones that seem to breed like rabbits on every major street corner around this time. Not so much this time as candidates are more watchful over their money this cycle, and there's not as much of it because of the down economy....

Do you think that Republican Allen Weh attacking Dem guv hopeful Diane Denish will make her start spending some of that $2.5 million cash hoard she has on hand? We find it hard to imagine that Di won't go with a sturdy primary TV schedule to prevent herself from becoming defined by Allen...

We don't hear anything about any TV debates for the five GOP Guv hopefuls. Come on TV folks, you can do better...Look for only one poll from the ABQ Journal for the June primary, and the odds are they will poll only on the Republican side---the Guv and Light Guv contestants. It will likely come a couple of weeks before the election...

Bored with the primary? How about ABQ Mayor 2013! Possible Dem candidates to take on Republican RJ Berry if he runs again? How about City Councilors Ken Sanchez, Debbie O'Malley and state Senator Tim Keller. Speaking of the mayor...

If he wants complete credibility as he goes about plugging the mammoth $66 million deficit through salary cuts and other means, he needs to first plug his pay raise holes. We blogged how the new city attorney is making $10,000 more than his predecessor and now TV news reports two parks and recreation workers are getting raises of $3,000 and $5,000. That's not going to go down well with other city workers being asked to take 3 percent pay cuts or with the public--both of whom are counting on Berry to balance the budget fairly...

After being prodded by reliable Alligators, we emailed GOP Bernalillo County Commission candidate Wayne Johnson asking if he was the author of the anonymous and often insightful "Eye on Albuquerque" blog. We received no response. What does that say?

Doug Turner
None of the five GOP candidates for governor offered unequivocal support for the controversial immigration law signed into law by the Governor there last week. Politically, you can understand the hedge. The law is a potential rallying cry to drive Hispanic voter turnout for the Dems this fall. In any event, here is the candidate two-step on this one courtesy of the newspaper.

Meantime, Catholic bishops in the state are coming out against the Arizona measure. This is dangerous stuff for the R's and not only in the Guv's race. What if Rep. Harry Teague can start rallying southern Hispanics fearful of an Arizona type attitude? That could make a difference in his toss-up race with Republican Steve Pearce. We're still waiting to see where ABQ GOP congressional candidate Jon Barela stands on this. Maybe an enterprising reporter will ask him?

Down in Florida a Hispanic Republican US Senate candidate is expressing concern about the law. Marco Rubio says: "I think the law has potential unintended consequences, and it’s one of the reasons why I think immigration should be a federal issue, not a state one.”

It's been a long-standing axiom around your blog that the state GOP was practically wiped out by veering too far right. It may still be too far out there for this state. Doug Turner was the only one of the five GOP candidates to express concern that the Arizona law could lead to racial profiling.

Let's spell out what Turner is getting at. The 2009 census estimates say our state's Hispanic population is at 45 percent; Native Americans represent about 10 percent; Blacks are 3 percent of the population and Asians are 1.4 percent. That leaves the White population at 41.7 percent.

At 41, Turner is the youngest of the GOP hopefuls. That he would even mention the threat of "racial profiling" sets him apart from today's party, but perhaps not the one that may be in the making by the next generation.

Kent Evans
It seems Republican Public Regulation Commission candidate Kent Evans needs to hit the books. The former Dona Ana County Commissioner is getting nuked on YouTube in a video that shows him completely befuddled by audience questions. And the questions were the bread and butter of the commission like the recent Blue Cross rate increase deal which was on the front pages of the papers but Evans said he wasn't aware of. Lesson for candidates? Do your homework or get Tubed.

Jamie Estrada, an Evans rival for the nomination, is making sure the embarrassing video is making the rounds. Ben Hall of Ruidoso and Robert Maez of Las Cruces are the other GOP candidates in the race. The winner will take on Democrat Bill McCamley, a former Doña Ana County commissioner.

This PRC seat is being vacated by Sandy Jones who is seeking the Dem nomination for state land commission. The Dem will be favored, but the seat has been in GOP hands in the past so the GOP nomination is worth having.


Reader Bill Lane stopped by the Secretary of State's office recently and passes on the very latest voter registration stats, comparing the numbers from November of last year to today:

Democrats--563,486 in November; 564,466 today--a gain of 980

Republicans--354, 091 in November; 356,283 today--a gain of 2,192

Decline to state (Independent)--170, 023 in November; 174,334 today--a gain of 4,311

Other parties-- 31,630 in November; 32,052 today--a gain of 422

Total voter registration-- 1,119,230 in November; 1,127, 135 today--a gain of 7,905

Democrats are holding steady with 50% of the state's registered voters. The R's are near 32%, a slight uptick. The Independents are now at 15%.

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