Friday, May 14, 2010

Bill Clinton Coming For Di And Sarah Palin Coming For Martinez, Plus: Our Exclusive Poll: Vanzi-Montoya Court Duel, And: TV Watch: Weh Invokes Reagan, 

Insiders inform that former President Bill Clinton will be in ABQ Tuesday to campaign for soon-to-be Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish at a $500 a pop fund-raiser at the Embassy Suites at 4 p.m. Ticks available thru this email: sfitzer@dianedenish.com.

The news of the Clinton visits comes on the heels of Di's TV debut with this sixty second ad. It drew somewhat mixed reviews in Dem quarters. Most were happy to see her on the air for the June 1 primary, but concerns were expressed that the ad represented a bit of a turn to the right. The Clinton visit will give her a boost with Hispanics and working class Dems, the core of the party's base that the ad may not have appealed to. However, we doubt many of them will be able to afford $500 bucks to see Bill. (The campaign says tickets are also available for $100.)


Sarah Palin, former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP VP nominee will endorse GOP Guv candidate Susana Martinez Sunday morning at an ABQ rally. The campaign says the rally will be held at 9:00 AM at the Albuquerque Marriott Grand Ballroom at 2101 Louisiana Blvd. NE.


NM Court of Appeals Judge Linda Vanzi appears to have a pretty good shot at prevailing over primary challenger Dennis Montoya, but the case is not closed.

In our exclusive poll of likely Dem primary voters Wednesday night, New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan asked 342 likely voters: "If the Democratic primary election for Judge of the Court of Appeals, Position 2 was held today, would you vote for Linda Vanzi or Dennis Montoya?”

Vanzi was chosen by 38.7%. Montoya received 26.5%. 34.8% of the voters were Undecided.

Republican Bruce Donisthorpe, a veteran of state politics and polling and VP of Government and Public relations for Manzano Strategies, helped set up the survey. He had this analysis:

Vanzi is trending toward a win if she keeps up the current pace She has solid leads in each of the congressional districts and solid leads among older voters, who are the most reliable voters.

Montoya polled strong in the rural counties, especially those dominated by Hispanic voters and leads among Hispanics by almost a 2 to 1 margin. If Hispanic voter turnout surges, he could close the gap and it could make for a long Election Night.

Vanzi leads Montoya among women 38% to 27%, with 35% Undecided. She leads by the same margin among men voters. We have posted more cross tabs from the poll and the polling memo here.

The Vanzi-Montoya race is the only Dem contest so far that has seen tough campaigning, with Vanzi dropping a mail piece questioning Montoya's ethics and integrity. She is also better financed than Montoya. Vanzi's detractors have dubbed her as a "radical feminist" but Montoya has not yet done any paid media. He does defend himself against Vanzi's charges on his website.

Vanzi's consultants are sure to keep the heat on Montoya as ethnic voting in the lower ballot races is a long tradition that has produced numerous winners in New Mexican politics.

Our poll was conducted by automatic phone call by Dialing Services, LLC of Roswell, NM. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.3 percent.


ABQ Mayor RJ Berry had a hard line on illegal immigrants in his campaign for mayor last year, pledging to have the police department get tougher in cracking down on illegals making their way here. But in unveiling the city's "new" policy Thursday Berry pedaled softly, trying to appease his right-wing Republican base, but not pulling an Arizona and igniting a firestorm over racial profiling and discrimination.

Berry's policy says anyone who is arrested will have their immigration status checked and that it will be done with a partnership formed with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Berry claimed this ends the "sanctuary city" policy for the city, but the police department said during the campaign that suspects were already having their immigration status checked. This perhaps makes that policy more robust. It does not address APD policy for persons not being arrested, which was what the campaign controversy was about.

Berry played with fire when he used this issue to get elected and early reaction to his announcement was mixed among Hispanic politicos we spoke to. On the Republican right, Berry was criticized for not going far enough.

Berry is walking a tightrope he probably never needed to get on to get elected, but now that he is on it, the city wants him to get across it and move on. We don't need the city's well-deserved reputation for tolerance and diversity compromised and we certainly don't need to flirt with policies that are going to hurt our local businesses more than they are already hurting in this economic recession. By choosing not to handle this hot potato directly, Berry spares himself and the city. But that doesn't mean many of us aren't nervous---and watchful.


This one isn't very subtle. All you need to know about the latest TV ad from GOP Guv hopeful Allen Weh is that he calls himself "a Reagan Republican." The spot also dubs the retired military man "a jobs governor," addressing what polling shows is the state's top issue.

This is pretty strong stuff and the kind that can start moving the undecided voters who may not know much about Weh, but can now hang their hat on the Reagan reference.

Weh's use of former President Reagan reminds us that retired NM GOP US Senator Pete Domenici, whose son Pete Jr. is running against Weh, never identified himself as a Reagan Republican. In fact, back in the day the senior Domenici, then a deficit hawk, often clashed with the Reagan White House on budget policy.

Dem Light Guv candidate Jose Campos has come with his first TV spot. You can see it here.


We'll await those polling numbers from the ABQ Journal in the GOP Guv race and post a blog for you on them Sunday, so be sure to stop by for a weekend visit.

Glad to have you with us this week.

From Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan reporting.

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