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Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Election Pre-Game Show Today at 5 on 89.1 FM, Plus: Steaking Out Allen Weh; Our Restaurant Encounter 

Who's up and who's down going into the final hours of Primary 2010? What were the turning points of the campaign? Those are just some of the topics we'll cover for you today on our traditional pre-game show at 5 p.m. on KANW 89.1 FM. You can catch the stream here. My panel of experts this year include ABQ GOP state Rep. Larry Larranaga and former GOP state Rep. Greg Payne. They will be joined by former NM Dem Party chair John Wertheim and ABQ Journal political reporter Sean Olson. We'll also try to get some predictions out of them on the key races. So spend some of your holiday with us and tune in to see who's the bravest.

Then on Tuesday--Election Night--join us again for wall-to-wall coverage of the results beginning at 6:30 on 89.1 FM. Our Election team will be back and at full strength with early numbers from key precincts and the in-depth analysis you have come to expect.

Public radio coverage of Primary 2010 is made possible this year by ABQ Economic Development, The Garrity Group, Serrano and Sons, Constructors and Cordova Public Relations.

Thanks to them and to you for your continued interest and support.

ON THE TOWN
Martinez & Weh
Out on the town Saturday night, we ran into Allen Weh and his wife Becky at a steakhouse sharing laughs with their family and seemingly unperturbed about the trend of this election which shows Susana Martinez securing the GOP nomination Tuesday and Weh finishing second.

Weh told us that Martinez was still going negative over the weekend, saying she has a spot up that quotes NM GOP Chairman Harvey Yates and GOP legislative leader Keith Gardner as critical of Weh's ad attacks on Martinez. Weh told me that is not going to help unify the party after Tuesday. He said of the latest hit: "They do so at their own peril."

If the polls are right and Weh loses this race after spending $1.6 million of his personal fortune, he is not going to be a happy camper. But he has perspective that comes with 67 years.

Weh is a retired Marine Reserve Colonel who saw combat in Vietnam. This campaign is tough stuff, but it's not life and death. In addition, he's a cancer survivor. His term as party chairman was divisive and ended with major GOP losses across the board. He is well aware that the battlefields of La Politica produce few long-term winners. Weh also has the luxury of having built a successful business that will see him through his later years and a supportive family to enjoy it with.

Back on the campaign trail, the defense of Martinez by Chairman Yates has not settled well with some of the other GOP candidates and has re-opened wounds that have been festering in the state's minority party for years. They began around the time we started this blog, in 2003, when state Senator Ramsay Gorham was ousted as party chair by a faction that included state Senator Rod Adair and lawyer/lobbyist Mickey Barnett. Weh was selected to replace Gorham, but now the faction that gave him their blessing has made their home with Susana.

This lengthy memo posted here from an unidentified but obviously insider Republican reviews the history of the party over the last seven years, asserting it has been controlled by a"group" that used it for its own financial gain with little concern about winning. Much of this we covered back in the day. That it resurfaces now shows that this hard-hitting GOP primary has taken its toll.

The current leadership of the party has barely used a fig leaf to cover its favoritism toward Martinez. That Chairman Yates and his executive director Ryan Cangliosi need to extend olive branches in many directions following Tuesday's results is a given.

THE CAMPAIGN THAT WAS


In our brief chat with Weh, who we often tangled with when he was chairman of the party, he commented that our coverage of the primary has been "very fair." He also said we would make a good stand-up comedian. And that was before we joked with Weh that he needn't worry about his dinner check--that we just spotted Bob Perry of Texas in the bar and he was picking it up.

Of course, New Mexico politics supplies enough humor to keep an entire comedy club profitable.

Our coverage this primary covered most of the angles, but we and other observers we sometimes quoted were a bit late spotting the turn toward Martinez. Weh was spending so much money and clinging to that early lead for so long, the mind-set was that he was going to take the prize. But our political antenna was not completely insensitive. We did sense that something big was happening and commissioned a scientific poll to confirm our suspicion. That survey, released last Wednesday, showed Martinez 11 points ahead and broke the race open for the New Mexico public.

AMICI ELECTION SPECIAL

Here's a good Election Day deal from one of our sponsors. Amici restaurant at 4243 Montgomery NE is offering a 20 percent discount on their menu selections all day Tuesday, June 1--Primary Day. Just mention that you heard about the discount on this blog or drop the name of Dan Silva, the former state representative who co-owns the popular Italian eatery. Dan adds that in addition to the discount, Amici will also provide free delivery on June 1 to candidates' campaign headquarters or your own Election Night party. So make your plans today (884-9900).

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
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