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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Alligators Out Stealth ABQ Visit By McCain For Barela, Plus: Readers Chip In On Recent News Of La Politica 

Barela & McCain
John McCain may be one of the most recognizable Republican names in USA politics, but ABQ GOP congressional candidate Jon Barela was in no rush to let folks know that the Arizona senator was in town for a June 4 fund-raiser at Yanni's restaurant. In fact, there was no publicity at all for the McCain visit. The 2008 GOP presidential nominee swooped into the city, did his $250 per person fund-raiser and was on his way.

McCain was trounced in NM by Obama, garnering only 42 percent of the vote, but his somewhat centrist politics have had appeal here. But McCain now faces a fierce GOP primary for his US Senate seat and perhaps his strong veer to the right on the touchy issue of immigration had Barela keeping the senator under wraps. From the LA Times:

Lately, however, McCain has transformed himself from a champion of broad-based reform — who spoke of illegal immigrants as "God's children," deserving of love and compassion — into a fierce advocate for the kind of crackdown he once scorned.

In a recent TV ad, McCain blamed illegal immigrants for all manner of problems facing his state: "smuggling, home invasions, murder." It is time, he said, for Washington to "complete the danged fence."

Barela has come out against the controversial Arizona immigration law and is trying to woo Hispanic voters in the ABQ district which elected Dem Martin Heinrich in '08 and who Barela hopes to depose this November.

Barela isn't alone in trying to hide a famous face from the public, but still use them to boost their campaign kittys. Martin Heinrich brought in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a fund-raiser in October '08, but her appearance was not publicized and she granted no interviews. But that visit, as the McCain stop, did end up being publicized as the Alligators went to work. This time around they even sent a photo, (albeit one that had to be brightened) of McCain and Barela together.

Remember candidates, you may run, but you can't hide from the Alligators.

THE APD SHOOTINGS

A reader writes of the APD shootings and our coverage this week:

It seems you, and others, are very concerned about police oversight, now that the chief administrative officer (David Campbell) has been taken out of the equation...This is a good point and certainly needs more review, but trying to tie your argument to eight police shootings is like comparing apples to oranges. A police shooting is reviewed by civilians, and outside police agencies at every step. So if there is any one police incident that certainly has more civilian review that any other it is a police shooting.

Now you do make an excellent point about APD possibly being a younger department...

WHO'S THE MESSENGER?

We also note the communications policy, or lack thereof, of the APD. On TV news we have Public Safety Director Darren White explaining the recent shootings and in the newspaper we have APD Chief Ray Schultz doing the explaining. We also had Mayor Berry commenting on the shootings to TV news.Where is the communication policy here? Seems we may have too many cooks in the kitchen. That doesn't send the clearest of signals to the public.

GATOR ON CAMPBELL

A Senior Alligator takes a bite out of the APD story:

If ABQ Chief Administrative Officer David Campbell no longer has supervision over the police and fire departments, which account for half the city budget, shouldn't his pay check be cut in half?

Well, Campbell makes $155,000 a year, so that could be a big savings. But then you might have give a big raise to Public Safety Director White who has taken over those supervisory chores from the CAO.

THE AD WAR

Reader Antonio Gomez comes with this take on the Spanish language TV ad from GOP Guv nominee Susana Martinez:

That is one powerful ad. The Denish camp should be alarmed. Martinez' Spanish is flawless. My only criticism of it is that it is a bit provincial, i.e., the child abuse case which most people have forgotten, except perhaps in Doña Ana county.

Her campaign has to come to the realization that she is no longer running a local campaign. Were she to win, she would have not only a statewide presence, but as a Hispanic woman, definitely some national attention.

Thanks, Antonio. The Baby Brianna case that Martinez references in her TV ad did receive statewide and national attention.

THE BOTTOM LINES

From the Governor's office:

Governor Richardson announced that he has appointed Yvette Gonzales to fill the vacancy on the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court in Albuquerque.

“Yvette Gonzales has the daily courtroom experience and the temperament to work effectively in a high stress position, making her a great addition to Metro Court,” said Governor Richardson.

Gonzales began a sole practice in Albuquerque earlier this year after working as Special Counsel for Speaker of the House Ben Lujan. She previously worked at the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office for twelve years...Gonzalez is a 1997 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Gonzales fills the vacancy in District IX, replacing Judge Victoria J. Grant who was forced into retirement following controversy over her courtroom conduct.

And being Guv can sometimes be a fun gig. Like when you get to administer marriage vows to movie stars at your official mansion. Congrats to Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. Which reminds us of this one...

Some people ask the secret of our marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant twice a week--a little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays; I go Fridays.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
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