Monday, June 21, 2010

Di's Pro-Incumbent Talk, Plus: More Punditry From Big Bill, And: Homans And The Spaceport: Mixed Feelings In Cruces 

Voters may be in an anti-incumbent mood, but Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish certainly isn't when it comes to elected county officials in NM. The Light Guv, in a speech before the NM Association of Counties, backed a constitutional amendment that would allow county commissioners and other elected county officials like sheriff and assessor to go for a third, four year term. Right now, they get to go for two terms or a total of eight years. Said Di:

I'm going to be voting for constitutional Amendment 2 so you guys can continue to do your great jobs..The experience and continuity is really worth something...

But what about fresh faces and new ideas being worth something? Let the debate begin. The constitutional amendment will be decided at the polls Nov. 2.


Di is lucky that Big Bill can't run for a third term. The odds that he would be re-elected--and she along with him for a third term as Light Guv--would be low. Denish's dream of being governor would end with such a defeat.

New Mexico only allowed one four year term for its governor from 1971 until 1994. That's when R Gary Johnson won his first of two four year terms. Before the 70's, state governors were allowed to serve a total of four years, but their terms were for two years.


Big Bill put on his pundit cap last week, analyzing the race that will determine who will take his place. Of the Republican Guv ticket of Susana Martinez and John Sanchez, he opined:

The most important dynamic is going to be, can the Republicans take advantage of having two Hispanics at the top of the ticket? That’s probably never happened anywhere in the country...

Actually, it has. Former ABQ Journal reporter Larry Calloway, who was around in the 60's, reminded everyone that Fabian Chavez and Mike Alarid formed the 1968 NM Guv ticket. They lost to Republican Dave Cargo and E. Lee Francis.

But Big Bill's main point is that the Hispanic vote this year will be key. It traditionally votes heavily for the Dem. But if some of those votes are lured away by the GOP's all Hispanic ticket, it could make the difference.

On the other hand, if Di, who was born and raised in Hobbs can peel off Anglo votes in the southeast that traditionally go to the R's but might balk at an all Hispanic ticket, she could make up lost Hispanic votes.

It's just one of many angles that will keep all the pundits, including Big Bill, fully occupied with Campaign '10.

Is Big Bill ally and former NM Taxation and Revenue Secretary Rick Homans the right pick to permanently lead the NM Spaceport Authority? The Las Cruces Sun-News has mixed feelings:

Our concern is that Homans had this position before, and left for what he believed to be greener pastures. This is a critical time for the spaceport. Construction is accelerating...It is absolutely imperative that Homans sees this project through to completion...

Homans led a national search for a new spaceport director and the search ended with him. Kind of like when Dick Cheney picked himself to become Bush's Veep.

Homans served as the first chairman of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority from 2005 to 2007, and was briefly its executive director in 2007. Homans served as Secretary of Economic Development from 2003 through 2007,

The spaceport is one of the most potentially promising projects for the state's future. Could it eventually become a center for a myriad of space initiatives as Sandia and Los Alamos became the focus of nuclear science in the last century? A major player in the commercial space industry, employing hundreds if not thousands? We can hope.

The next governor--whoever she is--needs to keep this one front and center.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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