Thursday, August 26, 2010
Emotions Roused Over Poll Showing Di Lagging Susana, Plus: Judge Gone Wild: What To Do With Bob Schwartz, And: Bear Market Still Grips ABQ
Democratic emotions erupted in the wake of the news passed along here Wednesday that our reliable sources tell us that Republican Susana Martinez held a double-digit lead (12 points) over Dem Diane Denish in a mid-August automatic phone poll conducted by a candidate for statewide office.
Never mind that we explained that much of this lead is because voters naturally friendly to Martinez--R's and conservative independents- have come home to her early and that the poll was taken a couple of weeks ago and could be long in the tooth. That didn't stop the alarm bells from being sounded and the email circuits from getting clogged with concern.
Many politicos apparently spent the summer in their hammocks, unaware that this is a rough year for Democrats. We're happy to give them a wake-up call; we just hope they didn't spill their umbrella decorated drinks on themselves. We don't have a budget for dry cleaning bills.
Several of our emailers joked that we ought to charge veteran ABQ Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff a promotional fee because interest in his first poll on the Guv race to be released Sunday is now as highly anticipated as the latest edition of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. (Well, maybe not quite).
With polling frenzy mounting, we decided to check in with two old hands of La Politica and seek some consensus on what that poll will show when the papers drop on the dew-moistened lawns this weekend.
Veteran Dem pollster Harry Pavlides offers reassurance to his political brethren. The Journal poll, he predicts, will reveal a four point lead for Martinez. He bases that on his knowledge of the poll's methodology--who they poll--and his own gut instinct for the race.
"The Democrats have to learn how to effectively attack Martinez in the final two months" He declared.
Another of our analysts for the cycle, former ABQ GOP City Councilor Greg Payne, offered no Pavlides palliatives. He said Dem newspaper readers Sunday will get heartburn with their Huevos Rancheros, prognosticating not only that Martinez will sport a 10 point lead over Denish, but that Susana will be right at the magic number of 50%.
"We will be surprised by how well Martinez is doing in Bernalillo County," he argued.
We wonder if Payne's prediction for our Democratic readers is really a form of torture. To keep him honest, if he is too far off he's buying lunch for a posse of Alligators.
MORE WHITE BREAD
Speaking of Alligators, we heard from one of the Senior and Democratic variety in response to our analysis on how various polling is showing Denish having problems nailing down the Hispanic vote--a usually reliable Democratic block.
Your column really nails the Denish problem. If she doesn't do what you and others have recommended regarding the North we can kiss the Gov race goodbye. She should have shaken up her campaign staff right after the primary and brought more Hispanics in to key positions. I am reminded of the (former Governor) Bruce King inner circle that didn't exactly embrace Hispanics. To some extent he overcame it personally with his memory for people and warmth. But it was old school.
We all know that (Denish campaign chair) Ted Martinez hasn't been a player in Diane's strategic operation. But Ted represents the past and not the present reality. There is indeed a deficit in the Denish's likability in the North and the chickens coming home to roost. However, Dems know the stakes are high so they may pitch in and help if she reaches out.
Denish isn't tone deaf. Posted with this story is a flyer (click to enlarge) for a mid-September Matanza in the village of San Jose, south of Las Vegas. Denish will be feted at the event which is sponsored by State Senator Phil Griego. Dems are hopeful the party will attract several thousand people the old fashioned way--with free food. Heck, with this economy they may run out of chicharrones.
KICKIN' THE DEMS
More from the email and a Senior Alligator who favors Martinez:
The Democrat political class have a vested interest in a Denish win that gets in the way of what is best for New Mexico. There must be punishment at the polls in November for the excesses of the past eight years...A Denish election would mean a signal to the miscreants that there is no price to pay for corruption. The voters will not so signal. Instead, they want someone with balls and brains to clean up Santa Fe and let the chips fall where they may. The Democrat political class who hope to keep business as usual after November are delusional about the voters intent.
Finally, Hispanic attraction for Susana is not a momentary flirtation where we eventually go home with Denish. She will not be taken home at closing time.
JUDGE GONE WILD
Here's a good one. You're a district court judge in ABQ and take to the sack (or try to) with the 29 year old assistant public defender who represented defendants in your courtroom. On your first date you give her a "gag gift" of a book titled,"The One Hour Orgasm" with a picture of yourself in judicial robes pasted over the picture of the book's author.
And to make sure you make a good first impression you also give the lady a pair of purple latex gloves that she can use to masturbate herself. Isn't that special?
But it's no joke. It's the latest from ABQ District Court Judge Bob Schwartz, a former Bernalillo County district attorney, who says he got off his meds and soon after became a role model for "Judges Gone Wild."
So what happens to a member of the court who flips out like this on the bench? If it's around here, apparently not much. The NM Judicial Standards Commission is mulling over a 60 day unpaid suspension for the 60 year old wayward jurist.
Everyone knows Bob Schwartz and he's a darn likable guy, but he is unfit to be a judge. He needs to be removed pronto. Before this incident, there were his bizarre entanglements with current District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.
Chief District Court Judge Ted Baca has apparently put on the same blinders the judges used when former Judge John Brennan was busted for coke possession six years ago. For years Brennan's colleagues ignored or covered up the judge's drug and alcohol abuse. Baca argues that Schwartz is "well-suited to sit as a judge." What? Maybe a judge for a beauty contest, Ted, but not the stuff you're elected to do.
The sex case could end up before the State Supreme Court. Can Chief Justice Charles Daniels keep a straight face if he upholds a slap on the wrist punishment recommended by a flaccid standards commission? Can the judiciary around here retain its credibility with Schwartz bobbing in and out of rehab and slapping courthouse hotties on the posterior?
Justice Daniels really needs to come to the rescue and put Judge Bob out of his misery and out of the public's life. Do you need the number for the Judicial Standards Commission, your honor?
SECRETARY OF CHAOS
It seems like that could be the new title of Secretary of State Mary Herrera. To the videotape:
A top official for the Secretary of State has been suspended in what his attorney is calling a retaliation for going to the F.B.I. with information on inner workings of Secretary of States office.
Deputy Secretary of State Francisco Trujillo says office manager Manuel Vildasol has been placed on leave for an unspecified personnel matter, but told Eyewitness News 4 that the suspension has nothing to do with Vildasol visiting the F.B.I.
THE BEAR MARKET
Another sign that the bear market is not giving up its grip on the ABQ metro. Five hundred jobs thought to be in store for Central and Coors at a planned Lowe's home improvement store are out the window. The national chain has decided not to open. They aren't saying why but its pretty obvious the lousy economy here played a part.
This is a blow for ABQ Mayor RJ Berry and City Council President Ken Sanchez.
Berry has been office for nine months, but has yet to get announce any major additions of jobs. City unemployment remains near nine percent, an unheard of level in the post WWII era. Sanchez represents the lower and middle class area which is commercially under served. He nurtures hopes to someday become mayor. This didn't help.
A CLOSE CALL
Not only was the city of Rio Rancho hoodwinked by the financials of GreenV2, the solar star-up that promised 1,500 jobs, but the state of New Mexico was being coaxed to put up $100 million dollars to help finance the deal. Reporter Rosalie Rayburn investigated. Fortunately, the request did not get past the gatekeepers at the State Investment Council.
How about this--the next governor of New Mexico freezes the investment of any of our state permanent funds in private business plans for a period of at least one year.
We have $14 billion in those funds, Santa Fe, and need to preserve and protect that money. Rapid growth is not the priority and neither is becoming the neighborhood bank with all the risk that entails. Wasn't the near-looting of our funds by hedge fund hucksters enough to get us off our keisters?
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2010
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