Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday New Mexico Blogging: The Latest Susana TV, How To Chop The State Budget And Some Bottom Lines From Jay Leno 

Like Diane Denish, Susana Martinez's latest TV spot has the candidate carry the ball for the thirty seconds. Both women are trying to make an emotional connection with voters. Republican Martinez, the Dona Ana County District Attorney, chooses as her latest subject the notorious Baby Brianna murder case which she prosecuted. She says:

Baby Brianna was five months old when she died..she was beaten to death. We had to fight for those kids that were killed this way so we went to the Legislature...to make it a life sentence and we succeeded...

Democrats point out that while Martinez lobbied for the tougher sentencing it was passed by the Democratic Legislature with State Senator Mary Jane Garcia of Las Cruces as the sponsor.

The TV consultants for both camps are thinking similarly. As with the Denish ad, the Martinez spot uses gentle piano music in the background to evoke the desired emotion. (Maybe it will help calm the nerves of voters rattled over the in the dump economy.)

This is a softer, more intimate side of Martinez than we have seen on TV screens. The spot seems to be aimed at helping her with female voters where she has lagged and which is shaping up as a battleground demographic in this hotly contested Guv race.


Martinez has been running on what seems like "an all ethics all the time" platform, but that can cut both ways. The Dona Ana County DA is taking this hit:

The office of Doña Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez bought more than $60,000 in office supplies from a home-based company owned by one of her top deputies and political ally.

There was no contract or competitive bidding process that covered the purchases from 2003 to 2005, and a former state auditor questions whether state law was followed.

But Martinez, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, said the arrangement was legal, had approval from two state agencies and saved the taxpayers money.


The first TV in the southern congressional race featuring Republican Steve Pearce and incumbent Dem US Rep. Harry Teague doesn't come from the candidates, but from a third party. The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund has launched a negative TV hit on Pearce who is seen as the front runner in the early going. The ad calls into question Pearce's ethics

Pearce's camp snapped back:

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, an extreme group dedicated to passing cap and trade began its payback to Harry Teague for his support of the job-killing cap and trade bill.

As the press has reported in other states, DOWF knowingly makes false statements and is now doing so here.


From Washington:

U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall applauded the Senate’s approval of Conrad Candelaria as U.S. Marshal for the District of New Mexico.

Candelaria retired earlier this year after 25 years of service at the Albuquerque Police Department. He rose through the ranks at APD, retiring from the position of senior commander of the Southwest Area Command. Candelaria is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, where he is a part-time criminal justice instructor.


Aren't some government services more important than others? That's a question in the aftermath of the news that Governor Big Bill is planning "across-the-board" cuts to balance the state budget for the current year. Richard Anklam, president of the non-profit, nonpartisan NM Tax Research Institute, blogs in with this:

Across the board cuts may be necessary in a crisis but result in indiscriminate damage to fat, flesh and bone. Who’s in the best position to determine what works well, and what doesn’t? What programs and services are most necessary and which ones aren’t? In the business world that would be the CEO. Here it would be the governor. He’s in a remarkable place to step up and exhibit real leadership at a time when there are no political consequences. Will he, or simply allow the problem to get bigger and more painful for the next governor and legislature to deal with?

The Legislature passed the budget-cutting buck to the Guv, giving him the unprecedented power to cut state spending without their approval. But experts emailing in say the Guv has no choice but to apply the spending cuts across the board because the Legislature mandated that the cuts be done that way.


We've been in this budget crisis for two years now. ABQ Dem State Senator Tim Eichenberg, chairman of the Legislature's Government Restructuring Task Force told us he is hopeful that it will come with proposals for reform and cost savings that prioritize government programs, not treat them all equally as is done when across-the-board budget cuts are applied.

That task force, in its first recommendation said the racing and gaming commissions should be merged. They said that would save $1.4 million a year. It's a humble start on what will be a long journey.


We blogged that there has been no GOP secretary of state since the 1920's. A reader writes that E. A. Perrault, a Republican, was elected in 1928 and served through 1930. So we should have said--as we normally do in this matter--that no Republican has been elected SOS since the 1920's.

And differing numbers. Senator Bingaman says NM would receive $126 million in Medicaid money under legislation expected to soon win congressional approval. An initial figure had it at $104 million. A separate measure would pump $65 million into the state's public schools which could mean avoiding teacher layoffs at APS--at least for a while.


From Jay Leno:

We want to start off by saying happy birthday to President Barack Obama. He is...49, which is eight points higher than his approval rating....

If you would like to get him a gift, he's registered at Bed, Bath, and Blame it on Bush.

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