Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NM Senators To Raise Big Money, But Is It For Wrong Races? Plus: More Populist Talk From Di In New Radio, And: Analysis Of Indian Country Primary 

Shouldn't NM Dem Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall be thinking about protecting the state's three Dem US House seats rather than trying to suck up major money for out-of-state US Senate candidates?

The question arises as word circulates that the two Senators will host an August 18 Santa Fe fund-raiser seeking individual donations of up to $30,400 for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. (A copy of the invite is posted here. Click to enlarge).

Haven't Jeff and Tom heard? Dem Congressmen Harry Teague and Martin Heinrich are running for their political lives. And what about the Guv's race? That thing looks closer than Lassie and Timmy. Bingaman isn't up for re-election until 2012; for Udall it's 2014. Why scoop up cash that could potentially be used right here, right now and ship it elsewhere?

The cash crunch is particularly dire for Teague as GOP challenger Steve Pearce has nearly matched him in the amount of money raised. And while Heinrich is ahead in the cash count against Republican Jon Barela, it is not by the huge margin it ought to be.

This news may have not yet penetrated the comfortable senatorial cocoons of Jeff and Tom, but there's a real high-stakes campaign going on out here--and it isn't for the United States Senate.


Jon Barela, you have a shot here. But the Alligators say you have to break away from hard-right Republican orthodoxy that has marginalized your party with moderate voters who will decide your race against Dem Martin Heinrich. How about if you join GOP National Chairman Michael Steele and start questioning the endless and costly war in Afghanistan? It would separate you from the pack and get Heinrich's supporters wondering why he remains so hawkish on the war.

Come on, Jon. You know they're right.


If the Heinrich-Barela race is starting to get your juices flowing, here's your chance to see them face off with one another.

Women Impacting Public Policy and the Association of Commerce and Industry are hosting a forum between the hopefuls Friday, August 27, 2010 at noon at the ABQ Marriott Pyramid North.


In a new radio spot Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish says she will fight anyone who tries to take money away for our public schools. Does that mean she's going to tell Dem State Senator John Arthur "Dr. No" Smith, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to take a hike?

The Denish campaign has been as exciting as somnambulism to most base Democrats. All summer she has played in the murky middle and out came the napping pillows. Her recent language--including that in the radio ad--indicates her campaign is realizing they have to rouse dyed in the wool Dems. Certainly talking about micro business loans won't do the trick.

Lovejoy & Shelly
We'd like to give you more analysis on that recent Navajo Nation presidential primary. The primary was won by Lynda Lovejoy, who is also a NM Dem state senator. From the Navajo Times:

It's the first time a woman has gotten the most votes in a presidential primary, the first time that a New Mexico resident has come in first, and the first time that two New Mexicans will face each other in the runoff for president.

Turnout was relatively light with 48,511 of 110,645 registered voters in the tribe casting votes, or 43.84 percent.

The unofficial tally of 17,137 votes (35.7 percent of the total vote), more than twice that of her nearest challenger and far more than Lovejoy polled in the 2006 presidential primary (10,513 votes).

Vice President Ben Shelly, who finished with 7,763 votes (16.2 percent), came in second Tuesday, meaning he and Lovejoy now advance to the general election, scheduled Nov. 2.

Lovejoy is from Crownpoint and Shelly from Thoreau.

If Lovejoy wins, the Governor would name a replacement for her senate seat from a list of names submitted by the county commissions within the Lovejoy district in NW NM.

There are 35,575 registered voters in heavily Indian McKinley County. Sixty-five percent of the registered are Democrats. The NM Guv race and the Navajo presidential contest will both be decided Nov. 2. Can Dems take advantage and boost Indian turnout?


A reader writes of a recent entry:

If you must label Fox News as "conservative," shouldn't you label the New York Times as liberal?

Maybe. But we don't see the ideological identity of the Times as nearly as concrete as that of Fox News which seems unabashedly and proudly conservative. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Did we cross the line in our Monday blog when we analyzed the latest Guv developments and referenced Baby Brianna? Walt Rubel, managing editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News thought so:

Joe, In a recent posting about the Susana Martinez campaign, you ask, "Hey what happened to Baby Brianna?

Here's your answer.

On the night of July 19, 2007, at the age of 5 months, she died after a night of being tossed around and raped by her uncle and father. At the time she died she had two skull fractures as well as broken ribs, legs and an arm. She had numerous bruises and 15 human bite marks on her face and body. She also had been sexually assaulted. Why you believe this is fair game to make light of now is beyond me.

Fair enough, but we did not intend to make a statement on Baby Brianna. What we intended was to point out that Susana Martinez's latest commercial in which she touts her success in prosecuting the killers of Baby Brianna was being overshadowed by front page newspaper reports about her awarding a no-bid contract to an employee in her Dona Ana County district attorney's office.

In fact, we linked to the Martinez commercial when we mentioned Baby Brianna. Still, we agree with Rubel that we were too cavalier and should have been more cognizant of the impact of using sarcasm in connection with the Baby Brianna case.

We are sure Walt and other emailers will be satisfied to learn that we have self-administered the traditional punishment of ten lashes with a wet noodle.

As for the wisdom of Martinez so overtly entering the Baby Brianna case into the public dialogue, that's a question the voters can decide.

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