Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dem Urgency Over Turnout As R's March To Early Polls, Plus: Mary Jane Gives D's Some Old Time Religion, And: Pearce Closing Deal; Readers Talk Tejanas 

It's mostly a turnout game now. The time for messaging is rapidly fading. Democrats are up against the wall in getting their flock to the polls in this GOP trending year, and the anxiety shows in this missive from the Bernalillo County Democratic Party:

5,969 Democrats, 5,217 Republicans and 1,175 Others have early voted (Bernalillo County Clerk figures). This is not good Democrats!! With so much at stake we can't afford to sit back and watch, the time for action is now. If you know of anyone who is sitting on an absentee ballot, give them a push, ask them if they need stamps. Every single vote is needed...

Bernalillo County is 47 percent Democratic and 32 percent Republican, so you can see why the Dems are hitting the alarm button as early R's nearly match the early Dems.

Even though we said the time for messaging is fast fading we can't resist this one from Dem old timer and State Senate Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia.

I was in the legislature when (Republican) Governor Gary Johnson’s main agenda for New Mexico was promoting legal drugs and vetoing...ideas and solutions that crossed his desk...We must not let the naysayers and obstructionists prevail in the upcoming election.

Let’s not forget that eight years of Republican policies brought our country to the brink of “catastrophic failure” comparable with that of the Great Depression. We cannot sit idle during this midterm election. On the contrary, we have to rally, fight back and call everyone we know and remind voters that our Democratic principles have led us out of the darkness before...

She's 73 and has that old time religion. And that's how you get them out of their seats and into the voting booths.


What's the easiest job in New Mexico right now or ought to be? Answer: raising money for Susana Martinez. The front-running Guv candidate will hook up with former US House Speaker and possible 2010 GOP Prez contender Newt Gingrich for an ABQ fund-raiser this evening at Casa Esencia in Old Town. The campaign is not being shy about the price. Recession or no recession a "host" for the event pays $5,000. Otherwise, it's $500 a pop.

For all you last minute wind-sniffers, job-seekers and cover-your-ass types, you can kiss the ring by calling 505-974-1396.


From a Santa Fe Wall-leaner on the prospect of Republican Susana Martinez taking the reins of gubernatorial power:

No one in an appointed position with a tie to the Richardson administration will be retained. No one. No way. They are all gone. That should not come as a surprise, considering the main theme of her entire campaign. Susana is not having conversations about specific appointments and future staff because she feels it is still too premature. She's just not going there right now. That will change after election day.

Does that include that really good chef at the Governor's Mansion?


Mary Jane's exhortation to Dems comes amid continued worries that low enthusiasm for Dem Secretary of State Mary Herrera could mean a close contest from GOP challenger Dianna Duran. The Alamogordo area State Senator came with her first TV spot and to no one's surprise it tackles Herrera on a series of controversies that have engulfed the SOS.

However, one of the chief charges highlighted is that Herrera allegedly used her office staff for political purposes. That doesn't sound like a jaw-dropper in highly politicized New Mexico. The ad also mentions how several of Herrera's employees went to "law enforcement" to complain about "corruption" in the office. It concludes with a few glowing words about Duran. Is it enough to keep Dems away from the SOS? We'll see.


Matt Chandler has stepped it up. In a new TV spot he attacks Democratic Attorney General Gary King for supporting driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Republican Chandler has been coy in his attacks on King--until now. Chandler needs to have tough stuff out there and he is going with an issue--illegal immigration--that has been working a bit more in NM than it usually does because of the poor economy. A late September poll had Chandler 20 points behind King. The TV ad is not posted on Chandler's Web site.


Veteran Dem State Rep. Al Park says a poll he had conducted in his ABQ SE Heights swing district last week shows him opening up a 52-40 lead among definite voters. The poll called 300 voters Oct. 12 thru 14th. Park, an attorney and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, admits to being in a hard-fought contest with Republican Larry Kennedy, but he believes Dem voters are now slowly starting to come home.


Steve Pearce is off the leash and throwing red meat to the crowd. First he entertains the notion that Obama may not have been born in the USA, and now he stiff-arms critics who want him to return a campaign contribution from Texan Clayton Williams who long ago told women who were threatened with rape to lie back and enjoy the inevitable. Earlier, GOP Guv hopeful Martinez donated to charity $20,000 after receiving the same amount from Williams. Dem southern Congressman Harry Teague, now feeling the full wrath of the conservative movement, tries to get some traction on this one:

...Pearce has sunk to a new low. He’s been caught soliciting and accepting contributions from a Texas politician that compared rape to bad weather--saying that “As long as it’s inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

Not only has Pearce not apologized for doing this, he also said that he will absolutely not return the money. Pearce is even defending that decision by saying that it was really nothing more than a “dumb comment.”

Pearce doesn't seem too worried. And why should he? Teague was unable to deliver a persuasive case for why his oil company cancelled health insurance for several hundred employees even as he was taking in millions. The southern congressman came with tortured explanations in a TV spot, news releases, bizarre word definitions and assorted other gimmicks that were twisted at best and sophistry at worse. It got him nowhere except looking tongue-tied and hapless.

We and many others opined back in May when the Politico broke the story of Teague's health insurance problem that he should simply admit the error and have the company reinstate the policies by digging into his own well-endowed pockets. But Teague didn't. Not that Harry was in very good shape in the first place, having won the conservative southern district in the 2008 Democratic landslide, but the Dems may have given this one away.

Harry's error was having two masters. The United States is faced with problems of an historic nature. In better times folks might look the other way while Teague dealt with his business issues. But this debacle over health insurance left the impression that his work in Washington was really not where his heart was.

Pearce is now poised to landslide the Little Texas counties of Chavez, Eddy and Lea so forcefully that even a good performance by Teague in heavily Dem Dona Ana County will not be enough to save him. For aspiring young politicos the lesson is to clean up your own backyard before trying to clean up the country's.


Speaking of the Politico, it comes with the news that the DCCC is pulling it's TV support for Teague. Another nail in the coffin. The Alligators list of honorary pallbearers for Harry's campaign funeral are: Big Bill, Johnny Cope, Diane Denish and Nancy Pelosi.


Will we win the enchiladas? Reader Kimothy Sparks says GOP Guv candidate Susana Martinez will score a landslide, despite some spin to the contrary heard here Tuesday. He even promises us a plate of enchiladas if he's wrong:

I may not be considered an Alligator but, I bet by the time the ballots are all counted, Martinez will be 57% to 43% for Denish. Diane hasn't been able to break over 42% in any poll so, that leads me to believe she may only get a small fraction of undecideds who decide to actually cast a ballot. If she doesn't, I'll buy you a plate of enchiladas at El Sarape in Los Lunas. As we say at the racetrack in Kentucky, Aye Chiuahua! Martinez by three lengths...

The good part of this is that we apparently don't have to buy the enchiladas if Martinez doesn't reach 57.


What in the name of a possible Democratic train wreck is Senator Tom Udall doing in places where there are hardly any voters? From his office:

Udall Schedule for October 21 – 22 Includes Events in Colfax, Harding, and Union Counties...

Where? Harding County? It has a population of less than 1,000. Meanwhile, thousand of early votes are being cast in New Mexico's cities. Can't these Democratic campaigns put the senator's time to use?


Well, one feature of this campaign that will be long-remembered is its fixation on Texas. The Dems have pounded the table over Martinez's Texas donations. They've also claimed her loyalty is to Texas because she was born and raised in El Paso. But Texas transplant Frank Haley rises to the defense of his Lone Star State brethren:

Joe, you joked recently: "Darn those Texans! First they take over all of our ski areas and now they've taken over our Governor's race."

Don't we (New Mexicans) love tourist dollars? If it weren't for Texans, there wouldn't be any tourist dollars in New Mexico.

When I moved here from Texas in 1977, there was an anti-Texan feeling, but today, I see Texas flags and U.T. Longhorn decals on cars with New Mexico plates. No need to bash Texans, they really make the best New Mexicans, because they appreciate the weather and the beautiful mountains, which they don't have much of in Texas--plus low humidity and no mosquitoes. A Texan can not sit out side on his patio in Dallas or Houston at night, but he can in ABQ. No mosquitoes here. Remember Joe, "The eyes of Texas are upon you." Even in New Mexico! Looking forward to your Nov. 2 coverage!

Thanks, Frank. That coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. Election Night on KANW 89.1 FM. We'll also have our pre-game show on KANW on Monday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.

And some more about "Tejana Susana:"

Joe, I just read that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 net new jobs were created in the United States from August 2009 to August 2010. Texas created 119,000 jobs during the same period. Maybe we would be well served to have a Tejana in charge here in New Mexico...Kevin Fowler, Democrat

Okay, Kevin. Just promise us that the Tejana won't move the state capitol to Red River.

This is the home of New Mexico politics, and I'm Joe Monahan bringing it to you from Albuquerque.

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