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Friday, March 11, 2011

Sanchez Team Stumbles In Early Media Light; Senate Bid Word Awaited, Plus: Robo Polls On Dem Chair Races 

NM Lt. Governor John Sanchez is prepping a run for the 2012 GOP US Senate nomination but he's having trouble getting his communications act together.

Thursday the DC newspaper Roll Call, quoting GOP sources, came with the headline, "Republican Joining US Senate Primary" and said he "was poised to join" Heather Wilson in the race. She announced Monday.

But hours later Sanchez's staff was trying to walk back the Roll Call report, telling the Hill newspaper that the Roll Call article was "premature" and that Sanchez would not be doing anything until the 60 day legislative session concludes March 19.

John, the war you start is supposed to be with Heather, not the newspapers. Well, with a right wing stampede forming to get him in the race, one supposes a case of nerves can be expected.

It's clear that Sanchez wants to get in, but he needs staffing and consulting advice that gets him in clean. The hemming and hawing over when and how does not inspire confidence in his leadership abilities.

Sanchez will be in DC later this month for a national lieutenant governors meeting at which he could start talking about his candidacy with GOP big wigs.

Meanwhile, national Dems were already beating up Sanchez, owner of a roofing company, for his business practices.

Come on in, John, and let's get this party going.

INSIDE CITY HALL

City Hall insiders come with more details on the ouster of TJ Wilham, the $75,000 a year public information officer for Public Safety Director Darren White.

They say that Wilham got into hot water when he tipped off the ABQ Journal about text messages his fellow PIO--Chris Ramirez--sent to ABQ police detective Trey Economidy III minutes after Economidy had shot and killed a suspect. Ramirez, described as a friend of Economidy, offered soothing words in the text messages, some of which were published by the Journal.

Police Chief Ray Schultz expressed concern that Economidy was not sequestered and able to text with Ramirez.

Sources report that there was talk among Mayor Berry and his staff about firing Wilham, a former Journal reporter, but in the end he was shifted over to the city's Emergency Management Office to work on "special projects" for six months.

Maybe when TJ finishes up over there he can go back to the newspaper and write of his wild times with White.

CHAIRMAN ROBO POLLS

Wondering how that battle for the chairmanship of the Bernalillo County Dem Party is going? Well, a lot of readers report receiving a robocall poll this week testing the race between incumbent Ana Canales and challenger Victor Raigoza. We're informed that Canales is ahead. Raigoza was pinpointed as a favorite by some of the Alligators early on, but the betting is shifting to Canales ahead of the March 19th county meeting.

As for the contest between NM Dem Party Chair Javier Gonzales and challenger Sam Bregman, a robocall poll of state central committee members was also conducted. A source tells us Javier is ahead. Dems meet at the end of April to pick the chairman.

NOT MUCH OF ANYTHING

There have been 1,263 bills introduced in this year's 60 day legislative session and only one bill has passed--the one that funds the session. There's a week to go. So what is the lesson? One wall-leaner says:

If you don't establish priorities, you don't achieve your goals, unless your goal is not to achieve much of anything. That goes for both the Dems and R's.

PLOP, PLOP

A reader writes of the State Senate's refusal to approve the bill favored by Governor Martinez to repeal driver's licenses for illegal immigrants:

Sounds like the Sarah Palin of NM had a bad hair night Wednessday night! So far she's had a plop, plop, fizz, fizz session.

NOT TOO EARLY

A retort to reader James Meiers who said here that Dems attacked Martinez too early when she ran for governor and they are again making the same mistake:

Martinez wasn't attacked by Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish until after the June 2010 primary. In fact, most of the pre-primary Democratic effort was focused on torpedoing Republican candidate Pete Domenici, Jr. which ultimately was a huge waste of time, too, considering how poor a candidate he turned out to be.

The problem with Martinez is that there ultimately wasn't a whole lot to hit her with that was compelling enough to make a case. Now that she's doing an awful job as governor there's plenty of fodder.


TEACHING US

Reader Bill Croft writes:

I felt that some points were lost both in the reader's comments and your response to them on Monday's blog. Teachers I have spoken to are willing to pay extra to make the ERB pension fund solvent. UNM professors are overwhelmingly in favor of reducing the number of vice presidents and otherwise streamlining the administration, and are unhappy that the administration is cutting student support and teaching budgets instead.

What the legislature is doing is different. The bills to increase teachers' ERB contributions reduces the employer's contribution by the same amount, so that the net effect is a 66% state income tax increase on teachers to pay for the budget deficit. Likewise the "tuition credit" is a tax on higher-education students (or their parents - whoever is paying their tuition) to pay for the budget deficit. The legislature ought to be honest and say they are laying extra taxes selectively on teachers and students to pay for the state budget deficit. Is that what the people of New Mexico want? It certainly isn't helping our dismal education record.

INTERNS NEEDED

For the college set:

Senator Tom Udall invites New Mexico college students interested in gaining legislative or press relations experience to apply for internships in his Washington, D.C., office. To apply online or download an application, please click here. There are two sessions for summer internships: May 29 – July 2 and July 3 – August 6. Deadline to apply for both sessions is March 25.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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