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Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Clippings From My Newsroom Floor: Money Reports Trickle In, Reader React To Di Endorsement And Some Saucy Bottom Lines 

While you get a summer vacation (hopefully), our intrepid political candidates will spend their days with cell phones planted in their ears dialing for dollars--not dozing in the hammock. And the first fruits of their labor for the 2012 cycle continue to trickle in. Dem State Sen. Eric Griego, who announced his candidacy for the ABQ US House seat April 30, says he has raised $119,000 since then and has about $90,000 cash in the bank. He says more than 3,000 donors contributed, making an average contribution of $40.

By comparison, Republican Dan Lewis got in the race April 3 and reports raising $101,000 through June 30. Lewis raised his cash from 274 donors. Griego says his 3,000 donors shows his grassroots appeal. However, many of those contributors are from out-of-state donors who gave on-line on the ActBlue site. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee helped him raise about $31,000. Griego has won a lot of progressive endorsements early on from the likes of ABQ State Senators Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Cisco McSorley.

Longtime observers see these candidate cash levels as pretty low, but raising money in a down economy and competing for dollars with all the Senate candidates keeps the pressure on the House contenders in the early going. And it is doubly hard if you are not that well-known. In the April quarter of 2007, when he announced his first bid for the US House, then-ABQ City Councilor Martin Heinrich raised $180,000.

Former Mayor Marty Chavez, known for his past prodigious fund-raising, joined the race for the Dem nod June 29. So far, he and Griego are the only two Dem contenders for the seat being vacated by Dem Martin Heinrich who is running for Senate. Other possible GOP candidates include 2010 nominee Jon Barela and former State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones.

MR. PRESIDENT

President Obama, you're putting your party's bread and butter issues--Social Security and Medicare--on the negotiating table in deficit talks and taking away the most powerful argument for keeping Dems in Congress? Maybe you're going to offer the R's a deal they can't accept; that this is play acting. But just in case, won't someone get a picture of FDR and show it to Barack.

(P.S. Does anyone have Hillary's phone number? She can still run, can't she?)

DI TALK

When 2010 Dem Guv nominee and former Lt. Gov Diane Denish endorsed Dem Senate contender Hector Balderas over Rep. Martin Heinrich, political watchers took notice with both positive and negative feedback.

Reader Michael Folsom in ABQ said:

This means that Martin hasn't got the establishment Dems all lined up. There is a real pent up demand in the Dem Party to finally nominate a Hispanic for this seat and frankly I can see lots of folks who left the ranch last year to support Martinez for Governor (because she was Hispanic) having a bit of buyers remorse and coming home to support Hector.

Reader Joe Campos in Bosque Farms sees it differently:

Joe, I don't know if Denish's endorsement will help or hinder Hector's candidacy, but in the long run it could come back to haunt him. During the governor debates between Denish and Martinez, one glaring mistake Densih made was to call Martinez a liar. This did not resonate well with the Hispanic voting block, imagine a white upper class woman calling a Latina a liar on TV! And as for Heinrich not helping Denish, he was smart not to go down the same road Denish/Colon traveled. At least Heinrich embraced the South Valley and other less well off communities....

And reader Mike Santullo, a veteran of La Politica, came with this:

Joe, While you adequately reviewed the background connection between Diane & Hector, you did not mention the fact that it was Diane that urged and supported Hector to give up his State Rep. seat and run for State Auditor. Also, in the early days of her gubernatorial campaign, you might remember that Di also encouraged Hector to run for Lieutenant Governor, so this honeymoon goes way, way back...

GOING WHERE?

Reader Michelle Meaders wonders about our blog this week in which we note the shrinking NM labor force and say folks are moving elsewhere:

Do we have any evidence that people are actually leaving here for work elsewhere? I thought there were discouraged workers who were dropping out of the labor force, by retiring early or going on disability or going back to school, but I hadn't heard of the other.

We don't have empirical evidence, Michelle, but we assume some people are moving elsewhere. The hardest hit sector during the NM crash has been home building. Construction employment in NM is the lowest it has been in decades. Those are not the kind of workers who are going to stay around looking for jobs here--one reason for our smaller work force.

We know of at least one worker who has left the area---politico James Hallinan who toiled as a PR maven for a number of prominent NM Dems, reports in:

Hello from the great state of Nevada. I recently accepted the position of communications director for the Kate Marshall for Nevada campaign. Kate is the current State Treasurer and the Democrat running in the Nevada Special Congressional Election for District 2. The open seat was vacated by the now Senator Dean Heller, who was appointed to replace John Ensign after his scandal by Governor Sandoval..

Okay, James, but don't put your campaign winnings in the slot machines up there.

THE BOTTOM LINES

This gem comes to us from veteran KOB-TV reporter Stuart Dyson as he reacts to the recent news of the arrest of former University of New Mexico president and political science professor F. Chris Garcia on charges of promoting prostitution:

"After all these years, we finally know what the "F" stands for!"

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Thanks for stopping by.

Reporting to you this week from La Jolla, CA. and Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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