Thursday, December 15, 2011
Political News Hits Like An Overstuffed Xmas Stocking; The Polls, Stapleton's Meltdown, Supremes Nix Susana Again And UNM's Prez Debate
The political news is hitting heavy, kind of like an overstuffed Christmas stocking so let's get to it.
First, a new PPP poll out on the GOP US Senate race puts Heather Wilson over the critical 50% mark and puts the pressure on Lt. Governor John Sanchez to take her down a peg. Heather leads John 55% to 20% with Greg Sowards at 6% and gadfly contender Bill English garnering 3%. The automatic phone poll was conducted this past weekend.
Wilson's favourables are nice and high--68% to 17% and she has plenty of money in the bank. Call her the clear front-runner, the lady to beat and the odds-on favorite. Just don't bet all the rent money quite yet. If national conservative groups team with Sanchez to launch an intense and negative campaign against her, we could still have a race. We just don't have one now.
And the Dem polling firm PPP tells us that Newt Gingrich is the favorite of New Mexico Republicans for the 2012 GOP Prez nomination. That reflects the flavor of the month nationally. It's Newt is at 39% Romney with 14% and former NM Guv Gary Johnson at 11%.
Nice to know, but New Mexico's June primary won't have an impact. The nominee will be known by then. And Johnson is about to get out of the race because of a lack of attention.
And then there's Big Bill. How about with the speculation from the Legal Beagles that we may never know the name of the state worker who says she was coerced into having sex with the ex-Guv and settled a potential lawsuit for a nifty quarter million bucks? The Beagles say these type of cases often keep the alleged victims name out of the public record.
The Beagles also remind everyone that while the federal grand jury investigating Bill is leaking like a sieve, there is no law preventing someone who has testified before the panel from talking to the press. But officers of the court--the attorneys etc. are sworn to secrecy.
Some secrecy downtown, huh? Are we going to be hearing about the ex-Guv's private parts soon?
Everything else is...well...being hung out there.
The hot spotlight of La Politica has prompted numerous mental meltdowns over the decades. On Wednesday ABQ Dem State Rep.
"You're carrying the Mexican's water on the fourth floor."
The backdrop to this bizarre outburst? This:
Stapleton works as an administrator for the Albuquerque Public Schools. She said the district has a policy, almost 30 years old, of paying legislators who also are school administrators. But an Albuquerque television station did a story implying that Stapleton received special treatment and money she did not earn. Espinoza was a source in the television story and appeared on camera.
Stapleton tried to backtrack from her meltdown, but it was feeble:
She said she meant nothing by calling the governor a Mexican. "I am half black and half Spanish," Stapleton said. "I didn't mean for it to be inflammatory."
Stapleton is also the House Majority Whip and she just lost a whole lot of credibility. Following the media hits on her over the APS controversy we blogged that it appeared unlikely it would have an impact on her re-election plans for her ABQ SE Heights seat. The stories were not that damaging, but now you have to wonder anew if someone just might step up and challenge her in the June primary. If they do, Stapleton will have even more heat put on her, and yelling racial epithets is not going to make it go away. Chill, Cheryl.
More money lines from Sheryl:
“I’m pissed,” Stapleton said as she confronted Espinoza during a lunch break at the committee meeting, “I’ve been waiting for you.” Espinoza got a few words in before Stapleton said, “You said I’m corrupt. Prove it!” “I’ve been falsely and biasly accused,” Stapleton told reporters a few minutes later. “It was a biased story and my colleague added to it by saying I committed corruption.”
Bernalillo County Republicans piled on, saying:
Bernalillo County GOP Chairman Chris Collins called on State Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton to apologize for inflammatory remarks about the governor.
“Elected officials, be they Democrat or Republican are expected to be held to a higher standard and they should be. Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton should immediately and publicly apologize to Governor Martinez for her inflammatory remark.”
Stapleton's district is heavy Dem and it is unlikely an R could take it which leads you back to wondering about a primary opponent.
ANOTHER LOSING HAND
While Sheryl was doing a Rolling Stones 19th nervous breakdown routine, something that really mattered was happening in another neighborhood of the Capitol and continues a negative trend for Susana:
NO CREDENTIAL PROBLEM
That university reader who questioned the academic credentials of the five finalists for the University of new Mexico presidency drew sharp retorts from others on campus. Here's one that sums it up:
Your reader commented that 4 of the 5 finalists have "non-academic advanced degrees (i.e. business and the like) from second or third tier institutions." The five candidates possess PhDs in business, clinical psychology, cardiovascular pharmacology, economics & history (2 PhD degrees), and food science & technology. Which four of these are not academic? Their PhD degrees are from the University of Nebraska, UNM, University of Texas HSC San Antonio, Cal Tech, University of Pennsylvania, and Virginia Tech, which are all of UNM's stature or better. Your ivory tower reader appears out of touch with what modern universities are all about and what constitutes an 'academic advanced degree'. I feel this is a pretty good group of candidates, and we should all be thankful that New Mexico political hacks were not included in the list of finalists.
THE BOTTOM LINES
A reader writes in on the blogging here over service at ABQ restaurants:
Perhaps the fact that waitstaff is paid a derisory minimum wage and Albuquerque diners are notoriously cheap tippers may go a long way to explaining the quality of service.
Love your blog.
Thanks, Lawrence. And we even learned a new word: derisory.
And reader Nancy Hendrickson says Mike Santullo's standards for judging service that he wrote about on Tuesday's blog are too tough:
While I understand where Mike is coming from formal service is not as important to us. We cherish being greeted like family and given hugs when we leave. A friendly greeting is more important than hovering waiters topping off water glasses.
And reader Mick wants to know:
Is there any place locally that meets Santullo's standards?
Well, we'll ask him, Mick.
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