Monday, April 30, 2012

Why The Whining? R's Still Faulting Polls In Senate Race, Plus: Roasting Wiener; Vultures Circle Over Commissioner, And: The Guv: Heritage Issue And Veep Watch 

Why so much whining from the R's over the US Senate polls? After all, we've got a long way to go before we get to the November finish line. Republican Heather Wilson running behind Dem Martin Heinrich in a general election match-up is of concern but it is not the end of the story. But R's fear it could be.

You see, it's not the numbers in April and May that are of paramount concern here. It's what those weak polling numbers can do to the all-important fund-raising. The April PPP Poll--associated with the Dems--has Wilson trailing Heinrich by 5 points. The R's bash those numbers, saying the poll is biased and not weighted correctly, but the Rasmussen survey, often said to lean toward the R's, also has Wilson running behind Heinrich, 46 to 42.

But Wilson has enlisted allies in the media and elsewhere to try to punish the pollsters because there is very real concern that the New Mexico Senate race--now ranked "Lean Dem" on this blog, but still in the toss-up column by other analysts--could begin to be written off by the financial powers that be.

It's not there yet and maybe never will be, but when every poll shows the Dem leading, it induces a severe case of political fright in Heather land.

We can't blame the R's for doing all they can to keep the race alive and the cash coming in, but don't ask us to believe that all of these polls are made up out of thin air. Not when every one of them agrees she is behind. And while you do hear lots of whining,  you don't see Heather putting out any surveys showing she's ahead.

The pollsters will tell you their surveys are snapshots in time. It's fine for the candidates to beat up on them and use their friends to push their cause, but that doesn't change the reality on the ground--New Mexico is currently leaning heavily Dem in the Presidential race and the Senate race is tilting D. The R's are going to have to do more than say we shouldn't believe our own eyes if they want to start turning things around.


Eric Griego's first TV ad in his bid for the Dem nod for the ABQ congressional seat is not going to have many heads turning. Most of the spot is devoted to a senior citizen describing the importance of Social Security and Medicare and attacking the "Tea Party Republicans" for threatening them. Griego then appears at the end to denounce those same "Tea Party Republicans," allowing how he "would never" allow the tea partiers to cut the programs. It's an unusual opening in that it tells us nothing about Griego.

We know TV is not the be all end all for Griego who is concentrating on putting troops on the ground, but an operative who told us this ad was a "missed opportunity" may have had a point.

One other thing. Social Security and Medicare are the Holy Grail for the Dems this year and it's a good topic for Griego, but cosmetically Griego does not look his best. What's up with that?


The vultures are circling for the political corpse of Michael Wiener and feast day is June 5. The controversial GOP Bernalillo County Commissioner has never been a party favorite. His independent streak has set him apart. Now that he has landed in hot water--(more like boiling water)--because of his visit to a red light district in the Philippines and a picture that surfaced of Wiener posing with scantily clad ladies there, the party poohbahs are piling on. Governor Martinez is leading the pack in calling for Wiener to resign, followed by the state GOP and ABQ GOP Mayor RJ Berry.

The calls for him to get out could very well doom him as he wages a primary battle for his ABQ NE Heights seat against political newcomer and businessman Lonnie Talbert.

Wiener, a notshy New york native, has a reputation as one of the most effective campaigners the state has produced. He has served on the ABQ city council (as a Democrat), the county commission and in the state senate. He's the only one to have accomplished that trifecta in modern times, but overcoming this obstacle is a Herculean task.

It is easy to understand Martinez's call for Wiener's resignation. She is the titular head of the GOP, but the ABQ Mayor? Why is he messing around in that playpen when the city has to work closely with the county commission? He wasn't under the gun to say anything about Wiener so why not chill? Lately we are seeing Berry getting more and more partisan than his early months in office.

Wiener's crash and burn comes only weeks after another like-minded and independent Republican--former ABQ City Councilor Greg Payne--bit the political dust when he was picked up for DWI. If these sorts of things run in threes, we are grimacing over who is next.


On the Dem side, the poster child for political trouble has been ABQ Dem State Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, but despite a boat load of political baggage (including calling the Governor "that Mexican" on the Fourth Floor) she is still pegged as the heavy favorite to win her June 5 primary battle with political newbie Cara Valente-Compton. Comments like this from prominent liberal Dem State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino are one big reason why:

Stapleton's voting record on behalf of Democratic principles is exemplary. She has supported and championed labor issues, public education, fair wages, small business incentives, civil rights elder care...She is a passionate advocate of health insurance accessibility and affordability for all....

Williams Stapleton, the House Majority Whip, owes Jerry big time for those words. 


All we can say is "Finally." The question of whether Gov. Martinez had any relatives who came to the USA illegally was first broached on this blog during the 2010 Guv campaign. It was met with derision by her political operatives and ignored by the mainstream media. But as we predicted then, it would not be for long. And not now especially as her name is bandied about as a possible GOP VP pick. From the AP:

Immigration documents obtained by The Associated Press, however, reveal a fact not even Martinez herself knew: Her Mexican-born grandfather was lawfully admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident in 1918 and became a citizen in 1942. The discovery removes a trouble spot for someone talked about as a possible vice presidential prospect for Republican Mitt Romney...

And why is this an issue? Well, when you make the repeal of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants one of your top legislative priorities and then bash the hell out of any legislator who goes against you, how you and your family personally approached immigration becomes relevant indeed. It's called the double-standard watch and we're glad to see the media finally getting around to checking it out...


And what is the latest on Susana and the VP beat? She's number ten on a DC top ten list of possible Romeny picks:

10. Martinez...is probably the least well known politician on this list. And, in a party still trying to get out from under the Palin pick, Martinez’s lack of experience at the national level may ultimately doom her chances. Still, she has much to recommend her as the first Hispanic woman elected governor of a state--and a swing state no less! The 2012 election may be too soon for Martinez’s debut on the national stage but she is someone to keep an eye on beyond this November. 

That sums it up, except NM does not appear to be a true swing state this time around. As to who is #1 on the WaPo VP list?  It's unknown GOP Senator Rob Portman. Now you've got something to Google.


Even now after two weeks of eating the food of the Gods in Paris and Florence, we come in praise of the Green Chile Cheeseburger. The latest:

In July 2009, practically overnight, the Green Chile Cheeseburger became a national foodie obsession in America. That's the month that Bobby Flay's macho-burger challenge to the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, N.M., aired on the Food Network. Truth be told, Flay had his East Coast butt whipped by local New Mexico burger master Bobby Olguin. But the real winner was the Green Chile Cheeseburger itself, which suddenly took on nearly mythic proportions across the country as the rodeo food of the cowboy gods.

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