Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Big Names And Not So Big Out On The Campaign Trail, Plus: Alligator Strike On Steve Pearce, And: A Big Bull Market In One NM Corner 

Judges Zamora & Hadfield
You hear about the big political names regularly, but there are literally hundreds of candidates quietly working the stump this primary season. They're shaking hands, door knocking and chatting on Facebook as they work to awaken the electorate and persuade them to vote in the primary--traditionally a low turnout affair.

Even the candidates without primary opposition are working the hustings. For example, two judges--Briana Zamora and Alisa Hadfield--are pictured here at a weekend event for the National Council of Negro Women (ABQ), even though neither Democrat has a rival in the June 5 primary. Now that's dedication.

ABQ Metro Court Judge Zamora will face off with Republican Brett Loveless in November as she tries to win a seat on the District Court Bench. And Hadfield, a current district court judge who was appointed in 2010, must now run in a contested election to secure a six year term. She will face the winner of the GOP primary, either David Standridge or Sanford Siegel.

Zamora, a UNM law school grad, is no stranger to La Politica. Her mom is ABQ State Senator Bernadette Sanchez who will retire from the Legislature at the end of the year.


There has been simply no contest when it comes to garnering Indian support in the Dem US Senate primary. Martin Heinrich is running the table, announcing this week that Zia Pueblo has endorsed his candidacy and joining this long list of pueblos backing him:

The Pueblos of Isleta, Laguna, Ohkay Owingeh, Pojoaque, Santo Domingo and Taos, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the Eastern Navajo Agency Council, Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Agency Council, and former President of the National Congress of American Indians Joe A. Garcia.

Heinrich says he has been attentive to Indian needs and they obviously agree. They are an important Dem constituency and also a considerable part of the work load of a United States Senator from New Mexico.


Do you think State Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez is working to inoculate himself as SusanaPAC prepares to fire their cannons at him in the general election? Take a look:

Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Valencia County) announced a $23.5 million grant from the state Public School Capital Outlay Council for the first of two construction phases to rebuild 75 percent of Los Lunas High School.

Sanchez faces no opposition in the June 5 primary, but Valencia County GOP State Rep. David Chavez has been recruited by Guv political adviser Jay McCleskey--who runs SusanaPAC--to take on Sanchez in November. The PAC is expected to dump thousands of dollars into Chavez's campaign.

The race does not seem winnable to most observers, as Chavez is a deeply flawed candidate. For example, he said he was getting out of the state House because his law business was hurting. He then almost immediately turned around and announced he would run for the Senate. But there is a deep personal animosity between Sanchez and the Governor. This race appears to be more about that than strategic political thinking.


An Alligator strike today on southern GOP NM Congressman Steve Pearce:

Joe, This appears on the Pearce Facebook page.

"Steve Pearce was born in 1947 to a large working-class family. He was raised in Hobbs, New Mexico, where his father worked as a roustabout, selling vegetables on the side of the road to make ends meet. With six children to feed, times were often hard in the Pearce household."

This does not seem to mesh with the facts. His father, Mr. Melvin Pearce had a good job with the Humble Oil & Refining Company/Exxon as Technician where he worked until his retirement in 1984. Here is an excerpt from the obituary of Congressman Pearce's father--Melvin Marcus Pearce-- published September 3, 2008:

...In 1951 (Melvin Pearce) began working for Humble Oil & Refining Company/Exxon as an Instrument Technician where he worked until his retirement in 1984. He enjoyed hunting coyotes and fishing trips to the Delaware River near Loving, N.M., where he often took his children to build good relations. Outfitted with fishing poles, ham, eggs, potatoes, pork and beans and an iron skillet, he headed for the river for a couple of days of fun and feasting. His children count these times as among the fondest memories of their childhood....

I believe Mr. Pearce is exaggerating his so-called poverty to get the Hispanic vote.

Now that's what you call a first-class Gator strike. Pearce faces no opposition this year in the GOP primary. His Dem general election opponent is Evelyn Madrid-Erhard of Las Cruces.


Much of New Mexico's economy may be growing at a snail's pace, but  not all of it. Get a load of this--they think a housing bubble could be forming in Carlsbad--of all places:

Carlsbad’s building boom has some in the city of 26,000 describing it as a real estate bubble. For the past four years, Carlsbad experienced unprecedented job  growth as the oil/gas and potash industries have kept unemployment below  5 percent and driven the city’s median wage to more than $50,000. This  attracted developers from Las Cruces, Texas and Arizona, who are  building multifamily apartments and residential subdivisions as quickly  as they can to house the infusion of workers.

We've blogged of a reduced work force at WIPP--the federal low-level nuclear waste disposal site near Carlsbad--due to budget cuts. But the  oil boom is more than making up for it.

And Hobbs is also hitting on all cylinders in the SE corner. The AP comes with this:

A scientific ghost town in the heart of southeastern New Mexico oil and gas country will hum with the latest next-generation technology--but no people. A $1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County near Hobbs, officials said, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets. Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said the unique research facility that looks like an empty city will be a key for diversifying the economy of the nearby community, which after the oil bust of the 1980s saw bumper stickers asking the last person to leave to turn out the lights.

Some 350 permanent jobs are expected for already booming Lea County because of this deal.

We're told ABQ Mayor RJ Berry was quite taken with Oklahoma City when he visited there and modeled some of his ABQ The Plan after that city's efforts, but we think he might be best advised to pick up the phone and call Mayor Cobb down there in Hobbs to see how things get done.


It's no secret that the ABQ area is still in the economic doldrums--salary and job growth is basically flat and even if you're doing well, you're watching your wallet as often as your waistline. So any restaurant that can deliver good value and mighty good tasting food finds itself much in demand. Such is Hurricane's Restaurant and Drive-in on Lomas in ABQ's mid NE Heights.

It's a hole in the wall with red vinyl booths, but a killer diner menu served inside or at the old-fashioned drive-in spaces. We opted one afternoon for a Denver omelet with toast and were surprised by the size--like a large pancake--and the price--under seven bucks. You're going to pay near ten at that chain diner down the road.

They didn't get squeamish on the ingredients, either, filling that delight with chunks of ham, bell peppers and onion and lacing it with a generous portion of cheddar. We finished our repast, asking ourselves why more places can't do this. (They also have something call the Disaster Burrito which we will leave to more adventurous souls). No wonder whether it's recession or boom, Hurricane's hangs around. It's nothing fancy, but neither are the times in which we live.

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