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Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Clips: Heather's Cool Poster, Pundits Rank Senate Contest, A Consultant In Crosshairs, Hammering Hanna And How The Wheel Turns 

This is a pretty cool poster from GOP US Senate candidate Heather Wilson celebrating this year's 100th anniversary of statehood (click to enlarge).  Regardless of what happens to her in this year's election, the poster looks like one you could see your great-grandchildren enjoying.

 Wilson's campaign says:

100 years ago, New Mexico joined the Union. I wanted to commemorate this special milestone with a unique poster. And you have the opportunity to have one. I only had 100 of these printed up so the next 100 people to donate $100 dollars will receive one. I’m going to number it, sign it and ship it to you. It's our Centennial, and we're making history!  There really are only 100 and when they are gone, they're gone!

It's interesting that Heather stresses that there are indeed only 100 of the posters. She must realize how little politicians of all stripes are trusted these days. Now on to the latest US Senate punditry...

The Hill in DC joins us in ranking the likely US Senate match this year between Dem Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson as "lean Dem." The two have had primaries that have so far produced no news and done nothing to change the outlook for the Fall campaign.

And noted political forecaster Larry Sabato of the University of Virgina now also joins us in labeling the Senate race here as lean Dem--a switch for him:

There is one toss-up we’re now comfortable moving: We now favor the Democrats in New Mexico’s Senate race. The reason has little to do with the two likely big party nominees: Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) and ex-Rep. Heather Wilson (R). It does have to do with the fact that New Mexico looks to be squarely in Barack Obama’s camp in November, and we don’t see a huge crossover vote boosting the Republican Wilson. Obviously, if Romney opens up a lead in the presidential race, and if New Mexico becomes competitive, we’ll have to revisit this rating. But, for now, this race leans Dem.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION

Now lets take it out to the legislative campaign trail...

It was the consultant, not the candidate, who was the focus of an attack launched by the super PAC Independent Source Watch this past week, The PAC's flyer (posted on their web site) attacking consultant Steve Cabiedes garnered front-page attention. He is working for Dem Cara Valente-Compton who is challenging sometimes controversial ABQ State Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton who is the House Majority Whip.

The PAC pointed out that Cabiedes has in the past consulted for Republicans and said it shows that Valente-Compton is a puppet for GOP interests. Cabiedes, who has long been a contributor to our KANW 89.1 FM election coverage, is a longtime supporter of the Green Party and says he shares little philosophically with the GOP.  "I'm just making a living," he told us. He added: "I'm about as Republican as Jerry Ortiz y Pino," a reference to one of the Legislature's most liberal members.

The SuperPAC is financed mainly with contributions from the Communications Worker of America.

By the way, Cabiedes will joining our other veteran analysts again this year as we broadcast primary election results beginning at 6:30 p.m June 5 on 89.1 FM and streamed live from the KANW web site.

HAMMERING HANNA

It looks as if the effectiveness of state Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera is plummeting. She hasn't made many influential friends in the Legislature and the teachers' unions are after her scalp. She was just given a vote of "no confidence  by the ABQ Teachers Federation.

Skandera has been an agent of change, never easy when dealing with the hot button education issue here. The state ranks near the bottom and fighting over why gets as rough as a Lobo-Aggie football game.

Martinez has been in the center on funding for the public schools--advocating continued small increases during tough budget times, but major education reform has eluded her. If she sees that Skandera has lost her power of persuasion, she may want to look at moving her elsewhere and putting a new face in the high-profile education chair.

NOT GOING GAY

Reader David Stocum, executive director of the New Mexico GLBTQ Centers, says we were off base with one of our headlines Thursday:

Thank you for the good look at the New Mexico spin on President Obama’s support of marriage equality.  I do find the headline on the story somewhat offensive, “going gay” and similar phrases are often used in negative and degrading ways. No one “goes gay” since sexual orientation is not a choice.

 THE WHEEL TURNS

We've seen them come and we've seen them go over the decades. Two of the most colorful have been that radical right tag team of Roswell Republicans Rod Adair and Dan Foley. They took after us repeatedly and we after them. Now State Senator Rod follows ex-State Rep. Foley into retirement. Foley, now living in Rio Rancho where he sells insurance, failed to mount a comeback attempt this year. No surprise. He knows that his arch-rival--Roswell oilman Mark Murphy--is waitng in the wings and ready to spend another several hundred thousand dollars against Foley as he did in 2008 when Foley was defeated in a hot GOP primary.

Despite being on the outside, Foley still sends an occasional zinger our way.  Most recently he opined that we know nothing about the Legislature. Well, for sure there are folks who have forgotten more than we know about the Roundhouse. But political fame fades fast, as Dan has discovered, and so it will for the many legislators departing Santa Fe this year. The wheel turns and a new cast of characters join the never-ending play of La Politica.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Thanks for stopping by this week and for making us the state's #1 political web site.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

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