Thursday, June 28, 2012

Martinez Vs. King (And Hector & Sam, Too?) Bring It On; Guv May Be On Collision Course With Top Dems; We Tell You Why, Plus: More Sour Griego Grapes, And: Our Thursday Bottom Lines 

Here we go kids. It's Thursday blogging action from the home of New Mexico politics....

So Governor Martinez says Dem Attorney General Gary King has a conflict of interest and should be banned from investigating hanky panky at the State Investment Council during Big Bill's rein. The Guv points out and the news reports that:

"Bruce Malott, former chairman of the Educational Retirement Board, served as campaign committee treasurer for King when he ran for the U.S. House in 2004. Malott is now a defendant in at least four lawsuits brought by private parties alleging wrongdoing in investments by the ERB and/or the SIC." 

Besides accusing King of being conflicted, less kind Martinez minions are calling Gary a "do nothing" attorney general.

What's a King to do? Well, maybe he uses it to his benefit. Maybe he says when it comes to emailgate--the scandal now shrouding Santa Fe--he indeed has a conflict of interest because of his possible Guv run. Then he turns around and has a special prosecutor named to investigate.

Martinez and company are ratcheting up the pressure on King. He's thinking about a 2014 Guv run, but more pressing is the possibility that he will open a formal investigation into emailgate. By roughing him up, do Susana and the Fifth Floor think any investigation he embarked upon would be colored by his being viewed as a political hack? They could. But that doesn't work so neatly if King goes the special prosecutor route.


Hey, stop the presses! Oh, I forgot. We don't have those around here anymore. Anyway, listen up. My top sources are telling me that it is a good bet that State Auditor Hector Balderas is going to get in on emailgate. Why should Gary have all the fun? After all, Hector is also a possible for the '14 Dem Guv nomination. And in case you forgot, Hector and Gary like each other about as much as a cat likes a bath.

How Hector wiggles his way into this deal is not yet known, but but he is the State Auditor and is no slouch when it comes to the corruption beat. One would think the contracts over the Downs at ABQ racino deal would be prime territory for him. And when Susana and Jay start the usual drumbeat that he's a political hack and should be minding his own email--not theirs--they may find it hard to draw blood. This is now an auditor who has been through a major campaign for the Dem nomination for US  Senate, True, he didn't have the tar beaten out of him, but he had to suffer through plenty of criticism and we get the vibe it has toughened him.

And don't forget slugger and trial attorney Sam Bregman. He's nosing around about a '14 Guv run and is already up to his knees in emailgate.

And we thought all the fun ended when Big Bill high tailed it out of here. Looks like there's a new party breaking out and just in time, too. We just can't analyze New Mexico politics unless it is in its normal state of utter chaos.


The administration comes with its response--via the newspaper--on the emails that Downs at ABQ attorney lawyer and GOP National Committeeman Pat Rogers sent to the private account of Deputy Chief of Staff Ryan Cangiolosi. They say Rogers' message about wanting a meeting with the deputy never got through because the account it was sent to was inactive.

One of three emails released by Independent Source PAC was also sent to Martinez advisor Jay McCleskey. The administration is not quoted in the news article as saying whether Rogers email got through to him. The Downs at ABQ racino deal was being considered by the state at the time of the Rogers emails which make them central to the question of whether there was any bid-rigging or collusion on the deal. The administration is also saying the emails were released to the PAC illegally and they have asked law enforcement to investigate.

The administration's defense of emailgate has been centered on process, leaving unchallenged the very damaging content of what is going on here. First, they say Dems used private email too, forgetting that Susana ran as the transparency Governor and was not going to copy the behavior of the nefarious Dems she ran against. Now they are attacking those who have leaked the emails, asserting that they are the lawbreakers. Egads! You mean folks who point out that government officials are using private emails to conduct government business are the lawbreakers--and not the other way around? Good luck selling that line to Mr. & Mrs. New Mexico.

This defense seems aimed at intimidating those who are ferreting out details of the shadow government, rather than an effort to bring into the light those conducting it and bringing it to an end. If Martinez is going to attack the leakers, instead of doing something about the shady way this government has been conducting business, she is going to be dragged further into the muck. The specialness of this governorship has held it aloft. But now it is being reduced to a narrative that is  depressingly ordinary. A bunch of politicians take power, abuse it and try to hide it from the public. Isn't that special? No.


Those are some sour grapes Eric Griego is biting into. He still hasn't endorsed Michelle Lujan Grisham for the ABQ congressional nomination, even though she took the Dem nomination from him back on June 5. So what is Eric doing? Well, he sent out an email asking New Mexico Dems to give campaign money to Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. Say what, Eric? Couldn't that money be used to help Michelle keep the ABQ seat in Dem hands?

Griego, 46, isn't doing much to repair his abrasive image and he may be hurting any chances he has for a future political run. Sure, the campaign was rough and Eric's feelings were hurt. But so were Michelle's as well as those of former ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez.

What's that saying? "Get over it, already.."? Yeah, that's the one....

Marty Chavez is over it. The same day Eric was chewing on his sour grapes, Marty was coming with an unabashed endorsement of Lujan Grisham who also trounced him in the primary. For you up and comers looking to put your neck into the tent of La Politica, here's how you play it:

It’s time to put our differences aside...Michelle Is a consensus builder who knows how to get results while standing up for our values. She has a proven record of fighting for the Middle Class and she will stand up to the special interests in Washington; she will end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and make the rich pay their fair share; and she has the expertise and passion to increase access to affordable, quality health care, and protect seniors from fraud and abuse.

Now, that's not too hard, is it Eric? Maybe it's experience. Chavez, 60, has been in the game for nearly 40 years and has been beaten up more than a rented mule. In turn he has administered a number of mighty beatings.

And, yes, you're right--Eric needs Michelle a lot more than Michelle needs Eric. The odds of her becoming the next congresswoman we're just posted in Vegas. Republican Janice Arnold-Jones had to look away. It's that painful.


From the email:

WhoSaidYouSaid.com, a website that documents politicians and policymakers in their own words, today announced its expansion into New Mexico, with www.whosaidyousaid.com/newmexico.

The project is an initiative of Citizen Media, a Colorado-based non-profit organization that launched WhoSaidYouSaid.com in Colorado in 2009....The New Mexico venture features coverage of the state's politics, people and policy, including Members of Congress, the U.S. House and Senate races, the state legislature and economic issues.

“We want to aggregate, promote and produce key video on New Mexico politics,”said Tom Intorcio, who is in New Mexico this week to recruit including videographers and writers.


Former ABQ GOP west side State Senator Joe Carraro and this blog go way back. We've had our ups and downs with the volatile, but always informed Carraro. One of his best attributes is his status as an independent Republican, but now he's dropping the R and going all indy. Carraro says he has filed as an independent candidate and will take on ABQ GOP State Senator John Ryan. No Dem is seeking the seat. Says Joe:

This election is not about political parties. It's about people who have worked hard to achieve a great place to live. I registered as an Independent because I have always represented the people rather than ideologies or political parties, since they have their own interests.  My fellow Senators awarded me with a recognition that I 'Represented the People. Never Himself." I want to continue to do that for another term to insure that the changes to our community in the future are for the better.

Hey, all those years in politics and you learn to blow your own horn. But look. Here's a Republican who has a mind of his own (I know, Jay. It's scary) and who deserves a listen. Senator Ryan is the odds-on favorite to take the seat again, but what a good TV debate these two could have.


Maybe Bernalillo County GOP political director Steve Kush thinks he's off the hook now that he comes with this. (He isn't):

Albuquerque attorney Chris Sturgess filed the necessary paperwork to run as a write-in candidate for District Attorney in the 2nd Judicial District. Sturgess’ candidacy ensures (Democratic) District Attorney Kari Brandenburg faces a qualified challenger. Sturgess, who attended UNM Law School, was a prosecutor for over two years and was named New Prosecutor of the Year in 1999. He then served as a Public Defender for nine years...

What a botched job this was by the R's. Kari is being kicked around like a month old tin can on an elementary school playground, and the R's have no real challenger. A "write-in candidate?" You pull that back in your home state of Jersey, Kush, and they'd find a river with your name on it. As for you, Kari, you can back to the hammock and iced tea.


In a first draft Wednesday we said Dem State Senator Phil Griego received a cash donation from the Reform NM PAC run by Guv Martinez political advisor Jay McCleskey. The PAC mailed out support literature of Griego but did not make a cash donation...We also called tourism secretary Monique Jacobson "Monica." That's probably not the first or last time we'll make that mistake...

Back now to Sen. Griego who wanted to make a statement about the Reform NM PAC backing of his campaign and recent statements made by Aubrey Dunn, Jr., his GOP foe in the November election:

I am a proud and long-standing New Mexico Democrat and I believe in Democratic ideals. For my right wing Republican opponent, Aubrey Dunn, to suggest that I had any knowledge or authorization of a PAC either McCleskey's (Reform New Mexico Now) or any other PAC support of me is ludicrous...These PACs that have formed (with agendas of their own) because of Citizens United are saturating American politics with mailers, phones calls, false accusations and they have harmed our political process. I do not condone these tactics in any way.

Griego has some fence mending to do with the press. He would not give any interviews during the primary campaign so now he's taking a tour of the newspapers in his district to kiss and make up. Go ahead, Phil. Eat your spinach--at least it isn't crow.

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