Thursday, June 14, 2012

Some Thursday Political Potpourri, Plus: The Youngest NM State Senator Ever, And: A Batch Of Reader Mail 

Blogging New Mexico
Let's start with some political potpourri...

Maybe it's true that Libertarian presidential candidate and former NM Governor Gary Johnson pulls equally from Dems, R's and independents, but that still hurts Romney most. Romney can't afford for any R's to bleed away in majority Dem New Mexico Obama can suffer the loss of some Dems and indys to Johnson without it costing him the election. The bottom line is that anyway you spin it Gary Johnson is bad news for Romney in New Mexico...

Will Heather Wilson and Martin Heinrich stay pretty much neck and neck into the fall? There's a good chance they will, despite the already very heavy TV ad schedules flooding the airwaves. Voters are not really engaged in the US Senate race yet and even if they are, the ads are snoozers and not  breaking any new ground.

Heinrich has had a lead of a couple of points in all the polls. We look for that to stay pretty much continue until the fall, with the TV debates perhaps deciding this one. That's a long way to go....

We've blogged about whether Dem congressional hopeful Michelle Lujan Grisham will give up her seat on the Bernalillo County Commission before a September deadline in order to prevent the commission from falling under Republican control. Our best guess is that she stays put....

Early Alligator handicapping on the state Senate outlook: Look for the Republicans to pick up one or two seats in the chamber this November. That won't change things much. The R's lost three seats in 2008. The Dems will retain control.

Jacob Candelaria won't be the youngest state Senator in New Mexico history. He says former US Senator Joe Montoya, who was elected to the Senate at the age of 25 in 1940, was younger.

Candelaria, who won the June primary for an ABQ west side seat and will turn 26 when he enters the Senate, said he "is several months older than when Joe Montoya was elected." There was speculation that he might be the youngest.

But that doesn't quite solve the matter of who was the youngest person ever elected to the Senate. Was it Montoya? We don't think so. Tom Rutherford claims to be the youngest Senator ever. He won election in 1972 at 24 and was 25 when he was sworn in. He served 24 years. You can win election at the age of 24, but must be 25 by the time you take office.)

Unless proven otherwise, Tom, now a lawyer/lobbyist, wears the "youngest" crown. And at 65 that has to feel pretty cool.


As you may know by now, the reason your TV screen is not overwhelming you with presidential campaign ads is because for the first time since 1996 our fair New Mexico is not a swing state. It's pretty much conceded by intelligentsia on both sides that Obama is the likely winner here. Some more exploration of the topic comes from Alibi intern Russel Page:

Does Mitt Romney stand a chance of turning New Mexico  red in November? Susana Martinez proved just two years ago that the  state can still support Republicans in statewide elections. She remains  popular with New Mexicans, showing a  54 percent approval rating in April. Her high approval rating, however, does not seem to be translating into support for Romney.

Romney must win over the more of the state’s  Hispanic voters if he wants any chance of competing. With his  hard-line immigration stance, Romney will likely find this to be an uphill battle. This week, Romney began courting Hispanic voters by releasing  an ad citing rising unemployment and poverty for Hispanics under Obama. Yesterday, he  appointed Gov. Martinez to a Hispanic leadership team in his campaign.


From a reader:

Joe, what is Attorney General Gary King saying about Jay McCleskey, (the Governor's chief political advisor) using state resources" for political purposes?

And you might add: What will State Auditor Hector Balderas do, if anything? Could Hector, a potential 2014 Dem Guv candidate, find himself poking into the McCleskey mess?

And what of the 2013 ABQ Mayor's race? Jay is not only the chief political advisor to Susana, but also to Mayor Berry. His Honor has to be nervously watching these latest developments.


PhotobucketReader Valerie Ervin writes from Maryland:

I'm writing from Montgomery County, Maryland.  I serve on the County Council and am originally from Albuquerque. I was disheartened by the way the campaign for the Democratic nomination for the ABQ congressional seat went negative. Michelle Lujan-Grisham could have come out a better candidate moving toward the general election than she will. There was really no need to get so ugly and so personal by putting up mug shots on TV of  Eric Griego. No wonder the voters stayed at home. As an elected leader myself, I hear from residents all the time who say they stopped voting because elections are not won on the merits of the candidates anymore, they are won by the person who has done the best opposition research.  The best candidate these days wins not because they can articulate a vision for the future but because they had to ruin another person's good name to succeed.


Another reader writes--amusingly--of the legendary and (not necessarily proven) "Kiss of Death" of the ABQ Journal editorial pages:

The curse of the Albuquerque Journal continues. Once again their endorsement is the kiss of death.  In the June 5 primary election they were wrong on the district attorney's race, the Court of Appeals race, both PRC races and six  of the contested Legislative races.  Once again they are about as good at picking winners as a monkey pulling names out of a hat.  Good thing they got Lonnie Talbert right in that race against Michel Wiener for the Bernalillo County Commission....


Governor Susana Martinez says: 

During the summer months it’s harder for lower-income school-age kids to access nutritious meals. New Mexico’s Children, Youth, and Families Department teams up with the federal government and local partners, like the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, to provide summer lunches to New Mexico kids.  This is an important program that helps keep our children healthy and well-fed throughout the year.”

To find a meal site in your area visit this or call 1-800-EAT-COOL. Children 18 and younger may receive free meals and snacks through SFSP. Meals and snacks are also available to persons with disabilities, over age 18, who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled.

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