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Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Weekend With Susana And Chuck--For $10,000 A Pop; The Guv's Luxurious Taos Fund-Raiser, Plus: Dem Chair Race Coverage 

Never mind a handshake and a picture, the latest twist on high-dollar fundraising comes to us in the form of a $10,000 per person invite to spend a weekend with the Guv and hubby Chuck Franco.

You'll have plenty of time to get your photo with the first couple not to mention time to lobby her over your pet concerns. A $10,000 check will get that job done every time.

The invite (click to enlarge) announcing the "exclusive weekend fundraiser retreat" is set for April 26 and April 27 and will be held at the luxurious El Monte Sagrado resort  in Taos.

Friday night includes a cocktail reception and dinner. Saturday morning features breakfast and a one hour "briefing" from the state's chief executive.

Insiders consistently report that one of the defining features of the Martinez administration is how hard it can be to get an appointment to see her in her Fourth Floor office at the Roundhouse. She's created a lot of pent up demand so we'd expect a pretty good turnout among the lobbying and corporate classes in which $10 Grand is mere walking around money.

Hey, maybe one of them will buy us a ticket and we can do a blog for you from there. They have wireless at that place, don't they?

CHAIR RACE

With this kind of support from core Dem constituencies, you would have to say if ABQ attorney Sam Bregman were to lose his battle with Roxanne Lara for chairmanship of the state Democratic Party, it would be a big upset:

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7076 has endorsed Sam Bregman as the next Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Within the past 8 weeks Bregman has received the endorsements of the NM AFL-CIO, the Building Trades Council, AFSCME and IAFF Local 244.

Bregman keeps saying the race is over and that he has the necessary delegates to win, but Lara a former Eddy County Commissioner, is campaigning nonstop.

She is now saying that she would keep the Dem party headquarters in ABQ, but would open a satellite office in heavily Republican SE NM to show that the party wants to have muscle there.

(Lara told us Thursday she was misquoted by the media and that the satellite office would be in Las Cruces).

Both candidates seem to be overreaching. Bregman boosters constantly declare he is the winner, even before the votes are cast. And now Lara who is apparently unaware that the key to future Democratic victories is in mobilizing the state's three major cities-ABQ, Santa Fe and Las Cruces--all of which are Democratic.

Courting the population losing counties of the SE (where she hails from) as she proposes will only force the party to dilute its message in an effort to appeal to ultra-conservative voters and dampen its  appeal in the vote-laden cities.  That was the major error made by the Dems in their losing 2010 gubernatorial race.

Obama carried the ABQ congressional district with 55 percent of the vote and the northern district with 57 percent. He lost the southern district getting 45 percent.

The Dems new party chair has a clear roadmap to work from. It is the 2012 Obama election in which relied on the increasingly Democratic cities and the traditional Dem north. The map does not have stops in "Little Texas."

Bregman and Lara both have personal ambitions--Bregman some day for Governor and Lara for the southern congressional seat. Some 400 Dem central committee members meet April 27th to pick a chairman to serve a two year term that will include the '14 election cycle.

LABS AND '14

Dem NM US Senator Tom Udall, seeking re-election next year, avoids an immediate political hit in the newly released Obama Department of Energy budget. It proposes bumping up funding for Los Alamos National Labs by 7%. The Labs have been laying off workers. But what will the final budget approved by Congress look like? Will there indeed be a budget boost? Nothing is certain and a fight lies ahead.

In ABQ, the Obama DOE budget keeps funding for Sandia National Labs at $1.8 billion. That's flat. That is better than being cut but not going to do much to stimulate the city's long stagnating economy. And we are still uncertain whether or not there will be cuts when all is said and done.

The current Sandia budget tops out at over $2 billion when funding from other sources than DOE is taken into account.

Udall and Gov. Martinez, who is also up for reelection in '14, have a long road ahead when it comes to the federal budget.

Also, southern GOP Congressman Steve Pearce points out the Obama budget has this worrisome news for our state:

This proposal threatens our military installations by calling for a BRAC Commission...

For the uninitiated, a BRAC commission studies the possibility of closing military bases. In the past Albuquerque's Kirtland Air Force Base has been targeted. Holloman in Pearce's district could be in the unwanted spotlight--along with Kirtland-- if there is another BRAC.

Funding for all aspects of the federal government is going to be one of the biggest stories and challenges New Mexico faces this decade. Don't say we didn't tell you.

HOW IT WORKS

Reader Brent Eastwood writes of the big labs budgets:

A lot of the budget work will be done at the Congressional committee and subcommittee level in the coming months, that is why it is critical for the NM Congressional delegation to have a clear policy, authorization, and appropriation plan to make sure the various line items and inserts for NNSA, Sandia, and LANL become law.

That means there is still political pressure on Udall, who is a new member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. And there is also pressure remaining on Governor Martinez. She is up for re-election next year.

GAYS IN SERVICE


Reader Mike in Corrales writes:

Joe, I was surprised to not see any coverage on this in your blog:

Republican governor and gay marriage opponent Susana Martinez has vetoed a Senate bill to help the families of gay service members obtain professional licenses in New Mexico. After issuing the pocket veto, Martinez signed an identical version of the measure that would only streamline the process for straight spouses. 

I understand that Rachel Maddow of MSNBC spent the first several minutes of one of her shows this week on this, including video of Governor Martinez speaking last year at the Republican National Convention. This is a timely topic, with the Supreme Court deliberating on gay marriage and such.

Here is a link to the Maddow comments.

THE BOTTOM LINES

From our Twitter feed about NM GOP National Committeeman and attorney Pat Rogers:

Santa Fe Reporter @SantaFeReporter (ABQ attorney) Pat Rogers Calls Reporter a Dumb Fuck, Vows to Sue Somebody...but he's not sure who to sue yet. Details here.

Sounds like someone forgot to take their meds.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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