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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Being John Sanchez: Gaming His Place On The '14 Ticket, Plus: More Mayor's Race Talk In Wake Of First Poll 

One of the more enduring parlor games of La Politica is whether Susana has the long knives out for Lt. Governor John Sanchez and will back a move to dump him from the 2014 ticket. Their frosty relationship keeps the wheels of the speculators turning. The latest installment, courtesy of a GOP Alligator, insists Sanchez is safe and the Guv said as much at a recent meeting:

Donors are not interested in spending money needlessly in primary challenges...Guv political adviser) Jay McCleskey) got his wings clipped in several failures in the 2012 cycle that angered the base (take that as the folks with the money). Knowing him personally, I'd put money on him keeping his head down on this one.  

I also don't believe that it is in the Governor's best interest to mislead the core of her financial base. She is well aware that John was very helpful, particularly in the North, to her 2010 election. Also, remember, that John is the only Republican Hispanic lieutenant Governor in the nation in a time where the party is trying to make headway there. 

Of course, it doesn't make sense to kick Sanchez off the ticket and if logic prevails--not emotion--he will stay on. However, the last we heard, ABQ's Randy Baker, the owner of DRB Electric, who has close ties to the Martinez administration, is still making rumblings about running for light guv against Sanchez.

MAYOR '13

Talk around town continues about the first poll of the '13 ABQ mayoral race showing incumbent Mayor Berry getting 59%, Pete Dinelli with 17%, Paul Heh 9% and 15% undecided. One of those doing some of the talking is Joe Byers, the campaign manager for Heh, a retired APD sergeant making his first bid for elective office:

In the posting from your Senior Alligator Monday, they stated, “If Dinelli is able to consolidate the Democratic vote by hammering the jobs issue and Heh continues to siphon-off Republican voters, Berry's numbers could erode further.”

Yes, Mr. Dinelli will consolidate many Democrats. Here is the caveat. Paul Heh is not in this race too “siphon-off” Republican voters. Mr. Heh is in this race to win..The poll showed Heh with 9% and the campaign is in its infancy. The fact of the matter is (former ABQ Dem Mayor Marty) Chavez was in the sixty percentile on the first poll of the 2009 mayoral race and as stated in your blog Berry had 14%.

The truth of the matter is Berry does not have a “commanding” lead of 40%; Berry is extremely vulnerable...The error margin of the poll is 4.4%...Based on that information and a best case scenario; the other two candidates only need to capture between 4.6% and 9.1% of Berry’s percentage. This will force a run-off election and the rest will be history. Electing Heh as the new mayor is very obtainable.

The mayoral election is October 8.

DEMS ON BERRY

Mayor Berry had this to say bout his high polling numbers:

 I think the voters of Albuquerque appreciate the steady and responsible leadership that has guided us through some tough economic times in the last several years... 

A Dinelli sympathizer retorts:

That will come back to haunt him. As you know and have reported we're bleeding jobs--1,400 in the past year alone. And while everyone else around us is recovering we're still stuck at zero growth. He seems to be resting on his laurels instead of showing that he's still got some fight in him.

ECON BEAT

The economy is still as flat as a tortilla in big Bernalillo County. The budget year for county government ends June 30 and:

Bernalillo County expected to receive about $94 million in gross receipts taxes this fiscal year... but it looks like the revenue will come in about 3 percent short.

Several large companies say they overpaid their gross receipts taxes and are asking for refunds, but the bottom line is that people buying less stuff means less in tax collections.

For example, this week the ABQ City Council passed a $480 million budget for the budget year that begins July 1. The current year's budget? $475 million, or a mere 1% higher. If you take inflation into account, the budget is actually lower. And that's what you call a pretty flat tortilla....

REMEMBER HIM?

Remember Rick Homans? He was one of the faces of New Mexico's late, great bull market. Remember that? Homans was state economic development director for Governor Big Bill when the economy boomed. He also played a major role in getting the NM Spaceport going. Homans is now is the president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. A friend of his sent us this column he recently co-authored on healthcare. Are they trying to lure him back to La Politica. Lord knows, once you get hooked, you stay hooked....

THE BOTTOM LINES

The link for the NMSU petition calling on the university regents to stop diverting academic funds to the athletic program was not working for early readers Tuesday. Here's that link....We also rewrote the paragraph about the death of ABQ civil rights attorney Mary Han. We first said she committed suicide. In the revised version, we said police say she committed suicide, but Han's family questions that finding....

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