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Thursday, May 02, 2013

Final Mayoral Field Set: Does Heh Help Dinelli? Plus: State Econ Dept. Finds Reason To Celebrate; Gators Not So Much, And: Big Bill's Dictator Tips  

Paul Heh
Is the addition of Republican Paul Heh to the 2013 ABQ mayoral ballot a break for Dem Pete Dinelli? That's the question now that Heh has been certified for the ballot by the city clerk and officially joins Dinelli and GOP Mayor Richard Berry in the mayoral fray.

The three man field is final and will face off October 8.

Heh, 67, is a retired APD sergeant who has been highly critical of the mayor. One key question: Will Heh position himself to the right on social issues? Berry has run into trouble with the right-wing of the GOP, specifically Christian evangelicals. If Heh veers to the right, he could eat into some of Berry's R support and help Dinelli.

Even Heh's inner circle admits his chances of actually winning the race are not realistic. He has raised no significant money and prospects for doing so are not good, but in a three way race he will draw his share of free media attention. You'll be hearing from Heh.

DEFENDING DINELLI

R's unloaded on the Wednesday blog on Dinelli for calling Dems who voted for R's "pendejos,"slang for idiots or dumb asses. Dem Brandon Trujillo comes with the Dinelli defense:

Pete was merely taking a shot at his own party members. As many New Mexicans know, Democrats elect Republicans. This was in no way targeted at Republicans, but just at the Democratic base. Many people in Albuquerque may not know that Pete is working with both sides of the aisle. If you look closely at his organization, he has Republicans that are working to get him elected. 

(Former GOP BernCo Sheriff) Darren White and his colleagues are trying to latch on to what little dirt they can since the only other thing they have is the Dinelli personality. That being said, everyone likes our current mayor and say he is a really nice guy! Well, let's look at the city's economy and public safety and where this "nice guy" mayor has positioned us in comparison to all our neighboring cities and states. Maybe we don't need a mayor that we can call our best friend.

Dinelli apologized for his remark.

Reader Norm came with this:

There could be no surer sign of how much trouble Mayor Berry is in than in the Republican reaction to Dinelli's "pendejo" remark. When the GOP begins to call out the media for being biased, it means they're in deep trouble. Remember Bush 41's "annoy the media, vote for Bush" in 1992? It's better than any poll. And if Dinelli did indeed say it to signal his Hispanic bona fides, good move. I don't live in Albq. so I haven't paid a lot of attention to the race, but I assumed he was Italian.

Dinelli is half-Hispanic, on his mother's side who was a native of Mora County.

LEWIS CHALLENGER

Some insiders think ABQ GOP City Councilor Dan Lewis has his eye on the mayor's office--in 2017. But first he has to deal with 2013 and getting re-elected to another term to his west side seat. He is the odds-on favorite to do so, but Dem Eloise Gift says she will make the run against him:

Paradise Hills realtor, business person and educator Eloise Gift will challenge Dan Lewis for City Council seat in District 5.Ms. Gift’s main priorities will be: 1) creating good paying jobs for Westsiders, 2) addressing public safety and property crime, 3) reforming Albuquerque Police Department and 4) making New Mexico schools great. ”A quality education is key to creating jobs and reducing crime in our community. We have waited too long for our economy to get back on track and need a new voice and fresh ideas.”

Gift was the Dem challenger to R Monica Youngblood for a west side state House seat last year, Youngblood won.

Lewis, currently the council president, announced his re-election plans this week. He lists among his accomplishments his break with Mayor Berry over the Department of Justice probe of APD. Lewis welcomed the use of force investigation. Berry did not.

Lewis made a brief run for the 2012 GOP nomination for the ABQ congressional seat, He dropped out and Janice Arnold-Jones won the nod but lost to Dem Michelle Lujan Grisham. Arnold-Jones has since been appointed to fill a vacancy on the council so she and Dan can share all those pleasant campaign memories. Well, maybe not.

IT'S THE ECONOMY

We know the folks at the state economic development department are anxious to give Governor Martinez any good economic news as she prepares for a potentially testy re-election bid in 2014, but it appears they are popping the champagne corks a bit early. Look what they're celebrating:

The Albuquerque Journal's Economy Watch has indicated the worst is over for New Mexico's economy and the state is on the road to recovery. According to the Journal, recent numbers show employment grew in New Mexico by 0.4 percent in the last year. The growth can in part be attributed to the transportation and warehousing industry as well as the mining industry.

Leave it to the Alligators to put the cork back in the Dom Pérignon at the econ department. Here they come:

I like how the state economic Development Department is celebrating .4% growth and a news article that says Albuquerque is in the pits and NM’s economy is a regional “laggard.” I wouldn’t be patting yourself on the back for .4% growth.

The good news--and there is some--is that the unemployment rate dropped in March in the state's cities. The bad news? The work force continues to shrink as people stop looking for work or get out of here. That's a chief reason for the jobless rate declining.

BILL'S DICTATOR TIPS

His New Mexico critics might say it takes one to know one. Here's former Governor Big Bill on "How to Talk To A Dictator":

You have to learn what their current moods are, who they’re having an affair with, who they are threatened by, and what you think they want out of the negotiation with you. Don’t get emotional.

Who they're "having an affair with?" Hmm. Is that how Bill got all that stuff passed in the Legislature?

Bill's book, "How to Sweet Talk a Shark: Strategies and Stories From a Master Negotiator," will be published in the fall.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2013 
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