Friday, September 06, 2013

Dinelli's First TV Ad Makes Direct Appeal For Dem Support; Shoves Berry To Right On Minimum Wage & Abortion; Can He Make A Race Of It? Plus: The Crusty Clerk Of Dona Ana  

Pete Dinelli
Pete Dinelli makes his TV debut with a solid, if not sensational, 30 second spot that aims to rally the city's Democratic base and force a run-off election between himself and GOP Mayor Richard Berry.

ABQ elections are officially nonpartisan, but in his first TV ad Dinelli unabashedly labels himself a "Democrat" as he decries the mayor's failure to enforce the increase in the city's minimum wage that was passed by 66% of the voters in last November's election.

And he makes a direct play for Democratic women by delving into the recent city controversy over abortion rights.

The minimum wage is especially important to lower income Hispanics, most of whom are Dems. It is a block of voters that Dinelli must motivate if he is to have any chance at all of keeping Berry below the 50% mark on October 8 and forcing a run-off election.

Dinelli also tries to push Berry into the radical Republican camp by pointing out that the mayor supports a ban on late term abortions, even in the case of rape or incest.

Supporters of the late term ban have gathered enough petition signatures to force a vote. That vote won't happen Oct. 8 but probably Nov. 19. Still, the measure is seen by the Dinelli camp as critical in getting Democratic women to rally behind his candidacy. Women are a majority of the Democratic Party.

Dinelli does not have a warm, fuzzy personality or the likability of Berry. By urging Democrats to vote their party against what he paints as radicalized Republicans, he lets voters cast a ballot purely for ideas without regard to the personality.

(Berry will get 90% or more of the GOP vote so Dinelli does not have to fear alienating them.)

One problem for Dinelli: He is on the attack against Berry, but voters still don't know him. He decided not to spend any of his $350,000 plus in public financing on a summer TV buy to introduce himself, deciding he had to concentrate his limited spending power all in one month.

Dinelli was at a measly 19% in our blog's scientific poll last week and the ABQ Journal survey to be released Sunday will probably not show him substantially higher. Dinelli's TV spot did not air while the Journal was in the field.

With only about 20% of the vote in his corner, Dinelli has a lot of low lying fruit to pick. This first wave of TV should be the easiest for him as he consolidates Dem voters who were not aware of the mayor's race and who have also heard little negative about Berry since the last campaign four years ago. The caveat being that Dinelli has to deal with an expensive and relentless attack campaign being waged against him by Berry. Also, the mayor did not publicly finance and has more cash at his disposal.

Many Dems long ago wrote off the mayor's race. Dinelli is hoping that by going to two hot button issues in his first major media outing he can bring both his party and the race back into play.


Reader JD Robertson says nice guys don't always finish last, as he analyzes the 2013 ABQ mayoral race:

Joe--I see no need for a detailed, in-depth technical analysis of Mayor Berry's tenure in office. His persona as a "nice guy" will carry him all by itself. If you were to ask Joe Six-pack why he's voting for Mayor Berry, he'll not put forth an issue. He'll tell you, he's a "nice guy." All Berry has to do is not make waves, make no controversial decisions--and above all do not bad mouth the opposition and he'll be mayor forever...

"Mayor forever?" That sounds like a punishment, not a reward. Regardless, Berry says if re-elected his second term would be his last.


Reader Bill Croft writes of media coverage of the ABQ mayoral campaign:

Joe, Here's another example of the ABQ Journal supporting Mayor Berry. The city had a public meeting Wednesday night about the Mayor's Rio Grande Vision, the part of "ABQ: The Plan," addressing changes for the Bosque. Over 200 people attended  and the facilitator was forced to allow people to give comments for at least two hours (unlike the original agenda). All but one of the dozens who spoke were against the Rio Grande Vision, and all of those were loudly cheered and applauded by the audience. Here's TV news coverage from KOB and KOAT.

We'll watch for additional coverage, Bill. There were also complaints heard that Mayor Berry did not show up at that meeting to discuss his controversial plans for the bosque.


A reader writes of the news that former GOP ABQ City Councilor Mike McEntee may seek the GOP nomination for the right to take on Dem Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham next year:

Joe, you wrote that Mike McEntee was an aviation consultant. He has actually been employed with the City of Albuquerque's Municipal Development Department for the past several months as a project coordinator.


Former State Auditor Domingo Martinez is done. He tells newsman Steve Terrell he is getting out of the '14 race for the Dem nomination for auditor, a position he has twice been elected to.

It's a major break for ABQ Dem State Senator Tim Keller who is the only other announced candidate in the contest. There's still time for another hopeful to get in, but right now Keller is breathing easier. Martinez was a formidable vote getter.


Clerk Ellins
Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins makes a splash in the national media following his recent decision to issue same sex marriage licenses without waiting for an order from a court. Ellins, an attorney and a Democrat, doesn't hold back when asked about the bold move:

Ellins didn’t mince words on whether he feels frustrated about other clerks in New Mexico who haven’t joined him in quickly issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“Let me put it this way, some people have balls, some people don’t, alright? Some of them truly believe that they need direction from on high and they’re not willing to do a constitutional analysis,” Ellins told TPM in an interview/ “Some of them are philosophically opposed so they wouldn’t do it unless they were brought to the shed and whacked.

Be careful, Lynn, you keep talking like that and the state's downtrodden Dems are going to draft you for Governor...or something.

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