Monday, March 17, 2014
Breaking Down The Guv Preprimary; Where They Finished In Your County, Plus: Dem Sen. Campos Fawns Over Susana, And: More On The Great Tesla Tease
We had some sloppy info posted for a time on the Friday blog (below) regarding the outcome of the Guv contest in each county. That's been corrected.
As for the status of the Dem Guv chase, the next foot to drop will probably be the paid media. Will the five hopefuls beat up on Susana? On each other? Or both?
There is also insider drama over how the money will flow in the aftermath of the preprimary. The next fundraising reports will be filed April 14 and cover the money raising through April 7.
Pressure will be on preprimary front-runner Morales to convert his win into a solid finance report. Runner-up Alan Webber will also have to show them the money--especially since the financial thesis of his campaign is built around his personal wealth.
Lawrence Rael rounds out the three preprimary winners who each received at least 20 percent delegate support. His report will also be closely watched.
If history is any guide, the candidate who has indicated he will use significant personal wealth for their campaign will be the first to drop a media/money bomb. In this case that would be Santa Fe businessman Webber.
One aside: TV is critical but not as much in a primary as in a general elections. A lower turnout means more grassroots efforts.. . .
Nicole Lee Shult had her 15 minutes of fame and off she goes. The 29 year old surprised La Politica last week when she filed to run in the Dem primary against NM House Speaker Ken Martinez. But it turns out Schult is already out. She says she did not intend to run against the Speaker and now realizes she didn't even live in his district.
In what some Dems described as over-the-top-praise for Susana, Dem Campos took to the stage last week at a bill signing in his hometown of Las Vegas and laid it on thick. His tribute to the Republican chief executive was so rich in compliments that the video on YouTube is making the political hit list. An excerpt:
“Our governor over the last four years has continued to work diligently to ensure that we are going to have a bright future… She has continued to look out after our children, she continues to look out after our senior citizens, she continues to look out after our small-business people, and she does that tenaciously.
Did Susana put something in the Las Vegas water supply? Or was it the $89 million capital outlay bill and what's in it for Campos' district that had the senator swooning? And will the Campos near endorsement of Susana be used by the R's on media in the Spanish North? That's where Dems need big victory margins if they are to oust Martinez this year. Stay tuned...
Meantime, in the days prior to the Guv's Vegas visit, Campos won a 4 to 3 vote to continue for another year as president of Luna Community College, a post he previously announced he would retire from.
THAT OTHER VEGAS
Susana is making the rounds in Vegas--both New Mexico and Nevada. She want up to Sin City to see Lobo and Aggie basketball and, of course, attend one of her ubiquitous fundraisers. Reader Steve Crespin comments:
Joe: Susana went to Las Vegas to cheer on our Lobos and Aggies which is great. But why can't (Guv political adviser) Jay McCleskey put the fundraising aside for just one trip? As we all know, New Mexico is in a battle with Texas, Arizona and Nevada for the TESLA battery plant. How do you think the folks from TESLA are going to view it when the governor of New Mexico has to go to Nevada to beg for money and praise the the state and people of Nevada? The folks from TESLA will see and hear this and it might help them decide Nevada is the place to build the plant. It's understandable that she and Jay want to make money but why can't they just turn it off just once and do something for New Mexico?
Well, maybe it's a bit of a stretch to argue that Martinez raising money in Vegas is going to impact the Tesla gigafactory deal, but let's use it to segue into more on Tesla.
THE TESLA TEASE
What will get electric car manufacturer Tesla to locate its huge battery factory here? The conservative press and the Martinez administration says it will be in large part the corporate tax package that was approved by the Legislature in 2013, but that already appears to have little to do with it.
That tax package is nearly an irrelevancy. Days after it was approved Intel--the state's leading manufacturer and one the tax package was especially aimed at--reduced its Rio Rancho workforce by 400. Hardly anyone is expecting the Intel jobs bleed to stop there--tax package or no tax package.
If the corporate package is putting us in play for Tesla--as the administration argues--why isn't it preventing Intel from downsizing? Well, it's equally silly to blame the tax package for not keeping Intel here as it is to assert that giant manufacturers are going to come here because of it. It is only one small factor in a sea of reasons why businesses locate where they do.
To seal the Tesla deal, our state--or the other three in the hunt--will likely have to pony up a very expensive set of incentives, never mind tax cuts.
Four states are in the running for the "Gigafactory"--Texas, Nevada, NM and Arizona. It could employ up to 6,500. With these states starved for manufacturing jobs, look for Tesla to take advantage of a bidding war.
Tesla has a history of playing states and regions against one another (as NM previously experienced). Have we already forgotten?
Tesla said in early 2007 that it would open a plant in Albuquerque, after then-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson promised tax credits and the purchase of 100 vehicles. But a year and a half later, Tesla dropped those plans, announcing instead that San Jose would be the future home of car production and that it would sign a 40-year lease in exchange for 10 years of free rent and sizable tax benefits. Then that deal also fell through, before Tesla finally moved forward with plans to open the Fremont, CA. plant.
Will NM be lured into offering Tesla a lucrative incentive package only to see Tesla leverage it with the state it really wants?
By the way, not a few business insiders believe that state for Tesla is probably Nevada. It's close to Tesla's California electric car plant, home to powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and also home to the only functioning lithium mine in the USA. That's the stuff they use to make the batteries.
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