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Friday, May 02, 2014

Bloom Comes Off The Berry Rose; Poll Shows ABQ Mayor At 56.6% Approval After Winning 68% In Relection Bid; Blame The APD Drama, Plus: Guv Overreach? Her Lawyers Try To Stop TV Station From Airing Ad 

Mayor Berry
Mayor Berry posted a record-smashing 68 percent of the vote when he won re-election last October, but a brutal stretch of news revolving around the ABQ police department appears to have brought him back down to earth. In a poll of likely voters conducted by BWD Global on Monday and Tuesday of this week Berry scores an approval rating of 56.6 percent. 29.8 percent of the 998 likely voters surveyed said they disapproved of Berry's job performance. 13.6 percent said they were unsure.

Since Berry's re-election the Justice Department has released a scathing report over the many ABQ fatal police shootings and the most sensational of those shootings--that of homeless camper James Boyd--catapulted the city into the international spotlight and prompted large street protests against APD.

Berry's approval rating is still strong for a Republican in a Democratic city, but it has to be mentioned that Berry has not been subjected to any paid media criticism nor for that matter much criticism from  Democrats. The dismal news backdrop alone appears to have deflated his numbers.

The APD crisis appears to have hurt Berry most with Democrats. 46 percent of them now disapprove of his performance, while 36.7 approve and 17.3 percent of the Dems said they were unsure.

Berry continues to pull solid GOP support, with 83.4% of Republicans saying they approved of him. Independents are another bulwark of mayoral support. 63.8 percent of them approved of Berry and 21.3 percent disapproved.

BWD Global is headed by Republican Bruce Donisthorpe who has conducted numerous automatic phone call polls for NM Politics with Joe Monahan as well as political and business clients. The margin of error in the Berry survey is plus or minus 3.1 percent.

GUV OVERREACH?

Governor Martinez's camp professes to be supremely confident about her re-election chances, but this action says they may be a lot more nervous than they are letting on:

Gov. Martinez and her lawyers wanted to stop an ad critical of her from airing in the Albuquerque television market. The ad features a young Hispanic woman who says: "Behind closed doors, Susana Martinez played along when her staff laughed and shamed Spanish-speaking families, like mine. Caught on tape, she refuses to apologize." 

Better New Mexico Political Action Committee paid for the ad. The committee is supported by Pat Davis' ProgressNow New Mexico, which has been among Martinez's harshest critics. (Martinez's) lawyer, Paul M. Kienzle III, wrote to TV stations, saying the ad could be libelous. " Mr. Davis and ProgressNow New Mexico are notorious for launching. . . false attacks against Governor Martinez," Kienzle stated in a letter to KOB.

"... We do not know the content of this advertisement, but suspect it may be concerning the recent audio tapes leaked from Governor Martinez's 2010 campaign. The most controversial comments on those tapes were made by campaign staff of Governor Martinez and attempting to attribute comments on those tapes to Governor Martinez, or mischaracterizing her role in those comments, would be false and libelous."

Kienzle went on to say that TV stations did not have to run the ad.

Well, the TV stations are airing the ad and its curious why the Guv's camp tried to censor it before they even knew its content. But then they are likely to spend as much as $1 million on each of the three major stations for he re-election bid this year. Maybe they were trying to muscle the station?

ABOUT THE AD

More about the Spanish name for the TV ad in question from one of our readers:

Here’s a clarification on the term: ¡Qué vergüenza! Joe, it carries a much stronger meaning in Spanish than the English translation “How embarrassing.” It’s more like “How shameful!” or “Shame on you!” It’s used to tell someone that they should be ashamed of what they did/said.

And Alligator analysis of the Guv's unusual attempt to squash the airing of the spot:

I'm kind of Intrigued by the Martinez team's overreaction to this ad about the audio tapes involving the governor. The ad doesn't uncover anything new that hasn't already been reported. The ad itself is pretty soft, without any ominous background music or slashing graphics. But the governor's team calls it "false" (when "misleading" would probably be a better argument). And we hear the governor's attorney tried to stop stations from airing it. For a governor who claims to be tough, she's pretty thin-skinned. 

It's also amazing to watch no one really give into these bullying tactics. Is the magic spell that Martinez had had have over the press wearing off? Is their response so over the top for an incumbent governor because this issue moves voters in the polling? Is the ad particularly compelling because it uses a Hispanic woman--a group key to the governor's success? Or, perhaps, this is an ad that hits right at the Governor's efforts to sell herself nationally as a Hispanic Republican loved by Hispanics? I would say it's all of the above. 

And that's the stuff you won't get anywhere else which is why. . . .

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Thanks for stopping by this week.

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