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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Latest Clues On How Dem Guv Race Is Shaping Up, Plus: Space Tourists Would Go High, But Maybe Not Into Space, And: Readers Continue Critique of Candidate Ads 

(Santa Fe Reporter)
Gary King's widespread name ID is holding him in first place this week in the 2014 race for the Dem Guv nomination but contenders Lawrence Rael and Alan Webber have been picking up support as their TV ads begin to penetrate what has been a very sleepy five way contest for the right to take on Susana Martinez in the November.

The Guv polling for the June 3 primary was done for a political candidate not running for Governor and seems to confirm the conventional wisdom that the race is still not closed out.

The ABQ Journal is expected in the days ahead to come with a scientific survey of the race.

King supporters are awaiting his TV buy which they say will start this week. Will it be enough to hold the fort as Rael and Webber stay on the move? And can Howie Morales and Linda Lopez get in on the action with some last minute media buys of their own?

And when the Dems pic their nominee June 3 will that hopeful be subjected almost immediately to a sneak attack?

Well, it really wouldn't be a sneak attack. But if you are Guv political adviser Jay McCleskey you have to be anxious to get started and work over whoever wins the Dem nomination. A June knock-out punch of a Dem nominee in a Dem dominated state may or may not be in the cards, but if the R's hit the new nominee hard and often before he has a chance to find his sea legs, June could be a defining month.

Dem analysts are saying a third party group--labor, environmentalists, women---needs to be prepared to prop up the Dem cause in June if that's when Susana starts her negative campaign. But with the national Dems pooh-poohing the chances of unseating her, would Dems have the resources to launch an effective counterattack?

HISTORY TODAY

From DC:

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich will join President Barack Obama, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and community leaders from New Mexico today, Wednesday, May 21, at approximately 4 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. MT at the Department of Interior for a historic proclamation signing ceremony establishing the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The event will be available via live-stream at www.whitehouse.gov/live. See it live at 2 pm.

Wonder who will get the pens the Prez uses to sign that proclamation?

NOT QUITE SPACE

Sir Richard Branson
The hundreds of people worldwide who have put up as much as $250,000 to be launched into suborbital space from the NM Spaceport courtesy of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic may not actually really get to "space." How can that be? The news:

Virgin Galactic may only bring passengers 50 miles above sea level, 10 miles short of what is widely accepted as outer space. A report claims defects found in the wings of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spacecraft will delay the commercial space flight operation until at least 2015 - but reveals that even when the flights do take off, passengers may technically not be taken into outer space anyway.

A report in the Sunday Times claims to have seen the customer contract Virgin Galactic has drawn up, and in the small print it guarantees to get passengers to an elevation of "at least 50 miles."
While this is sufficient to experience weightlessness, the widely accepted boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space - called the Karman Line - lies at an altitude of 62 miles above the Earth's sea level. Virgin claims it is using Nasa's 50 mile boundary definition for space, one which was used in the 1960's to award astronaut wings to pilots who flew in the rocket-powered X-15 aircraft.

As for the latest prediction that tourists will be launched into space sometime this year, don't hold your breath. 

APD GRAND JURY?

Reader Danny Hernandez writes:

There was a sigh of relief from many quarters when the Department of Justice (DOJ) report on APD came out. It vindicated those who for so long have been saying that something has been very wrong-- especially the families of the victims of APD violence. But the DOJ's investigation may never bring to justice APD's top brass who let our police department slip into this culture of violence. It's their lack of oversight that the DOJ report cites as being primarily responsible for that culture being perpetuated. . . To find those culpable, we need an independent investigative body with the power to subpoena and indict. 


What we need is a target grand jury that could subpoena and indict straight from the judge's bench. Fortunately, the New Mexico Constitution allows for citizens to convene such a grand jury with the signatures of 2% of the registered voters in a county. For Bernalillo County (Second Judicial District), that figure works out to be 8,660 - a very doable goal. There is a move under way to do just that. Anyone who wants to sign, or help gather signatures, can go to the "Albuquerque PD in Crisis" Facebook page and message us.

COUNCILOR LEWS?

We misspelled the name of Councilor Dan Lewis Tuesday, the chair of the council's budget committee, calling him "Councilor Lews."  But maybe he ought to think of going with it. Some possible headlines: "Lews or Win, Lews is All In." "Use It Or Lews it" or "Lews Makes Headline News."

NO MORE JETS TO SELL

We've been running  critiques of the TV ads of the Dem Guv hopefuls. Reader Rick Allan of Anthony, NM comes with this take on Gov. Martinez's TV spot in which she boasts of selling the state jet:

Resorting to “Sold State Jet…More money to our schools” may be clever and flashy, but it also is plainly a defensive display of weakness even before the Democratic primary. Did the extremely embarrassing audio reported by Mother Jones strike home through a cordon of political complacency and arrogance? 

That teacher’s pay and teachers who the Governor derided for working less than ten months of the year and “reforming” education are all of a sudden on her mind and found in this first campaign ad speaks for itself. Likewise, resorting to the easy catch phrase “and now we invest more money in education than at any time in New Mexico history” also may sound good but where is the evidence that such investments approach anywhere near the scale of what they need to be to make up for past underfunding? Where are any results? That’s what the campaign must be about – who can best lay out what New Mexico’s needs are going forward and what it takes to seriously provide the resources to fund them, not just in education but across the board. There are no more jets to sell or chefs to fire.

FORTY UNDER FORTY 

Rep. Youngblood
ABQ GOP State Rep. Monica Youngblood is another example of aggressive Republican recruitment of Hispanic candidates in the state and it's paying off.

Youngblood (formerly Monica Lopez) was just named to the Washington Post's list of "40 under 40" rising political stars. The first term representative, an ABQ native, was given these kudos:

She was raised in poverty by a single mother, and she later became a teenage single mom herself. She later started her own real estate business and is now serving her first term in the New Mexico state House. She was recently named a rising star by the Republican National Committee, and she serves on the board of the Future Majority Project at the Republican State Leadership Committee--a national group for state-level Republicans.

Youngblood, 37, will have to use that positive PR in a future campaign. This year she is running unopposed in both the primary and general elections.

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