Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stumbling Down The Trail: King Campaign Manager Lasts Only Hours After Caught In Social Media Mess, And; Susana's Park City Problem: She Lays An Egg At Romney Summit; National Media Pounces, And: The Blog Contest: Win Tickets To Friday's Vintage ABQ Fine Food And Wine Event  

First we had Susana Martinez asking on leaked audio tapes  "what in the hell" the now defunct NM Commission on the Status of Women does all day. Then we had one of the Dem Guv candidates campaigns calling her campaign staff a bunch of "misogynistic thugs." Then we had the argument between Martinez and King over equal pay for equal work. Now we have King's just hired campaign manager resigning his post only days after signing up because of comments he made about women on his Twitter account.

The latest twist in this gender bender of a campaign came as freshly hired King campaign manager Steve Verzwyvelt of Louisiana abruptly resigned Tuesday after opposition researchers waded through his Twitter account and found a couple of gems from 2011 and 2012. They were enough for King to push him out the door and onto a jet plane back to Natchitoches:

Valentines tip: candy is dandy but liquor is quicker #happyvalentinesday” Verzwyvelt tweeted on Feb. 12, 2012 from the handle @polisav.

“Just got eye banged by a big girl,” began another tweet that January. “That’s my signal that’s it’s time to go.”

The entire list of Tweets was trotted out with effect by the right-wing Washington Free Beacon. While some Dems expressed surprise that Verzwyvelt was dumped so quickly and King did not try to turn the tables on Martinez by bringing up the foibles of her chief political operative Jay McCleskey.

King may have thought he had little choice. Women and their treatment--as mentioned above--has become a major theme. Also, discrimination lawsuits filed against him by women in his attorney general's office are being prominently featured in TV ads against him. King said the Tweets were "in direct conflict with my own beliefs of tolerance, respect and decency."

The distraction will not last, but it sure doesn't help King build momentum and it leaves him vulnerable at a critical time as he looks for a replacement manager.

The mishap also reinforced the GOP argument that King is a hapless and incompetent attorney general, and it reminded the Democrats of the effectiveness of the political machine being run by the Governor. It is up and running and Verxwelt is its first roadkill. . . .

At least King could take some comfort in knowing that he was not alone in making an early campaign stumble. Here's that story. . . .


National media slammed Governor Martinez for turning in a not ready for prime time performance at Mitt Romney's ideas summit at Park City Utah last week, perhaps damaging her national political ambitions and further advancing the argument that Republicans risk another Sarah Palin fiasco if they turn to Martinez for the VP slot on the '16 ticket.

On the "Morning Joe" show on MSNBC analysts were unanimous in their take that New Mexico's Governor laid an egg at the event which gathers together elite donors and showcases potential national players.

The discussion on Martinez is about five minutes into this video. Here's the transcript:

Joe Scarborough---Let's talk about somebody who doesn't have her stump speech down. I heard disastrous reviews of Susana Martinez, New Mexico's Governor. True?

Mark Halperin (Time) She came in and just did not wow people--to the contrary. Even some of the organizers of the event were struck by her failure to step up. . .this is an impressive event...she came in and just did not wow people in the least...

Kasie Hunt (MSNBC)--It was a little bit unfortunate for her.  I think she was in the same section as Paul Ryan. They went one right after the other and the comparisons were not favorable.

Mike Allen (Politico)--This was. . . a casual event. Everyone was in jeans. No one was wearing ties. . .They were speaking in the round. . . and Governor Martinez demanded  a podium. She was the only person to speak with a podium during these during these audition by the 2016 candidates, and that set the stage for just a lack of connection that was one of the biggest gaffes between reality and perception that I've seen in years.

Pretty scorching. Martinez got to the national stage because she's a symbol--the nation's first female Hispanic Governor. She must now somehow erase the perception ingrained about her at the Park City event--as well in that devastating National Journal piece--or she's going to be a viable fund-raiser for the  GOP but not a national player.


The smackdown Susana received at Park City reminded us very much of a major turning point for the presidential ambitions of former Governor Bill Richardson. In May 2007, Richardson--seeking the 2008 Dem presidential nomination--turned in a poor performance on NBC's Meet the Press. His campaign really ended there, although it would meander along for the rest of that year. He did manage to get nominated for Commerce Secretary by Obama but had to withdraw amid charges of corruption back home.

The moral being that if you bite off more than you can chew, you're going to choke. That's what happened to Richardson on Meet the Press and history repeated itself this week at Park City, Utah.


A reader writes of the Martinez TV ad in which she says she signed the Equal Pay for Women Act:

Unfortunately, Susana Martinez has abandoned Gov. Richardson's executive order for fair and equal pay for all New Mexicans. She is not enforcing fair pay for employees within her own agencies. Perhaps this is why she signed the bill that the ACLU credited her with signing, the New Mexico Equal Pay for Women Act, because the Act does not apply to state government. Symbolically it gives her the image of being for working women, but in practice she and her administration do not have to comply with the Act. She wins on both ends. She's right, government should set an example, unfortunately she is setting a bad example for other employers in this state.


How would you like a free pair of tickets--priced at $170--to Vintage Albuquerque's superb Friday night food and wine event at the courtyard of the National Hispanic Cultural Center? Thought you would. So here's the deal. . . .

The first two readers to correctly answer the questions below from our beloved La Politica will each get a pair of tickets. Now that's a deal. It's our way of supporting the charitable programs of Vintage ABQ and thanking our loyal readers for their continued support.

If you are not lucky enough to win the tickets, you can still have a great Friday night of sampling gourmet food and fine wine from the best restaurants in the ABQ metro. Purchase your tickets here or get them at the door at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Friday starting at 6 p.m. Just click here.

Now the questions:

Question #1--It's a two parter. Who was the youngest Governor elected in New Mexico prior to Dave Cargo in 1966? And in the 1974 campaign for Governor, what was Jerry Apodaca's popular slogan?

Question #2--Name at least two of the three New Mexicans who have been elected to the executive branch of government, the legislative branch and also elected as a judge?

Sure they're tough questions, but look at the prize. Good luck and Bon Appétit. . .

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