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Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor 

It's not high on the insiders list as one of the state House seats in play, but the campaign of Dem Catherine Begaye says so far it has raised over $50,000 while freshman GOP State Rep. Paul Pacheco--who she hopes to upset in November--has pulled in around $48.000.

If the going gets rough for Pacheco in the Bernalillo and Sandoval county district, he will be able to call on the Guv's PAC and others for help. House District 23 is 42 percent Dem and 36 percent R. In the presidential year of 2012, Dem Marci Blaze lost a squeaker to Pacheco.

Insiders say lower turnout for an off-year election has kept the district off the "in play" list. But Begaye's fund-raising will keep Pacheco burning the shoe leather. He is a retired APD officer and union leader. Begaye, a Navajo born in Gallup, earned her law degree at UNM and is in private practice. . .

Also on the campaign money beat. Senator Udall's office says:

Udall welcomed the Senate Judiciary Committee's approval of his proposed constitutional amendment to restore power to regulate campaign finance to the people. Udall’s amendment would clarify in the Constitution that money does not equal speech, effectively reversing U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which have unraveled campaign finance regulations and handed undue influence over elections to corporations and wealthy donors. . Udall's amendment is expected to be considered by the full Senate later this year.

Talk about a Sisyphean task. Reining in the runaway money machine is like trying to throw a lasso around a barn.

VOLATILE SUSANA

Here's well-known national political pundit Larry Sabato writing of Susana in Politico:

Both Govs. Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Susana Martinez of New Mexico are heavy favorites for reelection. Both are Hispanics in Western states where the GOP once won with some frequency; Martinez is also the first Latina governor in U.S. history. It’s no wonder some party activists are already eyeing them as possible, partial antidotes to the Republicans’ recent disastrous showings with Hispanics. Of course, they have their downsides, too. Sandoval would have trouble with socially conservative Republicans because he’s pro-choice, and Martinez has received mixed reviews because of what some in the GOP leadership regard as her volatile personality.

ROAST BEEF

Thanks to the many readers who emailed us about our Thursday blog "King for a Day." In it we listed the decrees we would issue if given the throne for 24 hours. There is a real aching for change out there--at least among those who read us. But we get the vibe that it's spreading. . . .

On the fun side, one of our decrees was a requirement that New Mexican restaurants in ABQ carry roast beef burritos. We only seem to see them in Santa Fe. Reader Bryan Biedscheid responded:

You should drop by ABQ's Copper Lounge near UNM and get their roast beef burrito. I live in Santa Fe but they don’t come any better than that up here (and we certainly do not have the cheap beer specials they have there). Now, for political insight, go talk to a real alligator.

You mean there's a roast beef burrito at the Copper Lounge and it is better than the one at Tomasita's in Santa Fe? We're all in, Bryan, and you get honorary Alligator credentials. See ya' there. . .

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