Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Welcome In To Our 12th Year Of Blogging New Mexico, Plus: Udall Gets Popular Friend On Trail, And: John Sanchez Analyzes Campaign '14 

That's Me
The old saying goes "time flies when you're having fun," and maybe even when you're not--like covering Campaign '14. Just where is that thing? Aside from the million dollar attack ads, substance this time around is as thin as gruel. But for better or worse we're back to imbibe it with you and today gladly kick off our 12th year of New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan.

Quite a ride it's been, and since we haven't been bucked off the bull yet, we'll keep on riding.

Some of you have been with us since the beginning in '03-04' and many of you have hopped aboard since. We appreciate each of you and are thankful and grateful for your interest.

Now let's head out to the campaign trail and look for something of interest. . .


Sen. Warren
Time for the Dems to try to rally their base for the Nov. 4 election. To that end, Sen. Udall is bringing to town one of the nation's currently most popular and liberal D's--Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Interest should be high for this one so here are details:

Rally with U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Elizabeth Warren; October 1st, 4:30-6:00 PM; Coordinated Campaign Office 115 Montclaire SE ABQ

Warren has been tough on Wall Street in the wake of the '08 financial crash. It has earned her a reputation as a populist and her name on the list of possible '16 Dem presidential candidates. The pundits say she won't run but if Hillary falters. . .

Udall is no slouch when it comes to liberalism. In the National Journal rankings of 2012 he tied for the title of most liberal senator. But in an off-year election when the voters tilt more conservative it's not something he's going to shout about. He'll let Elizabeth Warren do that.

And Udall isn't always the liberal. Remember he endorsed the controversial corporate tax cut engineered by Gov. Martinez and the legislative Dems. Progressive Dems were noticeable in their opposition.

A final word on this from the Nat'l Journal:

Here’s the thing about New Mexico,” said Mo Elleithee, a Democratic consultant who worked on Udall’s past House and Senate campaigns. “It is a state where I don’t think the traditional left-versus-right paradigm, liberal-versus-conservative, has ever meant anything.... The ‘us versus them’ is more populist versus the powerful in New Mexico, and that’s always how Tom has been. I don’t think he thinks about whether something is liberal or conservative, he’s just tried to be a champion for people.”

Populist vs. powerful. Well said. . .


Simple question, Mayor Berry: Why is this officer still carrying a badge and a gun?

Two hours before ABQ police officer Keith Sandy shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd, he was recorded telling another officer that he would shoot Boyd in the penis with a shotgun. Sandy responded to the scene on March 16th where Boyd refused to come down from a makeshift campsite in the foothills near Tramway and Copper. At the scene, Sandy saw former colleague State Police Officer Chris Ware. Sandy didn’t realize it, but Ware’s dash cam was rolling and picked up their conversation. Sandy, according to an APD spokeswoman, is on administrative leave, but may still carry his gun and badge.

It's possible criminal charges will be filed in connection with the killing of Boyd. It seems quite likely the lawsuit over his death is going to cost ABQ taxpayers many millions of dollars.


The newspaper this week comes with a strong report detailing the very weak New Mexican and ABQ economies. Only one thing is missing says this reader:

The article does not mention one word about the Gov's responsibility for NM's economic stagnation. What's up with that?

No question Gov. Martinez and ABQ Mayor Berry--both Republicans--have largely been given a pass on the sour economy. The newspaper can be faulted but the political opposition has been anemic. The gubernatorial campaign has been bereft of any serious economic discussion as the Guv's Casanova Con TV ads divert voter attention. Dem hopeful Gary King has no TV ads airing.


Lt. Gov. Sanchez
We haven't heard much from the state's #2 during this campaign but Lt. Gov. John Sanchez is campaigning out in the hinterlands. He was in Carlsbad and Hobbs last week. And he also recently had some political analysis on the Guv race:

". . . Conservative Democrats, who are primarily Hispanics have been important backers. Hispanics in New Mexico are not a monolithic block as far as they cast their votes. They want leaders they can relate to, and leaders who will offer solutions to the challenges facing theme every day – their kids' education and ability for them to have a good job."

Sanchez is often touted by R's as a possible 2018 Guv candidate but we don't think he's is getting too far ahead of himself, especially not after that ill-fated US Senate primary challenge he ran against Heather Wilson in 2012.


Regarding speculation voiced here that perhaps Gov. Martinez could start diverting some of her own hefty campaign treasury to a super PAC aimed at getting GOP control of the state House, an Alligator comes with this:

Advance New Mexico Now PAC is the one run by former Clovis area District Attorney Matt Chandler that many believe will be the one that Susana and Jay funnel money through for the House races. So far, there's $227,550.00 in the account but it has come from other sources.

Appreciate that. The Dems also have a super PAC up and running for the state House candidates. It has received most of its money from labor unions.


Some things in New Mexico are just fine, thank you. For example this from the new owners of La Fonda, Santa Fe's iconic hotel on the Plaza:

The new owners don't plan major changes to the hotel. She says it's not broken and doesn't need to be fixed.

Owning La Fonda is like serving as a trustee for New Mexico history. It's not something you want to screw up.

In a first draft Monday we had the incorrect date for the start of in-person early voting. It's October 18.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
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