Monday, November 24, 2014

Race For GOP Chair Takes A Twist With New Face, Plus: A Stiff Challenge Awaits House Dem Leader Egolf, And: Our Caption Contest Entries And The Winner 

There's a late entrant in the race for the chairmanship of the NM Republican Party and she has some well-known allies that could help put her over the top.

Deborah Weh Maestas is the daughter of former GOP chairman and '14 US Senate candidate Allen Weh. And her candidacy is being supported by another former GOP chair--Harvey Yates, Jr.

Republican central committee members will meet December 6 to name a replacement for outgoing chairman John Billingsley. In addition to Maestas, Torrance County GOP chairman Rick Lopez and political consultant Max Barnett are in the running. There was a candidacy brewing from GOP state Representative Zach Cook but he decided not to run.

In a letter to the GOP delegates, Maestas, who served as deputy manager for her father's Senate campaign, said:

We must build better party unity in preparation for 2016. New Mexico has been a red state before, and can be again, but we must work together to do it! We have had a historic change with the recent GOP takeover of the State House, but we need to strengthen that majority as well as increase our numbers in the State Senate.

Maestas said she previously worked in management for her father's CSI Aviation company. She is married to Steve Maestas, co-founder of Maestas and Ward Commercial Real Estate who was recently named chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank,

Maestas would not be the first woman to serve as GOP chair. Former state Senator Ramsay Gorham held the post in 2003 when the party was fractured. She was eventually ousted and replaced by Allen Weh.

Coincidentally, on the day Maestas announced her chair bid we ran into her having coffee with none other than former chairman Yates. That reference to "unity" she made certainly comes into play with him as he has battled vigorously with Governor Martinez's chief political adviser Jay McCleskey. And Allen Weh has also had his differences with McCleskey whose powerful role in the Martinez administration has shunted aside many previous players. We asked Yates if McCleskey was supporting Maestas for chair?  He cracked a smile and said: "You can tell Jay I told him he is supporting her candidacy."

Aah, unity. . .


Rep. Egolf
Compromise has its limits, says new state House Minority Leader Brian Egolf. The 38 year old attorney from Santa Fe will surely be put to the test over that statement when the 60 day legislative session convenes January 20 with the House under control of the R's for the first time in 60 years.

Egolf was named minority leader on the first ballot by the 33 House Dems at Saturday's caucus. ABQ Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton was elected as minority whip and ABQ Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero was picked for caucus chair,

Outgoing Democratic House Speaker Ken Martinez established himself as a Santa Fe accommodationist with a penchant for crafting backroom deals with the House R's and the Martinez administration. His swerve to the center-right is seen as one key reason for the disaster that befell the Dems Nov. 4 when they lost the governorship, the state House and two statewide offices. (The land commission contest will go to a recount).

While Martinez was the architect of the Dems doomed strategy, Egolf was a subcontractor who went along for the ride. He now has to separate himself from that past by clearly defining the differences between the two parties and taking the inevitable hits that the GOP machine will fire his way.

Egolf may be fighting an uphill battle as it is not just the R's he has to worry about.

The Dem pollsters, consultants, lobbyists and hangers-on who provided so much sycophantic support to Ken Martinez will be back in force urging Egolf to play nice, just wait it out and the Dems will naturally win in '16 with a heavy turnout. That's the siren song that has led to the weakest Democratic Party in decades. Leader Egolf will need a lot of courage as well as a good set of earplugs.


It seems the bridgegate scandal that knocked New Jersey Gov. Christie was a defining moment for him--at least with many of our readers who took part in our photo caption contest. It featured a pic of Governors Christie and Martinez aboard her campaign bus. Here are some of the entries and the winning caption at the end:

Gerald McBride: "You know, Chris, I really think now is not the time to burn any bridges..."

Mike Santullo: "Ohhhh, c'mon Chris... Don't believe everything you hear. Our chicharrones can only add a pound at best!

Edwina Gardner: “Don’t worry, Chris, we won’t be stopped for long. Our bridges are much shorter than yours”.

Jim Baca: "Susana, could you give me that recipe for chicharrones? Mmmm!"

Joel Gay: "OK, now try this, Chris:: 'Hola amigos, me llama es Chris!'"

Dennis Gabaldon: "Como que no, I can see Mejico from my portal"

Anonymous: "Tell you what, Chris. You lose 50 pounds and I'll lose 50 pounds, and we'll see who's the biggest loser."

Kevin Bursell: "Well Chris, I can definitely see you on the team, but Secretary of Transportation is not going to happen"

Anonymous: "You know, Chris, they now make Spanx for men. I can show you how to order them on-line."

Andrew Dalton: "I'm not getting up until I get more those fried pork things"... *sigh* "Chris, we are never going to get Hispanics to vote for us, are we?"

F.A. Schmidt: Susana: "Try Atkins, it worked for me!" Christie: "So What?"

Steve Cobble: "So, Susana, you get the racino, and I get the bridge, right?"

Michael Corwin: "So Chris, you've gone about it all wrong with all that yelling... Instead do what I do. Run NCIC's on your enemies, control the state's largest paper, and act like the victim whenever you get caught."

Don Wencewicz: "I know how you feel. Hillary's more popular than me also."

Paul Sandman: "Chris, can I have a chef at the V.P. mansion? I'm tired of my husband's baloney sandwiches."

Tony Griego: "Oh, come on Chris, you can have two more chicharron burritos. . . "

And the winner is:

James Cooke: "Sure, Chris. I could shut down a bridge. We've got plenty of bridges. They all run over dry rivers. Now shutting down mental healthcare...that was a challenge."

Congrats, James. You win the lunch for two at ABQ's Barelas Coffeehouse where you can sample those famous chicharrones. Thanks to all who took part in the caption contest and gave us some good laughs. We'll do another one soon. . .

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