Friday, December 12, 2014

The Christmas Wish List: What The Politicos Want Under Their Trees 

It wouldn't be Christmas without a wish list and that includes our beloved politicos. Let's take a sneak peek at their lists with the help of our undercover elves. . .

You would think Gov. Martinez would have little left on her wish list after scoring a big re-election win and seeing her Republican Party take control of the state House of Representatives for the first time in 60 years. But it turns out Susana has one very important wish--not to have a second term like those that preceded her under GOP Governor Gary Johnson and Democrat Bill Richardson.

Johnson had a good run in his first term only to see his popularity disintegrate in his second as he even fought with members of his party. Richardson arguably had one of the most productive first terms of any governor in state history, only to crash and burn his second term amid allegations of pay to play. He scored a 69% re-election win in 2006. When he left office his popularity had plunged to the 30's. Susana's second term begins January. Will this be her last very Merry Christmas as governor?

Lt. Gov. John Sanchez has the same Xmas wish as Susana: Don't let her go down the tubes or I go down with her and ruin any chances I have at getting the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The newly empowered House Republicans have a Christmas wish with a lot on the line. They wish that the hard-right members of their party don't start talking about repealing gay marriage or changing abortion laws or they could lose in 2016 the historic House majority they picked up in the November election.

The House Democrats now playing second fiddle to the Republicans wish that at the least the Republicans leave them a few good parking spaces at the Roundhouse.

ABQ Mayor Richard Berry has a long wish list. After all, most of his previous wishes have gone up in smoke. The city's economy has yet to make a recovery from the Great Recession, Albuquerque's national reputation hit the skids because of the numerous fatal police shootings and while he had a majority Republican city council when he started in office he now faces a Democratic majority. So for His Honor the wish list includes putting some business points on the board by attracting new jobs, getting the APD stabilized and handling the Dem councilors with agility. And one other wish: That John Sanchez does not seek the '18 GOP gubernatorial nomination because Berry also has his sights set on that.

As for the ABQ City Council, the nine members have a popular wish for the season. They want a best selling book. Their pick? "How to Win Friends and Influence People" because for the past four years they haven't been doing much of either.


Defeated Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King has already had his wish list fulfilled. He had been wishing for months that the election would finally be over. It is and now King, whose campaign never did find its footing, has a holiday greeting for us: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night (and good life!)"

Now that the R's have taken over the US Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall have plenty of time to make a wish list. So much time that they say they will get back to us on that.

Southern Congressman Steve Pearce also doesn't need much time writing up his wish list. His gift also came early as he soundly defeated Rocky Lara who wanted to get close enough that she would be set up for second bout with Pearce in 2016. After the thrashing she received from Pearce that dream is now as distant as the Christmas Star.

Northern Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan doesn't have much room under his tree for any of his Christmas wishes. Not after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put an extra large gift under that tree. She named Lujan chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and instantly made him a leading national Hispanic political power player. Now that's a gift worth celebrating with some eggnog.

This column was also published in the ABQ Free Press, on newstands now.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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