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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Waiting For The Donald's Departure; It Could Be Quite The Wait, Plus: Assessing Susana's VP Odds And The NM Delegation And Animas 

The question on the minds of everyone in politics is when does The Donald go away? Brent Eastwood, a political scientist in DC with NM ties, explains why the waiting game may be far from over:

Donald Trump is not going away. The debate struggle and even the comments about Fox News' Megyn Kelly are not going to hurt him long term. 25% of Republican primary-voters hate government and the GOP establishment so much that they will still back Trump--warts and all. He has full support of the listeners of talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Michael Savage. That is very important. The mainstream media does not understand Trump’s talk radio support. I think Trump’s national support will eventually dip down into the teens, but he still has a lock on at least 15% of primary voters heading into Iowa He will clean up some stuff and come up with a few public policies, but what you see now –circus antics – will continue and he will still steal the media coverage from the others the rest of the way out. The potential for him to run a third party campaign should be taken seriously. He could actually create a new nationalist, “America First” type party.

Thanks, Brent. By the way operatives for Gov. Martinez have joined in the Trump bashing. Her former campaign aide--Danny Diaz--is working for Jeb Bush.

Former NM Dem State Rep. Bob Perls, working for an open primary system in the state, says the current political environment favors his cause:

When the majority of voters in most states are supporting the anti-establishment candidate, it means they are looking for a way to register their dissatisfaction with politics as usual. Most don’t know or understand that electoral reform is what is really needed to end the partisan gridlock and political dysfunction that is endemic in our country. That is what New Mexico Open Primaries is about-drawing the connection between what is broken in America and how changing the way we select and elect candidates can help fix it.

Martinez put a toe in the national waters this week when she appeared on conservative Fox News for a live interview in which she bashed the EPA over its handling of the toxic spill that polluted the Animas River in the Four Corners. What you won't see is Martinez appearing in anything that resembles an adversarial interview on networks like CNN, NBC or CBS. Her handlers are not confident. It's probably a key reason why you don't hear much serious talk anymore about her getting the GOP VP nomination next year.

HANDLING HEAT

Some of the NM congressional delegation has been taking heat for not being more in the fore when it comes to the Animas River spill impacting Colorado and an area near Farmington. The office of northern Dem Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, who represents the Four Corners, comes with this:

Congressman Luján and our office have been very engaged on this from the moment we heard about it. He went to Farmington on Saturday for the first community meeting that was held and also talked with EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry that day. There were still a number of serious concerns and questions that Rep. Luján and the community had following the meeting so he led the effort to send a delegation letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy calling for more action and better communication from EPA. That was followed up with a very frank conversation with the Administrator that is resulting in her visit to New Mexico today. He will meet with her. In addition, one of our district offices is in Farmington, so our man on the ground has been attending all the meetings and in constant contact with our constituents and EPA staff on the ground. In addition to calling on EPA to use every available resource at their disposal to clean up this mess, Rep. Luján has also been very clear that everyone impacted by the spill must be made whole – state, local, tribal governments and individuals, businesses, and farmers.

On the state level, Attorney General Balderas says he will watchdog the feds clean-up to ensure local governments get the resources they need. Earlier, Gov. Martinez issued an emergency declaration to free up funds for the stricken area.

Senators Heinrich and Udall signed a letter to the President urging him to direct federal resources to the area. However, neither of the two Dem lawmakers, both ardent environmentalists, have visited the spill region.

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