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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Campaign Money Reports Analyzed, Columbus Day Rename Reaction, Pearce Power And New Councilor And The Inside game 

Readers and Alligators watched the Dem presidential debate last night but many of them were also absorbing the latest state campaign reports while doing so. Here are their takeaways:

--The firm of Jay McCleskey--Governor Martinez's chief political advisor--is now pulling down nearly $22,000 a month from SusanaPAC. A polling firm in which the wife of McCleskey is a partner pulled down $20,000 and the PAC spent $26,000 on raising money. That adds up to the McCleskeys getting $206,000 or 67 percent of the net receipts of the PAC ($305,000) for the past six months. You can afford a pretty expensive lawyer with that kind of money--if you need one.

-ABQ State Senator Michael Padilla says he raised $64,000 for his campaign account and another $27,000 for his PAC bringing his total to $91,000 and making him among the top Dem Senate fundraisers. Padilla, the Senate majority whip, will use some of the funds to fend off the R's who will try to take over the Senate in '16. Padilla will pick up some more cash when he hosts a South Valley matanza this Saturday morning. Senate Majority Leader Sanchez was the top Dem fundraiser taking in a total of $174,000 for his campaign account and PAC.

--Dem State Senator John Sapien has moved to the top of the list of most vulnerable Dem state Senators. He raised about $9,975 but his Republican opponent Diego Espinoza raised over $22,000 for the battle to come for the Sandoval county area seat.

---House Majority Leader Nate Gentry wasn't shy about raising cash. He pulled in over $215,000 and will use some of it to help the R's keep their majority next year. No word on a Dem opponent for Nate, but the demographics of his ABQ NE Heights district are less R friendly these days so having heavy cash on hand is insurance.

--A firm owned by Gov. Bill Richardson donated $2,500 to Dem Attorney General Hector Balderas, raising a red flag for Republicans who are already saying that if Balderas runs for governor in '18 and wins, Big Bill will be back in a big way. Balderas raised $77,000 during the period and had $318,000 in cash on hand. That's a lot more than Dem State Auditor Tim Keller, also mentioned for a possible '18 Guv run. He had only $24,000 in cash.

COLUMBUS DAY 

Reader Joe Martinez isn't upset that Gov. Martinez seemed at a loss for words when asked this week about renaming Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples' Day. He says of the Tuesday blog report:

Good for Martinez...Spending time on such a stupid issue as changing Columbus Day to something else is itself stupid. Boggles the mind that anyone would waste any heartbeats on what happened 500 years ago. 

But Dennis Gabaldon saw it differently:

If you could read between the lines on that Martinez quote it would be, "Oh my God, Oh my God, what do I say Jay? Where are you." That really shows what a lightweight puppet she is.

PEARCE POWER

Southern NM GOP Congressman Steve Pearce makes it official, announcing this week he will seek another two year term in the US House next year. Here's his latest campaign letter:

Dear fellow Republican, I have some news that the big government crowd in Washington doesn’t want to hear. I am officially running for re-election for Congress to keep fighting for New Mexico. And I need your help to get on the ballot. In New Mexico, to get my name on the ballot as a Republican candidate, I must collect enough signatures on a nominating petition to qualify.

Pearce, 68, is part of the House R's Freedom Caucus, the group of about 40 conservative House members who have become influential. Pearce easily deflected a Dem challenge from Rocky Lara and the national Dems in 2014. No Dem names are in play yet. Pundits rate any contested race "lean Republican."

THE INSIDE GAME

From outsider to insider. Liberal Dem Pat Davis, who won a seat on the city council last week, may not be the outspoken critic of the Mayor Berry administration that some of his supporters expected. Look at this tweet from the councilor-elect:

‏@PatForABQThanks @ABQPOLICE for setting up a new speed program along Ridgecrest SE.

That tweet comes on the heels of the conservative ABQ Journal editorial page calling Davis a polished and effective" campaigner, after earlier endorsing his opponent and front-paging Davis during the campaign for his DWI conviction.

APD has been mired in crisis. It continued this week as stunning police video showed a suspect being run over by a police officer and a subsequent beating of the suspect. Davis is a former police officer. APD is operating under a Dept. of Justice consent decree.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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