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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

On The Legislative Campaign Trail With The Latest Positioning, Plus: The Case Of The Missing Hispanics, And: Guv's Pizza Party Doesn't Inspire Humility 

As the Legislature nears the start of its 30 day session next Tuesday politics will weigh heavily. All 112 legislative seats--70 in the House and 42 in the Senate--are up for election in November (after a June primary). Time to check out the campaign trail.

Don't look for House Majority Leader Nate Gentry to get a free ride. The Dems say to keep Gentry busy they will field a candidate and throw some money at the race.

The seat leans his way--he's won his past two elections with 54 percent--but the ABQ NE Heights district is changing some. Besides, Gentry is a key player in the effort to keep the House under Republican control, so the Dems hope to divert his energy.

Insiders report this session will be the last hurrah for Dem Rep. Dona Irwin of SW NM (Grant, Hidalgo and Luna). Her retirement would leave an opportunity for the R's to pick up her seat, say the experts, but the Dems maintain they can hang on to the seat. Expect a spirited battle. Irwin has served since 1999.

Down in Las Cruces, it's adios time for GOP Rep. Terry McMillan, say the Alligators. The medical doctor, who has won two exceptionally tight races against Dem Joanne Ferrary, is bowing out. And guess who will run for the seat? Joanne Ferrary. The R's have a candidate in the wings ready to fight to keep it. Will the third time for Ferrary be a Dem charm?

GOP State Representative Sarah Maestas Barnes is a rising star in the GOP but the Dems think her ABQ North Valley and NE Heights seat should belong to them. They promise a stiff challenge and say they will roll out their candidate soon. Barnes has the edge at the opening bell.

MISSING HISPANICS?

A Senior Alligator writes:

Albuquerque Economic Development announced its new 77 member board of directors this week and we noted only one or two Hispanic members on the important business recruitment group. The announcement made no mention of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber among its associate members. One of the attractive features of Albuquerque has been its ethnic diversity and accommodating community atmosphere and at times it has been used as a business recruiting asset. Apparently, the current Albuquerque business leadership sees little or no advantage in promoting the diverse Albuquerque culture. How is that working for you?

NO HUMILITY

Humility is not a lesson that comes easily--or even at all--to the Martinez minions. Those on her press staff continue to berate and bully the media, despite her being busted for the audacious actions at her infamous boozy holiday pizza party. Here's the latest example of the abusive behavior that percolates on the Fourth Floor and then drips down to places like the newsroom at Española's Rio Grande Sun:

We have to put up with these folks. Their job is to slow and control information the public should be getting raw and directly from someone with knowledge. What we don’t have to put up with is rude, yelling, name-calling children swinging the governor’s name around as if it held weight with us. She works for us, as does (Michael) Lonergon. He’s got it backwards. Besides, we’re in a Democrat-controlled county. She works at not acknowledging us.You would think after her peeetzaaaa party her office learned some manners and maybe a little humility. Sadly, that’s not so.

In other post pizza party media abuse, we told you how the Governor's political operatives were on social media bitching that the Santa Fe New Mexican did not report the arrest of one its reporters for traffic tickets, a reporter who has written about the federal grand jury probe of the administration.  Then there was the slamming of the door in the face of photographers and news reporters by Martinez's security detail when they chased her down to ask questions about the pizza party. She was rushed away in her SUV.  And the list goes on and on. . .

The media bear some of the blame. For example, earlier this month Martinez had her first news conference since the pizza party to unveil her state budget. As far as can be ascertained, no reporter took the opportunity to ask the questions about the holiday party that Martinez refused to answer in December when her security slammed the door on them and whisked her away.

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