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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

PRC Candidate Ponies Up Personal Cash After Getting Sidetracked, Bernie Opens ABQ HQ As Hillary Sends Bill Here, And: Okies, Obamacare And NM 

Hall & Montoya
Cynthia Hall is hungry for that ABQ area seat on the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) that is currently held by Karen Montoya. So much so that Hall has loaned her campaign $35,000 to make up for the public financing funds she would have received if she hadn't been denied them by the secretary of state for making an error in the financing process.

Montoya did qualify for public financing and is getting $31,544 to run her Democratic primary campaign against Hall. The two faced off in the Dem primary four years ago--along with Al Park--and Montoya emerged the winner. She went on to win the general election and a four year term.

Hall, an attorney who has worked for the PRC, thinks she has a better shot in a two way race. She's gone heavily negative on Montoya calling into question the commissioner's integrity via social media and now we're told a third party group is up with negative cable TV ads.

The PRC is powerful, with its role regulating the electric company PNM among its most watched duties.

No Republican is running for the seat this time so the winner of the primary should get the four year term. We say should because of this candidacy announcement from independent and former state legislator Bob Perls of Corrales:

 This race is winnable for a qualified, independent candidate. New Mexico voters are tired of incumbents being automatically re-elected, perpetuating the same dysfunctional political class who won’t solve real-world problems for New Mexicans. The two party system is broken. There is gridlock in Washington, Santa Fe and within the PRC: a very powerful regulatory body I tried to help reform when I served in the legislature.

PREZ TRAIL

On the June 7th NM prez primary trail, this news from the Bernie Sanders campaign:

Our campaign office is finally open! The address is 2112 Central Ave SE here in Albuquerque. We're open 7 days a week, 9am-9pm.

Former President Clinton will campaign for Hillary in ABQ and Espanola May 24 and 25. No word on whether she will also make a stop. Ditto for Sanders. Sending her husband here is a play for the important Democratic Hispanic vote which has been a weakness for Bernie and which could make up half or more of the vote cast in the June 7th Dem primary.

OPENING NIGHT

They were Feelin' the Bern as they opened up that aforementioned Sanders campaign headquarters last night across from UNM in ABQ.

We stopped in to see the deans of the state's liberal community--ABQ Dem State Senators Cisco McSorley and Jerry Ortiz y Pino--rally the enthusiastic crowd that jammed into the room. Ortiz y Pino maintained that NM's primary could be "pivotal" even though the political class continues to write off Bernie as the nominee.

Also on hand for the opening were former ABQ City Councilors Rey Garduno and Eric Griego.

Here's how the state's "super delegates" are lined up for the presidential nomination:

Uncommitted Delegates:  Fred R. Harris, Debra Haaland, Juan Sanchez. Clinton delegates: Joni Gutierrez, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen Tom Udall and former state House Speaker Raymond Sanchez.

Clinton's campaign earlier opened an ABQ office and will open another in Las Cruces on Thursday.

NOW FOUR

Yet another poll--the fourth one we're reporting on--shows Gov. Martinez's approval rating falling below the key 50% mark. A PPP survey conducted May 13-15 among likely NM voters pegs the Guv's approval at 47%, with 42% disapproving and 11% undecided. MOE for the survey is plus or minus 3.5%.

We first blogged several weeks ago of Martinez's polling plunge in a PAC commissioned poll and blogged Monday of all three surveys all confirming the drop. Now we have four. You wonder if the newspaper will pick up on any of these polls?

And about that Morning Consult poll showing Martinez's approval at 48%, 45% disapproval and 7% undecided, we did not post the margin of error on the Monday blog. A reader dug it out:

The reported sampling error is 4.9%. This means that (1) the sample size was fairly small for a statewide survey, about 400, and (2) statistically, the results pro and con could be reversed, that is 45% could approve of SM and 48% could disapprove (however, this is not likely).


OKIES FOR OBAMA
 
We think you'll be interested in this next eyebrow raising item out of Oklahoma:

Despite bitter resistance in Oklahoma for years to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Republican leaders in this conservative state are now confronting something that alarms them even more: a huge $1.3 billion hole in the budget that threatens to do widespread damage to the state's health care system. So, in what would be the grandest about-face among rightward leaning states, Oklahoma is now moving toward a plan to expand its Medicaid program to bring in billions of federal dollars from Obama's new health care system. What's more, GOP leaders are considering a tax hike to cover the state's share of the costs. 


Obamacare and a tax hike? In Oklahoma? Yep. And the reason will sound very familiar to you:

A bust in the oil patch has decimated state revenues, compounded by years of income tax cuts and growing corporate subsidies intended to make the state more business-friendly.

Hey, that's us. An oil bust causes a crash in state revenue along with over zealous tax cutting for high income individuals and corporations. Just call us Okie Joe. . .

Santa Fe's austerity is like walking with this spring wind in your face. And there's more to come. Rather than find funding for a Medicaid shortfall and enjoy the matching federal funds, we're going to cut funding. As for any revenue enhancement, that's about as likely as Chuck Franco giving up his baloney sandwiches--even if that position itself is baloney.

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