Friday, May 20, 2016

Trump To New Mexico Tuesday Puts Gov. Martinez On The Spot; AnalysisAnd Context, Plus: Friday Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor 

Joe Monahan
Donald Trump is headed for New Mexico. That sentence alone raises political temperatures and Tuesday night at the ABQ Convention Center, where Trump will appear at 7 p.m., will be one hot ticket (tickets here).

We covered the big story Thursday night with KOB-TV newsman Caleb James (video here). Here's that report:

Why is presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making a New Mexico stop, and what will Gov. Susana Martinez do about it? Those are the big questions looking ahead to Trump's planned Tuesday rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Gov. Martinez faces a difficult decision in this political climate.

Trump may be her party's presumed nominee, but he's also done a lot to alienate the Latino voters who made her governor. She's publically denounced his idea to build a wall between Mexico and the United States -- but Thursday, her own party is starting to line up behind Trump.

"There's a big difference between being the nominee and that 'P' word: presumptive nominee," said New Mexico political analyst Joe Monahan.

Monahan runs a policy analysis blog, and has followed Trump's campaign closely -- especially the implications his candidacy has for New Mexico's future.

"Maybe, just maybe, we're seeing Trump try to soften himself among a Hispanic audience," he said. "It will be interesting to see what he says."

More likely though, says Monahan, Trump is here to win Republican votes that already belong to him -- to say he "won New Mexico."

In other words, said Monahan, he's likely not here to woo Latino voters. "Those who support him support him, and those who don't, don't after these really inflammatory comments," said Monahan.

Early in his campaign, Trump referred to Mexican immigrants as criminals. His most widely-pushed plan is to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a plan governor Martinez has denounced.

But her party's communications director, Tucker Keene, says New Mexico Republicans feel differently.

"I think we need to toughen our border security quite a bit," said Keene. KOB asked if that should be achieved with a wall. "I think if that's the idea that our president would...we'd be 100 percent behind our Republican president," said Keene.

That, says Monahan, is the sticky situation Martinez finds herself in now. He says she may be a Republican, but Martinez was put in office by the same Democrat Latino voters Trump has alienated.

"To put it plainly: Governor Martinez has hit the wall," said Monahan.

Right now -- Martinez won't say if she'll endorse Trump. Her office won't even confirm if she'll be at his Tuesday rally.

"She's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't," said Monahan. "But she's more damned probably if she does."

Monahan says the governor's team is likely trying to come up with a way to support Trump, without full-on endorsing him. "Talk about having to juggle politics," said Monahan.


Meanwhile, here are our clippings from our quite littered newsroom floor. . .

What do you think? Ambassador to Cuba?:

I was wrong about Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders lasting so long,” (former Gov. Bill) Richardson said. He is endorsing Hillary Clinton. "For seven years, I was in the woodshed,” Richardson said. In 2008, Richardson backed Barack Obama who went on to beat Hillary Clinton in the then presidential race.

In the long run this issue is as important to the state as anything:

NM Congressman Ben Ray Luján announced he has been appointed to a conference committee that will work to complete legislation addressing the opioid crisis that is hurting communities in New Mexico and across the country. 

In the Democratic primary for BernCo County Clerk Roman Montoya is fearful that Linda Stover is going to pull away. He writes in a fund-raising letter:

My opponent is going to be running ads on TV. . . FCC records show that my opponent - who has self-funded her campaign to the tune of nearly $40,000 - is going to write herself another check to pay for TV ads. . .Look, I’ll be straightforward. The only way we can keep pace is with your help.

Thanks to this Alligator, we were on to the UNM/WisePies/Pit naming rights debacle months ago. He now says:

Joe, I can't imagine any company coming up with enough money for a very marginal franchise. My bet is UNM will never see any more money. This whole thing has been a scam from the start. If UNM does not get paid UNM President Frank and Athletic Director Krebs should lose their jobs!

You mean liberal ABQ Dem State Senator Jacob Candelaria is endorsing newly appointed Republican NM Court of Appeals Court Judge Stephen French in the November election and not soon-to-be Dem nominee and ABQ attorney Julie Vargas? Say what, Jacob?:

I've known Steve since I was in high school. He was one of my mock trial coaches--his eldest daughter and I were classmates. He's the first person that made me actually think that I could become an attorney, and has been a great mentor ever since.

Well, Julie probably won't hold against him when she wins.

But does he smoke pot?:

Former NM Gov. Gary Johnson has joined forces with another former Republican governor to strengthen his Libertarian presidential bid. William Weld, who served two terms as the Republican governor of Massachusetts in the 1990s, will seek the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nomination.

They said it. From Matt Taibbi writing in Rolling Stone:

A century ago, the small-town American was Gary Cooper: tough, silent, upright and confident. The modern Republican Party changed that person into a haranguing neurotic who couldn't make it through a dinner without quizzing you about your politics. They destroyed the American character. No hell is hot enough for them. And when Trump came along, they rolled over like the weaklings they've always been, bowing more or less instantly to his parodic show of strength.

Now, about those Democrats. . .


We're glad this week is over after the mess we made over the  NM super delegates to the Democratic National Convention. First we blogged that delegates Harris and Gutierrez were uncommitted. Well, they were back in February but now support Clinton. Then we  quoted former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish who told us Dem Party Chair Deb Haaland was the only uncommitted super delegate. But she (and we) forgot about Dem Party Vice Chair Juan Sanchez. As party leaders they stay uncommitted until the nominee is chosen.

So we end the week by subjecting ourselves to not ten, but twenty lashes of the wet noodle. Hey, it was a super week until the super delegates spoiled it.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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