Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Latest Money Reports Spotlight Race Against Senate Majority Leader, The McCleskey PAC, SOS Contest And A Key State House Race 

The foe of Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez is going to need a little help from his friends outside of the Belen area district if he is to pull off the upset of the season and some how oust Sanchez.

In the latest finance reports released Monday and covering the period from early July until yesterday, Republican attorney Greg Baca reports $71,000 in cash on hand and a $10,000 debt. Sanchez raised $86k on the summer fund-raising circuit and has $176,000 in cash for the final stretch. And that's where Baca's friends come in. . .

Or at least one friend--Gov. Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey and his Advance NM Now PAC. It reports having $1.2 million in cash to wage battle to take Sanchez out as well as turn the Senate to the Republicans. For sure, a good chunk of its change will go to independent expenditures excoriating Martinez arch-rival Sanchez for his Senate agenda. Meantime, Sanchez backers say expect to hear some questions about Baca's residency in the district as the campaign enters its intense phase.

That FBI probe earlier this year into McCleskey's fund-raising apparently did not disrupt his PAC's ability to raise money. Of course, when you raise $250,000 from just two oil industry executives, the cash adds up quickly.  (The FBI probe ended with no charges).

McCleskey and the firm of his pollster wife Nicole McCleskey will be handsomely rewarded again this cycle for their efforts to try to take over the Senate and keep the state House under GOP control. Jay's firm is billing the PAC over $16,000 a month for services and polling over the summer cost the PAC $27k.

In the money chase for the open Secretary of State seat, Republican Nora Espinoza continues to mildly surprise by having more cash on hand than her Dem opponent Maggie Toulouse Oliver. The Roswell Republican has been spending little money and has harvested $240,000 in cash while Oliver has $173,000 banked. She has a bigger campaign payroll.

Espinoza will be able to run a needed negative campaign to try to defeat favorite Oliver. But then there's the PACS. How much they spend on each of the contenders will play a part in this battle--maybe a big part.

Eyeing the key races in the fight to control the state House, we don't see a lot of surprises but ABQ GOP State Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes is one. She continues to swamp Dem challenger Ane Romero in the money race. Barnes has $144,000 cash on hand as of Monday while Romero has $63,000. Again, the PACS will play here and they can be expected to go big time for Romero to try to make up the difference. They already have. Readers report recently receiving a negative mailer on Barnes from PAC land. This race could be key in which party ends up controlling the House next year.

NM Politics with Joe Monahan, in consultancy with Senior Alligators, consultants, lobbyists and wall-leaners,  currently gives the Dems a slight edge (51 to 49) in their battle to regain control of the Senate and  a major chance (85%) to retain control of the Senate.


There was talk early this year that increased traffic at the ABQ Sunport marked the bottom of the stagnant metro economy and that business and the economy were ready for a take off. But those hopes for a strong growth spurt have been dashed. The latest figures show year over year traffic at the Sunport through July basically flat--up a tiny 0.3 percent.

That shows the economic blahs still infect the ABQ metro. Instead of soaring, it's kind of like walking pneumonia.


ABQ Dem City Councilor Ken Sanchez is still considering a '17 mayoral bid, according to one of his consultants and contrary to what one of our sources reported here Monday. Okay, go et 'em, Ken.


ABQ attorney Jeffrey Baker writes:

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday regarding whether “idiots” and “insane persons” can vote (the state Constitution says they cannot). How about a Constitutional amendment which prohibits “idiots” and “insane persons” from running for office?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over an over again and expecting a different result. Just like they've been doing in Santa Fe.

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