Friday, October 28, 2016

Trump To ABQ At 7 P.M. Sunday Plus Our Friday Campaign Clips 

Donald Trump ABQ rally set for Sunday at 7 p.m. at Atlantic Aviation next to Sunport. We covered his upcoming stop here with KOB-TV. Get tickets here.

Let's update the crucial ABQ state House seats that could very well determine which party controls the House following the Nov. 8 election. Based on the ground campaigns, fresh insider polling and the history of the district, we're ranking the Elizabeth Thomson-Christina Hall race in ABQ's NE Heights "lean Democrat."

Thomson is a former Dem state rep who is trying to take the seat back and getting solid union backing. Hall is a chiropractor and a political newcomer. Her campaign is being run by the Guv's political machine.

To the North of that district there appears to be a contest as tight as some of Lady Gaga's skirts (thanks, Dan Rather).

Freshman Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes is battling a stiff challenge from Ane Romero in this NE Heights district that includes parts of the North Valley.  We continue to rate this one a "toss up" based on insider polling and the ground game. It may go down to the wire.

If the Dems were to take both of those ABQ swing seats, they would almost certainly tie or take control of the 70 member House which they lost to the GOP in 2014. They need two seats to tie and three to win and they have other possible pick-ups around the state.


And in that Maestas Barnes-Romero battle, we wondered back in August why state Dems had filed so early an ethics complaint that had some power behind it against Maestas Barnes. We speculated such firepower might have be better utilized in October. Maybe we were right because the complaint got this treatment from the Secretary of State, and in time for voters to know about it:

Secretary of State Winter has determined that state Rep. Maestas Barnes didn’t violate any campaign laws following his office’s review of an ethics complaint Democrats lodged against her. The Democratic Party on Aug. 25 filed a complaint alleging that the freshman lawmaker failed to disclose her husband’s ownership interest in a company that has been receiving about $91,000 annually in lease payments from the state Human Services Department since at least 2011. Such information wasn’t included in her 2015 and 2016 financial disclosure statements. Winter, a Republican, wrote in a letter dated Sept. 30 that Maestas Barnes had amended her 2016 disclosure statement Aug. 11 to reflect her husband’s interest in the lease deal. His office would not penalize her for violating the state’s Financial Disclosure Act, Winter said, because the law requires the secretary of state to “seek first to ensure voluntary compliance” from candidates.


A couple of Democrats broke through with the Republican friendly editorial pages of the Rio Rancho Observer and scored endorsements from the paper.

In the toss-up state Senate seat featuring incumbent Dem John Sapien and GOP challenger Diego Espinoza, the Observer came down on the side of Sapien. And the paper also gave the nod to Democrat David Simon who is seeking the senate seat held by the retiring Republican John Ryan. Simon faces Republican Candace Gould for a seat that tilts Republican, but is being closely watched this year.

Th Sapien-Espinoza Sandoval County area district has become an absolute war zone. Here's more on the combat.


No one supports the SunZia project down south more than Dem US Senator Martin Heinrich but he might want to beef up his support with one prominent member of his own party. At a recent debate southern Dem congressional candidate Merrie Lee Soules parts company with Heinrich on the plan:

Both Soules and ((GOP Congressman Steve)Pearce stated opposition to a proposed SunZia renewable energy transmission line on grounds it would hurt the mission of White Sands Missile Range.

You can see the full Pearce-Soules debate here.


Reader Loyola Chastain takes issue with ABQ Dem attorney Bob McNeill who worried on the blog Thursday that a vote for Gary Johnson was really a vote for Trump and that it was similar to 2000 when Ralph Nader of the Green Party ran for president:

I was troubled by McNeill perpetuating the myth that Ralph Nader gave us Bush in 2000. Gore gave us Bush in 2000. Gore did not win his own state of Tennessee and more Democrats voted for Bush than for Gore in Florida. A vote for Nader was a vote for Nader just as a vote for Bush was a vote for Bush and a vote for Gore was a vote for Gore. It's time for people to stop shaming others for voting their conscience.

A vote for Trump is a vote for Trump, A vote for Clinton is a vote for Clinton and a vote for a third party is the same. To think that if those of us who were not voting for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein or Johnson would be automatically voting for Hillary just shows how deep into the false party duopoly many have bought. 


We ran these items on the Thursday blog but readers pointed out the links were not working so here they are again. . .

Spanish language Univision comes with an upbeat profile of NM Attorney General Hector Balderas. . . ABQ Dem Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham has some fun on her roller-skates in her latest TV ad. She seems quite practiced.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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