Thursday, April 13, 2017
The Price Of A Dem Guv Run Just Went Up, Berry Starts Coming Under Fire In Mayoral Campaign, Some Congress Watching And Readers Opine On The Economy, Eden And More
Joe Cervantes who says he's "all in" for the '18 Dem Guv nomination, but with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham posting a cash haul of $900,000 and $741,000 in cash on hand in her first fund-raising report, attorney Cervantes is going to have to dig deep--quite deep--into his own ample wallet.
Cervantes is starting off with $190,000 in personal money, bringing his campaign kitty to $245,000. Political pros are saying the 56 year old, whose family has long ties to the agricultural and real estate biz in Dona Ana County, will now need at least $1.5 million to give Grisham a run for the money.
He may be encouraged to do so by the lack of players on the field. Only Grisham has officially announced, certainly leaving room for one strong alternative. With AG Balderas perhaps looking less likely to jump in, that challenge may fall to Cervantes. To meet it, he will need to keep his check book handy.
The Republicans still don't have an announced '18 gubernatorial candidate on the field. GOP southern Rep. Steve Pearce is telling those interested he will make up his mind around Memorial Day. The betting money is against Pearce giving up the congressional seat he cherishes for a long-shot Guv bid in a year when the cycle appears to favor the Dems.
The political winds are indeed shifting when mayoral candidate Brian Colón--who has been trying to appeal to both Dems and R's--begins attacking GOP Mayor Berry:
The current leadership in the Mayor’s Office has let down the people of Albuquerque once more. It was announced that Hulu, a streaming service expected to generate $2.4 billion in 2017, has selected San Antonio (over ABQ) as the location for its new customer service center. Now more than ever, we need a Mayor that will commit to taking Albuquerque to new levels in economic development, public safety and education to create an environment for growth. It's time the City's elected public servants dedicate attention to attracting company investment in our beautiful city
In other mayoral news, congrats are due to candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes who says she has made the October ballot by gathering 3,000 valid petition signatures from registered ABQ voters and getting them certified by the city clerk. Candidate petition signatures are due April 28. We expect six or seven contenders to make the final field.
In DC, the Congressional Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus carry a lot of weight in the Democratic Caucus. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to see more people of color and women in positions of leadership, and she walks the walk. Electing a person of color in NM CD1 will help New Mexico advance our agenda in the U.S. House. Progressives need to fight for diversity, and they have the opportunity to nominate a progressive person of color for CD1 to increase the odds that a progressive wins that seat. In addition, we need members of Congress in those Caucuses to act as surrogates for minority communities and get people of color out to vote in 2020 to remove Trump from office. Nominating a person of color for CD1 will drive turnout in the South and North Valley in 2018 general election. That will increase the chances of keeping the state House in Democratic hands and electing a Democratic Governor.
Dem Chairwoman Deb Haaland and attorney Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez are among those also expected to run for the seat. Our Dem insiders say BernCo Commissioner Maggie Stebbins is a no-go. No R's have announced yet. The ABQ congressional seat is rated safe Dem, all the more reason for the Dems to fight vigorously among themselves for that nomination.
That photo we posted Wednesday of APD Chief Gorden Eden at the New Beginnings Church raising his hands in prayer while wearing his uniform and armed with a pistol holstered to his side, brought this from reader Bruce Thomson:
The photo of police chief Eden speaking from the pulpit at Albuquerque's New Beginnings Church in uniform and wearing a gun is deeply offensive on many levels. Being in uniform implies he's there on official business. Carrying a gun makes one question the safety of the event. And the image of a senior politically appointed official in uniform with hand raised, head bowed, and speaking into a microphone from the pulpit raises fundamental questions regarding separation of church and state. I find that picture frightening.
In our Wednesday blog we incorrectly said Eden made his appearance at Legacy Church.
Our satire on Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales over cancelling a taco giveaway for folks voting for the sugary drink tax he's proposing to finance early childhood programs, brought this rib-tickling video in the email. It's titled:"When You Look White But You're Really Mexican."
By the way, early voting has begun in the soda and sugary drink vote. Election Day is May 2. In a first draft yesterday, we had another date.
Reader Stan Fitch says this state needs to disembark from the "Austerity Train:"
My great-grandfather Asa Fitch was cofounder of the New Mexico School of Mines (now New Mexico Tech). . . My wife is a scientist and I am a nuclear engineer. . . New Mexico is flat on its back with high crime and the nation's worst economy. There will always be political wrangling, nonetheless the best course of action would be for Governor Martinez and Senator John Arthur Smith (Chairman of Senate Finance) to loosen the purse strings so that the state can leverage itself out of the hole. We will not have a knight-in-shining-armor come save us. Funding for public works, increased funds for schools and colleges, and hiring more police to appropriate staffing levels would be a start. Yes, increasing taxes and using the state's $15 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund will have to be a part of the mix. It will take a few years but New Mexico can eventually improve its status and look more appealing to external investors. Let’s get New Mexico off of this stalled political austerity train and start moving forward again.
Thanks, Stan. That reminds us of the great jazz standard "The A Train" sung by the indomitable Anita O'Day. Yeah, now we're bloggin'. . . and boogieing.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2017