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Thursday, June 01, 2017

ABQ Congressional Candidates Multiplying Fast, Gators Feed On Ramo Guv Rumor And "The NM Inquisition" Laughs At La Politica 

Will we reach double digits? That's the question for the Dem nomination for the ABQ congressional seat being vacated by Rep Michelle Lujan Grisham who is seeking her party's '18 Guv nomination. A year before the primary we already are up to six congressional contenders. They are:

Former NM Dem Party Chair Deb Haaland, attorney Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez, ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis, ABQ physicist Dennis Dinge, attorney Damian Lara and Edgewood town councilor John Abrams.

And there are two more waiting in the wings, including former US attorney Damon Martinez and possibly a former aide to US Senator Jeff Bingaman. That would take us to eight.

But expect the sorting out to be fast and furious. Given the low name ID of these candidates, party insiders peg the cost of a successful run for the nomination will run at least $1 million and up to $1.5 million. Not many will be able to reach that bar.

GATORING RAMO

The Alligators came climbing out of Tingley Beach when they read our report about businessman and foreign affairs consultant Joshua Cooper Ramo making some phone calls to top politicos in which he wondered about running for the '18 Dem Guv nomination. Never mind that it's a longshot Ramo would actually run. Behind every possible political move, the Gators dig deep. For example,

Joe, You didn't mention that Joshua Cooper Ramo is the cousin of Amanda Cooper, the step-daughter of Senator Tom Udall and longtime state political consultant. Amanda's mother, Jill Cooper Udall, is related to Joshua's mother, Roberta Cooper Ramo. And remember how Sen. Udall was considering a run for Governor before Michelle Lujan Grisham decided to run. Just sayin'.

Hmm. Joshua as the stalking horse for Tom Udall? Well, that's what you get when you tell the Alligators that it's all over for the Dem nomination and that a Grisham win is a done deal. That's like taking fresh meat from their jagged teeth.

By week's end the Ramo family and a variety of others were making mince meat of the Ramo rumor, saying emphatically he was not running for Governor. Considering he lives mainly in New York, (although he does have a place in Santa Fe as well) you would not expect him to make a bid.

NOT AS EXPECTED

A newspaper report said the stunning drop for state funding of lottery scholarships--from 90 to 60 percent of tuition--was "as expected." Say what? How many of the 26,000 higher ed students getting lottery funding were expecting a drop that will add over $700 a year to their tuition? We're they all eagle-eyed and watching the legislative session?  Of course not. Their jaws are dropping over the news and some of them may not be able to go to classes because of the massive drop in lottery aid.

The scholarship program is rapidly fading away in a state besieged by austerity. But that's New Mexico these days. News that should have folks up in arms and demanding change and accountability is treated "as expected." And that's how you get an economic death spiral in which the the young lead the pack in leaving the state.

THE NM INQUISITION

Thankfully, not all of the talented youth are leaving. We ran into a couple of them who are among the best and brightest--and funniest. Danger Varoz (he swears that's his real name), Sheridan Kay Johnson and a large supporting cast have been garnering plenty of attention and accolades for their new political satire series "The New Mexico Inquisition" or "NMINQ."  The program airs on their Facebook and other social media like YouTube as well as public access TV.

Danger and Sheridan throw piles of comedy and satire at the state's top politicos, fake news, the "real" news doled out by the NM mainstream media and much more. As NMIQ says, "Laugh at the headlines, stay for the Fake News!"

It's sharp writing and quick wit for those who like their La Politica a bit on the wild side. And if you're reading this, that's you. Enjoy.

OFF HIS ROCKER

Gary, what do you mean you're "finally" off your rocker?

In June, Gary Johnson will embark on what he calls his greatest physical challenge yet: riding the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, in the Canadian Rockies to Antelope Wells in the desert of Southern New Mexico. The former two-term Republican governor and two-time Libertarian presidential candidate is taking part in the Tour Divide, a nearly 2,800-mile race. Johnson, 64, said that he may be “finally, completely off my rocker.” He said he expects to be on his mountain bike for eight to nine hours a day for something like 40 days.

Gary has been "off his rocker" for as long as we can remember, but we've got to give it to him. No one is going to put this peripatetic senior athlete in a rocking chair.

THE BOTTOM LINES

On our big Wednesday blog we called Ray Powell the state land commissioner. He, of course, is the former commissioner. The current commissioner is Republican Aubrey Dunn. . . And we said in the first draft that there are two women on the ABQ city council. There are three--Councilors Gibson, Pena and Jones.

WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

Calling all New Mexicans! New Mexico First invites you to THE policy event of the year on June 7th. U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Trent Lott will headline the event and highlight important issues facing our state! Bipartisanship awards will be given to Rep. James Smith, Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richards, Rep. Jim Dines and Sherman McCorkle. Buy tickets here.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2017
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