Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Election Day '17: Our Live Continuous Coverage Starts At 6:30 P.M. On KANW 89.1 FM and KANW.COM; Vegas Tragedy Casts Pall on E Day; Keller And Lewis In Dueling Beer Parties And Candidates Start Dropping Out For '18 

Our live, continuous wall-to-wall coverage of ABQ Election '17 kicks off at 6:30 this evening on KANW-FM 89.1 and you can also listen at kanw.com. Joining me to call all the action will be former ABQ City Councilors Greg Payne and Pete Dinelli; former State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones; Dem strategist and consultant Sisto Abeyta; veteran attorney David Buchholtz and former BernCo GOP Chairman Rick Abraham. We look forward to having you with us and finding out together who will lead the races for mayor and city council. 

The tragedy in Las Vegas casts a pall over City Election '17. Vegas is like a second home for many New Mexicans who vacation there often, taking a short flight on SW Airlines to enjoy the good life and nightlife for a couple of days. The tragedy hit home.

Depending on who you ask the carnage in Las Vegas will drive turnout lower for today's Mayoral election or because it highlights crime, ABQ's #1 problem, perhaps it drives people to the polls. Whatever the case, the election was made to look much smaller and even incidental when set against the backdrop of the worst mass shooting in modern US history.

Until the Vegas story broke, ABQ voters continued to get peppered relentlessly with a parade of bad news--all reasons for them to get out and vote--if they could be convinced it would make a difference,

On the heels of the city being proclaimed the worst city in the nation for auto theft came the report that NM is now #1 in the nation in property crime, led by ABQ. Then we were hammered by a WalletHub study that said we rank 450th out of 515 cities for economic growth. Talk about a full plate for the next mayor. The winner may eventually come to envy the losers.


You might say Democrat Tim Keller and Republican Dan Lewis, the favorites to advance to a November 14th mayoral run-off after tonight's votes are counted, aren't waiting to fire up the competition. For this evening's festivities they have both decided to throw parties at local breweries.

Keller's party will be at Red Door Brewing Company at 400 Gold Ave SW in downtown ABQ. Lewis will host supporters at the Flix Brewhouse on the westside at 3200 La Orilla Road.  Before the night is done maybe Tim and Dan will be yelling at each other, "tastes great!" "No, less filling!"

Dem Brian Colón is holding on to hope that he and not Lewis might squeeze into second place and make it into a run-off against front-runner Keller. He will stay at his NE Heights home with friends and well-wishers tonight. Republican Wayne Johnson, who has caused a stir by continuing to attack fellow Republican Lewis right up until the opening of the polls, will host a party tonight at Pelican's Restaurant at 9800 Montgomery NE.


We've lost over 50,000 voters. That's right. Rick Abraham of Data Flux says the Bernalillo County Clerk confirms this year's purge of nonactive voters has resulted in the city regulation total of about 380,000 coming way down:

Per Carrie Fields at the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office, 52,042 voters have been purged since the last City election due mostly to voters moving or dying. There are currently 336,174 Albuquerque voters as of July 2017. There are 155,490 Democrats, 96,927 Republicans and 83,757 Independents and others. Democrats make up 46% of the voters, while Republicans are 29% and Independents are 25%. Districts 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 lean Democrat. Districts 8 and 9 lean Democrat. Districts 4 and 5 are swing districts. Districts 1 and 7 are very similar registrations, as well as Districts 3 and 8 and Districts 4 and 5. District 2 and 9 are strongholds for their respective parties.

There are elections for city council today in Districts 1,3,5,7, and 9. The council is currently controlled by the Democrats 5 to 4. Abraham has compiled a comprehensive report on the over 41,000 early voters. You can find that here.


We've blogged of the deep rivalry between R's Wayne Johnson and Dan Lewis but Lewis supporter and Republican Doug Antoon says the item that Johnson and Lewis did not want to share election night headquarters was one-sided:

The incorrect item was about the two candidates refusing to even be around each other on election night or collaborating on a joint event. Dan was good with a GOP joint event and we were ready to help put it to together until Wayne refused to even be in the same room as Dan, and nothing and no one was going to change his mind.

Longtime blog critic and former GOP State Senator Rod Adair resurfaced on election eve to challenge our view (and that of innumerable Republicans) that the camp of Gov Martinez prefers Johnson over Lewis:

Monahan claims Martinez is supporting Wayne Johnson. Really? Best we can tell Martinez has not endorsed anyone, let alone Johnson. . . It appears she has not helped Johnson raise a single dime. . . Martinez’s consultants are not working for Johnson. All anyone has to do is look at the campaign finance reports. Johnson’s fundraiser is Anne Ekern, who used to work for Congresswoman Heather Wilson. Finance reports show that Johnson’s mail is being produced by Direct Edge, from Nashville. And Johnson himself is producing his own television ads.


Two '18 candidates are calling it quits early. The biggie is State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn who has thrown in the towel on his bid for the GOP nomination for the southern congressional seat which Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for Governor. Dunn is not saying exactly why he is getting out or whether he will now seek a second term at the land office. (We'd bet he will).

Dunn has made some bitter enemies in the powerful oil and gas industry because of his approach to certain energy-related issues. That's a key group when it comes to fund-raising and GOP votes down south,

That development would seem to be good news for Alamogordo GOP State Rep. Yvette Harrell who is also seeking the nomination and is getting positive early reviews. Also running are former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman and Carlsbad pharmacist Jack Volpato.

There are a lot of Dems running but the national party is taking a pass on the race and the GOP nominee will probably have clear sailing.

And Annie Chavez, one of many of the contenders for the Dem nomination for the ABQ congressional seat which is being vacated by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham who, like Pearce, is running for her party's nomination for Governor, says she is calling it quits early. Chavez says her decision is due to unspecified "health reasons"


Maxwell Smart
The guessers jammed our email box with their answers to win the free lunch tickets to Wednesday's NM Foundation for Open Government (FOG) annual luncheon. Just about all of them guessed that the phrase "Cone of Silence"--meaning keeping information that should be public under wraps--originated with the popular 60's TV Series Get Smart and its secret agent Maxwell Smart. It's true the phrase was popularized there but as winner Paul Roybal correctly guessed:

The term "cone of silence" originated  in a TV series titled "Science Fiction Theater" on September 3rd, 1955 in the episode titled "Barrier of Silence".

Paul beat out reader Farley Vener by a mere two minutes who found this from Wikipedia on that episode and gets a consolation prize.

The story focused on finding a cure for Professor Richard Sheldon, who had been returned to the United States in a confused, altered state of mind after abduction by enemy agents while visiting Milan. Scientists discovered that placing Sheldon in an environment of total silence was the means of brainwashing, a precursor to later ideas of sensory deprivation, celebrated in such films as Altered States and sundry spy thriller.

Thanks to all the "Get Smart" aficionados who weighed in. Now go check out that episode of Science Fiction Theater.

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