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Thursday, January 25, 2018

It's A Beard Thing; Prominent Local Politicos Break A Political Taboo; We Investigate, Plus: Guv Candidates On The Early Road 

Keller (Journal)
The facial hair being freshly sported by two prominent elected officials has the political class chattering. 40 year old ABQ Mayor Tim Keller and 41 year old BernCo District Attorney Raul Torrez have popped up on TV screens in the new year with brand new and neatly coiffed beards. Obviously, this calls for rigorous investigative reporting.

It may be a new generation thing because political consultants of all stripes have long advised and still do that beards should mostly be a no-no for elected officials. We did a little research and found that only about 5 percent of the members of Congress sport a beard. That's from the Scholars Strategy Network that studies such political esoteria. So does having a beard make a politico less trustworthy or less appealing to voters as thought by many of the consultants? Here's an interesting finding:

Today, research and theory suggest that voters may stereotype men with facial hair. Perceptions of men with facial hair as especially competent, composed, aggressive, powerful, or bold can obviously have upsides for candidates. But there are also downsides, because voters may stereotype politicians with facial hair as likely to hold issue positions inimical to feminists, such as opposition to reproductive choice for women. Voters may also see men with beards and mustaches as more supportive of gun rights, military spending, and the deployment of force. 

Torrez (Journal)
Are Keller and Torrez, who cast themselves as dyed in the wool feminists, growing beards in an effort to woo conservative-minded male voters as they face a crime epidemic that is seeing widespread calls for tough action? And is Dem consultant Alan Packman behind the beards? After all, he has consulted both Torrez and Keller. Inquiring conspiratorial minds want to know!

And what about the beard on Dem lieutenant governor candidate Rick Miera? If he wins the nomination, does it stay or does it go?

And if Keller and Torrez cause beards to take off with the public where does that leave Dem Guv candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham? And can Cervantes, Apodaca and DeBenedettis grow one fast enough? Uh. Oh. This could be really big.

ON THE ROAD 

The Dems mid-March pre-primary nominating convention is fast approaching and in the lead up the four candidates for the Dem Guv nomination are conducting a road show before activists, many of whom will be delegates to the convention.

The four appeared in Santa Fe Tuesday evening and soon they will be in T or C:

The Democratic Party of Sierra County will host a gubernatorial candidate forum Thursday, February 8. All four Democratic candidates for Governor--Jeff Apodaca, Joseph Cervantes, Peter DeBenedittis, and Michelle Lujan Grisham--will be available and take questions from the audience. Everyone is welcome to attend at Albert J. Lyons Event Center, 2953 S. Broadway, Truth or Consequences at 7 p.m. 

That March pre-primary convention is critical. If the three foes of Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the leading candidate in fund-raising and name ID, can't put some significant points on the board when the candidates are voted upon, the June 5 primary could then be viewed as hers to lose.

Rep. Steve Pearce doesn't have to worry much about his party's pre-primary convention. He is the sole GOP Guv candidate. Even with no competition he is keeping busy working the rural areas of the state. Here's a piece about his recent stop in Moriarty from the Mountain View Telegraph.

PREVENTABLE?

Could this have been prevented if New Mexico had in place a large scale home visiting program for new parents as envisioned in the proposed constitutional amendment to divert one percent a year of the $17 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund into early childhood education?

The 7-week-old Las Cruces infant who suffered traumatic head and brain injuries as a result of being violently shaken, allegedly at the hands of her parents, has died, police confirmed. The infant, Mattie Minnick, (suffered) injuries included hemorrhaging in the brain, severe bilateral retinal hemorrhage in both eyes, global hypoxic brain injury and rib fractures that were about two to three weeks old. She also was malnourished, police said. The child's parents, Marcus Alton Minnick and Caricia Lorena Ceballos, both 19--remain charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death or great bodily harm, but now they face they possibility of life in prison on conviction.

The constitutional amendment is expected to soon pass the House and then head to the Senate where in the past it has stalled.

And one of our Legal Beagles writes:

I'm wondering. Has there been any analysis of the Governor's dismantling of the behavioral health systems and the increase in the crime rate?

Good question. We're sure Las Cruces area State Senator Mary Kay Papen would like such a study. She has been in the fore in pointing out the damage done.

THE BOTTOM LINES

Reader Vic writes:

Joe, Everyone wants to know why politicians get this inexplicable compulsion to build transit systems. Actually, it’s a recognized psychological disorder, called  “A Desire Named Streetcar.” You can look it up on The Google.

Hey, Vic, can "The Google" also tell us how to tear up "The ART?"

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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