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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blog Topics: Straight Ticket Voting, An "Absurd" Ethics Meeting? Dem Muscle In Republican Roswell And A Round Of Congressional Endorsements 

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver this week "qualified major party candidates for state districted and county elected offices to appear on the 2018 Primary Election ballot."

There's a bunch of them and they are all listed here.

Reader Rick Lass, who has run as a Green Party candidate, isn't too pleased with one plan developing in the office of the SOS. That would be her plan to reinstate straight ticket voting in New Mexico:

I and many others are completely opposed to straight ticket voting, which very clearly discriminates against independent and minor party candidates. In fact, I am quite sure that straight ticket voting is the primary reason I lost a 2008 Public Regulation Commission election--there was a straight ticket devise for him, not for me, so, in effect, there were two ways for him to receive votes and there was only one way for me to receive votes. 

Also, I think it is unfair to say straight party voting increases voter turnout in down ballot races--the voter has already turned out, and merely chooses not to vote for people in down ballot races.

Republicans for the most part also oppose straight ticket voting which was suspended in 2012 under GOP Sec. of State Dianna Duran. However, Dems are mostly supportive. Some R lawmakers argue the SOS must get authorization from the Legislature to return to straight ticket voting.

NOW WE KNOW

Th mystery over why former BernCo Commissioner Michael Brasher decided to pull the plug on a run for his old commission seat this year is over. And it's pretty good news for the general manager of public radio station KANW-FM:

Former Bernalillo County commissioner and onetime Albuquerque city councilor Michael Brasher will now help govern the University of New Mexico. Gov.  Martinez has appointed Brasher to the vacant seat on UNM’s seven-member Board of Regents. Her announcement came late Wednesday — less than a day before the board convenes for its annual budget summit. Brasher is a familiar face in local government. He served on the Bernalillo County Commission from 2002-2010 and was on the Albuquerque City Council from 1989-2001.

We blogged recently of how John Jones, who entered the commission race but then withdrew to run for the state House, was upset that he could not get a straight answer from Brasher when he asked him if he was in or out of the commission contest. Now he knows why.

AROUND NEW MEXICO 

Recently elected Roswell Democratic City Councilor George Peterson writes in reaction to our reader report Wednesday that the usually GOP city of Aztec in the Four Corners has elected a lot of Dems recently:

Joe, great story on Aztec. We have a similar situation in the Roswell city election this month  There are three new Dems on the city council which now has 6 R's and 4 D's.  We run as non-partisan candidates, but you know how that is. The council has elected a Democrat as mayor pro tem. The vote was 5 to 5 and he won with a coin flip. Thanks for your work, I read every day.

Thanks for checking in Councilor George. It's always a pleasure to hear from readers outside the ABQ/Santa Fe corridor. We will do our best to include more coverage of the key races in those areas as Election '18 gets going. Meanwhile, we checked and found that. . .

Down in Otero County there is no sign of a Dem resurgence. The R's continue to rule that roost:

According to Otero County Clerk Robyn Holmes, 17 Republicans and 3 Democrats have filed for eight positions in Otero County (for the 2018 election).

ABSURD MEETING?

Absurd indeed seems the word to describe today's meeting of  a Bernalillo county board that will hear an ethics complaint against State Auditor Wayne Johnson stemming from when he ran for mayor against Time Keller last year.

He has helped propel many Democrats to victory. . . but political operative Alan Packman will put on a different hat Thursday and preside over an ethics case filed against Republican Wayne Johnson. . . The idea that Packman - who serves as chairman of Bernalillo County's Code of Conduct Review Board - could be impartial on this matter is absurd. Even if that weren't the case, there is clearly an appearance of a conflict of interest, and that is reason enough for Packman to recuse himself. Absent that, the other members of the board should sideline him and prohibit him from having any additional say on this matter. . . 

Is it a Code of Conduct Board or a Kangaroo Court?

YOU'RE ENDORSED

Sedillo Lopez
On the ABQ congressional endorsement front:

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez’ campaign announced the endorsement of the Working Families Party of New Mexico.

Like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Antoinette’s fight for working people began decades before she ever ran for office,” said NM Working Families Party State Director Eric Griego. “Her long record of advocating for those without a strong voice sets her apart in the Democratic primary. . ."

Former US Attorney Damon Martinez, also seeking the Dem nod for the ABQ US House seat, comes with this:

Damon Martinez was endorsed by three former U.S. Attorneys who served in the Obama administration. Joyce White Vance (Alabama), Carmen M. Ortiz (Massachusetts), and Stephanie Yonekura (California)

ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis has won the endorsement of State Senators Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Mimi Stewart and Damian Lara has been endorsed by Kathy and Joe Duffy, longtime active Democrats from the ABQ Valley.

Janice Arnold-Jones is unopposed for the GOP nomination at the June 5 primary.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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