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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sedillo Lopez Surges And Is Greeted With First Negative Hit In The ABQ Congress Contest; Out Of State Super PAC Slams Her; Who Do They Want? Plus: Look Out Damon; Damian Lara Joins TV Ad Club 

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez has come on strong of late in that crowded contest for the Democratic nomination for the ABQ area US House seat and with that newfound status come the attacks. The first one has already hit the mailboxes.

A super PAC funded by heavyweight financial types, including uber-wealthy hedge fund managers, slammed Sedillo Lopez with this mailer that scorches her on two fronts--for supporting Medicare for all which the "Forward Not Back" PAC says would cost families $7700 a year and for failing to paying her taxes on time seven times.

Sedillo Lopez campaign struck back calling the charges a "baseless smear by an out of state group with close ties to the Republicans."

The PAC says on its one page website that it supports "progressive leadership" but that's a front, says the Sedillo Lopez campaign, who believe her progressive policies have inflamed the group and they want her gone.

Reader "Westside Alligator" comes with this research from CNN Money:

What is Forward Not Back? Apparently, they are part of a larger PAC called No Labels which has the stated purpose of supporting "moderate" candidates in primaries including present office holders both Democratic and Republican.

Sedillo Lopez is an ardent advocate of Medicare for all and the cost of that is highly debatable. As for failing to pay her taxes, her campaign spokesman says she was indeed late paying property taxes seven times on rental properties. But adds:

BernCo taxpayers are asked to pay their property tax bills in two payments five months apart or pay them in full upon receipt of the bill. For several years (Sedillo Lopez and her husband Victor) did not pay their tax until the final deadline in April when they paid all that was owed. They were fined small penalties for not making any first half payments. The taxes have been and are completely paid.

Blog readers were on red alert over the first negative campaigning in the so far slow moving ABQ race. They noted that the national super PAC attackers had about $1 million in cash on hand at the end of March and that one of its donors has a big NM connection. He is Louis Moore Bacon, the billionaire hedge fund manager who in 2013 bought Taos Ski Valley.

Sedillo-Lopez's campaign says they did a data check and matched the super PAC donors with donations made to Republican candidates and causes.

WHO DO THEY WANT?

So what is this out of state apparently conservative PAC doing putting their noses under the ABQ US House tent? Obviously they don't like Bernie Sanders' Medicare for all plan that Sedillo Lopez has endorsed so they are trying to take her out. But who they want in is an even more important question.

Maybe contender Damon Martinez who is seen as the more moderate of the frontrunners, even though like Sedillo Lopez, Deb Haaland and Pat Davis he says he supports Medicare for all. We double checked with him:

Health care is a human right, which is why I will support Medicare for All and single-payer health care.


Another third party group is already up on TV with a heavy buy for the former US Attorney. In any event, the leading theory among the Alligators is that Martinez may be the intended beneficiary of the super PAC hit--if they have one in mind.

RACE WATCH

As for where the race stands, it appears very tight. The news is that Damon Martinez appears to be displacing Deb Haaland in second and some polling indicates he could even narrowly be in first. Sedillio Lopez is perched right at the top with him or a notch ahead, depending on which poll you're reading.

As we said, Martinez is on TV in a big way and dominating the air. Sedillo Lopez has heavy TV as well, but she has also dropped at least a half dozen mail pieces to likely Dem voters. Haaland is stalled out and appears to need a new angle to prevent a fade. Pat Davis is in single digits and the kerfuffle over his controversial NRA ad may have hurt more than it helped.

DAMON MEET DAMIAN

Lara
Everyone and their brother has forgotten about candidates Paul Moya and Damian Lara but get this--one or both of them could spoil this race for hard-charging Damon Martinez.

As of March 31 Moya had $156,000 in cash on hand and Lara had $139,000  Neither has spent barely a dime since then. That kind of money could give them a more than healthy TV presence for the final ten days of the campaign.

And this just in: Damian Lara, 40, is going up on TV today with this spot highlighting his immigrant background and how he worked in the agricultural fields before realizing his dream of becoming an attorney. He also takes a bite out of Trump's immigration policies. The campaign says it has up "a six figure buy" for the June 5 primary.

We're still waiting on any TV from Moya who lent his campaign most of the cash he has.

Will Lara (and possibly Moya) now start to peel enough votes away from Martinez, leaving the battle to Sedillo Lopez and Haaland? They could. Yet another angle in this six way race.

TUCKER VS. DAVIS

Conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson ripped into ABQ Dem congressional candidate Pat Davis during an interview Tuesday about Davis' anti-NRA ad in which he says "Fuck the NRA." Carlson holds nothing back. The not-so-pretty scalding is here.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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