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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Southern Congress Clash Erupts: Monty With Late Negative TV Against "Santa Fe Insider", Yvette Blasts Back At "Fake Republican"; Winner Of High Stakes Drama Likely To Take Seat, Plus: MLG Gets Sacked In DC's Politico In Late Game Hit, And Revving Up For Our 30th Year Of KANW-FM Election Coverage 

He saw it slipping away and he couldn't hold back. Monty Newman has launched late-in-the-game negative TV against Yvette Herrell, his chief rival for the southern GOP congressional nomination, and she immediately fired back.

The drama is of the high stakes variety as analysts of different stripes concede that the winner of the GOP nomination is likely to become the next US House member to replace Steve Pearce who is running for Governor.

Newman, a former mayor of Hobbs and ex-city commissioner there, has been trailing a bit in the insider polls and has held his tongue, but you don't hire a political hit man like Jay McCleskey and not use him. That's like a big game hunter going out with no ammo. In reality what probably happened here is that polling showed Herrell pulling ahead too much and they decided on the late hit.

So can this attack on Herrell, with only hours to go before the primary clock expires, change the game? The script:

Politicians let us down. Like Santa Fe insider Yvette Herrell who voted for $278 million in higher taxes, even on prescription drugs. . . and voted to weaken penalties for child killers. Herrell got busted pocketing half a million dollars in state contracts as a legislator. We cannot trust Yvette Herrell.

Not bad but too little too late?

#FAKEREPUBLICAN

Herrell took the pole position in this contest when the NRA gave her its official endorsement which is gold in the conservative district.

Her campaign is on war room footing, coming with this response to Monty only hours after he blew Yvette up on the TV screens. She returns the favor and then some:

Newman spent 19 years as a registered Democrat and voted for millions of dollars in tax increases. Just another fake Republican who has joined the Washington swamp.

Monty, a former chairman of the NM GOP, was a Dem for 19 years? The new catch phrase in Hobbs is "19 years!? Say what?" Nothing like new nuke to get the fans out of the bleacher seats and rushing to the front.

There are two other candidates in the race, but they're not playing.

Lurking behind the front lines in all of this is the White House or maybe more like the Vice-President Pence machine. A consultant with deep ties to Indiana politics, where Pence is from, is on the ground for Herrell. But you won't read about that on Pence's Twitter feed.

MLG SACKED IN DC

Herrell isn't the only one who is the target of a late innings sacking. The Politico in DC went long and deep (and with that tough looking photo) on the healthcare consulting company Michelle Lujan Grisham was a co-owner of, raising questions about the state contract it received and whether the services the company offered were even necessary since Obamacare changed the health landscape.

The article recounted how the congresswoman reports on her congressional financial disclosure forms that she earned a total of between $165,000 and $350,000 in dividends from Delta Consulting from 2013 to 2016. But supporters of GOP Guv hopeful Steve Pearce are already asking that MLG be quizzed about any nonmonetary compensation she may have received from the firm while she's been in the House.

Will Delta have long legs into the November election? Stay tuned.

THOSE ENDORSEMENTS

Here in the ABQ metro, in that Dem race for Congress that's getting hotter than the forecast for Roswell this week, the endorsements continue to flow in.

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez has secured the backing of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club; Deb Haaland wins backing from BernCo County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley; the group Bernalillo County Bernie Dems is supporting Damian Lara and former NM Secretary of State Clara Padilla Andrews is in the corner of Damon Martinez. And we didn't mention in at the time, but candidate Paul Moya got a kind of endorsement from the ABQ Journal which singled him out and said he would be a solid nominee but their first choice is Damon Martinez.

PROGRESSIVE INFIGHTING

It may be the progressives on the ABQ City Council who will be giving fellow progressive and ABQ Mayor TimKeller the hardest time. Councilor Ike Benton is an example:

Councilor Benton says he's concerned Mayor Keller's administration is overstepping its authority with traffic projects. The councilor is proposing legislation aimed at reasserting the council's power. The change happened downtown in April, when Keller's Municipal Development Department reactivated several traffic signals at downtown intersections along Lead, Coal and Roma avenues. For more than a year, those intersections were controlled by stop signs for all four directions of traffic. "I was given no warning whatsoever," said Benton of the stop sign removal. "Why would we do this all over again, just because there's a new mayor? That's not OK," said Benton.

Stop signs are the big issue to fight with the Mayor over? Not the same passion over the crime wave and drug epidemic?

VOTE EARLY

From Santa Fe:

SOS Toulouse Oliver announced that online absentee ballot applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 31. Voters may also request an absentee ballot by visiting their county clerk’s office through close of business on June 1. . . Voters may apply to receive an absentee ballot online at NMVote.org. . .  A list of all 33 county clerks is available here  to apply for an absentee ballot in-person.

RADIO AND MOTHER OF PEARL

Mother of Pearl
Of course we'll be back tomorrow--Friday--to give you another dose of La Politica. We know how to handle you diehard primary junkies. And we'll soon have more for you on the radio.

On Monday at 5 p.m. we'll start to celebrate our 30th consecutive year of covering elections for public radio station KANW 89.1 FM and kanw.com. Maybe they'll give me a cupcake or something. In any event we will be there and have lined up guest experts that include State Reps. Moe Maestas and Alonzo Baldonado. We'll tell you more about that in the days ahead and our Election Night coverage which begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 5.

30 years. Forget about that cupcake. We just looked up the traditional 30th anniversary wedding gift. It's the Pearl Anniversary. Well, we've tied the knot with that microphone so come on public radio, get that Mother of Pearl bowl gift wrapped--and pronto.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018

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