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Friday, June 01, 2018

MLG Reverses And Releases Tax Returns While Delta Imbroglio Bubbles; Will Pearce Follow Suit? Big Oil Super PACS Fight To Save Muñoz And Battle Enviro Candidates Statewide  

The dam broke Thursday on whether New Mexico gubernatorial candidates should release their tax returns.

Following closely on the heels of her Dem Guv rival Jeff Apodaca and under the gun for her dealings with her former health care consulting firm, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham released five years of personal income tax returns. And she challenged Republican Guv candidate Steve Pearce to do the same. Her returns are here.

The issue was first raised this cycle by the New Mexican which asked the Guv candidates for their returns. MLG and Pearce refused. Joe Cervantes gave a partial return. Jeff Apodaca was the only one to release his full return.

The AP reports that Pearce told a radio audience Wednesday that if MLG released her return, he would do the same. If he does we would appear to be entering a new era in which the tax returns of candidates for major offices such as Governor and Senator will be expected to be made public.

Pearce is a multi-millionaire with varied business interests, particularly in energy, so his returns will be complicated. Not so for MLG.

Her income for 2017, for example, topped out at $195,000, including $52,000 from the now controversial Delta Consulting group she co-owned up until six months ago with State Rep. Debbie Armstrong. She paid $35,500 in income tax.

The other years she released were similar in income, with Delta contributing around $375,000 to her bottom line over five years. As a congresswoman she is currently paid $174,000 a year.

The release of her returns came in the aftermath of a blistering article in the Politico Wednesday that raised questions about the ethics of MLG receiving money from Delta while she was voting on federal health policy.

And the very purpose of the company was also called into question by her Dem gubernatorial rivals Jeff Apodaca and Joe Cervantes who said it was unnecessary in the wake of Obamacare but that Lujan Grisham had used her political influence to win the contract for the NM high-risk insurance pool. Her campaign responded:

Her small business did not make millions of dollars or anything close to that. She worked to help those who had been denied health care coverage and make sure they were able to access the care they need – including patients with cancer or HIV that were fighting for their lives. . . 
Pearce

The NM Medical Insurance Pool was created to provide subsidized health coverage as a last resort for those who have high risk health conditions, and is funded by a premium paid by insurers in the state, not by state funding. These members are considered the sickest of the sick, and do not have access to health insurance coverage even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. 

APO ATTACKS

Apodaca
Apodaca, trailing badly in the polls, was especially relentless in his criticism of Lujan Grisham, over Delta, accusing her of committing a fraud and even calling for her to drop out of the Dem Guv chase.

It's time our politicians stop profiting off the backs of New Mexicans

But it was all eyes on Pearce as the MLG ship was rocked by the final hours storm. Pointedly, he retweeted the Politico article to his followers. And one of our Senior Alligators speculated:

Joe you have to remember Pearce is considered a major, legitimate player in DC. I believe he planted that Politico article. The GOP thinks he's one of the better candidates in their pool. 

That Pearce has come to play there can be no doubt, but MLG showed decent crisis management skills as the incident threatened to derail her momentum going into next Tuesday's primary. Her turnabout on releasing her returns had her back on the high ground.

The story may still dampen enthusiasm for her but the main event is yet to be seen. If, as expected, both she and Pearce are nominated, we will see an all out assault over Delta from Pearce and a fierce response and counterattack coming from her.

SUPER PAC PLAYGROUND

Environmental groups, especially the political arm of Conservation Voters NM, have dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into advertising for their favorite green candidates. Now they are getting some big time competition from big oil which is raising eyebrows over who they are backing.

In the latest state finance reports released Wednesday the Super PAC NM Strong reports receiving $224,000 from oil giant Chevron and $50,000 from wealthy Artesia oilman Mack Chase. And who is getting the benefit of that cash? It's a trio of conservative Democrats: land commissioner hopeful George Muñoz and northern Dem State Reps. Debbie Rodella and Carl Trujillo, all of whom face stiff primary challenges.

The PAC has bought over $70,000 in TV time for Munoz, spent $7,500 to support Rodella in the mail and $6,400 went to Trujillo, who is locked in a brutal primary battle with challenger Andrea Romero.

Munoz
Jay McCleskey, the controversial head of Governor Martinez's political machine is  consulting for the PNM Super PAC, New Mexicans For Progress, which paid him $175,000 in the recent reporting period for "professional services." That PAC is trying to defeat liberal Dem Steve Fischmann who is challenging Public Regulation Commissioner Sandy Jones for a southern PRC seat. They have a bunch of legislative races targeted as well.

Then there's the NM Prosperity Super PAC funded by Mack Energy in Artesia. McCleskey is also consulting that group which is spending to support George Muñoz.

Staying on the Super PAC beat, the Forward Not Back group, funded by hedge fund billionaires and supporting Damon Martinez for the Dem nomination for the ABQ congressional seat, has flooded the mailboxes of likely Dem primary voters in the final stretch. At least three mailers have dropped, one of which calls Martinez a "progressive fighter not a politician."

LIGHT GUV

We haven't heard much from Dem Lt Governor hopeful and Dona Ana County commissioner Billy Garrett but in the final days he's making a TV push in hopes of catching rivals Howie Morales and Rick Miera. Garrett's campaign says:

Garrett grew up in Las Cruces and graduated from Las Cruces High School. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a graduate degree in Anthropology from Arizona State University. In 1983 Garrett began a 26-year career as an architect and manager with the National Park Service.

He was first elected to the commission in 2010.

ELECTION EVE SPECIAL 

Join us Monday at 5 p.m. on KANW 89.1 FM for our Election Eve Special. We'll have late breaking campaign news and some fun predictions for Election Night. Our Election Night coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. on KANW and kanw.com

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018

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.

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

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ignoring The Polls: Apo and Cervantes Finishing Strong In Uphill Guv Derby, Plus: Tales From The Trail And What Now For Davis? 

Apo and Cervantes
He's a cancer survivor who beat the odds and Jeff Apodaca is bringing that same determination to the final hours of his chase for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, even if the polling insists his dream is out of reach. In one of his final TV ads he takes on his two Dem rivals as well as Republican Steve Pearce:

New Mexico is at a crossroads. Do we change direction or continue falling behind? Grisham, Cervantes, Pearce. The politicians who have brought us to last in jobs and education. . . Jeff Apodaca. He'll bring major change to New Mexico. He'll invest part of our $23 billion in investment funds to create jobs, fight crime and fix our schools. Major change or more of the same?You decide. 

Pretty strong stuff and perhaps effective with the undecided voters who are looking for an outsider. It reminds us a bit of the campaign of Apodaca's Governor father, Jerry Apodaca, who in 1974 ran on the slogan: "The Man Nobody Owns."

Meanwhile, observers also credit Cervantes with growth as a candidate during the course of the campaign but question why he waited so long to flip the switch.

TRAIL DUST

Dem State Auditor candidate Bill McCamley gets the endorsement of his hometown newspaper but his rival Brian Colón turns around and gets the endorsement of Las Cruces Mayor Miyagishima. Which is worth more?. . . Appointed State Auditor Wayne Johnson is unopposed for the GOP nomination. Will the GOP put the necessary money into his race to take on probable nominee Colón?. . .

There's not many GOP contest primaries this year but the one in the East mountains of the metro for a state legislative seat is drawing late attention. Greg Schmedes, a UNM physician is running to the right of Merritt Hamilton, painting her as an "establishment" candidate as he tries to lure Trump supporters. Hamilton says Schmedes is trying to talk about national issues that are not central to representing the district. Both have been well financed. Hamilton is favored but we'll be watching that one closely Election Night. The seat became open when GOP Rep. James Smith resigned when he was appointed to the BernCo Commission. The winner of the primary is likely to take the seat in the GOP leaning district in November.

WHAT NOW?

After taking a major political hit for his failed congressional campaign, the question now is whether ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis will draw a strong challenger if he seeks re-election next year to his SE ABQ seat.

Davis, who withdrew from the ABQ Dem US Congress chase this week and endorsed Deb Haaland, indicated in his endorsement that he plans on staying on the council, saying:

Deb and I know that, together, we have the grassroots support to overcome the millions of Republican dollars being spent on the leading opponent. And I know that in the City Council and in Congress, we’ll make a good team, too.

Davis won election to the council with 67 percent of the vote in a three way race in 2015. The district is all Dem all the time so it would have to be a strong D to take Davis on in '19.

MORE MO?

Working to add some momentum to Haaland's endorsement by Davis, the campaign also rolled out the endorsement of liberal icon and ABQ state Senator Cisco McSorley. His senate district overlaps that of Davis' council district. He tells us he is especially impressed with Haaland's strong stance in favor of marijuana legalization, a matter near and dear to his heart. McSorley has served in the legislature for 33 years.

And Damon Martinez is firing back at the Emily's List super PAC TV ad accusing him of dropping the ball when he was US Attorney by not prosecuting any APD officers for 27 fatal police shootings. ABQ's Steve and Renetta Torrez, whose son was one of those police fatalities, came with this:

We support Damon Martinez for Congress. In 2011 our son, Christopher, was tragically killed by two APD officers in what became an established pattern of excessive use of force. The recent ad attacking Damon Martinez is misleading and disingenuous. The truth is that the 27 instances of deadly use of excessive force by APD, cited in the  Department of Justice report, occurred before he was appointed U.S. Attorney for New Mexico. Once appointed, he demonstrated a strong interest and a willingness to listen to community groups and the families of the police shooting victims. We felt that we had a strong advocate who was going to work towards desperately needed reform and sustained change that would be achieved in a collaborative manner.

Martinez has also picked up the support of ABQ Westside State Rep. Moe Maestas and ABQ City Councilor Klarissa Pena.

THE BOTTOM LINES 

He was a Republican until June of 2015, but supporters of of Dem land commissioner candidate Garrett VeneKlasen point out that doesn't mean the GOP is secretly hoping he'll win. One of them checks in with this:

The GOP calls Garrett a "watermelon" which means that he's green (environmental) on the outside and pink (communist) on the inside.

What happened to a communist being a "Red?" Why the downgrade to pink? Oh, that's right, "pinko commie." Hey, even us boomers haven't heard that one in a while.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

One Week to Go: An Early Turnout Report, Davis Drops Out; Endorses Haaland, Hit Ad On Martinez May Be Last Chance To Stop Him And A Taxing Question For MLG And Pearce  

With just one week to go before the June 5 primary it appears so far that about 25 percent  of the Democratic statewide vote has been cast early.

In the 2014 primary about 118,000 voted. Thirty thousand Dems have voted as of Friday, and if we get a total turnout this year similar to '14, we are now at the 25 percent turnout mark. Well over half the primary vote is expected to be cast early, with the heaviest days coming this Friday and Saturday.

Assuming early turnout in the ABQ metro is also about 25 percent thus far, that leaves plenty of voters still to be influenced by that $200,000 negative hit on Dem congressional hopeful Damon Martinez that is going up today and is sponsored by the political arm of Emily's list.

The ad attacks Martinez for not prosecuting any ABQ police officers for the many fatal shootings that took place while he was US attorney.

If that ad does not take him down, Martinez, 52, will very likely be the Democratic nominee and the next congressman from the ABQ district. He led in the robocall poll conducted May 24 for your blog as well as in the ABQ Journal survey which incorporated cell phone users.

Well over half the primary vote is expected to be cast early, with the heaviest days coming this Friday and Saturday.

DAVIS TO HAALAND

Dem congressional hopeful Pat Davis ended his candidacy today and endorsed Deb Haaland. Davis, an ABQ city councilor has been polling poorly, garnering only 5% in the Journal survey and 4% in our May 24 poll. Om his way out the door, he took a slap at frontrunner Damon Martinez:

Out-of-state SuperPACs have already spent a half-million dollars to attack and divide progressives and help a conservative Democrat like Damon Martinez win on Election Day. I respect Damon Martinez’s service, and I’ve known him for years — but his failure to listen to our residents and hold police accountable, and his selective targeting and prosecution of poor, addicted black and brown residents of my own city council district should give us all pause.

Martinez responded:

Damon Martinez is alarmed right now about the Trump Administration's policies of separating children from their families at the border and their efforts to roll back reproductive rights. It's unfortunate that other candidates in this race are focusing their efforts on attacking a fellow Democrat instead of holding the Trump Administration accountable for its actions. In fact, this is exactly what Republicans want - Democrats at each other's throats so that they are too distracted to take on the lies and disastrous policies coming out of Washington, D.C.

Davis' name will stay on the ballot and with only days to go before the election is over the endorsement is not expected to have much impact. However, both Haaland and Davis have been doing well with Anglo voters so if the race turns out to be exceptionally close and Haaland were to win, he could take some credit.

Davis earned a reputation as an effective community advocate and organizer when he headed the liberal group ProgressNow NM, but his service as a city councilor where he approved of the hyper-controversial ART project and played footsie with the Republican Mayor were the beginning of the end for him. And his controversial "Fuck the NRA" TV ad appears to have backfired rather than helped.

Haaland is seen as holding third, not second, by the political pros. The only survey to have Haaland in second was the Journal's. That surprised because internal polls for the candidates have her third as did our robocall poll.

"I think Sedillo Lopez just had a bad run in the Journal poll. It happens," said one the Alligators.

There's reason to believe they are right. Sedillo Lopez has been pounding the airwaves with Martinez while Haaland's presence is not as strong. She also has a strong ground game.

Still, Damon Martinez is the man to beat. And with Pat Davis out and Damian Lara and Paul Moya way back, it will take a woman to pull it off.

A TAXING QUESTION

If Michelle Lujan Grisham and Steve Pearce end up facing off in the November Guv election, there will be no new ground broken when it comes to financial disclosure. Both say they will not release their personal income tax returns.

Jeff Apodaca was the only Guv candidate who released his full return when asked, and he charges MLG with being "two faced" for not releasing hers after demanding that President Trump make public his returns.

Apodaca filed jointly with his wife for 2016 and reported $534,696 in adjusted gross income, most of it from salary. Apodaca was an executive at the media company Entravision that year but left over a dispute. The Apodaca's paid $136,648 in federal taxes. They filed for an extension for their 2017 return.

Apodaca is the first major party gubernatorial candidate we can recall releasing his full return. Win or lose, he has set down a marker and now future candidates will all be asked if they will release their returns.

NO STEALING 

Here's a quote apparently meant with good intentions but you have to believe Lujan Grisham would like to see it disappear:

He also said Lujan Grisham and Armstrong have been aboveboard in their handling of the contract, saying, “They haven’t stolen anything, and they’ve done a good job.”

Well, after what Mr. and Mrs. New Mexico have seen in state politics, anyone who can just pass the "not stealing anything" test probably gets a positive job approval rating.

The quote came from the state insurance superintendent who was responding to a question about the health consulting business of MLG and Rep. Deborah Armstrong once had together. Today Armstrong runs it.

THE BOTTOM LINES

We blogged the campaign Friday thru Monday and if you are catching up from the holiday you can scroll down for those reports.

Thanks for tuning in.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Blogging: Catching You Up On The Final Polls  

The TV attacks on her from Joe Cervantes didn't have much impact, according to the polls, but Michelle Lujan Grisham, the front-runner for the Dem Guv primary nomination, will close out her media campaign with one ad that shoots down the claims against her, including that she voted to repeal Obamacare which the ad asserts she "never" did.  It is a low-key, mildly announced commercial that calls his ad “ridiculous” but never mentions Cervantes.

Another ad takes her campaign in a positive direction. Well, kinda of.

In this final week ad she begins by reciting some of the downer statistics facing the state's education system--47th in math; 49th in reading; 50th in K thru 12--and then says as Governor she'll invest in pre-K, math and science, apprenticeships and reduce student loan debt. She concludes with what might be her new slogan: "We Will Change This."

In our May 24 poll of likely Democratic voters education was their number one concern.

FINAL GUV POLLS

Here's our take on the final polls in the '18 Guv contest:

The enormous lead MLG has in the ABQ Journal poll released Sunday matches the one we showed on our Wednesday, May 24 robocall poll. The Journal awarded her 57 percent; the blog poll had her at 54. In the Journal Jeff Apodaca scored 15; in the blog 18. Joe Cervantes received 9 percent in the Journal and 11 percent in ours. The paper had undecided at 19 and we had it at 17.

In other words, there's little doubt that MLG will be the Democratic nominee to face Republican Steve Pearce in November when we tally the results June 5 on KANW 89.1 FM and kanw.com.

From the beginning Democrats have been comfortable with the ABQ congresswoman and she endured little criticism in the primary. Cervantes gave it a shot but the bullets fell well short of their target. Apodaca won the passion contest but could not translate that into widespread support.

The main event promises to be more challenging for Lujan Grisham. Underdog Pearce will work to not only challenge her on the issues, but on character, if he is to have nay hope for the upset. His campaign is eyeing the same MLG business dealings that Cervantes targeted and they will also gnaw away at her as temperamental and unable to work with others. Their not so subtle implication is that if you didn't like Susana Martinez you aren't going to like Lujan Grisham.

Next Tuesday night, however, she will address a unified majority party, with an army surrounding the ABQ metro ready to fend off Pearce who must make major advances here.

A Pearce-Lujan Grisham campaign will not just be a study in contrasts, it's a study of two candidates whose approach to life and politics is worlds apart. Even Jeff Apodaca and Joe Cervantes will want to stay around for that show.

INK STAINED SPEAK

There was some salve put on Cervantes' polling wound Sunday when the Las Cruces Sun-News, his hometown newspaper, gave him their editorial endorsement. MLG earlier won the endorsement of the Journal and New Mexican.

WRONG WORD

In the first draft of the Friday blog we erred and referenced "illegals" when the proper term is undocumented immigrants. Margaret Montoya, UNM Professor Emerita of Law, commented:

“The illegals trying to get over the great Trump wall with that thing will be flooding the injury lawyers with business.” That’s what you wrote. . . Explain specifically to your readers why it’s accurate to use this despicable. . . word “illegals” to label a diverse group of people, many of whom will labor and contribute to NM’s economy for meager wages and be more law abiding when compared to the citizenry. Do you even know what laws they allegedly break when they cross without documentation? Why designate one group of unconvicted law breakers as “illegals,” except to further a divisiveness. . . If you were writing ironically, it was lost on me. 

For years the term "illegal immigrant" was the standard journalistic term. It was only five years ago that the AP dropped its use. However, in one of the TV ads for Congress in the southern district this year the term is again employed. We've long used the phrase "undocumented immigrant" but in that Friday piece we slipped into the old usage and corrected it.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lujan Grisham Poised For Dem Guv Nomination As She Sports Enormous Polling Lead; Republican Pearce Readies Arguments Against Her 

The Democratic primary campaign for Governor just never caught fire. But it will at the end when it seems destined that the two challengers to front-runner Michelle Lujan Grisham will go down in flames.

The enormous lead she has in the ABQ Journal poll released Sunday matches the one we showed on our Wednesday, May 24 robocall poll. The Journal awarded her 57 percent; the blog poll had her at 54. In the Journal Jeff Apodaca scored 15; in the blog 18. Joe Cervantes received 9 percent in the Journal and 11 percent in ours. The paper had undecided at 19 and we had it at 17.

In other words, there's little doubt that MLG will be the Democratic nominee to face Republican Steve Pearce in November when we tally the results June 5 on KANW 89.1 FM and kanw.com.

From the beginning Democrats have been comfortable with the ABQ congresswoman and she endured little criticism in the primary. Cervantes gave it a shot but the bullets fell well short of their target. Apodaca won the passion contest but could not translate that into widespread support.

The main event promises to be more challenging for Lujan Grisham. Underdog Pearce will work to not only challenge her on the issues, but on character, if he is to have nay hope for the upset. His campaign is eyeing the same MLG business dealings that Cervantes targeted and they will also gnaw away at her as temperamental and unable to work with others. Their not so subtle implication is that if you didn't like Susana Martinez you aren't going to like Lujan Grisham.

Next Tuesday night, however, she will address a unified majority party, with an army surrounding the ABQ metro ready to fend off Pearce who must make major advances here.

A Pearce-Lujan Grisham campaign will not just be a study in contrasts, it's a study of two candidates whose approach to life and politics is worlds apart. Even Jeff Apodaca and Joe Cervantes will want to stay around for that show.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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