Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Blog Buzz: Manny's Deal, Patsy's TV Debut And Checking In With Mayor Marty, Plus: A Special "Spin Award;" Come On In & Let's Get Busy 

Big Bill was quick to issue a statement on the news that Manny Aragon has cut a deal with the Highlands University regents and will be leaving the school's presidency. “The Governor is pleased that the instability at Highlands is over," offered up the Fourth Floor. Should we add that they are also glad that another potential campaign issue is off the table? Well, we just did.

The news of Manny's ouster and the possible naming of educator Manuel Pacheco as interim Prez did not surprise our readers. The Alligators broke the news on your blog Tuesday. But email came in regarding our remark that Manny's service in the state senate was "a template for future leaders in the gathering and exercise of New Mexican political power." Reader Abigale Webster saw it from another angle: "Manny was more like the "How To Guy" on bullying your way through the legislature to get what you want. Future leaders should strive to exhibit humility and respect for others, and work diligently to develop leaders around them."

What will be Manny's next move? Keep it right here.


Democrat Patsy Madrid graced our Enchanted Land's TV airwaves for the first time of the 06' campaign Wednesday. The attorney general extolls her eight year record of being tough on crime. Not a bad ethics argument in itself when you think about it. In fact, she never mentions Heather by name, preferring to finger President Bush as the bad guy. She does indirectly address Heather by saying "special interests" such as oil and drug companies control D.C., but the slick ad was very likely made well in advance of Heather's attack. She closes out her debut with a bit of cleverness: "I am Patricia Madrid and I approved this ad, but the special interests won't approve of me." A little cutesy, but you remember it.

Of course, Madrid, like Wilson, will be getting millions from the "special interests." In a second ad, she counterattacks Heather's ethics attack ad, pointing out contributions to Wilson from indicted ex-House Majority Leader Tom Delay. "That's being ethical," she asks?

Patrica Madrid
In her positive ad, Madrid imparts the correct tone at a critical juncture. She hits her lines with confidence and there is an air of credibility about her that Heather's previous foes lacked. Like Wilson, this is a seasoned performer who has paid her dues. Madrid positions herself more as an incumbent heavyweight, rather than an underdog challenger and it enhances her stature. Note her cross-armed "power pose" at the front of the 30 second spot.

Cosmetically, there has been significant improvement. Madrid looks more "congressional" than she has in her free media appearances. The hairstyle that is being used against her in the Heather ad has been tamed. Her clothes look more "uptown" and fit well. She will need to keep that look throughout this intense battle.

With gas prices over three bucks a gallon, the Middle East exploding and the economy shaky for many, some analysts believe other issues could prove more important than ethics. Drivers forking over fifty bucks to fill up their tanks could think so too. Stay tuned.


About that million dollar plus TV buy for Madrid courtesy of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee set for mid-September. We blogged the item recently, but should add that the DCCC usually reserves the time and then decides whether to pull the money trigger only if the candidate is polling well. Madrid's supporters are confident she will be and the money will come. At this point, there doesn't seem much reason to doubt them.


Dem ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez knows how to give a foe the cold shoulder, but he is also not above warming up to those he previously dissed. Take the case of GOP City Councilor Don Harris who defeated incumbent Tina Cummins last October. The Marty machine went all-out for Tina and it left bad feelings between Don and the mayor. But the two have apparently made up, as Marty recently hosted a $500 a pop reception for the attorney/councilor. But this new political love fest comes with a price for the mayor who is being hammered for it by Dems on the Left.


Paul Broome. Please come to the podium. You are the winner of the "Blog Spin Award for the Summer of 06."

Reacting to an ABQ Journal poll that shows only 11% of ABQ voters support giving the mayor a hand in picking APS school board members and 78 percent opposed, Broome, Mayor Chavez's education advisor, declared: "We haven't even begun to campaign yet, and we already have 11 percent on our side!"

Paul, you will receive a framed certificate noting your accomplishment. You will also be honored at a lunch gathering of six Senior Alligators at the ABQ Barelas Coffee House where you will lecture on "The Art of Spin." And, of course, you get to pick up the check.

And so goes the buzz of our beloved La Politica. Come back again soon.

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