Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some R's Want More Red Meat From U.S. Attorney, Plus: 1st CD Race Set To Get More Nasty, And: My Bottom Lines 

ABQ U.S. Courthouse
It takes a lot to make some politicos happy. Take, for example, those disgruntled R's who can be heard bemoaning the fact that NM U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, a Republican, has not come with federal indictments in the investigation of the construction of two Bernalillo county courthouses. The R's already have the retrial of Dem ex-state Treasurer Robert Vigil underway and working for them politically, but some are grumbling that they want even more ammo for GOP U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson to take into battle against Dem Patricia Madrid and they think the alleged courthouse capers will further damage the D's.

Here's a direct report from downtown ABQ and the federal courthouse where the Vigil trial is underway and one of our Senior Alligators is positioned.

"There are a lot of GOP types who feel Iglesias should have put more resources into the public corruption cases so that there would have been more indictments this summer. Indictments in July would have helped. Indictments after the election don't.

"Everything has been piled on the shoulders of (assistant U.S.) Attorney Jonathan Gerson...he hasn't been given much help. A lot of the top people in the office don't view the public corruption cases as very important. They want to keep the numbers high on drug and immigration cases. There are any number of good prosecutors who should have been assigned to help Gerson on the other pending cases."

Gerson is handling the Vigil prosecution, as well as the courthouse case. Iglesias's defenders say he has done plenty on the public corruption front, citing the Vigil indictment and that of ex-Treasurer Montoya. They also point out that while he is a political appointee, he is not a politician, but a prosecutor.

As for the federal courthouses probe, insiders previously told us don't expect any action until after the election. So far, they've been right. But if they are wrong, action on the controversy could be the "October Surprise" of 06.

Rep. Wilson
Can the Wilson-Madrid ABQ race for Congress get any nastier? The short answer is yes. Take this from the Washington Post:

"The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads."

Some of that $50 mil will find its way to ABQ, but what about combing though candidates' record on key issues like Iraq and healthcare? Well, when the issues don't break your way, you stay away from them. It will be up to the D's to focus the R's on that smelly pile of laundry in the corner, including congressional wrongdoing, and prevent any ethics stench from sticking to them.


We've been wondering when GOP Land Commissioner Pat Lyons would start coming with some media and begin spending that half-million dollar plus war chest he has stashed. Lyons finally opened the spigot and put on radio ads that began airing this week. There's more where that came from and TV spots won't be far behind. Lyons trails D opponent Jim Baca in the latest polling...

For those who have to have it all, I am posting the seven page lawsuit {PDF} filed by the NM Democratic Party seeking to keep Dem state auditor candidate Jeff Armijo off the ballot. There is a lot of insider stuff on the actions of Armijo and Dem Chair Wertheim in the moments leading up to Jeff's initial withdrawal. It is told from Wertheim's viewpoint...Jeff's suit to stay on the ballot is the subject of a 4 p.m. ABQ court hearing today...

And how about those radio spots for southern NM GOP U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce asking for Dem votes? One of the spots signs off with a Dem saying: "Another proud Democrat for Pearce." The congressman, seeking his third two year term, is expected to take the prize but the D's say his spot says he is concerned that a possible big Dem year could cut into his winning margin over Al Kissling, possibly weakening him for any statewide ambitions he may later have. Pearce beat Gary King two years ago, garnering 60% of the vote.

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