Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pete's Pajama Party: "He's More Substance Than Style," Plus: Lujanites Hit Challenger Martinez, And: Chino Out At Labor; More Cabinet Changes Awaited 

We bloggers are well-known for our wardrobe of choice-- pajamas. In fact, NM U.S. Senator Pete Domenici chastised us over the phone back in June 2005 for story we had blogged on the ABQ Mayor's race by exclaiming" "Joe, you have no pajamas!" So it was with some amusement that we read the following account Monday from the "Heard on the Hill" section of the Capitol Hill Newspaper "Roll Call" explaining how it was thought our senior senator was seen wandering the senate hallways dressed in his pajamas. Oh yeah, it's strange. Just the way you like it.

By Mary Ann Akers

We had a number of reports Friday that Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) was wandering the halls of Senate office buildings in his jammies.

Two staffers said they saw the Senator wearing “tartan” or “buffalo plaid” pajama bottoms and a “loose-fitting shirt.” By the end of the day, one informant called to say she heard Domenici was walking around in his boxers. But by that point, we already had spoken to the Senator, who assured us, “These aren’t pajamas! They’re hunting pants!”

“What are people talking about ‘walking the halls’? I work!’” the 74-year-old Domenici said, sounding a tad indignant that folks would assume his lightweight wool plaid pants were pajamas. “These pants have two pockets like any else.”

He explained he wears the hunting pants around the house and if he leaves to go to the office, “I don’t necessarily take them off.”

They’re comfy, and they’re fun, he said. “People stop me to talk about them. They’re Christmasy, they’re black and white.”

As for the loose-fitting shirt that our sources saw him wearing — that was a University of New Mexico golf shirt, you numb skulls!

A source close to Domenici who went up to check out the scene for himself confirmed that Domenici was not wearing PJs. “This is not a dedicated follower of fashion,” the source explained. “He’s more substance than style.”

Indeed, Domenici told HOH he was in his office reading up on the budget in anticipation of passing a continuing resolution next week when Senators return to wrap up this session of Congress.

“I love being a Senator. Thirty-four years is a pretty long time. I’m still going to run again, and win again,” Domenici, who’s up in 2008, vowed.

Well, bully for you Pete. You may not have been wearing pajamas, but you were close enough for us to make you an honorary member of the pajamahadeen. We hope you and wife Nancy will accept this gift sent on behalf of the NM blogging community. Once you receive it, don't let anyone ever say "Pete, you have no pajamas!"

(Here's more on Pete's pajama partying with the Wonkette.


Back here in River City, the behind the scenes boys (and gals) are starting to dress down State Rep. Kenny Martinez as he continues his campaign to unseat House Speaker Ben Lujan. They are grumbling that Martinez, who boasts a liberal pedigree, is actually very tight with conservative State House Republican Minority Whip Dan Foley and former House GOP leader and now lobbyist Joe Thompson. The insiders say the trio has been tight socially and wonder what influence Foley and Thompson would have over the Grants, NM trial lawyer if he succeeds in ousting Ben at a December 18 caucus.

Martinez's camp has faulted Lujan for being "iron-fisted," for having an ethical cloud over his head over a low income housing scandal and for being a tool of Big Bill. In turn, Martinez is now being scored for his tight ties with former House Speaker Raymond Sanchez. The Lujanites say Ben has been tight with Bill, but it has served the state well and the voters overwhelingly said so November 7. Sanchez, who they already see having influence with his senate leader brother, Michael Sanchez, was kicked out of office by the voters in 2000. The Martinez foes are also highlighting the past legal problems of one of Matinez's legislative staffers as a counterweight to the ethics complaints leveled against the speaker. We'll keep you posted.


We still have not heard which female cabinet member of Big Bill's is hitting the exits, but our Alligators said here Monday she has been saying she is gone. Meanwhile, Secretary of Labor Conroy Chino confirmed Monday he is leaving the position to take a consulting job in California. No word yet on his replacement.

The Guv's office told me Monday that Big Bill chief of staff James Jiminez is saying no one has been "fired" from the cabinet. Departing cabinet members are rarely characterized as being fired, but often diplomatically "resign." We await definitive word any more departures.


Incoming Secretary of State Mary Herrera has hired her #2. He hails from Taos and the Taos News has the story.


Let's finish where we started--back in D.C. The New Mexico State Society there is doing its best to keep the home fires burning along the banks of the Potomac, along with the tongues of the many transplanted New Mexicans there. They will host a "Red or Green Holiday Party" Thursday, December 7 at the Longworth office Building. Anita's New Mexican Style Food has been enlisted to cater the event. Being politicos, expect most of them to order their chile "Christmas" style, a combination of red and green, and forego answering the question which is the title of the party as well as the official New Mexico state question--Red or Green? By the way that's red or green chile, not pajamas.

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