Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rudy In New Mexico: Can He Build A Big Tent? Plus: Big Bill Still Taking Hits, And: Lady Di Staff Chief In The Fast Lane 

It may not please the hard-right of the NM Republican party but GOP Prez contender Rudy Giuliani--he of the liberal views on abortion and gay rights--could be a strong contender to capture our state's five electoral votes if he manages to first capture the GOP Prez nomination field. Rudy, as first reported here, will arrive in ABQ a Saturday for a fund-raiser and make the first visit to the state by a GOP Prez hopeful. Rudy touches down in the Duke City after the recent state GOP convention again revealed the divisions within the minority party. But here in the early going Rudy is coming across as a "Big Tent" Republican, pleasing moderate R's with his stances on social issues and placating the red meat crowd with firm positions on terrorism and immigration. If the R's could put their internal differences aside, a Rudy Giuliani just might be the guy who could unite them and even attract some New Mexico Dems and independents to boot. If that sounds too easy, it probably is.

The invitation to Rudy's soiree notes that among the co-hosts is Roswell oil man Mark Murphy and his wife Susan. Murphy, a Sandra Day O'Connor type Republican, has repeatedly clashed with hard-right Roswell State Senator "Lightning" Rod Adair and Roswell State Rep. Dan Foley. And insiders say they could be clashing again. They report Mark is indicating that he will make a run for the position of GOP National Committeeman at next spring's GOP state convention. No word yet on whether current committeeman George Buffett will seek another term to that post.

The Rudy visit is all about the dough. New Mexico R's will not be relevant to the nominating process because delegates to the national convention won't be awarded until a June '08 primary, and the contest will be long over before then, With that in mind, the former New York City Mayor is asking his NM donors to pony up $4600 now, the maximum amount allowable by law.

Dozier Otten
One familiar political name has joined Rudy's NM cause. She's Robin Dozier Otten, the cabinet secretary for Humans Services under GOP Governor Gary Johnson. She is chairing "New Mexico Women for Rudy." Never mind that Robin is the sole member of the group right now, she is confident that Rudy's ability to explain his abortion and gay rights positions will sway skeptical conservatives to his side.

I don't recall it, but Dozier-Otten says Rudy was here in '98 campaigning for the re-election of Governor Gary. She now runs a public affairs consulting business. In the 90's she ran for the GOP nomination for the US Senate seat held by Dem Jeff Bingaman.


It's still rough out there for the New Mexico Governor who is getting the full treatment from the national press and pundits who delight when a presidential candidate stumbles and gives them material. Here's commentator Bob Novak, the Republican "Prince of Darkness," turning up the heat on Bill.

"He appeared totally unprepared at the debate. It was a continuation of his disastrous performance on NBC's "Meet the Press" last Sunday -- perhaps the worst performance in the show's history. On "Meet the Press," Richardson had seemed unprepared for host Tim Russert's questions on Iraq, immigration, gun control and his own record, culminating in his declaring he is simultaneously a Red Sox and a Yankee fan. Longtime Richardson-watchers say he has been flying by the seat of his pants his whole career, and this time he crashed and burned."

Salon.com is a bit kinder and gentler, but the story line that Richardson is in trouble because of his recent public performances persists. Here's a sample:

"In person, Richardson's performance can swing wildly even within a single speech. At his best, he is down-home, confident, folksy and authoritative At his worst, he looks tired and disconnected, and his speech is interspersed with awkward pauses and "uhs." He meanders, adding extra words to his sentences and losing his own train of thought."


When the ABQ city council overrode a Mayor Marty veto this week, it was the first time it has happened in a long, long time, but apparently not the first time ever as we indicated Tuesday. A city hall insider says you have to go back to 1995, in Marty's first term, but you do find another case of a Mayor Chavez veto override. For you government junkies, it was April 17, 1995 and the veto overridden was "EC-313 Mayor's Veto Message of R-220, Amending Policy with Regard to the Montano Bridge as Contained in Enactment No. 176-1991, Calling for the Delay of Construction Until Bill No. R-214, or a Substitute Bill, either is adopted into Law or Fails."

Mayor Chavez is the city's longest serving mayor since we adopted the modern government in '74. He won his first term in '93; another one in '01 and a third in 2005.

It’s a fast moving crew in the office of NM Lieutenant Gov. Diane Denish--apparently too fast. Lady Di has been nabbed for speeding in the past, and now her chief of staff, Judy Espinosa, is carrying a careless driving ticker in her purse after getting into a pretty serious accident as described one of our Alligators

"A week ago Monday the Lieutenant Gov.'s chief of Staff, Judith Espinosa rolled her car at the bottom of La Bajada while returning to Alb. in the mid-afternoon, Her Camry was totaled and they had to cut the top of her car off to get her out. Mostly she was bruised, but chipped a bone in her ankle and has to wear one of those leg boots for six weeks. She is recuperating at home.

The Light Guv's office confirms our Gator’s info and says Judy is making a good recovery. Big Bill is New Mexico's most famous political speeder, but says he has reformed. With Bill, Di and now Judy all busted for their wayward driving, perhaps they can form a support group. Maybe ABQ’s Al Unser will volunteer to moderate.

Join me tomorrow for a Friday blog featuring our summer ABQ dining suggestions for the politically inclined.

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