Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summer Crowd Forms For Dem Congress Race; Yet Another Hopeful, Plus: Wilson's Wanderings, And: Some Luv For Clovis 

The Democratic race to take on ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson seems to be getting as crowded as Elephant Butte on Labor Day weekend. How serious all these guys are and how long they will stay around is anyone's guess, but the latest entrant, 36 year old Highland High School math teacher Jason Call, says there's room for a "Dennis Kucinich Democrat" in the field and he fits the bill.

"I am not a politician's politcian. I have been involved in activism and am extremely disappointed with party line Democrats," Call told me Tuesday night from his ABQ NE Heights home.

Does that include the pet of the progressives, Martin Heinrich, who is a leading contender to win the June '08 Dem nomination? "I know he has solid environmental positions, but I don't see anyone in the race who represents my views," said Call of the ABQ city councilor.

Like Dem prez candidate Kucinich, he is critical of the Democratic Congress for continuing to fund the Iraq war. He also favors a national health plan that takes private insurance companies out of the equation.

Call, who said he lived in ABQ for three years in the late 90's, only moved back to the city in February. His wife Carmen is an elementary school teacher and they have two young children. Call said his father worked in ABQ for 13 years as a contractor for Kirtland Air Force Base.

Call is aware that he must win 20% of the delegate vote at the Dem pre-primary convention next March in order to be placed on the June ballot, a challenge that also faces the other second tier congressional hopeful, attorney Jon Adams. Call says he thinks there will be enough delegates who share his views to give him a shot. Former Big Bill aide Bryon Paez is also seeking the Dem nod.

Call hasn't raised any money yet. He plans an official announcement in mid-October, if current plans hold. And why not? Like the crowd at the Butte would say, "Come on in, the water is fine."


Meantime, on the Heather front, my Alligators had told us she was up in Farmington recently, her latest stop outside of her congressional district as she appears to be prepping for a US Senate run in the event Senator Domenici is sidelined. Now we've received confirmation of the visit in the form of an editorial from the Farmington Daily Times which acted like Heather's unusual side trip was all in a day's work. Wilson has also recently been to Clovis, Las Cruces and Los Alamos. If she's not testing the waters for the Senate, the NM Tourism Department ought to hire her.


Clovis is here to stay. The eastern NM city, threatened with extinction when the Pentagon moved to close Cannon Air Force Base, has been officially rescued. It's new military mission is expected to eventually have about 5,000 active duty personnel. That ought to prevent a Clovis real estate crash. The state's congressional delegation, led by Senator Domenici, did a good job on this one. Now can they get it together on the future of Los Alamos?


It will be one of his more lasting legislative achievements, so Big Bill Tuesday was touting an independent report that says the switch to an all-paper ballot voting system has been a success.
Eight out of ten NM voters told the university researcher/pollsters that their paper ballot voting experience was good. The paper ballots also leave a paper trail of who you voted for, quieting some of the more disquieting conspiracy theories that were fashionable before the paper switch.


No, I haven't forgotten about Spiro Vassilopoulos. He's the energy investor who told us last month he was toying with the near sacrilegious idea of running against Saint Pete for the 2008 GOP US Senate nomination, sending a jolt through the Republican cathedral. Spiro says he still hasn't made up his mind, but has sent a letter to members of the GOP State Central Committee asking them to meet him for coffee to discuss the possibility. I wonder if he will provide disguises to those who meet him in public?


The Sheriff who would be lieutenant governor. That's Santa Fe's Greg Solano who got free pre-announcement notices in the press and blogs, and he gets another round after going official Tuesday. He may want to do one announcement every year between now and 2010 so he's not forgotten...

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