Thursday, April 17, 2008

Di's Latest Cash Count, Plus: NM Journos Head To Web, And: Arguing The Betting Line On Southern CD 

Lost amid the slew of congressional money reports this week was the regular filing from the state's #2. Light Guv Diane Denish drew down her 2010 Guv campaign account in the first three months of the year, but only a bit. She still holds an ample $1.325 million. She began the year with $1.385 million. Denish is not required under state law to make regular reports, but sat on an ethics task force that recommended more frequent money disclosures for state candidates and decided to disclose her cash each quarter.

Denish was doing some politicking this week in T or C in advance of Tuesday's Sierra County vote on the Spaceport tax. She predicted it will pass, sparing Denish and Governor Bill a political setback.


Meanwhile, about the still far off Guv's race, the scuttlebutt has GOP Rep. Steve Pearce perhaps considering the state's top job if his bid to become US Senator comes up short. But don't tell Pearce. He is telling associates he sincerely believes Dem Tom Udall can be taken out even in what appears to be a Dem year. Now, that's what they call fire in the belly.

Meanwhile, Pearce jabbed at Heather Wilson Wednesday in their duel for the GOP US Senate nod. This hit over Heather missing House votes appears aimed at cooling Heather's jets in conservative Southern NM where Pearce rules supreme and wants to keep it that way.


A high-profile departure from the state's largest newspaper has drawn the attention of our media mavens. ABQ Journal state government reporter Trip Jennings and former Journal reporter John Arnold have joined with the Center for Independent Media. The Center launched a NM Web site Wednesday called The New Mexico Independent. It is similar to Center sites in several other states, which recruit local reporters and bloggers as writers. The Center is non-profit, so it is not going to be a commercial threat to the Journal. It appears it will look at state political news through the "progressive" prism, but strive for a high-quality product. Jennings will be the news editor. He left his Journal state goverment beat to hook up with the Center.

According to the site, the "New Journalist Editorial Program" provides "online journalists with direct support to conduct original reporting." There is also a training program that provides $1500 a month for journalists and bloggers who are required to file a certain number of posts. They call it the "New Journalist Program."

Santa Fe Reporter scribe, former ABQ Journal editorial writer and onetime executive director of the NM Dem Party, David Alire Garcia, is another who has left the print world and signed with the Center. He is the site's managing editor. Las Cruces reporter Heath Haussamen and former ABQ Journal editorial writer Denise Tessier are also contributing to the site.

By the way, those of you have been around a while will recall that this is not the first "New Mexico Independent." In the 70's and 80's, the ABQ-based NM Independent was a fiesty and hell-raising publication that politicos loved and hated. It was the brainchild of the late Mark Acuff.

We get a tongue lashing for saying the betting line still favors Ed Tinsley for the GOP Southern US House nomination. A politico sympathetic to the campaign of Aubrey Dunn, Jr. aims both barrels and fires....

Where are you getting this supposed betting line?... I will put my money on the horse that has actually won the pre-primary and is leading in the polls... Tinsley outspent Earl Greer before the Republican pre-primary by more than $50.000 and still only managed to tie him, and is now listed third on the June ballot. If you look at where Tinsley's money comes from I would bet that less than 10% comes from within the state and of the 10% about 1% comes from the district. (They don't get to vote outside the district, that includes Albuquerque Alligators.)

After reviewing the latest money info, we noted that the Southern GOP race was more wide open. We still think Dunn's baggage--registered as a Democrat recently gave money to Dem candidates--may outweigh Tinsley's which so far consists of having a second home outside the district in Santa Fe's tony Las Campanas and being "liberal" on immigration.

The Dunn name is a powerful brand in the SE area, but the betting line is based on the facts at hand and advice from those big city Alligators Aubrey disdains.

Speaking of Tinsley, e-mailers ask: If he has booked $300,000 plus of TV time what does it mean that his federal money report released Tuesday shows he has yet to pay for the big buy? The answer is that the money is due the day before the TV ads start running. In Tinsley's case that appears to be May 5. The longer he waits to pay, the more risk the ad rates going up as other candidates line up to buy. But if they don't, he could end up with a bargain.


She did three terms, not two. We blogged of former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. We forgot her first term when earlier this week we called her a two termer. She served from 1987 through 1990 in addition to 1999 through 2007.

Despite all the money raised the congressional campaigns, for the most part, have been slow to start which brought this reader reaction: "Unless they start spending cash, the races for congress are starting to look like professional wrestling...it ain't real!" And when they do start spending it will probably look like mud wrestling.

We’re on assignment for a couple of days so if the political world blows up we’ll pick up the pieces Monday. Back tomorrow to wrap the week.

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