Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ABQ Softball Congress Campaign Gives Way To Tough Readers With Tough Questions, Plus: Even More From The Campaign Trail On A NM Wednesday 

Neither of the leading candidates for the ABQ congressional seat are getting much seasoning from their first major political campaign. Dem Martin Heinrich and R Darren White have under financed opponents who, so far, have been surprisingly docile. But if there was a real campaign going on, there would be some tough questions for the probable nominees. They are no further than our e-mail box. Starting on the R side, Edward Marquez plays the role of White's opponent and comes with this:

Joe, You and the ABQ Journal missed the story on how White supported Gov. Johnson's drug policy before he was called inept by state police and then said he quit because he opposed legalizing drugs and not the no confidence vote he was given by NM state police.

Marquez supplied this White quote from a 1999 edition of the publication Razor Wire.

"State Public Safety Secretary Darren White said the federal government spends about $17 billion annually to fight drugs, including about $6 million in New Mexico. "And we're probably only seizing 5 to 15 percent of all the drugs coming into the country," White said in an interview. "We're not going to arrest ourselves out of this drug problem. The governor is absolutely right. We should be looking at other options because our current policy is failing."

Look for that quote to dance around in October, if not before the June 3 balloting.


On the D side, here's Thomas Rymsza, a Democratic Party ward chair.

Reading that Heinrich operated a consulting business and did not get a business license until more than a year after he was on the City Council (ABQ. Journal May 7, 2008) is distressing. As a small business person, with no college degree or experience in politics, even I knew that my consulting work required getting a business license...I hope that Heinrich can produce tax reports to show his business was real...Democrats need to be very careful come June 3rd and support a candidate that can beat Darren White. Michelle Lujan Grisham or Robert Pidcock both will be stronger than Heinrich--and both carry less baggage.

Heinrich has not responded to a state GOP demand that he release his tax records for the consulting business he operated. He told the Journal his failure to get a business license was an oversight that he corrected.

Blog readers are much tougher on the leading candidates than any of their foes in these walk-in-the-park primaries for the ABQ congressional seat.


KKOB-AM radio morning host Bob Clark asks us the question on the minds of many in the political community: When will we get some public polling on the big races?

It appears the ABQ Journal will do just one poll of all the congressional races. It will probably come on Sunday, May 25 or the Sunday before the June 3rd election. We would bet on the 25th. As for TV, we haven't seen anything from Survey USA yet, but they usually do something for KOB-TV. We'll keep you posted.


We blogged Tuesday of "antsy" Dems waiting for a higher campaign profile from soon-to-be US Senate nominee Tom Udall. But Ellen Wedum, a Dem activist and state house candidate in Otero County, said Udall has had plenty of profile in her SE NM neighborhood:

Udall and his wife, Jill Cooper, have been campaigning down our way. They have both visited with local Democrats, attended the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, and visited with VFW members who were preparing a welcome for our troops just back from Iraq. Udall also attended the Chaves Co pre-primary convention back in March. I think he has been doing a good job of laying the groundwork for his campaign in Pearce territory.

Udall's early attention to the East side is something we have noted. The R's will beat him there, but if he can keep the totals down, his strength in the North and ABQ would be hard to offset.


If Steve Pearce comes up short in his US Senate bid, there's plenty of cash to divert him from the pain. From Roll Call:

...Pearce and his wife have become quite wealthy. The assets listed on his personal financial disclosure form for calendar year 2002 totaled $1.6 million to $6.4 million, not including Individual Retirement Accounts and loans he made to his Congressional campaigns. By last May, Pearce was reporting assets ranging from $7.3 million to $32.6 million, not including IRAs. That total also does not include an additional $1.2 million the Pearce's contributed in late 2003 to the Stevan and Cynthia Pearce Charitable Foundation...

Staying with the Senate race, reader Daniel Balke chastised us for our Monday blog where we descried the GOP Senate nomination as being "coveted."

Hi, Joe: I'm not sure how 'coveted' the Republican nomination will be. Pearce is a clumsy campaigner, and Udall has statewide respect from Democratic and moderate voters alike. Coupled with a fundraising edge, this will likely translate into a victory, if not a trouncing, of the GOP candidate in November. Being in a position to show up on the short-end of Udall's victory is about as coveted as being an ice cube in the hot New Mexico summer sun."

Thanks, D. But watch those cheesy NM analogies. We have a monopoly on them.

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