Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Bill Upgraded: Will Speak At Obama Stadium Event, Plus: Rudy For Darren, But No Pesky Abortion Talk, And: Tinsley Turmoil & More TV News 

Bill Richardson can't seem to escape the grip of Bill Clinton. Late Wednesday night news spread that New Mexico's Governor was bumped from the speaking schedule at the Denver Democratic National Convention because of time concerns. Namely, that notoriously long-winded ex-President Bill Clinton had gone over time. (Okay, a lot of time was taken away from Bill by an adoring hall that would not stop cheering.) Clinton's fondness for the microphone appeared to pave the way for a better opportunity for Richardson. It was announced that Bill will give a speech tonight before the 75,000 who will be gathered at Denver's Invesco Stadium to hear the acceptance speech of Dem Prez nominee Obama. It will be the largest crowd ever addressed by the Guv, and whether it makes much TV or not, it will be a memorable event. And he could owe it all to Bill Clinton, the guy the Guv said still won't speak to him because he failed to endorse Hillary's candidacy. Politics is indeed all about timing. (Richardson is scheduled to speak between 5 and 6 p.m.)


He was pretty quiet for a New Yorker. Former NYC mayor and GOP Prez candidate Rudy Giuliani attended a fundraiser for ABQ GOP congressional hopeful Darren White Wednesday afternoon without leaving much of a trace, if you exclude the stack of green bills placed in Darren's campaign coffers as a result of Rudy's visit. Our insiders report about 75 or so of the party faithful turned out at the home of contractor and '02 GOP Guv candidate John Sanchez to hear Rudy. He raised some eyebrows when he predicted that his former prez rival, Mitt Romney, will not be named as McCain's VP. Rudy also took a dig at Obama as well, saying he has never visited Latin America and lacks the experience needed to be president.

The White campaign raised big money from Rudy's brief stop---a roundtable discussion went for $2300.oo and photos for $1000.00 a pop. State Dems did take note of Rudy's ABQ arrival turning Rudy's law firm Latin America connection against him:

"Why did White invite a lobbyist for foreign oil to New Mexico?" asked Josh Geise, Executive Director of the NM Dems. At the fundraiser, as White stands with Giuliani, he is standing with Venezuelan oil and against New Mexico's oil industry and American independence from foreign oil. In 2005 and 2006, Giuliani's firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, lobbied for Citgo Petroleum Corporation, which is controlled by Venezuelan President Huge Chavez."


Our Alligators speculated that it may have been Rudy's liberal views on abortion and gay marriage that inhibited Darren from showcasing the visit much, even though Darren endorsed Rudy's candidacy this year. Why risk alienating the pro-life crowd, the reasoning may have gone. The White campaign did offer the former mayor up to KOB-TV and the message was the prez race and Obama-bashing, not abortion or gay marriage. He also did a shot with the Journal. But Rudy got out of town without anyone contrasting his views with Darren's on the hot-button issues that in large part doomed him in Republican circles.

We're hearing that White will end up getting the National Right to Life endorsement after some initial hesitancy which we blogged about recently. White did not fill out the anti-abortion group's questionnaire. But now we're told White spoke with group reps over the phone and will be listed as an endorsed candidate on the group's campaign lit. It looks like a break for the sheriff as wording over the hot-button issue of abortion can be explosive, something he sidesteps if he doesn't have to state his views in detail on that questionnaire. And there's more developments in the ABQ congressional battle

It appears the national Dems will outspend the national R's in TV spending in the ABQ congressional race. Insiders are saying the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee will come with about $700,000 for R Darren White and put ads up starting around Oct. 10. The Dems announced earlier they will come with $1.3 million for Martin Heinrich. Our media mavens say the Dem buy is on the logbooks as starting around September 22.

White will have to make up the spending gap with his own campaign fund-raising and the help of other third party groups. But one top GOP finance expert says White could end up being "slightly" outspent when the final numbers are tallied. However, because White, a two term county sheriff, has so much more name ID than Heinrich, R's believe it will not give the Dem a significant advantage.

Heinrich and the Democrats put up no paid media over the summer, except a radio spot defending him from attacks on his energy stance. His relatively low name ID is significant because early voting begins October 7. Did the Dems make the right decision by not establishing Heinrich over the summer? That's the proverbial $64,000 question.

By the way, it's illegal for the candidates' campaigns to communicate in any way with third party groups about TV spots being made on their behalf. Sometimes we wonder if that rule is being strictly adhered to.

One other thing. Will the national R's come with TV money for southern congressional hopeful Ed Tinsley? They haven't said anything yet. The national congressional committee is pretty tapped out. Maybe they expect Ed to pick up the check. The Dems say they will come with $1.3 million for Tinsley foe Harry Teague. And speaking of Tinsley...

Chris Collins' stint as campaign manager for southern congressional candidate Tinsley was short-lived. The campaign tells Las Cruces reporter Heath Haussamen that Collins is out after just a month or so of service and that Grant Hewitt, who Collins replaced, is back as campaign manager after having been demoted to deputy campaign manger.

Insiders have informed that Hewitt was more closely aligned with Tinsley's general consultant, Walt Klein, than Collins who previously managed the unsuccessful GOP US Senate campaign of Heather Wilson. Tinsley is off to a shaky start, with a case of foot in the mouth disease that made national TV and now the second campaign shake-up since the primary. Democrats are watching, and watching closely. Tinsely gave no official reason for Collins' departure.


It looks as though there's a New Mexico Obama convention bounce in at least one poll. A CNN-Time survey released Wednesday shows Obama getting 53% and McCain only 40% in our battleground state. The poll previous to that one and taken before the Dem convention had McCain leading Obama by five points. The numbers will start to settle down following the GOP convention. Most analysts we speak with expect Obama to enter the final stretch with a slight lead and that NM can safely be called a "lean Obama" state.


Here's a change of pace. A TV spot for one of the races way down the ballot. It's from Democrat and Public Regulation Commission Chairman Jason Marks who is in a stiff battle for re-election. His opponent is well-known Bernalillo County Commissioner Tim Cummins. The spot crams a lot into 30 seconds, maybe a bit too much, but Marks is making the right move going up early. Marks is taking public financing for his campaign, giving him about $57,000 to spend. Cummins is not taking public financing, but Marks will be eligible for matching funds if and when Cummins goes beyond the 57K. Here's Marks' TV:

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