Thursday, June 25, 2009

Candidate Money Chase May Be Slow-Motion Affair, Plus: Some ABQ Council Race News, And: How Much Does A Taco Cost, Anyway? 

How all these wannabe or maybe candidates for governor and other statewide offices are going to raise decent money over the summer is anyone's guess. The pay to play scandals, the huge fundraising that took place just last year and the long and grinding recession are the backdrop for the next round of money grubbing. Diane Denish, for one, seems to be reckoning with the changed reality. She has six fundraisers scheduled from this week through July 14. The lowest priced one is just $50 and the highest is $250 per person. Gone for now are the days where a thousand a pop was routine for a political fundraiser. The Light Guv has over $1.7 million in her cash account (she's raised around $2 million), much of which came in before the economic roof caved in late last year.

The bigger money will reappear later in the cycle for first-tier candidates like Denish, but for many candidates for lesser statewide offices who are trying to post impressive numbers for the first financial reports in October, it could be a long, parched summer.


It's indirect, but still a negative slam against Bernalillo County Commissioner Alan Armijo by Ike Benton, the city councilor who Armijo is trying to unseat in the Oct. 6 ABQ election. In a missive to supporters Benton hit:

ABQ has been Councilor Benton’s home for thirty-three years, always within today's District 3 boundaries....

Armijo is a former city councilor who represented a West Side district, not the Barelas/Broadway/Downtown/University area district he now seeks to oust Benton from. Armijo's county commission seat is also mainly on the West Side. Both candidates are Dems. Benton, an architect, is seeking his second four year term.


Our Alligators noted Wednesday how incumbent ABQ Councilor Sally Mayer is getting hit over spending too much time on animal issues by her opponent, Mike Cook. Sally supporter Viki Elkey weighed in:

Her second term has been focused on so many other things--support for Roadrunner Food Bank, allocating money to APD, helping seniors through numerous programs, street improvements in the district, redeveloping Uptown...

Viki wonders if we need new Alligators. No, we don't. The Gators said the race is in play, not that Mayer is going to lose. As a two-term incumbent, Mayer is the frontrunner, but it will be a hard-fought campaign.


Santa Fe Sheriff and 2010 Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Greg Solano will have a long list to choose from for a campaign theme song. Greg's son, Aaron, was born in 1985 and named after a fella named Elvis Aaron Presley. With everyone and his brother seemingly running for the second banana spot, maybe Elvis's rendition of "Follow that Dream" would fit the bill for Sheriff Greg. At least his son would like it.


We've got the price of the Tacos now. We had an error on how much the Air National Guard’s 150th Fighter Wing--known as New Mexico’s “Tacos”--cost to keep in operation. According to Senator Bingaman's office the total appropriation is $25 million a year. The unit has been based at Kirtland Air Force Base for over 60 years, but is now threatened with closure. That would take a big chunk out of the city's economy, as the unit comes with 1000 jobs. ABQ Dem US Rep. Martin Heinrich recently won passage of an amendment in the House Armed Services Committee that would keep the Tacos going until the Air Force comes up with an alternative mission. If that doesn't happen, the Tacos will be off the menu here in about a year.

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