Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Clippings From My Newsroom Floor: Polling, Mailing And Boating 

We start the clippings with news of a major New Mexico poll from the ABQ Journal. The first part will hit the streets Sunday. Over the course of several days, the survey will have state approval ratings for the President and Governor and also opinion on issues such as health care. The poll will be closely watched to see if Big Bill has rebounded from his below 50% approval rating in the SurveyUSA poll conducted for KOB-TV. (He did hit 55% in the August SurveyUSA) Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff will poll registered voters, a group Bill usually polls better with than the public at large.

Sanderoff will also conduct a poll of the ABQ mayoral race, but it will not come Sunday. No public polling has yet been conducted in the three way battle. Conventional wisdom has Mayor Chavez over the 40% mark which would give him another term without a run-off election.


GOP mayoral contender Richard Berry hit mailboxes this week labeling ABQ a "sanctuary city" and said that means more crime her than on other cities. Dem Richard Romero came with a large mail piece. His slogan for the final month of Campaign 2009 is "Just Who We Need."


ABQ columnist Gene Grant, writing in the Alibi, says Berry and Romero aren't catching fire yet because they are too involved with Chavez and not providing a vision of their own. The candidates would argue that their vision for the future is one without Chavez in it.

The Alibi says it will join with KNME-TV, the New Mexico Independent and KUNM 89.9 FM to host a mayoral debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. You can submit video questions for candidates to abqmayoraldebate@gmail.com. It will air live on KUNM.

There's room for 300 at the event. Maybe it will attract some of the younger voters who we haven't heard much from.


Big Bill threw a big, fat slow one across the plate when he got in that boating accident at Elephant Butte Lake Saturday. It was an easy swing for the NM GOP and Chairman Harvey Yates:

The image of a boat running off course with members of the Richardson team behind the wheel is a perfect analogy for the economic and reputational damage that this administration has inflicted upon our state. The Richardson-Denish team inherited a budget surplus of over $400 million and yet this administration’s legacy will be tainted by: fiscal ineptitude and runaway spending which resulted in a $400 million budget shortfall...

GOP Guv candidate Susana Martinez also went for the easy lay-up, citing the need to plug the loophole that allowed Big Bill and company to leave the scene of the accident right away, as long as it was reported within 48 hours:

“This incident raises the bigger issue of how boating crashes are handled...The legislature should seriously consider strengthening the boating laws to close any loopholes that allow operators to leave the scene of a crash before law enforcement is contacted, arrives, and investigates. Investigations into boating crashes should not be handled any less seriously than those involving motor vehicles.

Richardson Chief of Staff Brian Condit was steering the 81 foot houseboat named "The Bloody Mary" when it smashed into "The Floating Irish." No matter what he does in the future, this is one incident that will forever follow Captain Condit. It will also become a permanent part of the lore of our beloved La Politica.


It's news these days when a prominent Dem politico says he isn't running for lieutenant governor in 2010 because the number who are in the race or considering it is nearing double digits. Espanola Mayor Joe Maestas was one of those considering, but no more. He says the time isn't right for him. We'd like to say you will be missed, Joe. But not in this crowded field.


ABQ PR executive Doug Turner, readying a run for the GOP Guv nod, struts his international knowledge in this article he penned for Foreign Affairs magazine on the recent election in Japan. Turner was a Japan Fellow at the Council For Foreign Relations (CFR) which publishes the magazine.

Turner, who started out in politics with Republican Gary Johnson in 1994, told us as the weekend approached that he and his wife were expecting their second child "at any moment." He is expected to make a formal entry into the Guv race in October.


Given how much he has been in the news lately, we thought you might be interested in some background info on NM US Attorney Greg Fouratt. It comes from the ABQ Press Women who are going to host Fouratt at a Sept. 14 lunch (505-720-7821 for reservations).

Fouratt was appointed in January 2008 by the US District Court. Prior to his appointment, Fouratt was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in NM where he prosecuted cases in every section of the Criminal Division...Fouratt also is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserve and currently serves in the Legal Office at the 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM. Born in Santa Fe and raised in Roswell, he graduated first in his class from the Texas Tech University School of Law in 1995. He received his Master of Public Administration degree from Golden Gate University in 1991 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from New Mexico State University in 1988.

And reader Jim McClure of ABQ weighs in on who should be the next US attorney for NM:

I liked your post about the shortage of NM lawyers who are sufficiently free of political ties to serve credibly as US attorney. New Mexico should consider the solution used by my home state of Illinois. When the US attorney position in the Chicago area became vacant during the Bush administration, the Republican senator was a one-term maverick named Peter Fitzgerald. Because he did not trust either party in Illinois, he brought in Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation), a federal attorney from New York. Perhaps New Mexico should consider an import rather than one of our local inbred products.


From one of our readers who attended the Hispanic National Bar Association confab held recently in ABQ:

The lunch theme was honoring Latinas...Six New Mexico Latina lawyers were honored as "Las Primeras": Supreme Court Justice Petra Maez, U.S. District Court Judges Martha Vasquez and Christina Armijo, former NM Attorney General Patricia Madrid, UNM Law Professor Margaret Montoya and Helen Laura Lopez, a lawyer in private practice.

Congratulations to them. And thanks to you for joining us this week.

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