Thursday, September 10, 2009

Report: No "Monkey Business" On "The Bloody Mary"; Guv's Boat Rocks; Captain Condit Cited; First Mate Miller Aboard, Plus: GOP Race On For #2 Slot 

Shipmates Bill & Brian
Hey, we've got a joke for you today. Did you hear the one about the guy steering a house boat named "The Bloody Mary?" He crashes into another boat named "The Floating Irish" and they said no one was drinking! Yeah, that one had us rolling on the bar room floor, too. But it's a true story, according to the official report filed in the aftermath of a bizarre Saturday afternoon Elephant Butte Lake boating accident involving Governor Big Bill, his budget secretary Katherine Miller and Chief of Staff Brian Condit. Well, it could have been worse. The houseboat could have been named "Monkey Business" or Carlos Fierro could have been driving the thing.

The boat is owned by Leon "Skip" Fay of Rio Rancho, who was on board with his wife, but Condit decided to become skipper for a day and ended up plowing the Bloody Mary into the Floating Irish, causing $10,000 in damage and getting himself cited for negligence. He grazed another boat as well. He said he was not boozing it up, a favorite Butte pastime. But Big Bill was nonplussed by the activity aboard the 80 foot houseboat. He says he was asleep when it happened around 5 p.m. OK. We hope he didn't have any nightmares about screwing up his chances of being named a special envoy to Cuba.

It wasn't Chappaquiddick that happened down there, but newsman Trip Jennings wondered why the Guv's party, including his security officers, got out of there moments after the accident without waiting around to give official statements. Hmmm. Let's see. Why would the Governor, Secretary Miller and Chief of Staff Condit get out of there so quick and leave skipper Skip to do clean up? Well, Trip, we can hear the answers coming in, we just can't repeat them.

First Mate Miller
The Guv has a thing with moving things. His penchant for speeding along the state's roadways (and getting busted for it) has made its way into his speeches in the form of self-deprecating humor. And his use of state aircraft was the subject of considerable controversy in his early Guv years. Now the "Bloody Mary" extends the streak to the water. Please, Lawrence Rael, don't let this guy get aboard the Rail Runner with Captain Condit. They're apt to jump the tracks.


Will JR Damron's decision to drop out as the 2006 GOP Guv nominee haunt his just announced campaign for the 2010 GOP Lt. Gov nomination? Supporters of former Clayton area State Rep. Brian Moore hope so. Damron's defining political moment came when he won the June 2006 primary, but quit the race shortly after. The GOP Central Committee named John Dendahl to replace him and he lost in a landslide to Big Bill. At the time, we blogged that then-Senator Domenici and other now former GOP powers were not pleased with Damron's low-key approach and wanted him out. Damron supporters complained that he was not getting the financial support he thought would be coming. Whatever the case, it was a controversial chapter in New Mexico GOP politics and will be rehashed behind the scenes as Damron makes his run.

The past Damron baggage appears to give Moore the role of early front runner. Also, coming from rural New Mexico and having a proven record in the Legislature with expertise in finance also doesn't hurt. Moore helps balance he ticket if the GOP goes with a nominee from a major city such as ABQ or Las Cruces. Damron is a radiologist who impressed many Republcians with his thoughtful style, but the question is that foul after taste from the 2006 rout and how much of it is still on GOP taste buds.


The long-standing feud between former NM US Attorney David Iglesias and former GOP Chairman and now Guv candidate Allen Weh went national this week after Weh again insisted that Iglesias was fired by the Bush administration over performance issues, even though the record indicates he was fired for political reasons. Iglesias says Weh "may not be in touch with reality or may not even be literate."

Weh responded:

“There have been some recent personal attacks made against my candidacy, which I won’t dignify by discussing other than to repeat what I have said on several occasions: I will criticize any official--Republican or Democrat--who doesn’t measure up to the standards expected of them....

The Iglesias charges would ring loud in a general election contest. But not so loud in the Republican primary where Iglesias is seen as a turncoat by loyalists of former Senator Domenici and former US Rep Wilson. The Iglesias hit could actually help Weh with the nominating wing of the NM GOP. Yet another strange turn in the always twisted road of La Politica.


Southern Dem US Rep. Harry Teague, reacting to President Obama's health care speech Wednesday night, says the controversial "public option" is
not necessary for health care reform:

Teague said that he doesn't think a public option is necessary to overhaul the health care system, and that he has serious concerns about the plan's overall cost. "As a small-business man, one of the concerns I'm going to have is how we're going to pay for it, and I'd like to see the details, and what effect that will have on the thousands of small businesses in New Mexico," Teague said.

We put this up because we wondered here this week about Teague and the public option. We hadn't seen his statments on it and noted the option would not sell well in his race against former GOP US Rep. Pearce.

It's this kind of support that is helping ABQ City Council President Ike Benton stave off a challenge from Bernalillo County Commissioner Alan Armijo in the Oct. 6 city election:

...The Sierra Club has endorsed Isaac Benton for re-election to the City Council. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club includes all of New Mexico...The Sierra Club has over 2,000 members in Albuquerque.

Armijo is well-known, but there doesn't seem to be a great deal of negative out there on Benton. He has strong support in the university area of the district. Observers familiar with the district say that could be a deciding factor.


This event always draws a lot of attention in an ABQ mayoral race, and it happens this Sunday:

Congregation Albert Brotherhood will be hosting a mayoral debate on Sunday, September 13th at 11:00am. Congregation Albert has a long history of outstanding debates dating back 60 years. The invitees include Richard Romero, Martin Chavez and Richard Berry. The debate follows a 9:30am Brotherhood breakfast which is open to the public. Reservations for the breakfast are required and can be made by calling 883-1818...

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