Monday, June 28, 2010

Martinez Shuffles Staff Deck, Plus: Another Big Hole In Another Negative Guv Ad, And: Lobbyist Mulcock Remembered 

Susana Martinez brings aboard Ryan Cangiolosi as her new campaign manager this week. She broke that news to some of the GOP ABQ faithful over the weekend. He'll give up his post as executive director of the state GOP. This will be Cangiolosi's first statewide management stint. Adam Deguire, who managed the effort during the primary, now takes charge of field operations. Martinez has been without a press aide but is expected to name one this week.

Insiders say command and control of the campaign--messaging, media etc.-- remains with Lincoln Strategy Group and longtime GOP consultant Jay McCleskey, although we could see more national input as the race heats up. Another player is McCleskey's wife, Nicole, who is a pollster with Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies.

A new NM GOP executive director is expected to be named by GOP Chairman Harvey Yates.


More holes to tell you about in an ad for the race for Guv. This time it's Susana Martinez's claim in her primary spot that she has "taken on members of the most violent drug cartels." Well, maybe that's a stretch. From the New Mexican:

So who are the members of Mexican drug cartels who Martinez says she has taken on?

Martinez doesn't name names. The basic response by Martinez and her campaign when asked about specific drug-cartel cases her office has prosecuted is that her office wouldn't be getting federal High Intensity Drug Traffic Area funds if they weren't prosecuting members of drug cartels.

Both Martinez and Denish have thrown caution to the wind and come with questionable advertising claims that continue to be debunked in the press. It seems the old standard of coming with airtight negative ads has gone by the wayside. And it makes the candidates seem small, doesn't it?


Political junkies have been asking about Martinez' heritage, given that she is the first Hispanic woman to be nominated for the Guv's office by a major political party. She filled in another piece of background last week when she appeared on the conservative national talk show hosted by Laura Ingraham. Martinez said her grandparents are Mexican immigrants, according to those emailing us. They didn't say whether she was referring to her maternal or paternal grandparents or both. Earlier, Martinez's campaign said her parents were born in El Paso as was she.

With interest high among Hispanics here and nationally, it appears to be time for Martinez to come with a complete historical bio and post it on her Web site.

All of this is related to positioning in the Spanish North. While Martinez does not claim any direct lineage to the families who settled there over 400 years ago, there is still a pride factor that could help her in this normally very Democratic region.


Well-known ABQ trial lawyer Turner Branch is one of the first civilians to stick his neck out in Campaign 2010 and they're ready to chop it off. Branch, who describes himself as a longtime Republican, announced on your blog last week that he could not support fellow R Susana and is throwing his support to Di. But the Martinez camp and others pointed out that Turner has given thousands of dollars in campaign dough to Dems, despite his GOP affiliation. Now, former NM GOP chair John Lattauzio wants to pile on. Have at it, John:

I have no doubt Turner Branch considers himself an influential Republican. In my thirty years of service to the Republican Party of New Mexico State Central Committee (six years as Chairman), I never met the man. We did have an encounter however; when true to form, he and seven others met to form Republicans for Bruce King for Governor in October of 1990.

Mr. Branch sent me a letter (attached) condemning my support for Frank Bond. No more was heard of him or his group by the Republican Party.

We know things can be rough and tumble in the world of trial attorneys, but we'd wager to say that Turner believes as we do--the courtroom of La Politica is the toughest of them all.


More from the readers on the downtown debate that's been going on around here, and the city council's efforts to resurrect a plan for a $400 million downtown sports arena, now being dubbed an "events center." Developer Homer Robinson gave his piece in favor on the Friday blog. Reader Alan Schwartz comes with the rebuttal:

I'm not buying the arguments from your development booster. Downtown @ was partially funded with City cash of almost $3 million and land valued at over $1 million. That money could have just as easily made its way into our local economy if it had been left in the pockets of taxpayers...

And when will they every stop with the "development as job creation" mantra. No doubt these projects provided employment for several hundred construction and trades workers. But the job creation that counts for true economic development is of the "sustainable" kind. You build an office building or retail space and it's occupied by a new business (not one that moved from a prior location) and they hire new, full-time employees. Housing doesn't create jobs after the construction is finished.


James "Bud" Mulcock was one of those rare characters in politics who got along with everyone. He was just so darn likable and charming that hard feelings melted away in his presence.

We remember when he was a VP with PNM during the 1980's. The company was at its most unpopular but even then Bud was able to smooth ruffled feathers. In recent years, he lobbied in Santa Fe for state school administrators, bringing his warm personality and keen knowledge of all things New Mexican to the table. The Artesia native, an UNM Law School grad, lobbyist and ardent Democrat, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Friday. He was 71.

He had a voice that sounded like he gargled with gravel and a smile that would dazzle the devil. At a lunch we had with him and a mutual friend a year or so ago, before the cancer struck, we sliced the political pie into a hundred pieces.

He was interested in the truth and improving New Mexico. On occasion, he donned the title of "Senior Alligator" and dropped us a tidbit that he thought would do one or the other.

Bud Mulcock earned his lines in the never-ending book of La Politica. His entry is marked with a wink and a smile.

Services are scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church at 215 Locust NE in ABQ.


We erred when we initially blogged Friday that the contract between the city of ABQ and the ABQ police union expires July 1st. It expires July 1st of 2011. But the contract is subject to the availability of funding and a yearly appropriation by the city council. Here's the clip from the three year contract:

The Agreement's compensation for the second and third fiscal years shall be contingent upon the approval of the City Council as set forth in Section 3-2-18 of the Labor Management Relations Ordinance.

So what's happening right now is a contract renegotiation. Mayor Berry wants a two to three percent pay cut for the cops and all other city employees to take effect July 1, the start of the new budget year. Five AFSCME unions have contracts that expire Wednesday night.


We wish them luck with this and coming as it does in the election season, they're going to need it:

New Mexico First will host the 2010 First Forum Lecture, Collaborative Politics: Now More Than Ever, on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on 1701 4th Street SW in Albuquerque.

The keynote speakers are Mike McCurry, former press secretary for President Bill Clinton, and Frank Fahrenkopf, former chair of the Republican National Committee. The speakers will discuss the need for finding common ground in politics, and share their perspective about the condition of democracy, cross-party collaboration and strategies for bringing Americans together....

The event will be moderated by ABC newsman, and New Mexico Rancher, Sam Donaldson...

Hey, maybe Di and Susana can go and we'll get a week or two of no negative campaigning out of it.

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