Thursday, September 02, 2010

Denish And The Passion Gap: Her Campaign Responds, Plus: Heinrich Taps Working Class Roots, And: Our $14 Billion Question For Susana & Di 

Call it the "passion gap" and it's what Dems across our enchanted land are fretting over. They see their Guv hopeful, Lt. Governor Diane Denish, giving them about as much action as a pacifist's pistol. The mumbling has grown so loud that the Denish campaign brought it up in a recent pitch to their top donors. Take a look:

...I know there are those people out there who say Diane is not passionate enough and does not have the fire. Well those people were not part of the 300+ at our event last Friday at the Lodge at Santa Fe, the 200+ with us in Corrales on Saturday, the 600 people in Las Vegas or the 150 in Santa Fe who saw her on Sunday. If they were, they would have seen a Diane Denish who is fired up and ready to go. So if you have any doubts Diane or run into anyone who does, send them to one of our events and I am confident those worries will disappear...

"Fired up and ready to go?" Didn't they "borrow" that from Obama's '08 campaign? Why not something more original for the Hobbs native, like, "She's as excited as a hen on a hot griddle."

Well, in the next sixty days don't look for Di to come running down the aisle like a contestant on "The Price is Right,"but neither should we confuse the exterior with the interior. This is a hyper-competitive politician who has "burned" a number of political foes over the year.

While Denish could probably step on the excitement accelerator some, keep in mind that many of the state's most successful politicians have exhibited laid back personalities.

Dem Senator Jeff Bingaman immediately comes to mind. Ditto for Dem Sen. Udall. Also, GOP Senator Pete Domenici who was no firebrand. Add to that list ABQ area GOP Congressman Manuel Lujan who served 20 years and southern NM GOP Congressman Joe Skeen who clocked over 20 years in the House.

New Mexicans just seem to like their politicos to speak somewhat softly. After all, this isn't New York where you have to shout to be heard.


In his latest TV spot Dem Congressman Martin Heinrich calls on his working class roots to connect with economically distressed voters in the ABQ US House district. He says his dad was an electrician and his mom worked in a factory. The spot includes old photos of the Heinrich family--with Dad at work--as Heinrich works to build up his favorables before an expected GOP onslaught.

Speaking of which, Heinrich challenger Jon Barela is coming late to the TV game and that's not going unnoticed by blog readers like Ron Kathman:

The reason Barela is trailing Heinrich in the polls might be due to the fact that so few voters have even heard of him. I've yet to see any of his campaign ads, printed, television, or otherwise. Is he running a stealth race, or does he intend to strike up the bandwagon and make some noise any time soon? He better get loud and soon if he intends to beat Heinrich...

We agree, Ron. Come on, Jon, let's get it on.


The Dems get
the top spot on the ballot, the result of a drawing conducted by Secretary of State Mary Herrera. Is that worth an extra point for Dem candidates? Some think so.


That the University of New Mexico faculty is practically at war with the Regents and administration is well-known, but now it is documented in the form of an in-depth survery commissioned by UNM to dig deeper into the animosity that has plagued UNM.

A whopping 85% of the faculty polled disagreed with the statement: "An atmosphere of trust exists between the faculty and Central Administration."

It may run contrary to their political beliefs and Diane Denish supporters won't like hearing it, but a Governor Martinez, lacking any deep ties to UNM, might be in a better position to use the gubernatorial bully pulpit (and the power to appoint the Regents) to bring about the change so obviously needed on the campus.


We always think of Fort Bliss as being in Texas and forget that it extends into southern New Mexico, even though we often talk about its economic impact on the southern part of our state. The issue came up when southern Dem congressman Harry Teague greeted President Obama Tuesday as the Prez prepared for a brief visit to the base. We noted that Teague scored good PR for the visit as El Paso TV serves Dona Ana County, the most critical county for Teague's re-election. Here's the geography lesson from Teague's office:

While you’re right that Fort Bliss is in the El Paso/Las Cruces media market, the base actually does extend into New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, which is why Harry was there. In fact, a majority of the base is here in New Mexico (little known fact).

When we tried to post a link to Fort Bliss, we received a message saying, "This connection is untrusted." So we didn't link it. Maybe they're mad at us down there for getting our geography mixed up..Okay, used our Safari browser and got the link without a warning.

That experience scared us enough that we wanted to call our congressman. Who is that anyway--Steve Pearce or Harry Teague?


What do Susana Martinez and Diane Denish think about those ideas flying under the radar to increase the amount of money taken from the state's $14 billion in
permanent funds to balance the state budget?

They haven't been asked that question directly yet, but it could be on the table in the next four years, especially if oil and natural gas prices stay down, resulting in lower royalty revenue for the state.

If we were in their shoes, we would play it conservative, but leave just a wee bit of wiggle room. Does anyone have any certainty about the economic outlook for the next four years?


Big Bill continues to do his part to help Di, handing out more stimulus money this week to avoid furloughs in the judicial system. Is any of this rubbing off on her? And Senators Jeff and Tom were pleased to announce more education money from the feds that will prevent teacher layoffs in the state.

And they do all of this without even knowing there is an election in 60 days. :)


Dems like their chances to retake the state land office. Ray Powell Jr. is a former land commissioner carrying their banner again and rancher Matt Rush is holding forth for the R's. We've said that Rush faces a tough time because he needs a lot of money to get known. But an in-the-know reader writes:

Ray Powell has only raised about $35,000. His opponent will reap oil and gas money--big time and then defeat Ray. Just wait and see.

Actually, Powell has raised much more than $100,000 but he spent most of it in the primary.
As of July 1 he had about $38,000 in cash on hand, according to state reports.

Unlike the past two Dem nominees Powell is not ethically tainted. And the incumbent GOP land commissioner, Pat Lyons, has been snared in ethics issues.

Also, Powell held the land office for ten years. His name ID is high and Dems normally perform very well on the down-ballot races.

Having said that, we will take our reader's advice and keep the Ray and Matt match-up on our list to watch for future developments.

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