Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Our Photo Caption Contest For New Mexico's Political Odd Couple, Plus: Voting In 2010 Election Starts Today, And: Latest Campaign News & Polls 

Senator Tom Udall and Secretary of State Mary Herrera make for a political odd couple in one of our favorite pics to emerge in Campaign 201o. The two Dems were snapped at a recent party event.

What's Tom saying into that cell phone anyway? Email in your caption. We'll pick the two best from reader submissions, and donate $50 to each of their favorite NM-based charities.

Sample: "Jill, Mary tricked me. This watermelon really came from Steve Pearce. Should I go to urgent care?"

Enjoy. We'll take email entries today and Wednesday and announce the winners Thursday. Be sure to list your favorite charity along with your entry.


For those of us who have been covering this campaign for the past couple of years, it seems almost surreal that voting is finally underway. More than ever, the campaigns seem permanent. But this one will indeed end. And end it will for many voters today. They can go into their local county clerk's office and cast an absentee ballot. Absentee voting by mail also goes into high gear this week. Early voting at satellite stations opens Oct. 16 and that's when the election really picks up steam as it heads for the last round of voting on the actual Election Day.

Today is also the last day to register to vote in this election.

If you are looking to get an early voting start, here is the League of Women voters guide on the major races. Early vote info for Bernalillo County is here. Santa Fe early vote info is here.


It's about a two to one money edge for Rep. Martin Heinrich over Republican challenger Jon Barela in the money race in the final stretch. Heinrich reports $1 million cash on hand and Barela reports about $567,000 in the bank. Barela can also count on third party TV money, but he can't control the message on those ads. Same for Heinrich.

Barela has done a decent job raising money, but he probably needs to be closer to take the incumbent out. R's now think a low-turnout is Jon's best chance to pull the upset. Heinrich doesn't need to lose any sleep, but neither should he be taking any naps.


The Navajos will get their first New Mexico leader in 70 years as State Senator Lynda Lovejoy faces off against tribal lawmaker Ben Shelly for the presidency of the Navajo Nation. Leaders have traditionally come from Arizona. Navajo Election Day is the same as the state election--Nov. 2. If Lovejoy wins she would be the first woman Navajo president. The action is starting to heat up, and the AP has an update from the Navajo capital at Window Rock, AZ.

Lovejoy's senate district is spread over five counties. If she wins the presidency, the county commissions from those five counties will recommend replacement to Governor Big Bill. He leaves office in January but should have time to put the new senator in office.

Dems are hoping the Navajo election will drive turnout higher for Denish and the Dems. We'll see Election Night when we gather at KANW 89.1 FM to broadcast all the results.


Another good pop for Dem US Rep. Harry Teague as he tries to keep from being ousted by Republican Steve Pearce who has pulled ahead of him the Journal poll by one point:

..The National Rifle Association, Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) endorsed Harry Teague...The NRA-PVF also gave Harry Teague an A rating in their annual scorecard.

“I want to thank the NRA for their support. As a gun owner and hunter, I have always been a supporter of the Second Amendment. And I am proud to advocate for New Mexico gun owners and sportsmen because I believe that gun ownership is not only a right, it’s an American tradition and way of life -- especially for folks here in southern New Mexico,” said Teague.

Earlier, Teague picked up an endorsement from another prominent conservative group--Veterans of Foreign Wars--as the neck and neck battle goes on in the south. Congressmen Heinrich and Lujan also won the NRA nod.

Lujan opponent Tom Mullins was not a happy camper over that endorsement:

Luján's Republican opponent, Tom Mullins of Farmington, wasn't happy with the endorsement decision by the country's largest gun lobby organization.

"As a 12-year member of the NRA, I'm disappointed," Mullins said. "When I get to Congress, I will vote to support the Second Amendment."


Attorney General Gary King appears to be headed for a blow-out victory over Republican challenger Matt Chandler. He leads 52-32 in the Journal poll conducted last week. And that's important not just for Gary King but for the New Mexican Democratic Party. Concerns have mounted that weakness of Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish could infect the down-ballot races like AG. This poll shows that is not the case.

King appears poised to lead the Democratic ticket in the general election as he did in the primary. That could set him up for another run at the Guv's office in 2014, if Denish can't pull off a come from behind win.


Former President Clinton is slated to campaign for Dem Guv hopeful Denish in Espanola Oct. 14, but we are hearing rumblings from some Dems who wonder if Clinton might best be used for Rep. Teague who is locked in a tight battle with Republican Pearce for that southern US House seat. Even if Denish is still lagging, Clinton is still going to do Espanola, but a side trip to Las Cruces could be a big boost for Harry--if he can keep his race with Steve in play.


Remember Don Wiviott? He's the Santa Fe developer and Dem progressive who ran against Ben Ray Lujan in the 2008 Dem primary for the northern congressional. He gave Lujan a scare when he pumped over $1 million of his own money into the race. Maybe he wishes he had some of it back. To the news:

Century Bank has started foreclosure proceedings on the ArtYard lofts at the Santa Fe Railyard, according to court documents filed last month. The bank said it's owed just under $6.9 million by Don Wiviott's ArtYard company. ArtYard defaulted last December on a loan taken out in 2007.

"Century is entitled to the appointment of a Special Master to sell the property and to distribute the proceeds of such sale first to Century and the amounts due under the Note," the Aug. 26 filing said.


A Roundhouse Alligator says there is still time for Denish to pull it out:

We still have 30 days. The candidate that eliminates "the slander" and develops a jobs/economic plan will win. Problem is, both camps lack leadership, wisdom, local flavor and understanding. Out-of-state campaign directors do no understand people that eat chile everyday...

Maybe the jobs and economy will surface more forcefully in the final month. We've been waiting. Even if it does, we expect the tehem be negatively oriented.


Reader Feroza Jussawalla disagrees with our take made here last Thursday that ABQ would become a ghost town if Kirtland Air Force Base was shut down. The subject came up in the wake of a vote by the ABQ City council on a resolution that would have nuclear weapons said to be stored at Kirtland removed and shipped to Texas. the resolution was defeated 5 to 4, with all four Democrats voting for the measure. From Feroza:

Joe, You are wrong about Albuquerque becoming a ghost town if Kirtland should close. As someone who has been Neighborhood Association President at adjoining neighborhoods, I can tell you that there is nothing more that the neighbors would want than to see Kirtland close. It isn't just the nukes that are a problem. There are problems associated with the individuals that inhabit the base, problems of alcoholism, stores selling alcohol, cigarettes, unfriendly inhabitants etc. The noise and smell of airplane gasoline are intense and there a problems in the water wells.

(Dem US Rep.) Martin Heinrich was elected from a very liberal district. What does he do? He saves the "Flying Tacos" and shows pictures of himself in air force gear. In that case we might as well have elected Heather Wilson. No, lets get some gentler kinder people than those who work at Kirtland. Lets get the military out of our neighborhood and our homes!

Heinrich and the rest of the state's congressional delegation had no comment on the controversial action of their fellow Dems, but Dem Guv hopeful Diane Denish broke ranks with her political brethren:

We are in historically difficult times, and city leadership at every level should be focused on creating jobs and making sure our firefighters and first responders have the tools they need to keep the people of Albuquerque safe. While I appreciate their safety concerns, I would much rather see our city leaders focus their energy on meeting the critical needs of struggling families.


From downtown ABQ, Metro Court Judge Frank Sedillo weighs in on the beleagured state of the Univeristy of New Mexico football Lobos:

I am not certain as to the exact figures, but, relatively speaking, the athletic budget must be a small percentage of the overall educational budget. In addition, UNM's athletic budget shrinks in comparison to most Division I athletic budgets...A number of years ago Kansas and Kansas State were historically the worst football teams in the NCAA...It took fan support and investment to change their status. I would venture to say that most people in their communities now feel that their investment was worthwhile.

The message has never been that athletics is more important that education. Academics has and should always be the top priority, but wouldn't it be nice to have an athletic program that brings respect, recognition, honor, and, yes, additional funds to the University? It can happen!..

And then Judge Sedillo woke up from his dream and threw the book at a drunk driver.


Here's how the latest Guv polls are playing out on TV news. KOB-TV's Stuart Dyson says a lot of Dems are asking him why they haven't seen a Denish TV spot that highlights Sarah Palin's support for Martinez. Good question.


From the wires:

A Brazilian clown has had the last laugh by winning a seat in Congress with more votes than any other candidate in Sunday's elections. Tiririca, or Francisco Oliveira Silva to give him his real name, was elected as a federal deputy for Sao Paulo with more than 1.3 million votes. Tiririca, or "Grumpy", had slogans such as: "It can't get any worse."

Maybe we should try that here?

This is the home of New Mexico politics

Email your news and comments.

Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign