Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trapped In The Preprimary Spin Zone Where The Hits Just Keep On Coming, Plus: Say It isn't So--Mayor Berry Asks Lobo Fans To Cheer For Aggies 

Heinrich & Family
Help! We're trapped in the preprimary spin zone and can't get out. In this digital age Saturday seems light years away, but it is still front and center among the political class as they seek any advantage they can for their favored contenders. We have to admit the stuff they're bombarding us with is  pretty good so we'll stay with this spin cycle one more day.

Even though he lost the Dem preprimary convention by nearly 10 points to Rep. Martin Heinrich, the campaign of US Senate contender Hector Balderas has been working overtime and furiously spinning that the loss was actually a victory of sorts. We gave him props for not getting blown away by front-runner Heinrich, but not all of our readers were as empathetic, especially the Heinrich supporters. A sample:

The problem with Hector is that the 2nd place finish doesn't translate into money, endorsements or momentum. If we were talking back in October, we would have said he needs to win the preprimary and his own people were saying he was going to beat Martin in the preprimary because Martin didn't know the central committee members, hadn't run statewide and wasn't Hispanic. Now they want to change their narrative. 

Another reader who was at the convention said the speeches made a difference:

Balderas' speech was considered moving by young and old. There must be an emotional connection between voters and the candidate. Balderas hit the right emotional buttons. His opponent moved nobody and it was a dry rehash of Democratic rhetoric. A policy wonk is not going to keep even one voter warm at night. Balderas made the connection with the voters. Heinrich did not and no amount of money is going to buy him an emotional connection.

Reader Joe Campos chimed in with this:

I was at the preprimary convention and a high-ranking Democrat tried to lecture me on how I should be supporting an Hispanic, all the while pointing at my Heinrich sticker, and that I should stop supporting carpetbaggers! For someone of this caliber saying your people need to stick together, sounds absurd....

And this from a Heinrich advocate:

Martin Heinrich is ahead in every poll, he's out-raised everyone in the field, and he just won the grassroots support of the heart of the Democratic party on Saturday at the pre-primary convention. Yet Hector Balderas' campaign is touting victory?

Well, it is kind of amusing to see a ten point loss spun so vigorously, But you gotta work with the hand your dealt.

One of our veteran Republican Alligators came with his summation of the Dems convention:

(Former ABQ Mayor Marty) Chavez is making the same mistake with Eric Griego that he made in 2009 when he was challenged by RJ Berry for mayor and lost. He is failing to define a relatively unknown opponent early. It is a critical strategy for him because he's well-known and not as well-liked as he used to be. As for the Senate race, Balderas did better than expected, probably due to the Hispanic dynamic. But he needed a win (like Griego) to make this a real race. Hector needed a win because of Heinrich's three to one fund-raising advantage. With his win, Griego has an additional edge over Chavez because he's gone toe to toe with him in fund-raising and has the progressive PAC's behind him.

And more on Griego. ABQ Reader Nancy Denker says the Alligator who beat up on him here Monday for not being gun-ho over federal funding for Sandia Labs and Kirtland Air Force Base needs correcting:

Griego’s entire family are veterans--and his sister works on nuclear containment at the labs. His uncle José, a World War II veteran who has just passed, worked for 27 years as a KAFB firefighter. Eric Griego will fight hard to keep ongoing base funding, and to ensure the labs are strong and secure by continuing to develop a future sustainable mission. Griego’s personal knowledge and concerns will have him leading the fight to secure these jobs at KAFB and Sandia National Labs.


We've blogged that Eric Griego beat Marty Chavez at the preprimay by eight points. The actual margin was 7.39%. Griego received 40.72%, Chavez 33.33% and Michelle Lujan Grisham 25.94%.

We posted the Hector Balderas preprimary speech from YouTube on Monday. Now here is the Saturday speech of Martin Heinrich.


We posited that the entry of another candidate to take on northern Dem State Senator Phil Griego might actually be a break for him because it could split up the anti-incumbent vote, but reader Sandra Wechsler begs to differ. She says the challenge from former Santa Fe County Commissioner Jack Sullivan, combined with that from Nicole Castellano, spells trouble for Phil:

Redistricting has resulted in 40% of the district being new; Phil lost much of his northern base as the district shifts south; Jack Sullivan has represented much of Santa Fe's rural southern area as County Commissioner. The point is--Jack is a credible challenger that Phil Griego is facing; hardly a break..

Okay, we're on high alert for this June primary race. We could also speculate that the Hispanic vote could be split up between Castellano and Griego--another factor for Phil to fret about.


For those who did not see our addition to the Monday blog, Agnes Maldonado, sister of Dem State Senator Bernadette Sanchez, is no longer at NM Expo where she had been director of administration. She has also done work for the Guv's political action committee--SusanaPac. We have not heard officially on why she is gone from Expo.


An Alligator of the senior variety emails a suggestion on driver's licenses that gets you thinking:

Why not revoke the driver's licenses of high school students who drop out? Driving is a privilege, not a right. This would be a great incentive for many teenagers to stay in school and improve the dismal drop-out rate we have. The constant arguing over the repeal of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants is making little difference in the state...


Leading the University of New Mexico is a challenge in the best of times, but in the aftermath of the chaos created under the regime of David Schmidly, the challenge is doubled for the new president to be. Robert Frank knows it:

The faculty are really a skeptical  kind of group that want, demand,  that my administration demonstrate to  them that I'm going to do things  differently than have been done there  previously," says Mr. Frank, 59,  who is the departing provost of Kent  State University. A survey conducted in December found that Mr. Frank  and one of the  other five finalists for the presidency did not have  the support of the  majority of New Mexico's professors. 
Frank takes over at UNM in June.


We can all agree that we could use more bipartisanship around here, but ABQ GOP Mayor RJ Berry and Las Cruces Dem Mayor Ken Miyagishima have gone way too far. Take a look:

Mayor Berry and Mayor Miyagishima have teamed up to encourage all New Mexicans to support the University of New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State University Aggies as both prepare for second-round NCAA tournament action Thursday in Portland, Ore. 

“This is an exciting time to be a New Mexican!” Mayor Berry said.  “Statewide our teams are excelling and that’s worth cheering about. Let’s all go out and show pride in our great state.”

Nice try, Mayor Berry. But if you think we lifelong Lobo fans are going to use up precious breath  praising the Aggies, you better ask Archbishop Sheehan for a miracle. And you, Miyagishima. If you're caught in Cruces cheering for the Lobos, your next elective office is going to be mayor of Sunland Park. Okay?

Now both you fellas go back to balancing your budgets and let us have our cherished basketball rivalry continue without interruption.

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