Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Debating That Spanish Debate; Readers Have The Angles, Plus: A Busy Fund-Raising Circuit And An Oil Gusher For Santa Fe 

Readers come with a number of different angles on that unusual Spanish language TV debate that Gov. Martinez and Gary King will take part in October 6 on ABQ's KLUZ-TV. Martinez says she will debate in Spanish while King says he will use an interpreter.

While the pundits said it could be awkward for King using an interpreter and give Martinez the advantage, this reader says it is Susana who needs the debate more than Gary:

After reading your blog about the debate I reviewed the ABQ Journal's poll to confirm what jumped out: King leads Martinez by 20 points with Hispanic voters. He leads Martinez by 29 points in the north-central region. The reason Gov. Martinez agreed to this debate, while dissing others, is that she knows she is losing the Hispanic vote and she can't win without it. The Hispanic vote, especially Northern Hispanic vote, is what got her elected during her first campaign. The current numbers cited above make it clear that that mistake will not be made again.

We would add that it is not unusual for Martinez to be losing the Hispanic vote. She received around 40 percent of it in her 2010 election which is a strong showing for a Republican. That recent Journal poll showed her getting 36% of the Hispanic vote in the early going. A strong Dem candidacy could be expected to hold her to the low 30's. So far, that's not happening. . .

Her decision to debate on KLUZ is low-risk. It will not be heavily watched but sends the right signal to the Hispanic community. But her decision is not completely without risk, says this reader:

It won't be as easy for her as people many think. Martinez's Spanish will pass for a greeting but she does not have educated Spanish and technical jargon and that could trip her up. There is a chance that King will come across more prepared to lead.

Well, it would be a sight to see if Susana had to depend on the interpreter after pledging to conduct the debate in Spanish. . .

Reader Preciliano Martin writes from Raton:

I have no idea why Gary King would go on "Spanish language TV" to debate Martinez. It is a mystery to me. Is he trying to reach the new immigrants who vote in NM, certainly he is not reaching for the old Hispanic families. He was iffy for me after his going after former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil Giron and his problems with State Auditor Hector Balderas. I wish I could support Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Deb Haaland, but I will forgo voting for governor in November. Can't vote for Martinez and won't vote for King.


The fund-raising circuit is bustling now that we are that much closer to the heat of the campaigns. Southern Public Regulation Commission (PRC) contender Sandy Jones will hold a bash at ABQ's Chama River Brewing Company Wednesday at 5 p.m. He aims to oust GOP incumbent commissioner Ben Hall. Jones, a former PRC member, is asking $500 a pop but "any amount is appreciated."

The "Our NM PAC" is hosting a reception at the Backstreet Grill in ABQ's Old Town today at 5:30 p.m. to promote the state House candidacy of attorney Matt McQueen. He's the Dem seeking to oust GOP Rep. Vickie Perea who was appointed to the East Mountain/Santa Fe County seat to fill the vacancy created when Rep. Stephen Easley passed away. McQueen is heavily favored to recapture this Dem leaning seat. Hosts for the event are Dem State Sen. Jacob Candelaria and Reps. Mimi Stewart and Rick Miera. All of them are from ABQ. . .

The race for Bernalillo County sheriff should get hot as there is no incumbent running. Sheriff Houston was defeated in the June primary by fellow Republican Scott Baird. Manny Gonzales who served briefly as an appointed sheriff is the Dem nominee for the post. Baird is having a $250 a pop fund-raiser Wednesday night at Tanoan Country Club hosted in part by GOP City Councilors Don Harris and Tim Lewis. Gonzales and Baird are both experienced lawmen and both sides agree each could end up spending over six figures. . .

National labor is hosting a Sept. 9 DC fund-raiser for Gary King, hoping to raise some big bucks for his cash-starved candidacy. Former Governor Big Bill is among those pushing the event. Will any big spending groups form independent PAC's to advocate for King? We'll keep watching. . .


Everyone talks about the state's dependence on federal government spending, but what about its dependence on oil and gas revenues? It's getting to be over the top. The Martinez administration predicts the state will have some $285 million in new money for the fiscal year that starts next July 1 not because of an improving overall state economy but because of the long bull market in oil prices in SE NM.

There's never been an oil boom in state history that didn't end in a bust so when will the next one come and what will it mean to state finances? Well, enjoy the party while it lasts. .


Reader Gerald Schneider writes from ABQ's Old Town:

I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas, NV. I was playing blackjack and the dealer was making conversation with the table. Someone asked where he was from. He mentioned a couple of places, then said, "Spent 5 years in Albuquerque." I said that I was from Albuquerque. His response was, "Are the cops still crazy there?" I sat there embarrassed. The other players were kind enough not to ask any questions. Couldn't help but think how that comment affected perceptions of Albuquerque. Certainly didn't do us any good!

Thanks, Gerald. There may be a few "crazy" cops at APD but numerous observers point to the culture of the leadership there that has brought chaos to the department and national embarrassment to our city.


We erred in a first draft in blogging the poll numbers Monday in the US Senate race from the recent ABQ Journal poll. The correct numbers are Sen. Udall with 53% and Republican Allen Weh with 35 percent.. . Some trail dust got kicked up when Weh on Monday came with his first negative TV ad on Udall. The 60 second sport faults Udall and Obama for the nation's foreign policy but in doing so uses a couple of frames of the masked killer of journalist James Foley. Udall called use of the photo "appalling" but Weh supporters hopes it cements his GOP base, peels off conservative indys and maybe raises some cash.

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