Thursday, October 30, 2014

Only Five Days To Go; Let's Blog This Thing! How Close The Senate Race? Who's That Saying King Wins? More Heat In Keller-Aragon Clash, Powell Pounds Dunn And Indian Country Action And Lots Of It 

Blogging Campaign '14
Just five days to go so let's saddle up and head out to the crowded campaign trail. . .

The R's continue to push the narrative that Dem US Senator Tom Udall could fall prey to a national environment that is hostile to Democrats, but none of the major DC publications has changed its rating on the race from "Safe Democrat." Udall appears poised for the win.

What might surprise Mr. and Mrs. New Mexico is that it could be quite tight with only a couple of points separating Udall and Republican rival Allen Weh. . .

Around here we're maintaining our safe Democratic ranking for the US Senate race. The Governor's race is likely Republican. The secretary of state's race is rated a toss-up. The land commissioner race is lean Republican. The attorney general contest and state auditor race are likely Democrat. The state treasurer's race is lean Democrat. Battle for control of the NM House of Representatives is rated a toss-up. The R's need to pick up three seats. . . .

The battle for control of the legislature rages on not just in New Mexico but across America:

Republicans have the opportunity to take control of a record number of state legislative chambers across the country this year, as Democrats play defense in unfavorable terrain. The Republican landslide in 2010 and the subsequent redistricting process in 2012 gave the GOP control of a nearly unprecedented number of legislative chambers. Today, the party controls 59 of the 98 partisan chambers in 49 states, while Democrats control only 39 chambers. . . 

Once election results are tabulated in the 6,049 legislative races on the ballot in 46 states this year, Republicans could find themselves running even more.


Is anyone predicting an upset Guv win for Gary King? We looked high and low and did come up with a leading politico who says Gary will pull it off. Drum roll, please. . . Big Bill speaks:

I’m going to go way out on a limb and say that Attorney General Gary King will beat Susana Martinez.

So there you have it, Dems. Stock up on the Dom Pérignon for Election Night. Bill says this one is in the bag. . .

And we also searched high and low for a daily newspaper that has endorsed King. Alas, for the Dems, there are none. But there is one from a weekly paper--the Santa Fe Reporter:

Gary King’s dad was a well-liked governor, his mother was an advocate for kids, and his cousin was a good legislator. We expect King to use his public-service genes and his mental map of the Roundhouse to the advantage of all New Mexicans. Debra Haaland is a promising leader and a smart choice in a running mate.

Meanwhile Martinez continues to pummel King. One of her latest TV attack ads uses King's comment that Martinez does not have "a  Latino heart." King is "dividing people," says the ad. But Susana is doing some dividing, too. No?

A few minutes after her Latino heart ad aired, we saw the Guv calling for the repeal of driver's licenses for undocumented workers.


A reader email Wednesday that attacked Dem state auditor candidate Tim Keller for playing racial politics by going negative on TV on Republican contender Robert Aragon brought in the email. Teresa Trujeque writes:

Robert Aragon, the former Democrat and Governor Martinez, inside,  is claiming that Tim Keller is a liar. I have seen the document that the Keller campaign used as a basis for their ad and all the information is factual. It seems to me that Martinez insiders such as Robert Aragon think it is okay that she runs one negative ad after another against Gary King but they don't expect the same to happen to them. Of course, they would claim that their ads are factual but not the Keller ad. It is naive for him to think that the Keller campaign would not find and bring out those issues covered in the ad.

Charlotte Roybal came with this:

I was surprised to read the criticism of the Tim Keller ad. The facts on Robert Aragon whether a voter is Hispanic or Anglo are facts. Check on the facts about Robert Aragon here and here. I would like to think that people will vote for the person who tells the truth. To turn it into a racial issue rather than about who is qualified and experienced is unjustified.

Meanwhile, Aragon comes with this negative radio ad. In it he calls Keller "a career politician" who is telling "lies." The spot says Aragon paid his back taxes and lawsuits against his legal office have been settled---both of which are mentioned in Keller's TV ad. Keller's campaign retorts:

As an attorney, Aragon should certainly be able to understand standard documents related to his own tax liens and court cases. To reiterate the facts, Aragon was served with 12 tax liens totaling over $285,000 between 2001 and 2009. He was also the subject of multiple lawsuits - resulting in Aragon paying over $30,000 in settlements - for fraud and negligence related to putting his own financial interests ahead of his clients'.

Aragon needs some good news to pull off the upset, but he isn't getting any. Take a look:

The biggest contributors to Aragon’s campaign as of early October had been convicted of embezzlement, and lawyer Aragon had represented one of them in court. Antoinette Greenlee and her husband, James Greenlee, pleaded guilty in December 2013 to one count of embezzlement and two counts of tax evasion. The state Taxation and Revenue Department said they were accused of stealing from her father’s construction materials business in Albuquerque. They were sentenced to five years of supervised probation last week in state District Court. They each contributed $2,500 to Aragon’s campaign on June 13. . . Keller’s campaign said the contributions “raised serious concerns.”

You might say for Robert the news is "breaking bad.". . . 


Here's a radio ad from Dem Land Commissioner Ray Powell, Jr. shooting back at Republican Aubrey Dunn who has mounted a stiff challenge. The spot deals with Dunn's attack of Powell over the Dixon apple orchard. . .


Where the heck is Maggie Toulouse Oliver's last days media appealing to Hispanic voters who are warming to incumbent GOP Secretary of State Dianna Duran? So ask numerous Alligators as the same vanilla TV ad of Oliver, the Bernalillo County Clerk, continues to air even though Duran is tied with Oliver in the polls. Maybe someone should send Maggie a Rolex so she can see that the clock is ticking. . .


New Mexico politics is often downright fascinating. Here's a radio ad from Dem State Rep. Eliseo Alcon in which he makes his case and then a translator states it in Navajo. Where else are you going to hear that?

By the way, Alcon doesn't shy away from the Guv campaign in the spot. He urges his constituents in Cibola and McKinley counties to vote for Gary King.

Meanwhile, more developments in Indian Country in that hot-as-a-pistol state House race featuring GOP Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage and Dem challenger Harrison Todacheene.

Dem super PACs have been hounding Clahchischilliage on the radio over a legislative junket she took to Taiwan. The ads put the pressure on and forced an error from Sharon. She was caught on video at a GOP event joking about the trip, saying:

I want you to know that when I did go to Taiwan I did have fun. I did think about you when I was there and also want you to know that is the way we do state business...

Todacheene is now up on the radio using Sharon's own words against her. The narrator concludes the ad with: "Just one more example of an out of touch politician." The ad is also running in Navajo.

The Dems think they have a shot against the freshman legislator in the Dem leaning district, but R's continue to say she is safe. We'll find out when we take to the airwaves on KANW 89.1 FM on Election Night.

And a postscript: We're still waiting for definitive word on whether there will be a Navajo presidential election on the same day as the state election. Without that presidential election and the Dem Native American voters it would drive to the polls, upsetting Clahchischilliage becomes that much harder for the D's.

Here's a newspaper profile of the Clahchischilliage-Todacheene contest.


They may vote alike on most issues but when it comes to their personal finances the difference between NM Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall is night and day--or we should say red and black.

The WaPo says Udall has a net worth of $2.4 million while according to Roll Call Heinrich has a negative net worth of minus $772,000, mainly because of mortgage debt. That's enough debt for Heinrich to be the only senator to make the newspaper's top ten list of poorest members of congress. Well, Heinrich has an awful lot of poor company in economically challenged New Mexico. . .

And while Udall doesn't have to worry about where his next meal will come from, the report says his net worth is down five percent since 2004. That's why he needs a job. . .


You know things are getting stacked to the ceiling around here when you forget that Steve Pearce defeated Dem U.S. Rep. Harry Teague in 2010. In our first draft Wednesday we said there had been only one incumbent congressman defeated in the state in the last 40 years. But we don't hear anyone calling Teague "Congressman."

Sorry for that error and thanks to all who pointed it out. . .

And we blogged that it was possible Gary King would not spend Election Night at the Dem Party bash at the Doubletree in downtown ABQ. The campaign says he will attend the ABQ party.

To make up for that one, we're planning on sending the party staff a dozen tamales from El Modelo. However, if they lose the state House, the tamales go over to the Marriott and the GOP party. . .

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