Wednesday, September 12, 2018

NM Supremes Take Up Straight Ticket Voting Today; Our Legal Beagles Predict, Plus: The Monica Watch, Pearce Lashes Back At Enviro Ads And Heinrich Swerves Left  

SOS Toulouse Oliver
The NM Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday afternoon that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver cannot reinstate straight ticket voting in the November election.

Straight ticket voting in NM is back but The Legal Beagles are betting that it won't be for long. They think straight ticket voting will lose out today when the NM Supreme Court sits to hear a challenge of the decision by Dem Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to reinstate the straight ticket option  for the November election. This Beagle barks the case out this way:

Here's he most relevant question that Justices will present to the Republican challengers of the straight ticket decision: "I know that you believe this is wrong, but exactly what in the law prohibits it?" This question will be pushed over and over.  The answer?

This may be unconstitutional, but the Supremes don't have to go there. They can decide straight ticket voting was the result of improper rule-making by the SOS and leave the constitutional question alone and an immediate stay will be issued. Next, does the SOS do what the Michigan SOS did, and ask a Federal Court to permit her to do what she wants?

Several of the Beagles predict an unanimous 5-0 vote court vote that shoots down the straight ticket option. We'll know soon enough and will post the results of the court hearing here when they come in.


One of the Alligators of the Dem variety isn't happy that his party doesn't come down harder on ABQ GOP State Rep. Moncia Youngblood whose trial on aggravated DWI has been delayed until Sept. 25:

This is the problem with Dems--not pushing Youngblood out of the race when they had the chance. She is going to delay, delay, delay as deep into the election as possible. Did Dems comment on Youngblood’s delay tactics? Probably not.

Well, one Dem operative did comment on background arguing that it is actually to their benefit that the decision on Youngblood comes closer to when people begin casting their votes. Youngblood is being challenged by Dem Karen Bash whose campaign is counting on outside PAC support to come into the district and help take Younbgblood out.


Republican Yvette Herrell has joined Dem Xochitl Torres Small on TV in the contest for the southern congressional seat. But Herrell's positive message will have some negative company. According to TV records, the Dem Congressional Campaign Committee has bought time starting today to run a negative hit on Herrell. The seat is "lean R" so it will be interesting to see if the DCCC can soften her up and make this race more competitive.


The political arm of Conservation Voters NM has come with its second ad in a series that attackS the environmental record of GOP Guv contender Steve Pearce. The group says it's spending $500,000 on TV and digital media against the congressman so the ads are getting wide exposure. This latest one calls Pearce out for:

voting against common sense safeguards for our air, such as the Bureau of Land Management’s venting and flaring rule which would limit the amount of methane that the oil and gas industry can release into the air.

Pearce is punching back against the ad series:

The parade of special interest groups coming into New Mexico to falsely attack me and to support their ally Michelle Lujan Grisham continues! Who's lying about me this time? Vote Verde -- A left wing group financed by radical New York City leftist Michael Bloomberg, who wrote a $150,000 check to fund the ads. Its spokesman donated to Grisham’s campaign. . .It's clear that Michelle Lujan Grisham has promised to let New York City liberals run our state with their radical policies if she wins this race. Grisham will turn our state over to corrupt special interests and take orders from east coast billionaires.


Leave it to the creative souls at the Taos County Democratic Party to come up with a new party mascot and just in time for the final stretch of Campaign '18. It's your Funky Donkey. Check him out by clicking on the ad.

Funky Donkey looks like a fun dude to hang with it but if you can't be with him make him part of your political world by clicking on the ad and checking out the cool merchandise featuring his donkeyness.

As for the group in Taos that came up with this inspiration, well, you know they know how to do that in the High Country.


Dem US Senator Martin Heinrich, accused by his critics in the Bernie Sanders wing of the party of being a "corporate Democrat," swerves to the left in his latest TV offering apparently to pacify that left wing and ignite some passion for his candidacy for a second term. Take a look:

The biggest con out there is politicians who claim we can’t afford to lower the cost of health care or help our seniors retire with dignity. But then they hand billions in tax breaks to corporations. I say we can’t afford not to invest in our people. That’s why I wrote a bill to lower prescription drug costs and why I’m working to expand coverage. And I will always protect Social Security and Medicare. Because in New Mexico, we take care of each other. 

It's notable that Heinrich mentions his efforts to lower drug costs. That was the very topic Senator Sanders and Heinrich's NM critics scorched him over when he refused to support Sanders' bill to allow imports of cheaper Canadian pharmaceuticals.

After the verbal whipping he received on social media and elsewhere, Heinrich introduced a bill that would allow the imports, saying his bill contained needed safeguards. Heinrich has received ample contributions from the pharma industry but less than most of the 12 other senators who joined him in initially opposing the Sanders measure allowing Canadian imports.

Heinrich is opposed by Republican Mick Rich and Libertarian and former NM GOP Governor Gary Johnson. Neither are up on TV yet. National pundits have the seat ranked "Safe Dem" but the first re-elect for any Senator is Nervous Nellie time because that's when they are often ripe to be picked off. In fact, the last time a sitting NM Senator was knocked out was when first term Republican Jack Schmitt lost his bid for a second term way back in 1982.

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