Tuesday, July 09, 2019

US Supremes Gerrymander Ruling Could Impact NM And A McCleskey Sighting In ABQ Council Election  

New Mexico has an all blue congressional delegation but Democrats fret about how to keep it that way. The southern congressional district is their weak link. That's where freshman Dem Rep. Xochitl Torres Small was elected in 2018, but her grasp on the conservative district is fragile. Now comes this US Supreme Court ruling that could embolden the Dems to shore up the Torres Small seat when the 2021 redistricting comes:

The conservative justices ruled that federal courts have no role to play in the dispute over the practice known as partisan gerrymandering. The decision could embolden political line-drawing for partisan gain when state lawmakers undertake the next round of redistricting following the 2020 census.

Job one for Torres Small is to get re-elected next year, a feat no Democrat has pulled off in the south in decades. But if she does the aforementioned Supreme Court ruling could prod the Dem-controlled legislature into drawing friendlier lines for the new southern CD. That would have Torres Small and her Dem brethren breathing easier. It would also be a major step toward ensuring an all blue delegation for at least a decade.


Jay McCleskey, the controversial top political adviser to Gov. Martinez, has flown under the radar since her term ended January 1 but Republicans in ABQ City Council District 4 report there has now been a sighting. According to the latest campaign finance report, McCleskey Media Strategies was signed by GOP Council candidate Brook Bassan to produce 1,000 hands cards and 5,000 door hangers at a cost of $2,922.

That's small potatoes for McCleskey who pushed around millions on behalf of Martinez, but it still gets under some GOP skins who don't forget how he primaried fellow R's when he was with Martinez.

According to the Voter File checked by our Alligators, Bassan was a Dem who recently registered as an R. She is seeking the seat long held by retiring GOP Councilor Brad Winter who has close ties to McCleskey and Martinez. The hiring of McCleskey is seen as confirmation by some R's that Winter, who announced late his decision not to run, is trying to hand off the district to Bassan.

There are four candidates seeking the seat, including Dem Ane Romero, who along with Bassan is seen as a leading contender. If no candidate gets 50 percent at the November election there will be a run-off between the top two.


This is correcting the correction made by reader and columnist Harold Morgan, says reader Matt Biggs:

Joe, if your readers are going to nit-pick, let's make sure they use the right numbers. Mr. Morgan is using per capita household income. According to the census the per capita income per New Mexican is $25,257.

The dispute arose when Dem US Senate candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver used the $25,000 per capita income figure. The "household" per capita figure cited by Morgan is $39,811.

State Senator Joe Cervantes wrote here Tuesday that there was no legislative "analysis" of a bill (SB 324) that would reform the capital outlay process. Reader Vanessa Hawker says there is a fiscal impact report on the measure and it is here.

In our first draft Monday the deletion of a single letter had Dem State Senate candidate Carrie Hamblen of Las Cruces as a "he" instead of a "she" and the link to her facebook did not function for a time. Here it is.

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