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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Game On: Ronchetti Comes With Rapid Response To Dow Negative; Slams Her On Illegal Immigration; "Trust The Act Or Trust The Record?" Plus: Say What? Former GOP House Leader Foley And Spouse Donate $41,000 To MLG 

The Mark Ronchetti camp may have been surprised when Rebecca Dow launched the first negative TV attack of the GOP Guv campaign Tuesday but by Wednesday morning they were up with their own attack ad, tearing into Dow's record as a state representative. 

Like Dow's TV hit, the Ronchetti scorcher seeks to poke holes in their foe's image. 

Dow went after Ronchetti's standing as a longtime TV weatherman, calling him a climate change activist and a "Never Trumper." In turn, Ronchetti takes on Dow's TV image striding on horseback with county sheriffs at the Trump border wall and messaging that she is tough on illegal immigration.

Referring to that ad, Ronchetti's spot asks Republican voters: "Trust The Act? Or Trust The Record." It cites two budget bills Dow voted for at the November 2020 special legislative session, declaring:

Dow voted to give illegal immigrants taxpayer funded stimulus checks not once but twice and was "one of only five Republicans to vote to give jobs licenses to illegal immigrants."

The ad also unveiled a new website--dowrecord.com--to back up those claims and more to come. 

Campaign analyst Greg Payne, one of several following the action for the blog this cycle, called the ad "good" and noted that illegal immigration has long been a "favored theme" of Ronchetti consultant Jay McClesekey. 

But Payne added Dow doesn't need to be in any hurry to answer and can stick to her Never Trumper ad so it can have the impact intended.

OOPS

While Ronchetti's first negative of Campaign '22 may hit the spot, the ad he has up now decrying "Catch and Release" polices had to be pulled down and corrected because it erroneously identified an alleged criminal as an illegal immigrant who was in fact a US citizen. 

Not the end of the world but any mistakes like that going forward are not going to fly under the radar. The stakes are too high. 

The primary isn't until June 7 so these late April attacks are sooner than usual and will continue until the finish line. 

SAY WHAT?

Dan Foley
That's what you might say when you learn that former NM House Minority Whip Dan Foley and his wife Deborah have donated a whopping $41,600 to the campaign coffers of Dem Governor Lujan Grisham.

The money was donated April 1 and came in four separate $10,400 donations and is the maximum allowed under the law for the gubernatorial election cycle. 

So what is going on with ardent Republican Foley, known for his street-fighting approach to politics and who got knocked out of his Roswell House seat in a brutal primary with Dennis Kintigh in 2008?

As usual, the answer is follow the money. 

Foley is a longtime insurance agent and since at least 2013 has been associated with the Poms agency, founded in California by entrepreneur David Poms. Foley is based in ABQ and is the regional sales director for Poms. Here's the New Mexico connection:

Over his career, Poms has been a driving force behind the creation of many public entity pools in the western U.S., including the New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority (NMPSIA), which helps New Mexico’s school system provide unique coverages that are not commercially available in the insurance market. 

And that works this way

NMPSIA, one of those clunky, educational acronyms that actually gets pronounced by those who have to say it a lot ("NIMP-suh")—self-insures schools for property, liability and worker's compensation claims up to $1 million. It also pays $12 million dollars a year in premiums to a secondary insurer for coverage above that threshold. 

David Poms and his agency are currently consultants with the NMPSIA. 

The latest campaign report shows Poms donated $20,800 to MLG in two separate donations of $10,400 coming on Nov. 1 and July 16 of 2021. 

So Foley who served in the House from 1999 to 2009 is now giving a full embrace and hefty checks to the Democratic Governor who is reviled in GOP circles. But that's also the Democratic Governor who appoints three members to the board that supervises NMPSIA and that presides over the distribution of those $12 million in annual premiums.

CANNABIS CONNECTION

There is also a cannabis connection. Foley's wife, Deborah, lists herself as CEO of Canna Conceierge which "specializes in providing services for patients to obtain their medical cannabis card in New Mexico" and is located in ABQ.

THE MEDIA FACTOR

In recent years Foley has served as a regular panelist for the KNME-TV public broadcasting program "In Focus" which discusses current affairs and where he is identified as a former House Minority Whip. That signals to viewers that Foley is there to provide balance and represent the conservative and/or GOP view. But how does he do that in this election year after he and his wife publicly supported MLG's candidacy and policies with $41,600 in contributions, putting him on the list of her biggest contributors? 

Just asking.

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