Sunday, October 31, 2010

Election Eve 2010: Susana's To Lose; What Would She Really Do? Plus: Heinrich-Barela Keeps Them Excited, And: Our Pre-Game Show Today At 5 On 89.1 FM

  • Our Election Eve pre-game show is at 5 p.m. today on KANW-89.1 FM in ABQ/ Santa Fe. Click here to listen. Our guests are GOP State Rep. Larry Larranaga and former GOP Rep. Greg Payne. Our Democratic analysts are former NM Democratic Party Chairman John Wertheim and ABQ State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino. Public radio coverage is made possible by PNM, The Garrity Group, Serrano & Sons and Cordova Public Relations


If you are wondering what a Susana Martinez governorship might look like, take a peek at what has been happening with the Republican mayor of Albuquerque. The answer is not a whole lot. The city treasury is drained so new programs and initiatives are verboten. They are back to the basics downtown and that's where we're headed in Santa Fe. Sweeping programs such as those fostered by Big Bill and made possible by hundreds of millions flowing into state coffers are now passé. In vogue are furloughs and zero-based budgeting.

The "bold change" that Martinez incessantly promises (a phrase we would bet our golf clubs comes from focus group hocus pocus) is actually her personality, not her policies. That became clear the day she pledged no cuts to Medicaid or the public schools. Her gender and her ethnicity have exercised a powerful charm, even as she downplays both. Her middle name of "Not Bill Richardson" sealed the deal.

We are now concluding eight years of bold change by the current Governor and Legislature. For better or worse this change is a Spaceport, a RailRunner, increased teacher salaries, rebate checks to New Mexico households from what was a state surplus and widespread state investment in business start-ups.

If she wins, as the polls indicate she will, Martinez, at least for her first two years, will be in charge of downsizing state government while not dismantling the safety net that is essential to hundreds of thousands citizens in one of the nation's most poverty-ridden states. That sounds more painful than bold, but pain doesn't make a very good campaign slogan.


Veteran campaign observers like Democrat Mike Santullo of talk radio fame marvel at how Martinez has refrained from mentioning the Legislature during her long run even though it will be key to any of her plans.

"That will end Wednesday morning. This is going to be like oil and vinegar--a Republican Governor and a Democratic Legislature." Santullo opined.

KOB-TV's Stuart Dyson also touched upon this when we taped "Eye on New Mexico" with him and Nicole Brady, a program that aired Sunday.


If Martin Heinrich doesn't beat Republican challenger Jon Barela a long line will immediately form to take on Barela in two years. But first things first. The ABQ congressional seat still sways in the wind this Election Eve. We saw this in 2006 when the Wilson-Madrid US House race ended in almost perfect equilibrium with Republican Wilson finally winning by less than 900 votes.

However, the Journal poll showing Heinrich lagging Barela 49 to 46 is causing debate in the political community. Some recall that the Journal had Patricia Madrid ahead of Heather Wilson by three points in their final '06 survey. At five percent, the margin of error is also wide.

Republican Greg Payne thinks Barela is on his way to a narrow win after the Journal poll Sunday showed him at 49 to Heinrich's s 46. But with election day voting traditionally benefiting the Dems, it is premature to write Representative Heinrich's obituary.

Dem analyst Harry Pavlides picks up on that theme and claims Heinrich will take the narrow victory based on carrying the Election Day voting and by keeping Barela in check in the early voting.

FiveThirtyEight Forecasts in the New York Times projects a Heinrich win of 51.2 to 48.8. They put the incumbent's chances at retaining the seat at 65.4 percent. That is down after the Journal poll, but still well ahead of Barela's chances which they put at 34.6. The forecast is based on polling, expert forecasts, past election returns and other indicators.

We expect early in-person voting and absentee ballot totals to be released in Bernalillo County shortly after 7 p.m. My analysts say Barela needs to be ahead in that combined vote, as Heather Wilson was in 2006, if he is to carry the day. Join us tomorrow night on KANW 89.1 FM beginning at 6:30 p.m. as we monitor this one like a dog eyeing a bone


There is much nervousness among R's over Heinrich-Barela as they pound the pavement to boost voter turnout. That's hard to do when so many of your faithful have already cast early ballots. That makes them look to the undecided independent voters and target last-hour appeals to them.

Heinrich will work it around-the-clock today and tomorrow in the heavily Democratic South Valley and his home base of the SE Heights where he started as an ABQ city councilor.

The Barela camp think their man won a late boost from the Saturday night KRQE-TV debate. Several of his supporters told us Barela "looked congressional." The Heinrich camp think Barela's attack on a local bar that received a federal small business loan has backfired. They cite this KOB-TV news report and an ABQ Journal fact check.

Since the Governor's race appears to be gone, both major parties would be wise to focus their last-minute efforts on this juicy congressional prize. If Barela loses, the seat may be gone for years and years. Heinrich will have solidified himself as the ABQ congressman. But if Barela wins, the R's will be in great shape with a GOP Governor presiding over the all-important redistricting in 2011. A Barela win would also set up a Republican frenzy to take out Senator Jeff Bingaman in 2012.

Of the state's three new congressmen elected in 2008, Heinrich has been most effective in establishing a political identity, partly because he is in the ABQ media market. But two years is not a long time and this race starkly shows why it is during his first-term that a congressman is at his most vulnerable. Add to that a no-end-in-sight recession and you've got double-trouble.


The Journal did not poll the northern congressional seat held by Dem US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan. That omission is notable because Republicans are on the move elsewhere and Lujan's foe, Tom Mullins, is no exception. Lujan is expected to win in the heavy Dem district, but several readers here are wondering where the poll is:

Lujan is probably going to win, but he's considered at least somewhat vulnerable by observers up here. And the Journal doesn't even bother to poll the race? Why would they do that, if not to convey to Democratic Nortenos the impression that the race is a mortal lock for Lujan, hoping thereby to depress the turnout.

Mullins will, most likely, still lose but the massive Norteno vote that Denish needs won't materialize either. I'm curious, Joe. Did the Journal poll NM-3 when Richardson was walloping his opponents back in the day, or when Udall was kicking butt up here? If so, why not now?

We don't know about a Norteno conspiracy, but the paper did endorse Mullins, foregoing their usual endorsement of the Dem candidate in that district. Not polling the 3rd CD was an oversight the paper probably regrets.

Manuel Lujan
Martinez's ability to cherry pick votes in Hispanic northern precincts and elsewhere isn't a first for a Republican. Manuel Lujan did it for 20 years as an ABQ congressman. He held the seat from '69 to '89. When Lujan started out the district consisted of the entire north. His Hispanic roots there had many Dems crossing over to him. When he got to Washington, he emphasized constituent services, not his conservative votes. After 1980, when the district shrank to only the ABQ area he kept the same game plan and routinely won re-election with 60 percent of the vote.


Denish and the Dems will take it to the wire, hoping against hope:

President Barack Obama will join Diane Denish and Senator Jeff Bingaman for a tele-town hall with New Mexico voters on Monday evening at 6 p.m.

The tele-town hall will target more than 100,000 Democrats, who will be called and given an opportunity to join and hear from the President.

And from Di's campaign to her supporters:

Don't let the Albuquerque Journal and the pundits scare you this Halloween. Diane and Brian are going to win this race – but they’ll need your tireless help to do it.

And from the state Dem Party:

Consider this: Going into the weekend, 8,000 more Democrats than Republicans cast early and absentee votes...Combine this with the fact that our latest (Governor) poll had this race tied (45-46), and we know this will be a very competitive race. Your vote is truly going to make a difference....

Meantime, Martinez had the luxury of campaigning in Espanola Sunday as she continued to try to raid the Dems base. She will close out her campaign today in Grants and Deming before heading to Las Cruces tonight. She did not come to the ABQ metro for her final push, again signifying that rural New Mexico is the cornerstone of her effort. Denish spent her Sunday hunting for votes in ABQ and Belen.

Here's the AP end of campaign wrap.


The WaPo US House analyst thinks this is the reason Harry Teague is about to lose his House seat, but we don't think so:

New Mexico's 2nd district (D): Republicans always said Rep. Harry Teague's (D) vote for cap and trade doomed his reelection chances. They were right.

Cap and trade has been mentioned sparingly in the campaign. It appears the real back-breaker for Teague--especially among female voters who the Journal poll says now favor Pearce--were those stories that the Politico broke concerning Teague's oil business.

One very damaging article revealed how Teague's company dropped health insurance for his employees even as he was taking money out of the business. Combine that with dissatisfaction over Harry's support for a liberal Dem agenda in a conservative district, including his cap and trade vote, and you have the recipe for disaster.

Pearce's TV ads on Teague's personal business left the freshman lawmaker tongue tied and appearing incompetent. The ads knocked him down and he has had trouble getting back up.


But Teague says he can still take the prize:

We’ve known all along this was going to be a close race. Just 10 days ago, Congressman Pearce’s own poll had him 9 points ahead, but with 2 days to go, Harry has nearly erased that gap and is moving in the right direction. And as early voting came to a close on Saturday, the number of voters turning out in support of Harry Teague was on the rise..


Information about Susana Martinez's background has trickled out over these many months of campaigning and It continues to do so even at this late hour. From the El Paso Times:

Chonita Aguirre called her granddaughter Susana Martinez "la abogadita," the little lawyer. Even as a girl, Martinez, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New Mexico, had a gift for talking, a knack for enticing cousins and other children to do things her way, a leadership trait her abuelita and others quickly recognized.

"She was muy bossy, always ordering the other kids around," said Jake Martinez Jr., Susana's older brother and the owner of an East El Paso uniform store.


The Farmington Daily Times says it has had enough of the oil and gas bear market that has ravaged the Four Corners. They endorse Martinez for Guv because of her stance on the Pit Rule which aims to have energy companies clean up their drilling sites:

Pit rules involve environmental control efforts at drill sites, but oil and gas industry leaders in San Juan County long have argued that natural gas production in this area does not create the same problems as other production fields might experience, and they have criticized pit rules as being a faulty "one size fits all" approach that has sent business and jobs elsewhere.

"I would put a moratorium on that very quickly," Martinez promised. "It was only done to make a few friends rich," she charged. "I don't feel it has proven scientifically to be beneficial or effective.

We've gone round and round on this with our many readers in oil and gas country. We don't see the direct link between the jobs and the rule. What we do see is a continued bear market in natural gas prices causing the havoc. Still, if people are hurting this bad, we're willing to listen some more.


From the email bag:

Hi Joe: Susana's been catching some heat from you and others for skipping out on newspaper-endorsement interviews with two weekly alternative newspapers--The Santa Fe Reporter and The Weekly Alibi in Albuquerque. Yet no reporter mentions how Denish has consistently refused invitations to be interviewed on 770 KKOB AM, specifically Bob Clark's morning show.

Okay, we've now mentioned it. The talk station strongly backs GOP candidates so Denish's team backed away.

By the way we'll be on Bob Clark's Thursday morning broadcast at 9 to analyze Tuesday's election results.

Another media note: Martinez also refused to interview with Lorene Mills of public TV's "Report From Santa Fe" and also turned down an appearance on KNME-TV's "In Focus."

However, Susana will appear regularly on the secret Webcam that Big Bill is planting in the Guv's office before he leaves. Email him for the address.

Se ya' on 89.1 FM today at 5...

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Email your news and comments. Interested in advertising here? Drop us a line.

Not for reproduction without permission of the author

Saturday, October 30, 2010

GOP Wave Splashes ABQ: Barela Pulls Ahead of Heinrich; Journal Poll Has Martinez Set For Big Win; Pearce Over Teague By 3; Chandler Closes On King

Jon Barela
The national wave of voter discontent is finally splashing into Albuquerque. The latest ABQ Journal poll has Republican Jon Barela pulling ahead of Dem US Rep. Martin Heinrich--49-46 with 5 percent undecided. The survey was a dramatic shift from a late September Journal survey that had Heinrich leading attorney Barela by seven points--48-41. The poll renewed GOP hopes that the ABQ congressional district, taken from the R's in 2008 after they had it for 40 years, could be reversed. However, the margin in error in the poll taken among 402 voters Wednesday and Thursday is five percent. The race could still go either way.

We could be in for a cliff-hanger Tuesday night or a comfortable Barela win if the momentum stays with him in the final hours. The Journal did not release the crosstabs on how the Heinrich-Barela race was going among those who have already voted.

"The race is too close to call," said veteran GOP lobbyist Bruce Donisthorpe who has also conducted New Mexico polling the last several cycles. "It's a turnout game now and that's why both parties have been so focused on that in recent days."

We've had the race lean Dem, but it now moves to toss-up. The Dems are going to have to fire up their base for Tuesday to pull it out. The R's and angry independents are already on fire and voting.

In 2006, then-GOP US Rep. Heather Wilson escaped defeat by less than 900 votes. Democrat Patrica Madrid nationalized that contest over the war in Iraq. Now comes Barela and his allies nationalizing this contest over federal spending and health care policy. In recent days, Barela has accused Heinrich of supporting stimulus funds for expansion of a local bar, a charge that Heinrich has said has no foundation. The ad seemed aimed at critical independent voters who are now trending toward Barela.

For his part, Heinrich earlier came with a powerful ad featuring a senior citizen exclaiming that she doesn't trust Barela on Social Security and fears he would vote to privatize the system. Barela denied the charge and found support in an endorsement from the ABQ Journal. Heinrich, however, leads among voters 65 and older--those who receive Social Security.

Heinrich is scoring 60 percent among Hispanics compared to Barela's 34 percent. A Democrat needs to do better.

The 2010 race appears to have been nationalized since the last Journal poll by the immense money from third party groups. Such groups supporting Barela have pumped in well over $2 million in TV and other media. Dem outside groups have backed Heinrich with much less--some $645,000, according to a recent Washington Post report.

Heinrich has worked hard to carved out a local record to immunize himself against attack on unpopular national Dem policies but is appears his campaign headquarters is getting sprayed by the anti-Obama, anti-Washington Tsunami that is taking Dems down coast-to-coast.

Meanwhile, down south Democrats were heartened by a better than expected performance by US Rep, Harry Teague. Republican Steve Pearce led, but only by three points.--48 to 45. However, pollster Brian Sanderoff said among those who have cast early or absentee ballots Pearce has a huge lead--60 to 36 percent. Teague needs a big Democratic turnout on the actual Election Day Tuesday if he is to retain the seat. This contest is lean R.


The Governor's race remains dead money, with Republican Susana Martinez sporting a ten point lead--52 to 42 over Dem Diane Denish. In the late September Journal poll, the Dona Ana County District Attorney held a six point lead--47 to 41.

Denish has been sitting in the same position for months. Martinez can start forming her transition team. This cake is baked. The poll of 1,003 has a margin of error of only three percent. Martinez was leading in all geographic regions, except in the north-central patch. There's really not much left to say.

But there is plenty more for voters to say about the race for attorney general. What was a 20 point lead for incumbent Dem Gary King a month ago has now shrunk to 10 points over hard-charging Republican and Clovis area District Attorney Matt Chandler. King is over the magic 50 mark.

His lead now is 51 to 41, but most of the undecided can be expected to go to the challenger. Chandler's attacks on King's support of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants has been a key part of his campaign to bring down the AG.

This is going to be another exciting race to watch when we take to the KANW 89.1 FM airwaves Tuesday night at 6:30.

Sanderoff and the Journal did not poll the heavily Democratic northern congressional district, but his findings elsewhere have to be worrying the camp of incumbent Dem US Rep Ben Ray Lujan. He is still the favorite to beat Republican Tom Mullins, but in this atmosphere all incumbents are on the defensive.

As for other down-ballot races, the Journal polled only attorney general. But the Republican strength we are seeing will be a definite threat to weakened Secretary of State Mary Herrera. Dianna Duran is the GOP nominee for the job and may be a step closer to taking it as independent voters are trending Republican. She would be the first GOP SOS elected since 1928.

Not for reproduction without permission of the authorr

It's My Birthday

Today I will relax and have fun w/ my little one. Tomorrow there is a All Free (parking, rollercoasters, games, admission) Carnival at the neighborhood church. I'll also be taking her out for the 1st time for Halloween.  We celebrate Harvest Weeks.  She picked out a princess outfit. It'll be fun trick or treating at the mall.  Have a safe and happy weekend.

Happy Harvest Season


Friday, October 29, 2010

Natural Envy Spotlights





blkgirlsrock:Sandria Washington

Nail Art

Hidden Danger: Formaldehyde in Hair Products

Re-posted from Nappturality which was reposted from another site

Recently I learned that some preservatives in beauty products turn into formaldehyde gas. I’m no scientist but I know formaldehyde gas can’t be good.
To clarify some things, I spoke with Leroy Courteaux, of Vida of New Orleans. Courteaux is a biochemist research developer, and pioneered the use of enzymes in the beauty industry. He is a manufacturer and private consultant to many major cosmetic companies. Courteaux has challenged many manufacturing companies about their products and claims. He has proven to the industry that hair cannot be reconstructed. Courteaux shows his concern for people’s health through his research. Following are his answers to my formaldehyde-related questions.
Q: Are over-the-counter and professional chemicals in the beauty industry regulated?
A: No FDA approval is needed to put anything in a product.
Companies are required by law to regulate themselves. If they find a defect or problem with their product, they are supposed to notify the public and change or alter the chemical. Most manufacturers do not do that.
The FDA did finally provide some regulation after severe problems arose with formaldehyde in fingernail polish. There were a lot of problems with people’s nails. So because of its side effects, the FDA banned formaldehyde from being used in cosmetics in the United States.
Q: Is there a relatively safe amount of formaldehyde that could be used?
A: You should not use more than .02 percent of formaldehyde in any cosmetic product.
Q: Is this regulated or monitored?
No, it is not! Chemical companies and beauty manufacturers are continuing to use formaldehyde under different names. The five most common terms to watch for are: diazolidinyl urea; imidazolidinyl urea; quarterinium-15; DMDM hydantoin; 2-bromo; and 2-nitropropane 1.
When heat is applied, these chemicals are altered and release formaldehyde into the air as gas.
Q: Don’t manufacturers tell you their products are safe?

Yes. But remember that when you alter or change chemicals, they actually become something else. When they change, they release formaldehyde into the air.
Q: What about clothes, draperies, carpets, upholstery or Formica?
A: These are all safe as long as they aren’t exposed to heat. Formaldehyde is probably one of the most dangerous chemicals that we deal with in the beauty industry, and most people are totally unaware of it.
After speaking with a friend of mine who is a mortician, I asked him how he protects himself when he uses formaldehyde. He uses chemical aprons that go all the way to the floor, so chemicals cannot penetrate them. Also, he wears a drape that protects his arms and hands, and goggles and a facemask. He uses a gas mask because paper masks don’t make a difference.
If a client or hairdresser breathes formaldehyde gas through a paper mask, they will absorb it into their body.
Q: What are some of the side effects of formaldehyde gas?

A: Asthma, cancer, bronchitis, cellular mutation, killing of human cells, stopping new cell development. Formaldehyde will kill anything it comes in contact with.
Q: What about night creams?
A: Formaldehyde is used in a lot of night creams in different forms. One of the more prevalent forms of formaldehyde is quarternarium-15. It is listed as a preservative in cosmetics and hair products and in some conditioners, moisturizers and reconstructors, but it is in fact a chemical that will release formaldehyde when heat is applied.
Q: Anytime you blow-dry hair or use the heat of a flat iron, gases are released?
A: Yes. Some people are more sensitive than others to the trace amounts of formaldehyde released. But over time there can be health issues, eye and skin irritation, etc.

This article was written by Lori Dawn,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Heinrich & Barela Tangle With Finish Line Now Only Hours Away, Plus: Campaign Trail News From Across The State As Voters Prepare Their 2010 Verdict

Heinrich vs. Barela
We have proposition for you. Can we have Martin Heinrich and Jon Barela run for Governor Tuesday and Diane Denish and Susana Martinez go for the ABQ congressional seat?

That's the take away we had from watching the debate between Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich and his GOP challenger Jon Barela. Here we had two guys who had actually mastered their subjects, had some firm ideas on what they believed and when they attacked their foe they also told you what they would do differently. Full debate video is
here. KRQE-TV will host the final Heinrich-Barela debate at 7 p.m. Saturday

These two might even give us a plan to balance the state budget, a far cry from what Di and Susana are willing to do.

Barela appeared more on his game than Heinrich who kept adjusting his microphone and stumbled around a bit in answering questions during the hour long face-off aired live on KOB-TV. Where was this aggressive and persuasive Barela back on Labor Day? Would he be in command of this race if that fella had shown up back then?

And where was Martin Heinrich's tie? Was the tieless look a bid for the casual Dem voter since so many R's have already voted early? Or did Martin spill red chile on his neck wear at dinner and had to punt?

Barela was strongest on the immense Washington spending. Heinrich was at his best when connecting with blue-collar voters. (Hey, maybe that's why no tie?)


R's think Jon Barela is breathing down the neck of Dem US Rep. Martin Heinrich, but they have to keep the heat on. They've come with a heavy attack hit late in the game here, accusing Heinrich of making "false smears." The ad shows in small boxes three of Heinrich's commercials, including that powerful one from 69 year old Liz who says she doesn't trust Barela when it comes to Social Security. That ad asserts that Barela supports privatization of Social Security. In his latest ad, Barela quotes the ABQ Journal as saying Heinrich's commercials are "baloney." He repeatedly quoted that phrase at Thursday night's KOB-TV debate.

However, as we've previously pointed out the Journal asked Barela about his privatization stance when the Heinrich ad first aired. Barela told the paper that he was not for privatization, but then added: "Not at this point."

The newspaper, in an opinion on their editorial pages endorsing Barela's candidacy, called the notion that Barela would privatize Social Security "baloney." The editorial said:

Campaign attacks insinuating he favors privatizing Social Security and that he lobbied for the Chinese to send jobs offshore are baloney. There is zero evidence to support the first charge.

During the KOB debate Heinrich referred to Barela's "not at this point" quote and added that he is "taking off the table" any privatization now or in the future. Barela repeated that he believes Heinrich was lying about his Social Security position. He did not reference his "not at this point" quote from the Journal. Heinrich's ad was wrong to imply that Barela has supported privatization, but he did leave the door open for such a move in the future and that lent credence to the charge.

Believe us. Seniors who are the heaviest voting group in this mid-term election are paying close attention to every word said about this topic.

On another point that has dominated the TV ad wars, both Barela and Heinrich are over-the-top when they go after one another on their lobbying records. Neither were big-time players and it seems to be an argument over semantics, not character.


Jon is also flooding mailboxes with a piece that says: "Martin Heinrich walked into a bar....and left behind a million dollars." Barela's piece says Heinrich voted for a bill that gave O'Niell's Pub on East Central Avenue $1 million in stimulus money, but Heinrich's camp retorts:

Heinrich nor his office have had any role in any Small Business Administration loan obtained by O'Niell's Irish Pub. O'Niell's is a local, small business that applied and qualified for an SBA loan--just like any other business in Albuquerque could do...

This is the kind of piece that sometimes comes across to voters as a stretch by a candidate in the final hours. Barela says his internal polls show him two points ahead, but he's not acting like it. We maintain our "lean Dem" rating on this contest, despite Barela's impressive late-hours debate charge. Let's see if we are very far off or on the money when the Journal poll hits the driveways Sunday morning.


Steve Pearce is one tough cookie and it's hard to take in a half-hour of him delivering his dour diagnosis of the state of America. But Pearce scored thirty minutes all to himself Thursday night from KOB-TV. The reason? His Dem opponent for the southern congressional seat, Rep. Harry Teague, did not want to do the debate. The station then offered Steve the free time. You can see it here.

Anchor Nicole Brady ably tossed questions at the very conservative Pearce who grabbed at them like a hungry lion. This was appropriate pre-Halloween fodder for the liberals watching this exhibit of ultra-conservatism in their living room dens in the precincts of ABQ's Nob Hill and the North Valley.

But Pearce has his pulse on the tea party prone district he hopes to again represent. He has run a relentless campaign against Teague and most of his TV ads have been at least somewhat connected with reality, unlike what we have seen in the race for Governor, for example.

Pearce should have no problem bringing this one home and if Martinez wins the Governorship, he will be a moderating influence on those R's who worship at her altar but fear the formidable Pearce.


Former US Marshall Gordon Eden was heard on a robocall for GOP Guv nominee Susana Martinez this week, damning Diane Denish's record on border security. Eden was head of the motor vehicle department under the last GOP Guv, Gary Johnson. Will he be back if Martinez wins? His tenure as Marshall ended when Obama appointed Dem Conrad Candelaria to fill the post so he is available.

Not many names have circulated as possibles in a Martinez administration. They don't want to encourage over-confidence, but the resumes are starting to circulate.


One of the Alligators e-mailed us from the Martinez lunch at the ABQ Country Club this week that featured Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and joked that the Martinez campaign would like to thank us for helping them raise money. Say what? "You mentioned the Pawlenty lunch on your blog that morning and it really helped pack the house, including some Democrats." They ribbed.

Well, the wind-sniffers are out in full force now. They have only days to ingratiate themselves if Martinez wins. As for your blog indirectly raising money for Martinez, we're donating any commissions to a fund for heartburn pills for State Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez. If Susana gets in, he's going to need the help.


Diane Denish says in one of her final TV ads that she will never stop fighting for the "state that we love." But the odds are she will be fighting for it in retirement.

She continues to score Susana for "favoring out-of-state corporations" that she says will mean cuts to education and even public safety.

It's all turnout now. Di has to somehow move the needle among the 2008 Obama voters. If she can somehow turn enough of them on in the final hours, we could get a midnight surprise Election Night.

She has taken a more populist tone in the final days--as advised to do so by the Senior Alligators several weeks ago. She's even cut a pro-choice radio ad.


For Denish the best possible weather for Election Day is snow in the SE--like smack in the middle of Chaves and Lincoln counties. We had a big snowstorm there in 2000 that kept many conservative R's home and out of the voting booths. It made possible Dem Al Gore's less than 1,000 vote victory over Bush.

For Martinez, the best weather is snow smack in the middle of the Hispanic Dem North. Even though she is pulling votes there, it remains her weakest region. Of course, some 60 percent or so of the vote is now cast before the actual Election Day, making the weather much less of a factor than in days of yore.


We're far from alone in our take that this has been a downer of a Guv campaign. The state is in a big financial mess, but the campaigns were trivial at best and amoral at worst. The Rio Grande Sun editors in Espanola held their noses and endorsed Denish, but not before condemning the campaign to the ash heap of history:

Regardless of who you would like to be the next governor, the staunchest of either party must agree, both Diane Denish and Susana Martinez should be ashamed of themselves. Neither has conducted themselves in a professional manner, let alone a civilized one or the way we'd like our governor to behave. We've learned little about either's plans, goals or ideas. The focus has been on who's from Texas, who flew the state jet or gave a bonus to whom and how we can cut a couple of jobs and presto, the budget is balanced...


Mary Herrera
There are already some big winners in Campaign 2010--the media consultants. And one of the biggest is Lincoln Strategy Group which has the media consulting gig for Susana Martinez, GOP attorney general candidate Matt Chandler and now we learn also for GOP Secretary of State candidate Dianna Duran.

The latest state money report shows that Lincoln handled $100,000 of the $125,000 media buy made by Duran in October. She is trying to oust Dem incumbent SOS Mary Herrera. Lincoln is led in part by longtime GOP consultant Jay McCleskey. If Martinez beings home the bacon Tuesday night, Lincoln will have bragging rights and entree to even more contracts with candidates and the NM GOP.

Another highlight of the Duran report is a $50 contribution the Republican state senator received from one Shirley-Hooper-Garcia. Old timers will recall that she is a former Dem Secretary of State who won under the name Shirley Hooper. She's been with Duran since early in the year. Shirley served as secretary of state from '83 to '87. Dem Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinoza is also in Duran's corner. She has said she may seek the office some day. Dem Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse-Oliver, also mentioned as a possible SOS candidate in the future, has stayed out of the fray.

Dianna Duran
Duran raised $71,000 in the last three weeks and Herrera came up with $41,000. Half of Herrera's--$20,000--came in a single donation from the Dem assocation for secretaries of state. She also received $5,000 from Big Bill friend and Downs at ABQ heavy Paul Blanchard. Duran raked in $25,000 from the NM GOP.

The SOS race is rated a toss-up around here.


The AP's Barry Massey is on the money beat and reports Martinez out raised and out spent Denish in the final weeks. He also points out that Attorney General Gary King loaned himself $202,000 as he tangled with Republican challenger Matt Chandler.


What's this? Voter fraud in the party that has made such a big issue of it? GOP Chairman Harvey Yates had to grab his heart pills when he read this AP dispatch:

Police are investigating voter registration cards that were filled out at a Republican booth at an enchilada festival or Republican party headquarters in Las Cruces and were apparently changed, officials said Thursday. It appeared someone in the Republican organization tampered with the forms, changing seven cards filled out with "no party" affiliations to Republican, Dona Ana County Republican party chairman Mark Van Dyke said.

Changing voter cards at an enchilada festival? Okay, Mr. US Attorney. Follow the chile stains and find the fraud!


An Election Night Party that is scheduled to end at 10 p.m.? Well, state Dems may or may not have a reason to stay up. The details:

Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second Street NW, Albuquerque, Tuesday, November 2, from 7:00-10:00 P.M. Special guests: Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, Brian Colón, Rep. Martin Heinrich and all your Democratic Elected officials


The final jobless report before Tuesday's balloting doesn't help the Dems much:

New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in September 2010, down from 8.3 percent in August but up from 7.8 percent a year ago. The national unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent. The rate of over-the-year job growth, comparing September 2010 with September 2009, was negative 0.3 percent, representing a loss of 2,400 jobs...The Albuquerque area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in September, unchanged from its August level. The rate was 7.9 percent in September 2009.

A human face is put on the Santa Fe housing crash.


We'll keep you posted on the late-breaking campaign news with a Sunday blog on the final ABQ Journal poll. Also, Sunday at 10 a.m. we'll appear on KOB-TV's "Eye on New Mexico" with Nicole Brady and Stuart Dyson to analyze the campaigns. Monday at 5 p.m. we'll have our traditional pre-game show at KANW 89.1 FM. My analysts for the hour long broadcast are Republicans Greg Payne and State Rep. Larry Larranaga. On the Dem side, John Wertheim and State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino will hold forth.

Tuesday night--Election Night--we return to the KANW airwaves (and Web site) to deliver the returns and expert analysis. We kick if off at 6:30 p.m. and go until all the votes are in.

Our KANW coverage is made possible by PNM, Cordova Public Relations, Serrano and Sons, Constructors and The Garrity Group--Public Relations.

We look forward to being with you on all these venues and hope you can make us part of your schedule as we track together the final chapter of Campaign 2010.

This is the home of New Mexico politics. From Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan reporting.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scary Mary? Hot SOS Race In Mail, Plus: Down-Ballot Races & History, Also: Susana's Transparency Problem, A Favorite Headline & Our Bottom Lines

It's not only those trick or treaters getting scary looking right around now, the stuff in voters' mailboxes in the final hours of Campaign 2010 can be hair-raising, or at least those producing it hope it is.

Posted here is an example of a mail piece (Secretary of State candidate Dianna Duran who is battling to unseat incumbent Dem SOS Mary Herrera says it is not from her). It notes that Herrera is second in line to succeed the Governor, meaning when the Guv and lieutenant governor are out of town or otherwise not available, Herrera is acting Guv. It's happened a couple of times in the last four years and nothing much happened, but since then Herrera has been mired in ethics accusations from former staff members. We don't know if this piece that landed in our e-mail box has actually been sent, but it is representative of the hit mail circulating out there.

(As if Mary needed any more problems, a computer glitch delayed early voting in some parts of the state this week).


Republicans think we are about to see history made and have our first Republican secretary of state elected since 1928. It would be a biggie for them.

The secretary of state's office is an important cog in the once every decade redistricting of the state's legislative and congressional seats. With a Republican in charge and a Democratic legislature, that could get interesting.

With no independent polling, the SOS race is providing plenty of suspense for politics watchers. It will be in our sights when we take to the radio airwaves next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to give you all the latest results on KANW 89.1 FM. And don't forget our pre-game show Monday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.


The mind wanders in the closing hours of a major campaign, assessing it and comparing it with others that have passed your way through the decades. Perhaps this one is most similar to a year that was before our time.

In 1966, Republican Dave Cargo, like Susana Martinez today, campaigned on a reform and anti-corruption platform. That year Cargo also brought in with him a Republican state treasurer and state auditor--The first time that had happened since the 1928 election and before the advent of Roosevelt's New Deal in 1932 that turned the state Blue for good.

In 1986, we recall how a snowstorm hit the north, dampening Dem turnout and making possible the election of Republican Hal Stratton as attorney general, also the first R to take that post since 1928. We also got our first Republican land commissioner since 1928 that year. Republican Garrey Carruthers took the Governor's office in '86 after four years of Dem Guv Toney Anaya who ended his term extremely unpopular.

In 1994, Republican Gary Johnson won the governorship, but did not bring in with him any of the down ballot races.

So in the elections of '66 and '86 reform played a prominent role and we had R success at the top and down the ballot. Will history repeat in the reform election of 2010? If it does, the likeliest Dem victim is Secretary of State Herrera. But the rest of the down-ballot Dems will be holding their breath until the results settle the issue Election Night.

Janice Arnold-Jones
She would not be around to enjoy it, but outgoing ABQ GOP State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones claims Republicans have a shot at picking up as many as 10 state House seats next Tuesday. Janice, who was defeated for the GOP Guv nod by Susana Martinez and now hosts a daily talk show on ABQ's KIVA-AM, says even usually safe Dem incumbents like Danice Picraux are feeling voter heat this cycle.

In Janice's perfect political world we would think incumbent Dem reps like Jeff Steinborn in Las Cruces and Nathan Cote in the SE would be ousted. She has a different list. In any event, a pick up of ten seats would mean the House--currently with 45 D's and 25 R's--would be evenly split between the two parties--35 to 35. Has that ever happened before? If it did, there would probably be co-chairs of the major committees and maybe even co-speakers of the House. Talk about wild.

Arnold-Jones is the most optimistic R prognosticator we've heard from, but even Dems expect to lose three or four House seats when all the counting is done.


We've heard the Guv candidates talk about the economy and jobs but not much on the social issues of abortion, domestic partnerships and medical marijuana.
Here's the deal.


The tsunami of cash coming into the state's two competitive congressional races is overwhelming. The WaPo has been tracking it and reports in the ABQ Heinrich-Barela battle:

Interest groups and political parties have reported spending $2,613,153 on independent campaigning in New Mexico's 1st congressional district this year, with $1,967,238 benefiting Republicans and $645,915 benefiting Democrats.

And in the southern US House contest featuring Republican Pearce and Dem Teague, the paper Democrats: informs:

Interest groups and political parties have reported spending $2,294,524 on independent campaigning in New Mexico's 2nd congressional district this year, with $877,992 benefiting Republicans and $1,416,532 benefiting Democrats.


In a closing spot for his re-election, Dem US Rep. Heinrich takes note of the deluge of TV ads and how they irritate viewers, saying: "By now, we’ve all had enough of these commercials..."

If it's not a cliffhanger, we should be able to call the ABQ congressional race shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Bernalillo County Clerk should release the early vote totals shortly after 7. The county makes up about 90 percent of the 1st congressional district. Barela needs to make his move right away with that early vote. The ballots cast on the actual Election Day will favor the Democrats.

The Heinrich-Barela goes to the tube tonight. The dueling duo will meet in debate at 7 p.m. on KOB-TV.

The station will also do a thirty minute question and answer session with GOP southern congressional candidate Steve Pearce at 8 p.m. Dem US Rep. Harry Teague declined the debate invitation. Hey, we'll call this "Pearce's Place." R's will think it's about serious public policy and the Dems will think it's a sitcom.


One of the political consultants was upset with this piece sent out by ABQ Dem State Rep. Bill O'Neill who is getting a stiff challenge from Republican attorney Justin Horwitz. He wrote:

Is it just me or do I sense an anti-Semitic undertone (see the cartoon)? I found it very curious.

We hope not. The exaggeration of the nose on the cartoon character is what the consultant is getting at. This is dicey stuff and with an anything goes mentality when it comes to late mailers, we're sure there's other eyebrow raising stuff out there. When we go to the mailbox these days and blindly stick our hand in, we feel like we are about to put our fingers in a powerful mousetrap. How about you?


State Auditor Hector Balderas took no chances in this unpredictable election year. He has been up with a light TV buy for a couple of weeks and is going to finish it off with a fresh ad highlighting his newspaper endorsements. GOP auditor candidate Errol Chavez was stricken with a brain tumor this month and unable to campaign personally. He did no TV.

Other than a news article about his legal jousting with fellow Dem and Attorney General Gary King, Balderas has run under the radar--the way a lot of other Dem candidates wished they had it this cycle.

And, yes. We have noticed the pounding GOP attorney general candidate Matt Chandler is giving incumbent Dem AG Gary King over his support of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. That is going to chip into that big 20 point lead Gary had in the last Journal poll, but he is up with a response ad and that should keep the bleeding in check.


Why is Susana Martinez refusing to do endorsment interviews with the alternative newspapers the Santa Fe Reporter and ABQ's Alibi? Sure, the papers are of a liberal bent and have given their nods to Diane Denish. But Susana refused to even show up and do the interviews.

If Martinez is elected, is press access going to be subjected to an ideological test? Or is this a case of Martinez and her handlers being afraid that she would make a big mistake in the interviews and give Denish an opening?

Whatever the case, it is disappointing. Martinez has run almost exclusively on a platform of anti-corruption and transparency. Her GOP Guv nominee predecessors have entered the "liberal den." They do it because they want to get votes, but also because it places them in front of New Mexico's young people. The papers are mainly read by young adults. Isn't this election really about building a better state for them?

If Martinez is afraid, that makes you wonder about her competency to lead a state of two million. If she is refusing interviews because of her perception of a news outlet's ideology, that is equally worrisome for a chief executive who is elected to serve and communicate with all the people, not just those who agree with her.

Susana, some free advice from an old PR flack--you are being ill-served by this advice. You can try to make it up if you win, but as the old saying goes, "We heard you the first time."

And a memo to the boys and girls at the ABQ Journal: Are you watching this? Are you next?


This came across our desk last night and it's one of our favorite news release headlines of the long campaign:

Diane Denish to Campaign on the Great Navajo Nation on Thursday

They don't actually call it "Great." but it is indeed a great, sprawling historic land in our midst. The diversity of New Mexico is always in front of our noses, but sometimes you see something that reminds you of just how special a place we have here.

We received a call from one of the national news outlets asking for some analysis of the Navajo presidential contest between Ben Shelly and NM Dem State Senator Lynda Lovejoy which will take place next Tuesday along with our state election. We confessed that that one is above our pay grade and referred them elsewhere. Wonder if anyone has written a book on Rez elections?


Who will save our neighbor to the south?

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Gunmen opened fire on a car wash in western Mexico on Wednesday, killing at least 13 people, an official said. It was the third massacre in Mexico in less than a week. The gunmen drove up to the car wash in the city of Tepic and opened fire without provocation, said the official with the attorney general's office of Nayarit state, where the city is located.Aa


Jay Leno: "This Sunday, Halloween, the scariest day of the year, unless you're a Democrat. Then, that would be next Tuesday."

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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