Richardson Bolsters Green Cred, Works to Stop Bush Admin. Wolf Slaughter

Bill Richardson courageously acted this week to save the highly endangered wolves of New Mexico by calling for suspension of a brutal Bush administration policy that puts taxpayer dollars toward hunting down endangered species like the wolf.  

Richardson was spurred to act when a federal wildlife agent, acting under the auspices of the Bush administration policy, on July 5 shot and killed a female wolf pack leader in New Mexico (one of only about 55 mature wolves still alive in the wild in New Mexico).

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the Bush administration sharpshooter pointed his gun at a New Mexico state biologist who objected to his shooting the wolf before he slaughtered the animal.

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Domenici Offers Vote of Confidence in Gonzales

Senator Pete Domenici just doesn't learn. The New Mexico Republican has already seen his approval rating drop like a rock in recent months as a result of the steady stream of negative press emanating from his involvement in the prosecutor purge scandal. Now he has further shown his fundamental misunderstanding for the politics and ethics of this issue by voting today against cloture on a resolution expressing the Senate's lack of confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is as culpable, if not more so, in the scandal. The AP's Laurie Kellman has the details of the vote.

Republicans blocked a Senate no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Monday, rejecting a symbolic Democratic effort to force him from office amid blistering criticism from lawmakers in both parties.

The 53-38 vote to move the resolution to full debate fell seven short of the 60 required. In bringing the matter up, Democrats dared Republicans to vote their true feelings about an attorney general who has alienated even the White House's strongest defenders by bungling the firings of federal prosecutors and claiming not to recall the details.

Republicans did not defend him, but most voted against moving the resolution ahead. [emphasis added]

While Kellman indicates that GOP Senators "did not defend" Gonzales, I would argue that they did exactly that today. They buttressed him, in fact. And Pete Domenici, in whose interest it is for this measure to fail and for this scandal to die down, was among the core of Republican Senators who put their partisanship above the facts or the good of the country to vote their confidence in the Attorney General.

This move could spell particular trouble for Domenici, who, as noted above, has already seen a hemorrhaging of support in New Mexico -- never a good sign for a Senator up for reelection, regardless of how senior or entrenched he is. We'll have to look and see tomorrow if the political press within the state reports today's story as they should (i.e. "Domenici Offers Endorsement of Gonzales" or "Gonzales Still Has Support of Domenici"). But even if the New Mexico media overlook today's vote by Domenici, it still could nevertheless come back to bite the Senator in the heat of his reelection campaign, which, judging by the fact that a former United States Attorney may line up to run against him, could be a lot closer than many believe.

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50-State Blog Roundup, 6/1/2007


So there's this thing called the 50-State Blog Network, and you should check it out -- it's made up of progressive community-based sites like this one, and it's committed to connecting readers to stories not just in our state, but all over the country.  This week the roundup is coming to you from Minnesota, where we have a top-tier Senate race against Norm Coleman, one of Joe Lieberman's best buds, and a third potential Dem candidate considering a run -- read the interview here.

On with the roundup!

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NM-Sen: Domenici Continues Precipitous Drop in the Polls

Ever since he was implicated in the prosecutor purge scandal nearly three months ago, New Mexico's Republican Senator Pete Domenici, who is up for reelection this cycle, has seen his approval rating drop like a rock as his disapproval rating has shot up. As of this month's polling from SurveyUSA just 52 percent of New Mexicans approve of the job he is doing as Senator while 42 percent disapprove -- not terrible numbers in and of themselves but remarkably horrible when the trend lines are taken into account. Take a look:

Three months ago, before most people had heard of David Iglesias or the efforts by the Bush administration and some of their allies on Capitol Hill to try to turn the Justice Department into little more than another arm of the Republican Party, Pete Domenici seemed to be on track to win reelection. Though there were some, myself included, who have long advocated that the Democrats at least take a look at challenging Domenici, particularly after he was seen walking around Senate in pajama bottoms (or "hunting pants", as he calls them), there was an understanding that Domenici would be extremely difficult for the Democrats to defeat in 2008.

But the game has since changed. In the last three months -- the last 90 days -- Domenici has fallen from a 64/27 approval spread to a 52/42 approval spread, or a net drop of 27 points. It's difficult for me to recall any political figure dropping so noticeably and so quickly.

So while Domenici might not have been terribly weak just a few weeks ago, he is very beatable today. Already at least one potentially strong Democratic challenger -- former United States Attorney for New Mexico John Kelly -- has voiced an interest in the race, and others still might be willing to be coaxed into running. This just could turn out to be one of the premier Senate contests of 2008.

By the way... The Senate 2008 Guru is really the place to be watching the race for the Senate in 2008.

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NM-02: Pearce Afraid of DCCC Entrance

[Crossposted at New Mexico FBIHOP]

Heath Haussamen has the goods on a letter Rep. Steve Pearce sent to supporters asking for cash.  Cash to stave off Bill McCamley, Al Kissling and the DCCC.

It is no surprise the ultimate far-right GOP representative would resort to scare tactics even in fundraising for his own campaign.  But the tone of his fear of the DCCC is palpable.  He almost dismissed McCamley and Kissling out of hand, but read what he had to say of the DCCC below the fold.

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