New Mexico: Week In Review (March 1 Edition)
by fbihop, Sat Mar 01, 2008 at 08:18:09 AM EST
Not quite as big a news roundup as last week. The start of the week was a bit slow, but the pace picked up near the end of the week. Nothing as big as last week which featured the end of operations at the Albuquerque Tribune (still weird to walk by a newspaper machine at 3:00 in the afternoon and see a Journal staring out at you), but still some news happened.
There were two Presidential match-up polls released this week for the state of New Mexico, and both showed Senator Barack Obama did better than Senator Hillary Clinton against Senator John McCain. But both polls painted drastically different general election pictures.
The SurveyUSA poll showed Barack Obama handily beating McCain; Obama leads by fifteen percentage points in that particular poll. The poll shows Clinton leading by five points. In the Rasmussen poll Obama is tied with McCain in New Mexico. McCain beats Clinton by twelve points in that poll. What does it mean?
That it's probably too far out to accurately gauge anything. But, hey, as long as people are paying for polls, I'll tell you what the results are.
Meanwhile Richardson said he might endorse by the end of the week. It's the end of the week now, and no endorsement is even rumored.
And Joe Monahan still isn't all that popular with the bloggers right now. Though former Senate candidate Jim Hannan said in a mass e-mail of support for Monahan that he was "mystified by the recent attacks on your column", he should read the Clearly New Mexico post, which outlines the criticisms quite clearly. Better than I could do myself, I have to say.
Lots and lots of news in the Senate race.
Starting off the week, Stu Rothenberg ranked the race as "Leans Democratic Takeover", which bodes well for Tom Udall; he's the only Democrat in the race. Two Republicans, Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, are duking it out for the Republican nod. Later in the week The Fix blog from the Washington Post said the race was second most likely to flip parties. Again, good for Udall. The February Cook Political Report rankings (pdf), however, but the race in the "toss-up" category, along with Alaska (!), Colorado and New Hampshire.
Then some bizarre happenings began in the Republican primary. It started with a fight about -- of all things -- the role of the United States' ally England. Pearce said they exported more terrorists than the Middle East. Wilson jumped on him for that.
Pearce followed that up by annoycing a pending huge victory in the pre-primary nominating conventions. Pearce campaign manager John Billingsley said the thought that Wilson was the "inevitable winner" of the Republican nomination would be "relegated to the ash heap of history."
A poll from the New Mexico Republican party conducted back in January shows Pearce ahead 38 percent to 35 percent over Heather Wilson. As you can tell from adding up those numbers, there are a huge, huge amount of undecideds. Basically a poll that shows... nothing.
The week ended with a poll showing the race closer than expected. Udall leads only by single digits in the Rasmussen poll, but there are questions about this poll; the polling happened at the same time as the polling which showed McCain and Obama tied. A sample of too many Republicans perhaps?
Third Congressional District
The Third Congressional District had an active week in the news.
The weirdest news of the week had to be the actions of Jon Adams Democracy for New Mexico has more.
Last week, Adams filed a reportedly incomplete legal challenge that doesn't follow the rules of civil procedure in seeking to disqualify most of the petition signatures submitted by green builder Don Wiviott, another Dem in the race. Adams allegedly didn't serve a summons on Wiviott, didn't name a plaintiff and defendant on his complaint and failed to join an indespensible party (the Secretary of State) in the action -- all basic legal requirements for such a challenge.Hmm... weird.
Wiviott, with his hundreds of thousands of self-funded funds, began airing TV ads introducing himself to the public in the Third Congressional District. Wiviott had two ads, one which taught viewers how to say his name, the other which outlined his positions on some issues.
Meanwhile, Ben Ray Lujan received the endorsement of the IAFF. The firefighter endorsement is a significant feather in the cap for the Democratic frontrunner. This endorsement adds to two previous endorsements from unions. Lujan can tell visitors all about it at his campaign open house on Sunday, March 2.
Second Congressional District
Diane Denish, a Harry Teague supporter, appeared at the Dona Ana County convention and called the Democratic primary in the Second Congressional District "a lively, spirited contest."
In addition to Denish's speech, Senate candidate Tom Udall and all four Second Congressional District Democratic candidates -- Teague, Bill McCamley, Frank McKinnon and Al Kissling, Jr -- made remarks.
It seemed Teague wasn't all the confident when it came to the delegates selected so far for the March 15 pre-primary nominating conventions:
"I think we're easily going to be on the ballot," Teague said about how well he'll do at the state convention. "Beyond that, I'm scared to guess.".This echoes what Teague told Joe Monahan on Tuesday about where he thinks he will end up in the pre-primary convention:
[O]peratives for Hobbs oilman Harry Teague are lowering expectations for his pre-primary showing, saying he will easily get the required 20% but they expect 29 year old Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley to finish first.Teague says he will finish behind McCamley because McCamley has been in the race longer.
Also, Republican Ed Tinsley raised the possibility of raising a million dollars for the Second Congressional District. A Tinsley operative told Joe Monahan, "This could be a million dollar primary...This is a large district and campaigning in all its forms has gotten more expensive." Watch out.
First Congressional District
It was Republicans making the news this week in the First Congressional District -- and not for good reasons. It appears, according to Dennis Domrzalski, the Republican party in New Mexico intimidated potential GOP candidates in the First Congressional District to clear the way for their man Darren White.
Sole White opponent Joe Carraro is backed up on his assertion by Janice Arnold-Jones and Mark Boitano. All were told not to run by the state party and were even threatened with smear campaigns against them if they dared run against the state GOP's Golden Boy.
Meanwhile, Martin Heinrich announced two more endorsements, those of the OPEIU and the Sierra Club.
Also, from Tuesday's Monahan again, Heinrich looks to be the prohibitive frontrunner going into the March 15 pre-primary nominating conventions. This would be a big boost if Heinrich were to have a strong showing, in the media (who has ignored him) and in his campaign warchest (which is already the largest in either party in the district).
The New York Timesnoticed Pete Domenici is the Chief Senate GOP Obstructionist when it comes to alternative energy tax breaks.
In the controversial sentencing of Elton John Richard II, who killed a foiled robber after chasing him a quarter of a mile away from his house, the Albuquerque Journal urged the Governor to pardon him. Governor Bill Richardson is actually asking for a resentencing (Richard received only two years of a possible six for second-degree murder). Senator Pete Domenici calls for a full pardon.
The Santa Fe Reporter's Dave Maass looks at where the legislator appropriated your money to go. Hint: hand to hand combat is big.
The Governor signed the Housing Authority bill and signed the ballot access measure; Kate Nash also has the full list of bills signed, including a New Mexico FBIHOP favorite: SB 269, or the Polysomnography Practice Act.
Big Oil and Big Business crony Pat Lyons (R) (who also happens to be our State Land Commissioner) is doubting Attorney General Gary King's position on a sweetheart land deal down in Las Cruces for a major developer. A Republican siding with big business even when it looks to be against the law and is definitely against the best interests of the people? No...
John Fleck asks if the "virtual" swords at Los Alamos National Labs (read: nuclear weapons) will really be virtual.
And Lt. Gov Denish will head to Wyoming to campaign for Hillary Clinton. Who she offended to get that job, I do not know.
Tags: Al Kissling, Aubrey Dunn Jr, Barack Obama, Ben Ray Lujan, Bill McCamley, Bill Richardson, Darren White, Diane Denish, Don Wiviott, Elton John Richard II, Frank McKinnon, Harry Teague, Heather Wilson, Hillary Clinton, Janice Arnold-Jones, Joe Carraro, Jon Adams, Mark Boitano, Martin Heinrich, New Mexico, NM-01, NM-02, NM-03, NM-Sen, Pat Lyons, Steve Pearce, Tom Udall (all tags)