Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Santa Fe City Elections Could Get Hot

Albuquerque's municipal elections always seem to overshadow the following Spring elections in Santa Fe. Santa Fe has not only four Council seats up for election but the Mayor's office as well.

The Mayor's race could be interesting. Santa Fe realtor Karen Walker jumped into race early but most expect her to do poorly having never ran for office before. Current City Councilor David Coss has also entered the race for Mayor and is seen as the liberal or progressive alternative to current Mayor Larry Delgado.

The big question is whether Delgado will run again for a 3rd term. If he does, he's the odds-on favorite, as he brings not only the Hispanic vote to the table but the development community as well (kind of like a Santa Fe version of Marty Chavez).

But there are rumors that a candidate that would represent the Hispanic community and be sympathetic to the development community waits in the wings should Delgado decide not to run. Could it be former County Commissioner Javier Gonzales?

Progressives seem to be organized in Santa Fe are are attempting to consolidate behind Mayoral and City Council candidates and trying to prevent multiple progressive candidates from entering the race and diluting the pogressive vote. But, not surprisingly, the pro-development community is organized as well. In the aftermath of recent, controversial Wal-Mart votes, the battle between progressives and developers continues.

Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger in District 2 should expect strong challenge from a progressive, eastside candidate. The race for David Coss' open seat could be interesting as well in District 3.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Old Folks, Boomers, Unite! Fight the Power! Let's Pack up the Metamucil and the Ensure and Head to Crawford, TX in the SUV!

I know this will probably rile up the activists out there, but where are the young people in this anti-war effort? Here at UNM, they’re invisible. But you watch the protests in Crawford and all you see is our nation’s aged activists—with the inevitable subsequent footage from the networks of Vietnam protests (apparently this demonstrates that the same people are still protesting – just 40 years later). There are a few young people in Crawford that are young protesting the President, of course, but a good portion of them I see on TV are not only waving picket signs but using them as crutches too.

Hey, there is absolutely nothing wrong with aging activists. But you have to admit that we are witnessing something unusual. The nation’s 18-35-somethings must be at home, playing PlayStation and searching for dates on-line, while their parents (and grandparents) are trying to set up a neighborhood democratic party headquarters for the rest of the retired population to hang out at during the day to complain about the President.

But you look at other political movements around the world and you see youth and working people leading the protests. Youth in Northern Ireland are protesting the war and many of the newly independent Soviet states are experiencing protests let by youth--or working age people.

Meanwhile in Russia, President Putin seems to have a thriving a youth support movement (link). and here in the U.S the youth 0f our nation seem to either not care or actually enjoy the powers that be. Boomers did a great job of protesting back in the day, but they didn't seem to pass along the same spirit to their children.

Maybe you can argue that the youth and working people that are protesting in America are protesting: through the internet, email, etc. . . . I get that. But that takes very little sacrifice to march from the kitchen to the den to send out a few protest emails. And I believe there is a correlation between protest and sacrifice. But I don’t see many people, so passionate about their opposition to the war, quitting their jobs and heading to Crawford.

Just thought I'd make an observation.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Greens Silent on Judge Fran Gallegos

The Green Party is remarkably silent about one of it's few elected officials in New Mexico, Santa Fe Municipal Judge Fran Gallegos.

Gallegos was suspended as a judge today by the State Supreme Court. Gallegos allegedly altered court records and sentences (link) of her defendants.

Gallegos was the pride of New Mexico greens as one its only elected officials in the state. Now the Green Party, which offered itself as a solution to the historically troubled elected officials offered by democrats, has a troubled elected official of its own and they have done little to distance themselves from Gallegos.

Check out the New Mexico Green Party's Call to action (link) and see if this vision of the Green Party matches Gallegos' actions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Winter, Griego’s TV Presence Seems a Long Way Off

Abuquerque Mayoral candidate Brad Winter is reported to have bought time (less than $100,000 worth) on Albuquerque TV the days before the election and from September 10th onward. Question is, will it be enough?

TV is certainly not everything in a Mayor’s race. Ground troops, mail, radio are all important.

Griego’s campaign has reportedly not made any inquiries with local TV stations about buying time -- making his presence on TV anytime soon less likely.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wilson, Pearce: How's Your President Doin'?

The Congressional seats held by Heather Wilson and Stevan Pearce have been considered competitive in the eyes of most naitonal political observers. Although, Pearce and Wilson have been able to fend off democratic opponents without too much difficulty.

But then again, they have run recently in what have been good years for the national Republican Party and George W. Bush. They have also been stalwart supporters of the President and his agenda. With the President's approval ratings in the tank and with the Iraq war slowly falling apart, what kind of effect will that have on contested Congressional districts held by republicans?

Pearce and Wilson should be looking over their shoulder, their races look more and more enticing to Democrats and the national democratic party as things for the President get worse.

What was supposed to be a boring year in New Mexico's Congressional races, may get a little more exciting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Marty's Up On TV--Donde Estan Los otros?

We are about 6 weeks out from the Mayor's race and Marty has been up on tv with a positive ad for about a week. His competitors are no where to be seen--begging the question: is this going to be a race for Albuquerque Mayor or not?

Despite what their egos may be telling them, Eric Griego and Brad Winter's name identification are probably at between 20 0r 30% each--meaning just about that amount of the electorate has heard of them.

People don't tend to vote for people they've never heard of.

No successful Mayoral candidate in recent memory has won without a significant television buy. Radio and mail are not an effective means of communication compared to television and don't let the other candidates tell you that they will get by on mail, yard signs, a field campaign or radio alone.

Maybe, just maybe they can keep Marty under 40% and force a runoff that would raise their name id via unpaid media.

I'm eagerly awaiting the results of the ABQ Journal poll on the Mayor's race that will come out post-Labor Day.

Also, where is the living wage campaign? When are they going up on TV? I bet about 15% of the electorate has heard about it. They need to get on the ball too.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Watch for Wilson Trickery on Valle Vidal

Heather Wilson is rumored to be heading into the Valle Vidal this weekend. Undoubtedly she will proclaim what a magnificent site it is and how it must be preserved. Attempting, along the way to trying to enhance her environmental portolio (outside of her district, by the way).

But don't let Heather fool you, this is the same Congresswoman who voted more than twice to permit driling in ANWAR. In fact, saying at one point during the debate on ANWAR, “think of it this way: if all of Alaska were a 2-hour movie, then ANWR … 2,000 acres would be the blink of an eye."

Wilson also voted to expand drilling in Florida's gulf Coast, the California Coast and in our National Parks -- all votes during the summer of 2001.

Don't let Heather fool you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Divisive Liberals Bringin' me down . . .

I haven't blogged in a while. I'm depressed.

Liberals are bringin me down, making me depressed.

It's the "seeing the forest through the trees" issue.

I like liberals, democrats and that crowd, but at times, they just don't see the forest through the trees.

It has been decades since the Republican Party controlled the White House and the Congress. Decades. And democrats are somehow surprised that the GOP is stickin' it too them after they stuck it to the GOP for so many years.

So what's democrats' response to this? Go beat up on every democrat that's not in line with the vocal, liberal wing of the party. Instead of finding the issues they share in common to unite against the Republicans and develop a true difference in philosophies between the Dems and the GOP (that might be interesting for the rest of us to watch), liberal, lefty dems go off and try to litmus test their own. What a mistake.

It's as if somehow the more liberal wing of the party believes that 90% of their members read the New York Times. I'd like to see if any of the Deaniacs in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area realize that it might be difficult to receive the Sunday New York Times in Clayton, NM and maybe, just, maybe not everyone around the state is reading the "Daily Kos" or the latest tome by Arundhati Roy.

To use an old Nixononian political term, there's a "silent majority" of voters out there that aren't vocal but are mainstream and they want a political party that is interesting, innovative and has something to say. If Democrats are going to compete with Republicans on a national level, they have to join together and talk to the silent majority and prove they want to be in power. That's what the Republicans are doing--not wasting their time on eating their own.

Monday, August 01, 2005

President Bush to visit ABQ on 8/8

You heard it here, Pres. Bush will be in Albquerque on August 8th for some Energy-related business. Friends at Sandia Labs say he will make a visit.