Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Would You Buy a Used Economy From This Man?

Make no mistake about it. This is the Conservative-Bush-McCain-Gramm economy come to fruition, with even more nightmarish consequences lurking on the near horizon. What we're experiencing today is the creation of those who call themselves "conservatives" -- but the only things they seem to want to conserve are their own hides and their own riches. Now they're even failing at that. And we're supposed to want more of the same for the next four years? A used economy based on the failed policies of the tired and discredited, trickle down, deregulation mob that's been calling the shots in Washington for decades? Yeah, that's what I want when I think of "change."

Here's what this bunch believes:

--Government itself and government rulemaking that provides commonsense oversight over any aspect of the economy or any economic players are intrinsically bad.

--The "wisdom" of the markets will prevail if we just remove all meaningful rules and regulations that have been designed to protect consumers, taxpayers, transparency and fairness.

--Global trading and global capitalism should be allowed to run wild without governing rules or protections for workers, the environment or anything or anyone else.

--If you end up struggling in this economy, you deserve no help from the government. Only failing corporations run into the ground by reckless, fraudulent operators should get such help.

--Money will magically trickle down to ordinary folks if we give almost all of it to the very tip top of the investor class.

I could go on, but you get the picture. This anything goes value system, to use the term loosely, is what got us to this place. Even worse, now that all the sleazy maneuvers and underhanded dealings have produced a free fall in our economy and the world's, these greedy bastards are demanding that they all be bailed out by -- you guessed it -- the taxpayers. What a deal. They socialize all the risks and privatize all the profits, and when things go badly they blackmail the government by claiming if they don't get our cash, the entire economy will crumble.

McCain, Gramm and the Deregulators
So what does all this have to do with John McCain? For starters, he chaired the Senate Commerce Committee when a significant amount of this "deregulation" BS was injected into the economy. He loved it. He pushed it. He believed in it. He trumpeted it. As the ProPublica reported today,

This morning's New York Times probed the candidates' actual records. It concludes that McCain "has never departed in any major way from his party's embrace of deregulation." Indeed, the Times says, McCain "has no history prior to the presidential campaign of advocating steps to tighten standards on investment firms."

Now consider that McCain's best friend and ally has long been former Senator Phil Gramm -- you know, the moral misfit economy professor who claims that the recessiion we're having is only a "mental" aberration and that we're simply a nation of "whiners."


Gramm, the former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, was one of the biggest cheerleaders and legislators of the "deregulation" movement, ever ready to do the bidding of those who make their "living" by sucking capital out of institutions, companies and markets using underhanded, pushing-the-envelope means. Gramm thinks all the money should go to the investor class with as little as possible "wasted" on those who actually work for a living. Workers are mere, replaceable widgets -- and the costs of their wages, benefits and working conditions need to be held down at any price to human dignity and fairness. He's quite a guy.

Gramm was McCain's top economic advisor until he made a fool of himself with the "whiners" remark, and he has long been touted as McCain's choice to serve as Treasury Secretary in a McCain administration. Even though he has officially withdrawn from the McCain campaign, he's clearly still providing advice and he's still the odds on favorite to head the Treasury Department if McCain manages to lie his way into the White House.

Read this excellent piece by Joe Conason about Gramm's history, which includes close connections with the savings and loan debacle, Enron and the huge deficits run up by Reagan's misguided tax cuts for the rich. And check out Gramm's parting shot:

Before he retired from the Senate in 2002, he wrote the Gramm-Bliley bill, an act broadly deregulating the financial industry -- and now blamed by many economists for the epidemic of speculation and fraud that has shaken the global economy.

... Over and over again, from the savings-and-loan fiasco to the Enron shock to the global banking meltdown, the golden promises of deregulation have turned to leaden ruin. Perhaps nobody cares about the lobbyists surrounding McCain, but someone should ask him why he would cherish the advice of a man whose devotion to ideology has already done us so much damage.

What Specific Changes is McCain Proposing?
It might also be useful to ask McCain exactly which policies he proposes that would mark him as a "reformer" or "maverick." He should be asked specifically how and why he would rock the boats of the vipers who have run Washington and our economy into the ground under his party's rule. And why, exactly, he's still loyal to one of the top honcho vipers who engineered the fall -- Phil Gramm.

McCain is a definitive part of the problem, which is why it's so awful (and dangerous) that he's willing to say anything now to try to sell himself as part of the solution. The operative words in McCain's campaign? Lie. Sell.

This is what we have to get across each and every time we knock on a door or make a phone call for Obama. Pass it on.

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September 16, 2008 at 07:36 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Corporatism, Economy, Populism, John McCain, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

(Updated) Wiseacre from Wasilla


Update: I wanted to point you to an excellent piece by Marjorie Childress that discusses Palin's mockery of community organizers. She hits the nail on the head.
VP candidate Sarah Pallin sarcastically mocked a lot of things last night, including community organizing:

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities,” Ms. Palin said, a slash of the sword at Senator Barack Obama’s job as young man working on antipoverty programs in Chicago.

Maybe she doesn't really know what a community organizer does. There are many things she apparently doesn't know about, so she's being tutored by a squad of Washington insiders connected to McCain and Bush. You know how right-wing "mavericks" are -- they're entwined with all the forces they suggest they're against when they're posing as populists for the little people during election cycles. Did you get the message last night that McCain-Palin is against Washington lobbyists and business as usual? Well, except for the massive cadre of DC lobbyists who constitute the McCain-Palin campaign apparatus, and other lobbyists who have already had to flee the campaign when they got caught in the headlights with their hands in the cookie jar.

MockerNo doubt about it, Palin can mock. I hope she gets some mocking in return. She's wide open to that on many fronts. Remember, Palin believes the Iraq war is a mission from god, as is the giant natural gas pipeline she's been pushing in Alaska. Want instant support for a course of action from the uninformed? Assert it's part of god's plan implying that opposing it would be unholy. Bingo!

Right-wingers have always been good at offering bread and circuses to the masses while their wealthy cronies pick their pockets. And I can see that Palin will be a big champion to the ignorance is bliss crowd. For example, she's an advocate for keeping polar bears off the endangered species list at a time when global warming is just warming up. Oh wait, she denies the human role in global warming so she doesn't have to bother with that issue. Everything will be fixed if we drill for more oil! Well, except that the U.S. has only 3 percent of the world's reserves and a massive per capita consumption rate.

Did anyone else find it odd that almost all of the Repub speakers last night were complaining about Washington doing them wrong? I guess they forgot that their own party has dominated Congress and/or the executive branch for a decade or more -- setting all the priorities and making all the decisions. I found it especially confusing when Mitty Romney went on about LIBERALS ruining everything in DC. I'm trying to remember when LIBERALS last had any significant power nationally. Can you recall?

Denial coupled with sarcastic dissembling is a useful tool for those like Palin who will say anything her elite, insider Washington speechwriter trains her to say over a week of closed-door sessions. Palin was reciting the words of none other than Matthew Scully, former longtime Bush speechwriter. How maverick-ish!


Well we all know how hard it can be to effectively knock elitists when your party is full of them, all protecting their property, position, wealth, tax breaks and unearned advantages. Solution? Find a tough talking neophyte from the hinterlands and train her to train her mouth on all the usual manufactured targets of the right. Hope that folks won't notice she's an ambitious, to the right of Atila the Hun politician who's against increased education spending, expanded health care coverage for children, programs to help poor young pregnant girls, early childhood education, support for the disabled, anything but abstinence-only sex education, equal pay for equal work, child care assistance and many other initiatives that help ordinary people cope with life.

She's got hers, including a bunch of previous campaign donations from the same power brokers who propped up the discredited Rep. Don Young-Sen. Ted Stevens machine in Alaska. As for her self-proclaimed expertise in fiscal matters, Palin cut taxes as Mayor of Wasilla while simultaneously expanding the town’s operating budget by almost $2 million. She ended her term in 2002 with Wasilla $20 million in debt. Oops. Lot's of similiarities to BushCo.

Maybe having Palin talk about common sense and her "typical" American family will work. Maybe it will mask the fact that she's an extremist oddity linked in cozily with the "dominionist" movement dedicated to returning government to the Christians, mixed up with a political group that wants Alaska to secede from the union, is a big supporter of "creationist science" being taught in the schools and backed right-wing crazy man Pat Buchanan when he ran for president. Palin actually believes our Founding Fathers created the Pledge of Allegiance (which was written in 1892). She's a strong supporter of shooting wolves and bears from airplanes. She's against a woman's right to choose even in cases of rape or incest. Just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill mom, ain't she?

If you want to get a better idea of what Palin is really about on the issues, check out the Sarah Palin Digest assembed by Think Progress. Also see Alternet's coverage on the real Sarah Palin. And the AP debunks some of the dishonest assertions of McCain-Palin, including this one:

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

Then there's this little tidbit dug up by the Washington Independent that has Palin bragging about the pork she got for Wasilla in her own handwriting. At the time, McCain wasn't pleased with Palin's penchant for pork.

I can't wait until Palin opens herself up to media questions, can you? Or will the GOP insiders controlling this thing keep her sequestered for anything except scripted events? More will be revealed. In the meantime, let's dedicate ourselves to taking the lipstick off the hockey mom so voters can clearly see the deep-seated dangers of the pit bull lurking underneath (to use some of Sarah's own terminology). She can pose and pretend, but she can't hide entirely from now until Election Day.

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September 4, 2008 at 12:31 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

NM-Sen: New Udall Energy Ad on TV; GOP Pulls TV Ad Buys for Pearce

See that Udall graphic in our right-hand sidebar? Click on it to get a free Tom Udall bumpersticker. Just do it.

The new TV ad for Dem U.S. Senate candidate Tom Udall focuses on taking a balanced, pragmatic and proactive approach to achieving energy independence -- not just talking. The campaign released a cool Fact Sheet that provides documentation for each of the points made by Udall in the ad.

The new Udall ad starts airing a day after the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced it's pulling out of its ad buy for Repub Senate candidate Steve Pearce. According to an :

Republicans' Senate campaign arm called off television ads Tuesday that were to air in New Mexico in the run-up to Election Day, an indication that it's leaving the GOP candidate there to fend for himself as the party braces for losses.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee's decision to cancel the New Mexico spots reflects its priorities during a tough year for the GOP, with the party lagging badly in fundraising and resigned to losing seats in the Senate.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is outraising its GOP counterpart by almost 2-1 this cycle. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) had earlier announced that the NRSC would try to build up its funding for advertising in battleground states like New Mexico by urging Senators not up for reelection or in safe seats to make donations. It didn't work:

The NRSC pulled the New Mexico ads a little more than a week after Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., the committee's chairman, he would have to scale back advertising in battleground states because Republican senators haven't contributed enough money to compete with Democrats.

Let's not get complacent though. It's a done deal that the infamous right-wing 527s and other third-party groups, like the Club for Growth, will keep spending money in New Mexico to run negative ads against Udall. They always do, and they're known for dishonest and odious ads of the worst sort. If you can't win on the issues or the strength of your candidate, there's always lowest of the low mudslinging of the "swiftboat" variety to fill the void on the Repub side.

The best antidote? Get involved now with the Udall campaign and help capture another Senate seat this November.

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September 3, 2008 at 11:28 AM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Energy, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bloggers Report Outrageous Police Actions in Minneapolis

"Defense Control" vehicle in Denver

There were plenty of mucho macho, paramilitary-style displays and actions by law enforcement and Secret Service officers in Denver during the DNC Convention. As I reported before, we'd run into one person holding a peace sign surrounded by a dozen officers in riot-SWAT gear with assault weapons, or a small group of older women wearing peace teeshirts drawing a crowd of mounted police, bicycle cops or guys in suits wearing earpieces. Or streets would be closed down for blocks because a small group was walking together and chanting a slogan.

However, as far as we know, nothing came close to the kind of police state behavior that's already going on in Minneapolis as the GOP arrives for their Convention in St. Paul.

Check out this piece by Glenn Greenwald, who's on the story with Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake -- which also has several articles on the situation in Minneapolis. Police in riot gear have been raiding houses, forcing people to lay on the floor while handcuffed, seizing their computers, arresting journalists and lawyers and generally running amok claiming they are uncovering potential "conspiracies -- without any evidence of lawbreaking of any kind. I sure hope the whole world is watching, but maybe it's our own citizens who should be paying the most attention and admitting certain dangerous realities about certain "security" obsessed law enforcement officials.

Cops in Denver

Serve and Protect?
We personally endured a few over-the-top, in-your-face intimidations in Denver. The worst came when the battery-operated scooter I was using to traverse the long distances between events broke down right before we were past the blocks long "security perimeter." The defective battery (one of two we encountered in my rented scooters) had been giving me trouble all night because it wouldn't hold a charge for long. I had gotten help from Convention volunteers and firefighters to recharge it enough to keep going very slowly, but it gave out again when I neared the exit from the Pepsi Center's secured area.

Two Secret Service agents were clearly peeved at this and ordered us to get the scooter out of there immediately, or else. They had beet red faces, were yelling loudly and were trying to be as intimidating and wise ass as they could. Oh, how they relish their power. When we explained we couldn't carry the heavy scooter ourselves and it shouldn't be pushed, they went ape shit. Questions or comments aren't allowed.

The beefy agents refused to help us or call anyone else over to help and just kept demanding we get the thing past the last barriers. One of them finally ordered me out of the scooter. He then half picked it up and half dragged it past the perimeter and threw it so hard against a concrete barrier that it almost overturned. Next came a nasty-assed grin. Pride in service!

We had the temerity to ask what we could do to get farther and they spouted a few epithets and said they didn't care if we spent the night there. They clearly detested being asked any questions, as they apparently perceive themselves as having unassailable and unlimited power to act as they desire, period. These types are really tough when it comes to dealing with a pair of gray-haired women, one of whom has mobility problems. After letting the scooter sit there for 20 minutes or so, it regained enough juice somehow that we managed to get it started so we could move at a snail's pace to an area where we could hail a cab to take us to our car.

A Cowed Citizenry
It was also instructive to watch our fellow citizens watch the inexcusable rudeness with which we were being treated. They stared, they saw, they fled. After all, the message was clear -- they could be next if they said a word. I'm convinced the authorities could have done whatever they felt like doing to us and nobody would have made a peep in our defense.

You see, intimidating tactics like those we witnessed do in fact work. The goal is to keep everyone quiet, obedient and unquestioning of any behavior on the part of "the authorities" and, quite often, it works. In fact, I'm sure it makes many people feel "safe" from "the terrorists" -- but it makes me feel like our civil liberties could easily go the way of video cassettes if the brutes among law enforcement are allowed to operate unrestrained.

It's especially ironic when Convention speakers are going on about enforcing the Constitution and Bill of Rights while right outside the door there are law enforcement entities acting like citizens exercising -- or even thinking about exercising -- their civil liberties are "the enemy." Not to mention the extreme threat posed by gray-haired women with a scooter with dead batteries. Priorities, priorities.

Keep checking our YouTube account, our Flickr stream and our Zannel widget at the top of the main DFNM blog page.

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August 31, 2008 at 01:27 PM in 2008 Republican Convention, Civil Liberties, Crime, NM Legislature 2008, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain: All Black and White and Dishonest in Las Cruces

I was offered press credentials for today's town hall meeting with McCain in Las Cruces but decided it wasn't worth the gas money to hear the gas bag insist, once again, that he's not who he really is. Awe shucks, McCain would like us to think he's just one of the people and moderate to boot. But let's face it, McCain is a pandering rich guy who's grown long in the tooth in the dark heart of Washington. He's surrounded by syncophants and lobbyists for corporations and foreign powers. He owns, what it is, six houses? He can't quite grasp that the surge hasn't "worked" because the stated goal of the surge has not been met -- political reconcilation in Iraq and its government.

The vast majority of McCain's positions are to the extreme right -- not in line with the mainstream of the nation. He voted in favor of Bush policies more than 90% of the time. And yet he has the nerve to claim he's an independent, a moderate, a maverick. If by maverick you mean a stubborn old bull that runs wild trampling truth, then he's a maverick. Get this by Johnny about Obama rightly accusing him of questioning his patriotism:

“Let me be very clear: I am not questioning his patriotism. I am questioning his judgment. Senator Obama has made it clear he values withdrawal from Iraq above victory in Iraq,” McCain said. “He has made these decisions not because he doesn’t love America but because he doesn’t think it matters whether America wins or loses.”

Earth to McCain: America has lost and there is no "victory" to be had. There is only getting out in a manner that mitigates further damage, as much as possible, to all involved. I know complexities and ambiguities like that don't jibe with the game-day rah rah mentality of black and white thinkers like McCain, but the days of America winning anything by invading and occupying Iraq for years -- at a cost of $2-3 BILLION a week -- is long past, if it ever existed.

This isn't a football game. The situation in the region isn't cut and dried or uni-dimensional, so the only reasonable way out seems beyond McCain's ability to comprehend. You either win or you lose in McCain's world. He sees foreign policy like a body-contact sport, where grunting willfulness can win the day. Except that this is at least a three dimensional chess game.

McCain likes brute force, not nuanced strategies and diplomacy. He doesn't get the big picture -- only the scrimmage in front of him. It's one of his biggest weaknesses. An ability to focus only on what's directly in from of you can be a big help to a person in a prison cell -- but it certainly isn't what we need in a leader at a time like this. This is an era when swirling complexities mean that fine lines and artful analysis may well make all the difference. Those aren't McCain's strong suits, in any way, shape or form. He reads his note cards. He mouths the buzz words. He blusters and winks. He panders and smirks. But he doesn't really know jack about what's going on in the world today, what it means or how to fix it.

August 20, 2008 at 07:08 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Monday: Bush Legacy Tour Comes to Albuquerque

Brace yourself and watch the video to refresh your memory about some of the too-numerous-to-name failures that make up the disastrous legacy of Bush and his conservative cronies. Then think about what's at stake in November when one of those conservative cronies has a chance to win another four years for the team. Then get off the couch and get active.

Bushlegacy has created a museum on wheels that documents some of the worst moments of the last eight years under Bush and the conservatives, and it's coming to Albuquerque on Monday, August 11, 2008. Stop by the bio-diesel-fueled bus to see the memorabilia and show your support for American United:

Monday, August 11th, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
In front of Natural Sound music store and Flying Star Cafe
Central Avenue and Carlisle Blvd, Albuquerque, NM

Pass it on. To learn more about the Bush Legacy Tour, and to see what other stops it will be making this summer and fall, visit BushLegacyTour.com. The tour will be in Farmington, NM on Tuesday.

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August 9, 2008 at 01:16 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Events, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

NM-Sen: Pearce's First TV Ad Shows Backward Thinking Extremism

Trio_2I won't post a copy of the first TV ad being aired by the GOP's U.S. Senate candidate in New Mexico. Let him pay to get it shown using his meager campaign funds. No free rides here for the backward thinking right-wing extremist. I don't want Pearce to follow in the footsteps of John McCain, who makes small media buys and then has the media and blogs show his ad for free. Let 'em pay.

I will say that the ad attacks "far-left environmentalists" and ties them to Tom Udall. Far-left, to Pearce, apparently means anything other than drilling everywhere no matter the impact and putting a nuke plant in every town. Some in Pearce's party at least pretend to be interested in significantly increasing alternative energy production and getting in on the ground floor in terms of developing green economy jobs.

Not Pearce. He doesn't mention anything except drilling and nuke plants -- so I take it that those two items constitute his entire energy plan. In fact, the ad seems to imply (at least to me) that nuke power can solve all our problems, maybe even cure cancer! I know that even many environmentalists think that some additional nuclear power may be necessary in the short-term, but Pearce seems to view it as a cure-all. He doesn't mention where all the poisonous waste would go.

I know "conservatives" are all about preserving the status quo, but Pearce seems to be going even further in recommending a return to the energy policies of the 1950s. Of course, given his narrow-minded social views, he'd probably like to return us to that era in most ways. When everybody knew their place and few dared to raise any questions or challenge the power structure.

After all, this is a guy that voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act that recently passed in the House, as well as the 2007 Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Equal pay for equal work? Not in Pearce's world. A paradigm shift to alernative energy? Not in Pearce's world. New paradigms and progressive ideas seem to scare him. He's a clinger. To the past. To known entities. To the present corporate power structure. To things as they were, not things as they can be.

Actively support the candidate who looks to the future with excitement and hope -- and help make sure a narrow-minded throwback to the 1950s doesn't get anywhere near the U.S. Senate. Do what you can to help True Blue New Mexico candidate Tom Udall. If we don't do it, who will?

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August 5, 2008 at 01:46 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Energy, Environment, Republican Party, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

(Updated) NM-01: Lobo Coach Doesn't Know Darren White

DwhiteUpdate: The front page of Darren White's campaign website STILL includes a listing for "An Evening with Coach Steve Alford" in their events section.
From today's Albuquerque Journal story on the swirling controversy about NM-01 GOP Congressional candidate Darren White's (right) July 16th "Evening with Coach Steve Alford" fundraiser at the home of UNM lobbyist Joe Thompson, it's hard to tell which Republican is telling the biggest whopper. Turns out nobody knew much of anything about the event. They seemed to be participating in the event planning and were set to attend, but -- surprise -- there was only a vague idea about what the party was, why it was taking place or why Alford was asked to attend. The accounts of the people involved in the fundraiser are rather murky and confusing as to the who, what, where, how and why aspects of how things developed.

KrebsI guess this bunch has an odd habit of wandering around from place to place with no idea why. They're just out there glad-handing and touting Lobo basketball, right? No politics intended. UNM's VP of Athletics Paul Krebs (left) admits he's the one who asked Alford to attend, but "said he didn’t know the coach would be the main attraction." Oh, and he and Alford merely like to meet leaders in the state. It just so happens that takes place at candidate fundraisers:

Krebs said that while he and Alford have attended past political fundraisers, their attendance is not meant as an endorsement — “it’s in our best interests to be out and about ... and meeting the leaders in the state,” Krebs said.

Somehow some of the major players in the dustup had no idea the event was a big-ticket fundraiser for White or that Alford was scheduled to do anything but stop by to say hi. Alford must be one friendly guy, ready at the drop of a hat to attend parties and greet the guests. Even though the official invitation had allegedly been okayed by party host and UNM lobbyist Joe Thompson, no one seemed to realize that photos with Alford were going to be hawked for $1000 each. But perhaps the most hilarious revelation comes from Alford himself:

Alford told the Journal he agreed to stop by the July 16 event at [UNM VP for Athletics] Krebs’ request, but that doesn’t mean he is endorsing White — or anybody else.

“I wouldn’t know Darren White if he walked in front of me,” Alford said. “It got falsely advertised. I was just stopping by.”

AlfordWow, I guess some jocks really are as disconnected from real life as people sometimes think. Imagine living and mixing with all the monied bigshots in a community as the $1M-a-year basketball coach (left) at the state university and not having any idea about the identity of the county sheriff, who's running for Congress or who the GOP honchos might be within UNM's family tree. Even worse, you discuss your pending appearance as the featured guest at a fundraiser for the said sheriff-candidate as a matter of following orders:

When Alford was asked if he planned to show up, he said: “As long as Paul [Krebs] tells me to.”

The old "I was just following orders" excuse. And then there's White himself, who's blaming everything on, who else, the Dems:

... [White] accused his 1st Congressional District opponent Martin Heinrich and Democratic “political bosses” — including Gov. Bill Richardson, whom he said had Alford at a fundraiser of his own — of putting the full-court press on UNM.

“We wanted to ensure every aspect of this met with the university’s approval,” White said. “This was backroom political pressure. It just stinks.”

I don't know, Darren. It seems clear the controversy erupted quite on its own merits. The event was first publicized as a short item in the Journal late last week, and nothing happened during the long 4th of July weekend. Then the story burst onto the local talk radio circuit this week via KKOB, and it was off to the races. I didn't notice the involvement of any "Democratic bosses" in the unfolding scandal. Mostly, people don't seem to like it when the university's basketball coach takes part in a highly political event not as a citizen, which is fine, but specifically as The Coach.  Darren White doesn't seem to get this distinction:

“A fundraiser is a fundraiser. Whether you’re doing photos or shaking hands, it’s irrelevant.”

You'd think Darren would know better. After all, this is the guy who chaired the Bush-Cheney campaign in Bernalillo County in 2004. He's surely been involved with the ins and outs of all kinds of political fundraising, including what's considered proper and what's not. I guess the Sheriff conveniently forgot about all that. Or maybe he just had his mind on other things, like spending precious law enforcement resources to search relentlessly for misdemeanor chicken-fighting offenders -- so he could get his mug on the local news to help his campaign.

Remember, Darren's resume includes a stint as a TV reporter in Texas. He obviously thinks he knows what sells. But his attempt to use Alford for political gain -- in his official capacity as Lobo Coach -- sure does seem to be backfiring. And rightfully so.

ThompsonJust one more bit of history. The host of the Darren White-Steve Alford fundraiser, UNM lobbyist Joe Thompson (right), was a Republican State Rep who represented a district in Albuquerque's NE Heights from 1998-2004, and served for a time as minority whip. In 2004, he was arrested for DWI, "hours after attending a bill-signing ceremony to highlight the state's newest effort to crack down on DWI offenders." Why is it that so many Repubs are caught in the act while boasting so loudly about "family values" and "law and order"? Hypocrisy is a many-splendored thing on the right side of the aisle.

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July 10, 2008 at 11:17 AM in NM-01 Congressional Seat 2008, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (12)

Friday, July 04, 2008

NM-02: Where Will Tinsley Spend Independence Day?

Tinsley2We know where Harry Teague, the Dem candidate for Congress in NM-02, will be this holiday weekend. He's visiting five community holiday celebrations in Southern New Mexico during the 4th of July weekend. We don't know where his GOP rival, Ed Tinsley (right), will be this weekend. Could it be that he'll be hanging out at events near what he calls his "second home" -- in Santa Fe?

We know that Tinsley owns a home in the elite Las Campanas subdivision in Santa Fe. We also know that he's admitted to spending only 60 to 70 percent of his time in the 2nd Congressional district he seeks to represent [Las Cruces Sun-News, 11/07/07]. What we don't know for sure is where Tinsley will be this holiday weekend.

There's nothing on his campaign website about his schedule during the Independence Day festivities. In fact, it appears that the last time his website was updated was when he won the GOP primary back in early June. So, whereabouts unknown. But the Democratic Party of New Mexico has some suggestions if Ed is up at his home in Santa Fe for the holidays.

"Maybe Tinsley should consider attending some of the great Independence Day events close to his home in Santa Fe. Since Ed Tinsley admittedly spends so much time in Santa Fe, he may know more about what's going on there than me," said Josh Geise, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Where will the Tinsleys be on July 4th? Keep an eye out at these events:

1. 33rd Annual Pancakes on the Santa Fe Plaza. The breakfast lasts from 7 AM to 12:30 PM. This tradition brings Santa Feans together for a pancake breakfast that features an arts and crafts fair, live music, a vintage car show and children's Firecracker Pajama Parade.

2. Leon Russell, Sharon Little and Alex Maryol Concert. The concert is at 7:00 PM on the 4th of July at the Santa Fe Brewing Company.

3.  Santa Fe Fireworks Festivities. Top off the evening with a fireworks display at Santa Fe High School.

If you see Ed Tinsley anywhere this weekend, let us know.

July 4, 2008 at 10:30 AM in NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NM Dem Party Demands That Pearce Return Tainted Money; GOP Going Off the Tracks?

CALLING STEVE PEARCE: Return the money from discredited Texan Clayton Williams, and repudiate his repulsive remarks about rape.

John McCain was forced to cancel a Texas fundraiser this past weekend hosted by oil man Clayton Williams after he was confronted with sexist quotes made by the monied GOP donor but has so far refused to return more than $300,000 his campaign Williams has raised for McCain. The most egregious prounouncement by Williams equated rape with the weather, saying "as long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

As I previously posted, Steve Pearce, the GOP's candidate for U.S. Senate in New Mexico, has gotten $4,000 from Williams going back to his 2006 campaign for Congress -- plus who knows how much more from donors "bundled" by Williams. The Democratic Party of New Mexico is now demanding that Pearce return the money.

"Steve Pearce and John McCain need to do the right thing and return every dollar they have gotten from their sexist and misguided friend, Clayton Williams," said Conchita Cruz, Press Secretary for the Democratic Party of New Mexico. "Pearce's silence on the matter is unacceptable, as Williams' words are disturbing and out of step with New Mexico values."

Ironically, one of the major mantras of Pearce's campaign is that he "represents New Mexico values." Guess not, at least when it comes to taking campaign contributions. No wonder Sen. John Ensign, who heads the GOP's Senate campaign committee, was quoted as saying that putting money into races Repubs can't win, like the one in New Mexico, would be a waste.

GOP Woes
It appears that GOP candidates -- as well as the Republican Party itself -- are in big trouble this election cycle. And the tension and bad blood within the Party are growing. Check out Peter St. Cyr's post (and extensive audio) reporting on the New Mexico GOP's convention in Las Cruces last Saturday. One controversy at the event resulted in Albuquerque delegate Patrick Marron being tossed out for trying to ask a question about the ban on taking photos or recording the event. State Party Chair Allen Weh defended the move:

“Other state’s run their conventions by Robert’s Rules,” said Chairman Allen Weh. “Not ours. This convention was run by the chairman’s gavel. ... “It’s my bat, my ball, and he [Marron] struck out.”

Ooooh, how autocratic! Weh and his pals probably think Robert's Rules are un-American. Order before democracy! And I wonder why they're so paranoid about people taking pics or taping the proceedings.

According to St. Cyr, Jeff Wright, state field director of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign, was also closed out of the meeting (at least the SCC meeting portion):

"What we want is the beginning of a recognition that the Republican Party has gone far afield," said Wright ... It's not about the man, it's the message. The Republican Party is damn near about to go off the tracks."

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June 17, 2008 at 12:18 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, Democratic Party, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (0)